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Clayton’s divers’ access point could be completed by April

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CLAYTON — The proposed divers’ access point could be installed at the village’s Thousand Islands Regional Dock, Riverside Drive, as soon as April.

Spearheading the grass-roots project is local veteran diver Raymond I. “Skip” Couch, who said several organizations and businesses have either donated funds and materials or pledged financial support.

While the project is about $4,000 short of reaching its goal of raising $6,000, businesses including Hunt Underwater Specialties, Don’s Prop Shop and French Creek Marina have made donations.

Many other organizations have indicated they would help Mr. Couch and volunteers build the removable dock — a 10-foot-wide by 16- to 20-foot-long wooden structure — with a T-ladder that will be placed near Clayton’s main dock at Frink Park.

Mr. Couch, a scuba diver since the 1960s and a founding member of the Clayton Diving Club, said the divers’ access point should be operational by April but the ribbon-cutting ceremony would be held in early May.

Donations are deposited in a village government bank account, and any leftover funds will be used for future repairs and maintenance of the structure.

Mr. Couch had said Clayton would become a popular spot for recreational diving and training, attracting more than 50 divers every summer weekend, if divers had better access to the water as in the nearby St. Lawrence riverfront villages of Alexandria Bay and Cape Vincent.

Village officials approved the project in September.

The access point also could be used as a kayak launch.

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