The City of Colusa held the first of two public workshops on Thursday to develop a master plan for Levee Park, which could include a new marina.
To make it happen, City officials are banking on the success of obtaining funding from Proposition 68, a 2018 voter-approved general obligation bond, intended to provide access to outdoor spaces, particularly in disadvantaged communities.
Although identified as a park in the city’s 2009 Park Master Plan, City Manager Jesse Cain said amenities in Levee Park have never been identified, beyond the current walking path, park bench, and picnic table, which are located on the narrow grassy knoll that stretches from Fifth Street to the City’s water towers.
Residents, business owners, and city officials on Thursday pitched a number of ideas to improve Levee Park to the city’s consultant, Greg Melton, of Melton Design Group, a Chico-based Landscape Architecture firm that specializes in urban planning, parks, and recreation facilities.
What most of those in attendance wanted is the opportunity to make Colusa a destination spot for tourism, which could help stimulate the local economy without vastly changing Colusa’s small town atmosphere.
James Stone, president of Norcal Guides and Sportsman Association, which represents 5,000 hunters and fishermen, who currently enjoy Northern California’s great outdoors, said people come from the Bay Area to the south and Redding from the north to fish on the Sacramento River in Colusa, but finding it very difficult to access food, drinks, gasoline, and lodging near the river or any place to tie up boats so they can run up the levee for quick refreshment.
“Access, access, access; that will bring people to Colusa,” Stone said. Melton said he plans to put together a compelling grant application to the state for funding to tie Colusa’s downtown business district to the Sacramento River, which is vastly underused because of limited access.
The City Council contracted with the design firm on Oct. 28 for $53,989, funded mostly by a USDA grant.
Melton conducted the two workshops in order to develop a plan for the city’s vastly underused Levee Park, with residents suggested fishing platforms, Disc Golf, exercise stations, pedestrian and motor vehicle access that links the downtown to the Sacramento River, signs, marquees, informational/educational kiosks, a pier to tie up fishing boats, and lodging.
About a dozen members of the public attended Thursday’s workshop in person.
The workshops were also held via social media or Zoom.
Colusa City Manager Jesse Cain said Colusa is making five applications for Prop 68 funding, asking for more than $8 million. Due to COVID-19, however, the State of California pushed the Dec. 14 deadline to March, but Melton said the additional time would help Colusa put forth a very competitive application for funding.
Proposition 68’s Round 4 funding is expected to be awarded around September of 2021.