The Rough River Dam State Resort Park marina will be relocated for year-round use, Kentucky State Senator Carroll Gibson (R-Leitchfield) announced Thursday.
According to Gibson, the recently enacted state budget allocates approximately $850,000 to move the marina to a permanent position that will allow houseboat owners to dock on Rough River Lake year-round.
“I am thrilled the General Assembly chose to fund this project - one that is beneficial not only for the park, but for the community as a whole,” said Gibson. “I am deeply grateful to Senate President Robert Stivers for his perseverance in making this project a reality.”
According to Gil Lawson, spokesman for the Kentucky Department of Parks, the project is currently under development and a start date has not yet been specified.
Lawson also said that while the exact location for the marina’s relocation has not yet been determined, it will, generally, be moved north from its current location, just past the lodge, and closer to the beach and dam.
Currently, the marina is available for use only seasonally, during the five-and-a-half months that the pool is at recreational level. The seasonal drop in lake level has previously caused park employees to have to take the marina apart and anchor it in deeper water for the remainder of each year.
State Representative Tim Moore (R-Elizabethtown), who assisted Gibson with securing funds for project, said, “The transfer of the lake’s marina to a new location will hopefully generate more tourism dollars for the area by giving boaters a nice facility in a great location to enjoy what this beautiful lake has to offer.”
The relocation of the marina and its subsequent year-round availability are anticipated to not only allow for greater lake use by visitors, but also provide additional revenue to Rough River State Park and the surrounding area (i.e, lodging and restaurant business) by extending the recreational season.
The Rough River Lake marina currently has 31 houseboat slips, less than half of which are leased annually. By keeping the marina open all year, the number of houseboat owners who must move their boats to other docks either for the winter or completely will, hopefully, be reduced.
“Economic development opportunities are important to the livelihood of our state parks,” said Stivers. “I’m excited about the impact this project will have on the lake and surrounding community. Senator Gibson is to be commended for his hard work and dedication to making this project happen.”
Kentucky Parks Commissioner Elaine Walker said she was pleased with the community and leadership support shown during last November’s community discussion regarding Rough River, as well as the approval of the project by the General Assembly.
“This will provide economic benefit for the entire region,” Walker said.