END OF 2017 UPDATE
We are a bit tardy with our 2017 Update. The reason being a long period of "stuff" going on and we needeed to let some dust settle and we did not wish to have to do two separate communications. We will attempt to combine the events, the progress, some questions that still need to be clarified and some concerns. If you are late to the party please take the time to read our past updates on this website.
Item #1 (Hooray!)
Governor Butch Otter has submitted a request to the Idaho Legislature for $2.4 Million. Thanks to the tremendous support of our District's Senator Shawn Keough. Please see her note below as well as the Governor's request.
“Hello again Fred! I’ve pasted below a copy of what is in the Governor’s proposed budget for the Priest Lake projects. I’m hoping to find the remaining $ 2.6 million and can’t promise I can secure it but I do promise to work hard to secure the Gov’s recommendation (still need the legislators to agree) plus the remainder. Any matching funds, or donations of labor and materials (if we can figure out how that would work) will show local commitment and be helpful to the overall efforts. Thank you for your leadership on this! Sincerely, Shawn”
Department of Water Resources Analyst: Sepich Budget by Decision Unit FTP General Dedicated Federal Total 9. Priest Lake Infrastructure Planning and Technical Services
The Governor recommends $2,400,000 from the General Fund be transferred to the Revolving Development Fund for water management construction projects on Priest Lake. An evaluation presented to the Idaho Water Resources Board in October estimated that Priest Lake would require $5 million to provide additional water storage to maintain water flows to Priest River, and keep the three mile long Thorofare between the upper and main lakes open to watercraft. Governor's Recommendation $2,400,000
Item #2 As we closed our third year of efforts our Priest Lake Community "Save the Thorofare Fund”, after mInimal expenses, sits right on $60,000 dollars. This has been a tremendous effort for our project and we can thank the hundreds of people who have demonstrated that we do NOT want to lose access, for all, to the Upper Priest Lake. If you want some evidence of our supporters simply go to: www.savethethorofare.com and click on "supporters". Every individual, every resort, business, development and organization is listed there. Importantly, there are many supporters who have re-upped two and three times. In spite of this inspiring response WE ARE NOT THROUGH YET!! - The funding bill still has to get through the Legislature in Boise. We have our "Wonderwoman" Shawn Keough, who will pull for us, but as she said in her letter to us above . "any matching funds, or donations of labor and materials (if we can figure out how that would work) will show local commitment and be helpful to the overall efforts".
In other words, we have to continue to display enthuastic community support for our project ! We need to display our continuing fervor for support to the State of Idaho. The monies, hopefully approved, will be part of the overall Priest Lake Management study requirements of which includes the Breakwater/Thorofare project.
As a donor "thank you", as a multi-donor, "thank you", as just an observer - what does it take to get in your pocket? We need your help. For any of you who know others who are just taking a free ride, please forward this update to them. This will probably be our last year for "Saving the Thorofare" By this time next year, hopefully we will have begun staging for our rescue.
It is important that we maintain our urgent display of community support as we are just part of the over all Lake Management study. We will be in competition with other elements that will be trying to direct funds to the concern about Priest Lake levels should there be another drought, as we had a couple years ago.
Item #3, and matter of concern
It is the opinion of your writer and speaking for the rest of our Breakwater Committee THAT THE THOROFARE AND THE UPPER LAKE SHOULD BE FIRST IN LINE FOR ANY FUNDS APPROVED BY THE STATE LEGISLATURE! Six years ago the collapsing Breakewater had already been identified as a culprit in the silting process that was closing access to our Upper Lake. Patches had been done before but it was obvious that a permanent fix had to be done. Knowing that we were going to require funds far beyond what Bonner County could provide we formed the "Save the Thorofare" project and began asking our community to start the rescue by digging into their pockets to kick off the project. We were pioneers to Save the Thorofare.
Our "Save The Thorofare" has real "skin in the game" and we should be the first in line to save our skin. So, lets keep it going! And, don't forget our fund has EVERY donation and the amount segregated and not a penny will be disbursed for anything except Breakwater/Thorofare.
Thank you again from your Breakwater Committee Fred Cox, Ken Hagman, Randy Ramey, Bob Davis, Craig Hill, Kim Impecoven, Eric Anderson, Tyler Wilson