• 46°

County takes care of Symmes Creek Boat Dock

Three years ago, the Symmes Creek Boat Dock was filled with sludge and sediment. The surrounding area was in weeds. Sediment had piled up on the ramp.

Grayson Thornton, of Waterloo, and several others decided to do something about it.

“The sediment was close to four feet deep, it was something,” he said. The weeds were three feet high. The first cutting was kind of tough.”

Thornton said that David Spaulding from Kermit, W.Va., took a backhoe, donated by Walker Equipment, to clean up the boat ramp.

Joe McMaster, of Chesapeake, Howie Dam-ron’s uncle, hauled away 20 loads of dirt. Damron is a big supporter of the Symmes Creek Restoration Committee.

The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers wanted to make sure the area was taken care of. The county had a lease on the property and when it expired, Thornton with the Symmes Creek Restoration Committee wanted to take over the care of the property.

In order to keep it maintained, they had to get three partners to sign. So, the Lawrence-Scioto Solid Waste District director, the county commissioners and the Wayne National Forest signed an agreement with the committee.

The county commission now holds a 25-year lease on this property based on the agreement, he said.

“Gloria Chrismer, Ironton District forest ranger for the Wayne National Forest, has helped us a great deal, even on her own time,” he said. “I can’t say enough about partnerships, and some really key people have helped.”

Dr. Robert Culp, a professor at Ohio University Southern who runs the Nature Center at Lake Vesuvius, lent his support in the printing of materials and lending his people to help us out also, Thornton said.

“Our main financial support is the National Wild Turkey Federation, whose local president is Buddy Fry has helped,” he said. “They donate a canoe for the annual Canoe Caper every year.”

Thornton has been taking care of the property turning the surrounding areas into a small park — until last week.

Both Judge David Payne, Lawrence County juvenile judge, and Judge Donald Capper, Lawrence County Municipal Court judge, approved the use of community service workers to mow the grass and maintain the property.

“I called Judge Capper and Judge Payne’s office and we had a meeting in Judge Capper’s office,” he said. “Judge Capper agreed to help us and allowed his workers to maintain the property.”

Workers began last week taking care of the area.