Saratoga County

Delay drives park costs higher

A two-year delay in construction of the highly anticipated family recreation park on 50 acres at the

A two-year delay in construction of the highly anticipated family recreation park on 50 acres at the intersection of Harris Road and Route 236 is primarily to blame for increasing the park’s price tag from $2.36 million to $6 million.

The Halfmoon Town Board awarded contracts this week for various stages of the work, ranging from site preparation to plumbing to electrical work.

The project was stymied for 24 months while U.S. Army Corp of Engineers studied the site’s wetlands, which are federally protected and can only be altered under specific guidelines. At the end of April 2008, engineers gave the go-ahead and also stipulated the requirements for building on the land.

During the two-year delay, costs for construction rose dramatically. Original bonding for the project was about $2.36 million, but after gaining input from the public, the board recently upped the bonding for $6 million.

“Everything went up in price during that time span, from gas to building materials,” town Supervisor Mindy Wormuth said. “The $6 million is more than we’ll likely need, but the project can now begin.”

Wormuth said the board will announce a groundbreaking date later this week. The complete park construction project is anticipated to take 18 months.

Even with the funds authorized as a town expense, Wormuth is seeking other funding, and is in the midst of applying for grants from the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.

“We’re very actively seeking alternative funding sources,” Wormuth said. “Many of the grants will match funds put in by the town.”

Amenities for the town’s first major recreational facility include seven baseball fields, a clubhouse, youth pavilion, two picnic pavilions, amphitheater, bicycle and walking trails, two separate restroom facilities, roads and parking lots. Planners also hope to include environmentally friendly wooden boardwalks through the wetland areas for nature trails.

Halfmoon’s other recreational areas include a playground on the town complex site and also Crescent Park along the Mohawk River front.

Categories: Schenectady County

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