Savannah Efforting Riverfront Improvements

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In these tough economic times, some cities are going to extremes to bring in more revenue. And for the city of Savannah, it is no different. The city recently purchased 15 acres of land on Riverside Drive, next to the Wayne Jerrolds River Park. Officials hope promoting the Tennessee River will bring more tourists to town and boost the economy. Mayor Bob Shutt said the city has looked at this plan for the past 15 years, and it soon could become a reality. “So we’ve always thought that if we had a stopping point in Savannah with a marina that people could pull into the marina, get off their boats, come in Savannah shops, spend money,” Mayor Shutt said. The city paid $215,000 for the land it acquired. Their goal is to build a marina, hotel, condos – anything related to water activities. “There’s just a lot of opportunities down there and we are one of the few that have not taken full advantage of our riverfront and I would like to see that happen,” Shutt said. Shutt said the 15 acres is just a start. He hopes to get even more land once it becomes available, but he is not sure of the exact cost yet. “If you do it in stages you could go from $5 to10 million based on what you added to the property,” Shutt said. Some Savannah residents said the project is a great idea. “Anything that would bring more money to the city of Savannah would be much needed.” resident Vallen Conner said. According to Mayor Shutt, the money used to purchase the land is not coming from property or sales taxes, but from river resort funds. He does not know when they will start building, but it will be “well-planned before we do anything.”

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