There has been a public boat launch into the Spring River within the city limits of Imboden for nearly 40 years now.
Over the course of its existence, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has spent several thousand dollars maintaining the area.
The site's shortcoming is that it lies only three feet above the river's ordinary level, so consequently it is often inundated and scoured. Parking lot maintenance typically involves grading and leveling, plus adding additional gravel.
Over time, another drawback or inadequacy of this narrow and steep boat ramp reared its head; concrete planks that compiled the ramp became more and more uneven and undermined eventually limiting its usage to 4-wheel drive vehicles.
In 2006, city council member Preston Clark offered a solution. Rather than renovate the existing boat ramp, he advised that the city was willing to donate an acre tract of land to the AGFC for the construction of a new access.
This tract of land, lying just 200 yards downstream on the same county road, turned out to be just the ticket.
Its high bank made it conducive to the construction of a 20-by-210-foot ramp and protected parking area.
AGFC regional maintenance coordinator Mike Cantrell was responsible for overseeing this $108,565 project.
Sportfish Restoration Funding (SRF) provided 75 percent of the total cost and Marine Fuel Taxation (MTR) funding made up the other 25 percent.
SFR is derived from federal taxation on sportfish equipment and MFT comes from state tax on marine fuel.
Just prior to the work being undertaken, the city agreed to remove a defunct water works building and intake structure from the location.
The city also entered into a maintenance agreement, whereby it will police the area, do routine maintenance and repairs, pick up trash and remove obstructions to the ramp.
The old access site has not been abandoned and by being in close proximity, complements the new access by providing excellent bank fishing and picnicking opportunities.