By TRICIA HILL
After finalizing the purchase of the Boscobel boat landing from Grant County for $1 back in March, the Boscobel Park Board welcomed the community to a listening session Tuesday night to discuss the landing’s future, maintenance and funding. Mayor Steve Wetter opened the discussion with the possibility of charging for daily and yearly launching passes for boats and canoeists. His suggestion for the passes was for about $2.50 to $3 for a day pass or for $20 to $25 for an annual pass.
“That is about what the people who have come into my store thought would be a good price range,” Tall Tails and Spirits owner Jen Borzick said.
Park board member Jerry Vial had done some research with Wetter on how to handle the passes going off some ideas from Prairie du Chien and Sauk Prairie. Their idea was to either have a pass that people could lay on their dash or hang from their rearview mirror. It was asked by Boscobel Police Chief Todd Stenner that they do the passes that hang from the rearview mirror to make things easier on the police when looking for the passes. He also mentioned that the pass should have a list of vehicles that are owned by the owner of the pass, so the pass can only be used on their vehicles and their driver’s license information, so the police can look the driver up to make sure the correct purchaser is using the pass.
Passes could be made available in a metal box that is placed at the boat landing, or they could be placed at businesses around town for guests to purchase. Borzick said she would be more than willing to make the passes available at Tall Tails for people to purchase.
It was asked by a community member what would happen if say his vehicle was broken down and he wanted to use his brother’s truck to pull his boat down to the launch to go fishing; would that be allowed?
“That would definitely be something we would have to decide how we are going to handle,” Wetter said. “This is going to be a trial and error process while we figure out how we are going to run things.”
However, Borzick did have costumers question if they would be charged for parking their vehicles there. Currently, there are some members of the community who just leave their vehicle there and car pool with another person somewhere. Wetter and the public agreed that they would not be charged for parking their vehicle there as long as they are not launching a boat.
“It would be just a launch fee and not a charge for people who wanted to park there or just sit in their car,” Wetter said.
A community member also asked if people would be charged for just regular fishing off the bank? They were quickly reassured by Stenner that would not be a possibility as the area is state-owned and people cannot be charged to sit there and fish.
Last summer, due to the amount of trash that was being left at the boat landing, the county decided to remove the trash cans from the landing. It was discussed at the meeting if the trash cans should be brought back in, and for the most part it was clear that people didn’t think they should be brought back in.
The reasoning behind this is because if people bring their trash in they are to take it with them when they leave. Wetter did mention, that after having the bathroom area cleaned that they did find where guests at the boat landing had actually thrown their trash down the toilet versus taking it with them when they left the vicinity.
Borzick along with other community members recommended that since the trash cans would not be returned to the boat landing that the metal holders they sat in be removed so people do not place trash bags in them, which happened last summer.
There are signs that will need to be removed from the boat landing and replaced with new and updated ones. One of the signs that was pointed out by Stenner was the “No Littering” sign. The current one is based off the county fee for littering and the city fee for littering is much more than the amount posted on the sign.
It was recommended by Borzick that the signs be replaced because they would look better if they were more uniform. Also, there are some signs that have been there for many years, including one that says “No Wake” that was placed on a tree and has been there so long the tree is actually growing around it, according to Wetter.
Primitive camping at the boat landing was also up for discussion. If the board decides to allow camping at the vicinity they would probably only charge about $10 a tent. However, due to the small area, fires would not be allowed in that area due to the limited amount of space and because they would have to follow city rules on having a fire pit as the boat landing is in the city limits.
At the end of the discussion, Wetter once again said that community members are welcomed at any time to come and give their opinions on what they would like to see happen with the boat landing. He also said that they would return to Sauk Prairie and Prairie du Chien’s boat landing for more ideas on the boat launching passes.
“The park board will go back and discuss the matter further and get back to the community,” Wetter said.
In other business, the park board listened to Katie Reynolds and Julie Kendall on updates on the Boscobel Pool plans. The current plan is to open the pool on June 4. They currently have 247 children registered for swim lessons, and 44 students registered for swim team. They are guessing that once the pool opens more will register who weren’t able to make it to the day of registration.
They have also made some changes to the pool fees for the summer of 2015, including a $10 raise in family passes. A resident of Boscobel will now be charged $80 and a non-resident will be charged $110 for a family pass.
Reynolds and Kendall hope to spark the interest of the adults in the area, by adding an adult swim only time from 8-9:30 p.m. for anyone 18 years or older. This will be available to start Monday through Thursday, as they figure most people will be busy on the weekends.
“Our hope is to give adults a chance to come when no kids are there,” Reynolds said. “We figure with adults, we will only need probably one lifeguard on duty.”
The board also approved for Reynolds and Kendall to receive a 50-cent raise in pay.