Roaring Fork boat ramp reopens | AspenTimes.com

Roaring Fork boat ramp reopens

John Gardner
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

CARBONDALE ” The popular Koziel boat ramp on the Roaring Fork River, located just downstream from the Highway 133 entrance to Carbondale, is open again to river enthusiasts.

According to Glenwood Springs attorney Walt Brown, representing landowners Stanley and Valerie Koziel, the ramp reopened Wednesday, though there is not yet a signed lease agreement in place between the Koziels and the the Colorado Division of Wildlife. Attempts to reach the Koziels for comment Wednesday afternoon were unsuccessful.

The boat ramp had been closed since early June, when a 10-year lease agreement between the Koziels and the DOW expired. The Koziels and the DOW are still working on a new deal, according to Perry Will, DOW area manager in Glenwood Springs.

“I would say by the end of this week, they will have what we are proposing to them in their hands,” Will said. “We should have the agreement very soon.”

For now, Will said he understands the Koziels are charging boaters $10 to use the ramp. That will change when the lease is signed and the DOW takes over managing the ramp again. The area is considered a state wildlife area and requires a habitat stamp for use.

Several points of disagreement between the two parties delayed the reopening, which was expected as early as July 18, but Will said two of the issues have been settled and it appears the lease will be finalized soon. However, Will noted, the Koziels were apprehensive about signing another long-term lease.

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Will said the deal currently in the works is a year-to-year lease that allows the DOW to continue managing the property. The agency would have the option to renew the lease for each of the next five years. At the end of that span, Will said, the DOW would have the option to sign another annual lease, again with five years’ worth of renewal options.

A recent $200,000 Fishing is Fun grant from the DOW to the town of Carbondale, earmarked for purchase of the property from the Koziels, has nothing to do with the lease agreement, Will said.

The town has been interested in purchasing the property for several years for its Gateway River Park plan; the DOW is also interested in seeing the property secured, given the number of anglers and boaters who use the launch site.

“We understand the value of the ramp for fishermen and would like to have the access for them,” Will said. “That is our goal, so we don’t run into the issues we have now in the future.”

jgardner@postindependent.com

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