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Local resident Bob Wiederrick has been on a personal fact finding tour of Whitewater Wave Park facilities around the region and reported his findings to the Salmon City Council at its June 19 meeting.

His first stop was Boise where he found essentially nothing going on. Wiederrick said he had no idea why there are delays but, there was nothing to report. Moving on to Cascade he said that park is one of the most beautiful he has ever seen, probably due to the four million dollars which were given to build the facility. According to Wiederrick the history of the three and a half acre park began in 2008 with a family wanting to donate money for a wave park. The park was completed in 2010. The family also donated support funding for an additional ten years in the amount of $100,000 a year.

Kelly’s Whitewater Park in Cascade hosted the first of three very large national/ international events in 2012 which drew people from New Zealand, Japan, Canada and the United States. A similar event is planned for 2014 and in 2015 a World event will be held in Cascade. Wiederrick said they have a very good record of expenses. He commented that the facility features no boat ramps and the closest launch is seven miles downstream. Its only function is that of a kayak park.

Wiederrick then presented some problems encountered by the wave park. He said the first high water run off event caused an enormous amount of damage and all the hundreds of tons of rock in the center section had to be removed and cemented. He said the upper dam was also affected and it looks like the river may have changed where it comes into the first wave. Wiederrick said, “The cost annually on this park exceeds $100,000.” He said the first national meet drew 63 people. “They are very concerned. This is a beautiful facility and the lack of attendance and expenses has to be very worrisome.” He said when he was there were only two people using the park.

Wiederrick also visited the Missoula water wave park that was built in 2006 and has since failed. He said this year it will cost over $50,000 to remove safety hazards and replace concrete and rebar, and then wait until later in the year to make more repairs.

Locally, he said the Army Corps of Engineers has called twice and promised public hearings. Wiederrick concluded his report by saying that a major river protection organization has asked how this river will be protected. Mayor Marshall thanked him for the report.

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