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City offers counter-proposal to Privateers

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With a league deadline pushed back a couple of weeks, the Thousand Islands Privateers can weigh a counter-offer from the city about moving the Federal Hockey League team to Watertown next season.

Interim City Manager John C. Krol told the Watertown City Council Monday night that the Privateers can hold off on the decision, giving the city and team owner Nicole E. Kirnan valuable time to try to overcome the main stumbling block: the locker room the team would use in the municipal ice arena at the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds.

“It sounds like we’re making progress,” Mayor Jeffrey E. Graham said after hearing the news at Monday night’s Watertown City Council meeting.

The team’s deadline had been Monday, but league officials do not need an answer until they straighten out the scheduling for two new teams joining the league next season, Mr. Krol said.

In speaking to the owner on Monday, Mr. Krol gave the team a counter-proposal on the use of the arena’s locker room. Instead of having exclusive rights to the locker room, Mr. Krol suggested that the team remove its equipment after each game so that high school hockey teams can also use the locker room.

Mr. Krol told council members Monday night that Ms. Kirnan would consider the proposal.

The city has also agreed to install a smaller locker room with a shower stall or two that would be used by hockey referees and linesmen.

The team had demanded that the city give it exclusive access to the locker room or build a new one inside the arena. Council members rejected a new facility because it would have cost the city about $200,000.

Earlier, the team rejected a proposal to bring in a trailer that could be used for a locker room.

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