Colusa awards $2.58 million contract for boat ramp construction

It’s been a long time coming, but the City of Colusa is finally making tangible progress on their new boat launching facility.

On Thursday, the City Council voted unanimously to award the $2.58 million contract for the construction of the facility to Steelhead Constructors, Inc. – which submitted the lowest responsive bid to the City’s Request for Proposals (RFP).

The City received two responsive bids for the project, which they publicly opened on Sept. 5. The bid from Steelhead came in more than $420,000 lower than the bid submitted by Gateway Pacific, Inc.

The funding for the project’s construction will come via a grant from the California Department of Boating and Waterways.

Colusa resident Pat Kittle, who has been following the project since it was first discussed by the city council in 2002, said he was happy to hear that a contract had been awarded, but added that he would keep his expectations tempered, for now.

“When that first boat gets launched there, I’ll be a little bit more optimistic,” Kittle said. “I was very optimistic when it started. Some of the old timers said ‘I’ll believe it when I see it.’ I thought that was pessimistic of them to say at the time, but I sort of fell into that myself. There’s been a lot of hurdles that the city has needed to clear cleared, a lot of them unforeseen or unexpected.”

Colusa City Councilman Tom Reische, who has been on the council since around the time the boat ramp was first being discussed, said that Kittle wasn’t the only one who felt that way.

“You wouldn’t believe the number of people that have said, ‘I won’t see this built in my lifetime,’” Reische said. “There’s going to be more than a few of them who are going to have to eat their words, and they’re going to be really happy to do it.”

Reische added that getting the boat ramp built will constitute a major step in attracting folks to the Riverfront District in Colusa – which has long been an aim of the city council.

“I wish that we would have beat the boat ramp out there at Steelhead Lodge, but I still think that the fact that this is in the city limits, that it’s tied to the state park, so that you can get a seasonal permit… This is going to be a big deal for the downtown area,” Reische said.

While Kittle said he isn’t planning on celebrating until the first pickup backs a boat trailer down the new boat ramp, he credited City Manager Jesse Cain and City Planner Bryan Stice for their work on the project.

“I have to take my hat off – Jesse has held his optimism and encouragement for the project throughout, and it’s stronger than just about anybody’s that I can see,” Kittle said. “Bryan has been there as well, and it’s been nice to see him there, because he’s a river enthusiast, as well as being the City Planner.”

Kittle might not have to wait that long before the first boat launches – Cain said last week that construction could begin within 10 to 12 days after awarding the contract. Reische said that was still the plan as of Monday.

“It has a chance to start next week… If we get the green light to start this week or next week, we will start the project,” Reische said.

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Brian Pearson is the Managing Editor & Reporter for the Williams Pioneer Review. Brian joined the Williams Pioneer Review in June 2016 and is committed to bringing hyperlocal news to its readers. A few of his projects include reporting on local government and the newly feature sports page. To contact Brian about this article, or for future articles, please email him at brian@colusacountynews.net