Future of the Sunset Paddle Boat at Pierre/Fort Pierre Still Uncertain

The future of the Sunset paddle boat is still uncertain even after discussion between the owners and city officials took up a good portion of this week’s Pierre City Commission meeting.

Sunset co-owner Caleb Gilkerson expressed extreme frustration about the lack of communication from city officials and asked what things he has to do to meet the city’s risk assessment requirements to build a dock along the LaFramboise Island Causeway on the Pierre side of the Missouri River.


Riverboats LLC co-owner Steve Rounds said all they’re asking for at this point is for the city to send the application information to the Corps to get the federal approval process started.


Commissioners asked assistant city attorney Bob Riter if the city sends the application to the Corps, is that considered approval of the project?


Commissioner Jim Mehlhaff supports sending the Riverboats LLC application to the Corps, but wants to know the legal liability the city undertakes if it’s sent in before all of the city’s requirements are met.


The Sunset is currently docked along the Bad River in Fort Pierre, but the owners say for a variety of reasons, they want to have a docking area on both sides of the Missouri River.

All parties agreed to meet in the near future to attempt to come up with a way to resolve the situation, but a specific date to meet wasn’t set.

The City of Pierre leases the causeway land from the US Army Corps of Engineers for public use. Because a private entity can’t lease the land directly from the Corps, the paddle boat owners must go through the city to submit the paperwork required seeking permission to build the dock.

You can listen to the entire discussion about the Sunset paddle boat during this week’s Pierre City Commission meeting in the latest KGFX Beyond the Mic podcast. Subscribe for free through Spotify, Google Play, Podbean or iTunes.