Projects include boat launch construction at Lake Rufus Woods RV Site - Net Pens, San Poil Boat Launch, Nicholson Beach
NESPELEM - The Colville Indian Reservation has been closed since March 25 when the Colville Business Council first passed multiple public safety measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 locally, but in that downtime, major construction on park projects across the tribal lands have continued, according to Colville Tribal Parks and Recreation’s Linda Palmer.
In Nespelem, construction continues at the Lake Rufus Woods RV Site - Net Pens in phase two of the tribes’ project along the Columbia River Road.
Previously, the tribes utilized approximately $2 million from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife for construction of a RV campground, showers, tent camping and other amenities.
The RV campground first opened in May 2018
“There are a lot of RV campers who like the fishing and many are repeat visitors from all over,” said Palmer. “The phones have been ringing off the hook asking when we will be open again so they can fish. Currently the RV site is closed to all visitors due to the construction of the boat launch for safety purposes and we have until the end of September to finish the construction. Fishermen have been diligently waiting for the RV site to open up again and state they really love the site.”Phase two includes construction of an access road, concrete boat ramp, dock, street lighting and gravel parking area at the site.
Additionally, Palmer noted top soil removed for construction of the boat launch was used to level a tent camping area that had been previously established. That area will also be hydro-seeded, said Palmer.
The $906,000 contract for the construction, funded through Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife as part of the Rufus Woods Agreement, was awarded to Wheeler Excavation LLC of Richland.
Additionally, the Colville Business Council unanimously approved a contract in special session, June 17, with Cates and Erb Inc. to construct the San Poil Boat Launch, utilizing funding provided by the State Recreation Conservation Office and in-kind services by CCT-DOT.
The total contract value was $1,426,055.16.
In Nov. 2019, CBC toured the site of the future boat launch with Washington State Director of Commerce Lisa Brown on the San Poil arm of Lake Roosevelt approximately 1 mile north of the Keller Ferry landing.
That site will include a boat launch, parking, an improved access road from State Route 21, a day use area and rest rooms in a first phase of construction, said Palmer, who noted a second phase would include RV parking and camp area.
A third major project is in the planning stage, said Palmer.
At Nicholson Beach, Colville Tribal Parks and Recreation and Womer and Associates are looking at improving the Omak Lake site to include a boat launch, picnic area, outhouse with showers, improved access road and swimming area.
A second RCO grant has been used for the planning contract.