By Samuel Strait – Reporter at Large – April 4, 2022
Recently the Crescent City Harbor District’s Commission has had the
opportunity to shed themselves of their dubious connection with Alex
Lemus and his company Renewable Energy Capital, with a presentation from
an alternative source that clearly in the limited reporting we have from
them have a much better perspective on what to expect from a revitalized
harbor. The Harbor Commission is hiding behind “legal advice” from
their lawyers not to entertain the alternative proposal. Good luck with
Harbor Master Tim Petrick claiming that because Lemus was the only
respondent to the Harbor’s request for proposals in 2020 to redevelop
the harbor, somehow it makes On-Site Development’s proposal invalid.
Fancy that…. Here, after a year has passed, and the harbor has had
the experience of another of Lemus’s “projects” which has resulted in
bankruptcy of that company, thousands of dollars of debt to the harbor,
and a solar array that is likely to wipe out any cost savings from the
array when the district’s expense for management and maintenance of the
system is factored in. Nothing like a new pig dressed up with lip stick
to keep the Commission riveted to the Lemus fantasy.
Seems that a lease for the Lemus project is in the wind at Tuesday’s
meeting of the Commission, likely with very little thought to the
unrealistic nature of Lemus’s proposals nor any clear development of
what to do about the resort’s current tenants has crossed anyone’s mind
before making the decision. What is new from local government?
Landscaping, Airstream trailers, cabins, and electric vehicle charging
stations at the old Spotty’s Car Wash is unlikely to result in the
windfall income that the harbor is expecting, after all this is the
brain child of Commissioner Brian Stone. What could possibly go wrong?
Oh yes, more solar panels and a Co-op for local fishermen to sell their
catch. Wonder how that will play out, not really, more money the harbor
doesn’t have for another fantasy….
Back to Lemus and his promises. Looks like the current tenants have
nothing to worry about. Yah, right. He continues to promise that he
and his “firm” will create “transition” plans for each tenant. No
specifics as yet as to what “each individual plan” might consist of,
only time will tell. Clearly those that are to be affected by Lemus’s
plans are not reassured. Nor should they be.
It is unfortunate that the Commission elected not at least hear
On-Site’s proposal, in so far as Renewable Energy does not have the
lease in hand and the harbor would not be obligated to do anything but
hear another proposal prior to putting pen to lease agreement. Rather
short sighted….particularly when common sense will tell you that
Lemus’s proposal ignores the fact that as a tourist community there is
not a lot of “high end” tourism banging at the harbor’s door let alone
during our winters…. Now it becomes a question as to whether or not
the element of common sense will be present when the Commissioners take
up the lease agreement. Not likely… Yet another prospect lost, to
gain a better perspective of what is possible, and what is clearly not.