The Gig Harbor City Council voted unanimously Monday night to authorize Mayor Chuck Hunter to sign land use applications for canoe and kayak storage racks at Skansie Brothers Park.
The Gig Harbor Canoe and Kayak Racing Team, which has won two consecutive national championships, has outgrown its current lot at the Pleasure Craft Marina. The marina owners have given the club until Nov. 15 to find a new location.
While Ancich Park eventually may serve as a permanent home for the club, the city only recently acquired the property and is still in the process of completing various repairs and improvements.
Jeff Langhelm, the city’s public works director, said the city surveyed different parks, hoping to find one for the club that’s less used than Skansie, but none fit the bill.
“The locations that we’ve discussed have varied throughout the city,” Langhelm said. “That’s why we’ve focused on this one for tonight’s meeting.”
If the city does authorize the club to build canoe and kayak racks on park property, there would be two locations within Skansie Brothers Park to do so. One would be on the south wall, and the other would be on the pier itself.
If the racks are built on the pier, they would take up about one-third of the total space.
Council member Jill Guernsey said the club is valuable asset to the community, and her comment drew applause from the crowd that gathered at the Gig Harbor Civic Center.
“I think it’s a phenomenal organization for our youth, and we don’t do enough for our kids in this community,” Guernsey said.
The process will continue, and if the pieces fall into place, the city will look to structure a contract with the club for the land use.Reporter Jon Manley can be reached at 253-358-4151 or by email at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter, @gateway_jon.