ENTIAT -- A series of grants will pump about $1.1 million in to the Entiat economy to build and maintain public facilities and public water access designed to attract tourists and residents.
Joined by local matching funds and services, Entiat Mayor Keith Vradenburg hopes more grant money, and economic growth, is on the way.
The city will use the state grants to build a 40-slip marina on Lake Entiat, improve and link trails, and redevelop 6 acres of shoreline along the Columbia River, among other projects.
The money should mean short-term jobs for construction and long-term jobs and more residents, Vradenburg said.
"The expectation is that commercial development in the Waterfront Business District will follow the marina and trail construction fairly quickly," he said.
The area is zoned for hotel, restaurant, and small shops that will serve the water-oriented needs of the public, Vradenburg said.
"Housing developers we have spoken to are convinced that once the marina is in place, their developments will take off," he said. "We certainly hope they are right."
Development of a marina on the Columbia River is not funded but the $500,000 grant to help redevelop the area in the heart of the city should provide a foundation for private development, Vradenburg said.
The project includes design, permitting, and construction of 1/2 mile of trail along the shoreline and restoration of habitat along the shoreline, according to a report from Chelan County Natural Resource Director Mike Kaputa.
The trail will connect with others to create a network of 6 miles of trails. Crews will construct trail lighting, benches, a parking lot, an access road, a restroom and add trash cans. The city will add $500,000 from local and state grants, according to Kaputa's report.
The state Aquatic Lands Enhancement Account made the award.
City officials will use a $200,000 grant, with a $100,000 match from the Port of Chelan County District, to plan, design, and permit a 40-slip marina on Lake Entiat. The marina will include a fueling area and pump-out station, and will be the only public marina on the lake.
This project is part of a larger waterfront redevelopment effort of the city, the Port of Chelan County and the Chelan County Public Utility District, according to Kaputa's report.
Entiat will dedicate staff hours to these projects, but no cash, Vradenburg said.
"If the City had to match these grants with $200,000 of its own funds, these projects would simply not be possible," he said. "Over the last four years, the city has conscientiously solicited outside funding and spent thousands of dollars on grant writing and partnership development in order to be in the position to move forward without substantial capital outlay at one time."
When the marina is constructed, which is not part of this funding, the city will either hire staff to manage it, or lease the facility out to a management company. It is expected to require two seasonal employees, Vradenburg said.
"The waterfront redevelopment plan for Entiat will vastly improve the town as it occurs," said real estate broker and blogger Al Lorenz. "I expect it will take 10 years or more, but Entiat should be a destination for lots of folks at some point, rather than the little town between Wenatchee and Chelan.
Entiat worked very hard to put itself in this position and continues to work on additional grant writing and partnership development for future phases of the projects, Vradenburg said.
Virtually all of the design and permitting money will be spent on jobs, along with half or more of the construction money, he said. Long-term, maintenance of this first phase will likely require one city staff person.
The city will immediately hire three separate consulting teams for different phases of the project, Vradenburg said.
The individual grants that directly affect Entiat are:
• Building a Marina on Lake Entiat
Entiat Grant Award: $200,000
The City of Entiat will use this grant to plan, design, and get permits to build a 40-slip marina on Lake Entiat, a reservoir of the Columbia River. This project is part of a larger waterfront redevelopment effort of the city's in partnership with the Port of Chelan County and the Chelan County Public Utility District. The marina will include a fueling area and pump-out station, and will be the only public marina on the lake. The City will contribute $100,000 from a local grant. This grant is from the Boating Facilities Program.
• Building the Entiat Waterfront Trail
Grant Award: $400,000
Entiat will use this grant to redevelop part of about 6 acres along the Columbia River and Lake Entiat. The City will develop a 1-mile waterfront trail; restore habitat along the shoreline; install trail lights, benches, and trash cans; and build a parking area, road, and restroom. The project will establish habitat along this shoreline of statewide significance, provide the public with access and views to the water, and create environmental and historical educational opportunities at viewing areas and with interpretive signs. The trail is part of a larger, planned project that ultimately will connect to form about 6 miles of continuous trail. The City will contribute $500,000 from local and state grants. The City received only part of the $500,000 it requested, and may receive additional funds if money from other projects is unused. This grant is from the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program.
• Re-developing the Lake Entiat Shorelin
Grant Award: $500,000 Entiat will use this grant to re-develop about 6 acres along the Columbia River and Lake Entiat. This project will include design, permitting, and construction of 1 mile of trail along the shoreline as well as restoration of habitat along the shoreline. The trail will connect to others to create a network of 6 miles of trails. Crews also will install trail lighting, benches, and trash cans, and build a parking lot, access road, and a restroom. The City will contribute $500,000 from local and state grants. This grant is from the Aquatic Lands Enhancement Account grant program. U.S. Forest Service, Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest Funding a Stewardship Crew Grant Awarded: $15,667 The Wenatchee River Ranger District will use this grant to fund a wilderness stewardship crew and crew leader to help maintain trails in the Alpine Lakes, Glacier Peak, and the Henry Jackson Wilderness Areas. This crew will do more targeted maintenance work. In the heavily used Enchantment Lakes area, the crew will maintain toilets, repair trail surfaces, and build rock cairns across areas of talus. In Glacier Peak Wilderness, the crew will remove noxious weeds at several infested trail heads. As portals to our nearly weed-free wilderness areas, hand pulling weeds at these sites is critical to the long-term ecological integrity of a vast area. The crew also will deal with a serious infestation of noxious weeds near Eight Mile Lake and at Trout Lake, where weed control has been ongoing for more than a dozen years. The ranger district will contribute $17,273 in cash and staff and donated labor. This grant is from the Recreational Trails Program.
• U.S. Forest Service, Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest Maintaining Campsites along the Entiat River
Grant Award: $67,953 The Entiat Ranger District will use this grant to maintain its campsites for two years. Crews daily will clean restrooms, pick up trash, and pump toilets. They also will repair campground facilities, such as picnic tables, bulletin boards, and sign, as well as clean fire rings and maintain hand water wells. The Entiat Ranger District provides eight campgrounds, more than 100 campsites dispersed throughout the district, and 350 miles of non-highway Forest Service roads. The Forest Service will contribute $50,000 in cash and donated labor. This grant is from the Nonhighway and Off-Road Vehicle Activities program.
• U.S. Forest Service, Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest Maintaining Entiat and Chelan Multiple Use Trails
Grant Award: $192,500 The Entiat Ranger District will use this grant to fund a three-person trail crew along with a seven-person AmeriCorps crew devoted solely to maintaining more than 195 miles of multiple-use trails and 11 trail heads, primarily used by motorcyclists and mountain bikers. Over two years, this grant will maintain more than 390 miles of trail in the Entiat and Chelan Ranger Districts. These trails serve as the heart of an interconnected trail network of more than 220 miles running from Lake Wenatchee to Lake Chelan. The crews will remove fallen trees, maintain water drainage structures to prevent erosion and excess trail damage, correct safety items, trim overgrown brush, clean and repair culverts, and maintain trail signs and bulletin boards. The Forest Service will contribute $74,000 in labor and donated labor. This grant is from the Nonhighway and Off-Road Vehicle Activities program.
Source: Lake Chelan Mirror, Vince Levado, Editor, July 2011