Originally Posted by Colin A
The canal still has some commercial traffic.
Not enough to pay for itself but it's there. It is also used for power generation so some maintenance
is required for that. The article says it's 50 million a year to run and maintain, and 1.5 million is generated in user fees
. I would think they could up the user fees
at least a little.
Economic benefit is tough to figure but take alook at the number of marine
facilities along the canals.
Marinas and Public Docks - New York State Canals
The employees of each one adds up to a fair number, then include boat sales etc into economic activity gas sales it adds up. Then you have waterfront restaurants tour boats etc. I have to imagine as far as cost benefits work out for state spending this can't be all that bad. Then you have tourism, When I was walking along the canals a month ago I noticed the parking lots at the little parks were filled with out of state plates. The canal seems to help tourism in the area alot outside of the boats passing thru.
I'm going to start of by saying we love the canal.
But a few years back we spent 3 months on the canal. Other than a single cruise ship
, we saw zero commercial traffic.
Reality is they are caught in a bind. Raise the rates and it will drive down the number that use it. The cost to run it is an order of magnitude higher than the fees it generates. They don't have many marinas
because you can stay for free at the town docks (add docking
fees and it's going to drive down the number using it).
The walking and biking trails can be kept while eliminating the expensive parts
of the canal (locks, dams, manmade channels, etc...)
The best hope for the canal is it's historic status but someone still has to pay for it. Unfortunately, I can see them shutting down parts
or maybe even all of it at some point.