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Concrete boat ramp gets OK
Paddlefest - James, L, and Terry Hines.jpg
A concrete boat ramp has been approved for Pepper Branch Park to make water access easier for visitors like James Hines, left and Terry Hines.

A concrete boat ramp has finally been approved for Pepper Branch Park with hopes for construction on the boat ramp to begin this fall.

At the Tourism Development Board meeting on Monday, an announcement of the concrete boat ramp being added to Pepper Branch Park was made. A Tourism Enhancement Grant awarded $75,000 plus a grant match equaling $82,500.

The plan was originally meant to encompass both Pepper Branch Park and Rocket Park. Due to recent city budget cuts, Pepper Branch will be the only park to receive improvements and a concrete boat ramp by the grant given by the Tennessee Department of Tourism Development. 

“We’re going to see a concrete boat ramp at Pepper Branch Park. Hopefully, the bid process will be finished and construction can start in the fall,” said Mandy Eller, president of the Chamber of Commerce. “We have a strategy together and we’re moving forward.”

Since the improvements to Rocket Park were not encompassed in the Tourism Enhancement Grant, a Blue Cross Blue Shield Healthy Places Grant could potentially be used for Rocket Park. 

The grant is very competitive but due to the rich history of Rocket Park, reviving the baseball field and updating the park to be ADA compliant, are hoping to be accomplished if the grant is won.