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Port says no to cable park

By a 4-1 vote the Port of Hood River Wednesday night declined to enter into lease negotiations for a cable park in the Nichols boat basin.

The cable park would have been placed on in the basin on the Hood River waterfront in front of a proposed hotel project which would sit at the south end of the basin.

Commissioners Jon Davies, Hoby Streich, Brian Shortt and Rich McBride voted against entering into lease negotiations for the park, saying they did not see it as a good fit for Hood River.

Fred Duckwall was the lone vote in favor, saying the cable park would "get something going" on the waterfront and spur economic development.

At the start of the meeting, Port Executive Director Michael McElwee laid out the commission's options: vote yes to allow staff to start negotiations for a cable park in the basin, don't make a motion and allow the subject to die, or vote no on a motion and end the possibility of a cable park.

Duckwall raised the motion and Davies seconded it.

Duckwall laid out several reasons for supporting a cable park, saying it would spur economic development and would fit in well with Hood River's active culture.

Hoby Streich followed Duckwall and said that he felt the cable park was not a good fit for Hood River, or a good fit in the basin.

Rich McBride said he wanted to see economic development in and surrounding the basin but that the Port needed to be careful in how it chose to develop the area.

"To me this isn't something we want in our front yard," he said.

Shortt said the he did not see a cable park improving Hood River's quality of life.

He said that the main impact on the area would be during the summer, when the city is already crowded with activities and people.

Jon Davies said he felt both the economic impacts of the park and its impacts on current basin users were overblown but that in the end he was inclined to agree with those who felt it was not a good fit.

Davies said he was disappointment in the actions of Friends of the Hood River Waterfront, one of the leading opponents to the project, and said he felt that they had usurped the authority of the city and the Port through lawsuit threats over the hotel project.

He also said he was disappointing that the issue had turned into "young people for it and older people opposed" and said that reflected a need for more youth-focused recreational opportunities in the area.

This story will be updated with additional details.

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LocalC 1 year, 11 months ago

This is a very sad day for all of us Hood River Locals. That stagnant water in the basin should be avoided as to prevent staff infection in the warmer months and shall remain unused for any see-able(maybe 1-3people at most because its not really used) productive recreation. Even if friends of the waterfront group has a float in every day of the summer(always empty) it would still be insufficient use to prevent stagnant water in the nasty basin.

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CUSalin 1 year, 11 months ago

Not sad day for all... and certainly not most. The cable-park proposal was inappropriate for The Basin.

Let the focus now be towards environmentally compliant developments, improved recreational access, beautification, and habitat restoration.

Many thanks Port of Hood River for doing the right thing.

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kylcar123 1 year, 8 months ago

cusalin-what has the port of hood river don for hood river? because the last time I was there itwas the same janky little town itwas before... this wouldhave been the only thing to make me want to come to this town... unfortunately hoodriver you have failed! way to help your local and state economy lol.

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