RIO VISTA -- As part of an ongoing effort to revitalize its waterfront and surrounding downtown, this Delta city will soon boast a new boat dock and boat launch ramp.
The existing boat dock is located at the end of Main Street next to Rio Vista City Hall, and the current boat launch is situated at the rear of the city's headquarters. Both public waterfront facilities are used daily by boaters and anglers and draw visitors to the city, according to City Councilman Jim McCracken.
"It is going to change the complexion of the city and make it more viable for tourism and help the general economy of the city," he said.
The city hopes to have the new dock and ramp completed within two years.
For the boat dock revamp, the city is required to match a $225,000 state grant with $75,000 in community contributions through monetary donations or in-kind services.
Local residents and merchants are being asked to purchase lightweight concrete sections or panels of the future dock and have their names engraved as contributors to the project. The cost will range from $50 to $100 for individuals and families, more than $100 for businesses.
Area businesses such as crane operators, welders and heavy equipment companies can help out by taking part in the removal of the old dock so the new one can be installed, according to David Melilli, Rio Vista's director of Community Development and Public Works. The metal ramp, built in the 1950s, is rusted and has been repaired several times, he added.
"The bottoms and the sides of the old boat dock are all rusted out now," Melilli said. "We already have commitments of $7,000 from the community and more coming in all the time."
McCracken said the community contributions have helped Rio Vista residents to get involved in the downtown revitalization. He noted that the boat launch is another popular waterfront feature that is used often by anglers with a $10 daily fee, which is $10 to $15 less than surrounding private boat launches.
The city has acquired a $300,000 state grant to complete the design, planning and environmental studies associated with a new ramp. Melilli said the current launch was built by the state in the 1960s along with a fishing pier and is in need of an upgrade.
"The width of the launch is small compared to the boats out on the water now that are bigger," he said. "There is a narrow walkway to get to the boats, and the boats are bigger. The wood is also rotting and needs to be replaced."
Melilli said city leaders have committed to maintaining the future launch for 20 years, and it will take another grant or outside contribution to build it. He added that the launch is heavily used by California Fish and Wildlife employees and the Army Corps of Engineers.
"We have a lot of synergy items that are creating some new activity for construction and sustainability," Melilli said.
Contact Paula King at 925-779-7174.