Canoe, kayak, tube and bicycle rentals will remain a staple of Kent's summer time activities thanks to a lease renewal between the city and Crooked River Adventures.
Kent City Council voted in committee Wednesday to renew a lease with the Kent State University based livery operation to make the recreational boats available to the public from a base in John Brown Tannery Park.
Kent Parks and Recreation Director John Idone said the lease, in terms of cost, remains largely the same, but the lease has been changed to give the city the option of renewing the lease for one-year periods for two years after the initial year.
"So it would be in essence a three-year contract, but right now we’re only committing to the first year," he said.
Idone said there were no competing bids from other businesses to use the park as a base for a livery operation.
Under the contract, Crooked River Adventures can run the livery from April 1 to Oct. 31. Crooked River will pay $150 monthly rent along with $100 each month for use of the electric service at the park. And the livery will pay the parks department 5 percent of its total gross revenue.
This upcoming season will mark the fourth year of operation for the livery, which started in Kent in 2010.
The major concern for the livery this summer will be potential construction to replace the Redmond Bridge across the river to the Kramer Ball Fields and how work may affect use of the river.
"They’re aware they may have to end up putting in at a different location," Idone said.
He said traffic on the river was down somewhat this year due to lower water levels, which made paddling difficult if almost impossible in some stretches of the river.
"But overall they’ve been quite successful and it’s been very positive," he said.
The livery managed 1,281 trips in 2012. More than 2,300 trips were taken in 2010.
Kent Mayor Jerry Fiala said he's taken a trip with the livery and found it to be a great experience.
"And if (somebody) has never used it, they ought to use it," he said. "They do an excellent job."