The Southern Ohio Port Authority (SOPA) Board of Directors met in regular session Thursday to address a laundry list of items, including addressing who actually owns Alexandria Point.
“I’ve always just assumed that Alexandria Point was in the city of Portsmouth. I can tell you for sure the bottom part of Alexandria Point is in Washington Township and quite possibility part of the upper part is in Washington Township,” SOPA Executive Director Jason Kester said. “Basically where the old flood wall was, back five to 10 feet, we’re not 100 percent who owns it.”
Kester said the port authority has entered into an agreement to have Poggemeyer to conduct soil testing and a number of other things to see if the area around the Second Street Bridge could support the construction of a path from the bridge to the lower part of Alexandria Point.
Part of the work to be done by Poggemeyer includes topographical mapping and soil borings when the question of ownership arose.
Since the question arose, Kester said he’s had conversations with Scioto County Engineer Darren LeBrun about it as well as officials with the city of Portsmouth.
Kester then told of a conversation he had with Sue Burke, a community advocate for beautification and Past President of Main Street Portsmouth, she explained to him when Boone Coleman was still alive he said he had documentation that showed he owned a portion of the land in question.
“We expanded the topographic mapping and soil borings to include trying to identify what jurisdiction Alexandria Point is in because it could get into some strange issues,” Kester said. “Sue Burke has indicated Main Street Portsmouth has put $100,000 into that point, both the upper and lower (portions). They (Main Street Portsmouth) can’t expend money outside the jurisdictional boundaries of the city of Portsmouth and neither can Derek (Allen, Portsmouth City Manager).”
Kester said to his board, “every time we think we’ve got to the end of a problem, we’ve hit another one.”
He said once who owns what is figured out, SOPA along with others will work to advance the idea of redevelopment in that area.
“We’ve been talking about connecting the upper (part of Alexandria Point) and the lower (part of Alexandria Point) to be a bike or walking trail. That’s (Alexandria Point) the anchor point of our riverfront revitalization,” Kester said. “The (Scioto County) Commissioners and the city (of Portsmouth) have said yes, this is a good idea, but it gets tricky for them.”
Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101 ext.1933 or @WayneallenPDT on Twitter