Aiken County’s Jackson Boat Landing will soon be undergoing repairs now that the Aiken County Legislative Delegation has approved funds for its restoration.
The Delegation approved $94,420.08 of Water Recreation Resources Funds to be used to restore the Jackson Boat Landing as recommended by the Aiken Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department.
While the landing is located on the Audubon Society’s property, the County operates the area on a long-term lease.
“Over the years we have put grant money, and a little bit of our County money, into approving it,” Assistant County Administrator Brian Sanders said. “We really don’t have the manpower to properly care for it. It’s so secluded that there’s a high possibility of vandalism, but there are the needs for a boat landing in the area.”
The landing is one of eight in Aiken County, and it sits along the Savannah River.
Sanders said the problem with the dock is the erosion of a portion of shoreline, and if the department doesn’t act, and try to control the erosion next to the river, the erosion may wash away the boat landing in the next few years.
“With that money, we can, No. 1, hire an engineering consultant to tell us what exactly to do. With the left over money we can at least start with the erosion control,” Sanders said. “We don’t know if the erosion control will cost $20,000, $10,000 or $80,000; we just don’t know at this point.”
The Water Recreation Fund is a state fund, therefore the money will be administered through the S.C. Department of Natural Resources. The County has used an internal engineer to look at problem areas, but will soon seek an engineer with an expertise in soil erosion problems.
The repairs will be split into two phases, according to Sanders, and excess funds could possibly go toward maintaining the area.
“We want to do it right and make it something lasting,” Sanders said. “It’s an issue that needs to be looked at, and we’re taking the steps to get it back where it needs to be.”
Maayan Schechter is the local government reporter with Aiken Standard. Follow her on Twitter @MaayanSchechter.