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Point No Point boat launch floats designs

HANSVILLE — More than a year has ebbed away since the last public meeting discussing the Point No Point Boat Launch and Resort property, and residents flowed in to the Greater Hansville Community Center Thursday evening to review concept drawings for the new boat ramp. Nearly 30 Point No Point neighbors gathered to air their concerns of how the boat launch and resulting park will impact the community.

The Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife will be receiving a grant July 1 from the Interagency Committee for Outdoor Recreation that will provide funding for plotting the new boat launch and open space area.

“July 1 they will receive $250,000 to $300,000 to do designs and permitting,” said meeting mediator and Saltwater Parks Committee member Mike Brinton. “They won’t be able to apply until next fall for the next grant, which won’t be approved until the following year. These grants are awarded every other year.”

Point No Point resident and prior boat launch and resort owner Vic Nelson gave a brief history of the site — located between Norwegian Point Park and the Point No Point Lighthouse — for those in attendance, starting with the opening of the resort and ramp in 1926 and its closure in 1996. In 2002, the rail system of the launch was deemed unsafe and was closed. Public meetings have been held since 2003 to decide the fate of the ramp and determine a conceptual plan. Residents wanted to retain the rail system, but safety issues prevented the WDFW from including it in the designs.

In 2008, additional grants will be sought and in 2009 plans will hopefully be approved and construction will start, Nelson said.

“They do want to meet with the residents and get our response,” Brinton said of WDFW officials holding further public meetings. “They want to do it early before the design is complete. The concepts are pretty straight forward. The most feasible boat access is a 200-foot raised concrete boat ramp, maybe 27 feet wide.”

Brinton and Nelson requested the residents fill out a short poll about the boat launch, and make their thoughts and concerns heard at the meeting so they can be reviewed by the WDFW. Awash with issues over parking and additional traffic, as well as the upkeep of the park, residents spent the bulk of the meeting discussing how best to deal with the potential visitors such a park and ramp could attract.

“In January of last year, we had a meeting here, and last May there was a vote the community participated in,” said Point No Point resident Tony Atkinson about why the launch should remain at the former resort area. It was suggested if the boat ramp was relocated, there would be more parking and not as much traffic on Point No Point Road. “They voted against moving it to Norwegian Point Park.”

“The county wasn’t really for it either,” Nelson added.

Brinton and Nelson said they will provide a report of the meeting to WDFW officials in hopes of alleviating some of the concerns at the next public gathering.

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