The new kayak hand launch will be constructed on the Lakeland Park canal right about where this large piece of wall is missing. The fenced-in area visible in the photo is where the wall collapsed after the July 1 storm. (Olivia Emerson)
By Jason Emerson
Work will begin shortly to build a kayak hand launch in Lakeland Park by Carpenter’s Barn, and, perhaps, more importantly, the canal wall that crumbled into the water after the July 1 storm will be rebuilt.
The village board last Thursday unanimously voted to accept a $109,000 work bid from Expert Building Services, of Cazenovia, to undertake the project.
Expert Building Services, owned by Mike Walker, rebuilt the historic front wall of Lakeland Park in 2013-14.
“He did wonderful work on the front wall…his costs are very reasonable for this type of work,” said Mayor Kurt Wheeler. “We’re excited [for the new project to begin].”
The work is hoped to begin in a week or two and be completed before winter sets in, Wheeler said.
The kayak launch, part of the overall Lakeland Park Master Plan, will be 50 feet long, have three sides (almost like an amphitheater shape), with three steps down to the launch platform that will be part of the canal bank. It will be located about 50 yards west of Carpenter’s Barn.
The launch construction will include the rebuilding of the canal wall for 15 feet on either side of the launch to give it a solid foundation, Wheeler said. It will also include the reconstruction of 67 feet of canal wall to the west of the launch (towards Cazenovia Lake).
The canal will not be blocked during the work, rather, a coffer dam will be used to create a semi-circular area around the wall to divert the flow of water around the work area.
The original project, for which planning began about two years ago, called for portions of the deteriorated canal wall to be repaired as part of the work. The July 1 storm, however, further damaged the wall and caused a large section of it to fall into the canal, so the project was changed from repair to rebuild, Wheeler said.
The remaining 44 feet of the canal wall, to the east of the kayak launch, is not scheduled to be rebuilt during the current project because the total cost would be too much, currently, for the village to undertake, Wheeler said. However, if the project is completed under budget, the village board would authorize Walker to rebuild as much of the east wall as possible using the remaining funds, he said.
The total cost for the kayak launch and wall rebuilding project is $153,042, with $109,822 for Walker, $18,000 for Saratoga Associates (the engineering and architectural planning firm hired to undertake the Lakeland Park Master Plan), and the rest of the costs as in-kind costs to the village for items such as excavation of the damaged wall pieces and the creation of a stone-dust path from Carpenter’s Barn to the kayak launch.
The project is being funded by a combination of grants and village monies. The village has received $123,000 in grants already for this project, and will use reserve funds to cover the remaining $30,000 in costs.
During the Aug. 19 special meeting to approve the bid contract, the village board also authorized the use of up to $20,000 from the village’s Parks Capital Reserve Fund, and up to $20,000 from the village’s Community Beautification Fund for the kayak launch and wall project. The use of the funds are subject to permissive referendum.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.