By Kathryn G. Menu
The Sag Harbor Community Rowing club will still have its home at Cove Park in Redwood after Tuesday night’s Sag Harbor Village Board of Trustees meeting.
On Tuesday night, the village board unanimously voted to extend the rowing club’s tenure at Cove Park, a small public park near Redwood Causeway.
The club’s fate at the location was not always assured. Community rowing has been a fixture in Sag Harbor since 2008, however, last year as the rowing club’s license to use Cove Park was renewed, Sag Harbor Village Board members — led by Mayor Brian Gilbride — questioned whether the size of the club warranted it moving to a new location like Havens Beach. This came primarily as a response to continued calls by rowing club founder Lee Oldak for the construction of a removable, floating dock at Cove Park for the club — a concept supported by the Sag Harbor Village Harbor Committee.
At the time, board members bristled at the notion of allowing a private entity, in this case a not-for-profit, the right to construct a dock on village property.
Sag Harbor Community Rowing responded with a strong showing — both at tournaments and at a Sag Harbor Village Board meeting last March, where children decked in recently won medals pleaded with the board not to terminate the club’s license to use Cove Park, noting the sheltered body of water was ideal for their sport.
Prior to Tuesday night’s meeting, Mayor Gilbride said he expected the resolution to extend the rowing club’s license to pass easily, noting it has been some time since the club has continued its requests for the dock.
“I support the kids,” he said. “I just need to make sure its not getting too big for a public park that is open to everyone in Sag Harbor.”
The club is on hiatus for the winter months, according to Oldak, and will return this spring with a record number of 15 high school students ready to compete on the team.
The organization also supports middle school students and adults, and also offers camp programming in the summer.
For more information, visit www.rowsagharbor.org.