A five-year lease with the Rockwater Marina for $100 per year was approved on Aug. 27 by the North Little Rock City Council.
"Whereas the city owns certain property that is adjacent to the Arkansas River and usable for access to a properly permitted marina," reads the lease agreement.
Rockwater Marina has acquired a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to construct a marina along the Arkansas River. The lease agreement gives the marina the option to extend the agreement through 2037. The agreement also gives the marina the option to purchase the premises at fair market value of the land with the closing to take place on or before June 30, 2037.
In September of 2017, the marina’s rent to the city will increase to $250 per month.
On Aug. 17, the city of North Little Rock had a ribbon cutting ceremony for the grand opening of Rockwater Boulevard.
"This is a tremendous asset to Central Arkansas because it clears River Road to bicyclists, runners, and walkers. Bring your bike and get ready to see another gem on the Arkansas River. Rockwater Boulevard will also bring traffic to Rockwater Marina, which will begin construction this fall," reads the Rockwater Marina’s website.
According to the website, Rockwater Marina will have 136 slips and 32 transient slips to accommodate boats of all sizes ranging from 26 to more than 100 feet. Amenities at the marina include fuel, pump out, restroom and shower facilities, and a ships store. Rockwater Marina is located within minutes of restaurants, shopping, entertainment, and other services in North Little Rock.
The U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) will provide more than $1 million toward construction of the North Little Rock marina for recreational boaters.
The project was among nearly a dozen in 10 states that the DOI awarded "boating infrastructure grants" to support recreational boating.
"These competitive grants will help provide quality opportunities and access to America’s great outdoors for our nation’s boaters and anglers while creating jobs by funding major construction projects to build docks, boat slips and facilities," said Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.
The $1,028,425 grant will cover nearly two-thirds of the $1.6 million cost of building 25 slips and fuel services for recreational boaters at Rockwater Marina along the Arkansas River in North Little Rock. The slips would be available for transient ships, those staying 10 days or less, rather than long-term moorings.
"This definitely is a significant step. With that (grant) the remainder of the funding is secured," said Scott Fitzpatrick, president of MariCorp US, a Missouri-based dock manufacturer.
Lisa Ferrell, co-owner of Rockwater Marina, said the grant "is crucial" for construction of the second phase of the project.
"Not only will the grant meet the needs of boaters but it will also provide a beautiful riverfront focal point for all of the development in the area," she said.
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is partnering with LAD, LLC, MariCorp U.S., LLC, the city of North Little Rock, the North Little Rock Visitors Bureau and the Arkansas Department of Health on the marina project.
Funding for the Boating Infrastructure Grant program comes from the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, formerly known as the Aquatic Resources Trust Fund, which boaters and manufacturers support through excise and other taxes on certain fishing and boating equipment and boat fuel.