Stonewall Jackson Lake Marina to Disconnect Electrical Boat Slips

6  August 2014
By Kim Freda, Assignment Editor

Stonewall Jackson Lake Marina plans to disconnect 92 electrical boat slips because it does not have the $600,000 that it will cost to upgrade the entire system.

"The marina has 374 boat slips and 92 slips will be affected.  We've upgraded everything for the entire marina, with the exception of electric service for individual boats," said Rudy Henley, Development and Asset Manager of Stonewall Jackson Lake Resort State Park.  It's an expensive project, said Henley, and the cost is more than had been budgeted.

The required upgrades are the result of the Michael Cunningham Act, which requires boat docks in public water to have ground fault circuit interrupters.  Michael Cunningham, 15, was killed on Memorial Day 2010 while swimming at a house boat on Stonewall Jackson Lake.  Cunningham grabbed the ladder on the house boat and received an electrical shock, fell back into the water and drowned, said Kevin Cunningham, Michael's father.  "It got wired wrong. When the person plugged it in, it energized the whole boat. And when Michael touched the ladder to get out it just immediately shocked him," Michael's mother, Amy Cunningham, told 12 News.

Henley said large houseboats will primarily be impacted at the marina when electricity is turned off on December 1.  Officials are looking at the budgeted funds to determine when the work can be completed.