Liberty Grove Clarifies Marina Stance

The Liberty Grove Town Board took a big step to clarify its position on the proposed Gills Rock Marina at its regular meeting Wednesday night.
   The Town has been grappling with controversy and mis-communication for most of the year in regards to the proposal to buy 11 shorefront area properties in Gills Rock. While many residents are supportive of the idea of buying some or all of the shoreline properties, they aren’t so sure about building a 98-slip marina there. But buying the land and building the marina aren’t the same decision, and town chairman John Lowry hopes that was clarified with a resoltuion passed Wednesday.

The Weborg Dock in Gills Rock would be part of a land acquisition if approved by the town.

   “seperating the acquisition of land from the structures associated with a harbor may mean a cleaner and more focused approach” the resolution states. “The Town of Liberty Grove shall first study the acquisition of parcels in the Gills Rock area that will (1) forever guarantee access to the water, and (2) provide adequate property for any future activity that may be planned for the area.”

   The resolution reiterated that, as required by law, any proposal to buy land will be put to a vote of town electors. Also, any plans for “launch ramp(s), breakwall, building, piers, parking and appurtenances” shall be brought to a vote of the town electors as projects separate from the land acquisition.

   “It would be unfortunate for the town to pass up the opportunity to buy shorefront because it was linked to a particular project,” Lowry said.

   The town also decided to delay getting Department of Natural Resorces-certified appraisals for seven of the parcels. Those appraisals would cost $25,000. The town decided to ask Mike Walker, a local assessor, to provide them with a ballpark figure for the purposes of discussion, and only pay for the DNR appraisals if they decide to move forward and apply for grants.