Grand Lake eyes East Inlet Boat Launch maintenance project | SkyHiNews.com

Grand Lake eyes East Inlet Boat Launch maintenance project

For many people who vacation in the Three Lakes area, the East Inlet Boat Launch outside Grand Lake is a special place.

The East Inlet Boat Launch, located at the far east end of West Portal Road on the eastern shore of Grand Lake, is a popular launch point for boats in the Three Lakes region as it is the only boat launch without a fee requirement. The Town of Grand Lake has been awarded a pair grants to conduct maintenance and repair work on the facilities.

Officials from the Town of Grand Lake said technical work on the project will be completed within the next few months and they hope to have construction done by the end of this year, though they could not guarantee completion.

The boat launch is overseen by the Town of Grand Lake, though it is U.S. Bureau of Reclamation property. Grand Lake is wrapping up its final year of a five year special use permit for the boat launch. The Town is also working to develop a 25-year management plan with the Bureau of Reclamation for the facilities.

“Right now the Town is just trying to maintain what is currently there to keep it open to the public.”Joe BillerGrand Lake Town Planner

The work Grand Lake is planning for the launch is standard repair and maintenance work, but the nature of the project makes it complicated. Officials from Grand Lake must contend with both large numbers of tourists hoping to utilize the launch as well as Grand Lake itself, which hampers construction.

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Grand Lake Town Manager Jim White explained local officials do not want to prevent tourists from utilizing the boat launch, so the construction work itself will wait until after the end of the summer high season, leaving a somewhat shortened window to complete the work before Grand Lake freezes over.

Another complexity to the project is the requirement to build a dam within Grand Lake to hold the water back to allow for construction. White said Grand Lake is fully aware of the timeline.

"The technical side will be done this year," White said. "If not the whole thing."

The grants received by Grand Lake for the project came from Colorado Parks and Wildlife, providing $24,000 to the project, and the Northwest Colorado Council of Governments, which provided $4,500. The Parks and Wildlife grant required a $6,000 match from the Town of Grand Lake while the NWCCOG grant was a dollar for dollar match, requiring $4,500 from Grand Lake.

Grand Lake Town Planer Joe Biller explained that much of the timing of the project is driven by the grants themselves. Grant money for the technical services on the project must be spent by the end of this calendar year. Biller said after the technical services on the project are completed it will move into the bidding process for construction work.

"Right now the Town is just trying to maintain what is currently there to keep it open to the public," Biller said.

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