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Posted Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Pittsboro, NC - On May 23, 2013 the state of North Carolina conducted an inspection of the Crosswinds Marina on Jordan Lake. Despite a report that listed "no problems were noted on this visit" several times, we were able to observe conditions that raised concerns and questions. The Chatham Journal has submitted the questions below to the state concerning the conditions at the Crosswinds Marina. We also sent along four images of the dock area.
1. What steps has DENR taken to make sure the Crosswinds Boating Center is available to the public? Since the new operators have taken over, the office is manned sporadically. Hours have been dramatically reduced. Under the old ownership the gate opened at 6 am, as did the office. The office closed between 6 pm and 9 pm depending on the season and the gate closed at 10 pm. Now the gate opens at 8 am and the office opens at some point between 9 am and 10 am. The gate automatically closes at varying time but generally at 8 pm.
2. A houseboat from the service dock has been placed on the end of B dock leaving no place for temporary docking for renters on B dock to pick up and drop off boaters. When will this situation be remedied?
3. Dock fingers on B dock have been destroyed by a storm and by damage from boat collisions. These have been damaged since last summer and renters on B dock have alleged that they were told there is no immediate plan to fix the fingers The broken fingers are a hazard and raise a serious issue for both walking on them and for holding up in a storm. Some fingers lack flotation entirely. The report published by the State in May alleges no mechanical or safety problems with the dock. How can this be reconciled with the obvious visual disrepair of B dock?
4. Fingers on the house boat dock are also broken. When asked when they will be repaired the answer is generally that there is no time frame to repair. These fingers cannot be safely walked on and will not resist the winds of any further serious storms. The report published by the State in May alleges no mechanical or safety problems with the dock. How can this be reconciled with the obvious visual disrepair of the houseboat dock?
5. The docks themselves are not being maintained. When the previous operator was in charge there was a man in charge of replacing boards year round. It seemed to be a full time job for him. The decking is not being maintained and it appears that no boards have been replaced on any of the rental docks. The one location where a few boards have been replaced was on the gas dock. However, those boards are improperly maintained and pose a hazard to women's shoes because of the spacing. Residents are getting splinters through flip flops. The report issued by the State says the decking is nearing the end of its life and says some boards should be replaced. As of 7/17/2013 this has not been addressed by the Crosswinds Boating Center. When does the state intend to demand decking replacement be completed?
6. Garbage pickup has been sporadic at best and cans remain full for days and even weeks at a time. When asked about being emptied, it is days before they are emptied. Does the State require timely emptying of cans in order to make sure garbage is not blown around the lake area?
7. Mowing in the trailer lot has not been consistent and the lot does not appear to be maintained properly. It is dangerous. Does the State require the trailer lot be maintained?
8. Under the previous operator there was security from 6 am till 10 pm and generally overnight and on weekends. This security seems to have been eliminated. Does the State require any minimum level of security protection for the marina tenants?
9. The gas dock is damaged and there appear to be no plans or action to repair it. Is clearly dangerous and poses a danger of leaks if another storm hits when boats are on the dock. The report published by the State in May alleges no mechanical or safety problems with the gas dock. How can this be reconciled with the obvious visual disrepair of the gas dock?
Other concerns –
• The "courtesy dock” was destroyed in a storm in January and is unusable. This creates massive traffic jams at the boat ramps which have resulted in the Crosswinds Boating Center closing the ramps to the public on most weekends.
• The grass is no longer being mowed on a regular basis and when it is mowed it is not mowed near the rip rap and this is both unsightly and dangerous as there is not clear border between the grass and the rock. This is a dangerous situation and there are multiple reports of visitors tripping over the border and onto the rip rap. This is not covered in the State report.
• The damage to the houseboat dock should be covered by insurance yet when asked why it was not claimed, the staff reportedly said they did not want to "raise a red flag" with the insurance company.
The docks at the Crosswinds Boating Center do belong to the taxpayers of North Carolina. Why are they being allowed to deteriorate and fall into disrepair?
The Chatham Journal will report the state's response when we receive it. We will conduct a follow-up as needed.
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