City leaders hope officials with the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources will soon re-open the boat launch area leading into the Ohio River on 13th Street, but state officials may take until next year to build a new dock.
"After an on-site field review with Moundsville city officials earlier this year, DNR agreed that the current courtesy dock should no longer be used," said Hoy Murphy, spokesman for the state Department of Commerce, which has authority over the DNR.
City Manager Deanna Hess and Mayor Eugene Saunders emphasized the city does not own the ramp and docks area. They hope state officials will resolve the problem with the DNR property soon.
Photo by Casey Junkins
Those looking to launch boats into the Ohio River at Moundsville are not allowed to use the docks, as the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources is working to replace them.
"We had to take the boat ramp out. It is just not safe," Hess said. "We don't want someone getting hurt."
"It's up to the DNR now," Saunders added. "We have been in constant contact with them."
Murphy said new plans for the launch include installing a new dock downstream of the ramp that meets Americans With Disabilities Act standards.
The existing dock area will be removed. He said this should reduce the collection of debris in the areas around the ramp and docks.
Murphy said the DNR is now negotiating with an engineering firm to plan, permit, design and supervise the construction and installation of the new dock.
The project will have to go out for bid in accordance with state law.
"Realistically, DNR will be looking at construction of the new dock and removal of the old dock during the fall of this year or the spring of next year," Murphy added.