Marina study not yet dead in the water

FL EDA hesitant to sink funds into feasibility study right now

Jennifer Mevissen
Staff Writer

Although the Economic Development Authority doesn’t want to sink its funds into a feasibility study for a new marina at Lakeside Memorial Park, the concept is not dead in the water.

To prepare a report on the traffic impact, design and cost estimates will be around $19,000. City Engineer Ryan Goodman said at the Feb. 13 EDA meeting that some of the permitting requirements have been completed.

“We’ve already paved the way for a marina,” said Mayor Chris Johnson.

Goodman told members that a public marina over 20,000 square feet would trigger an environmental assessment worksheet, which would range between $35,000 to $55,000. The proposal could accommodate 48 boats slips.

“Depending on which layout we choose, we could fit more,” Goodman said.

City Attorney Dave Hebert reminded the EDA  of its $100,000 budget in 2012 and that a majority of the funds are earmarked for the revolving loan program and other activities.

“That’s definitely part of the equation,” Johnson said of the board’s yearly allocations.

The EDA agreed to put a new marina on the backburner until the city’s community conversation series and strategic planning are done to determine if there’s still interest in pursuing the downtown project.

In other news, Johnson will serve as the new board president. City Councilwoman Jackie McNamara was appointed vice president after having been at the EDA helm.

  • Eric Langness

    We have a marina on Forest Lake already that is owned by a private business. Why would we want to open up government competition to harm one of our local small businesses? It’s a philosophical question our community leaders need to consider when making this decision. Is it right and best for government to take over the markets of the private sector?

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