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Budget Cuts Could Affect Boating On Allegheny River

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(Source: KDKA)

(Source: KDKA)

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NORTH SHORE (KDKA) — Proposed federal budget cuts could have an impact on boating on the Allegheny River.

The Army Corps of Engineers simply doesn’t have enough money to run the Allegheny’s eight locks.

“We can’t hide from the realities that the federal government has more requirements than it has money,” Col. Butch Graham, Pittsburgh District Engineer, said.

Graham says he has $4 million to run the river during fiscal year 2012. That’s half the amount budgeted for this fiscal year, so the Corps is considering two plans.

One would keep the three locks closest to Pittsburgh in full operation. The locks from Freeport to East Brady would be put in “caretaker status.”

“Folks would no longer have the ability to lock through,” Graham said.

The second plan would reduce the operating hours of the lower three locks, leaving open money that could then be used to keep the locks up to Kittanning open for a shift a day or possibly weekends or holidays.

The Corps will be holding meetings in Fox Chapel and Kittanning to get public input next week.

Changes wouldn’t go in effect until this fall.

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