Today in Sanford history (TSH), Mayor A.L. Wilson signed a contract to begin construction of the 13-acre Marina Island complex. It was April 1, 1966.
Houdaille Duval-Wright Construction Co. of Jacksonville won the contract by submitting the lowest bid, which was $465,000 ($3.7 million in 2020). The contract included building the bulkhead for the new peninsula and creating the peninsula by dredging the bottom of Lake Monroe. The contract did not include building any structures.
“This is the day toward which we have been working for nearly 2 years,” Wilson was quoted in the Sanford Herald after the contract was signed. “It is the day when the creation of a new image for the city of Sanford begins to become a reality instead of a dream.”
According to the Herald article, work on creating the island was expected to begin in late April. A giant dredge was brought in on a barge to dig fill material out of the bottom of Lake Monroe. The Island was expected to be completed by September 1966. The marina, Holiday Inn and boat yard were set to open in the spring of 1967.
After signing there contract, city officials held a press conference luncheon at Spencer’s Restaurant, a popular venue for celebratory meetings.