GRAFTON – Grafton Mayor Mike Morrow has a catchy saying about his city when he says it is a place where "everybody helps everybody else."

In a sign of strong unity and cooperation and a prime example of the mayor's slogan, Grafton has resolved a long-time issue of a new dock at Lighthouse Park in early May.

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The much-needed upgrade for the local boating community occurred when the City of Grafton purchased the new dock in early spring after consulting with Joe DeSherlia of the Grafton Marina to determine the specifications for a suitable river dock.

Tiger Docks of Wright City, Mo., met the established criteria and was hired to deliver the new dock during the first week of May 2024. Mike ‘Mac’ McGillicuddy, John Taylor, and Bill Critchfield continuously monitored conditions to ensure the earliest and best time for installation.

The installation was a collaborative effort led by Joe DeSherlia and the Grafton Marina team, with technical engineering support from John Taylor and assistance from the city's Department of Public Works crew, including Jake Weber, Matt Fitzgerald, Tyler Robeen, and Walter Kosowski. Mayor Morrow said, notably, the labor for the project was donated to the city by the Marina.

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Morrow emphasized the urgency of the project, saying: “The old docks wouldn’t have made it another year, so we prioritized the new dock in this fiscal year 2024-2025 city budget so we could have it in place for the 2024 season.”

The new dock at the Grafton boat ramp brings a level of safety and convenience to area boaters. Morrow said the Grafton ramp the most user-friendly in the River Bend.

"Thank you to Mayor Mike Morrow, the City Council, and city staff for moving ahead with this badly needed project,” DeSherlia said.

Morrow said the boat parking has been expanded behind Aeries Resort and Winery and the city probably has more than doubled its boat parking size.

"Kudos to the Marina for working hand in hand with the city," Morrow explained. "We couldn't have done this without. Also, Tiger Docks delivered on time and we say a huge thank you to them for their work."

The dock is free to the public for loading and unloading within a 20-minute time limit, with fines applicable for overuse. Vehicles and boat trailers may be parked in the Lighthouse lot or the boat trailer overflow lot behind Aeries Alpine office on Water Street.

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