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Recreational boat ride business proposed to Sharpsburg officials

| Wednesday, April 9, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Sharpsburg could be the place to go for a recreational boat trip.

Nicole Moga of Troy Hill wants to open a business, Boat Pittsburgh, in Sharpsburg using the public boat ramp off of 13th Street in the borough.

Two pontoon boats would be available for rental for up to eight hours. The boats can hold up to 10 people and would be driven by the customers.

Moga said she was looking for an area with public parking, public access to the river and a private area where she can lock the boats up at night. Sharpsburg met that criteria.

If she is given permission to open her business, she said, it would bring new customers into the community.

“Any location that I'm at is also going to see promotion,” Moga said.

If the Sharpsburg location is successful, Moga said she hopes to grow the business.

“My plan is to expand. I'd like to get something by the Point, maybe the Monongahela as well,” she said.

While some council members were supportive of the idea, Mayor Richard Panza said the traffic already is bad in the area and the borough didn't stand to benefit from the business.

“The parking situation down there on the weekends is horrendous,” Panza said.

Council President Karen Pastor said the parking always has been on a first-come, first-served basis.

“It's a public launch. Whoever gets there first, gets there first,” Pastor said.

Moga said she will look for a place to lock up her boats before moving forward with the business plan or apply for a usage permit in front of council. She has already met with members of council to share information about her idea.

Tom McGee is an associate editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 1513, or tmcgee@tribweb.com.

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