December 1, 2013

City marina project moves forward


PLATTSBURGH — Plans for a city-owned marina have taken one more step forward.

The City of Plattsburgh Planning Board has approved the NavTours proposal to operate a marina at the eastern end of Dock Street next to Plattsburgh Boat Basin.

Elizabeth White is the NavTours base manager in Plattsburgh. The company has offered charters of boats on Lake Champlain for 15 years, in addition to its locations in Quebec and the Bahamas. 

It intends to have the new marina open for the 2014 boating season.

The city would continue to own the property and lease it to NavMarine, an entity formed by NavTours to operate the marina. The plan calls for mooring of NavTours boats available for lease in Plattsburgh as well as visiting boats.


The parking area near the water would be used for loading and unloading, she said, after which customers would be asked to move their vehicles to the larger parking area to the west. 

"We understand the way the parkland is set up and the importance of parking there for the public," White said.

The marina is expected to be in operation from dawn to dusk daily. White said there would be no parking near the water from 2 a.m. to 6 a.m.


The plan was presented by Scott Allen of AES Northeast. The 32-foot slips are capable of handling boats up to 50 feet in length, he said, and they are working with the city's Municipal Lighting Department on upgrades to the electrical service to accommodate the larger boats.

The intent is to serve boats 30 feet in length or longer. That is based on a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers study that shows owners of large boats are more likely to visit for overnight or longer and thus spend more money at local businesses.

There would also be 92 feet of dock space reserved for dinghies for boaters to access the moored sailboats.


Allen said they plan to renovate the former 2,500-square-foot restaurant on that property, including new vinyl shake siding, new doors and three cupolas. 

The project overall would include office space, a welcome center, cafe, ships store, restrooms with showers, laundry room, 32 dock slips and 25 moorings.

The cafe, store, restrooms, showers and laundry facilities would be open to the public.

Some tables would be set up along the west side of the building for outdoor dining to augment other tables closer to the water. 

The cafe would be more like a sandwich counter, White said, and they plan to seek a wine and beer license for the ships store. Navmarine also plans to offer kayak and bicycle rentals.


In July, the Plattsburgh City Council chose NavTours to develop the marina. The owners of Plattsburgh Boat Basin also submitted a proposal.

Both were reviewed by the Lake City Local Development Corp.

The project still requires finalization of a lease with the city. A permit from the New York State Office of General Services is required for the portion of the property that is in the lake, and that application has already been submitted.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and State Department of Environmental Conservation also need to sign off on the project. 

Email Dan Heath: