Schenectady County

Scotia to reopen storm-damaged Collins Park, partially at first

The village’s Collins Park — closed since the flooding caused by Tropical Storm Irene — will soon re

The village’s Collins Park — closed since the flooding caused by Tropical Storm Irene — will soon reopen.

Scotia Parks Superintendent Jim Marx said he finished up most of the repair work Wednesday and the “keep out” signs are being removed. The park has been closed since Aug. 28, when the Mohawk River crested and flooded the park’s open space, tennis courts, baseball fields and basketball courts.

The flooding deposited a thick layer of mud on the basketball and tennis courts. Crews had to go around shoring up huge sinkholes underneath the grass.

Mayor Kris Kastberg said the village is not doing any kind of grand reopening. The Babe Ruth Little League fields are still a mess and will not be usable. There are still a lot of fallen trees in that area that need to be removed.

“We’re planning to do that over the winter,” he said.

Kastberg said it is difficult to estimate the cost of the repair work since it was done in-house. Public works staffers were reassigned to help out with the park work.

Beach Road, which washed out because of the flooding, has been paved at a cost of $12,000. However, the beach itself will have to be replaced before next season, according to Kastberg. The open spaces, kiddie parks and basketball courts are all usable but the tennis courts lack nets.

Marx is working with the village park board to begin scheduling events.

“We’ll ease back into it for the late fall and winter season,” Kastberg said.

Trustee Cathy Gatta noted that a lot of geese were congregating in the park. Marx said with the water getting colder, it wouldn’t be a good idea to try to get out on the lake with a dog to chase them away as the village has done in the past.

In other business, the Board of Trustees proposed a new law regulating the temporary storage units that have been cropping up in the village.

“They’re ugly on our main drag and not appropriate for what we want for the nature of our shopping district,” Kastberg said.

The law would require people to get a permit for 30 days and then have to reapply for one additional 30-day period. No more than 90 days is allowed in a 12-month period. The fee for the permit has not been set. A public hearing and adoption of the law will be held at the village’s Dec. 14 meeting.

Also, the board is going to start broadcasting its meetings on its website. It is purchasing a subscription to a video streaming service for $15 a month. Kastberg said this pales in comparison to the $2,500 Open Stage Media wanted to broadcast the meetings on public access television.

Trustee Thomas Gifford said it was a no-brainer to put the meetings on the site. “We’re paying $65 a month to have it filmed,” he said. “To not have any exposure seems like kind of a waste.”

The board also agreed to have Johnson Controls perform an energy audit at no cost to the village. Kastberg said NYSERDA did an energy audit previously but it wasn’t very useful.

Speaking of energy, Village Hall is not using as much energy because one of the two boilers in the building has a malfunctioning pump. Employees have been using space heaters to keep warm. Kastberg said one boiler can heat both sides of the building in a pinch but the transfer valve is stuck. The board agreed to spend up to $5,000 to remove asbestos and repair the valve. It has already spent $2,000 to replace the tank.

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