Should Crescent Bar Island golf course stay or go?
Looks like Grant PUD customers are eager to help the utility determine what Crescent Bar is going to look like in the future.
The PUD received some 40 emailed comments just over this past weekend, only a couple of days into a public comment period that’s asking for people’s opinions on two potential recreational plans for Crescent Bar, said Jeff Grizzel, the PUD’s director of natural resources.
The utility is taking comments through May 31 on the two proposed plans. Most importantly, the utility hopes to determine if the public wants the on-island golf course to remain or be replaced with an expanded day-use area.
“I think we’re going to hear from a lot of people,” Grizzel said.
In April, Grant PUD commissioners approved an agreement that would settle a federal lawsuit between the utility and Crescent Bar Island leaseholders, allowing the residents to remain on the island for a potential 36 more years. The agreement is being considered by the U.S. District Court in Spokane.
Under the agreement, access to 80 percent of the Crescent Bar area previously under lease will be fully available to the public. So the PUD is developing plans to enhance recreation on the island.
It has come up with two options. Option A retains the existing nine-hole golf course, while Option B replaces the golf course with expanded day-use picnic areas, parking, and trail systems. Both options include a 55-site RV campground with utility hookups, multi-purpose day-use area, enhanced boat launch and parking lot, moorage, walking trails and a concession area.
On May 20, Grant PUD will have a public meeting in Quincy so staff can present the two options to the community, answer any questions and inform people about how to submit their comments.
The meeting is at 6:30 p.m. on May 20 at the Quincy Community Center.
However, the meeting will not be a time to take comments, Grizzel said. The PUD is taking comments via email, postal mail or by phone.
To comment on the two recreation options, go to www.grantpud.org and look for the “Crescent Bar Recreation Options” link on the left side of the home page. Comments can be made directly to the PUD through the website. All comments will be compiled by the utility.
In the meantime, survey work is underway to prepare Crescent Bar for the upcoming improvements. Anytime the PUD plans to carry out ground-disturbing activities, such as constructing a campground or day-use area, it must complete a site survey to determine if culturally significant artifacts are present, Grizzel said.
“This helps us design the site to avoid impacts to the artifacts or, in cases where we can’t avoid the impacts, implement mitigation measures to offset the impacts,” Grizzel wrote in an email to leaseholders at Crescent Bar. “We’re doing the surveys now because they will help inform our plans for developing the on-island recreation amenities scheduled for construction during 2016-2018.”
The PUD is contracting with a private consulting firm, Archaeological Historic Services of Cheney, to conduct the surveys. AHS began the surveys in mid-April with a 10-person crew and should complete its work by mid-June, Grizzel said.
The surveys involve digging holes and trenches outside the residential areas to a depth of about 3 feet to determine if culturally sensitive artifacts are present. Dug with an auger, the holes are 8 inches to 10 inches in diameter and are on a 30-foot by 30-foot grid. Some 2,000 holes will be dug, he added.
In some cases, where a hole doesn’t provide enough information or data, a trench may be dug, Grizzel said.
“I realize the surveys are an inconvenience since we’re rapidly approaching the peak recreation season but I hope folks understand this is a necessary part of our recreation plans for the island,” Grizzel wrote in the email to the leaseholders.
— By Jill FitzSimmons, email@example.com