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‘Very fun activity’: McCall City Council approves new pedal boat concession

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In a 3-2 vote, the McCall City Council voted to approve a new water concession.

Applicant Sara Lenda has been working with council and staff over the past several months to gain approval for Payette Pedal Party, a cycle boat excursion. It passed on Thursday evening with a condition that asks neighbors to be communicated with about the concession. 

On the 16 passenger pedal boat, passengers would pedal across Payette Lake with a captain steering. Passengers can bring beer, wine, and snacks. The boat can be booked for a private event or people can book individual seats for the 90-minute experience. 

“It’s a very fun activity on the lake to do,” Lenda said. “It will service a variety of demographics. It’s not solely just for adults, it’s for children, it might be for a birthday party, a celebration, team building events. So I know that there might have been some concerns with the name of the business, it has party in it. The name came about because I love play on words, alliterations.”

Lenda said it’s a “non-motorized recreational activity” before anything else.

The boat would operate seasonally, starting on Memorial Day through the end of September, depending on weather. Payette Pedal Party would be open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Weather and the number of bookings can dictate hours of operations. 

In the project outline, the Payette Pedal Party offers the Parks and Rec Department 3% of the gross revenue. Lenda expects the company to gross $100,000 to $150,000.

During the council meeting, Lenda said in a year, when they have a better idea of revenue, the fee can be changed. 

No votes

Council members Mike Maciaszek and Julie Thrower voted against the boat for several reasons, including its lack of ‘public benefit.’ 

“This type of commercial use… it competes with the public for public docks bathrooms, parking, park space,” Maciaszek said. … Utilizing a dock where kids swim, where we have an existing Marina that’s somewhat tight, utilizing the city’s public property which is for our community’s public benefit for a commercial enterprise .… So I’m concerned about the public benefit.” 

Councilmember ​​Colby Nielsen, who was in favor, believed Lenda had met all the city’s requirements.

“As an operation, I think it’s a great addition to the community, that something that’s accessible to people that want to be out on the lake and can’t go out on a boat,” Nielsen said. “Another opportunity to get out and enjoy our lake. It’s far less obscene than all the surf boats out there, that’s for sure. I think overall, this is a great low-impact concession. I don’t think the intention of it is to be a strictly party boat.”

Autum Robertson - BoiseDev Reporter
Autum Robertson - BoiseDev Reporter
Autum Robertson is a BoiseDev reporter focused on Meridian and McCall. Contact her at [email protected].

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