It has taken well over two years. Tremendous hurdles had to be overcome. Three separate government agencies had to cooperate.
But finally, not in a small part, through the efforts of Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto, we have a new, state of the art, boat ramp at Misty Cove.
Formerly known as Bentley's Boat Dock, Misty Cove has been in deplorable condition for a long time.
It had gone through a series of owners and had numerous problems with who was responsible for what are. It had reached the point of being dangerous.
The problem in maintaining it was that the land came under the purview of three government agencies. The road leading to the ramp was the responsibility of Wilson County. That was the only part being maintained.
The approach, exit and parking lot was the responsibility of the TWRA. The ramp and dock itself came under the jurisdiction of the Corps of Engineers. You can imagine the snafu.
All except Wilson County, at one time or another, plead budget constraints and I suspect they were real.
A month or so ago, the Corps basically gave their land to TWRA.
That agency, working with our county, got together and totally revamped the entire area.
The bulk of the work and expense fell to the TWRA because their area was the most in need. Once they found the funding, as available, they sunk the machinery and manpower into the renovation, work and progress took off.
Drainage, a major problem was completely rerouted. The parking lot was redone with no holes or dips. The approach is wider and once again, smooth as it should be.
A new ramp and dock were installed complete with a generous, handicapped parking area. It is on par with boat dock in the area.
During certain times of the year, Misty Cove receives heavy boating traffic. It had reached the point that anything over 12 vehicles posed a parking problem.
There were huge holes in the area where trucks backed up to launch boats. Some were deep enough to badly damage the undercarriage of a car or truck. You had to be extremely careful in backing a boat down the ramp. That is all cured.
A big thank you is due to the Corps for their cooperation, Ed Carter and TWRA for their work, money and manpower and not least of all, to Mayor Hutto for staying on top the situation and seeing it through.
Mayor Hutto, commented on the project, "I would like to say thank you to all the state and local officials who helped in this endeavor and mainly to Mr. Jim Kidwell, in our office, who stayed on top of this until it was finished.
"He has a passion for our fishermen and duck hunters. I would also like to thank Mr. Luther Lenning and Mr. Boone Swain for bringing this to our attention and being patient with us until Jim could get the job completed. This adds another quality of life venue to Wilson County."
On behalf of Wilson County sportsmen and women, thank you for a job well done.
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