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Colusa, Glenn set to make waves at East Park, Stony Gorge
Colusa and Glenn counties appear to be moving forward with a plan that would improve facilities and recreational opportunities at East Park and Stony Gorge reservoirs.
A study by Ball King & Associates recently presented to the Colusa County Board of Supervisors indicates that a survey of people who go to the lakes are willing to pay additional fees for improvements and added services.
However, there were mixed feelings about the idea in one camp on Thursday.
"I started coming (to East Park) as a teenager with my family," said Harold Telliman, 53, who lives in the Bay Area.
"I would hate for it to change so much that it becomes crowded," he added. "My family and I had virtually the entire lake to ourselves this week. ... I know it was (weekdays), and I know it is busier on weekends, but it sure has been nice."
His brother has a "more the merrier" attitude, as long as the family setting is emphasized.
"I think it is probably underutilized. I don't think it will ever become so crowded that it would be an issue, (and) a reservation system would help that situation," said Gordon Telliman, 58, also from the Bay Area.
"There is a bigger issue at any of the (recreation) places I go: idiots drinking and ruining it for others. All my boys are grown, but we have grandchildren, so we are careful where we go, and this why we like it up here. It is quiet and safe."
The Colusa County Board of Supervisors did not take any action, but according to Supervisor Mark Marshall, the concept seemed to resonate with the board.
Two Glenn County supervisors are expected to attend Tuesday's board meeting to discuss the matter more.
It is something that Glenn and Colusa officials have been working on since late last year, and Colusa County has been in talks with the US Bureau of Reclamation about taking over the recreation facilities at East Park.
The study indicates some kind of joint powers agreement will be needed, involving the two counties, the Bureau of Reclamation, possibly some state agencies and the Orland Unit Water Users Association, which has been seeking title to both reservoirs because of water distribution rights.
However, the association has told Glenn County officials it is not interested in operating recreational activities at either lake.
East Park is located in Colusa County, while Stony Gorge is in Glenn County, but has not been developed as much as East Park for recreational uses.
Officials anticipate whatever fees are generated will need to offset the costs of improvements, and officials have said there may be grant funding available to help as well.
According to the study, operational costs would exceed current revenue, so a fee increase would have to cover those annual expenses as well as the improvement costs.
Officials also have reported that surrounding communities do benefit from the visitors to the reservoirs, even though they tend to be local and regional users.