By SEAN RICE
The boathouse and attached dock at the Mercelina Park boat basin
in Celina soon will be closed to the public, due to safety concerns
with the structure.
Local anglers repeatedly have complained about the condition
of the sagging dock alongside the boathouse standing in the
boat basin, which is otherwise known as the “hot water
Jay Korte, with the city’s engineering office, informed
a Celina City Council committee Friday the 12 wooden posts supporting
the boathouse are heavily deteriorated below the lake’s
waterline. He presented a sketch showing new steel roof beams
supporting the boathouse walls, which would hang over the water.
Buildings and grounds committee members generated a list of
possible options for the boathouse, ranging from rebuilding
it to demolishing it. Three boat docks are housed inside.
Safety-Service Director Mike Sovinski said the boathouse is
not in danger of collapsing, but the dock attached outside is
more of a danger and will be removed or repaired as soon as
the ice melts. He said the boat docks inside the boathouse will
not be rented this year.
One of the docks in the boathouse is occupied each year with
a boat owned by the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office and
is on hand in case of a lake emergency. The section of the boathouse
that stands over solid ground contains an office and storage
area used by the Celina Police Department.
Council member Angie King said she learned a Celina Fire Department
employee maintains the boat, but the sheriff’s office
pays the approximate $300 cost per year. City police, the sheriff’s
office and state park officials have access to the boat.
She said the sheriff’s office has no plans to continue
funding an emergency boat.
“If the boat would die, they would just pull it out of
the water,” King said. “It doesn’t seem like
it’s an absolute necessity for the city to have a boathouse
Celina collects less than $700 per year from renting the other
two docks inside the boathouse, but the income is reduced by
dock fees due to the state. Council members where unsure Friday
exactly how much the city keeps from dock rentals.
Council member Chris Mohler extracted ideas from his colleagues
and listed the options: raze the structure, renovate the structure,
remove the boathouse over the water and keep the office space
or rebuild a new boathouse.
“What we need to find out is, does the community even
want a boathouse?” Mohler asked.
“I’d like to see it stay,” council member
Ron Hammons said.
Hammons acknowledged the city can’t really afford any
big expenses and suggested the city seek grants or possibly
appeal to local organizations and service clubs to see if there
is interest in keeping the boathouse.
Sovinski said he will speak with area officials with an interest
in the boathouse and report back to council, with cost estimates.