Here we go again.
It was only a few years ago that residents along Keg Creek successfully fought off an attempt to discuss the development of Columbia Countys Wildwood Park into a full-blown resort, complete with a golf course and a convention hotel.
At the time, much of the residents argument was pretty selfish. It boiled down to a desire to maintain an unspoiled view across the water from their lakefront yards, even though they had no more right to dictate the best use of county property than any other taxpayers.
Any concept of a golf course has long since disappeared. Instead, Colum-bia County is using proceeds from the 1-cent sales tax to improve parking at the nearly 1,000 acres of largely undeveloped Clarks Hill property, with additional plans to build rental cabins and create a pavilion and boat ramps to accommodate nationally sanctioned, big-money bass-fishing tournaments.
This time around, Keg Creek residents still have significant concerns about the countys million-dollar plans. But those concerns now have a practical basis, and arent just rooted in a desire to hang on to their taxpayer-financed scenery.
Instead, Keg Creek residents rightly worry that a design for boat ramps would create a bottleneck for fisherman preparing to blast off when the horn sounds at the beginning of a tournament. Located in a narrow part of the creek, the ramps would force fisherman in their high-speed boats to race each other for open water - and the competition could lead to disaster.
A safer location would be the Big Branch side of the park. It would really be a better place to blast off, says River Rats fishing club member Ray Diamond. Its open water from there.
Keg Creek residents agree. Sure, theyre also reluctant to put up with hundreds of high-powered boats going full throttle at sunrise, just across from their quiet boat docks. Who could blame them?
But in this case there is a legitimate safety angle, too. As a result, county officials are considering the switch.
In any event, the good news is that the fishing facility has a green light all the way around - along with the possibility of significant tourism dollars flowing to Columbia County as fishermen find out about the first-class park.
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