North Idaho to get new marina

Construction has started on the $5 million Dover Bay Marina – one of the first new public marinas in North Idaho in recent memory.

Sandpoint developer Ralph Sletager is building the marina in conjunction with a 535-unit housing complex in Dover, Idaho. The marina will feature 274 slips, with some designed to accommodate boats up to 60 feet in length. The marina is located about three miles west of downtown Sandpoint, where the Pend Oreille River flows out of Lake Pend Oreille.

Sletager is anticipating a two-year build-out for the project, with the first boat slips ready by fall. The site work is finished, and bids for the floating structure will go out shortly, he said.

Sletager purchased 285 acres of waterfront in Dover, receiving approval last year from the city for the planned unit development. The land had been vacant since a fire razed the community’s sawmill.

Liberal access to the water and public space were part of his design criteria, Sletager said. “At Dover Bay, everything leads to the water.”

The marina will incorporate a public boat launch, a city park and a boardwalk stretching 1,700-feet around the marina’s perimeter. Fishing will be allowed from the pier. A walkway along the river will connect to nine miles of trails.

Visiting boaters will be able to tie up at two dozen slips reserved for transient traffic, Sletager said.

The marina was controversial with some neighbors, who said it would jut out too far into a congested stretch of the Pend Oreille River. As part of the design approval, Sletager scaled back the marina’s width.

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