Avista Corporation announced Friday it will change its repair schedule at the Post Falls Dam so a nearby beach and boat launch can finally open for summer.
In June, Avista said the unusually wet spring caused maintenance at the Post Falls Dam to be pushed back. The delay caused the nearby beach and the boat launch at Q'Emilin Park to be closed .
The City of Post Falls said the park was closed because it is illegal to be in the water below the Spokane Street bridge when spill gates are open. City officials said the ordinance was put in place when three people were swept over the dam when their boat broke down several years ago. However, the city said people were losing their patience with the ordinance this year.
"Last week, when the temperatures went up, we fielded hundreds of calls. I understand everybody wants to be in the water," said Post Falls Park Department official, Dave Fair.
While the area was closed, businesses said they started losing money due to boaters not coming into their stores. The city said they also started having the same problem because they couldn't charge admission to the park.
"We figure for the 4th of July, we lost six to seven thousand dollars for parking revenues and boat launching monies," said Fair.
Post Falls officials said they could not break their own safety ordinance, so it appeared the park would be closed for another hot weekend. However, Friday afternoon, Avista announced it would delay working on one of the dam's turbines. That allowed the company to close all of the spill gates and the park could be opened.
Tina-Marie Schultz owns Rosa's Italian Deli and is delighted people will finally be stopping by her store to buy picnic lunches for the park.
"I think compromise is always (possible) when you get a good meeting of the minds and then go for it. So it gives the kids something to do, it brings people in the store so we can stay open and serve our community," said Schultz.
Post Falls part officials said they opened the park Saturday morning.