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Sampson marina situation a note of optimism

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The following is something I received today from a very reliable friend and source of good information:




This is straight from the Finger Lake Region Parks Director about Sampson. You can copy and paste the message below if you want to share.

It will come as no news to the folks who use the launch and marina that they need a lot of work including extensive dredging, all to the tune of $7.5 million. Parks doesn't have that kind of money so they are pursuing an investor in the form of a private entity to upgrade and operate the sites (perhaps just the marina?). This is a business model that has been used successfully in other locations. Parks would put $2.5 million towards the expenses. A request for proposals (RFP) to upgrade and operate the site, including the 100 plus slips, went out last year with no responses.

On contacting potential bidders the consistent response was that the original contract duration proposed was too short for a vendor to recoup their investment. A longer term RFP is in the works and due to current policies that may actually need legislative action to allow enough time for such an investment to be reasonable (perhaps as long as 40 years). A bill to enable an appropriate timeframe is in the works and if I get a bill number I'll pass it on.

So, no one is completely sure how or when this will all play out but the launch and marina will be staying. Please let me know if you have any further questions

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This comes as no news to me. The people that have kept their boats there including myself have complained about this problem now with the marina for 22 years. If they started this project 12 years ago. It wouldn’t cost so much to update it. The longer they wait this project will cost a lot more. I agree the state cant afford this kind of money for one place. Like I said before. Private money is the way to go. If we go private. I think the campsites will go private too. Give it 10 more years. The area is planing long term now. They haven’t figured out yet what they want to do with all the land from the military bases. Once they come up with a master plan. I think Sampson state park will be sold to a big land developer with lots of money. For now I would be happy to see the boat launch updated. Nothing fancy just a little blacktop spread around the area with a cheap fish cleaning station.

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The state owns the park. They control all interest. Its only my opinion it could go private someday. I cant see some private outfit coming in and buying the marina and controlling it while the park stays with the state. I hope it stays the way it is now. If it ever goes private. It wont be the same. We need seasonal campsites here. The state don’t want to hear it. 30 years from now this place is going to have a different look to it. I see a beautiful marina along with seasonal campsites. I don’t think the state will have control of it. I wont be here to see it. This area is a gold mine for development. Money talks bull sh-it walks. All it takes is the right politician to come by. Once the area comes up with a master plan. Everything will fall in place. For now its all talk and no action. This is the best place on the lake to boat and camp.

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  • 2 months later...

The state owns the park. They control all interest. Its only my opinion it could go private someday. I cant see some private outfit coming in and buying the marina and controlling it while the park stays with the state. 


It will never be sold to private investor... the NY State Constitution prohibits parkland from being sold - 

They can shut marina down but can't sell it

The Office of parks, Rec & Historic preservation has put it into a master plan to "decommission" the marina if a private investor doesn't bid on a lease to refurbish and operate the marina.  That requires more than $1Mill private investment for a lease and the marina belongs to the state and returns to them at the end of the lease.  Decommissioning includes removal of almost all of the docks but leaving the ramp and several convenience / transient docks - no seasonal rentals.

The Friends of Sampson have shown Parks that the additional cost to refurbish the 100 slip marina would be more than paid for by rentals over the life of the marina but they won't consider it...nor will they consider lower cost alternatives with shorter lives...they have told the Friends that it their plan to 'do it right" (Cadillac approach) or nothing.

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Every 20 years our state constitution comes up for a vote. I think next year we can order the state to rewrite the constitution. We need more yes votes than no votes. Vote yes for a new state constitution. The Cadillac approach or nothing is a big joke. what do they want here. its a dirty shame to let this place rust away now.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here is an excerpt from a 2015 Parks response re: Sampson marina...


After reviewing these options, OPRHP has concluded the agency cannot commit $6.6 to $8.2 million to
construct a new marina. At a mid-point of $7.7 million, the construction cost is extremely high, equating to a
cost of $77,000 per slip. Given the agency's huge backlog of capital rehabilitation needs across the state park
system, and specifically at Sampson our priority of improving the park's camping facilities and addressing
pressing park infrastructure needs (water, roads, etc.), OPRHP cannot justify a capital expense of this
magnitude. Therefore, as outlined above State Parks is adopting a two-part approach:
• This summer. State Parks will issue an RFP seeking a private marina concessionaire that would build
and operate a marina at Sampson State Park. The private sector is well positioned to operate marinas,
as evidenced by t he large number of existing private marinas on Seneca Lake and other Finger Lakes.
OPHRP recently secured a private concessionaire to improve and operate the existing marina at Buffalo
Harbor State Park on Lake Erie (the Buffalo Harbor operator will invest more than $8 million over the
f - , f i r s t five years of the contract to improve the marina, demonstrating the viability of private sector
; partnerships). In the Sampson RFP, State Parks will commit $2.5 million of agency capital funding to
support development of a new marina with the private operator providing the remaining capital
funds. Expanded programming and sales that could add value to the project would be consideration of
possible fuel sales, sundries, and a seasonal restaurant. The agency would offer a long-term lease to
enable potential concessionaires to recoup their capital investment cost. If a qualified private operator
:,v!.*v-^s expresses interest in t he marina. State Parks will diligently work to secure an agreement and expedite
• If the RFP process is not successful in attracting a private sector concessionaire to operate the marina,
. z ^ i State Parks will then pursue plans to develop a day-use boat launch with transient docking for day-use
boaters and to accommodate visitors staying in t he park's campground. The consultant study
determined this option could cost as much as $4.0 million (the agency will evaluate value engineering
options to reduce the cost). Given this level of cost, it will be several years before State Parks could
commit funding. The agency will also seek grants from federal boating programs or other sources in
order to undertake a project of this scope.
Parks has spent more than the quoted $75k / slip for other park marinas - 
Robt Moses - LI - day use only spent over $82k/slip in 2008 - payback period 250 yrs
New Rochester Harbor Marina - not a state park but partially funded by NY OPRHP grant $
        Avg $161k / slip,  Transient (wall tie-up) $60k / slip,  seasonal w/ docks $282k / slip
       About this project...New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Rose Harvey said, An exciting and accessible waterfront can truly invigorate a community. I applaud Governor Cuomo and all of the partners working together to provide this tremendous new recreational resource for the city of Rochester.
Sampson and Seneca County are being short changed and treated like second class citizens compared to other locations.
The saddest part is the other Finger Lakes State Park Marinas all have similar construction as Sampson and are approaching the same age...and will require similar refurbishment is the near future... will Parks turn their back on all or other State Park Marinas???
or are they singling out Sampson for closure and will maintain other???
Also the Friends of Sampson Marina Committee has repeatedly requested Parks to look at lower cost alternatives and phased refurbishment to reduce and spread the cost.  Parks has repeatedly refused to consider either... it's either a concessionaire willing to spend $M's or decommission the marina leaving a launch & a few convenience docks.
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