LEDC meeting to revisit riverfront use

Published 12:00 am Monday, September 20, 2004

SOUTH POINT - After two years of legal wrangling, a dispute over the development of the most prized property in The Point industrial park will be reconsidered Monday morning.

The Lawrence Economic Development Corporation (LEDC) will hold a special public meeting at 8 a.m. Monday as required by a settlement agreement between the LEDC and McGinnis, Inc., a South Point river barge and boat company.

McGinnis, which operates several marine services facilities along the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, including one in South Point, sued the LEDC and its then director Pat Clonch in August 2002.

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McGinnis alleged the LEDC and Clonch had secretly negotiated a lease of riverfront property at The Point industrial park with Superior Marine Ways, a competitor of McGinnis, at the same time it was negotiating with McGinnis.

"For too long, the public was shut out of the process by which its money was spent," Doug McGinnis, CEO of McGinnis Inc., said in a written statement. "It wasn't responsible for the LEDC to agree to Superior Marine's terms without trying to negotiate a better price or consider other bids. I'm planning to present a better proposal for the riverfront at the meeting."

Superior Marine Ways currently leases the property in question for $90,000 per year. The property is consider a prime location for a river barge facility because of its proximity to the confluence of the

Big Sandy and Ohio rivers.

LEDC Executive Director Bill Dingus said he was happy the dispute was nearly over.

The meeting will be at 8 a.m. Monday at the LEDC/Chamber of commerce office at 216 Collins Ave., in South Point, just off U.S. 52. The public is invited to attend.