The California Department of Parks and Recreation Boating and Waterways Commission recently approved a $2.9 million dollar grant to fund Phase-one of the City of Colusa Boat Launch Ramp.
“This is an excellent opportunity for our community to boost our economy by bringing back the recreational boating and fishing opportunities to Downtown Colusa,” said Interim City Manager, Randy Dunn.
The Boating and Waterways Commission met on February 24, 2016, at Colusa City Hall where they held an open forum to discuss the project.
“There were about 30 members of the community in attendance including two county supervisors,” said Colusa City Planning Officer, Bryan Stice, “there wasn’t a single negative remark, and the board was very enthusiastic about its approval.”
Dunn commented that the commission met the day before at Colusa State Park where they reviewed the existing boat ramp, and the proposed boat ramp locations.
“The committee likes to visit the communities that apply for the grants and to tour the areas that are submitted so that they get an idea of what the project involves.” said Dunn.
The existing concrete boat launch ramp is located at the end of the Robert’s Irrigation Ditch flowing from the Sacramento River. With the Irrigation ditch’s massive siltation and the fluctuating levels of the river, the existing boat ramp does not allow for launching during normal river levels.
“When we started this project, the Council was very clear in noting that they did not want to impede the operation of the Robert’s Irrigation Ditch, and the plan was made to relocate the ramp in a different location,” said Dunn.
It was commented that the project concept started in the year 2000, and in 2009 the City of Colusa received a Design Grant to facilitate the design and planning process.
“We applied for the construction grant in 2012, and again in 2013 but we were not approved,” said Stice, “this had to do with the fact that the design wasn’t in the right engineering phases. We applied in 2014, and the grant was approved.”
The City of Colusa should receive access to funding within 30 days of approval, and the construction process can begin.
The proposed grant will provide funding to complete design, permits, and phase one construction of the new boat launch facility.
The new boat launch facility will include a two-lane concrete boat launch ramp, pile-guided boarding floats, slope protection, accessible pathways, lighting, site utilities, and signage. The existing parking and restroom area will remain until phase two of the project.
Once the Phase One is completed, the City of Colusa will seek additional funding to complete Phase Two of the project which would include a reconfigured parking lot, accessible pathways, restroom facilities, fish cleaning station, information kiosk, entrance station, and signage. Phase Two of the project is estimated to cost $1.2 million, and additional grants will be sought.
“As soon as we receive funding we hope to begin construction in June,” said Dunn.
Stice commented that the only thing that could hold up construction would be the permitting process through multiple agencies.
“If we do have a delay in the project and are not able to start the project before July, we will have to wait till the following June due to river conditions,” said Dunn.