Two years later, progress on heated dock
Two years after a heated fishing dock at Marion County Park and Lake was destroyed in a storm, and a year and a half after a Kechi dock builder received a contract he never fulfilled to build a new one, the remains of the dock were removed Monday from the lake.
Making progress at last meant hiring a local construction company to build a new dock and a local excavation company to pull the old one out of the lake.
Lake superintendent Isaac Hett told county commissioners Monday that one load of the rubbish from the dock was hauled to the county transfer station. The transfer station could not accept more, he said.
He arranged for a private contractor to haul away the rest.
In January 2020, Kechi-based Ben’s Boat Docks was paid $101,950 as a down payment on a $203,900 job of removing the old dock and building a new one. Owner Ben Baxter has blamed travel problems, sickness, and dock flotation manufacturers for delays since then.
The county has been negotiating with Baxter for return of the money paid him, and a lawsuit could result if he and the county cannot reach an agreement.
In March, the county hired Hett Excavation to collect the six pieces of deck Baxter had made. The pieces will not be used to build the new dock, but will be auctioned online.
Marion contractor Nelson Fowles Construction was hired a month ago to build a 52-foot-by-24-foot dock.
The old dock was 35 feet by 70 feet.
Cody Nelson said his company hoped to have the new dock in operation by November so people could use it through the winter.