Approximately 40 people attended a public hearing held by the Grand River Dam Authority (GRDA) last week to discuss a new marina planned for Monkey Island.

Hanger 51, owned by the Landings Marina, LLC was originally approved by FERC and GRDA in 1998. However, since ten years have passed and the marina has not yet been built, it must go through the GRDA approval process again.

FERC approval, explained a GRDA spokesperson at the meeting, is final and has no time constraint, but under GRDA guidelines, a marina must be approved again if it is not built within a certain time period.

The meeting was held to allow area residents to comment on the project. The comments were recorded and will be considered at the next meeting of the GRDA Board in August.

The marina, which has been proposed by Paul Staten, will be part of a development located at the Monkey Island Airport. It is billed as a fly-in community complete with 47 hangar/home lots, boat slips, a watercraft dock and a ship store with fuel docks.

As Grove citizen Judith Read pointed out at the meeting, it is unclear precisely how many boat slips will be included in the project, as some of the documents concerning the marina differ.

Several public notices, dated in June and July of this year say the marina will consist of seven docks with 115 slips. One notice, dated July 3, 2008, says the marina will have “seven docks containing 92 covered slips, 72 personal watercraft open slips, three open courtesy slips, and three open fuel slips.” A letter, dated June 16, 2008, from Paul Staten to area citizens concerning the marina says that it will consist of six docks, “making up 102 boat slips, a watercraft dock and a ship store with fuel docks.”

When the project was originally proposed in 1997, a letter to Mary Von Drehle, then of GRDA, from Michael E. Mathis, then Chief of the Planning and Management Division of the State of Oklahoma Water Resources Board, stated that the “proposed covered boat docks are exempt from floodplain permit requirements, however, the ship store and gas dock will require floodplain permits.”

However, in the current project information packet, it states that the County Floodplain Administrator is not required “per consultant.”

Almost every attendee at the meeting expressed enthusiasm for the project.

Many area residents said that more boat slips are sorely needed on Monkey Island.