Mayor hopes this is the year for public marina



A public marina planned at the foot of Coleman Avenue would be a perfect complement for the municipal pier and the Veterans Memorial, said Mayor Tommy Longo.

Longo expects the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to schedule a public hearing soon to gather public input on the proposed marina. If approved, the project will be completed in phases and funded by Community Development Block Grant Downtown Revitalization money, he said.

The application places the marina west of the existing Garfield Ladner Memorial Pier between Terrace and St. Joseph streets. The marina will be 775 feet long and 410 feet wide, with a floating dock slip able to hold 68 recreational craft. Slips will measure 20 feet to 40 feet.

According to the plan, about 55,000 cubic yards of sand will be dredged to reach a depth of 7 feet.

Dredged sand will be used to renourish 9.8 acres of the Waveland beach adjacent to and west of the proposed harbor.

A 980-foot bulkhead will be constructed along the existing beach to create an area for recreational activities.

An ornamental lighthouse, two boat ramps, piers, a fuel dock and a sewage-pump station are also planned.

Phase one — the marina, family pavilion and lighthouse — could cost between $6 million and $7 million, he said.

Longo said his is the fourth administration to make plans for a marina, but with funding in place, he hopes to see ground broken on the project later this year.

“Each mayor took another step. Each one did a feasibility study,” he said. “We’ve actually gotten to this point once before, 10 or 12 years ago.”

Longo said the natural topography of the proposed area means the marina will require very little dredging and maintenance.

He said feedback on the project has been good.

“Probably nine out of 10 people I talk to see it as positive,” he said.

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