Mega ramps are good for all

Published 3:23 pm Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Over the past several months, the Boat Basin has undergone some big changes. Take some time to drive by and see all the hard work that the city’s Public Works department has put in to get our new boat ramps completed.

In 2007, Bainbridge was chosen by Gov. Sonny Perdue as one of 10 sites to receive funding to build mega ramps as part of his Go Fish Georgia initiative. The purpose of the Go Fish Georgia initiative is to promote and improve boating and fishing tourism and to boost economic development in communities. As part of the initiative, the state has given Bainbridge $400,000. In turn, the City of Bainbridge is matching the $400,000 with SPLOST (Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax) money. The use of SPLOST funds is voted on by the citizens of Bainbridge, and the money collected cannot be used for anything other than what the voters decide.

Thanks to the construction of the new mega ramps, Bainbridge has landed three big bass tournaments for October.

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First, on Oct. 7-9, we will host a Bassmaster Southern Open Series tournament with 400 anglers.

On Oct. 16-17, the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Weekend Series Regional Tournament will be in town with close to 400 more anglers. In addition to the bass tournament, the Boat Basin will play host to numerous barbecue teams and judges in the Georgia State Barbecue Championship, a KCSB BBQ event, where competitors are fighting for a birth in the Kansas City Royal Championship. Tournament directors are planning a festival for the community to enjoy, complete with vendors, kids activities, food and exhibits.

Finally, on Oct. 21-23, FLW will be bringing back its BFL Regional Tournament with more than 200 anglers.

That’s nearly 1,000 competitors, not counting tournament coordinators, families and friends that will be in our community, injecting new dollars. They will stay at our hotels, eat at our restaurants, buy gas from our gas stations, and bait and tackle from our local stores. Their money will make a huge impact on our local economy.

In addition to the three bass tournaments, Gov. Perdue will be in Bainbridge today for a ribbon cutting in honor of our new ramps. The ribbon cutting will take place at 4 p.m., and we encourage everyone to attend as we celebrate the completion of this great project.

October is set to be a huge month in Bainbridge. I encourage each of you to come out to the Boat Basin each afternoon to watch the weigh-ins and thank the anglers and tournament directors for coming to Bainbridge. They truly do make a difference while they are here in town.

Later in the month, the City of Bainbridge will be celebrating Halloween a day early, Saturday, Oct. 30, with Pumpkins in the Park. Head to Willis Park at 3:30 p.m. for a costume contest, pumpkin carving contest and trick-or-treating. We encourage everyone to follow Pumpkins in the Park with trick-or-treating in their own neighborhoods.

Don’t forget to submit your questions to “Ask the Mayor!” e-mail with any question you’d like to ask Mayor Edward Reynolds. Over the next couple of months, Mayor Reynolds will be answering a few of the questions he frequently receives from the public like, “Who do I report a pothole to?” and “Why doesn’t the city get an Applebee’s here?”