WARRENTON — The Urban Renewal Agency approved the purchase of land neighboring the Warrenton Marina Tuesday night in an effort to move forward on the marina master plan.

The size: 3.6 acres.

The cost: $620,000, negotiated from $640,000.

The benefit: priceless, according to City Manager Kurt Fritsch and Warrenton Mayor Dick Hellberg.

The Warrenton City Commission took the action doubling as the Urban Renewal Agency.

“The purchase of the property would benefit the city in a couple of ways,” Fritsch said. “One would be, as we discussed at a previous executive session, to benefit the city in the development of its core conveyance,” including sewer lines to the wastewater treatment plant.

“This is really the only crossing that we have left to us as an option,” he added. “And the other side of this is that it has value to the community in the development of the marina itself.”

The Warrenton Boat Basin is a working harbor and public recreational boat moorage built in stages during the last 40 years, according to the master plan.

The plan says the area of the Skipanon River estuary has supported vibrant commercial logging and fishing industries for nearly 150 years. The harbor is home to small-scale commercial fishing operations, sport-fishing charters, seasonal fishing and guiding activities, year-round recreational moorage and a public launch ramp facility.

The goals, part of the Urban Renewal plan drafted in 2009, include rehabilitating and upgrading the Warrenton Marina to be a major community attraction, supporting commercial and sport fishing activities in the marina upgrade, promoting mixed-use development on uplands areas around the marina, using design guidelines and development standards to create a consistent and aesthetically pleasing development and finally, developing the Harbor Street corridor as a key link between U.S. Highway 101 and the downtown area.

The property owners for the land near the marina want to close by the end of the year, Fritsch said.

Hellberg said he was in favor of the city’s purchase.

The property, he said, “is ideally located for our marina and would certainly relieve the parking problem we have on Harbor and elsewhere when we have our sportfishing season.”

The purchase was approved 4-0, with Hellberg, Mark Baldwin, Frank Orrell and Terry Ferguson voting in favor. Commissioner Mark Kujala was absent.

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