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Lake law enforcement gets new site for storing boats
Locale to aid in rapid emergency response
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Law enforcement on Lake Lanier has a new place to park their boats.

Patrol officers for the Georgia Department of Natural resources now operate from a revamped boathouse at Laurel Park.

“We had a boathouse at Clark’s Bridge Road, and bond money has allowed us to replace that,” said Capt. Thomas Bernard, chief DNR enforcement officer for Lake Lanier.

The project replaces a nearly 30-year-old boathouse, he said. Construction finished up around the beginning of May.

“The one before was a single stall boathouse that only housed one patrol boat, and this one will house two,” he said.

The more spacious patrol boathouse serves the upper end of the lake, on the Chattahoochee River side, he said. The two-month project was realized with the partnership of Hall County Parks and Leisure Services.

“This was a partnership between us and Hall County parks. They gave us the space at their Laurel Park to put in the new boathouse,” Bernard said.

The new space should help aid rapid response to lake incidents, providing yearlong storage where the previous boathouse did not.

“Before we didn’t have boat lifts or anything like this. This enables the officer to store the boats there in the colder months,” he said. “Before, by November, December, when the weather started cooling off, we wouldn’t have them back on the water until March or April.”

Improper cold weather storage can lead to mechanical issues, he said, avoidable with necessary storage equipment like the lifts.

The cost of the facility was about $150,000, Bernard said, and local builders were contracted for construction.

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