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Notice of Availability to Lease/Develop Land at Woodcock Creek Lake

Pittsburgh District
Published Jan. 17, 2024

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District is soliciting proposals for the operation and enhancement of a commercial-concession public-recreation area including the campground, boat launch, beach, picnic areas and related facilities, and recreational services at Woodcock Creek Lake Park. 

An NOA begins an official process of soliciting interest for the potential transfer of management responsibilities for Woodcock Lake Park under a long-term lease. Potential lessees may request an application for leasing through April 22, 2024.

The 277-acre area includes a campground, boat launch, beach, picnic areas, and other recreational facilities.

This leasing/development opportunity enables entrepreneurs to make a fair profit while meeting public demand for quality recreation facilities and services. 

Proposals may include, but are not limited to, upgrades to camping facilities (RV, cabins, primitive, services, etcetera), the swim beach, restroom and shower facilities, playgrounds, and additional development areas such as a marina, dog park, disc course, trails, café/eatery/snack bar facilities, day use and picnic areas, trails, picnic shelters, courtesy docks, kayak/canoe rentals, outdoor environmental learning facilities, and other related activities. 

Proposals may include additional facilities and services such as, but not limited to, facility upgrades and repairs; road repairs; area enhancements; extended-stay camping; tree house rentals; overnight cottage or motel accommodations; restaurant facilities; additional services and structures; boat rental and repair services; boat and motor sales; floating or dry storage boat facilities; and other land, water and recreational related activities according to objectives and capabilities.

 

Minimum Facility and Service Requirements

Woodcock Lake Park will require the following facilities and services:

Dates of operation will, at a minimum, be Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend.

Paved access roads and sufficient paved parking to support the total development. Lessee will ensure paved areas are maintained and facilitate repair efforts at lessee’s expense.

Sanitary restroom facilities must be provided and maintained to adequately accommodate public use of all facilities. If physical restroom facilities are nonfunctioning or potable water is unavailable, lessee must provide an adequate number of portable restroom facilities to support the total development and are to be pumped out/cleaned a minimum of twice a week during dates of operation.

Supporting potable water, sewage and electric utilities must be adequately provided to support the total development, which will be at the expense of the lessee.

Snow removal services must be provided year-round and paid for by lessee to ensure public walking access as well as first responder vehicle access of agreed upon portions of the total development. (At a minimum, plowing of the main paved roadways that are not gated off.)

The lessee must facilitate, at it’s expense, garbage removal services a minimum of once a week; keep the total development neat, orderly, and safe at lessee’s expense; keep grass and weeds neatly mowed.

The lessee must provide security.

The lessee must provide sewage pump-out facilities, etc. for the leased area on a regular ongoing basis to assure proper maintenance and operation of the site.

Lessee will ensure drainage throughout the total development is maintained at their expense with ditches and swales being unobstructed and able to properly convey stormwater runoff.

Beach area will be maintained and kept safe and free of any debris. Routine laboratory testing of the designated swim area water to ensure compliance with regulatory standards (referenced below) for E. Coli and Total Coliform will be at the expense and coordination of the lessee. Beach closure and posted notification will be facilitated by the lessee as required as attached in this document.

Hazardous trees will be maintained by the lessee at their expense with the subsequent firewood being made available for visitor use without charge.

Fire rings and picnic tables will be maintained by the lessee at their expense.

Lessee responsible for coordinating campsite and pavilion reservation process and fee collection.

The Government reserves the right to appropriate and reasonably modify minimum facilities and services requirements in the Phase 2 stage of the lease award process, depending upon site specific conditions of the selected site or sites.

Restrooms, Concession Stand, Bath House, Shower Houses, and all other facilities must meet requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act and its implementing guidelines.

 

Project Location and Description

Hosting more then 169,000 visitors every year, Woodcock Creek Lake is nestled in central Crawford County's countryside and offers a tranquil recuse from nearby cities such as Erie or Pittsburgh. The park is home to diverse wildlife and features an 18-hole disc golf course, several miles of hiking trails, myriad fishing opportunities, and scenic views. Over the next few years, the Corps of Engineers is upgrading the facility's Bossard Nature Center, installing interpretive displays throughout the park and enhancing the lake's surrounding infrastructure.

Woodcock Creek Lake was built in 1973 and serves the community through flood control, water quality improvements, low flow augmentation, and recreation opportunities. At full pool, the elevation of the lake is 1,225.6’ and occupies an area of 775 acres.

Since its completion, Woodcock Creek Lake has prevented flood damages estimated to be in excess of $33 million. At minimum pool levels, the elevation is 1,164.8 feet with a surface area of 120 acres. The project has a total area of 1,730.93 acres (including flowage easement). The property is also near Pennsylvania State Game Lands 435 with a lease at the eastern end of the property, which provides a public hunting area as well as excellent wildlife habitat that encompasses 660 acres. Near the dam, the USACE maintains 441.08-acres of public recreational facilities and is leasing 277.1 acres on the south shore for Woodcock Creek Lake Park.

 

Selection Criteria

 

The following selection criteria is used to determine the "best and final" proposal. All criteria must be met in order for a proposal to be considered. 

CRITERIA

1. Recreation Opportunities/Operations Proposed

a. Proposed Operation and Development Plan

b. Design

c. Quality and nature of development

i. Consistency and integration with the lake setting

d. Proposed sequencing/ phasing

2. Experience and Background

a. Business or Management experience

b. Comparable experience

c, Business and personal references

3. Financial Capability

a. Financial Plan for first five years

b. Financial Statement

c. Bank Reference

4. Credit and Criminal Background Check

5. Environmental and Cultural Resource Acceptability

 

Lease Terms

Initial Term: 25 Years

Option 1: 15 Years

Option 2: 10 Years

Full Term: 50 Years