The town of Danville, W.Va. is seeing the effects of the new boat ramp located on Phipps Avenue, and town officials see it as an attraction for the city that will help with the future development of tourism attractions.
“We took an old home that sat there and took it down,” said Danville city manager Josh Barker. “We’d like to thank the Sanders family for donating it to the project. We see the boat ramp as a boost for tourism and we’re happy to see two-hundred or so people using it on Saturdays.”
Providing quick, safe access to the Coal River was a focus for the project, which was approved collectively by mayor Mark McClure and town council. The ramp sits adjacent to the Bob Cee City Park.
Funding for the project came via a $15,000 Government Participation Grant and was supported by Senator Ron Stollings.
So far, about half of the grant money has been utilized for future plans for bathrooms on the horizon.
“One of the things we’ve heard complaints about is that there were no bathrooms on the river,” said Barker. “This will resolve that issue.”
The handicapped accessible ramp was opened in the late summer and has been used primarily by kayakers, from inside and outside of Boone County.
“Our town will survive because we have a four-lane running through the middle of it,” he said. “Any attraction we have will encourage people to eat at our restaurants, buy gas here and spend money in Danville. The coal industry has taken a hit and so have we. Projects like this can be big for this town.”
A dedication ceremony is in the works that will honor the Sanders family for the contribution to the project. Barker said that some type of stone or plaque will be erected.
The project, in motion for well over a year, should have restroom facilities open in 2017.
Phil Perry is a contributing writer for Civitas Media. He can be reached at 304-369-1165.