The city of Lodi’s Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services department announced Wednesday that it will receive a $710,000 grant from the California Division of Boating and Waterways for a renovation project on the northwest side of Lodi Lake.
The project includes replacing the dock and boat ramp, expanding parking, replacing crumbling asphalt and installing accessible restrooms for those with disabilities.
The California Boating and Waterways Commission endorsed the project at its Wednesday meeting in Stockton. Funding for the improvements is already included in the state’s budget for the 2013-14 fiscal year.
Jeff Hood, director of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services, said construction is currently scheduled to begin in early 2015, when the Woodbridge Irrigation District drains the lake for maintenance.
Hood said the existing boat ramp, originally built in 1947, has become a patchwork of previous repairs and deteriorating concrete, making it difficult to launch boats from trailers.
“It’s not the safest location for the ramp right now,” he said. “Wheels tend to get caught behind some of the patchwork on the concrete, making it hard to get in and out of there for many boaters trying to launch their boats.”
Hood said that while the dock looks much better than the boat ramp, it has also fallen victim to years of patchwork repairs. In addition, he said the dock’s constant exposure to the elements has caused deterioration.
The nearby parking lot will be expanded slightly to allow more traffic and parking, with about 20 additional spaces for both cars and trailers. There are about 20 existing spaces in the parking lot now.
“Oftentimes we get (more than six trailers) there, and people end up parking in other areas and obstructing traffic,” Hood said. “You also have some people parking on the grass, and then you get oil and other fluids all over the grass.” He said the city hopes to complete all the below-water level work on the ramp and dock within the three to four weeks when WID drains the lake. Other parts of the project, such as pavement repair and parking lot expansion, would be done in the spring.
Hood said the city learned about the grant two years ago when a staff member from the Division of Boating and Waterways visited Lodi.
“We were showing him the river, and he noticed the ramp and dock were in pretty bad shape,” he said. “He mentioned (his department) happened to have money to help with repairs, so we jumped at the chance to apply.”
Interim City Manager Steve Schwabauer thanked Hood and his staff in a press release Wednesday for their work in securing scarce state dollars.
“The dedication of PRCS staff, together with the state’s assistance, will keep Lodi Lake one of the crown jewels of our parks system for many years into the future,” he said.
The grant is funded through the Division of Boating and Waterways’ Harbors and Watercraft Revolving Fund, which is supported in part by State of California fuel tax revenues and vessel registration fees.
“The Division of Boating and Waterways is supportive of projects that improve access and waterfront recreation for the public,” said Sylvia Hunter, Deputy Director of Boating and Waterways. “Our mission is to ensure that we are supporting our communities around California, and Lodi Lake adds so much value to the citizens of the Central Valley.”
Contact reporter Wes Bowers at firstname.lastname@example.org.