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Cape Vincent planning East End Park improvements

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CAPE VINCENT — Several Cape Vincent organizations are coming together to improve the East End Park on the edge of the St. Lawrence River.

The public park, on Broadway near the village-town boundary, is a popular site for scuba diving, but the complaint always has been that there are no facilities on the village-owned site to accommodate that crowd, said Glenn A. Kennedy, a Lions Club officer who is spearheading the project.

“What we’ve decided to do is to partner with the village to write a grant and try to build a building down at East End Park that would provide for families, tourists, fishermen and whoever uses the park a picnic pavilion on one end and men’s and ladies’ bathrooms and lockers on the other end,” he said.

Mr. Kennedy said a 26-by-70-foot facility is estimated to cost nearly $200,000.

A number of organizations have committed to donating cash and labor toward the work, and the partners next month will apply for a state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation grant that would cover up to 75 percent of the cost.

“The open picnic pavilion will be big enough to house four to five picnic tables,” Mr. Kennedy said. “We will have barbecue stands around the outside of that.”

Mr. Kennedy said the village and Lions Club have consulted a local contractor for input and preliminary cost estimates but will hire a professional engineer for project designs.

“The village board quite frankly said, ‘Look, if we’re going to build a facility, let’s do a modern, attractive, welcoming facility,’” he said.

The village board has committed to providing a total of $14,000 — including in-house labor — and the Lions Club would donate a total of $2,800 toward the project. The Cape Vincent Improvement League has committed to providing $1,000 and the Town Council recently agreed to donate $6,000 in cash and labor if the village can secure state funding.

Mr. Kennedy said the partners are waiting to hear back from several other organizations and divers, who seemed to be much in favor of the project.

“Whatever we’re short, we’re going to try to pursue private donations to close the gap,” he said.

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