MAYVILLE – The Jamestown Post-Journal is reporting Monday that a final deal has been reached between the Mayville Village Board and U.S. Steam Lines Ltd., which operates the Chautauqua Belle, that will keep the vessel’s home in Mayville for the foreseeable future.
The new contract is a five-year lease with two additional five-year renewals with the first lease expiring in October 2019. The Chautauqua Belle will pay $3,000 for the first year of the license. 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 final vote was 3-1, with Trustee Richard Syper voting against the measure and who voiced his disappointment with how the process has been handled by the boat’s owners.
The new contract has already been signed by the village mayor Marty Bova and will reportedly be signed by the owner of the Belle early next week.
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.
The Chautauqua Belle 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 boat has approximately 7,000 to 8,000 guests each year.