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Privateers, city to start negotiating

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The city and the Thousand Islands Privateers may be moving beyond the courting stage to see whether the Federal Hockey League team will move to the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds next season.

After getting together on Thursday morning, city officials and team owner Nicole Kirnan have decided to engage in more serious talks, scheduling another meeting on Monday to start negotiations on a possible deal.

Interim City Manager John C. Krol said Thursday that he would not characterize the developments as “optimistic” or “with pessimism.” “It’s a start,” he said, adding that many issues still need to be worked out before a decision is made.

Earlier this week, Ms. Kirnan said it looked less likely that the Privateers would remain at Bonnie Castle Recreation Center near Alexandria Bay because the chances are slimmer that the financially troubled facility will reopen for next year’s season.

She also confirmed that the team is considering moving out of the region, but said she still hoped to stay in the north country. She said she was considering all options for next season.

Talks between the city and the team stalled with the change in Watertown’s leadership at the top. Former City Manager Mary M. Corriveau started the conversations, but she retired last week.

Mr. Krol used Thursday’s session to get to know the owner and find out the status of her relocation plans, he said.

Ms. Kirnan could not be reached Thursday afternoon.

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