Officials Float Ogdensburg-Prescott Ferry Idea

Officials Float Ogdensburg-Prescott Ferry Idea

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Ogdensburg and Prescott, Ontario are looking to cash in on a craze that could boost tourism for both cities.

“At a time of added border security for very good reasons, I think it's also a good time to embrace your friends more as well," Prescott Mayor Brett Todd said.

Prescott is the community you can see across the river from Ogdensburg. Todd spoke to the Ogdensburg city council Monday night about starting up a ferry to connect the two communities.

Ogdensburg officials were ecstatic and voted to support the idea.

The ferry wouldn't carry cars like the one between Cape Vincent and Wolff Island. It would specifically be for people on bicycles and on foot trying to get to Prescott.

“One of the biggest aspects of that is the marketing now for cycling tourism -- it's booming across North America," Todd said. "We have events in Prescott and our area that come through our area, bring hundreds of cyclists in.”

There used to be a ferry in the mid-1900s. An old oar from one in the 1850s was shown at the meeting.

Gary DeYoung with the 1000 Islands International Tourism Council says bringing the ferry back for bicyclists fixing trails could mean big dollars.

“Similar areas to us, Great Lakes communities, they're quoting that half-billion-dollar mark in their cycling tourism as well," DeYoung said. "We just haven't developed it in northern New York yet.”

“This is something we're always talking about," state Sen. Patty Ritchie said. "How can we get those who live in New York City, such a huge market, how can we get them interested in coming to the north country? Being able to go on a trail that connects two countries and cross with a ferry is something that will interest a lot of people.”

The next step is to connect feasibility study to address the question of people crossing the border in international waters.

Prescott's mayor says Ogdensburg won't have to pay for the study, which is estimated at $30,000.

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