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Annapolis City Council urged to help with $6-million accessible boating project

Paul Bollinger, the executive director of CRAB or Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating, presented a primarily positive status report on the Annapolis Adaptive Boating Center project, whose marina was built on city property two years ago. But Bollinger asked the Council to use their influence to help CRAB with a deadline: CRAB's current office lease at 177 Defense Highway expires, and our boating equipment stored in a Sandy Point State Park trailer must be moved before April 1st.  He stated during Monday's special council session that there are problems with a couple of permits that have the potential to hold up their move and says that communications "at the highest level" are needed to smooth things over.  In his statement, Bollinger details things that don't make sense about the project, which a city-appointed project manager could have smoothed over.

"The critical elements of this process are construction completion and City Staff performing final inspections in a timely manner.  We have no control over the inspectors, but Mike Mallinoff, David Jarrell, Tom Smith, and Bud Zapata know the schedule and what has to be accomplished.  We have requested a meeting with all of them to ensure we are all on the same page with expectations and close-out inspections, and we are waiting for a response."

"We believe it is important to have this level of communication at the highest level to ensure the project opens at the end of the month.  That is not to say that the project has been made all the more challenging because a myriad of codes are being applied to the project since there are no City Building Codes for an adaptive boating center. "

"Some really make you scratch your head, like the requirement for electrical outlets in an 18’ high ceiling.  When I asked our electrician why electrical outlets were in the ceiling, he said because the City considers the windows facing Back Creek to be “storefront” and outlets are required for lighted signage in storefront windows.  Needless to say, the residents of Eastport can rest assured that CRAB has no intention of putting lighted signage on the ceiling facing their homes."

"As another small example, the street sign permit for the adaptive boating center is still under review because of a staff request for more information on the depth and width of the holes being dug for the posts on this $8,000 sign at a $6M facility."


Bollinger added that the new facility would have electric vehicle charging stations, which he says is scheduled to hold its ribbon cutting this coming May. He also pointed out the following major milestones of the project:


  • On June 3, 2019 the Annapolis City Council voted unanimously to approve the City’s purchase of Port Williams Marina on Bembe Beach Road for the future home of CRAB’s Adaptive Boating Center.
  • The City purchased the marina on October 30, 2019, for $2.25M.  Program Open Space funds from AACO $1.3M, City of Annapolis $500,000, and CRAB Capital Improvement Project grant of $450,000.
  • The City signed a long-term lease for 20 years, plus two 10-year extensions with CRAB to build, operate and maintain the adaptive boating center on November 20, 2020.
  • Marina construction completed November 2021.
  • Building construction starts in June 2022.










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