It is with great pleasure to announce that during the Wednesday, October 14, regular session Board Meeting, the Athens Municipal Water Authority Board of Directors, voted to accept a lease proposal for the Lake Athens Marina Complex.
Since the Lake Athens Marina Restaurant, Bait Shop, and RV Park closed its doors in late 2014, the Board of the Athens Municipal Water Authority had been looking for a new concessionaire for the property. It looks like the Marina has found its new operator in George Bayoud, of Lake Athens Holdings, LLC.
“I look forward to making the marina an asset for the citizens of Athens, the home owners living around the lake, and the Athens Municipal Water Authority. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to make this an enjoyable place for everyone living and visiting the Athens area,” said Mr. Bayoud.
In addressing some concerns over the future of the Marina and the negotiations that took place, Board President Steve Sparkman made the following statement:
“The Texas Government Code specifically authorizes AMWA to deliberate the sale, transfer or lease of real property in executive session. It further authorizes us to consult with our attorney during executive session. This is not done to ignore the public, but is simply done to protect our ability to negotiate a fair deal for the Water Authority. You simply cannot negotiate a deal in public, and let everyone know what your offers are, what your bottom price is, etc. Any action of that nature that takes place in a public session would be detrimental to the Authority’s future negotiations if the current is not accepted.
The Texas Water Code (section 49.225) states that a “district may lease any of its property, real or personal, to any person. That lease may contain terms and provisions that the board determines advantageous.” While we have considered the public input that has been presented over the past six months, we do have to make a decision that is in the best interest of the Water Authority.
The offer that has been presented is being considered after a long effort to secure a long term tenant for the Marina. We have listened to many of your concerns, and have incorporated provisions addressing those concerns into the lease negotiations. For example, the lease proposal, now presented, contains a provision that the lands cannot be used for a hotel, condominium housing, or multi-family residences.”
The Marina complex is not only an important resource for those using the lake, but is also an asset for the City of Athens. Lake Athens draws tens of thousands of visitors a year for recreational and professional fishing, aquatic sports and many other activities.
Please stay tuned as more details about the future of the Lake Athens Marina complex are released.
To stay informed, please follow the Athens Municipal Water Authority on Facebook at facebook.com/AthensTXWater and please visit our website at www.athenstxwater.org