by Audrey Thomasson
LANCASTER—The county’s only fully functioning public boat ramp is in jeopardy of being cut off from the river it serves—again.
Members of the Greenvale Creek Maintenance Association last week appealed to supervisors for help in funding their efforts to keep the channel open for watermen and recreational boaters.
It seems every three years shoaling reduces the entrance to the creek to an unnavigable depth. In 2009, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dredged the creek and dumped the spoils on a beach just upstream on the Rappahannock River, to the dismay of local residents who maintained the silt would drift back to the channel.
In 2011 and 2014, a citizen effort kept the channel open by re-dredging two sections leading into the creek.
According to association spokesman Nick Ferriter, the group is asking the county to fund the dredging of a 400-foot section to a 60-foot width and eight-foot depth at a cost of $206,500. A second option would involve dredging to a 50-foot width and six-foot depth at a cost of $112,000.
This time, “the spoils will be deposited onto a barge and off loaded into water-tight trucks and transported to a disposal site at River Road and White Chapel Road,” said Ferriter.
The group also is requesting the county pay for extending a jetty to prevent further shoaling at an additional cost of $23,600 and replacement of navigational aids at $2,250.
The total cost would be $137,850 to $232,350, depending on the amount of dredging. The association has raised some $9,000 toward the costs.
“We’re requesting $15,850 this fiscal year so that the work may begin immediately,” said Win Schwab. Another $100,000 is requested for the next fiscal year to complete the minimum dredging the U.S. Coast Guard requires to consider reestablishing and maintaining the navigation aids at the entrance to Greenvale Creek, he said.
If approved, the work will be completed by the end of June, said Schwab.
Supervisors took no action. They are expected to discuss the request at 5:30 p.m., today, June 1, during a budget work session, at the County Administration Building, 8311 Mary Ball Road, Lancaster.