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Waddington seeks shuttle service

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WADDINGTON — The village, which is set to host the Bassmaster Elite Tournament in August, has hit a roadblock in its plans: there is not enough parking to accommodate the potentially thousands of spectators and tournament participants.

“Our village is big enough to have this, but the only situation that is not solved is parking,” Mayor Janet M. Otto-Cassada said Monday. “It’s going to require the most coordination.”

The village of 900 expects 102 anglers, their families, television crews, fans and visitors during the Aug. 8-11 tournament.

“How many people?” Trustee William Dashnaw said. “Just think about the 110,000 in St. Lawrence County. Just think, if 10 percent want to see this, that’s a lot of people.”

Most of the action, from weigh-ins to docking, will take place in Whittaker Park, but the committee is hoping to hold events throughout the village to alleviate traffic around Whittaker Park and Route 37.

“For Homecoming, we walk all over the place. It won’t be a big deal to have people walk from Whittaker to the four corners or Island View Park,” Ms. Otto-Cassada said. “Also, we want all our businesses to share in some of the effects of this.”

The St. Lawrence River Showdown Committee is looking for a shuttle service to transport visitors from several parking areas around the town and village.

“I really don’t want parking on the side streets here because that will make it difficult to get rescue vehicles down there if you need them,” Ms. Otto-Cassada said. “NYSARC is being considered because their buses are shorter.”

Boat docking is also an issue, Ms. Otto-Cassada said. Boats will launch from Whittaker Park, Coles Creek State Park and Brandy Brook, but anglers are required to dock at Whittaker Park for weigh-in.

“There is no way we can fit those people in here,” Ms. Otto-Cassada said. “We’re going to have to get floating docks, which we are also working on. We only have that one ramp to bring them in there.”

Ms. Otto-Cassada said the docks will still be available for residents to use at certain times to be advertised.

In addition to a shuttle service and boat docks, the committee is also looking for volunteers to clean up garbage, direct traffic and help set up and take down event materials. For more information, contact Deanna Shampine at shampine10@gmail.com.

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