County Plans to Replace Docks

Boaters come for the fun, but some leave injured. Phone calls are flooding in to Taylor County commissioners about the safety of the floating docks at Keaton Beach.

Luanne Collins, a Taylor County boater, says, "A lot of the wood is raised up to where people are tripping over them and have fallen and scraped their knees and I think that they need to replace them."

Brackets on the wooden docks often break, pieces come loose, and sometimes the docks may float off. After county staff worked several hours into the night to repair the damage from Hurricane Dennis, the commission knew it was time for a change.

In a four to one vote, Taylor County commissioners approved to purchase and install aluminum docks. They say the new docks will be more durable and safer too.

Clay Bethea of the Taylor County Commission says, "They're going to have hand rails where people won't be able to fall into the seawall and the rip rap along the seawall, to keep that from happening."

Commissioner Bethea says a big part of the problem with the current docks is that people bump them with their boats, making the boards uneven. He says that should not be a concern with the aluminum docks, and neither should public safety.

County Commissioner Clay Bethea says the commission hopes to have the aluminum docks installed within 30 days.