The Mirror had chance to speak with Mayor George Proto about the harbor, and to get his take on the possibility of using a management firm to take over operations.
Proto noted that Oasis contacted the town, and not the other way around, however, given the concerns and general downward trend of the harbor, both financially and physically, it seemed opportune to engage and ask questions. “When I do anything, I like to look around and see just how are other people doing this, and can we use some of that to maybe do better,” Proto said.
“The harbor, as an attraction, is very important to the town,” Proto said. “Our main goal here is to enhance it, to make it a better experience for the people that come to visit Cape Charles, but also for those of us that live here.”
In a previous article, the Mirror noted that one of the options floated by Oasis was buying the harbor outright. Proto told the Mirror he thought that was inaccurate, that Oasis had possibly mentioned buying another harbor elsewhere, but not Cape Charles harbor.
“Selling the harbor is not something, as a council, we have discussed,” Proto said.
While harbor concerns are prevalent, moving operations to a management company is not in the immediate future. “We are a long, long way from making any kind of decision like this. We need much more information, and need to really weigh the benefits,” Proto said. “I have to say that nobody on council, well, we are reluctant to give up control–the town to give up control of the harbor.”
Proto noted that the recently formed harbor committee, led by Councilwoman Dora Sullivan is working towards coming up with some answers to the current problems facing the harbor, including vetting the possibility of using a management firm.
“They will be looking at a lot of different things, but the main goal is to make the harbor more attractive for everyone,” Proto said. No time frame was given for a report from the harbor committee.