Corps looks for park operators

A team is exploring a range of options for Central Ferry and Lyons Ferry parks.

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The future of Central Ferry and Lyons Ferry parks is being evaluated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and Corps officials would like to hear from potential park operators.

The current lessees notified the Corps last fall they would relinquish their leases prior to the 2011 summer recreation season.

The Walla Walla District would be open to discussing potential lessees' ideas in alteration to the existing parks and recreation facilities, district real estate division chief Todd Czarnecki said in a release.

The Port of Columbia gave up its lease when Jim and Angela McArthur, who subleased the park, along with the Lyons Ferry Marina, announced they would no longer operate the park, which is on the north side of the Snake River in Franklin County. The McArthurs continue to operate the marina.

Northwest Land Management Services, a subsidiary of California Land Management Services Corp., recently gave up its lease of Central Ferry Park, which is on the north side of the Snake River on State Route 127 in Whitman County.

Central Ferry includes day use, swimming area, camping and boat ramps and docks on a 171-acre site.

Lyons Ferry Park has 51 campsites, day use area, boat launch, restrooms, swimming, picnicking, hiking, canoeing/kayaking, and fishing access.

Corps operations and real estate officials assembled a team to explore a broad range of options. The team has sent interest letters to known nonprofit and private-concessionaire entities, as well as to government entities in the regional area.

"We're casting a wide net. If anyone has a potential interest in operating one or both of these parks under a lease agreement, we would like to hear from them," Czarnecki said.

Interested parties should contact Czarnecki's office no later than March 11 at cenww-re@usace.army.mil or call 509-527-7320.

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