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Boat launch slowly sails forward at Point No Point

HANSVILLE — The Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife floated designs and a rough timeline for the Point No Point Boat Launch five months after it announced funding would be pulled from the deep for the process. Making waves with the Greater Hansville Area Advisory Council members, who expressed concerns about facets of the plan, the WDFW is now looking to host a public meeting for the Point No Point neighborhood to comment on the proposed project.

Terry Legg, who is the west side supervisor for land within the department, presented preliminary designs Tuesday evening for the GHAAC. He said WDFW is investigating hiring a consultant engineer this month to do more complete drawings and help with the permitting process.

“We received $250,000 for design and permitting in July,” he said, mentioning a grant given by the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office. “We didn’t see the money for a while, until at least July. We still have to fill out some paperwork before we receive it, but it theoretically became available. We expect the money this month, and we plan to hire a consulting engineer to do the design.”

About four years ago, the WDFW approached the RCO to replace the existing rail system at the Point No Point site, and was denied because the office didn’t feel the system could be maintained by the state department. It later went on to request funds to create a new ramp, the first of which were released this year. A meeting was held in June to announce the awarded moneys and move the project forward. Residents then expressed concerns about what the boat ramp could potentially turn into, and some of those same issues were again raised Tuesday.

“Part of this process since the early stages was there would be no overnight areas,” said GHAAC member Gary Paulson. The basic designs brought to the meeting outlined an area for camping and RVs. “I’m surprised you put a camping area in, that brings a whole set of other issues in that need to be addressed.”

Legg said there are requirements for having an overnight space, such has there must be supervision of the site at all times. The Point No Point property currently has a caretaker, but that person has specified they would like to move on from the position in the next few years. The department was uncertain if it would be able to provide another caretaker, he said.

“There are studies for traffic and parking that have to be done before the permitting process,” said GHAAC member and Point No Point resident Tony Atkinson. “You can kick the initial design around Hansville, but until you’ve got 90 percent of the design, you can’t get permitted is what I’m hearing... My concern is how long and how wide is the road going to need to be, and how many parking spaces.”

Legg said there would be a public meeting for the neighborhood and residents to comment on the project, and no decision had be made yet as to if there will be an overnight area and what kind of road and parking improvements will accompany the ramp.

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