Keystone Lake Boaters React To Marina Gas, Propane Grill Ban

Friday, June 22nd 2012, 10:50 pm
By: News On 6

Just as things are heating up outside, tension is also heating up between boaters and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The Corps says no gas or charcoal grills are allowed on docks, and boaters want to know why.

When Mike Hendricks goes to Keystone Lake, he likes to cook quality meals on his propane gas grill, but now that's about to come to a screeching halt.

"You come down here, you want to have a good time, you cook at the dock," Hendricks said. "This is just a place to come and relax and get away."

A Keystone Lake Marina sent a letter to their slip renters, stating that all propane gas and charcoal grills must be removed by the end of the month.

The letter also said the change is a regulation the Corps is enforcing.

"This comes up every so often," Ross Adkins, with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, said.

"This is not a new issue, but whenever we do our compliance inspections and find them out there, we have to tell the marina operator that they have to be removed."

The Corps regulates Keystone and 37 other lakes in the Tulsa district. Some of the more popular ones are Fort Gibson, Oologah and Skiatook lakes.

Periodically, the Corps will make sure its lakes are in compliance with its contracts.

On that contract, Adkins says it clearly states that all propane gas and charcoal grills are banned on docks.

But Hendricks says in the 17 years he's rented a slip here, he's never heard of the rule.

"If it is an old law, why all of a sudden they're going to start mandating it and forcing everybody off," Hendricks said.

"Who decides whether we're going to enforce it now or we're going to enforce it, however long it's been open?"

Adkins says safety is the Corps' number one priority, and the Corps is not trying to rain on anybody's parade.

"We're very concerned about safety," Adkins said. "We want people to have a good time when they go to the lakes and that's why we keep stressing, be safe."

News On 6 also spoke with other boaters who say they too have never heard of this rule.

The Corps says if marina operators don't get boaters to obey and remove their grills, the marina risks losing its contract.