West Baraboo plans to replace boat launch damaged by flooding

July 14, 2018

Village of West Baraboo leaders plan to replace the handicapped-accessible boat launch at Haskins Park that was damaged by floodwaters in May, and sell its salvageable parts.

Heavy rains pushed the Baraboo River past its banks, which caused the floating dock to release from its moorings and fold up in the middle of the waterway. The demolished boat launch is currently in pieces surrounded by orange temporary fencing at Haskins Park.

“Parks committee did meet, and we’re still up in the air about what’s going to actually replace the existing pier,” said Bob DeMars, village of West Baraboo public works director. “What we do know is that the existing pier is not going to go back in the water.”

DeMars told village board members Thursday that insurance will cover the cost to replace the boat launch. He said the company that manufactured it also has expressed interest in buying back some of the salvageable parts.

“(Insurance) would cover the existing pier that we have in earnest,” he said. “If we sell any portion of what we have down there, that’s not going to affect what they’re going to pay us in the long run.”

DeMars said he’s unsure how much money the village may receive for various parts. Village board members agreed to pursue an agreement to sell the usable parts back to the manufacturer.

The boat launch was built in 2015 with a grant from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources as part of a plan to restore the Baraboo River and promote water recreation. It featured a pier and platform for fishing, as well as a handicapped-accessible boat launch.

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