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Clayton “divers’ access point” becoming a reality; volunteers will soon install the removable dock

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CLAYTON — Local divers will soon be installing a divers’ access point at the east end of Frink Park just in time for the 2013 tourist season.

Funded entirely through donations, the grass-roots project aims to attract more divers and kayakers to the tourist-driven village by allowing easier access to the St. Lawrence River.

A dozen volunteers will build the removable dock — a 10-foot-wide by 16- to 20-foot-long wooden structure with a T-ladder — by May 1, and perhaps earlier if the weather cooperates, said local veteran diver Raymond I. “Skip” Couch.

Mr. Couch, a scuba diver since the 1960s and a founding member of the Clayton Diving Club, has raised $2,700 for the project so far and has persuaded several local businesses to donate material needed for the structure, including the T-ladder.

Once the dock is complete, it will be turned over to the village of Clayton.

However, Mr. Couch said, members of the Clayton Diving Club will volunteer to maintain the structure and pull it out of the water every fall for inspection.

Monetary donations are deposited in a village government bank account, and any leftover funds from the project will be used for future maintenance.

With the divers’ access point, Mr. Couch had said, Clayton has the potential to become a popular spot for recreational diving and training.

He estimated that the removable dock would attract more than 50 divers every summer weekend.

Almost half of the project’s total cost will be covered through donated material from Clayton businesses including Reinman’s Ace Hardware, French Creek Marina and Don’s Prop Shop.

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