By a 3-2 vote, the possibility of restricting Log House Landing to carry-in boats only was rejected by Scandia’s city council on May 3.
The popular, rustic, and historic landing at the heart of Otisville, a tiny settlement founded in the 1850s, will remain open to any trailered boat that can manage the steep, rutted, and twisting ramp.
Concerned about erosion and maintenance, the city had been considering four options — from closing the landing altogether to significantly rebuilding it with concrete planks. At a special hearing at April 25, approximately 60 residents spoke up, mostly advocating for either closing the ramp or leaving it alone.
The city’s public work staff will continue to maintain by the ramp with trap rock and gravel, costing about $800 per year, said city administrator Neil Solstis.
Friends of Log House Landing, which was organized to oppose the 2014 proposal to significantly pave and develop the landing, and had advocated against the concrete option this time, said they were celebrating.
“The council listened to the fact that more than 85 percent of public input was opposed to a concrete solution at this ecologically sensitive site,” wrote Pam Plowman-Smith.
Mayor Christine Maefsky and council member Steve Kronmiller voted to convert it to a park with multiple uses in addition to parking and boat-launching.
“We could use this site. We could fix it and make the problem go away,” Kronmiller said, according to the Country Messenger. “If we continue to say ‘we’re just going to leave it alone, we’re not going to deal with it,’ it’s going to come back next year and the year after that.”
Councilmember Chris Ness voted to keep the landing open to trailers, but noted that there were no plans for a public park yet to base a vote on. Development of such a proposal may the next chapter in the long history of Log House Landing — from Scandinavian settlers to the city council chambers.