UPDATE 7/1/16: The fundraising goal has been met thanks to over 350 donors and a final significant gift from the grandson of Cy Sawyer who built the mill in 1928. The 15 acres of pristine waterfront property will go through a transition into the hands of the Department of Fish & Wildlife and will be saved for the community to enjoy. Thanks to everyone who donated, helped spread the word, and took part in any way to help save this beautiful site!
Original Post Below:
Over the last couple months, there have been some major developments with the Save the Peshastin Mill Waterfront effort that we wrote about last year. Read the original post for more background on the developing story.
This month, Bill and Jenny Goebel, Leavenworth residents who had entered into an earnest money agreement last year to purchase the upland 50 acres of the Mill site, announced the acceptance of their offer to purchase the seller’s interests in the certain Real Estate contract between the Port of Chelan County and the Complete the Loop Coalition whereby the 14 acres of waterfront on the old Peshastin Mill Site was sold to the Coalition for $453,255. This agreement provided for a discounted sale price, which the Goebel’s decided to pass along to the Coalition to reduce the amount needed to secure the remaining 14 acres.
The Goebel’s share a similar vision for preserving the riverfront property for the community and public to enjoy, and are optimistic that the remaining amount of money will be raised to purchase the riverfront portion of the property. Leaders of the fund drive (Bob Parlette, Rollie Schmitten, and Bob Stroup) stated when they heard of the Goebel’s purchase of the Port’s position: “We can’t think of a more desirable outcome. To have the Goebel’s as owners of the upland, with compatible goals of achieving open space that could become a great tourist attraction is a dream come true. Now we just need to wrap up the fund drive and hope that this puts to rest any uncertainty as to the future of the Mill Site.” (ref. savepeshastinmillwaterfront.org).
The core values for the property will be, production, environment, and community. At the February Peshastin Community Council Meeting, Bill Goebel outlined his vision and plans for the site and expressed his interest in working with the community so that the site develops into something that makes money for the community, not just himself. Lots of ideas have been thrown around including ball fields, an enhanced trail system, business incubators, and more, but the only concrete plans are to build a wine production facility in partnership with Icicle Ridge Winery. Bill’s current intent for the 50 acres is to include space for wine processing, recreation, and community.
This is definitely a step in the right direction, but unfortunately the Peshastin Mill Waterfront property is not safe yet…
The Complete the Loop Coalition has around 130 days left, until June 30, 2016, to raise the remaining $195,000 or so to purchase those 14 acres of riverfront property. They have several fundraising events planned including site tours and a community BBQ starting in April. More information on those is sure to be released on their website. The effort is supported by many individuals and organizations with a focus on preserving and enjoying our environment. (click on the image below to see a list of individual supporters)
If you are in a position to help secure this special piece of land along the Wenatchee River for the public, consider making a donation at http://www.savepeshastinmillwaterfront.org/. Every dollar makes a difference. As a bonus for any major contributors, if you donate $5,000 or more, you can have your name etched on a granite monument that will give thanks to major contributors and will be permanently placed at the front of the site/park entrance. If you are unable to donate, you can still assist in the efforts by spreading the word to HELP SAVE THE PESHASTIN MILL WATERFRONT.
Once purchased by the public (fingers crossed), it will be owned by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, which will manage the acreage as a primitively developed, non-motorized access site for public fishing, hiking, and other low impact recreational use.
More coverage on Bill Goebel’s presentation to the Peshastin Community Council Meeting is available in the latest copy of the Leavenworth Echo, and at http://leavenworthecho.com/main.asp?SectionID=5&SubSectionID=5&ArticleID=9953