Marina proposal considered

Published 10:50 pm Monday, May 24, 2010

A committee of the Selma City Council wants more information about a proposal by a private entity to build a new marina at the City Marina site.

The Recreation Committee chaired by Council member Dr. Monica Newton briefly looked over plans submitted by the Pure Springs Water Co. of Camden to build and operate a marina operation on the Alabama River.

Last September the Marina burned beyond repair, leaving boaters and others without their familiar eatery and bar.

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The proposal under consideration calls for construction of a 6,000-square-foot building to house a restaurant, bar, bait shop and convenience store.

The proposal also proffers gasoline pumps and other amenities. The proposal states the investment into a marina called Castaways would total about $500,000 and create 24 new jobs in the city.

But Recreation Committee members look askance at a proposed 99-year lease in return for the group to carry out its plans.

Any agreement, as it stands now, would call for the city to pay the utilities and maintain the marina.

“It’s all in negotiation,” said Newton.

Council member Corey Bowie of Ward 8 said he would feel more comfortable with a 15-year lease. He said he would discuss other issues in the proposal.

“We have to be specific for what we want,” he said.

Newton said she wants to call all the parties together in a work session to hammer out particulars.

“There’s a lot to consider,” she said.

This most recent proposal departs from one offered by city Recreation Department Director Elton Reece shortly after the Marina burned.

Reece drew some sketches for a new structure the city would build and own, but lease out for operation. The sketches showed a two-story building, rustic, about 23,000 square feet.

Reece had said he wanted the marina to become a family location, which would attract local people and tourists.

His plans call for construction well away from the Alabama River up in the parking lot to prevent frequent flooding.