BOISE, Idaho — It's official - the floating season can begin on July 1 after Ada County made the announcement on Friday evening.
Ada County Parks and Waterways, the agency that oversees Barber Park and the official float season, gave the season the greenlight after working with and getting approval from Central District Health, the Board of Ada County Commissioners, and the Boise City Mayor's Office.
Barber Park's parking fees, equipment rentals, shuttle service, and the snack shack will now all be up and running throughout the summer - if floaters follow new guidelines that are meant to lessen the spread of the coronavirus. The park's air stations will not be working so people will need to bring their own gear to fill their floats.
Prior to the announcement, the director of Ada County Parks and Waterways told KTVB that everything outside of the pandemic was shaping up well for the 2020 float season.
"All the variables that we are normally evaluating - river flow, air temperature, our coordination with the contractor for equipment rental and shuttle operations, debris removal in the river — all those things are working out well this year," Scott Koberg said. "The one variable that isn’t lining up for us is COVID-19."
The Boise Fire Department has already cleared some debris and tree snags from the river, Koberg told KTVB on Wednesday.
"In any other year, if we weren’t dealing with COVID, everything would be looking really rosy," he said.
Floaters under the age of 14 are required to wear a life jacket while on the river.