Purchase of the barge ASTER by AQUA Association
Letter to the President of the General Council of Nièvre:
1. Outline Intentions and reasons for the project.
2. Presentation of the association.
3. Presentation of other interested partners.
4. Overview of environmental and location considerations and options for taking them into account
Following our meeting on the boat ASTER 05/08/10 with Mr. Jammet Mr. Gaboret Mr. Cretier and three officials of our association (Mr Blanchon, Ms. Moullet and Mr Gerard) we are writing to you with the intention of convince you to sell the boat Aster to our Association.
1. Intentions and reasons for the project.
Our desire is to bring the boat ASTER to Saint-Jean-de-Losne and integrate her into the outdoor exhibition, namely our collection of marine waterways equipment. We have the infrastructure perfectly suited to take care of this exceptional boat - to house it, maintain its state of repair, protect it against degradation and install it on favorable site to display her under the care of our musée de la Batellerie .
2. Presentation of the association
Our Association, AQUA, has been in existence since July 1987 and has always had, more or less, the same people at its head.
From the start conservation of river heritage has been our main goal and our activities reflect that.
We have saved and preserved ancient wooden punts, various marine engines 20/30/50 years old, a tugboat (17m) of the Saône dating from 1920, old lock gates, the bow of a 1960's barge, the bow of a 1955 tug, as well as numerous articles relating to river navigation.
All these river heritage objects are displayed in our museum (see photos and articles).
We also participated in the creation of a dictionary of the language of river navigation. Over time, we have gathered extensive documentation on waterways, sailors and navigation equipment. We also have a large collection of books and other documents on our favourite subject.
3. Presentation of other interested partners.
Our local Tourist Office, headed for 30 years by a member of our association (Danielle Moullet, creator of the museum), for many reasons abandoned the museum. It is for this reason that our association has taken over the management of the Musée de la Batellerie of Saint-Jean-de-Losne.
We have good relations with both Maries concerned with the Community of Communes locally, with other associations such as the AMB (Association Mariniers Burgundy) who are very supportive of the ASTER project.
The ANPEI (Boaters Association) is also interested and supportive of this project. In addition, we are used to working with Waterways of France (The VNF), Regional and the Departmental town halls, DDT and AoW.
Concerning regulations, transporting, installation and maintenance of the boat, the ASTER project does not pose insurmountable problems for us.
For the ASTER project, we can count on the support of many organizations and businesses.
Our vice president of the association manages the business H2O (20 jobs, river tourism, boat maintenance). We have the moral and technical support of this active business. We are also supported through the management of boat rental company LE BOAT, by ATELIER RIVER (dry dock and slipway [20 jobs]) as well as Ets Blanquart (ship repair and port Plaisance [15 jobs]).
The leaders of these four companies have a personal, but also a commercial, interest in this project. The arrival of ASTER to Saint-Jean-de-Losne would indeed be a substantial addition to the museum's collection and thus an added attraction for local tourism.
4. Environment overview and location
So far, all the solutions for the future of the ASTER are defined. We have an outdoor exhibition of inland waterway vessels (tug, barge bow, tug bow, motors, etc.). In this location we intend to install ASTER on dry land. But since the boat is wood, we'll put in a pool that will be created to the size of the boat, with 60 cm of water to ensure that the wood does not dry out.
A light but aesthetic roof, resistant to wind, rain and snow, will be built. It will fit perfectly into the landscape ( we are in fact within the perimeter of a classified historical monument ). Secure and regulatory access will be established.
To perform all these developments, many technical and administrative issues arise and need to be considered and resolved. To begin with, we have a secure mooring site 20 meters from direct exposure to the river. The boat will first be presented afloat and later dry. Our intention is to preserve in its original condition in order to provide an opportunity to re-navigate.
Like most organizations, we do not have much capital. To purchase the ASTER we can only offer the famous "Symbolic Euro", alternatively, we propose that the boat is on loan to our museum and we will take care of her and be a good father to her.
We have asked the Region for a subsidy that would allow us to make you an offer other than the symbolic euro.
For the purpose of this presentation, we believe the costs of transport, insurance, maintenance, as well as the creation of the basin, the protective cover and access, will amount to between 350,000 and 500,000 euros.
We think we can be sponsored by local businesses and we rely on the financial support of operators of hire companies boats and boats hotels. The first contacts with them encourage us in this direction. We also hope to obtain some grants.
Looking forward to your favorable opinion, please accept Mr. President to express our warmest