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Clarksville extends marina lease as work lies ahead to upgrade facilities

SoVaNow.com / March 24, 2021
An existing lease with Clarksville Marina, was extended for one year by Clarksville Town Council during the regular monthly meeting Tuesday. The meeting was held virtually to conform to indoor attendance limits, but citizens were allowed to come to Town Hall to directly address Council members.

The Town of Clarksville leases the property where the marina is located from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. In turn, the property is subleased by the town to Clarksville Marina, owned and operated by Beth and Scott Diamond. The marina is located at at the end of Fourth Street in Clarksville.

The lease between the town and Clarksville Marina is set to expire at the end of April. At the same time, the two entities are in the middle of negotiating with the county health department on plans to upgrade the marina offices and restroom facilities.

Clarksville Town Manager Jeff Jones asked for and received approval from Council to extend the lease under the same terms and conditions for one year, with the understanding that once a new marina building is constructed, Clarksville Marina will be responsible for 100 percent of the monthly debt service on the construction in addition to a standard lease payment.

Jones said he expects construction of a new office and restroom facility to be completed by February 2023. Until then, the town will be placing porta potties at the marina as a temporary measure to increase the number of available bathroom facilities.

In other business, Public Services Director Richard Elliott said his department is looking into replacing the sidewalks on Buffalo Road starting from the rear entrance to the Clarksville Crossings shopping center and continuing for about 400 feet to the corner of Buffalo Road and Eighth Street. Elliott said that section “is very broken up and bad.”

The town would be responsible for removing the existing walkway. For $12,000, Alex Thompson would frame, pour and finish the new concrete sidewalk.

Elliott said he only obtained one quote for the project because “there’s not many people in the area that pour concrete.”

The sidewalk from the corner of Eighth Street and Rose Hill Avenue down to Market Street “is another section that is in dire need of either removing and replacing or removing and seeding,” Elliott said. He added that two large trees would have to be removed before the walk can be replaced.

When his department looked into making similar repairs to other sidewalks in the area, Elliott said he received a lot of opposition from surrounding homeowners. They did not want the trees removed.

The trees encroach on town right-of-way, so it is up to Town Council to decide whether to remove them and replace the walks or remove the walks. It would be cheaper to remove the walks and seed the area, Elliott said.

Mayor Kevin Allgood asked Elliott if there was “any issue with trees” on the Buffalo Road section of the sidewalks. Elliott replied, “Most of that area is in pretty good shape. There is one tree toward the end that may need to come down.”

One issue that needs to be addressed if the sidewalks are replaced is cars and trucks that drive over the walks that traverse driveways. Elliott said it was Thompson’s recommendation that the concrete at each curb cut be beefed up to withstand the weight of the vehicles.

Elliott said the sidewalks in that area constitute a trip hazard and so the need to either replace or remove them is of critical importance.

No decision was made during the meeting. Instead, it was referred to Council’s streets and sidewalk committee for review and a recommendation.

One bid was submitted to the town for the painting of the exterior of Clarksville Town Hall and Council Chambers after the town sent bid invitations to 11 local contractors and advertised the need for a painter for two weeks in the local newspaper.

Bryan Upton with American Timberland Homes Company, the sole bidder, was awarded the contract. He quoted a price of $23,000, which includes repairing woodwork around the building and removing, cleaning, resealing and painting the windows and installing a new window on the west side of the building.

In other matters, Jones said officers with the Clarksville Police Department have completed their Taser training and are now “toting the Tasers and are very appreciative.”

The police department is still waiting on the arrival of two new police cars. They should come in within the next four-six weeks, Jones said.

Closing on the Planter’s Warehouse project has not occurred yet. Jones said the developer, Dave McCormack, is hoping to have all paperwork finalized in time for an April closing. He would like to break ground on the project in late spring once planning and permitting are completed.

Mecklenburg County still has over $260,000 available for small businesses that were negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Jones stressed that this is a 100 percent grant, and no matching funds are needed. Interested business owners should contact Sangi Cooper at Southside Planning District (434) 447-7101 or email southsidepdc.org/index.php/covid-19/Mecklenburg-sbraf-grant.

With Microsoft expanding its data center operations into the Lakeside Commerce Park in Clarksville, Jones said the town’s water plant will need a major increase in its production capacity. He has been working with Southside Planning District on grant opportunities, the first being a $30,000 search grant from DHCD Rural Development fund. The money, if awarded, will pay for a pre-engineering study and recommendations.

“This [the engineering study] must be done before there can be bids and procurement on the project,” Jones said. The study is also needed before the town can apply for additional grant monies to pay for the water plant expansion project.

Jones said he is still negotiating with Shentel, the town’s broadband provider, to extend service into areas of the town that are currently not served. He is looking into whether there is stimulus money available from the state or federal government to fund the project.

Town Council also held a public hearing on the budget for the upcoming 2021-22 fiscal year that starts July 1. Jones said no member of the public showed up to speak on the matter.

He did receive emails regarding the budget, more specifically he was asked about the town’s plans to move forward with a park at the end of Fifth Street. As that property is covered by the lease agreement for Clarksville Marina, Jones said no decisions have been made as to how best to move forward with the proposed park. In addition, the land that would become the park is owned by the Army Corps of Engineers. It would have a say in deciding whether a park or other use of the land is permissible.

The first draft of the proposed town budget will be presented to Council May 18. The public hearing on the budget is planned for June 3 and the final vote is set to take place on June 15.



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