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Kayaking partnership for Plainfield

1/18/2017, 2:44 p.m.
People who enjoy kayaking could be in store for a good time when the weather warms up in the Village ...

People who enjoy kayaking could be in store for a good time when the weather warms up in the Village of Plainfield later this spring.

The Plainfield Village Board recently said they would review a proposed concession agreement with Naperville Kayak for the non-exclusive privilege to maintain a kayak concession at Riverfront Park/Electric Park West in downtown. The plan was supposed to be discussed during Monday's board meeting. But the applicant requested an extension to fine tune the proposal.

Troy Cooper of Naperville Kayak is looking to also enter into an agreement with the Plainfield Park District for the utilization of the 135th Street canoe/kayak launch east of Route 59 to link up with Electric Park West for the proposed service.

Under the proposed agreement, Plainfield Kayak will provide a full-service operation providing beginner classes by certified instructors, rental services and guided group trips. Naperville Kayak has been providing this service just south of downtown Naperville for the past four years.

Planner Jake Melrose with the village said each year the business has nearly doubled or tripled in size by bringing over 3,800 people to downtown Naperville to kayak. Hours of operation under consideration are 7 a.m. to dusk from May to October. Naperville Kayak will bear all cost of operation including liability, said Melrose. But the village and Plainfield Riverfront Foundation would be named as an additional insured to the kayak service's insurance policy.

Additionally, life vests will be required for all kayakers and alcohol will not be allowed. Anyone caught with liquor will be banned from renting, Melrose added. Anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian who can sign a waiver on their behalf, according to the proposal under consideration. Children 13 to 18 can be on the water without a parent or guardian. But minors 12 and under must have a parent or guardian on the water with them at all times.

Melrose said such partnerships are productive because it is too costly for park districts and municipalities to take this type of service themselves. Furthermore, Melrose foresees the kayak service providing another reason for people to visit downtown Plainfield, which, he adds, will help create a successful and stable economic climate. Contact Madhu Mayer at news@thetimesweekly.com