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Public meeting Thursday for proposed Elliot Lake trail

 

elliot lake flag

 

Kennewick Parks and Recreation and Public Works will hold a public meeting starting at 5:30 p.m. this coming Thursday, November 8, at Cascade Elementary School on a proposed pedestrian and bike trail through the canyon of Elliot Lake. Click here for background on the project.

This is your chance to get your questions answered and express your concerns about parking, police and fire protection; the impact on the environment and wildlife; potential vandalism, trespassing, residential burglary, drug activity and other activities that pose potential risks to families and trail users. 

In order to get specific information during the open house, ask open-ended questions that will solicit details rather than simple general yes and no answers. Instead of “Will the city provide police and fire protection?” ask “What resources has the Kennewick Police Department committed to patrolling the trail? How many times a day will officers visit/check both sides of the trailhead? What consequences would users face for violating trail rules?  

Other issues to consider:

  • Which fire station would respond in the event of a brush fire or other emergency? What is the response time from its location to both sides of the trail?
  • Where will trail users park their cars and horse trailers? How many vehicles will these parking areas accommodate?
  • What provisions have been planned in anticipation of litter, dog and horse waste?
  • How many trash receptacles will be located along the trail and at the trail entrances/exits? What will be the schedule when those receptacles will be emptied?
  • How many dog waste stations?
  • What signage will be posted to ensure dogs are kept on leashes and not allowed to wander in wildlife habitat?
  • What discussion has taken place within city departments in regards to potential vandalism and theft, motorized vehicles, overnight camping, illegal campfires, drug activity and other crimes such as assault, trespassing and activities that pose potential risks to residents and trail users?
  • The city is required to get input from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and other environmental agencies. What concerns have these agencies expressed and what has been the city’s response? What protections will be put in place for the local wildlife?
  • The city is also required to seek input from Kennewick Irrigation District, which owns Eliot Lake. What issues has KID raised and what has been the city’s response?

The trail design is scheduled to be completed this month, according to city engineers, with bid advertisements to contractors in December. Construction could start in spring 2019.

If you can’t attend the open house, you can send your questions and comments to me on Facebook or my website and I’ll pass them along to the city representatives. You can also direct questions and concerns to Donald Wieber, parks project coordinator, at 585-4295.

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