Budget Box: 2022 Marinas Projects Update

By Karl Stephens - karls@landings.org
General Manager/COO

The mission of the Marinas department is to provide and promote boating and waterfront activities within The Landings. The Landings Harbor Marina has several large projects budgeted for 2022 in the Operating and Capital Reserves Funds. A new Air Diffuser Bubbler Curtain System, Dredging Permit renewal, replacement of the Dry Storage Rack System, and replacement of two Fuel Tanks are a portion of what’s gearing up for the second half of this year.

The Landings Harbor basin is unique from other marinas, as it is surrounded by a seawall that traps sediment on every tidal event. To maintain and provide appropriate water depth for vessel movement in the enclosed basin, annual dredging has been required. The US Army Corp of Engineers issues dredge permits under a Nationwide Permit that covers a three-year period. Staff are working with an engineering firm to perform a survey of the spoils ponds that material is pumped to during dredging. This survey is necessary to renew our Nationwide Permit to dredge the marina basin. The US Army Corp of Engineers will issue a new permit for dredging and base the available storage verified by the survey in the ponds to calculate the annual volume of material we are allowed to remove. The allowable volume has been 5,500 cubic yards per year for the last three years.

Over the past two years, an estimated 5,500 cubic yards of silt material has been dredged from the Harbor basin each year, at a cost of $113,203 and $121,422 in 2020 and 2021, respectively, and is funded through the Operating Budget. With increasing dredging activity and decreasing capacity available within the upland dredge spoils ponds, a means to reduce the amount of silt material from being trapped in the basin is imperative. Aeration, in the form of a bubbler curtain, could help to keep the sediment suspended and prevent it from entering the basin.

Staff recently met with the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography UGA to discuss a partnership to proceed with the bubbler curtain project. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources is also involved in the conversation. The application to move forward as a research and monitoring project is being completed and will be submitted to Georgia Department of Natural Resources as soon as possible. It is estimated that the purchase and installation of the Air Diffuser Bubbler Curtain System, as well as a contract for the associated electrical work, is $30,000. This project is funded through the Operating Budget in 2022, and any future replacement will be funded through the Capital Reserves Budget.

As the Marinas’ dry storage rack system has aged, it has become less efficient for accommodating newer vessels with wider beams, increased horsepower, and higher profiles. Engineers have recently come on site to perform a scan of the dry stack building footer locations, as well as radar the existing footers to determine if they can be used for the new rack buildings. Our Marinas Director Larry Sincoskie is working on a final cost estimate for this project. Product availability will impact the timeline for moving forward, but initial steps are in progress to ensure sustainable assets.

Both Landings Harbor and Delegal Creek Marina house fuel storage tanks on site. There are a total of five underground tanks that were put in place in the 1980s. This year, The Landings Association has $295,000 budgeted in Reserves to replace two of the underground tanks with aboveground tanks at Landings Harbor Marina. The third tank located at this site will be closed off and discontinued from service. Installing the new tanks above ground helps to reduce possible impacts on the environment, increase the fuel storage tank lifespans, and make it  easier to maintain than underground tanks. At this time, we do not have finalized costs for the project, but expect quotes will come in over budget due to the impact of current inflation. The two tanks at Delegal Creek Marina are scheduled to be replaced in 2026.

This article was originally published by The Landings Association on their website.

Visit landings.org to read the original article.