Augusta to get mega tournament boat ramp

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News 12 at 6 o'clock, June 02, 2008

AUGUSTA, Ga.---The idea is to bring large tournament events and local family friendly activities to one location along the Savannah River.

Alvin Young is like a child in a candy store when it comes to fishing. "It's the most relaxing thing I've done in my life...even if I don't catch anything I love it," said Alvin.

He recently retired. One of his favorite spots to kick back and fish is the Robert Baurle Boat Landing next to the Lock and Dam Park. "I just come down here fishing every chance I get...2 or 3 times a week," said Alvin.

The currents will soon change for Alvin's outdoor oasis. A mega boating and fishing facility is planned for the site. It is geared at attracting hundreds. "The more the merrier," said Alvin.

"This is gonna be a complete face-lift for the area," said Tammy Stout who is executive director of the Augusta Sports Council. An area traditionally reserved for, shall we say, those looking to get back to nature will soon get parking, restrooms, and places to seek cover...not to mention a spot on the Georgia Bass Trail. "It gives us another venue to market within the community and gives us another great site to bring in outside dollars," said Tammy.

The city is looking to reel in some big revenue. As things stand now there's only one ramp serving a 14 acre site, but that will change thanks to a $370,000 grant from the state. "This just gives another thing for Augusta to be able to say we can stay home and have a good time," said Tom Beck who is director of Parks and Recreation.

The city's diving in head first with less than 18 months to get the job done before the money dries up. "Bring the heavy equipment on," said Alvin.

The city will have to match that $370, 000. The cost to local taxpayers is about $10,000. The item is on the Augusta Commission agenda for approval.

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