DES MOINES, Iowa — An Iowa businessman says he wants to build a dock on the Des Moines River from which he would offer ferry rides.
Michael LaValle’s plan calls for having the dock, which he would call the Port of Des Moines, attached to the recently completed Principal Riverwalk and would feature a cafe, The Des Moines Register (http://dmreg.co/2cJUXmk ) reports.
LaValle envisions a 50-seat boat that could carry passengers for architecture and history tours, as well as school field trips. There would also be smaller excursion boats. He says he doesn’t know how much the project would cost, but he already has material for the dock.
LaValle plans to present his project to city leaders and other officials on Friday. He said he already has a conditional letter of permission from the U.S. Corp of Engineers, and has received approval from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
“Now, I think politicians look around and say: ‘Oh, people care about the river,'” he said. “Everyone feels it is time to do something.”
The project would need approval from city engineers, the Plan and Zoning Commission and the City Council.
LaValle, who owns several hospitality businesses in Des Moines, said he doesn’t know if the dock would operate as a business or a nonprofit.
“I think the hard part will be getting people to take it seriously because it will just be so far out of left field, it will be hard to get their heads around it,” he said. “But every other river city in the country has been able to figure it out.”
Information from: The Des Moines Register, http://www.desmoinesregister.com