Parkersburg plans new dock at Point Park

PARKERSBURG – A dock for the temporary mooring of boats at Point Park is being planned by the city of Parkersburg, city officials said on Thursday.

The 160-foot concrete-decked dock will be located near the new amphitheater and will be financed by state and federal funding, said Rickie Yeager, municipal development director. It will accommodate, based on the guidelines for the federal grant, seven boats at 26-foot each, although craft of smaller sizes can also use it, he said.

The city applied in September for a $100,000 Boating Infrastructure Grant, dubbed B.I.G., from the U.S. Department of the Interior Fish and Wildlife Service that will be matched with $25,000 from the West Virginia Port Authority, Yeager said.

No local funds would be expended, unless the cost exceeds $125,000, he said. The project has been kept to $125,000, Yeager said.

“We’ll keep the project to that cost,” he said.

The area of the amphitheater was chosen for several reasons, Yeager said. It can more easily be made handicapped accessible and compliant with the Americans with Disability Act, electrical service is already there and the area will not interfere with the docking area for the Island Belle, the ferry to Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park in the Ohio River, he said.

“It will not interfere with that operation,” Yeager said.

An aspect of the B.I.G. program is to encourage overnight transient boaters, which is why electrical service is required, Yeager said.

The dock, as designed by Easy Floating Systems, would be made so that it could be added to in the future when and if those funds became available, Yeager said.

“There are plans to expand it in the future,” he said.

The dock could be installed by this summer if the grant is approved in time, Mayor Bob Newell said. The dock was mentioned in the mayor’s state of the city report to city council on Tuesday.

“We hope to put it in this summer,” Newell said.

The dock would be similar to those in Sistersville and Point Pleasant, Newell said.

The pre-made dock would remain in the water, rising and falling with the river level, Newell said. The hardest part of the project will be driving the steel pilings that hold the dock into the river bed, he said.

Newell said the facility would be aimed at transient boaters who temporarily need a place to dock their craft. Long-term mooring will not be permitted, he said.

The project could generate revenue for businesses from the transient boaters, council President John Rockhold said.

“It’s another way to get money coming in for Parkersburg,” he said.