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Alan Yorke boat launch waiting for the water

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By Dennis Box-The Courier-Herald

As the water rises in Lake Tapps, the opening of the boat launch at Allen Yorke Park gets nearer.

In February, the Bonney Lake City Council approved the installation of an automated system to control boats launching from the park and collect money.

The system, designed by a Houston company, NetVersant, is nearly complete. The bollards, which are two metal posts that are controlled by an automated system, have been installed and were being hooked up by Greg Forester, the lead electrician for the local branch of the company.

Community Services Director Gary Leaf said the kiosk where boaters will pay to launch their boats will be installed this week.

The kiosk will only accept credit or debit cards, not cash.

The city will begin selling cards to residents for $25, which allows unlimited launches for one boat during the season.

If residents have more than one boat they will need to purchase a card for each boat.

For non-residents to launch, the cost is $17 for a round trip or $8.50 each way. Boaters must pay to launch and to return.

“I think we will start issuing cards when the lake is operational,” Leaf said. “We're just waiting for the water.”

The city decided to raise fees this year because of the problems and costs associated with the boat launch.

Last year it was $12 for non-residents launch. The Lake Tapps North Park charges $10 to launch and $7 to park.

City officials said the Allan Yorke Park was getting flooded with boaters and the city was paying police officers overtime to deal with the problems associated with the boaters.

Also, prior to installing the automated system, collecting the launch fees was intermittent. When an attendant was not on duty, people would launch without paying.

The new system will prevent free launches and give the city the ability to close the launch if necessary.

The cost of the bollard system was about $80,000.

Dennis Box can be reached at dbox@courierherald.com.

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