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Elected duo to gauge interest in reopening Havey Beach Boathouse

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  October 31, 2011 03:17 PM

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Two elected state officials plan to gauge community interest about reopening a recently-renovated, but still boarded and unused, boathouse along the Charles River in West Roxbury near where the Boston neighborhood borders the town of Dedham.

State Representative Ed Coppinger and Senator Mike Rush’s office will explore the idea of opening Havey Beach Boathouse envision leasing the publicly-owned boathouse to a private company in order put it back in use. They will explore that idea at a meeting scheduled for Nov. 15 at the West Roxbury Pub Function Room at 7 p.m.

“Senator Rush had worked on this before, but it really struck home for me one day this summer when my daughter and I rented two kayaks and spent a couple hours exploring the Charles River,” Coppinger said in a joint statement from the two officials’ offices. “The closest place for us to do it was Newton. At one point, we both turned to each other and said, ‘Why can’t we do this in West Roxbury?’”

The boathouse building, renovated by the state in recent years, sits on land owned and maintained by the state’s Department of Conservation and Recreation.

“Our vision is to have DCR lease the structure to a private company that would rent canoes and kayaks for family use,” Coppinger said. “Senator Rush’s staff and I have held discussions with the DCR. But we felt it was best to have a community meeting to get feedback and comments on what the community would like to see happen with the unused structure at Havey Beach on the VFW Parkway.”

“Leasing the location would enable DCR to save money on maintenance and upkeep as well as possibly raise revenue for the state in these tough economic times,” he added.

The project will not include allowing swimming at the area, the meeting’s announcement said. Dedham residents who might be affected by a lease of the area are also invited.

“This has been an on-going discussion for years and it is time to bring everyone together to discuss the best ways to move forward in reopening the Havey Beach Boathouse and surrounding area for use,” said John Regan, Chief of Staff to Senator Mike Rush.

E-mail Matt Rocheleau at mjrochele@gmail.com.

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