Potsdam library, town mull deal to provide cross-country skis for rent

Jan. 16—POTSDAM — The town board is considering a deal with the Potsdam Public Library to make cross-country skis available to rent for an entire ski season.

The library's adult program director, William T. Eckert, proposed the town put in $6,000.

"From the town, the $6,000 would be a one-time thing with no liability, no responsibility. It would be the library's thing," Mr. Eckert said.

That money would buy 20 pairs of variously sized skis from Grasse River Outfitters. Ten of those pairs would be rented for $100 per season, if rented early on. Some of those would be available to rent just on weekdays, or just on weekends. The other 10 pairs would be set aside and given out on a scholarship basis for lower-income families, according to Mr. Eckert.

"If you wanted to go cross-country skiing with your kids, you can go to Higley Flow. You can't leave Higley Flow," he said. "If you're going to explore the wonderful assets we have around here, you have to have your own (pair of skis)."

The skis would be stored by SUNY Potsdam's Wilderness Education department. They would take care of things like waxing, maintenance and repair.

Councilor Marty G. Miller suggested the town pay half of the $6,000. Other members of the town board signaled they're fine with paying the full amount.

"I think $6,000 is a fair price to pay to the library for this program. It's self sustaining," Councilor Lynn Hall said.

"I'm OK with the $6,000. I think it's important," Councilor Toni A. Kennedy said.

Councilor Alissa T. Hardiman added that she is "fine with the $6,000."

Town attorney Francis P. Cappello suggested the town draw up a contract between the organizations with an indemnification clause, "in case someone were to get seriously hurt. You'd have the potential to get sued."