Boat ramp still on
Officials will seek a $2.8 million grant in April.
Colusa will not likely see a new boat ramp until 2015, but city officials are feeling fairly confident the project will be completed.
"There is no doubt that is further (away) than the city would like," said Mayor Tom Reische, who recently met with California State Parks officials along with other city staff.
Reische said the good news is the project is on the state's radar and part of a general plan that State Parks is putting together.
Moreover, the state has already committed $340,000 toward design, planning and environmental studies.
"If they are going to invest that much money into it, why would they leave us high and dry at the end?" Reische said.
City Planner Bryan Stice said the project finds itself in a strange timing warp, but agrees with Reische that 2015 is the likely target.
The city expects to apply for the $2.8 million construction grant in April, three months before state Boating and Waterways becomes a division of State Parks.
Stice said all the work needed for that application is on schedule, and it is possible that could push the project up ahead of the 2015 date.
"It will likely be in advance of the State Park's general plan, so how that plays out .... is sort of an unknown," Stice said.
"We are designing the boat ramp and doing a lot of planning with the Boating & Waterways with Parks oversight because it is their property."
Gallaway Enterprises is expected to give the city the California Environmental Quality Act documents next week.
The Chico-based consulting firm is also moving forward with the permitting applications to the various state and federal agencies that need to sign off on the project.
The total paid to Gallaway is $28,470 for the CEQA work, and $16,430 for the permitting documents — all of which is being paid for out of the $340,000 state Boating and Waterways grant for design and planning needs.
Reische believes the city will have to be patient and adhere to the State Parks general plan approval process, which is why the 2015 date seems more likely than anything next year or even the year after.
The city has been operating the Colusa-Sacramento River State Recreation Area since Nov. 15, and while the proposed boat ramp would not actually be on park land, the parking lot and other facilities would be.
"Because the boat ramp is part of the state park, we have to comply with the general plan. So that will require some public hearings and input," Reische said.
The city will hold its public hearings starting with the Planning Commission in January.
What is still up in the air is the fate of the city's own boat dock — a $300,000 project that will not be part of the grant funding.
Stice said the city, which is looking at local park funds or possibly a low-interest loan from the US Department of Agriculture to pay for the project, is not focused on that element right now.
Still, Stice confirmed that is would be advantageous for the city to be able to do the work at the same time the boat ramp is going in to save additional permitting and planning costs.
The boat ramp, dock and other plans for the recreation area are considered the centerpiece to revitalizing the city's riverfront area.
That, in turn, is looked at as a key piece to revitalizing the whole of the downtown.