A proposed University at Buffalo team rowing facility on the Erie Canal off of Donald F. Miller Park in North Tonawanda has been scuttled by the Nor-Ton Red Jacket Club, owner of the property.
North Tonawanda Alderman Daniel R. Rey released a rejection letter from the club at Tuesday night's Common Council budget workshop. It was signed by Scott P. Kiedrowski club president and former fifth ward alderman.
Kiedrowski said in his letter that the "Officers, board of directors and general membership" of the Red Jacket Club voted down the proposed construction of a UB aquatic facility to house men's and women's rowing equipment.
"The corporation members feel there are a wide variety of suitable sites available along the canal and (Niagara) river front where the rowing facility can still be built.
"We felt it was time to put this issue to rest and focus our energies on the true mission of Donald F. Miller Park. That mission has always been to educate the youth of our community about nature, wild life, camping, fishing and the preservation of wetlands," Kiedrowski said, adding that the club "considers this matter closed."
Initiated by former Mayor Ronald R. Dawson with strong support from former Council president Paul P. Reidenouer and by the city and Chamber of Commerce of the Tonawandas and other organizations and individuals, the idea was seen as a means of promoting the city as a team rowing center, such as the West Side Rowing Club in Buffalo.
Included was a proposal to build a boathouse designed by the renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright. The UB facility and the boathouse are also sought by the city of Buffalo as part of its waterfront redevelopment.
As a result of the Red Jacket Club decision, a $26,000 capital expenditure to start the project, was dropped by the Council Tuesday night.