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Navtours sailing away from future city marina project

The area of city waterfront adjacent to the Saranac River and the solid waste disposal plant currently under consideration for development.

The area of city waterfront adjacent to the Saranac River and the solid waste disposal plant currently under consideration for development. Photo by Shawn Ryan.

— Confidence is running high within the City of Plattsburgh’s political apparatus that a deal can be brokered on a city marina project in time to have something in the water by summer, but a major player in the process is pulling out.

“We have spent more then a year and a half on the project, and we have spent a lot of money with architects and designers,” said Navtours representative Bruno Lemieux from his Montreal office. “It was a great project for us, but at some point, you just have to go.”

Lemieux said that after city councilors voted down their previous proposal recently, the decision was made to “move in a different direction.”

City councilors voted down two competing proposals for development of a portion of the city waterfront near the outlet of the Saranac River on Jan. 30. The proposals were a hold-over from the previous city administration, and some councilors felt that there had not been enough chance for public input on the proposals to garner a yes vote.

“The original RFP...was done very exclusively just within house, within City Hall. There was no consulting of any key players as far as regional economic development or tourism. I don’t think there was anyone from the Chamber of Commerce who was involved in the development of the RFP...,” said City Councilor Josh Kretser.

City councilors have sought to rectify that issue, holding several working sessions with economic and regional development interests, before developing a new RFP for the project. They have also been keen to have input from the public on what direction future waterfront, and ultimately greater downtown development, should take. But, as the numbers of days until spring continue to dwindle, some are considering scaling down plans for this season, just to have something in place so as to not miss this summer’s boating season altogether.

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