What Should the Marina be?
I had productive discussions with Elizabeth Campsen, Randy Bell, Mike Loftus, Catherine Malloy, Brian Duffy and a number of other residents this weekend. Thanks to everyone for talking to me.
What I came away with from all these discussions was the following: the residents of the IOP need to decide what they want their marina to be before putting any more money into the site.
Do you want it to be a somewhat quiet area primarily for the use of residents to launch boats and hang out with our families? It would not be a cash generating machine, but would have to generate some money to cover maintenance and upkeep.
Or do you want it to be primarily a commercial district where the focus is on visitors and generating money? In this scenario it could generate a ton of cash and under proper leasing terms a lot of money would be paid to the city. There will be (is) a lot more traffic on Waterway Blvd and residents will not get priority.
These are the 2 options. Neither one exists currently. Right now we are closer to the second option except that the tenants don’t generate a lot of money for the city. Several people have asked for the financial statements of the tenants but have not been able to obtain them.
The tenants could easily clear up this picture by releasing their financials.
I want to make it clear that my preferred option is the first one. I don’t want more commercial activity at the marina. I seriously doubt that short term renters would stop coming here if there was not easy access to parasailing, kayaking, paddleboarding, deep sea fishing, boat rentals, etc. I am not saying all these activities need to go. City council, by listening to the wishes of the residents, needs to decide how much, if any, commercial activity will occur at the marina.
I really think this is what the referendum is all about. I would appreciate any and all comments. Just mash the reply button!