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A word of thanks to commissioners for keeping local Hiawatha afloat

As summer approaches, we traditionally take to area waterways for recreation and pleasure.

There has been concern, however, over the future of the Hiawatha paddlewheel riverboat that provides opportunities for public excursions.

To that end, the community may thank the Lycoming County Commissioners for approving a $100,000 allocation to Hiawatha Inc. to keep the craft afloat as it, too, struggles to survive the pandemic.

The Hiawatha experienced budget shortfalls last year when COVID-19 restrictions severely limited its operations.

“We were faced with it being out of operation this season,” said Commissioner Rick Mirabito.

The funding is intended to be a one-time allocation.

We believe this will be a solid investment in the preservation of a community treasure that was built by volunteers more than three decades ago.

At the time, many volunteer hands from many places contributed to the construction and launching of this tourist attraction.

It was a great example of how this community rises to the occasion to pull together to create something that is truly magnificent and made an evening on the river accessible to many people from different walks of life.

Letting the ship sink now would be unfathomable.

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