$540,000 Grant OK’d for Boat Launching Facility

Byline: Log News Service

SAN DIEGO (LOG NEWS SERVICE) — A grant of $540,000 to San Luis Obispo County for improvements at the boat launching facility on Santa Margarita Lake was approved March 14 by the Boating and Waterways Commission.

The grant — which will be provided by the Department of Boating and Waterways (Cal Boating) — will be used to repave and restripe access ways and parking areas; construct a new fish cleaning station; install a solar electric system and remove the existing overhead power lines that currently stretch across the lake to the launching facility.

The solar electric system, which is estimated to cost $36,000, will provide enough electricity for lights and a small sewage pump.

Cal Boating chief engineer Steve Watanabe said it was the first time the department will use a solar electric system to generate electricity for a building at a launching facility. Removing the existing power line to the launching facility will prevent the possibility of a sailboat mast contacting the overhead wires, Watanabe said.

County officials said they expect to start the project by 2013 and complete it by May 2014.

A proposed grant of $945,000 to the city of Clearlake for improvements to the Redbud launching facility, which also was on the agenda, was held over to the commission’s next meeting because representatives from Clearlake were unable to attend the meeting in San Diego.

Grant applications are submitted by local agencies to Cal Boating and the funding for approved projects is derived from the taxes paid by boaters on the purchase of gasoline for their vessels and the repayment of principal and interest on Cal Boating-made loans. Grants require the approval of the commission.

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