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Clarkson nearing deal with Village of Norwood to utilize two story boathouse for crew team

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NORWOOD - The village of Norwood and Clarkson University are close to finalizing a lease agreement that would allow the school’s crew team to utilize a brand new boathouse on Norwood Lake and be an economic boost to the community according to village officials.

Mayor James H. McFaddin said earlier this week that the only signature needed left on the document was that of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.

“Several months ago, the village of Norwood requested that (Assemblywoman Addie J. Russell) and (Senator Joseph A. Griffo) pass a home rule bill to allow the village to enter into a lease with Clarkson for approximately 110 feet by 90 feet for the new boathouse at Norwood beach to house their low profile rowing sails,” Mr. McFaddin said.

The lease term is for 25 years and is scheduled to begin by July 1.

Services under the tentative agreement would include the sponsorship, organization and conduct of sporting, athletic and recreational rowing events and contests.

The crew team, as well as Norwood’s Grateful Oars Rowing Club, would also store their boats inside the structure.

There are currently two older boathouses on the site of the new one, both of which will be taken down.

“We are grateful for Ms. Russell’s and Mr. Griffo’s help and we are glad that there is a pending lease and it is just awaiting Cuomo’s signature,” Mr. McFaddin said. “All indications are that he is in very much in favor of this.

“Whenever you give up park land like in the village, you have to get approval from the state legislature and that’s why we also needed Addie and Joe’s approval. We’ve cleared that hurdle and now we will look to the state.”

The lease agreement creates a win-win situation, according to Clarkson officials.

“The boathouse site is less than 7 miles from campus on an ideal stretch of the Raquette River and moves the team into a university-funded boathouse equal to the aspirations of its rowers...” Director of News and Digital Content Services Michael P. Griffin said. “The village of Norwood will be able to benefit from hosting recreational rowing events that promote parkland use and local tourism.”

Under the deal, Clarkson would agree to a minimum of 50 hours of in kind services each year to assist the village in the maintenance and control of invasive and aquatic plants in Norwood Lake.

The agreement also says that Clarkson would pay $500 compensation annually due on Sept. 1 throughout the lease term.

Mr. Griffin also said that the current boathouse has temporary storage facilities that have “security and structural integrity issues.”

The new boathouse will include a first floor storage area for shells and other rowing equipment with three bays, one of which will be occupied by the Grateful Oars Rowing Club. There are also plans for a second floor locker room, exercise area and compost toilets.

“(I am) not trying to speak for Clarkson, but they plan to hold competitions on the lake and invite other schools to those. That will surely be an economic benefit for us as well,” Mr. McFaddin said.

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