Greenville residents advocate for new boat ramps

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Greenville residents are working to get additional boat ramps in the city due to safety concerns.

There are only a few boat ramps in Greenville, making it difficult and time consuming to bring boats into the Tar River.

“It’s a little congested there especially when people are fishing, it could be better,” said Ricky Cooke, who uses the Town Commons’ boat access often.

Cooke and other Greenville residents said traffic throughout the summer has created safety issues.

“Sometimes, especially around the holidays, it gets a little crowded getting on the boat ramp, you know to take turns and just kind of prolongs the activity of getting in the water,” said Greenville resident Randa Claierone.

Knee Deep Adventures Owner Kelsey Curtis brings her customers out on the river every week. She said the issues with the boat ramp go further than the eye can see.

“Unfortunately this boat ramp is falling apart,” explained Curtis. “There are broken planks on it there are sharp splinters on it, which is always a worry for people that have kids or pets.”

She suggested upgrades to the docks and a new ramp to keep boaters in Greenville. She said because of the current issues, many are going to neighboring towns for water access.

Beth Bee lives in Greenville, but takes her paddle boarding activities to Washington.

“The river is a little bit more open here; it’s a little bit wider. It’s not as hot, it’s a bigger breeze, the water feels a little cleaner on this end of the river,” Bee said.

Curtis adds, “They are spending money down in Washington and not in Greenville, so I definitely think that’s hurting our economy.”

Curtis said a better change for Greenville starts with action.

“I would love to sit down and talk to city officials; I have quite a few ideas of where they could put in other boat launches, or what they could do to improve the one down here.”

Mayor Allen Thomas said the city is planning close to $2 million in improvements for the park, which includes the water access area. Thomas said a new pier will be named after war veteran Robert Lee Cherry upon its completion.

A full presentation regarding the multi-million dollar improvements to the Greenville Town Common and waterfront is scheduled to happen at this week’s city council meetings.

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