Mike Hite, Superintendent of the Plymouth Park Department appeared before members of the Plymouth Redevelopment Commission Tuesday night to discuss the proposed kayak/canoe launch in River Park Square.
Hite said the launch is in the park’s 5-year plan and is included in phase II of the development plan for River Park Square. He said the “make-shift” launch behind the sledding hill in Centennial Park is busy in the summer and fall, “many times with 3 to 4 vehicles there.
The park department just recently applied for another LARE (Lake and River Enhancement) grant in the amount of $50,000 for the design plan for a bank stabilization and restitution project with a boat launch. The park’s match is 20% or $12,500, of which, half can be in-kind services. The majority of the $62,500 would be for the bank project with only a minimal amount covering the launch. Hite said, “It doesn’t have to be extravagant.”
Commission member Billy Ellinger asked how much interest there is in a launch saying, “I don’t see that many people on the river for that much money.”
Park Board President Dave Morrow told the Redevelopment Commission, “I’ve received lots of comments to get a launch in River Park Square.” He noted that having a good place to put in and get out of the river will increase usage and he said, “It’s a quality of life project.”
Mike Delp, local tax payer and city council member said he believes the park should stick to the plan and do the launch when the second phase is started. He said he would like to see any funds available in TIF II used for a lighting project in the downtown that would have a bigger impact but noted the he plans to float the river this year.
It was determined that the park continue with the LARE grant and if awarded this summer and get the design work completed, they could approach the Redevelopment Commission as a funding source for the construction if necessary.