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September 23, 2013- In a conversation with Graeme Birchall, the man who runs the two free kayaking boathouses from piers within the Hudson River Park Trust, we predicted that the HRPT would take away his free launch sites and sell them off to private companies willing to provide revenue to the park. That seems to be happening.
DNAinfo is reporting that the HRPT has posted requests for proposals (RFP’s) for new uses of the piers where the free kayaks currently launch. “”We’re a little nervous with this [RFP] that money matters,” said Boathouse president Graeme Birchall, whose group does not pay for the current kayak launches at a boathouse at Pier 96 on West 55th Street, as well as a dock at West Houston Street. He emphasized that there was no way to tell yet what the document would request, but based on the Trust’s budget shortfalls and language in other recent RFPs, it might be looking for a private concession that could offer the park income.”