Public access site plans readied for east side of Round Lake

Tuesday, April 30, 2013
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— Malta town officials are ready to approve plans that will lead to construction of a kayak launch and development of public access to the eastern shore of Round Lake.

The first phase of work at the planned Round Lake Preserve is scheduled for conceptual approval at Monday’s Town Board meeting, though construction is unlikely to start before 2014.

The anticipated cost of the first phase is nearly $800,000, according to an estimate prepared by The LA Group of Saratoga Springs, the town’s project consultants.

The 92-acre property was purchased from the Sweeney family in 2008, with plans for establishing a passive park that would provide public access to the lake’s wild eastern shore. Earlier, a residential subdivision was proposed for part of the land, but the state blocked its approval because of a large Native American archaeological site under the land.

The town, together with the conservation organization Saratoga PLAN, purchased the property in 2008. The $850,000 price was financed in part from the state’s Environmental Protection Fund. A significant amount of the property is wetlands, where only very limited development would be allowed.

The preserve includes a large heron rookery along the Anthony Kill, and town officials said it also protects the Native American archaeological site.

The work the Town Board is expected to authorize Monday includes construction of a gravel access road from Route 67 down to the lake, with a gravel parking lot in an upland area.

Also, a single-lane gravel road would be built down to a kayak/canoe launch area along the Anthony Kill. Interpretive signs would be installed as part of the project’s first phase, and the area would be landscaped.

Completing detailed design work, obtaining necessary state and federal permits and conducting required archaeological investigations are expected to take most of this year, with construction anticipated in 2014.

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