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Beach town left ‘running in circles’

Posted on Thursday, September 28, 2017 at 11:55 am

Luke Sydnor addresses the Colonial Beach Town Council, giving them a history lesson involving former town manager, Jerry Davis.

Colonial Beach citizen and lifelong resident, Luke Sydnor, expressed his dismay over the re-branding of the downtown area as the Ferry Landing District during the September council meeting.
Earlier in the year a resolution to re-brand the area was not passed by the council as they were informed by Sydnor that it was incorrectly named. While people did come into Colonial Beach at the municipal pier in the past it was by steam boat in particular the St. Johns steamboat that now graces the side of the Potomac Renaissance condominium development as well as signs used throughout the Community Development Block Grant(CDBG) area.

Sydnor said, “We hear conversations about Jerry Davis and our ex town manager (Val Foulds) going to meetings. Jerry Davis happened to be our town manager that cleared off the boardwalk. Took it all away from here totally and put us in the shape we’re in now.”

Davis was town manager of Colonial Beach back in the early 1990s when the town purchased the boardwalk adjacent properties and removed many of the business on the waterfront. CB has been fighting to come back as a tourist attraction since that era. During that time there were restaurants, a game room, and several other businesses that catered to tourists and town residents alike.

Sydnor seemed to question Davis being brought in by Land Studio as part of the CDBG process saying, “Mr. Davis was here and had his shot at Colonial Beach, and we see what we got now leftover that we’re trying to correct.”

Davis works for the Northern Neck Planning District Commission. The group was responsible for much of the grant application that brought the town the $747,000 grant to revitalize the downtown area.

The grant covered from Colonial Avenue to Boundary St and Washington Avenue to the Potomac. Sydnor also listed some of the items involved in the grant: seven murals, 14 trash cans, 14 street lights, 28 benches and 10 pipes and four directional signs. The town also had a crosswalk put in at the town center across Washington Avenue and buried a short distance of utility lines in the area.

Read more of this story in the September 27 issue of the Westmoreland News.