A task force that wants the University at Buffalo and the West Side Rowing Club to locate adjoining boathouses for their racing shells on the Erie Canal in North Tonawanda, outlined a plan Tuesday night.
Paul P. Reidenouer, president of the North Tonawanda Common Council and Fourth Ward alderman, said at a meeting he arranged in City Hall that the task force wants to combine efforts with the Nor-Ton Red Jacket Club in its UB Rowing Center proposal.
Members of the Red Jacket Club attending the meeting said their board of directors would consider the city's proposal at their October meeting.
The Red Jacket Club leases Miller Park on the canal bank from the state.
The task force's five-year goal is to have the park designated as the site of a Frank Lloyd Wright designed boathouse constructed at the location.
The boathouse was designed in 1905 by the famed architect for the University of Wisconsin at Madison, but was never built. Promoting the new North Tonawanda Task Force plan, along with Reidenouer, is David Burgio, president of North Tonawanda Project Pride, and Rae Proefrock, of the Carousel Society of the Niagara Frontier, a member of the Task Force.
Coupled with UB, which has expressed interest in expanding its team rowing program, is the West Side Rowing Club, located on the Black Rock Channel of the Niagara River near the Peace Bridge in Buffalo.
The West Side Club is running out of space. The club is considering building a new boathouse on the channel.
However, the North Tonawanda task force believes that the Erie Canal site in North Tonawanda offers "the best water conditions for rowing in Western New York and the best accessibility for the UB North campus, only four miles away.
The proposed time line calls for establishing the UB Rowing Center in one or two years; the West Side Rowing Club North Facility in the same time frame; and the Frank Lloyd Wright boathouse in five years.
Benefits to UB of the proposal for the Donald F. Miller Park is a recreational park setting on the historic Erie Canal, including utility and site improvements valued at $46,115.
The planners also mentioned the centralized location, the site being accessible via Niagara Falls Boulevard, a short distance from the Thruway. The planners also said that the development would aid the state's plan for economic development of the Erie Canal.
UB would be responsible for construction and installation and removal of all dock facilities.
The City of Buffalo has five Frank Lloyd Wright houses. In addition there is a summer home, Graycliff, located on Lake Erie in Derby.
The original proposal to locate the Wright boathouse in North Tonawanda was made last year by Mayor Ronald R. Dawson.
Reidenouer said that if the Red Jacket Club directors approve, the proposal will be forwarded to UB.