Builder plans $1M Keuka tour boat
URBANA (5/11/16)--The town of Urbana is continuing work to finalize a deal to bring a new pier and tour boat to Champlin Beach on the Hammondsport waterfront. Town Supervisor John Webster said while no deals are officially in place yet, they are working to get a contract in place with Jeremy Fields of Fields Construction in Canandaigua for a new tour boat. Fields purchased the former Keuka Maid at auction in 2012, noting a complete renovation of the vessel would cost around $1 million.
The town supervisor said he is not sure how long the process will take until an official deal with Fields is in place. Webster said the board still needs to present Fields with their thoughts on what the license ought to be and go through a negotiation process before coming up with a final document that is agreeable to both sides. However, he added the interest from Fields is there.
"Mr. Fields has continuously said he is interested and wants to proceed with the process," Webster said. "Now that we have got the grant to work with, the next step is to go back and get the documents together for him to agree to sign, which commits him to doing his part of the [project.]"
The grant Webster is referring to is a $410,000 Upstate Revitalization Initiative (URI) which was awarded last year by the state. Webster said there is a limited amount of money the state will put in, along with a limited amount of money they expect the municipality to put in as well. The supervisor said the ballpark figure for the pier project is looking to be around $600,000, but will ultimately be dictated by the bidding process.
Fields expressed interest in his company placing a bid to work on the pier as well, noting "it would only make sense." He said he is unsure of when the renovation work would begin, as he needs the contract to be awarded before he begins. Once the contract is signed and official, Fields estimated the build will take about a year to complete.
Webster said they will likely go out to bid for the pier once the boat contract is in place.
"The actual planning of the pier and the bidding process will probably not start until we have a firm commitment from Mr. Fields that he will be providing the boat," Webster said. "It's a process that has to run in parallel, because if we build a pier and don't have a boat, we lose the $410,000, and if we build a boat but not a pier, we lose the $410,000 and he doesn't have any place to operate."
The supervisor added Fields' official commitment would be the signal to the town to sign the documents with an engineering firm and go out to bid. Webster estimates work could begin as early as this fall depending on the pace of the process. Webster noted the goal is to have everything up and running by the summer of 2017.