Multiple city departments have their eyes on Claremore Lake as as city purchase has been made to aid them all.
Two big-ticket budget items, a boat and boat dock, have been approved.
The city has signed a contract with Mecco Sullivan LLC for the construction of an enforcement dock for the newly-purchased boat at Claremore lake. The construction comes with a $139,439.85 price tag.
"This will be an enclosed dock," said Claremore Parks and Recreation Director Joe Kays. "This contract covers everything but the garage door and the lift."
He explained that the new boat and the dock represent two separate budget items.
"With the boat, motor and trailer its $60,000 and we're looking at $3,500 more in lights," Kays said. "And the dock is $140,000 plus the lift."
Claremore's city attorney said the estimated grand total for both line items with all the add-ons is $233,000.
"The new boat we bought, it's replacing one that's 25 years old," said Kays. "It's 24-foot long. It's going to be used by three different departments. For us it will be a work boat. It will be for patrol/recovery/rescue. Police and fire will have access to it."
Claremore Police Chief Stan Brown said his department utilize the resource.
"We participated in the selection and purchase of the boat with the intention to incorporate it into out mission to provide safety and security for all of the city. We anticipate that we will use it for safety patrol during events such as the annual fireworks show and possibly any other larger boater participation events or competitions (Fishing tournaments etc...). We also will patrol for safety and trespass violations of the city owned areas surrounding the lake. As you are aware we are sometimes the initial first responders on any scene. If a drowning or potential drowning event occurs at the lake we will utilize the boat to facilitate rescue or recovery in cooperation with other first responders," Brown said.
He said currently, his staff is not fully trained for the operation of the boat for these events but that training is scheduled this spring.
"We are also currently developing and promulgating policy to guide our operation and utilization of the boat," he said. "Claremore Lake is a valuable resource to our community. It has historically been under-utilized. We foresee a surge in use of this spectacular amenity and want to insure that we are diligent in providing safety, security, and improved quality of life to all who visit there."
For Claremore Fire Department, the new boat will provide quicker access for recovery operations.
"In the past, we have had to borrow boats from citizens or employees to aid in locating victims," Chief Sean Douglas said. "Recovery operations are more of a law enforcement operation, but we provide assistance and help coordinate resources. Having the boat in a boathouse will allow for much quicker deployment than trailering it at a separate location."
He said the boat will be used primarily by the Lake Rangers for their work on the lake.
"Frequent use prevents some of the maintenance issues associated with long term storage. The boat will provide an opportunity to expand fire department response levels at the lake in the future. Initial training will be familiarization with the equipment," Douglas said.
Currently, firefighters are not trained to utilize the boat.
"Training to operate the boat will be coordinated with an outside agency for the fire department, but has not yet been scheduled," he said. "Police, parks, and fire will all have access to the boathouse and boat. Since it is a shared resource, we will likely have some coordination, policy, and training items to address as we look for, or discover ways to maximize the utility of the resource."