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HARVARD — Citing the growing popularity of their sport, representatives of the Bare Hill Rowing Association have requested greater access to town beach facilities.

The request was made to the Parks and Recreation Commission on June 19 by association member Donald Girard, who said it would benefit The Bromfield School rowing teams.

The request includes greater access to the beach house, the seasonal addition of an oar storage house and that town docks be installed earlier in the year to accommodate rowing season.

In general, the commission did not give definitive responses to those requests, but said it would continue the discussion.

In terms of the beach house, the association was asking that at least part of it be made available to the 60 to 65 members of the rowing teams, citing that the facility is town property and rowers should have access equal to that of the swim program.

The request was not going to sit well with commission staff members, said commissioner Eric Peterson.

“We can tell you that Nancy Brown, the beach director, is not in favor of that,” he said.

While they did not have a specific reason from Brown, commissioners surmised that she was concerned that beach equipment stored in the structure could be damaged, though it was noted sections of the building could be divided off and locked.

The building would only be used by members of the Bromfield rowing team, said Girard, and its season begins in March and ends June 1.

“We would not conflict at all with the summer swim season,” he said. “There’s no overlap, plain and simple.”

Commissioner James Lee said he wanted to hear Brown’s opinion before making a decision, but he considered Girard’s request a valid one.

“It’s a town building,” he said. “I have trouble saying this can only be used in the summer by beach staff.”

The issue was deferred until the commission speaks with Brown further.

There was also consideration given to adding an oar house, which would essentially look like a 16-foot-high armoire that would be tucked away behind the beach house during the season.

The storage space was necessary because oars costing approximately $200 a piece have been vandalized over the past couple years when stored out in the open, said Girard.

The idea was worth talking about, said Lee, who advised the association to bring a sketch next time.

“Based on the description, I’d be receptive to it,” he said. “We do want to see a design.”

The commission was also favorable to putting the docks out earlier in the year, though they wanted word from staff that it wouldn’t cause any problems before giving a final answer.

Also, the commission did give approval for the association’s Ice-Out Derby to become an annual event.

The event, conducted in many cold water countries, is a fund-raiser in which players place bets and try to guess the exact date and time that the ice on the pond will break up and disappear. When the sheet of ice disappears, the person with the closest guess wins half of the pot. The other half benefits the Bromfield rowing team.

Girard said they would still check with the commission each year before conducting the event, but were seeking an in-general blessing for it, which the commission delivered.

“I think it’s great,” said Lee. “I love it.”

The association also asked that the commission install portable toilets at the beach in March for the benefit of rowers, but the commission was cool toward incurring the extra expense, so Girard withdrew the request.

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