Community group asks boat ramp users to pay their way

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The Colac Bay District Progress League is calling on all users of the often used boat ramp to contribute to its maintenance. Photo: Supplied

COMMUNITY leaders in Colac Bay are asking for support from members of the public in the ongoing maintenance of the much-used Colac Bay boat ramp.

Colac Bay District Bay Progress League chairwoman Deen McKay said while a good few community members were contributing to the $10 fee of the honesty box on the ramp, most users were not.

Mrs McKay said the Progress League came into possession of the boat ramp after it had fallen into disrepair while under council ownership, and received a letter of indemnity.

After initially coming into ownership, the league managed to raise an initial $40,000 through fundraising, community support and the Aotearoa Gaming Trust, to bring the ramp back into a safe, user-friendly state.

“We’ve achieved our initial goal, but we need to be able to sustain it,” Mrs McKay said.

“So we’ve upgraded it, but for ongoing maintenance we’ve suggested a daily $10 donation at the ramp or a $100 annual fee.”

Mrs Mckay said the ramp was frequently used by tourists and locals during Colac Bay’s summer period.

“They camp out there for a few days and it’s just paradise.”

The ramp was built by the Colac Bay Boating Club over several years, using leftover concrete blocks from the Tiwai bridge, and officially opened with a gala in 1972.

The boating club has since folded, and ownership was relinquished to the council before making its way back into local ownership with the league.

“This can only be sustained from the honesty of boat users, to those who have already contributed, we thank you.”

The Colac Bay District Progress League was formed in the 1920s as the Progressive League, but renamed in 1968 as the Progress League as an incorporated society.

Mrs McKay said the league had been hard at work fundraising for several projects, including building a new kitchen for the Colac Bay community hall.

User fees for the boat ramp can be paid on sight at the honesty box, or an annual fee of $100 can be paid by contacting the league via email at colacboatramp@gmail.com.

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