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Members Rally To Save Ossining Boat & Canoe Club

Ossining Boat and Canoe Club members protest the study to see if a restaurant should go in the club's building. Photo Credit: Sam Barron
OBCC members rally to re-open their club after the town closed it, citing numerous violations. Photo Credit: Sam Barron
The notice closing the club. Photo Credit: Sam Barron

OSSINING, N.Y. -- Members of the Ossining Boat & Canoe Club are fighting to keep their doors open.

Club members held a rally outside the now-locked club on Monday, four days after the town locked the doors, citing more than 20 violations in the town-owned building.

As part of the town's recently signed license agreement with the club, the town building inspector is required to check on the building on a monthly basis, Supervisor Sue Donnelly said.

"He noticed that the electrical work required by law for structures affected by or susceptible to flooding had not been performed," Donnelly said. 

An electrical inspector then noticed several violations and Donnelly said an inspection by the fire department uncovered more violations and the club was closed.

"It is a necessary action to have taken to protect the safety and lives of our residents," Donnelly said.

Cub members aren't buying it. The closure of the club comes on the heels of the town conducting a study on putting a high-end restaurant in the building.

"Ossining claims to be a Hudson River town," Ted Ciuzio said. "This club exemplifies that. We're a low-cost club. We don't need a restaurant that will cost hundreds of dollars. People need a means to enjoy the river."

Ciuzio held up a sign that said "OBCC or $24 Burgers" and said he believes the situation reeks of politics.

"This is a witchunt," Ciuzio said. "We were not given a chance." 

Members said the club should be re-opened to allow them to go in and make the necessary repairs in the spirit of the working man's club.

Earle said he planned to ask Donnelly to grant them a permit to get the issues involved.

"We are safe," Earle said. "We want to continue to maintain the building and correct the issues. We look forward to working with the town to resolve all the code compliance issues"

Councilman Peter Tripodi said it was hypocritical for the town to close the club, noting other government buildings, like the Ossining courthouse, have code violations. Tripodi said the courthouse lacks fire sprinklers.

"They are singling out one building," Tripodi said. "It's unfair. We want them to unlock this door."

Tripodi said he plans to bring it up with the town board at the next town board meeting Thursday, Nov. 7.

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