When Rocky Fork Lake resident Jack Kerns noticed that a fishing pier for handicapped persons at the lake had been removed, he asked his fellow South Central Ohio Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation members if there was something they could do about it.
“I said, ‘Yes, I’d support that,’ and so did everyone else on the committee,” said chapter member Tom Gall, a Marshall resident who is also a Rocky Fork Community Alliance board member.
So, the chapter has started raising funds for a $26,000 project that will see a 40-foot long, 40-foot wide, T-shaped fishing pier placed near where the former pier that was located near a ramp off Lucas Lane. Gall said the National Wild Turkey Federation “is prepared to kick off the fundraiser with a very sizable donation,” but he said he does not know exactly how large that donation will be yet.
So, the the chapter is calling on the public to help.
“It’s for the elderly and handicapped people so they have a good, safe place, and a place that’s a very good spot for fishing at the lake,” Gall said. “It’s just stuff like that we really get into doing to try to make things better.
“We were going to do a 50/50 raffle or something like that, but we figured that by the time we put all the effort into that it would take a while, and we want to start on it this fall and have it in for spring fishing,” Gall said.
According to Gall, the former handicapped pier was installed at the lake several years ago, but funding cuts did not allow it to be maintained and deterioration set in. It was removed about two years ago.
“Since that time many of the local handicapped citizens have been affected by not having the privilege they once had,” Gall said.
After a review of the pier, Gall said it was determined that the entire structure will have to be placed. He said it will need new floats, lumber, frame parts, and all the hardware.
Once the new pier finished, Gall said the NWTF South Central Ohio Chapter plans to maintain it.
Gall also noted that the chapter is working closely with maintenance crews at Rocky Fork State Park to make sure the pier is installed according to state regulations. He also said that donations need to be received by end of this year.
“We assure that 100 percent of the donations will be allocated to the pier only,” Gall said.
Anyone wanting to make a donation should make checks payable to: South Central Chapter Ohio NWTF, ℅ Tom Gall, 11071 SR 506, Hillsboro, Ohio 45133.
For more information call 614-348-1082.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or on Twitter @13gillilandj.