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Early plans for potential Monroe boat marina



MONROE, La. – A big addition may be in the works for downtown Monroe. The mayor’s office is in the early planning stages of a possible new boat marina with fueling docks.

The project is still in the developing phase, but Mayor Friday Ellis is really excited about possibly adding a new marina and other businesses.

The marina, which is in the very early stages of planning, would be located along the downtown Monroe River Market.

Mayor Ellis says it would add a lot to the quality of life in Monroe.

“Before I got elected, I met with a group of business leaders that years ago had put forth a proposal to put a marina downtown, and I saw a rendering of it and just fell in love,” Ellis said. “And I thought how perfect would it be, especially where we’re a riverfront community and an assent like that would be great for our citizens.”

The city considered multiple locations but says the River Market site offers the best location and a great view from I-20.

“They see the marina down below, and they see all the activity going on there. It’s just a reason for them to say that, hey, there’s a town there with something going on. They obviously value their river asset, and it’s another reason for people to visit,” Ellis said.

Ellis believes the university ski team, the bass fishing team and fishing tournaments could partner with the marina. It would possibly offer an eatery and more.

“This marina will have options for long-term storage and short-term. It’ll have fueling dock stations and either a convenience store or a restaurant there at the landing. It really is limitless all the opportunities you can have,” Ellis said.

He says people have requested more water activities, so they added more options to the artists’ rendering of the project.

“It has slots for homes like the houseboats and the longer pontoon boats. It has places for runabouts and paddleboards to paddle up. There would be a place for a landing for people to enjoy the river, overlook the river and all the activity there. I think it marries great with the river wall and the other activities you can pair it with,” Ellis said.

The mayor’s office says they’ve applied for a federal grant to pay for most of the project. It’s in the downtown development district’s capital outlay plan.