Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

June 11, 2013

Marina owner scales back services after no sale

Bill Grimes Daily News
Effingham Daily News

---- — At one time, Brian Larson had wanted to unload the Marina@Lake Sara.

But after a recent auction attracted no suitable bidders, Larson says he’s going to keep the marina open for at least one more season.

Larson told the Effingham Water Authority Board Monday he’s going to streamline the operation — located on the north shore of Lake Sara — as much as he can.

“We will keep running the marina, but I will pull back as much as I can,” he said.

Larson said he was decreasing the number of rental boats available. Moreover, he’s discontinuing all Friday and Sunday morning operations. The new marina hours will be noon to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

There’s more, he said.

“We’re not going to run the stage or get a liquor license,” Larson said. “We won’t have any ice cream or pizza, either. But we will still sell gasoline, and we may expand the number of covered slips.”

Larson told the board he planned to take most of his personal belongings currently stored at the marina and move them to property he owns elsewhere.

“I will depersonalize myself from the marina a little bit,” Larson said, adding he planned to rent out two large sheds on marina property.

Larson said the ultimate goal is to stop losing money.

“I think doing all these things will put me in the black,” he said.

Larson said the changes will also help him on a more intangible level.

“My thought was that all I wanted to do was change my lifestyle,” he said. “But it’s not a huge burden to keep it. I like to see the people and provide customer service.”

Also Monday, the board told leaseholder Gary Morgan they would conduct a special meeting at Lot 37 Beachcomber Haven to discuss Morgan’s request for a variance on the lot. Morgan told the board he would like to tear down the existing home on the lot and build a new one — without a walk-through basement.

Board Chairman Chris Kabbes said he would like to visit the property at a later date.

The board also agreed to grant an easement to property on the north shore of the lake owned by board member Jim Boos. Boos said he would like the easement to be able to split the 10-acre parcel originally owned by his father. Boos did not vote on the issue.

Bill Grimes can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 132, or bill.grimes@effinghamdailynews.com.