Access to the Sacramento River is now easier than it has been for a while.
The boat ramp at Colusa Landing/ Steelhead Lodge Bar & Grill was officially opened on Oct. 10 when the Colusa Chamber of Commerce held a symbolic ribbon cutting ceremony at the ramp.
Plans for the ramp began in 2009, and the use permit application was submitted on Jan. 4, 2010. From there it went through at least ten county, state and federal agencies before construction could begin. Once construction began it was 82 days until completion said Colusa Industrial Properties CEO Ed Hulbert, who spearheaded the venture.
“We appreciate the local support we received for this project,” said Hulbert. “Our Colusa County Board of Supervisors, Planning Commission and Public Works Department has been very supportive in seeing this project completed,” he said.
The ramp comes with a price tag of $750,000, but Hulbert said a project of this size and caliber would typically cost a lot more if not for the “local” contractor talent available to build it.
The funding was partially provided through Colusa County Partnership (IRP Program) of which Lora Ceccon is Executive Director and Ben Felt, and Jeff Lucas were underwriters for the loan. The remainder of the funding was procured through Farm Credit West.
“We worked with CA Engineering Co. and its owner David Swartz, engineer Dan Ingolia, Inspector Mathew Vader and surveyor Roger Wilkens as well as with Jim Wright with Jessen Wright Engineers in Chico,” said Hulbert.
Biology and permits were by Rod Lacey with Pacific North Consulting, Dr. Al Beck Eco-Analysts Compliance with Keith Landrum doing inspections and Dr. Lauren Weimmer doing the bird study.
Construction included; Davis Machine Shop Inc. with Thomas and Clifton Davis providing for crane, sheet piles and piles. B&J’s Concrete was the lead construction company with Bob and Dianne Wright, Jorge Vaca, Erik Kaba, Daniel Leue, Jacob Wright and Taylor Bell.
Hulbert said he believes this project is an economic benefit to the entire county and will generate economic growth for related industries.
“I hope that it will be a compliment to whatever the city has in mind for the State Park,” he said.
“The River is one of our biggest assets here. – We need to be capitalizing on it,” said Hulbert.
Pat Kittle owner of Kittle’s Outdoor & Sport in Colusa couldn’t agree more.
“This is a big breath of fresh air,” he said adding that for the past ten years it has been a struggle to accommodate people who want to put their boat in the river here.
“This is going to turn things around,” he said. “I think once people realize what a great facility is out there with food, drink, and launch and docking available we are going to see a change in our local economy.” “It will take a little time to get back in the mode, but it will come,” said Kittle.
“We ued to have people come from Nevada, Southern California, Yuba City and Sacramento to fish for striper, salmon and sturgeon. I know this will create an upturn, and we’ll bring some of that business back,” Kittle said. “It’ll also be great for the local families who enjoy Jet Ski and skiing,” he said.
“Colusa used to have four ramps and now with this one and one at Ward’s Landing we have two,” said Kittle. “It is a start.”
The 30-foot wide ramp located north of the levee is designed as a single launch into the main channel that will not silt in.
“We were fortunate enough to complete pre-engineering showing that the location was a “fit” and that it would not encroach on our levee,” said Hulbert.
On Friday night, Hulbert invited two long time patrons of Steelhead and what he calls “fishing legends”; Russell Fusaro and Lee Horton to be the first to launch their boats from the ramp.
Colusa County Supervisor Denise Carter spoke briefly at the ribbon cutting event. “This new boat ramp is an incredible asset to our community,” she said. “It will provide access to the Sacramento River for both residents and visitors. Attraction of out of town visitors will benefit many other businesses in the county as well. We thank the Otterson family for once again investing in Colusa County,” she said adding that the tenacity of Colusa Industrial Properties’ CEO Ed Hulbert made this happen.
Hulbert added that for the balance of this year (2014) there will be no launch fees. Beginning in 2015, the fee will be $15 daily and an annual fee that is yet to be determined.
Hulbert anticipated having a fueling station on site in 2015. The RV sites will be expanded, and there is potential for a boat repair shop. “We want to go back to having a full-service facility; especially for our out-of-town patrons. These are important options for folks coming from out of town,” said Hulbert.