Smooth sailing for boathouse as council OKs measure

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A portion of the former Rod Mill parcel along Harbor Way is on its way to becoming home to a boathouse facility integral to Hamilton College’s rowing team, following a unanimously passed resolution on the agenda at Wednesday night’s Rome Common Council meeting.

“Hamilton College has been collaborating with the City of Rome on the potential for the purchase of land to establish a permanent boathouse for the college’s rowing program. The project development and land acquisition process are ongoing. A final development and construction timeline is still to be determined,” said college spokeswoman Vige Barrie in a Thursday morning statement.

At the Common Council meeting Wednesday night, a public hearing was held on the matter just prior to the regular meeting during which one questioner asked why the parcel had to be transferred to the Rome Industrial Development Corporation (as noted in the resolution) in order to complete the sale.

Later, councilors indicated that the transfer was necessary because per statute if the city, as a municipality, were to sell the property, it would have to be at an auction.

“The parcel under purchase agreement is .6 acres in size and it was valued at $18,000. The remaining area available for development includes approximately 2.2 acres. The city has previously received interest in a portion of the 2.2 acres but it didn’t materialize. We are excited to welcome Hamilton College to the waterfront with their significant community investment, as it shows that the hard work and determination that the community has put into transforming a former brownfield site into a community asset is starting to reap its rewards. This is a project that the community can be proud of and we say welcome to the new age of the Copper City,” said Matthew Andrews, the city’s deputy director of Community and Economic Development, in a statement.

According to a Hamilton College project presentation document provided by Andrews, the project would include a boathouse as well as a dock and viewing area at the waters edge along Harbor Way.

Andrews continued: “The next step would be to formalize the purchase and sale agreements and Hamilton can move forward with site plan review at the Rome Planning Board.”

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