February 7, 2016

Deep River Township Board looking to create public access sites along Rifle River

Tim Barnum
The Rifle River

Updated on Nov. 13 at 9:30 a.m.

DEEP RIVER TOWNSHIP — Canoe liveries and campgrounds along the Rifle River draw plenty of visitors from downstate, but the Deep River Township Planning Commission is hopeful it can offer locals free access to the river in the near future.

“We don’t have any public accesses that our families can use to go canoeing or kayaking or tubing,” added planning commission member Diane Anderson at the commission’s meeting Nov. 12.

“We own lots that go down to the river,” said Township Supervisor Robert Budz, adding that two tax-reverted properties along the Rifle River were turned over to the township long ago, but haven’t been developed or modified since the township took possession of them.

“There’s no place for the local people to get to the river, it’s all private,” said Township Clerk Karlia Kroczaleski-Raymond, a member of the planning commission.

Planning commission member Dick Dell said at the Thursday meeting that the anticipated price of converting the two parcels to public access sites is about $3,000. He added the two sites the township owns can be reached by Miller Road, where an acess has high banks Dell said are about 30 feet high, and Maryland Drive, a spot Dell said is fairly level and would be the easiest to place a public access at.

Township Trustee, Charles Bomaster, said on Nov. 10, however, that due to size of the parcels the township owns, providing parking spaces near the public sites, if they are eventually established, could be a problem. He also said that at least two public sites would have to be established, because the general public couldn’t use landings that private canoe liveries use to put canoes in and out of the river.

Dell said the next step is getting permits approving of the project, which he said could be accomplished within the next couple months.

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