The National Park Service has reached an agreement with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources for the state to lease and operate the Fort Washington Marina and begin $7 million in renovations.
The plan to upgrade the 300-slip marina still awaits approval from the state legislature, which would allocate funds for the project as part of the Department of Natural Resources budget.
Money for the renovation plan would come from the state Waterway Improvement Fund, which is made up of money from a 5 percent sales tax on The popular boat ramp would be retained and the marina would be kept open during construction. boats bought in the state and from a marine gasoline tax, said Robert A. Ellsworth, a planner with the state's waterway improvement division.
If the legislature does not allocate funds for the project, the agreement will be canceled, Ellsworth said. He added that the state must also secure permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The state wanted to acquire the marina from the Park Service because there are few boating facilities on the Maryland side of the Potomac.
The state's original proposal to upgrade the eight-acre site sparked complaints from boaters and neighbors of the marina, who said it would inconvienence boaters and eliminate a heavily used public boat ramp at the 25-year-old facility. The state's revised proposal calls for retaining the ramp and keeping the marina open during construction.
Julie Coyle, who with a partner has operated the marina for the Park Service since 1984, said she plans to fight the agreement.
If the funding is appoved, the state would begin leasing the marina in October, when the current lease expires. Ellsworth said the renovations would not begin for about another two years.
The marina has been owned by the National Park Service since 1974, when the government took it over from a private owner in an effort to preserve the view from Mount Vernon.