Dedication held for Hercules Boat RampPublished 9:38am Friday, July 19, 2013
FRANKLIN—Officials braved the high heat index and high water to dedicate the Hercules Boat Launch on Thursday.
The boat launch, an approximately $300,000 project on the Nottoway River, was put together by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, without the use of taxpayer money. The project was funded by through the sale and registration of boats.
The property for the launch was leased for free to the state by Ashland Inc. Andy Chapman, plant manager, said he was glad to give back to the community.
“I think it will be a safe place for boaters and fishermen, as well as a safe place for people to come enjoy Mother Nature,” Chapman said. “We take giving back to the community seriously.”
Riverkeeper Jeff Turner said another important aspect of a big facility like the Hercules, is that it attracts people from out of town. A facility like this would be listed on a state database for boaters from around the country to view.
“The biggest question I get from people out of the area is about safety,” Turner said. “They don’t want to launch in little hole-in-the-wall places. A place like this is well lit, so from a security standpoint, it is nice.”
He said that with the lights, not only is in more safe, people could also potentially fish at night.
“It is nice,” Turner said. “I’m glad we have such a place in our community.”
Russ Dace, director of the Public Works Department of Franklin, was on hand. Public works stepped in to help the game and inland fisheries department a few times on inspections when they couldn’t make it down for issues about paving the parking lot.
“I hope they get as much use out of this one as we do with our boat launch on the Blackwater River,” Dace said. “The department is one of the easiest and common-sense state or federal agencies that I’ve had the pleasure to work with. They don’t make a lot of excuses, they come in with solutions to problems.”
Department Director Bob Duncan led the ribbon-cutting ceremony and presented certificates of thanks. Some of the recipients included Chapman, Dace and Allester Watts, who designed the boat launch.
“Thank you all for making this possible, and thank you all for being here on this occasion,” Duncan said.