Construction work underway at Crescent Bar

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EPHRATA — Some construction is already underway at Crescent Bar, but some will be delayed until after the end of the 2017 recreation season. Ongoing improvements at Crescent Bar were reviewed at the regular Grant County PUD commission meeting Tuesday.

Kevin Marshall, PUD hydro manager, said an on-island campground will be open, but for 2017 it will have dry camping only. The water and sewer hookups won’t be finished until 2018, Marshall said.

Crescent Bar was the subject of years of controversy between the PUD and leaseholders, and a lawsuit. The two sides came to agreement in 2015. An extensive plan to remodel and upgrade recreation facilities on the island was prepared by PUD staff, and approved in 2016 by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

The plan includes upgraded camping facilities on Crescent Bar Island and the riverbank, boat launches on and off the island, upgraded water and wastewater treatment facilities on the island. There’s also a swimming beach and walking trail on the island, and picnic facilities and playgrounds on- and off-island. A new marina also is planned.

The golf course remains, and the plans include a new commercial building. The old one has been demolished. Marshall said PUD employees are working on a request for proposals for the commercial building.

Developing the RFP is expected to take about four to six months, Marshall said. Bids will be solicited after a legal review. The bidding process should take a year to 18 months, he said. “You’ve got to understand, this is a different approach than we’ve taken before. A little bit outside the box. So we’re going to have to take this one slow to make sure we don’t get ourselves tangled up, particularly in the legal issues.”

The PUD will hire an outside consultant to work with the staff on the project, Marshall said; PUD officials have to decide what they want, and how to write the RFP to fit the specifications.

Commissioner Tom Flint said that seemed like a long time. Marshall said this is new territory for the PUD staff. The process is also affected by the other work PUD staffers have to do, he said.

In answer to a question from commissioner Larry Schaapman, Marshall said a temporary building will be used for the golf course.

Cheryl Schweizer can be reached via email at education@columbiabasinherald.com.

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