By RHEA-FRANCES TETLEY
With a storm predicted for the first week of November, the silt catch basins at Lake Gregory were a top issue at the Nov. 1 meeting of the Crest Forest Municipal Advisory Council.
Bill Mellinger of the Lake Gregory Community Advisory Committee and Nathan Godwin of the Lake Gregory Company reported that the silt basin at Huston Creek had been cleared, but the one next to the library has a foot of water on top of the piles of silt that had been pushed to the side.
The usual procedure is to make the piles and let them drain and dry and then remove them. They are hoping for a dry spell to remove the dry silt or the removal could wait until next year, since it is piled to the side.
An audience member suggested removing the piled silt, even if wet, by using a bucket on a crane through the water. Also, he mentioned that Lake Arrowhead received a waiver to be permitted to use pesticides for the invasive weeds in the lake. He asked Godwin if it might be possible to talk with the Lake Arrowhead folks on the way they got that permission and whether Lake Gregory could also discourage the growth of those weeds in that manner, since it doesn’t have its own water weed mower.
Godwin said Lake Gregory has plans for two horseshoe pits, two cornhole courses and two bocce ball courts. A new fence must be installed to separate the court areas. They plan to buy fencing at wholesale and have their staff install it.
The east shore dock area near the new bait and tackle shop is being used by the public to launch kayaks. Some conflicts have arisen with the fishermen, so the plan is to make a better launch ramp area and close off to the fishermen approximately 200 feet of shoreline next to the new docks.
Next summer, they have several plans to make parking easier for the beach users by offering a shuttle from the San Moritz parking lot. However, since it appears the board of supervisors, which sets the prices for the regional parks, may raise the fees for entry to the park, perhaps lessening the demand for the waterpark. Lake Gregory is the only regional park with such an extensive waterpark and the prices are vastly lower than other waterparks in the county, so it was heavily used this last summer. Capacity was reached several times last summer, with approximately a maximum of 1,800 people in the beach area. The park’s parking lots hold 500 vehicles, so there should be adequate parking, figuring three people per vehicle.
The season total number of paid beach visitors was 81,000. They figure another 80,000 walkers and fishermen around the lake trails. The walkers keep both foot trails cleared by their use. Overall, more than 160,000 people visited, fished and used the Lake Gregory Regional Park last year.
Another possible solution to the parking problems would be using the parking at Camp Switzerland with the shuttle as transportation. Godwin thanked the CHP and sheriff for all their help with parking this last summer.
The $2 million lift station contract to build the sewer system at Camp Switzerland has been funded. Now the rest of the plans can go forward with construction beginning next summer, after the lift station is finished, using some America Recovery Act funds.
The state park grant the park applied for the new children’s playground was not approved. However, they have found another grant from the Boats and Waterways project, and they have a person who will help them fashion their proposal. One of their proposals is for a new boat launch ramp for kayaks on the eastern shore. Other proposals suggest better ADA access, safety guard rails and restrooms accessible to boaters. The proposals have to be tied to water use and boating.
The funding has been approved by the county for the community restrooms. Now they need to be designed and installed. The timeline for completion is not yet set.
The county has also approved installation of one more crosswalk at the corner of Higher Grounds Coffee House across Lake Drive. It will have the same cross walk painted on the street with pedestrian activated flashing lights, the same style as they installed at Ace Hardware and B&L Liquor Store.
Rick Dinon was thanked for coordinating the trash cleanup around the regional park and through town. Dinon said at least 25 community members stepped up and helped with the community cleanup day, making the town shine.
The two Crestline Fall Festivals are scheduled for Nov. 12 in Top Town and Nov. 19 at the Meadow at San Moritz. PJs in the Park, despite cooler weather, still attracted about 100 movie watchers.
The Crestline community Thanksgiving feast will be held at the San Moritz Lodge on Thanksgiving Day from noon to 4 p.m. All are welcome to gather with other community members and enjoy a free full Thanksgiving dinner.
Goodwin’s Market will sponsor the Crestline Family Christmas on Dec. 3 in the Lake Gregory north shore parking lot. The bonfire will be under the control of county firefighters. Santa will arrive at 5:30 by fire engine after riding in the Blue Jay Christmas Parade earlier in the day. At 6:30 p.m. will be the Christmas Tree lighting on the lake’s south shore. The Christmas story will be retold by the area’s churches afterwards. All community members are invited to attend and every child will get the opportunity to talk with Santa.