A decision has not yet been made about the location of a boat launch in the Taghum area, but now the Regional District of Central Kootenay has more public input, thanks to an open house held on Nov. 8 at Blewett Elementary.
“People came forward with their hopes, their fears, and additional thoughts — and it remained quite civil,” said RDCK electoral Area E director Ramona Faust. “There were lots of panels on the wall to show potential locations identified for community members … and it seems there are some preferred sites by the community on the Bonnington and Taghum side of the arm.”
Faust told the Star citizens raised concerns about parking, accessibility, bathrooms, the cost required to build the boat launch, and the enforcement of rules.
A group of concerned citizens led by Taghum resident Trevor Jenkinson presented a Google map that pinpointed their preferred location of a boat launch.
“A group of us got together and decided we’ve got to come up with a solution to this that works,” said Jenkinson.
Jenkinson’s group identified just upstream of the south end of Taghum bridge as the ideal spot for the proposed development project.
“It’s a fantastic location,” Jenkinson said. “The community is almost unanimously in support of the boat launch, and the vast majority of us want to get our boats in the water as soon as we can.”
Despite Jenkinson’s enthusiasm, the project is far from being realized.
The open house was part of a public consultation process — the first phase of development, and the latest attempt on the part of RDCK to create a dialogue with local residents about the social and environmental impact of the project. Maps were placed on the walls and residents were asked to identify their preferred locations.
Faust said one citizen raised concerns about partiers who might flock to the area and disturb the people who own property there.
She said a number of people are concerned about disrespectful boating activity and the safety of people at Taghum Beach, who are not used to having large numbers of people using the area for recreation.
The RDCK plans to estimate the cost of building at each of the identified sites by January before selecting a location and getting starting on the boat launch’s conceptual design, which the RDCK has identified as part of the second phase of development.