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Clarksville eyes building upgrade at marina / March 29, 2017
Clarksville Town Council is considering plans to construct a new 1,300 square foot office building with an attached bathroom and shower facility at the town’s marina at the end of Fourth Street in Clarksville. The current facility dates back to when the marina first opened and has grown outdated.

The discussion of how best to proceed with upgrades to the site occurred Tuesday, March 21 at the regular meeting of Clarksville Council. No action was taken on the matter.

Town Manager Jeff Jones said Clarksville obtained approval from the Corps, which owns the property, for construction of a new office building. The town leases the land from the Corps and has a sub-lease with Clarksville Marina, Inc., owned by Beth and David Diamond to operate the marina facility. The Corps also approved a design proposal that includes a conference room, break room, marina office space, and separate restroom facilities for men and women with shower stalls.

Jones asked Council to grant him the authority to move forward with soliciting financing and bids for construction. At the same time, he asked for authorization to renegotiate the operating lease for the marina with the Diamonds. That lease expires April.

Jones’ recommendation was to offer the Diamonds a three-year renewal because the term of the sub-lease cannot extend beyond the lease between the town and the Corps or the land. That lease expires in 2021.

Rental fees for operating the marina would be on a graduated rate based on total annual gross receipts. He said it is the same agreement Mecklenburg County has with Rudds Creek Marina near Boydton. Once construction on the new marina is completed, Clarksville Marina, Inc. would pay 100 percent of the monthly debt service on the building plus a standard lease payment.

Jones’ final request was for authority to begin lease negotiations with the USACE for a 50-year lease of the land for the town marina. He expects that process will take between six-12 months. When completed, the town will be able to solicit a long-term lease, five years or greater, for operation of the marina.

Council could vote on the requests as early as Wednesday, at a special called meeting, set for 6:30 p.m.

In other business Jones said Robin Tuck, with the Southside Planning District Commission will be at the special meeting to discuss plans to address two traffic concerns. The public is invited and encouraged to attend this meeting.

Jones said the intersection of Highways 58 and 15 on the east side of the bridge continues to be a safety concern. Despite the numerous crashes and injuries that have occurred at the site, officials with the Virginia Department of Transportation concluded that a stop light was not necessary at the intersection. Jones told Council, “We feel that this needs to be readdressed because of the danger of this site to the health and welfare of the residents and visitors to our Lake Community.”

The other concern involves the re-milling and paving of Business 58 in downtown Clarksville. Jones said, “It has been requested for many years from the local VDOT office that they move forward with re-milling and paving Virginia Avenue once the four-stage streetscape project was completed.” That project was finished last year. It included the installation of new sidewalks, curb and gutters along Virginia Avenue from Second Street to Ninth Street, moving overhead power lines underground, and installing new street lights, trash cans and benches in the downtown area.

During the March 29 meeting, Tuck will discuss the process for developing a plan and the political support for both transportation projects.

In other business Police Chief Ricky Wilkinson said his office obtained a grant and will use the money to purchase new digital radios for the officers. These new radios will be of the same type and frequency as those currently used by the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s office.

Jones shared the proposed schedule for completion of the FY2018 town budget. The budget committee will present the first draft of the budget for council’s review on May 2. The public hearing is set for May 16, and the final vote approving the budget will take place June 20.

Council member Glenn Jurczyk was told the liability insurance coverage acquired by the Clarksville Lake Country Chamber of Commerce was more than adequate should a person attending the April 8 Wine Fest, which this year will takes place on the town bridge, fall off the bridge or suffer an accident.

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