Promoting tourism a key focus area at Mathews county board retreat

by Sherry Hamilton - Posted on Jun 26, 2013 - 01:22 PM

Photo: The Mathews County Board of Supervisors held its annual retreat on June 12 to discuss projects to focus on during the upcoming year. Shown, clockwise from lower left, are supervisor Janine Burns, assistant to the county administrator Julie Kaylor, county administrator Mindy Moran, supervisors chair Edwina Casey, and supervisors O.J. Cole, Charles Ingram and Neena Putt. Photo by Sherry Hamilton

The Mathews County Board of Supervisors held its annual retreat on June 12 to discuss projects to focus on during the upcoming year. Shown, clockwise from lower left, are supervisor Janine Burns, assistant to the county administrator Julie Kaylor, county administrator Mindy Moran, supervisors chair Edwina Casey, and supervisors O.J. Cole, Charles Ingram and Neena Putt. Photo by Sherry Hamilton

The Mathews County Board of Supervisors held its annual retreat on June 12 at Williams Wharf and discussed projects that will be the focus of efforts during the coming year. The atmosphere of the gathering was relaxed and congenial, with supervisors making occasional jokes and sharing a laugh or two.

County administrator Mindy Moran suggested that projects that attract tourists are important because tourism is an area "where we can excel" as a county. She reported that Fort Nonsense Historical Park construction is on track and under budget, although designation as a Civil War Trails site may not be complete by the time the park is ready for its grand opening.

Creation of a public access site at East River Boat Yard is moving along, said Moran. A portion of the boat yard has already been opened for public use, and county personnel are working on applying for grants to fund a fishing pier and a 10-space parking area for vehicles with trailers.

A grant from the state Department of Game and Inland Fisheries could provide 75 percent of the cost for the parking area at the boat yard, she said, while there might be grant funding for a pier through the Virginia Marine Resources Commission. The Mathews Volunteer Fire Department has agreed to review the site for possibly having a controlled burn there as a training exercise in order to demolish the larger dilapidated building.

The county is working on a bid request to replace the pier at New Point Comfort Lighthouse, said Moran. It was removed when a revetment was built to preserve the island surrounding the structure. A request for proposals is also being drafted to seek the services of a preservation architect to develop a design for rehabilitation of the lighthouse, along with specifications, bid documents, and permitting assistance.