Tuesday, April 14, 2009

River Cruise Seeks Lease Extension

(Alan Perkoski addresses the EDC.)

The Lady Catherine Cruises which offer a number of Connecticut River cruises (parties, weddings, leaf-peeping, eagle-watching, senior cruises) appealed to the Economic Development Committee Monday to extend a lease which is due to expire on April 30.

Representatives of the boat and cruises described the success of the cruises, but operations manager Alan Perkoski explained some of the challenges crews and passengers encountered.

"We come forward not with a complaint, but with a problem to share with you," Perkoski explained to the commission.

Perkoski explained a problem with parking and with the competition for spaces with Harbor Park restaurant.

"It becomes a Hatfield-McCoy situation out there between staffs when it comes to parking," he said.

Neither the cruise owners, nor the EDC had a firm hold on how many spaces were legitmately controlled by Harbor Park, and how many were public spaces.

Besides the parking, Perkoski expressed concern about vagrants who lingered in the park, and the tunnel connection with public parking in Mellili Plaza.

"The tunnel has improved considerably," Perkoski admitted. "But there's still a problem on more occasions than we like."

Perkoski complained about debris, broken glass and the smell of urine.

"There is parking available in the public lot," committee member Joe Bibisi explained. "But if you don't want to use the tunnel I understand. I wouldn't use the tunnel myself."

The committee promised to assemble all the necessary committee members and staff members to review the lease, and consider such items as parking, safety and docking fees.

(Wesleyan students Miller Nuttle, Paolo Sperin, Tanya Moss and the Jonah Center's John Hall.)

In other business, the EDC considered a presentation by the Jonah Center, and a set of Wesleyan University students who are developing a set of green standards by which Middletown businesses could assess and promote their adherence to green standards.

The committee also learned that TWB Properties had formerly withdrawn their bid to buy the former Remington Rand Typewriter Factory. No other firm offers are currently in the wings. The Common Council counted on the income from the sale of the factory when creating their budget last year, and, as a result, must anticipate a budget shortfall of $1 million.

In a related matter, the Film Chest company, which leases space in the building was asking for a month to month lease when faced with a rent increase from $1.50 per foot to $3.00 per foot.


Anonymous said...

Way to go common council, put $1 million dollars in a budget for a sale that didn't happen. That wasn't in the mayors proposed budget last year. You just added that so you could tell the taxpayers your budget was less then the mayors. Then you go and spend more money than the mayor budgeted. The council majority should be ashamed of itself. We see your gimmicks now. I'll remember this in the voting booth this November.

Anonymous said...

I think the cruises that leave Harbor Park are great. A real economic engine for Middletown. Extend the lease! I hope EDC can find away to expand the on the cruise boats success with adding seasonal structures, or think outside the box and find more uses for Harbor Park then a trendy night club. Think about it, ice cream, family friendly menus, art show/performances, and you can still have a trendy night club. I do have to agree the park is kept in poor shape. It is a shame as much as it is embarrassing. If there is litter control someone needs retraining, if there is not, then why not? Does the town have any ordnance about trash storage? Those dumpsters are unsightly and always over capacity. We should all expect better.
John Phillips