Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

March 10, 2014

Ice hammers marina dock at Lake Sara

Bill Grimes
Effingham Daily News

EFFINGHAM — The owner of The Marina@Lake Sara says there's quite a number of rental spaces available at his dock. But, Brian Larson said, the spaces won't be available until he fixes the damage wrought by the almost-concluded winter.

Larson told the Effingham Water Authority board Monday that ice that reached a thickness of more than one foot during the dead of winter has done a number on his docks.

"The docks have been pushed around quite a bit by the ice," Larson said. To replace the damage, Larson plans to build a 12x56 foot single, ramped dock that will combine a steel substructure with wood decking.

Larson strongly suggests that boaters not even attempt to use the docks until they are replaced.

"It's unsafe down there," he said. While the marina's ramp is still open, there is no access to the docks.

Larson said he hopes to have the dock completed by the time the marina opens Memorial Day weekend.

In action taken Monday, the board agreed to limit the total length of future private boat docks to 50 feet. No more than 24 feet of that dock can extend into the water.

Board chairman Chris Kabbes said the board had never established standards for dock length. Board member Jim Boos said it was a loose end.

"We went through all our guidelines and this was hanging out there," Boos said.

Kabbes said existing docks longer than 50 feet would be covered under a grandfather clause. Moreover, the board will consider variances, depending on the impact that a long dock would have on neighboring sightlines.

In other action Monday, the board agreed to buy a John Deere tractor for a net price of $4,300 through the State of Illinois' Central Management Services. Lake superintendent Mike Dirks said the cost of the $9,000 tractor would be offset by a trade-in value of $4,300 for the existing tractor.

Bill Grimes can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 132, at bill.grimes@effinghamdailynews.com, or via Twitter @EDNBGrimes