PADUCAH, Ky. (AP) — Paducah city officials are looking for a private investor to put a marina at its riverfront as a part of a larger riverfront development project.
The city is planning to start the first phase of construction on its riverfront project in the coming months, but the completion will depend on whether the city can find a business partner to operate a marina, the Paducah Sun reports (http://bit.ly/115JtO5 ).
The proposed marina site could hold about 75 boat slips and a fueling station. A boat launch will be constructed downstream from the Paducah Convention and Expo Center.
"Promoting the river industry is something we have thought about through this entire process," Mayor Gayle Kaler said. "When we started the planning, we had talks on whether there was interest and whether it was economically feasible for a marina to relocate down there. There's been talks, but nothing formal yet."
The riverfront project was delayed for six years to relocate endangered mussels, and Kaler is excited that construction is expected to start this summer.
The delay forced the project to move 500 feet downstream and city officials acknowledged that it took time to gather the funds for the project. The city has $10.2 million in grants to complete the makeover of the riverfront.
"People who ask why it has taken so long are used to doing business the way it is done regularly," Commissioner Carol Gault said. "That is not how it works with the government. Everything has to be pieced together. Parts of the project have to be broken up to match up with grant money. It's a long process."
The city expects construction on the 400-foot transient dock with boat slips to begin in 2015. Kaler said the city is looking to create a public-private partnership to manage the property.
Kaler has high hopes that the entire downtown facelift will be completed by 2017 and could change the city forever.
"I am expecting a big boom," Kaler said. "I fully expect to see more people move to downtown and Lower Town, more construction and rehabilitation on our buildings, and more interest in coming to the city for a visit. I think the planning and expectations are already creating a lot of excitement."
Information from: The Paducah Sun, http://www.paducahsun.com