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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.

— “We’re not back to square one,” says Councilor Jim Dowdle. “We might do something small scale just to get something going for this season. I think whoever is able to get their foot in the door will be able to prove themselves, so just getting going with this season in mind is going to be an important step, because they might be here to stay.”

The two proposals the council voted down were from Canadian based touring company Navtours, and from local businessmen Jim Carter and Art Spiegel, owners of Plattsburgh Boat Basin and The Naked Turtle respectively. For his part, Carter says that he and Spiegel remain committed to the project, though he was let down by the fact that their first proposal was rejected, and they will immediately get to work if and when the city comes out with a new RFP.

“When we got the first RFP, I thought it was a real no-brainer. You just have to look to the experience we bring to the table, and the equipment, the staff that’s already here,” said Carter. “I never give up. This is what we do, and we enjoy doing it.”

Carter says he and Spiegel have not been approached by anyone from the city, and he is thus far unaware of what a new RFP might include.

Plattsburgh Mayor Jim Calnon remains optimistic as well that there will be something in place for the upcoming season, saying that his office has already fielded calls from boaters wondering if there will be moorings available in April.

“I think in the next two to three weeks we’ll have a better idea. If we don’t, we’ll blow it,” Calnon said.

Calnon also said that there is no worry in his office about Carter gaining a monopoly of the marina business if he should submit a winning proposal. Calnon points to the number of other marinas north and south of Plattsburgh, plus potential plans for developing Wilcox Dock and the City Beach as hedges against any potential monopoly.

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