Clatsop County will hire a consultant to help submit permits for a new boat ramp at the planned Westport County Park, and a contractor may be selected by early next year.
The county Board of Commissioners accepted a more than $40,000 grant Wednesday from the Oregon State Marine Board and agreed to pay an additional $13,750 to pay both the consultant as well as some permit fees. A statement of work for the project will be completed by January and a contract awarded to a bidder by February.
“This will help us get our permits so we can actually move forward with the construction,” County Natural Resources Manager Steve Meshke said.
The county plans to demolish a boat ramp built in the 1970s. The new ramp will be installed roughly 20 feet upstream.
While the boat ramp faces the opposite bank of the slough, the new one will face upstream to allow boaters to enter the water more easily during periods of swift current movement. The project also calls for a new paved parking lot and restrooms.
The boat ramp revitalization is part of a larger plan to develop on the thinly shaped 27-acre property along the Westport Slough. Georgia-Pacific Wauna Mill donated the property in 2015 and gave $20,000 in June for a playground and picnic area at the site.
Though the county initially believed development could be completed by 2016, a lack of grants as well as staffing changes have kept the project largely in the design phase. Depending on potential issues — such as wetland mitigation and water runoff — the entire plan will not be finished until late next year at the earliest, Meshke said. The project is expected to cost $900,000.
The playground will likely be more than half a football field in size. Initial plans also include climbing areas and swingsets for children that will have similar colors to the trees and rocks surrounding it.