Wicomico Boat Ramp Will Honor Late Executive

SALISBURY – County leaders voted unanimously this week to dedicate a future boat ramp at the new Pirate’s Wharf Park in honor of the late County Executive Bob Culver.

On what would have been his 68th birthday, the Wicomico County Council Tuesday passed a resolution dedicating a proposed boat ramp at Pirate’s Wharf Park to commemorate Culver, who died on July 26 after a brief battle with liver cancer.

Earlier this month, at the recommendation of Councilman Bill McCain, council members held a work session with Wicomico County Recreation, Parks and Tourism Director Steve Miller to discuss the naming of a boat ramp at Pirate’s Wharf Park.

“I want to thank Mr. McCain for the idea,” Council President Larry Dodd said at the time. “I think it’s a great idea and great to honor the county executive.”

In the resolution this week, county leaders recognized Culver for his efforts to redevelop the county-owned site.

In 2018, Culver announced Wicomico had secured an $820,000 grant from the National Parks Service through the Land and Water Conservation Fund to create a public park at Pirate’s Wharf, roughly 340 acres of undeveloped, county-owned property along the Wicomico River. And with the help of matching grants and a financial commitment from the Wicomico County Council, the county was able to leverage the federal funding to generate $1.8 million for the first phase of the project.

The future Pirate’s Wharf Park will include a trail system and gathering spaces, as well as a public boat ramp that will provide access to the water, according to master plan developed by Davis, Bowen & Friedel last year.

In the first phase of the park’s development, for example, the master plan proposed a 1,500-square-foot pavilion, playground, fishing pier, observation deck, trail system, and a boat ramp and soft launch area.

As part of the resolution, the county will install a permanent plaque, which will be mounted on the boat ramp in Culver’s honor.

The project to develop Pirate’s Wharf is currently in the design phase, Miller told council members earlier this month. Construction on the boat ramp, however, could be completed as early as next summer, following the permitting and bidding process.

“We’ll be bidding out certain parts this winter and this spring,” he said. “I think the boat ramp will be toward the later part of that because of permitting, so we are probably looking at the earliest next summer.”

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

Alternative Text

Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.