Army Corps of Engineers giving businesses more time to submit proposals for Little River Marina site

Friday, Feb. 3, 2012 11:49 AM
Last updated Saturday, Feb. 4, 2012 4:27 PM
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The Army Corps of Engineers will give businesses interested in Thurmond Lake’s former Little River Marina site more time to submit proposals after new questions were raised during a Jan. 17 site visit.

The questions included who would be responsible if environmental issues were discovered during redevelopment and broader legal issues, such as the availability of additional federal lands near the site to accommodate larger campgrounds or expanded public services.

The proposals were to be due this week, but the deadline has been extended to 3 p.m. Feb. 21.

“The time extension will give interested parties additional time to formulate development plans and incorporate answers to the questions asked during the pre-proposal conference,” said Robert Jewell, the corps’ Management and Disposal Branch chief.

The marina, in Columbia County’s Leah community, was closed Dec. 27 after the corps opted not to renew the lease of Pam Bugg, whose family had operated the marina since 1986.

Improvements such as docks, boat storage, cabins and other amenities were left behind on the corps-owned property when the business closed and will be remodeled or demolished by the next owner, according to an initial notice of availability. That notice has been expanded to include above-ground gas tanks and other changes.

At least 18 parties have expressed interest in the site.

Other marinas at the lake are Plum Branch Yacht Club, Rayesville, Tradewinds, Savannah Lakes Village and Soap Creek. All are on corps land leased to the marina operators.

Corps figures indicate Little River had the fewest visitors among leased marinas each year for the past five years. Little River’s 2011 visitation was 16,398, while similar figures ranged from 40,000 at Rayesville to more than 87,000 at Tradewinds.

Figures were not provided for Savannah Lakes Village.

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David Parker
David Parker 02/03/12 - 04:02 pm
Oddly, Little River is the

Oddly, Little River is the most accessible and closest in proximity to town but yet saw the smallest numbers of visitors. The right person can't help but flip those numbers. I engaged the corp folks with some ideas regarding food and beverage operations there at the marina as a side contract, but they are looking for a heavy hitter to come in and work it from all angles under one proposal. My bet is the extention is a result of them not finding such a champion.

thedonkeywhisperer 02/04/12 - 10:55 am
No.The Corps is at once

No.The Corps is at once perfectly inept and corrupt. Astronomically more likely, and naive not to acknowledge, that the Corps is transparently covering its tracks with this extension, having "found" the "winning bidder" and "new operator" even before closing the Marina in December. Eighteen parties may have expressed interest, but you can rest assured only one has the inside track. The rest of the bidding process is, as they say in the Army, "eyewash".

David Parker
David Parker 02/06/12 - 02:29 pm
Either way, i didn't get the

Either way, i didn't get the feeling the corp would agree to my idea for a "mini" proposal of running food/beverage.

However, I don't believe there is an "indside track" going for any one bidder as you commented, as my interest was responded to sincerely, it just didn't seem to be a fit.

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