It's not easy to write a "Spring update" with most roofs loaded with a couple feet of snow and a shoreline with walk-able ice reaching about 1/3 across Kalispell Bay, but let's try.
Before the information regarding progress on the Thorofare preservation project, your Priest Lake Breakwater Committee wants to share a special applause for a special group of the Priest Lake community. This group consists of our resorts, organizations and developments. Virtually every one that occupies that group has been an instrumental supporter of preserving our Upper Lake access "by all". When you observe those in the list, give them a tip of the hat for their part in "Saving the Thorofare"!
Blue Diamond Marina, Cavanaugh's Resort, Coolin Motel, Coolin Community Org. Elkins Resort on Priest Lake, Huckleberry Bay Company, Hill's Resort, Linger Longer Community, Lion's Club, Priest Lake Marina, Sandpiper Shores, Sundance Homeowners Assoc., West Priest Lake Cabin Owners Assoc. and the Priest Lake Cabin Owners Assoc.
If you want to see a complete list of others, and individual donors go to www.savethethorofare.com and click on "Supporters"
WHAT'S HAPPENING NOW
Now that the lake study has been finalized and preliminary engineering plans cost estimates have been completed, we are at the point of seeking all of needed permits that a project of this size requires and they are a bunch. It is estimated that the permitting process which is underway at the present time, will take us through September of this year. The final design by our engineering company, Mott MacDonald, and our Idaho Dept. of Water Resources could be completed by February, 2020. Once there is a final design the next step is to put the project out for bids from contractors that will do the job. The estimate is that the bidding process could be finished and awarded by May 2020. Understand all of these time frames are the working scenarios, estimate and goal. There are a lot of moving pieces that can make differences but they work both ways. It could all go great and we will be on time and, under budget!
If all goes as hopeful and the contractors are ready, there could be mobilization for new breakwater construction work starting in late September 2020. There would be men, machines and materials in place for removing the crumbling breakwater so there could be dredging during the 2020-21 winter. ( Obviously the Thorofare work must be done in low water conditions)
WHERE IS YOU MONEY?
If you haven't donated you won't be interested -but it is NOT too late!
We have promised for the last 4 years that all donations will be used ONLY for the "Save The Thorofare" objective.. All funds donated are in a segregated account with "People Helping People" charitable fund. The expenses of the fund have had only minimal accounting and social media expenses and they have been less than 1/2 of 1 percent. We have now had our first actual expense disbursement in saving the Thorofare. Those were for engineering costs incurred by our contractor Mott MacDonald who did the entire study and preliminary design. The studies and the engineering includes also the prospects of changes to our dam. However, along with Bonner County the expenses in that work being done has been carefully allocated as to the how much was for the Thorofare.
Our "Save the Thorofare" mission has recently paid from our account a total of $19,092 which was our share of the engineering/study phase by Mott MacDonald. That payment also provided as matching funds for additional monies allocated to the project from Bonner County and the Idaho Dept. of Water Resources ($90,000). It is anticipated that there will no further expenses to our fund until it is time to mobilize to begin building our new Breakwater and improving access to the Upper Lake.
CAN YOU STILL HELP?
DEFINITELY YES! "Saving the Thorofare" - at the beginning of our work, there was a goal to reach $150,000 in donations. It was the amount we thought we could use to demonstrate the concern and support from the Priest Lake community, also it was the amount that was large enough to stimulate matching funds from a wide range of entities. (The State Legislature, the Idaho Dept. of Water Resources and Bonner County.) We reached out to non-governmental resources as well. We were successful with generous support from Burlington Northern-Santa Fe Railroad, the Idaho Forest Group and the Smith-Barbieri Progressive Fund.
At this writing we have not hit the goal of $150,000. We are looking for another $8,000 +or- more, so we are definitely still open for business for saving the upper lake access, our Thorofare.
If you wish to see deep detail of the engineering and analysis go to the link
below. It is a large data download so be patient and when loaded go to pages 42-66 for the important thorofare information. Those page numbers are the number on the actual PDF pages you see.
Your Breakwater Committee,
Ken Hagman, Kim Impecoven, Bob Davis, Eric Anderson, Tyler Wilson, Randy Ramey, Craig Hill & Fred Cox