After a four hour meeting with the gym at Woodlands Elementary packed to capacity, I can pretty much break down the public’s feelings about the park project into a few short sentences:
Leave both Tubbs Hill and the 3rd Street Boat Launch alone.
Improve the park instead of creating a whole new one.
Allow the community to vote on the park.
Make sure taxes do not increase due to this project.
Oh, and, can we afford this?
The idea in question was to remove the launch and create a new one. Pretty much everyone at the meeting was against the city's idea to put a new launch next to NIC on the Spokane River as a replacement for the 3rd Street Launch. Negatives to this idea include not being able to use the launch from late fall to early spring due to low water levels and high currents, non-motorized craft such as Hobie catamarans and monohull dinghies would not be able to navigate the river upstream into the lake, and having to sail through all the boat traffic would be insane. Also many motorized trailer-able keelboats would not be able to beat the current with their small outboards. So this idea is no good for trailer sailors.
Doug Eastwood of the Coeur d’Alene Parks Department pointed out that they have land available at Silver Beach which could be used for a launch. This area has the best wind and is away from the resort ferries, sea planes, and all the boat traffic coming from the river and marinas. If this Silver Beach launch was created one could take exit 15 off the highway, pass through one stop light, and travel down a wide road to the launch. With the 3rd Street launch we currently have to pass through multiple stops lights and lots of traffic, then deal with the marine traffic once at the launch. I think a lot of people at the meeting were intrigued by the potential of a new launch site but want to reserve judgment until more information is presented.
The consensus from those at the meeting seemed to be that many people resent the fact that city officials did not seek input from the community about what features they would like to see in the park; they want to be able to vote on the park. They also voiced that they want the park to be a true outdoor recreational park not a Disneyland like park with a lot of bells and whistles that serve no purpose other than for ascetics.
Another big question asked was why the city is considering doing this when budgets are being cut and as a nation we are heavily in debt.
I will post more info about the Silver Beach Launch as ideas develop. Please post your feelings about the cities launch ideas. Thank you!