Previously free Wood County boat launch will re-open with new fe - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Previously free Wood County boat launch will re-open with new fee


A boat launch at the center of controversy in Wood County that used to be open for free will now cost you.

The Nepco Lake boat launch has been owned by Great Northern Timber Company for several years. The company decided to shut it down last summer, saying it's not safe. But they say they're going to fix it up and open it later this year.

"The fact that they decided to re-open it has been extremely well received and I'm certain it will be a highly used boat launch area again and a much improved boat launch area," Wood County Chairman Lance Pliml said.

Earlier this year, those owners tried to come to an agreement with the county. That offer would have traded the boat launch for other land, but that was pulled in February. Timber Company owners released the following statement:

"Great Northern is committed to the sustainability of Nepco Lake as an area resource for the environment, recreation and industry."

The owners did not wish to comment on camera, but said the launch would have a fee. They say it will be similar to those in surrounding areas. Wood County Parks and Forestry officials charge $15 per year for their three public launches.

"If they stay in that range there, it will definitely be a win-win for everybody," said Roger Peterson of Wisconsin Rapids.

Some fishermen, like Peterson, say the re-opening is a good thing, and that it will help bring more money into Wood County.

"I think it's going to have a positive impact for people that have bigger boats that can't get under the bridge. It's definitely going to help them out big," Peterson said.

But not everyone agrees.

"I won't use it, no. As long as this one is open, I'll use it," Al Krzykowski said of the county owned launch.

Krzykowski says he simply would rather his money go to the county. While some may not be first in line, others say they just can't wait to get back on the water.



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