Plans to move ahead with the expansion and development of the Frankfort Marina Park remain on hold, but the village board would like to bring in another tenant to reopen the park’s restaurant.
Dan and Felix Mendez, who leased the restaurant last summer and ran it as Jordan Renee’s, informed the village they would not continue operating the restaurant there and offered to sell the village the equipment they have at the building.
Trustee Mark Harris said at a board meeting Thursday they preferred not to have to move the equipment. The board tabled a decision on purchasing the equipment, but discussed the restaurant situation.
“It’s an opportunity for somebody,” said Trustee Richard Adams, adding the right person could do well with the marina restaurant on a year-round basis.
“If our dream plan works out, it could be a gold mine,” said Trustee James Alsante.
Mayor Frank Moracco asked if the board might consider going a different route such as having a student group operate the restaurant. “What have we had — three tenants down there?” he asked.
Doubts were expressed about bringing in students to operate the restaurant.
“It’s our 150th year,” said the mayor. “Do we want to put someone down there?”
The board agreed to advertise for a new tenant. Information is to be posted on the village’s website and advertisements placed in local media. Anyone interested may contact the village clerk’s office for details.
Trustees Adams and Harris, who make up the board’s Parks and Recreation Committee, said plans to develop the marina park are on hold because some of the land still belongs to the Canal Corporation.
“We’re waiting for them to complete their archaeological study,” said Harris.
The village of Frankfort signed a contract with the state last July to expand the marina. The first stages of the project are to move forward with the assistance of an $113,812 award the village received as part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s regional council initiative.
The project will expand the marina’s recreational opportunities to include campsites, recreational trails, improved fishing access and a kayak and canoe launch.
The marina is located on a natural inlet that allows boaters to launch and dock without dealing with the impacts of waves and currents from the Mohawk River and Erie Canal.
In order to expand the marina park, the village is to purchase and develop underutilized land owned by the state Canal Corporation next to the marina, which is between the Mohawk River and Railroad Street in the village. Construction on trails, fishing and boat access was expected to begin last fall, but the village is still waiting for the study to be completed.
Page 2 of 2 - Once the project is complete, the trustees hope to see the park used for year-round activities.
There have been some activities at the site, such as Christmas at the Marina, which drew 400 to 500 people, according to Harris, and involved the school choir, Kiwanis and others and featured live reindeer and fireworks.
The village initially presented a master plan for developing the marina in 2006 which included adding recreational vehicle sites; installing two access roads to accommodate the RV site; installing rental cabins; constructing a gazebo and an amphitheater; relocating docks and slips to the harbor’s south side; and making the existing state building the main office for a harbor master who would oversee rentals, maintain the park and promote the park and its facilities. Constructing a nature trail system and purchasing small fishing boats and recreational crafts for rental are also part of this plan.