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Compass Point Marina Seeking to Triple in Size

Sept. 26, 2007 — A proposal by Compass Point Marina to expand the number of docks at its facility at Benner Bay on St. Thomas, as well as do some dredging, will have an airing Thursday at a meeting of that island's Coastal Zone Management Committee.
The meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Planning and Natural Resources conference room, located in the Cyril E. King Airport terminal. The company wants to build seven more docks, according to the CZM application. There are currently two.
"There's a tremendous demand for slips in which boaters may leave their boats during hurricanes," said Trip Lea of Compass Point.
Compass Point is protected from storms, but other marinas make the boats tied up to their docks leave during named storms and hurricanes. The fact that he sees many boats tied up to the mangroves at Benner Bay during storms justifies Compass Point's request for more slips. Lea said. The Planning and Natural Resources Department frowns on this practice, and only allows it during storms.
Compass Point caters to local boaters, Lea said. The company plans to invest more than $4 million in the project. About 20 people will be employed during the construction phase. Additionally, he said, the number of permanent staff will double from the current number of seven.
The expansion would increase the number of slips from 117 to 343 and the amount of dock space would increase to 53,124 square feet. A total of 96,000 cubic yards of submerged lands would be dredged under the Compass Point proposal. The total amount of submerged land involved in the project is 708,235 square feet.
Additionally, Compass Point plans to install a 25,000-gallon reverse-osmosis plant, as well as intake and discharge pipes. The existing 20,000-gallon-per-day reverse-osmosis plant will be removed because it is 20 years old and "antiquated," Lea said.
Currently the marina has a portable pump-out facility with no holding tank. The number of portable pumps will be increased and a pump-out area identified. A 1,000-gallon holding tank will be installed to contain the sewage until it is transported to the island's main sewage-treatment plant, Lea said.
Compass Point wants to dredge the channel entrance to a maximum of eight feet. It is currently about six and a half feet, which makes a tight fit for some boats entering Benner Bay, Lea said.
The company wants to cut a 15-foot space in the mangroves during the dredging process, according to the environmental-assessment report. This will require removing a dozen large red mangroves. The mangroves will be replanted once the project is done, Lea said.
Approximately 25 boats in the area to be dredged will be moved, with Compass Point providing new ground tackle for those holding valid mooring permits, the report indicates.
Only a few of those boats hold valid mooring permits, Lea said, indicating others belong to people who anchored some years ago and never left.
"Five or six people living aboard at anchor will be displaced," he said.
The company already holds two existing major CZM permits for the facility.
In other action, a CZM permit request for a floating restaurant at Christmas Cove, Great St. James, was withdrawn, said Jamal Nielsen, spokesman for the Department of Planning and Natural Resources. Plans for that project were also scheduled to be heard Thursday, but are now off the agenda.
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Sept. 26, 2007 -- A proposal by Compass Point Marina to expand the number of docks at its facility at Benner Bay on St. Thomas, as well as do some dredging, will have an airing Thursday at a meeting of that island's Coastal Zone Management Committee.
The meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Planning and Natural Resources conference room, located in the Cyril E. King Airport terminal. The company wants to build seven more docks, according to the CZM application. There are currently two.
"There's a tremendous demand for slips in which boaters may leave their boats during hurricanes," said Trip Lea of Compass Point.
Compass Point is protected from storms, but other marinas make the boats tied up to their docks leave during named storms and hurricanes. The fact that he sees many boats tied up to the mangroves at Benner Bay during storms justifies Compass Point's request for more slips. Lea said. The Planning and Natural Resources Department frowns on this practice, and only allows it during storms.
Compass Point caters to local boaters, Lea said. The company plans to invest more than $4 million in the project. About 20 people will be employed during the construction phase. Additionally, he said, the number of permanent staff will double from the current number of seven.
The expansion would increase the number of slips from 117 to 343 and the amount of dock space would increase to 53,124 square feet. A total of 96,000 cubic yards of submerged lands would be dredged under the Compass Point proposal. The total amount of submerged land involved in the project is 708,235 square feet.
Additionally, Compass Point plans to install a 25,000-gallon reverse-osmosis plant, as well as intake and discharge pipes. The existing 20,000-gallon-per-day reverse-osmosis plant will be removed because it is 20 years old and "antiquated," Lea said.
Currently the marina has a portable pump-out facility with no holding tank. The number of portable pumps will be increased and a pump-out area identified. A 1,000-gallon holding tank will be installed to contain the sewage until it is transported to the island's main sewage-treatment plant, Lea said.
Compass Point wants to dredge the channel entrance to a maximum of eight feet. It is currently about six and a half feet, which makes a tight fit for some boats entering Benner Bay, Lea said.
The company wants to cut a 15-foot space in the mangroves during the dredging process, according to the environmental-assessment report. This will require removing a dozen large red mangroves. The mangroves will be replanted once the project is done, Lea said.
Approximately 25 boats in the area to be dredged will be moved, with Compass Point providing new ground tackle for those holding valid mooring permits, the report indicates.
Only a few of those boats hold valid mooring permits, Lea said, indicating others belong to people who anchored some years ago and never left.
"Five or six people living aboard at anchor will be displaced," he said.
The company already holds two existing major CZM permits for the facility.
In other action, a CZM permit request for a floating restaurant at Christmas Cove, Great St. James, was withdrawn, said Jamal Nielsen, spokesman for the Department of Planning and Natural Resources. Plans for that project were also scheduled to be heard Thursday, but are now off the agenda.
Back Talk Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.