Foster marina gets OK

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers gave a green light to a proposed marina and work began on the project last week on the southwest shore of Foster Lake.

The Corps issued a finding of no significant impact on June 19 and has signed a lease agreement with Edgewater RV Resort and Marina clearing the way for a lease and construction of the marina on the lake.

LND Construction and Dennis Gibson Construction of Philomath went to work Thursday on the southwest shore of Foster Lake. Gibson and LND owner Dan McGarry are partners with Steve Leith in Foster Lake Investments, which has built lakeside homes off 60th Avenue and Highway 20 along with the RV resort. All three developers are from the Philomath area.

“Right now, we’re doing the prep work for the abutment,” LND Project Manager Jeff Boles said. Docks hook to the abutment.

“It’s going great, better than expected.”

Initially, Edgewater will have 40 slips, Boles said. Parts will arrive on July 6, and workers will begin working in the water.

“It’s very exciting,” Boles said. “It’s pretty gratifying to be able to see Dan’s dream finally coming true.”

Neither McGarry nor Leith were available for comment by press time.

This is a huge step in the ongoing effort over the past couple of years, Boles said.

It will take a couple of weeks to complete the slips, Boles said, and he believes the second phase will begin next year.

The project will have a total of148 slips.

The finding of no significant impact means the Corps’ Portland District has determined that the marina development is consistent with the purposes of the Foster Dam project and local land use classifications, meets public needs and interests while protecting natural resource values and is economically viable.

The finding allowed the Corps to sign a lease with Edgewater, which is responsible under the terms of the lease for managing the adjacent shoreline from the area known as “the bench” to Shea Point.

Edgewater’s duties include tasks like landscape maintenance, trash removal and cleaning the restroom facilities at Shea Point and the gravel parking lot at the bench, said Kat Beal, environmental steward supervisor for the Corps. Edgewater also will pay a percentage of its gross profits to the Corps. The payment starts at 2 percent and slides upward the more money Edgewater makes.

With the Environmental Assessment and lease complete, the Corps will request that the Oregon State Marine Board waive the 200-foot no-wake zone near the marina, said Scott Clemans, public affairs specialist.

The no-wake zone extends from the shoreline of the lake. Upon completion, the marina will extend 395 feet from the shoreline; and regulations will extend the no-wake zone from the edge of the marina, effectively creating a 495-foot no-wake zone near the marina.

The marina is designed to protect its boats from wake through wave attenuation structures, according to the developers, so the no-wake zone is not necessary.

The Corps was unable to formally submit a request to waive the 200-foot zone near the marina until the lease was signed, Clemans said. The Corps will initiate the process, which will be considered as an emergency item outside the Marine Board’s usual schedule.

“Allowing Edgewater RV Resort and Marina to build this marina and manage it and the adjacent shoreline will provide much needed recreation facilities for lake users and benefits to the local community,” said Dustin Bengtson, operations project manager for the Portland District’s 13 Willamette Valley dams. “It also will reduce the Corps’ maintenance costs and bring us additional revenue.”

The Corps decision follows consideration of a draft Environmental Assessment issued in March 2009 and the written public comments received in response to it. The Corps and Edgewater RV Resort and Marina also held two public meetings, one in June 2008 and one in March, as part of the public involvement process.

The final Environmental Assessment, Finding and other documents related to the project, including answers to frequently asked questions, will be available at the district’s Web site at