It's do or delay time for Columbia County officials planning to develop a bass-fishing mega-plex at Wildwood Park.
Columbia County Construction and Maintenance Director Kevin Lear said if the commission doesn't act soon, an environmental testing period ends and the work will have to be delayed until next fall - putting the project at least a year behind schedule.
Standing partially in the way are residents of the Keg Creek area, who say they are not against the proposed ramps, but do not agree with the county's proposed location at Wildwood Park.
Resident Roy Giles said the proposed location sends boaters through a bottleneck in Keg Creek before they can reach open water. That's impractical and dangerous, he said, when the ramps could be built on the open water side of the park.
"Somebody's going to get hurt eventually," he said.
The plans - and the proposed location - will go before Columbia County Commissioners on Tuesday night.
Columbia County Community and Leisure Services Director Frank Neal said more than half of the more than 80 people who offered written opinions during an Aug. 29 hearing were in favor of the planned "mega-boat" ramps and satisfied with the proposed location.
But Giles said half of those responses were from people who do not live in Columbia County.
"These folks here are the people that are paying taxes in Columbia County," he said.
Plans for the park improvements include multiple boat ramps, parking for 250 to 300 vehicles and trailers, an open-air weigh-in and awards pavilion and rental cabins that are available year round.
Neal said he plans to ask commissioners to keep the ramp in the same location for a variety of reasons, including its proximity to existing infrastructure, the land is more suitable and it fits better with the county's master plan for Wildwood.
"That's based on consultant and staff recommendations," he said.
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