• Last modified 1192 days ago (Jan. 7, 2021)


A year later, no heated dock in sight

Staff writer

Winter is prime time for fishing in a heated fishing dock at the county lake — if only there was one.

A year after a Kechi company accepted a $101,950 down payment from the county to rebuild a heated fishing dock destroyed a year and a half ago in a storm, the new dock is nowhere in sight.

Ben Baxter, owner of Ben’s Boat Docks in Kechi, has mostly been unresponsive to county lake superintendent Isaac Hett and commissioners when they asked what progress was being made.

He did talk to Hett Friday, but said he’s not been able to get a performance bond, which the county earlier requested, from his insurance company.

Performance bonds are required for public construction jobs and usually are only given to financially stable firms. The county did not ask Baxter for a bond prior to awarding him the contract.

Hett thinks it’s time to take legal action against Baxter because he doesn’t think things are going to get better.

“I just don’t think he’s going to get it done,” Hett said.

County commissioners and county council Brad Jantz have discussed the dock, but commissioners have taken no action against Baxter.

Baxter lost his business entity standing with the Secretary of State’s office in 2003 after failing to file annual reports from 1999 to 2001.

Baxter’s bid, accepted by commissioners a year ago, was $203,900. The county’s insurance company agreed to pay $177,020 of the cost.

The old dock still floats on the water in shambles, its walkway closed off with fencing to prevent anyone from entering it.

Last modified Jan. 7, 2021