The Saratoga Sun -

Letter to the editor: River planning needs slower flow

 


Editor:

As a resident of Saratoga, local fishing outfitter, and lifelong river boater, I have a few concerns I would like to express to the river restoration panel making decisions about our river and community.

First, I attended the second meeting and was quite impressed with Stantec, their representatives, and their proposal. I am in agreement that the 1 1/2 mile section of river through Saratoga requires help and believe the city council and chosen river restoration panel is headed in the correct direction. My feeling is that the projected goals for the proposed work does not go far enough considering the amount of money involved.

Design criteria, including public safety, fishing opportunities, environmental improvement, and stream bank stabilization were all addressed but the social, cultural, economic, and environmental benefit to the community must be considered. This decision process concerns everyone in Saratoga for the future of our community for a very long time and the fact that little or no notification of meetings, even to river restoration panel members, leads one to believe that the process is not as transparent as was promised.

Second, I believe we are missing a huge economic opportunity by not considering kayakers, rafters, and other boating enthusiasts and businesses in downtown by not considering water features in the design process. This river flowing through our community is a huge asset economically and we should not exclude this segment from our businesses that depend on seasonal dollars. This small design change and amount of extra work while the equipment is there will benefit our entire community. Boaters spend money, ask Boulder, Golden, Salida, Durango, Buena Vista, Pueblo, Silverthorne, Reno, Nevada and many other cities.

Lastly, I would like to see the process slow down before signing a contract ensuring everyone is in agreement with how these changes will affect all of our citizens and community.

Sincerely,

Steven Heinitz

North Platte Trouters

 

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