The Valparaiso City Commission has approved spending nearly $1 million to improve the boat ramp and docks at Lincoln Park.
- During a Nov. 13 meeting, commissioners awarded a $996,585 bid to Loftis Marine LLC of Pensacola to replace the deteriorating boat ramp facilities.
- According to the city, the current ramp and docks are in poor condition and need extensive repairs in order to remain usable.
The project will be partially funded through a $414,000 grant from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission that was awarded in January 2022.
- The city plans to make up the nearly $583,000 funding gap through other available sources like American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds, county boating improvement grants, the city’s parks reserve fund, and potentially its half-cent sales tax revenue.
As part of the grant, the city will have to dedicate the boat ramp as a “boat access facility” for the benefit and use of the public for no less than 20 years.
The boat ramp is in big need of repair and without moving forward with the improvements, the city runs the risk of having to close the boat ramp and dock area. There are large slab separations in the water that cause issues with trailers, in addition to the sand accumulation.
- With the pouring of all new concrete, the boat ramp will go from a single lane to a 27ft double lane allowing two boats to launch at once. There will also be new boat parking.
With the awarding of the bid, the city said contractors plan to begin construction shortly, with a deadline to finish by June 30, 2024 due to grant requirements.