MAYVILLE – The owners of the Chautauqua Belle steamer have signed a new lease agreement with the village of Mayville, ensuring that the boat’s home will remain in the village until at least October 2019.
According to the Post-Journal, the new contract is a five-year lease with two additional five-year renewals with the first lease expiring Oct. 31, 2019. The Chautauqua Belle owners will pay $3,000 for the first year of the license, and the fee will increase by 2 percent each year of the license with a late fee of 5 percent added to any past-due payments.
The lease had already been signed by Mayville Mayor Marty Bova in May.
The new lease ends what had become a contentious situation between the village and U.S. Steam Lines Ltd., which own the Belle.
In January the Mayville village board voted not to renew the previous license with the Belle, which had expired in October 2014. The village also sent an eviction letter to the owners of the Chautauqua Belle, requesting the boat be moved in the spring.
U.S. Steam Lines Ltd. then turned to Facebook and social media to rally support for keeping the boat in Mayville, and following a large public outcry, the village opted to renegotiate with the Belle’s owners.
One of the four operating paddle-wheel boats left in the United States, the Chautauqua Belle has approximately 7,000 to 8,000 guests each year.