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Marina waiting on Corps’ OK for marina project

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

By DEBBIE HALL - Bulletin Staff Writer

Henry County’s proposal marina at Philpott Lake is awaiting approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

“We are waiting on the corps’ final approval, and then we can put the project out for bids,” said Deputy County Administrator Dale Wagoner.

The corps’ approval is needed because it oversees and manages the lake.

Wagoner said he does not foresee any problems in obtaining the approval. “It’s just a process,” he said.

He did not know when the process would be completed, but county officials have said the marina could be built by the spring.

The county will oversee management and maintenance of the facility that will be built using $786,000 from various sources, according to previous reports.

A public notice posted online by the corps states that the proposed marina would be built on a leased area adjacent to the existing boat ramp. Development would include a floating store/concession building that would lead to a gangway and 40 uncovered boat slips, the plan showed.

A reservation list for the boat slips had the names of 38 people on it in July, according to previous reports.

The area would be monitored by a digital video recorder, with access to the slip area controlled by a card swipe system. Renters of each slip would have a card to access their slip, according to the plan.

Security lighting, few power receptacles and water faucets also would be installed in the slip area. However, slips will not be equipped with utilities, information showed.

Courtesy slips and fueling slips to serve a fuel system on the dock area would be incorporated into the design in addition to the 40 leased slips, according to the proposal.

Rest rooms would be built in an area that currently is occupied by a vault toilet (toilets that cannot be flushed and are similar to outhouses), and the fuel tank likely would be installed adjacent to the restroom facility, the online proposal showed.

The tank is expected to be a double walled tank with a capacity of about 2,000 gallons of fuel, according to the plans. Both the fuel tank and rest rooms would be built above the 1,000 foot elevation mark to avoid flooding potential.

An existing campground will continue to be used as a group campground, but improvements planned as part of the marina project include leveling the seven current camp sites and installing electrical, water and sewer hookups to accommodate recreational vehicles, the plan showed.

Any utilities required for the marina and campground — including electric, telecommunications, water and sewer — are expected to be tied into existing utilities; any new utility lines/routes from existing utilities to the marina and campground will be located in previously disturbed areas, the plan showed.

Phase II of the project would be installing a sewer pump-out system, but that would only be completed if and when grants become available. Depending on the timing of grant funds, this phase may be built concurrently with Phase I, the plan states.

Operations could be expanded in Phase III, but only as demand and funds justify.

Potential expansion opportunities identified in the proposal include: the county providing low-risk watercraft such as kayaks, canoes and paddle boats for rent. Personal watercraft (such as jet skis and Sea Doo products for personal use) will not be rented.

Boat storage also may be expanded, based on the demand and in one of two ways. The number of wet slips could be expanded from 40 to 60, exclusive of the courtesy and/fueling slips, and/or some slips could be covered, according to the plan.

Dry storage facilities and a fenced-in trailer storage area also are options identified in the proposal.

Also, while keeping the main operation as a group camping area, the county also may expand the number of campsites as needed and based on funding and other considerations, as well as allowing campsites to be used separately when not needed for group use, according to the proposal.

The county’s portion of the plan is “pretty much finalized,” Wagoner said. However, minor changes can be made if needed.


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