Assistant City Manager Lelan Hancock on Tuesday revealed the potentially $5 million plan for the transient boat dock for Owensboro’s riverfront that officials hope would bring in a new segment of visitors to the city.
The proposal for Owensboro calls for the dock to be 500 feet long and 20 feet wide. The cost will be about $6 million in total, however Hancock said they applied for a grant to receive $1.5 million.
Hancock said they are unable to do anything until the grant has been decided upon in April. Once the announcement has been made in either direction, construction will begin soon after and would last a projected 12 months.
The dock, which would be built behind the Owensboro Convention Center, will be positioned roughly 40 miles east of Cannelton and 40 miles west of Evansville — making it the midway point to dock and enjoy events such as Friday After 5 or other aspects of the city for guests coming from either direction.
The design was inspired by the transient dock in Paducah’s section of the Ohio River. With a close relationship to Paducah, Hancock said that they were able to learn from the mistakes that Paducah had made.
Hancock said that with Owensboro-Daviess County’s 4,390 registered boats and 55 documented vessels, the dock would be beneficial for the city.
Those number compare to Evansville-Vanderburgh County’s 2,607 registered boats and Louisville’s 1,424 documented vessels.
“Having that access to the river is going to provide access for families and individuals to all that downtown has to offer,” Hancock said.
He also expects the dock would increase the number of visiting crowds that will travel the river and stay the night in the town.
“What makes a community good is that we have so many different amenities. In Owensboro, we have skate parks, tennis, mountain biking, museums, RiverPark [Center], Bluegrass Museum, golf and not everybody does all that,” Commissioner Jeff Sanford said. “Ten percent of the population does each thing, but that’s what makes Owensboro unique and cool.”