Forbes Shire Council is looking into leasing or selling its popular paddle boats so they’re available to use more often.
Forbes Council purchased two paddle boats in 2015 and so far they’ve been available for short hire during events.
“The paddle boats have been a popular feature and there was more demand for rides than could be met by the watercraft available,” Council’s tourism development officer said in a report to the November Council meeting.
Now there have been three formal enquiries made to Council by community groups and business owners to lease or buy the paddle boats.
There’s interest in using them as fundraisers for community groups or as a profitable business.
Council’s tourism development officer pointed out it could be a real win – but Council will need to find out what regulations exist around opening up a section of the lake to self-propelled craft.
They’re looking at the area between Camp Street Bridge and Bundaburrah Crossing, hoping that will draw visitors off the highway and Escort Way to spend time in Forbes.
“Activating a designated area in Lake Forbes for self-propelling water craft – paddle boats, paddle boards, canoes, wind-surfing etc – will enhance an existing community and visitor attraction, improve recreation and lifestyle opportunities, improve visitor experiences and assist with economic and product development projects around the lake,” the report said.
Councillors resolved to investigate the regulatory and insurance requirements of having the boats run on a regular basis before advertising an Expression of Interests in lease or sale.
So far, Council has not recovered the initial $6000 cost of purchasing the craft and life jackets.