The possibility of building a park in Juneau specifically for off-road vehicles is still fuzzy.
City Engineering Director Rorie Watt on Tuesday presented four possible sites to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee. The two most appealing sites for both homeowners concerned about noise and ATV and motocross enthusiasts were out the road.
The two sites are next to each other near Echo Cove. The city owns one site at Mile 35. Goldbelt Inc. owns the other one. It’s a quarry that’s already popular with enthusiasts – who trespass.
Developing the city-owned site comes with a hefty price tag estimated at $3 to $12 million. That would be an extraordinary expense, Watt said.
“I don’t think in the ordinary city budgeting process, three to $12 million is at all likely. The funds are just not available easily for that scale of a project.”
The park at Mile 35 would also likely facilitate and exacerbate trespassing issues at Goldbelt’s quarry nearby, Watt said. And Goldbelt is already suffering from public safety and property issues spilling over from the city’s Echo Cove boat launch.
Watt said it’s unclear if the Native corporation is amenable to making a deal for public access to its land. If it were, the city estimates the cost of developing the site into an off-road vehicle park at less than $250,000.
After Watt’s presentation, the advisory committee heard public testimony on the park proposals. There were two camps: North Douglas residents in opposition to an off-road vehicle park specifically at the city’s Fish Creek quarry, and riding enthusiasts in support of any site.
“I think you guys need to keep in mind that we might seem like a small voice because everybody is very vocal about their trail walking, and their snowshoeing and their berry picking,” said Mendenhall Valley resident and rider Red Langel. “They have the opportunity to do that anywhere in Juneau. We don’t have the opportunity to do our stuff, really, legally, anywhere.”
Sixteen people testified in total. Seven were riding enthusiasts, nine voiced North Douglas noise concerns.
The advisory committee will take up the issue and hear public comment again at its Dec. 3 meeting.
- Most of the claims are that his for-profit conservative website “Restoring Liberty” is illegally contributing to his Senate campaign by promoting his run.
- Some people are already lining up to cast their votes.
- An appeals court today upheld a federal decision to list a species of ice seals as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.
- The premiums on benchmark plans are increasing by an average of 22 percent in 2017, the government says, but more than 70 percent of people can get one for less than $75 a month after subsidies.