ROGERSVILLE — Residents of Roberson Beach Road are hoping the Lauderdale County Commission will take over the public boat ramp on Elk River.
The boat ramp, which is on Roberson Beach Road, is owned by the Tennessee Valley Authority. Recently, residents of the area along with a representative from TVA met with the commission to talk about the condition of the boat ramp and the need for the county to take control of it.
“There are about 200 houses in that neighborhood and a lot have boats but don’t have private ramps,” said Bob Blanks, a residence of Roberson Beach Road, which is south of Rogersville and east of Lambs Ferry Road. “The boat ramp is in bad shape; it’s in dangerous condition, but if it was repaired, there would be a lot of use there.”
Blanks said he talked with TVA officials who said the commission could get a permit to operate the boat ramp.
Samantha Hartsell, recreation agreements specialist for TVA’s Land and Shoreline Management Division, said TVA owns less than an acre where the boat ramp is located. She said in the mid 1980s, TVA gave permission to a contractor to develop a public boat ramp there.
Hartsell said TVA could “give” the boat ramp to a public entity, which would enable it to remain open for public use.
“It needs some improvements, but we are open to working with one or more entities to keep this open and see it upgraded,” Hartsell said.
Commissioner D.C. Thornton, who is from Rogersville, said he has talked with officials at the Northwest Alabama Resource Conservation and Development Council about getting involved with the upgrades.
Heath King, of the RC&D council, said there are funds available that could be used to repair and improve the boat ramp.
County Administrator Brenda Bryant said, after talking with the county’s liability insurance carrier, if the commission took over the ramp it would be cover just like the other recreational areas that the county is involved with.
“If we took it over, we would have to keep up the maintenance like we do at the other county parks,” Commission Chairman Dewey Mitchell said.
“I just think it’s something that would benefit a lot of people,” Blanks said. “And without the county getting involved it’s probably not going to get repaired.”
Bryant said RC&D officials are scheduled to attend the commission’s Jan. 8 work session to discuss the project further.
Tom Smith can be reached at 256-740-5757 or tom.smith@TimesDaily.com.