New pay station operational at Kingsland park boat ramp

STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO

Kingsland Community Park boat ramp

The new boat ramp pay station at Kingsland Community Park only accepts debit or credit cards. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

No more honor system for boaters at Kingsland Community Park. The Kingsland/Lake LBJ Chamber of Commerce has installed a new pay station with mechanical gate to access the boat ramp.

Now, instead of dropping $10 into a bucket to use the ramp at the park, boaters must insert a debit or credit card to pay $5 to put their boats into Lake LBJ and then another $5 to return to the dock to retrieve them. The pay station is located at 119 Christopher St.

Parking isn’t allowed inside the gated area, and unattended vehicles will be towed.

The station does not accept cash, but boaters can purchase a 10-swipe pass for $50 or an annual unlimited pass for $150 with cash, check, or card at the chamber office, 2743 RR 1431 West.

Businesses such as watercraft sales and rentals, fishing guides, cruise operators, and dock builders pay an annual user fee of $750 and agree to a contract for unlimited usage. Launching equipment or overweight watercraft is not allowed.

Also, a new fishing pier at the park is in the works. Craigen Marine, Lauren Concrete, and Marty’s Concrete are building it as a gift to the community.

Chamber facilities committee chairman Derek Timmons said the project should begin soon.

Hopefully, starting the pier in the next sixty days,” he said.

Don Craigen, owner of Craigen Marine, said he wanted to show his appreciation to residents for not giving up on Kingsland after the October 2018 flood.

“The Lake LBJ community has been very good to us,” he said. “After watching the community bounce back after the flood, we wanted to do something special for the hard-working people of the area, folks who otherwise don’t have a place to fish.”

The T-shaped pier, about 40 feet wide and 20 feet into the lake, will have rod holders and guard rails.

Chamber leaders went about the task of restoring the park soon after flood cleanup efforts in Kingsland began last year.

The park has a new retaining wall and docks, new asphalt in the area closest to the ramp, a grassy lawn by the lake, and a pet-waste station. Visitors also can access free Wi-Fi at the park, while security cameras and additional lighting improve safety.

In 1962, the land was deeded to the community of Kingsland for use as a public park, and the chamber became its trustee. Tax dollars or public funds do not support the park. Therefore, launch and rental fees are used for improvements, maintenance, and other expenses. The chamber also accepts donations to keep the park in working order for the enjoyment of residents and visitors.

To help with this, the chamber launched Friends of the Kingsland Community Park.

A business or individual can become a Friend by donating $100. The donor receives a 10-swipe launch pass and is recognized on the chamber’s website.

Another option is becoming a Partner of the Park with a minimum $1,000 donation. The donation can be a substantial and ongoing in-kind gift such as:

  • printing and signage
  • maintaining the boat dock, ramp, or grounds
  • pressure washing concrete areas and cleaning the park building’s tables and chairs
  • providing trash service
  • and providing capital improvements to the grounds and park building

Partners will be named on park signage and included in an advertisement in the chamber’s Kingsland Magazine. Boat launch passes and rental privileges for the park building will be based on contributions.

Contact the Kingsland/Lake LBJ Chamber of Commerce at kingslandchamber@gmail.com or 325-388-6211 or visit kingslandchamber.org for more information. Kingsland Community Park is located at 710 Williams St.

jfierro@thepicayune.com

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