BY ERIC MANN
The smallest lake in Indiana with a boat ramp now has a wooden dock by that ramp.
The dock, 19 feet long and 4 feet wide, is courtesy of Greg Larrabee of Decatur, a Bellmont High School senior who built the structure as an Eagle Scout project on Kekionga Lake, by Evergreen Court, off Mercer Ave.
Larrabee, 18, is a longtime member of Boy Scout Troop 70 and thanks his last two scoutmasters, Charlie Brune and Don Hess, for their support.
Larrabee said the idea to place a dock beside the concrete ramp that was put in place by Indiana's Department of Natural Resources (DNR) came from Gerry Hilty. Larrabee admitted, "We were leery about it, but we took it on."
The overall project lasted several months in summer, but the majority of that time was spent waiting for the DNR to issue a permit for the dock.
The actual work of building and placing the dock took about one week, using pressure-treated lumber bought locally and cut to fit, plus four strong metal pipes to hold the dock 18 inches above the water.
A stepladder was put into the water so Larrabee or his helpers could pound the four pipes into the bottom of the lake in water up to five feet deep.
The dock can hold a good bit of weight, since eight or nine people were on it at times during and after construction.
Larrabee actually built two docks, since he crafted a scale-model about three feet long and one foot wide to show to the Decatur-Adams County Parks and Recreation Board.
Larrabee, son of Steven and Sandy Larrabee, credits not only Hilty and Hess for their advice, but also local Eagle Scout Braden Melton and another member of Troop 70, Nathan Brune, as being key assistants in the project.
In addition, Dave Collier, the Eagle Scout program overseer in Adams County, gave his approval of the dock as being a worthy project.
Larrabee also formed and poured a single concrete step so people can get onto the dock from the ramp. The step is inscribed by this way: "Eagle Scout Greg L. 2010."
After graduation next June, Larrabee said he will attend college to become a respiratory therapist.