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City wants more money from Privateers next season

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The Thousand Islands Privateers may have to pay more to play their games next season at the Watertown Municipal Arena, according to a modified agreement City Council members will consider tonight.

Two weeks ago, the Watertown City Council was set to approve the franchise agreement for the Federal Hockey League team to play its second season at the ice rink at the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds, but a skirmish with the state Liquor Authority over the city’s concession stand delayed the vote.

Council members needed to work out a deal with Savory Beverages & Beyond, a local catering company, to sell beer and food during the remaining games this year. Last week, they approved an agreement under which Savory becomes a “third-party franchise” for the team and pays the city $300 per game for the rights to the concession stand.

With the matter resolved for the season, council members will now consider a modified agreement with the team that takes into account the revenue the city is losing by no longer running the concession stand. The city was making a profit of $527 per game this season.

As proposed, the Privateers will pay a flat fee of $450 per home game, said Mayor Jeffrey E. Graham. The mayor expects the council to approve the agreement’s new version tonight, adding it takes into account the “market value” of the ice rink and potential improvements.

“I think the new deal will be fair,” he said Sunday.

Under the agreement, the team will also pay $80 an hour for ice time, up from $70 an hour this year. The team would also pay $2,000 to rent the locker room in the fairgrounds’ grandstands, which is used by the Watertown Rams collegiate baseball team.

The proposed agreement also stipulates the team will pay $1,000 for the season for trash removal after the games. City officials said because the city is no longer running the concession stand, it should not be responsible for removing garbage.

The city will also be reimbursed for any legal expenses that might be incurred regarding the team. The city had to pay for additional legal costs caused by the kerfuffle with the Liquor Authority.

Council members saved the remainder of the hockey team’s season by allowing the catering company to take over the city-operated concession stand for the final 11 games. The Liquor Authority had previously ruled Savory could not sell alcohol if the city ran the concession stand.

Mr. Graham said City Manager Sharon A. Addison negotiated the changes in the agreement with Privateers owner Nicole J. Kirnan after the issue came up with the Liquor Authority.

Ms. Kirnan, who is scheduled to attend tonight’s council meeting, could not be reached to comment during the weekend.

The city will continue to run the concession stand during other events.

Two years ago, the city’s Parks and Recreation Department took over the concession stand and upgraded it. Until this hockey season, the city lost money on the venture.

In other action, council members will consider changing a zoning ordinance to forbid roommates from sharing a single-family house in a district zoned Residential A. The matter came up last month involving Thompson Boulevard resident Travis W. Hartman, who lives with his fiancée and two friends at 257 Thompson Blvd.

His neighbor, Deborah A. Cavallario, objected, contending only family members should live in a house in a Residential A district.

The council meets at 7 p.m. in the third-floor council chambers at City Hall, 245 Washington St.

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