Cda May Launch Boat Fees Money Would Be Used To Repair Third Street Facility
Planning to slide your Bayliner into Lake Coeur d’Alene at the Third Street boat launch? Grab a little extra money.
The Coeur d’Alene City Council is poised to levy boat launching fees for the first time. If the plan sails through the council on March 17, Idaho residents would pay $3 every time they use the launch. Out-of-staters would pay $6. Season passes would be sold for $30 and $60, respectively.
About 100 boats are launched every day during the hottest weather, city officials say. Diamond Parking, which staffs the entrance to the city parking lot and boat launch, would collect the money.
The move would raise roughly $20,000 a year at the boat launch, located just east of The Coeur d’Alene Resort. The money would go for much-needed work on docks, restrooms, the parking lot and other facilities, said Doug Eastwood, Coeur d’Alene parks director.
“The Third Street boat launch is in a sad state of repair,” said Chris Copstead, a city councilman who also serves on the city Parks and Recreation Commission. “We thought the users should help foot the bill.”
Because local residents already contribute through property taxes, proponents decided outof-staters should pay more, Copstead said.
But out-of-state boaters aren’t enthusiastic.
“As a dealer, I wouldn’t like it - we launch a lot of boats there,” said Steve Price of River City Marina in Spokane.
“It wouldn’t be so bad if you weren’t already paying for parking,” Price said. With the $10 per day parking fee and another $6 launch fee, “it will cost dang near twice as much per day.”
Charging boaters to launch at Third Street may drive them to smaller county launches with less parking. After the state started charging $2 to launch at Higgens Point last summer, Boothe’s Landing, along Coeur d’Alene Lake Drive, experienced a significant boost in business.
That’s likely to start spilling over to Rockford Bay, Mica Bay and a host of other launches maintained by Kootenai County, said Kurtis Robinson, county waterways director. Most of those have little parking.
“I think initially it’s going to create some problems at the north end of the lake,” Robinson said. And the increased use of the county facilities means “more problems, higher maintenance.”
The county doesn’t charge for use of any of the 32 boat launches it maintains in the county. While the city can easily hand the task over to Diamond Parking at Third Street, the county has no collection system in place and would have to hire extra people to enforce the fee, Robinson said.
But if the city starts charging at Third Street, the county may have to reconsider, he said.
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MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: PROPOSED FEES Idaho residents would pay $3 each time they launch a boat at the Third Street boat launch. Out-of-staters would pay $6.
This sidebar appeared with the story: PROPOSED FEES Idaho residents would pay $3 each time they launch a boat at the Third Street boat launch. Out-of-staters would pay $6.