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Old 09-13-2014, 08:45 AM   #1
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New York Canal System

A little while back a thread about the NY State Canal system had a post or two about "how it could survive with so little traffic"

From this month's Marine News magazine...paraphrased from the canal system director, Brian Stratton,

The canal system is much more than commercial and recreational's also hydro power, drinking water for mining, manufacturing, irrigation and R&D.

The canal supports 6.2 billion in those uses and another $380 million in tourism.

The canal is important to the upstate economy and the canals will continue to evolve as they have for 200 years.

So I guess that a "share of taxes" is used plus the feds have weighed in and declared it "essential" so fed funds are probably available too. A little research may show if there's a direct surcharge in any of it's "water share".

While I haven't been through, it sounds like it's being reasonable well maintained and probably around long enough at least for my grandkids to enjoy at some point.
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Old 09-14-2014, 05:21 AM   #2
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fed funds are probably available too.

The canal system is run by the NYS Thruway folks and is awash in toll money.
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Old 09-14-2014, 07:45 AM   #3
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I agree that the canal has other benefits besides allowing commercial and recreational vessels to pass. I don't believe that it has anywhere near the value stated. Politicians routinely overstate benefits to justify their positions. Does anybody really believe that a Tesla battery factory is going to result in $100 billion of economic activity for the state of Nevada?

Hydropower, town water and irrigation water could be supplied with or without operating the locks. But I can't believe that it is worth $6.5 billion annually.

Don't get me wrong. Since I don't live in NY state I guess I don't care if they subsidize the canal with toll money. But if it were run like a business I suspect it would have to charge many hundreds of dollars per boat to justify the lock expense, much less maintaining the associated dams and structures.

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Old 09-14-2014, 08:28 AM   #4
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Attendants in toll booths 24/7 handing out toll tickets. Where as in most states the tickets are printed and taken from a machine. There is a lot of fluff in the NY State Thruway System.
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Old 09-14-2014, 09:01 AM   #5
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Some things are worth losing money on I guess. I hope my boat has low (new boat to me) enough air draft to do those canals next summer. They, as many things in our country, are money losing national, and historical treasures.

I hope I tip toed, not trying to get political.
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Old 09-14-2014, 12:02 PM   #6
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The canals are awesome. I did about 1/2 the Erie and the entire Champlain and Oswego canals in 2000. It's a very relaxing and yet satisfying trip. Just enough "danger" to keep you awake and not enough to get you worried. Piloting is exacting but simple. Boat handling is demanding but forgiving and repetitive. Towns are all charming and folks are just great. I have to admit the Canadian canals are more quaint but ours are loved just as much. (judged by the gardens and paint work) One summer is just too short to enjoy them all.
Al Johnson
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Old 09-14-2014, 09:15 PM   #7
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We did the whole Erie this summer and most of the locks are in good shape however there are a few where holes in the lock walls are larger than some good size fenders.

The staff are very friendly and the cost of a season pass about $100 was very reasonable.

The canals do need on going maintenance funding to help repairs which usually occurs when the water level is down in the winter.

A great trip only issue was having to lower our arch to get under 15'5" and with a 5'7" draft we only came close to bottom in a few areas but didn't touch luckily.
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