The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


August 16, 2012

Sunbury's $9.5 million riverfront project opens

SUNBURY — When the ribbon is snipped this morning to open the Sunbury Riverfront Enhancement Project, so too will be cut the regular ties between a key city official and those who worked three years to bring the $9.5 million concept to fruition.

“I am glad this is coming to a close and we are finally getting this open,” said Sunbury City Councilman Jim Eister, who spearheaded the project said. “I am sad in a way because I made a lot of good friends who I saw on an everyday basis.”

The $9.5 million was spent, on state-of-the-art ramps, a 500-seat amphitheater, boat docks, lighting, new sidewalks and more.

Now, someone has to pay for the upkeep of the project.

Eister isn’t worried.

“In the next few months we will meet with Sunbury Revitalization Inc., and other possible agencies looking for people to book this for entertainment,” Eister said of the amphitheater along the banks of the Susquehanna River.

“I’m hoping they can work with various restaurants to do dinners on the river and some weddings. We are still working pricing and stuff like that.”

Added costs are possible, Eister said, but the finished product is more than worth it.

“I want people to come down and check this place out,” he said. “Use this place and get us some feedback.”

Upkeep and lighting represent some of the ongoing costs, but the majority of money to be spent will be to remove the boat docks, Eister said.

“We are not sure what that will cost right now,” he said. “Once we take it down we will see how many hours and what it actually takes to come down.”

A crane will be needed to seasonally remove sections of more than 300 feet of dock, Eister said.

“We will see how it goes,” he said. “That is really the only real cost we will have, but we will also be renting out the 30 spots every year so we should be in good shape.”

City workers, community service individuals and volunteers will be caretakers, Eister said.

“Most everything you look at was there before and we didn’t buy anymore land, we just added more features,” he said.

“So the maintenance is pretty much the same as always, the biggest thing will be taking down the docks.”


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