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As has been stated on many occasions and identified in a marketing study conducted in 1999, the river is our greatest asset, and we have underutilized the full potential of recreational-use development. A riverfront project of this nature will provide visitors with a unique experience and fulfill the demand for water-location lodging so often requested by potential visitors to our area. Congress approved $100,000 in planning funds for the corps in 2000. Blackburn hired Schoel Design Group to prepare a preliminary design.

He anticipates most of the project being on land currently owned by General Electric, Wolverine Tube and the city. Blackburn said his plan calls for the city to purchase the needed land, which could be developed by private investors. Woller said representatives of Point Mallard residents also raised concerns. Blackburn said their major concern is that it be a quality development. Councilman Ronny Russell said he is concerned that the city has a marina now and purchased the former Ingalls shipyard property this year for a second. The Point Mallard project would be the third city-related marina in Decatur.

building inspectionsBlackburn said his proposal is Termite Inspection aimed at a different market than the first two, intended mainly for small boats and recreational fishing. “I don’t think there’s any question I would like to see this type of development built,” Woller said. Fowler said $500,000 to support the application for the development could come from the city’s undesignated fund balance. He has cautioned council members in recent weeks that they’ve already committed to other spending that will increase the budget more than $1 million next year, but he noted that Blackburn’s project “would differentiate this community from many others. ”

“Anything you do, some folks will object to, but the overwhelming majority will approve,” Blackburn said. Former Decatur Mayor J. Gilmer Blackburn asked the City Council on Wednesday for $500,000 to develop plans for a regional marina at Point Mallard, and seek approval from the Army Corps of Engineers and Tennessee Valley Authority.