LaFayette was considering building a new boat ramp at the city's Queen City Lake until the discovery of an old ramp submerged in the water and dirt.

The city added a new, dark gray section to extend the ramp uphill from the older, lighter section.

"So now we have got the new extension and the newly discovered old boat ramp. so hopefully that is going to allow more people to enjoy the city lake and that is all part of this whole 'Protect, Revitalize, Invest, Develop, and Enjoy' (PRIDE) philosophy," council member Ben Bradford said.

What's up, dock?

The city met Tuesday, Jan. 3, to revisit the issue of implementing a dock at the lake. That followed a study concerning how many people a dock can hold based on its buoyancy. The current plan is to install a floating dock rather than a fixed one.

The low bid of about $20,000 was accepted after the issue was tabled during the December council meeting.

Floating docks are known to compensate for the various water levels..

City Manager David Hamilton said the original fixed dock plan was to begin work while the bank was dry, making its construction easier. Recent rains raised the water level, so the city moved more towards a floating dock.

Hamilton said due to the recent drought the lake was at its all-time lowest level and a floating dock would compensate for variability of water depth.

AccuDock quoted a price of $36,559 that does not include pilings or a concrete pad and would require a gangway (aluminum ramp) that floats with the dock. The cost of a dock, pad, ramp and gangway would be about $40,000 based on the AccuDock quote.

"Quite a bit more than we were looking to spend," Hamilton said. "As all of you know, we had $50,000 budgeted in SPLOST to do this, but SPLOST is coming in short (due to the cost to finish Chattanooga Street that came in more than anticipated)."

Hamilton said the city has between $40,000 and $50,000 available in SPLOST (special purpose local option sales tax) for everything — including projects not budgeted at this time.

Other options were researched and included a lower bid for a "kit" that includes a supply the materials and plans to build a dock in sections.

"To get the same length dock as you saw on the AccuDock quote this is the breakdown of what it would be if we took the kits, so the difference is, bottom line, $25,000," Hamilton said.

The council agreed to allow the LaFayette High School Bass Fishing Team to help build the dock at the school.

Josh O'Bryant is a general assignment reporter and covers the Walker-Catoosa County area. He can be reached at the Walker County Messenger office at 706-638-1859 and by email at jobryant@npco.com.