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Rotary to finish pier project


At the site, Grand Coulee Dam Rotary Club Past President Kelly Buche, left, accepts a $5,000 check from the Columbia Basin Foundation Executive Director Donn Cook and President Tom Moncrief, along with Past President Lois Chilton and current Treasurer Merle Kennedy. — Scott Hunter photo

North Central Washington is about to get what local Rotary Club members believe will be the first handicapped-accessible fishing pier in the region.

The club’s board of directors voted last Wednesday to add $4,197 from the club’s general funds to finish the project, which a successful fund raiser and a grant put within reach Sept. 15.

That’s when community members and triathletes ate their fill at the club’s spaghetti feed, contributing over $2,000 to the cause, and when club members learned that the Columbia Basin Foundation had granted a second $5,000 toward the project.

Last fall, the club installed a concrete base for the pier at Steamboat Rock State Park. Sometime this fall, EZ Doc of Chelan will install the actual pier, capping the more-than $60,000 effort after 12 years.

It began in a different era. In 2000, the budget for the State Parks Department wasn’t completely dependent on sales of access permits, and the agency was beginning to look ahead to its 2013 centennial. A fishing pier that met the spirit and specs of the Americans With Disabilities Act would fit right in to plans for growth, state officials told the club. Since then, the park has seen expansions, but the pier was not funded.

Rotary members, having begun the fund raising for it, determined to see it through.

Former president Kelly Buche said some $12,720 of the total were donated time and materials for the base constructed last year with the help of local concrete man Bill Wiyrick. A state park backhoe excavated the foundation. The actual dock will cost $37,015. The total project will come to $60,635.

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