City Council hears the economic impact of the downtown boat launch among other project proposals | News, Sports, Jobs
The Town of Warren has millions of state redevelopment assistance capital program funds to – eventually – take to the streets by targeting development projects to benefit the community.
It’s a moving target. Some proposals have changed. Others have left.
Warren City Council spent much of Monday night’s meeting figuring out who gets what first.
The most discussed project recently was the idea of a downtown boat launch at the base of Liberty St.
The city asked county commissioners for $ 500,000 in US bailout funds. But this request requires the city to justify the request.
Jim Decker, president / CEO of the WCCBI, presented some projected economic impact figures at Monday’s meeting.
He pointed out that the projections are conservative in nature and based on data from both Allegheny Outfitters and the US Army Corps of Engineers.
Based on AO data, Decker said the period he looked at was from May to September of this year, when 5,846 canoes or kayaks were rented. By removing the weather cancellations, he said that results in 53 canoes or kayaks per day.
Gross income from rental fees as well as a “very conservative” The estimate of $ 50 in groceries people would buy for these trips resulted in a projection of $ 743,000, he said.
For USACE data, Decker explained that the Corps had a vehicle counter on the Kinzua Dam boat launch, which had 28,944 cars from October 2020 to September 2021, which was “a little surprising to me.”
Assuming that 75% of these vehicles put a boat in the water – multiple boats per vehicle are common, especially with kayaks – and including the same travel expense of $ 50, this projection rose to to $ 874,000 per year.
That total of about $ 1.6 million, Decker noted, is only for five months of the year.
This data is only part of the puzzle for launching a downtown boat launch. There is more work to be done.
“We know there will be activity”, Decker said. “(We) will continue to calculate the numbers.”
He said a projection of 10,000 launches at a downtown launch is a number that “Has been criticized as ridiculous (but) these numbers are real (and) documented. He said the Corps is starting work next year to launch the leakage to make this site a “more attractive and more usable site.
“(We) need to reflect this in the town of Warren”, he said, to develop “A more pleasant experience to get out of the river … and where you want them” to support downtown businesses.
Councilor John Wortman asked how the city can help the county get funding.
Lobbying in person is one step, but Decker made the bigger point.
“The city is the employment hub for the county”, he said. “The more the city can do to make itself attractive for employment, the better the county as a whole…. The stronger the city, the stronger everything is in County Warren.
Several other plans – including a second proposal for a downtown boutique hotel on Liberty Street – were also discussed at Monday’s meeting and will be further explored in Wednesday’s Times Observer.