Summit County: Marina move at Green Mountain Reservoir?
Summit County, CO Colorado
SUMMIT COUNTY- An unfolding plan to make big changes at Green Mountain Reservoir could include moving the marina across the water to the east side of the reservoir.
In a document outlining the plan, Forest Service rangers depicted the move as one option to address congestion at the existing marina in Heeney. The project would include significant work along Highway 9 to prevent traffic pileups at the exit to the Cow Creek South area.
“I kind of welcome the idea of having a new marina,” said Don Abbott, owner of the Heeney facility. “I think it’s fine. We don’t have the room we need here to make this a viable entity.”
The small road along the west side of the reservoir to Heeney was never intended to handle large amounts of traffic, especially large vehicles towing boats.
Abbott said the current marina only has 22 parking spots, not nearly enough to handle the demand.
As of this summer, boaters are required to decontaminate their vessels to prevent the spread of invasive mussels deemed an aquatic threat in Colorado. Building a new marina would help streamline that process, Abbott said, explaining that a certain amount of room is needed to capture the water used for cleaning and preventing it from running back into the reservoir.
“Having multiple locations is not manageable,” said Ken Waugh, the recreation staff officer for the Dillon Ranger District.
Waugh said residents and business owners in Heeney have suggested a couple of alternatives, including improvements to the existing marina. But Abbott said thereÃ¢a‚¬a„¢s not really any land available to expand.
Another idea that surfaced was to relocate the marina to the Willows area as a way of drawing tourists to Heeney.
“I understand them wanting to move it,” said Cara York, of Master Bait and Tackle. “The parking would be better, but it could hurt the businesses on the west side of the reservoir,” she said.
Waugh said the agency will consider all those options as it proceeds with developing a draft environmental study, due by mid-October.
The Forest Service recently announced the Dillon Ranger District would get $1.4 million for improvements at Green Mountain. The agency hopes to have the studies done this winter in order to start on the work next spring.
Other proposed improvements include the addition of up to 40 total campsites within Cow Creek South, Cow Creek North and McDonald Flats, as well as road construction and general resurfacing in these three sites. The Forest Service is also looking at the potential for building campground host sites at Prairie Point and Cow Creek South and providing potable water, electricity and a dump station at Cow Creek South.