If you’re a Cass Lake riparian property owner, a lakefront resident, a boating or fishing enthusiast, or a person with some other vested interest in the lake, you have a chance tomorrow to learn about and comment on two proposals to overhaul the Cass Lake boating access site inside the state Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) Dodge Park No. 4 in Waterford Township.
A special public meeting on the proposals has been scheduled by the DNR for 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 4 inside Dodge Park No. 4 at the access site.
According to the concept plans presented by the DNR on the www.dodge4.com website, renovation of the boat ramp site is needed to address deteriorating pavement and to reduce vehicle congestion during busy summer days. The existing entrance to the park is a single-lane gravel road that goes into a paved parking lot where the boat launch is located. When beach patrons use a portion of that road at the same time as those looking to launch a boat, it can get pretty congested, according to DNR officials. The department wants to not only improve the pavement conditions, but also improve parking and traffic circulation at the access site, as well as improve barrier-free access and access between the boat launch and a modern restroom.
One of the renovation plans will keep the current number of boating access site parking spaces at 80 and eliminate a roadway typically used by non-boaters, or park “day users,” and redirect them to a different route through the park. The other proposal would slightly decrease the number of parking spaces at the access site and utilize a roundabout to separate boaters and day-users from having to drive through the same area once they enter the park.
In addition to tomorrow’s public meeting, you can go to www.dodge4.com to participate in an online survey about the two renovation proposals.
The Dodge Park No. 4 boating access site has been in service for over 50 years. It was designed and developed to serve smaller boats than those that use the boat ramp today, and for a much lower volume of use. So, it’s logical that the DNR would like to revamp the boat ramp site.
Upon first hearing the DNR wanted to update the boat ramp area, we wondered whether the department would seek to accommodate more boaters. That’s not the case. However, we still encourage those with an interest in the lake or Dodge Park No. 4 to attend tomorrow’s meeting so they can hear first-hand about both rehabilitation plans, and voice opinions on what they do or don’t like about either proposal.