Amherst County officials consider resolution opposing boating access site fees

The resolution comes only weeks after a new law began, stating anyone using a Department of Wildlife Resources boating access site must have a permit
Published: Jan. 19, 2021 at 5:14 PM EST
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AMHERST COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - Mill Creek Lake Park sits just off Route 60 with open waters that are inviting for boaters.

On Tuesday, the Amherst County Board of Supervisors will make a decision impacting that area and others.

“Do you want to continue to rely on DWR maintenance fees or do you want to take care of the boat ramps [ourselves]?” said Dean Rodgers, county administrator.

Rodgers says that’s the question the board will face Tuesday night when they consider a resolution opposing the new fees.

Currently, anyone who uses a boating access point like the one at Mill Creek has to have an access permit.

Those with a hunting or fishing license are exempt.

However, the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources says Amherst County’s case is different from some others.

“They own it, so they have a right to decide how they want to proceed at this point,” said Pete Schula with DWR.

Even though Amherst County owns the land, they have an agreement with DWR to maintain it.

If the resolution passes, the county would then be responsible for all the maintenance.

“We can tell DWR, okay, thank you very much, we’ll take over maintenance. Now, public, you don’t have to pay a fee at our facilities,” said Rodgers.

In other localities where DWR owns the land, the law will continue to be enforced.

The new access permit costs $4 a day or $23 a year.

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