CLEAR LAKE, Iowa — A state agency says the longest dock in a city in northern Iowa may need to be shortened, raising concerns about a lack of dock space.

The state Department of Natural Resources says the dock at Sunset Bay Marina in Clear Lake could be cut down from its current length of almost 500 feet to less than 300 feet in order to comply with a 2008 state regulation on private docks, the Globe Gazette reported . The regulation was enacted after residents across the state complained about dock sprawl.

The dock’s late owner, Dale Entner, had a contract waiver with the department that allowed the dock to remain at the longer length. Department officials say whoever buys the dock from Entner’s son, Tim Entner, must follow the current regulations. Tim Entner said the contract his father signed with the agency doesn’t allow ownership of the dock to move between family members.

The department also is considering only allowing three boat lifts to operate the marina, Tim Entner said. All the changes could displace up to 70 boats.

It’s unclear where displaced boats would go as many nearby docks have long waiting lists for open spots.

There are other options around the lake that people can use, said Randy Schnoebelen, a DNR district supervisor.

“From the state side, all we’re saying is they have to follow the new regulations,” he said.

Bob’s Marine Services operates on the marina. Owner Bob Kopriva said he’s concerned about how shortening the dock could affect safety in the area. The dock forces boats to slow down and provides a barrier for people swimming in the lake, Kopriva said.

Tim Entner said he’ll continue to fight against the possible change and that he plans to meet with local officials later this month to discuss the situation.

State House Speaker Linda Upmeyer said Tim Entner and the department need to continue talking about what should be done.


Information from: Globe Gazette, http://www.globegazette.com/

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