Feb 25, 2014 Joe Genco Uncategorized
The Skaneateles Town Board discussed two potential future projects to improve the park in Skaneateles Falls, at its Feb. 20 meeting.
The board voted to spend up to $500 to hire a grant writer to apply for a Community Development Fund administered by Onondaga County. Though it discussed two possible projects, the application will be to enhance the park’s basketball court and playground area.
Though no members of the public spoke during a public hearing, Supervisor Mary Sennett proposed the improvements to Skaneateles Falls Playground, located off of Jordan Road and School Street near the American Legion building. The park improvements would meet the criteria for the grant, Sennett said.
Councilor Jim Greenfield voted against the expenditure. The town would be better served to wait until next year when it would have more time to plan ahead for the grant, he said.
The other project the board discussed possibly pursuing in the future is expanding the park and adding proper access and parking, something it has never had.
The town owns a 16-foot strip of land giving access to School Street on which a sidewalk could be paved to give better access. Though the American Legion has expressed concerns about liability if the town were to make any changes that would encourage residents to use the building’s parking lot for access to the park, Sennett said.
There is a piece of undeveloped property adjacent to the property that is owned by National Grid that could be used for parking and access to the park from School Street or Stump Road. Former Supervisor Bill Pavlus had attempted to acquire this land during his time in office, though at that time it was owned by Niagara Mohawk, Sennett said.
“The only thing I can hope is that since it’s now National Grid and not Niagara Mohawk, maybe they’re new players and we would be able to get some sort of access to that baseball field,” Sennett said.
Sue Murphy, of the parks department, said that when youth softball has practices at the park people usually park at the American Legion, on School Street or in the parking lot on the other side of Jordan Road.
Pavlus, who was at the meeting, added that some of the land owned by Stauffer Chemical company, that is also adjacent to the park, could be acquired to expand the park and give residents access to Skaneateles Creek.
“They [Stauffer] have no use for that property and then people in that area would be able to get down to the water’s edge,” Pavlus said.
Though it made no firm plans to pursue either project outside of the grant application, board members said they would like to start planning for the grant application longer in advance next year.
—The board voted to have engineers from C&S Companies inspect three old railroad bridges for $900. The fee was a compromise with the firm, who originally asked for $500 to inspect one of the bridges.
The board wants to save one of the bridges despite the Onondaga County Department of Transportation initially planning to remove it when it does work on Jordan Road in Skaneateles Falls this summer.
The three bridges, which all cross Skaneateles Creek, were part of an old railroad line. The land they sit on is now owned by the town and could one day be used as a nature trail that connects to the Charlie Major Nature Trail and the village.
—The board voted 4 to 1 (with Councilor Nancy Murray dissenting) to engage with Syracuse-based law firm Mackenzie Hughes. The firm will seek grant funding for future water system improvement projects, including the possible addition of a water tower on the west side of town. Mackenzie Hughes does not charge the town unless it successfully secures a grant, meaning its services are free, for the time being.
Joe Genco is the editor of the Skaneateles Press. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.