Economic Impact of Proposed Boat Launch Pitched to City Council

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The proposed boat launch project in the City of Warren was a hot topic at Monday's City Council meeting.

WARREN, Pa. – Warren City Council spent much of its meeting hearing proposals for Redevelopment Assistance Program funding (RACP), with a downtown boat launch project once again at the forefront.

Warren County Chamber of Business and Industry President Jim Decker presented data at Monday’s meeting from both Allegheny Outfitters and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, projecting estimated economic impact.

“During the period of May through September of this year, 5,846 canoes or kayaks were rented from Allegheny Outfitters,” Decker said. “During that time period, which is 122 days total (43 of the days were closed due to flooding), that’s 53 canoes or kayaks on the river on any given day. With a very conservative estimate of $50 in provisions that people would purchase for those trips, that’s $743,000.”

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Data was collected using a vehicle counter on the boat launch at the Kinzua Dam tailwaters.

“They had the same impact in terms of utilization as AO,” Decker said. “They counted 28,944 cars from October of 2020 through September of this year. This also assumes one craft per vehicle. Again looking at $50 in provisions, that’s $874,000 annually.”

That brings the total figure to about $1.6 million annually.

Those numbers are part of the pitch to bring the boat launch to Breeze Point landing.

“We would be bringing them into town on put, with an increase in business post-canoe trip,” Decker said. “The city is the hub of employment for the county. The more the city can do to make itself attractive for employment, the better the county is overall.”

City officials most recently made the boat launch pitch to the county commissioners during a work session in August.

“In the event we do receive some clarification that this project is eligible from American Rescue Funds, whatever we have to do, we have to have the best and biggest impact on the community,” Commissioner Tricia Durbin said during that work session. “We all want to make sure that we’re using every dollar that has the largest impact on the community.”