Folks with disabilities now have a new place where they can wet a line and take in the beauty of Lake Guntersville, thanks to a pier project at the city-owned Goose Pond Colony Resort in Scottsboro, Ala.
"For us and TVA, recreation access to the lake is very important," said Lyle Sosebee, general manager at the resort. "Any way we can make the lake more accessible the better, not just for handicapped folks but for everybody."
A $24,000 grant from the Tennessee Valley Authority helped fund about half the work, Sosebee said. Henagar-based Shrader Construction is overseeing the project, and the work should be finished by early September, he said.
Improvements got rid of steps and will make it easier for wheelchairs to take a smooth path from the parking lot at the Bait, Tackle & Grill building to the pier. A handicapped lift is part of the project to help with boarding boats.
Workers will complete the dock work first and then start next week on new sidewalks and handicapped railing, Sosebee said.
Lake Guntersville is famous for its largemouth bass, but Sosebee said anglers also fish for crappie, blue gill, bream and other species.
Goose Pond Colony Resort's history goes back to October 1969 when TVA deeded 314 acres to Scottsboro's park and recreation board to bolster activities on Lake Guntersville, according to the resort's website.
Goose Pond Colony is centrally situated in what anglers call the "Miracle Mile" of Lake Guntersville because of the enormous bass catches in the area. The resort is home to more than 60 fishing tournaments a year.
"It's good when they make things as accessible as possible so people with disabilities can participate," Scottsboro Parks and Recreation Director Yvonne Yockel said. "Anything we have like that is a plus for recreation."
Yockel said similar work was done to improve access at the city boat dock a few miles north of the resort.
Scottsboro Mayor Melton Potter said the pier at Goose Pond Colony was overdue for a makeover and that TVA and management at the resort made the best of the updates.
"That pier is probably 30 or 40 years old, and it's certainly time to upgrade it," Potter said. He said the project was launched through a partnership between the resort, the public parks and recreation board and TVA.
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Ben Benton is a news reporter at the Chattanooga Times Free Press. He covers Southeast Tennessee and previously covered North Georgia education. Ben has worked at the Times Free Press since November 2005, first covering Bledsoe and Sequatchie counties and later adding Marion, Grundy and other counties in the northern and western edges of the region to his coverage. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Tenn., a graduate of Bradley Central High School. Benton ...