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GARDEN CITY, Rich County — People who love spending summer weekends and vacations at Bear Lake State Park gathered Wednesday to review proposals for a second marina.
The area is consistently overcrowded during the warmer months, and there are plans on the table to build a second marina.
Wednesday's gathering was more of an open house to see all of the proposed plans. Many people said an additional marina is needed to deal with the overcrowding. But how that gets done is where some disagree.
During the summer months, lines at the marina stretch into the highway.
"We don't even put our boat on the lake on the weekends because it's so painful," Rial Chew said.
It can take hours to get into the water and back out, and to get a slip can take up to 10 years for larger boats.
"My kids will be grown and gone by the time we get off the waiting list, so we're excited for (a new marina)" Chew said.
An additional marina, just to the south, will likely get the green light. It would bring an additional 300 slips and 10 to 12 more boat launch ramp lanes.
"They've got a two-lane highway and it's completely backed up," Greg Neilson said.
He has a cabin near the marina. He's concerned bringing in even more people could be a problem. "We need a marina, but to put all of Bear Lake into one little spot in Garden City, where it's located on a blind curve, does not make any sense, safety-wise. It needs to have the congestion spread out," Neilson added.
There are alternate plans like putting the marina just north, on the east side, or even on the south shore. For now, though, that twin marina right next door to the existing one appears to be the most cost-effective option.
"It's kind of a whole big picture that goes together, from environmental impacts to traffic impacts – what water, what sewer is available," Richard Droesbeke, manager of Bear Lake State Park, said.
Droesbeke said the east side would be ideal because there is less traffic and it's deep, but there is no infrastructure.
He said Bear Lake State Park officials are still looking for feedback. Those who are interested can submit their comments at bearlakemarinaexpansion.com.
If everything goes smoothly, crews could break ground by next fall.