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A'burg council right to sell marina (continued)

owned Ranta Marina, appear to be more in it for themselves than the entire town's welfare. Sure tons of federal money have been poured into the marina - kicked-off with a $1 million grant back in the 80s. But the marina is really a preserve for a handful of boaters who park their boats there every year, just over half the 104 boat wells rented. And developer Rob Delicata has suggested he still may make boat wells available in addition to the wells that would be for a marine-themed housing project. A 17-acre park including a children's playground would be unaffected and still open to the public. Perhaps the greatest concern is access to the public boat launch. No one seems to know if that would continue. But there are numerous private - and public - launches in the area, including in LaSalle and Colchester. Deputy Mayor Robert Bailey is right and critics wrong to compare the marina to other recreation services like the arena and soccer fields. These facilties serve a wide cross-section of the community including children.The marina serves a narrow population of boaters. Despite the boaters' association turning over approximately $10,000 a year in revenue to the town, Bailey says it still costs Amherstburg $30,000 to run the marina. Selling the facility would have several benefits. It would help Amherstbrug alleviate some of the marina debt, eleminate operating costs, and derive tax revenue from a new development. It's in the wider community's best interest to sell it. Nov 19 2009

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