Kimmswick, MO (KSDK) - A historical marina in Kimmswick, Missouri is at the heart of a disagreement between its owners and the federal government.
The Army Corps of Engineers has installed several nearby dikes which the owners of Hoppie's marina say threaten their existence.
For more than 70 years, Hoppie's Marina has been a fixture on the Mississippi River.
Boaters from up and down the river stop there to refuel, get repairs, and other services.
Three years ago, the Army Corps of Engineers constructed several river dikes just south of Hoppies to make navigation easier, but the Hopkins family says the changes have reduced the depth of the water around their docks.
While the channel remains deep, the dredging pushes silt towards the docks, and that makes it tough for big boats to stop at Hoppie's.
They say the Corps is trying to put them out of business. Corps officials say that's not true.
"We requested emergency dredging and removal of those dikes. And the answer has been, what? Nothing," said Fern Hopkins of Hoppies Marina
David Gordon, the Chief of Hydraulic Design for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says that many things are considered when planning for dredging. "When we designed that channel we tried to take everybodies areas into consideration, but our main mission is that navigation channel. To keep barge traffic moving up and down the Mississippi River," said Gordon.
Fern and Charles 'Hoppie' Hopkins say they've already felt the affects of the new dikes. They've had to shorten their docks because the silt is building up in the water.
Local fire and emergency officials say Hoppie's is their closest launch site. Going elsewhere would compromise response time.
The Army Corps says their changes are working, but officials are monitoring the situation.