The Parks and Rec Commission approved the selection of KJ Watersports and Hayden Paddle Board and Jet Ski as recommended by the RFP selection committee. Impressively, bids of twenty and thirty thousand per year for five years were received, netting the city an extra $20,000 per year.
Concerned parties worry about safety and increased river traffic. Christie Wood brought up a point that the Sheriff’s office may not be enforcing laws governing use of the Spokane River. The proposed location of the docks is in a “No wake” zone. Both companies will be encouraging boaters to go to the lake rather than the river. Parks and Rec member Ginny Tate discussed concerns with the Sheriff’s office. Reportedly 50% of boaters believe there are too many restrictions on the river and 50% want more restrictions. Docks were present at this location when Tate was a child and it is nostalgic to see them return.
Sentiment was expressed that Idaho waterways belong to all of her residents and should include equal access to the lake. Groups opposing the project seem to want that “[Only people who have a house on the river get to enjoy the river].” Kevin Prather of KJ Watersports estimated 30% of his renters are local and mentioned their zero alcohol policy for drivers.
The commission, composed of seven volunteers and one elected official–Christie Wood from the city council, unanimously approved the selection of vendors. GS/PW will vote to place in the consent calendar or create an agenda item. City council will ultimately decide at the June 7th meeting.