Kerr Lake Park Watch today asked Vance County Representative Nathan Baskerville to intervene on behalf of a Vance County business with the State Construction Office and the State Property Office regarding new and increasing demands for improvements at Steele Creek Marina, the latest being electrical requirements.
“We’re asking Representative Baskerville to investigate the excessive demands and requirements being placed on the lessee of the Steele Creek Marina. It’s like a vendetta and it needs to cease,” said KLPW spokesman Frank Timberlake, “State Parks is happy, the Corps is happy, but these other guys, well, that’s a different story.
“We’re upgrading everything as hard as we can,” said marina operator Charles Robinson. “We’ve been fixing and adding on every day. But even our very experienced electrical engineers are asking why certain demands are being made of us. They want to know who we’ve ticked off in Raleigh.”
The rub may go back to when Kerr Lake Park Watch exposed a contract for the marina being awarded by the state property office that did not pay the previous operator a fraction of the worth of the tangible assets. Working with local citizens and legislators, KLPW pushed for the State of North Carolina to see the previous owner properly paid and to see that the Steele Creek contract went to a qualified operator.
Timberlake commented, “I personally know that yesterday, May 4, 2015, Charles Robinson was under water most of the day shoring up anchors and other dock attachments. He’s been in the boat and boat repair businesses for years. If it’s in the water or on it, Charles Robinson knows it. His marina is now open seven days a week. We are seeing constant improvements and services never offered before. When has that ever existed? And, he’s a family guy transforming the marina into family fun and services. You can even rent boats, kayaks and paddle boards now.”
The KLPW leader went on to say that he also knows that many possible improvements in the seven NC State Recreation Areas on Kerr Lake are hampered even halted by excessive regulation by the state property office and the state construction office. “One guy told me that those people have ordered him to change drawings for a simple project seven times. Not once have they ever set foot on the property, they just rule autonomously and blindly from Raleigh, and it’s got to stop,” said Timberlake.
According to Timberlake, that arrogant, insufferable, if not vengeful attitude, by those two offices is why KLPW asked Rep. Baskerville to intervene and investigate for himself. “We’ve got nearly 1000 campsites around the shores of Kerr Lake and there are a lot of lake users who are dependent on those marinas. Those marinas are big business for Vance County and anywhere one is located. That’s why we have asked for Baskerville’s help. This should be right up his alley as he claims to be a ‘people’s man’ and the little businessman is getting squashed by the government for which he pays.” Timberlake added, “We hope that Representative Baskerville can get Charles and Steele Creek some well-deserved breathing room. The state has never put a dime into that marina, not a dime. I ought to know. I helped write the first lease ever when I served on a state parks board. ”
Since Robinson got a short lease 13 instead of 25 years, due to the NC and US Army Corps of Engineers leasing window, maybe the State of North Carolina decided to force him to fix up Steele Creek and if he doesn’t make it, so what. Timberlake thinks, “Yes, and maybe those guys in the state property office already have the next lessee picked out. Well, it won’t happen in the dark, not on our watch.”