Federal budget cuts keep boat ramp repairs 'docked'

A dilapidated boat ramp in Cameron County has fishermen upset.

They're worried about their own safety and are putting the blame on the county.

It TMs just another sign of the impact from federal budget cuts and furloughs hitting the Rio Grande Valley.

Ismael Yanez calls himself a fishing guide.

People call him ~Smiley. TM

"Because I'm always laughing, having fun, joking around. This last week I haven't been, because what has been going on with the situation here with boat ramp," said Yanez.

He operates on the Arroyo Colorado, from a boat dock in Arroyo City.

It's a hot spot for fishing.

His beef is over a boat ramp with uneven boards.

"It's pushing the boards up," said Yanez.

He claims a woman tripped over the siding and fell into the water.

"Trying to hold on, she grabbed onto the board and broke it and it fell on top of the boat," said Yanez.

Cameron County oversees the ramp at Adolph Thomae Jr. County Park.

The director says they are working on rebuilding the top level.

"All they need to do is maintain it better, you know. They've got the funds to do it."

It could cost upwards of six thousand dollars.

"People want to come here and have fun, not get hurt."

This fish cleaning station was an afterthought and in the 'wake' of that bad idea, the structure can't hold it up.

"If they had another boat ramp, that would cut a lot of congestion that we have here already," said Yanez.

The county tells us they plan to tear that part down as soon as the government lets them back on site, that is, whenever Congress walks away from the budget battle.

As of Wednesday, county crews are not even allowed inside the park to fix those problems.

The director told Action 4 News he was waiting for the summer season to end and for the October budget, to re-do the ramp.