Swim raft to be installed at Duck Creek Quarry
By Kevin Boneske
HOWARD – A future Eagle Scout project will make it possible to jump off of a raft at the Duck Creek Quarry.
Zach Kubicki of Boy Scout Troop 1093 appeared Monday, Feb. 25, before the Howard village board about constructing the swim raft with ladders to be anchored in the quarry near the adult beach.
“The quarry raft is just the name of my (Eagle Scout) project,” Kubicki said.
Kubicki said he got the idea for building the raft while camping with his troop.
“I saw a raft while we were camping that we could swim out to and jump off and play on,” he said. “It was a designated area that we could do that for. I think it would be great, because a lot of kids my age want to jump off of stuff, instead of just swimming around. They want to play on something.”
Kubicki said the total cost of materials for the raft would be around $3,000, of which the board agreed to fund half of that cost with Kubicki and his troop seeking donations for the other half.
With Kubicki and his troop planning to assemble the project, he said the 10-by-10-foot raft with a height of 2 feet would have eight pontoons with a total buoyancy of 4,780 pounds and two ladders to climb up on.
Howard’s public works director, Geoff Farr, said the raft’s design has been looked at by the village, which would assist in the raft’s installation.
“It would be located near the deep beach – the adult swim beach – because we do want to have swimmers that are a little bit more experienced,” Farr said. “Unfortunately, the quarry is deep, pretty much everywhere. There’s no real way of locating it in the shallow area. It would be simply anchored to the bottom with basically a long chain or cable.”
Farr noted the village has funds to cover half the project cost, which would be financed from park capital funds.
“I think it’s a good project,” said Trustee Cathy Hughes. “I’m hoping it will get everybody off the rocks at the northeast end over to where it’s safe… I think this is an excellent idea.”
The Duck Creek Quarry has become a popular park to visit on hot summer days with people interested in coming there for swimming, fishing, scuba diving and boating.
However, last year some near-drowning incidents were reported there with no life guard being on duty, along with nearby residents and others having complained about problems related to trash, crime and parking and traffic safety.
In response to those concerns, the board last August approved spending an additional $12,600 for safety improvements and also banned smoking at the park, as well as passing an ordinance to restrict parking on some nearby streets.