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Council to address boat dock situation

Ironton City Council will consider seeking bids for an operations management contract, rather than a lease arrangement, at the Storms Creek boat dock.

Thursday, February 08, 2001

Ironton City Council will consider seeking bids for an operations management contract, rather than a lease arrangement, at the Storms Creek boat dock.

A proposed resolution is on tonight’s 6 p.m. council agenda. It authorizes the mayor to remove tenants and equipment from the dock area, advertise for bids and rename the area the Ironton Marina and Recreational Facility.

Storms Creek dock tenant Jack Hager’s lease on the dock expired two years ago, and Hager has been operating it on a handshake since, Mayor Bob Cleary told the Parks and Recreation Committee.

At that time, the city didn’t renew the lease and advertised for bids, Cleary said.

The sole bidder, Barry Adkins of Tri-State Realty and Rentals, said he pulled out after a grant to dredge the creek fell through.

Since then, the city has looked into further grant funding for removal of silt and to build up the dock. The committee found an operations management contract favorable because grants do not favor lease of the land, and a management contract would allow the city to retain control.

At the Jan. 31 committee meeting, city officials, Hager and several boaters discussed plans.

Boaters said the dock facility is dilapidated, without electricity and needs work. Dredging is of utmost importance because many boaters have gone elsewhere because the water level is too low to travel upstream from the Ohio, they said.

Hager said the city needs to think about liability insurance, which is expensive, and the economy, which has put a strain on business at marinas.

Dredging grant money would not be available until at least mid-summer or later, city officials said, which raised concern about getting boats in the water this year if there are no dock facilities left. The grant deadline is April 1 and includes local comment.

Boaters suggested there might be other help available, like through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers or a dragline, and suggested they might form a non-profit organization to help.

Assistance to the city in writing the grant was also discussed.

In the meantime, city administrators were expected to meet with Hager to discuss the timetable of him moving out, and what goes with him and what stays.