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Everett secures funding for boat launch

By Staff | Nov 1, 2018

BARB BARRETT/The Luminary Last Thursday, an announcement was made to obtain $250,000 from the Commonwealth to help build a new boat launch in Muncy. Helping to get the funds are (left to right) John Arway from the PFBC, Chad Gray, Mike Gray, and Rep. Garth Everett.

MUNCY It was a disappointment to many in the Muncy area when the announcement was made in the summer of 2016 that the boat launch in the Muncy borough would be closed due to safety issues, mainly because of a build up of large amounts of sediment. In order to minimize the chances of drowning after someone had to be rescued on July 7, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) decided to close it for good, or until further notice.

On September 29 a Facebook page was launched by two cousins who love to fish and terribly missed using the launch for their favorite past time. Thinking they were the only ones discouraged by the dilemma and with duck season just around the corner, Mike Gray and Chad Gray and their good friend Mike Ott, decided to put something on Facebook about the closing of the boat launch. “We were just wondering how many others were frustrated,” the Grays said. “Our family has been using this launch for decades. We would always go fish off the bank.”

There were hundreds of responses and soon the Muncy Boat Launch Group was formed. In February of 2017 Representative Garth Everett held a public meeting which resulted in a partial reopening of the access area for parking and walking only.

Last summer the PFBC announced they would construct a new boat launch if $250,000 could be secured for the project.

After a letter writing campaign initiated by Everett to Governor Wolf to release the funds from Act 52, and with the help of the Group Facebook page, the request was granted.

On Thursday afternoon, October 25, 2018 at 2 p.m. the announcement was made at the Muncy Creek Township Fire Hall by both John Arway, Executive Director of the Peensylvania Fish and Boat Commission and Rep. Garth Everett (R-Muncy) that the funding was obtained by the Governor. Arway expressed Representative Everett’s strong committment and the immense value that boaters and anglers provide to the community. “We look forward to re-establishing a safe and convenient access to the West Branch Susquehanna that will be the gateway to recreational fishing and boating opportunities for decades to come,” he said.

With the help of the Grays and the public push to Harrisburg, this project can move forward announced Everett who thanked the Governor for releasing the funds. “We will be rebuilding a new boat launch,” he said.

“This project created a public stir, and I felt it necessary to get it done,” commented Arway who will be retiring soon. He said it was important to have the boat access to the river as fishing and boating offer substantial investments to the Commonwealth.

Everett said they are in the process of identifying potential properties for the new boat launch in the Muncy vicinity. “It will take a couple years to get it to completion,” he said. “First we need to execute a contract for design.”

“This has been a huge task,” said Chad Gray who said that social media and the Mayor of Muncy really contributed a lot. “Little voices can get the big wheels turning,” Everett replied.