Jan 16, 2012 Jason Emerson Uncategorized
The village board of trustees voted to donate $10,000 to the upgrade of the Austin Park playground at its Jan. 12 meeting, after hearing an update on the progress of the project from the Parks and Recreation Council of Skaneateles.
The village contribution comes from funds given to the village from the will of the late David G. “Duke” Schneider, a local resident who died in 2008 and gave a bequest of $150,000 to the village to be used for recreation projects.
“Duke Schneider was the most modest individual you could ever find,” said Mayor Marty Hubbard. “And it’s a great honor to recognize him for the funds being contributed to this project.”
PARCS has raised $98,500 since June 2011 — about 80 percent of the $152,000 total estimated cost — to remake the Austin Park playground, with more fundraising planned in coming months, said PARCS member Meg Keady.
“We’re more than confident we’ll make it,” Keady said.
“We’re in a good [fundraising] position,” added PARCS member Amy Allyn. “So your money is going to help us make this happen.”
Keady, Allyn and project architectural consultant Karen Armstrong showed the village board proposed designs for the new playground and explained the current vision for the project, which will include playground equipment, new sandboxes, fitness areas, benches and trees, new safety surfacing and will be wheelchair accessible.
The goal is to build the new playground during the weekend of May 18-20 — and to have the construction completely accomplished by local volunteers, Keady said.
“It will truly be a community-built playground,” Keady said.
Trustee Marc Angelillo, who is also a PARCS member, reminded the board that while the Austin Park playground improvement project began last June, the fundraising and visibility of the project took off in July when the family of 22-month-old Cameron Leigh Kenan, who died in July and whose mother was also a member of PARCS, requested donations be made to PARCS in lieu of flowers.
To date, about 90 percent of all the funds PARCS has raised for the playground project has been given in memory of Cameron Kenan, Keady said.
Angelillo said he would like to “formally dedicate” the new playground to Cameron Kenan when it is ready.
—Todd Marshall, of the Skaneateles Polar Bear Club, asked the trustees for approval to use the waterfront and lake access areas for the third annual polar bear plunge on Jan. 28. Marshall said participation has increased every year, and the group is expecting this year even more than the 55 people that came last year to jump in the icy lake waters. The plunge last year raised $5,500, which was split equally between SAVES, the Skaneateles Fire Department and the Skaneateles Education Foundation. “Ice is not a pre-requisite of this happening,” Marshall said, referring to the paucity of freezing temperatures so far this winter.
—The village does not need to apply for a separate renewal status in order to erect new “pedestrian channelization devices,” or crosswalk signs, at the three crosswalks on Route 20 that have been down since Nov. 1, Village Attorney Michael J. Byrne told the board. The crosswalk signs are considered part of the blanket annual maintenance permit the village files with the DOT every year, the DOT recently verified. As long as that permit is kept current, the crosswalks will be back in place in April. The village board previously thought it had to renew the five-year permit application after learning it expired this past December, and so inquired with the DOT.
—The village board renewed agreements with Mid-Lakes Navigation and the Skaneateles Chamber of Commerce Foundation for dock rights on the lake.
—The village board approved the request of the Skaneateles Library to hold its annual book sale from Thursday, July 12, to Sunday, July 15, this year. The approved dates mark a departure from the usual book sale schedule, which typically runs from Thursday to Saturday. The Sunday hours will be from noon to 2 p.m. While the request was approved by the board, Trustee Sue Jones voted no out of the concern that allowing the sale to extend to Sunday hours might set an unwanted precedent for other village events that currently do not run through Sundays.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Skaneateles Press. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.