Small details remain on marina deal

Published 12:41 am Saturday, May 12, 2012

Since members of the Selma City Council voted in early April to move forward with the city’s marina project, recreational department committee chair and ward 5 councilman Sam Randolph, said things are going smoothly.

“It’s going pretty well,” Randolph said. “The lease is structured around all kitchen equipment, the furniture of the building. Whatever the cost of the furniture equipment (and) kitchen equipment, $500 a month will be subtracted from the lease.”

Contractors Gordon Mclendon and David Pearce Jr., who partnered with the council in the early part of the year with a proposal, now have control of the project.

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“We’ve got a few things to clear up right now with the contracts with the city,” Pearce said. “We’re just working on final details and getting things straight.”

The money for the marina was allocated from the city’s 2010 bond issue. Only $100,00 from that bond went toward the marina’s building. McLendon and Pearce signed a 10-year lease agreement with the city and will put up the extra money that is needed to purchase furniture, kitchen supplies, etc. After the 10-years is up, Selma Mayor George Evans said the contractors would then have to begin paying rent for the facility.

“Within the 10-year agreement, they won’t have to pay rent,” Evans said. “After 10 years, the city can renegotiate … [McLendon and Pearce] are hoping they can break even with their investment after the 10 years. They’ll select equipment and give the city the receipts.”

Evans said if the contractors want to extend the contract another five years, they would have to sit down with the city to talk about what the next steps, if any, would be. If a decision is made to extend the contract, McLendon and Pearce would have to pay $500 a month in rent for the facility.

Randolph, who also sits on the committee with fellow council members Tommy Atchison and Greg Bjelke, said once all marina equipment is paid for, it will then belong to the city.

“We own the building anyway, the lease will pay for the insurance (and) maintenance of the building,” Randolph said. “At the end of the lease, the city will own all the equipment. Then, we have the option of going into another contractual agreement with McLendon and Pearce.”

Randolph said with fishing season nearing, the marina is ideal for the area and a stream of revenue.

“We need a marina because now we have a big fishing tournament coming up (and) we want to be able to support the fishing tournament,” Randolph said. “This marina will (also) have a 24-hour gas station that the money will go directly to the city (and) help with some of the traffic going up and down the river. It will help in tourism.”

And though Randolph and his committee don’t yet know the exact time of opening for the marina, he is hoping the ribbon cutting will happen in the coming months.

“The groundbreaking is coming up soon. We have a tentative date but we haven’t set a date,” Randolph said. “The marina will (also) have a restaurant where everybody can come down. It’s going to be a nice environment to bring someone out and get a bite to eat.”