By JESSICA SPARKS
Published May 23, 2012
H30 gives more details on wakeboard park
MONROE - H3O was back before the City Council last week with more details about their plans to build a cable tow wakeboard park at Lake Tye.
The company’s presentation was billed as an attempt to clear up misconceptions about the project and both supporters and opponents filled the council chambers to hear it.
The City Council is hoping to vote on a final agreement with H30 to build and operate a park to the council Tuesday, June 5.
H30 gave some more details about the park at last week’s council meeting.
The park would take up about one-third of the lake at the south end near the public beach and swimming area and skateboard park. H30 wants to build a 2,500-square-foot building that would have a pro-shop, lockers and rental area inside.
H30 would build 25 additional parking spaces at the existing lot at the skateboard park with the option for overflow parking space at a nearby business. H30 estimates about 15 to 20 cars per hour during the peak season. The company says the traffic impact won’t be as significant as the three-day professional wakeboarding event, which attracts thousands of people to the lake in the summer. The traffic impact for the wakeboard park would increase at a more steady pace.
The company would improve a city bioswale on the site that is currently not functioning properly. Additional details about the environmental, traffic and other impacts would be addressed when an environmental impact statement is done later in the process.
H30 anticipates an average 150-day season, about the same as the skiing season at Stevens Pass. Peak season would be June through August, and the park would be open seven days a week. H30 estimates 200 people per day during peak season. The off-season would be April, May, September and October, and the park would be open 9 a.m. to dusk.
The motor that would operate the system would be virtually silent, and the five to six cable towers would blend into the surroundings, H30 says.
H30 has agreed to an initial 10-year lease instead of the original 25 years. H30 wants the option to renew the lease. The company would pay, build and operate the park and take care of the lake while in business. The city would get lease payments plus 2 percent gross sales. H30 estimates the city would collect about $58,000 the first year, $80,000 the second year and $100,000 the third year. The company says those are conservative estimates. The company projects about 11,000 people the first year and increasing to 24,000 people in years six through 10.
H30 says the company will disclose its funding sources and additional financial information once the final public-private agreement is signed with the city.
H30 told the audience it wants to coexist with the many activities currently on the 42-acre lake. The company says it would offer Monroe city residents a 10 percent discount on the price to ride. At this time, the company predicts most of its sales will come from two-hour passes at $27. The next best seller would be the full-day pass at $45.
Both supporters and opponents spoke out about the park.
Opponents continue to tell council members that Lake Tye isn’t the right spot for the park. Some suggested the city put the park at the Cadman site south of Sky River Park along the Skykomish River.
The city will eventually be given that land from Cadman and has plans to build parks and trails there, but the city is several years from actually being able to do anything on it, city economic development manager Jeff Sax said.
The site requires clean up after years of mining on the site, and the city will have to amend its comprehensive plan to allow recreational activity on the site.
H30 has told the city it has “zero” interest in the Cadman site, Sax said.
Supporters told council members they were excited about the park, which would be a first in the Pacific Northwest. Wakeboard parks are popular in other cities in this country and also in Europe.
David Garrison, a Monroe High School student, said he is excited to have something in the city that young people can do. He said teenagers don’t have much to do in the summer other than going to the movies.