Owensboro City Commission approves plan for boat dock

Owensboro City Commission approves plan for boat dock
Published: Aug. 3, 2022 at 6:51 PM CDT
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OWENSBORO, Ky. (WFIE) - The Owensboro City Commission moved ahead with plans to build a transient boat dock.

Some think this could boost tourism, but others aren’t convinced.

After a 3-2 vote, Owensboro officials are going forward with their plans for the boat dock.

It has some in the community already excited about the prospect of more visitors.

”It’s adding another tool to our toolkit, and any time that we can have a full toolkit to show what Owensboro is about, it’s a good day for us,” said Visit Owensboro Destination Management Director Dave Kirk.

The plan is to spend about $10 million to build a dock near the convention center. City officials say it will have 30 spots for people to dock their boats, as well as a place to buy gas.

It’s a “transient” dock because there won’t be any long-term docking.

Despite the enthusiasm from some, not everyone is onboard.

”We only do well when the community does well, and I can’t see any advantage of a boat dock helping the community do well,” said Owensboro Mayor Tom Watson.

Mayor Watson, who voted against the dock, says it makes sense to want to draw people to town, especially following the multi-million dollar investments in the riverfront and its proximity to downtown. But he says the return on investment isn’t good enough.

”It’s not our money, it’s the taxpayer’s money,” said Watson. “Sometimes elected officials don’t get that, they kind of think it’s our money.”

The mayor worries this project will primarily benefit those who use the dock, and he would rather see the money used to benefit the larger community.

The city’s tried to pull off similar projects in the past, but none of them have fully gotten off the ground.

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