Port Officials Looking to Replace
by Garrett Cabeza
"The marina is reaching the end of its useful life, so we're excited to explore
the possibilities to make the boating experience better for people down there,"
A consultant will present - via phone - four alternative designs for potential dock replacements at Boyer Park Marina to Port of Whitman County Commissioners Thursday in Colfax.
The commission's meeting starts at 10 a.m. at the port offices, 302 N. Mill St., but the marina dock discussion will run 11-11:30 a.m.
Debbie Snell, PWC properties and development manager, said the port applied for and received a Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office grant for $198,000 to plan and design the replacement of docks at Boyer Park Marina, located near the Lower Granite Lock and Dam on the Snake River. The port agreed to contribute $77,000 in matching funds to the project, bringing the total to $275,000.
Snell said the docks were installed around 1973 and are starting to show their age.
"The marina is reaching the end of its useful life, so we're excited to explore the possibilities to make the boating experience better for people down there," Snell said.
If the port decided to replace all seven docks, Snell said the cost would be about $2.75 million.
She said RCO construction grants will be available next fall that will pay up to $1 million for permitted projects.
If the port receives a $1 million construction grant, it would still have to fund $1.75 million to construct all seven docks.
Since the replacement of all seven docks is expensive, Snell said replacing or rehabilitating only some of the docks is an option.
Snell said the long-term goal is to apply for the construction grant, and, if the port receives the grant, construct the docks in 2021.
Snell said the $198,000 RCO grant has requirements. She said there must be public and Americans with Disabilities Act access to the docks.
She said all of the marina's current docks are not ADA accessible except for one dock on the far eastern end of the marina.
The port hosted a meeting Monday night at the Whitman County Library in Colfax to hear public input on the four different designs for the dock replacements.
She said some of the public input included requests to preserve some of the existing accesses so people would not be required to walk such a long distance to the docks.
The first alternate proposed includes a single access point and some people were concerned about having to walk long distances from their vehicles to the docks in the summer heat, Snell said.
Another couple suggested the port install a few jet ski docks so jet ski operators can drive onto some of the docks. She said others suggested installing a combination of locking docks and open access docks because of security concerns.
Snell said the port has completed several improvements to the upland side of the park in the past three or four years.
She said some of the upgrades include the installation of 14 state-of-the-art recreational vehicle sites and three camping cabins.
She said smaller improvements are made each year to the park, including re-roofing buildings, and tree planting and landscaping projects.
"Every year, the upland part gets better and better," Snell said. "So we would like the marina to reflect that trend."
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