Congressman Mike Kelly speaks out about plans to bring decommissioned Perry class frigate to Dobbins Landing

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Last week we told you about plans to bring a decommissioned Perry class frigate to Dobbins Landing by the Bayfront.

We spoke with Congressman Mike Kelly who is playing a major role in funding this project.

Kelly said that when the project came up a couple of years ago, they had many questions.

How would they secure the ship? What ship would it be? What will it take to bring a ship from Philadelphia to the Erie Bayfront?

Kelly said that the frigate would have unlimited uses and revenue opportunities, and to honor those who have served.

“The ability to actually have something that people can go to that commemorates the service of our men and women in the military have done. I think it’s a tremendous asset,” said Mike Kelly,

Kelly said that he requested $500,000 in federal money for dredging. They will have to form a cradle for the ship to sit.

“We have to be very careful because Dobbins Landing. You will anchor the ship and as you attach it because of the immensity and size of it. If there are strong winds it could actually pull the dock away and cause great damage,” said

The final cost would come after a lengthy study. This will involve federal, state, and private money.

“The idea behind this, unlike the Niagara, which is the flagship for Pennsylvania, this is an independent ship so it will not be tax payer funded,” said

“This certainly allows us to show the impact that Oliver Hazard Perry had on the Navy,” said John Oliver, VisitErie.

John Oliver with VisitErie said that it’s more than just our maritime history. This could be a big boost to the local economy.

“People are coming in. they are staying several days. They are utilizing our hotels, restaurants, and other attractions,” said Oliver.

The Oliver Hazard Perry Shipyard and the frigate will operate as non-profit organization.

If the project goes through with the US Navy. The plan is to have the ship in Erie by the Fall of 2022.

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