The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Clinton

October 29, 2013

Winter use of marina tops committee discussion

CLINTON — As Clinton marina staff prepare for winter, city of Clinton officials are already thinking of ways to enhance the city’s waterfront amenity.  

During the City Services Committee meeting Wednesday committee members discussed splitting up the amenities deck as well as adding a bicycle rental station near the marina.   

Committee members and marina manager Cindy Brackemeyer previously discussed taking apart the amenities deck so one piece could be used for a convenience store.

However, according to officials with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, using half the amenities deck as a convenience store would cost the city around $31,000 because it is not an allowable use under the $62,000 grant the city received for the deck.  

“You can break it in half. You just can’t use it for anything other than a resting of gathering place without having to pay the federal government money,” City Administrator Jessica Kinser told committee members.  

The city is now considering moving half the deck to the end of the gas dock as a gathering and resting place.  

“I talked with Cindy from the marina about this and she thinks it’s a good idea to move it mostly because the whole deck that’s there is going to be what is going to impeding on getting in the new dock,” Kinser said.   

Brackemeyer is gathering quotes for what it would cost to break the deck apart and move it so the city can put the new slips in for next boating season.

Committee members also discussed an idea floated by at-large Councilwoman Jennifer Graf to place a bicycle rental station near the marina, which she believes would allow more people to use the bike path and increase healthy living in the community.

She told committee members the financial burden on the city for such an amenity would be practically nothing.  

“The rational for this is I don’t think this is going to cost the city anything because one of the people I’ve talked to said maybe we could get a major sponsor to put their name on the side of the bike, could maybe neutralize the cost or the initial cost for the startup,” Graf said.

She also asserted the bikes wouldn’t be a prime target for theft because the way the bikes would be painted would make it obvious they belonged to the city.  

Kinser suggested the city ask the owners of the two local bicycle shops if they would be interested in partnering with the marina to provide such a service.  

“Ideally this would be something the marina would operate so the city wouldn’t have skin in the game or liability in the game, as well,” Kinser said.

The city also could look into funding from the Federal Transit Administration, though the smallest city with a bike rental station receiving federal dollars is Chattanooga, Tenn., which is home to 167,000 people.  

“Even though these are larger cities that have this, we don’t have to think of ourselves as little town. I think it’s an amenity we can offer here in Clinton,” Graf said.  

The committee will discuss the item again in December.

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