The Beardstown Marina project has hit a couple of snags over the last few months, but things are starting to turn around.
Mayor Tim Harris says that the campground at the marina is hoping to open this coming May after an amendment to a grant and some repairs are completed on one piece to the site: “We have had to apply for a different addition to a permit down there for the waste facilities from the campgrounds about the disposal site. It was never completed. It’s not a big job but it’s something’s that got to be done and dealt with in the correct way. You have to go through the EPA on that. We’ve got that turned in for an amendment through an engineering firm, and then, we can finish that up. That’s one of the main hold ups on the campground right now. We have had some trouble down there with the handicapped ramp access that we had for the kayak launching, which was part of the program, too. It was eroding really bad. We’ve got the engineers back down there, and we’ve done a fix to that. It looks like right now that it’s going to be alright. It had to have a lot of concrete added to it to prevent erosion. There’s still some fine tuning to do.”
Harris says a big problem currently is high water causing delays to repairs that need to be made, as well as finalizing some pieces of construction. As far as the river access, Harris says that they had a permit open, but an amendment had to be applied for to allow for hydraulic dredging. He says it should make the dredging process cheaper and more efficient than the previous mechanical dredging that’s been completed: “It’s going to be hard to even mechanically dredge where we got left. It goes underneath the railroad bridge, and the railroad people don’t want any mechanical dredging around the bottoms of their bridge pilings. It’s going to be insisted upon that we use hydraulic dredging from their side of it. We definitely have to cooperate with them. That’s also in the works. I just recently signed the application for amendment to that. I think that when it gets to the right place, I’m hoping that it will go through and we’ll go on with the program of getting that channel opened up.”
Harris says that he has been working with the Beardstown Harbor Committee in the meantime to establish campground rules and fees to keep everything moving forward. He says he realizes the importance of the project to the region and is trying to work with as many people as possible to see it through to completion.