Chelan PUD and Entiat celebrate launch of improvements for city’s popular riverfront park

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April 16, 2013
(Entiat, WA) More than a decade of consultation and planning with Entiat community members culminated Monday in a call for bids approved by PUD commissioners to upgrade Entiat Park.

Entiat Park will undergo a complete renovation to enhance day use and to encourage year-round overnight camping. In addition, it will honor local Native American history with construction of a life-size statue of Chief Chilcosahaskt of the Entiat Tribe. This will be a prominent feature of the park and will be located where it can be seen from the highway.

The statue will be one of six interpretive sites throughout the park. Entiat Park, built in 1978, combined the existing Silico Saska and Will Risk Memorial parks and was the first park built by the PUD on the Rocky Reach reservoir.

Plans are to open bids on June 6, award the contract for the improvements in July and start work immediately after the Labor Day holiday weekend in September, when the park will close (except for the boat launch). The park will re-open for the 2015 Memorial Day holiday after the year-plus renovations are complete.

“On behalf of the community and the city, I really want to thank you for the effort put forth by the PUD,” said Entiat Mayor Keith Vrandenburg, who attended Monday’s meeting. “It’s been a long time coming and I know it’s going to be a really good project because the community and the (city) staff feel we had a lot of input.”

PUD commissioners applauded the cooperation that brought the project to this point.

“I’m happy to see this happening for you, and I think it will help the community draw closer,” said Commissioner Norm Gutzwiler.

Added board President Carnan Bergren: “Great patience, great people, great determination. Congratulations.”
Funding for the improvements was agreed to in the renewed federal license for Rocky Reach Dam issued in 2010. The license settlement agreement calls for Chelan PUD to provide $6 million (about $7.3 million in 2013 dollars) for the improvements.

Discussions with the Entiat community began in 2002. All park improvements were identified through a collaborative process with the community, city council, parks board, tree board and the Rocky Reach Recreation Forum.

In other business Monday, commissioners:

  • Agreed with staff that there is a need to broaden the approach for reaching out to customers before considering changes in water and wastewater rates. John Stoll, Customer Utilities managing director, said more time is needed for research to respond to questions from PUD commissioners and from customers, as well as to prepare for public meetings. Commissioners canceled the April 24 public meeting in Wenatchee, the Leavenworth-area meeting on April 27 and the May 6 hearing.
  • Congratulated staff on Chelan PUD’s recognition as one of 184 of the nation’s more than 2,200 public power utilities to earn Reliable Public Power Provider (RP3®) status from the American Public Power Association for providing consumers with a high degree of reliable and safe electric service. The District was named a platinum utility – just one award level under diamond, the highest possible. The program measures a utility’s reliability, safety record, workforce development and system improvements.

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