CLEARWATER TRIBUNE HOME
JANUARY 14, 2010
Orofino Chamber of Commerce
Update on Dworshak
Commissioner gives update
Don Ebert, Clearwater County Commissioner, gave an update on recent talks with Idaho Parks and Recreation (IDPR) concerning progress on subleasing Dworshak State Park.
Ebert said, by law, the County is allowed to operate parks. He stated that the commissioners are aware of the potentially negative impact a park closure would cause the local area and businesses.
Commissioner Ebert reported that if the County were to undertake a sublease, it would need to include a clause allowing the County to back out if they were unable to continue management, just the same as the present lease does for the State.
The campground reservation system is still accessible online and would remain active for visitors’ use.
Ebert entertained several questions from Chamber members. and stated that the County is in a fact finding mode to find out all the information they can about what management of the park might entail.
Ebert said that a new Parks Department would need to be created to facilitate management. He said the County is also authorized by law to create such a department.
The question was raised about Dworshak Recreation (DR), a separate entity, possibly contributing money for park operation. Any monies Dworshak Recreation might contribute would be at their own discretion.
Ebert reported that Latah County has generously contributed $15,000 from their Waterways Committee funds.
There was a discussion about whether a bond levy could be raised to secure necessary funds for park operation. It was reported it would be impossible to accomplish that in a timely manner.
Ebert said that employment numbers, for running the park, would be between six and eight employees – one to two of those being full time. The rest would need to be either part time, seasonal, or volunteers.
Mayor, Ryan Smathers commended the commissioners for all the work they have done in studying the situation and their willingness to possibly take on the sublease.
Any ideas from citizens may be submitted in person at the County offices or in writing.
As of this date, $12,375 Chamber Cash dollars have been sold. Chamber Cash is purchased by local businesses and is designed to be spent locally to benefit the community.
The next regular meeting, originally scheduled for January 20, has been postponed until February 3, at 12 noon at the Ponderosa Restaurant.