Saratoga County

Camp Boyhaven still not a done deal for Milton

Town Board has requested an extension and will host another special meeting on Monday
Camp Boyhaven in Milton is pictured in 2017.
Camp Boyhaven in Milton is pictured in 2017.

MILTON — The Town Board has asked the Twin Rivers Boy Scout Council for an extension to purchase Camp Boyhaven and plans to meet again Monday. 

Before Wednesday’s board meeting, the council told the town it had until Friday to purchase the 300-acre property off Middle Grove Road along the Kayaderosseras Creek. 

The town originally was supposed to close on the property by Dec. 31, 2017. 

The news of the extension was announced following a nearly 40-minute closed door meeting between the board and Glens Falls attorney Jacquelyn White of Miller, Mannix, Schachner and Hafner. 

White was filling in for Town Attorney James Craig. 

The crowd of around 100 people at Town Hall responded with shouts of frustration. 

Rock City Falls resident Heather Grimm said the board had no respect for its residents. 

“It’s absurd,” she said. “We come here to have a discussion and they go in and hide for 45 minutes.

“The deadline was the 11th, so [the council] will probably say ‘no’ to the extension.”

Grimm said she wants the town to purchase Camp Boyhaven to have a place for the community to enjoy.

“Open space is wonderful,” she said. “It’s a win-win.

“The board has totally blown it and they should be ashamed.”

At the last Town Board meeting on May 1, the board voted on a resolution to authorize the town attorney to move forward with the May 11 closing and to bond $500,000, as originally planned for the purchase.

Milton Planning Board Chairman Larry Woolbright, who secured a deal with an anonymous donor for $500,000, announced on April 25 that the donor had rescinded his offer, after several attempts were made by some in the public to reveal the donor’s identity. 

Woolbright has since joined forces with Saratoga PLAN, a Saratoga County-based environmental conservation organization, to launch a fundraising effort to help the town purchase Camp Boyhaven.

On Tuesday, Woolbright said around $110,000 had been raised. 

After Wednesday’s meeting, Woolbright said he was “extremely disappointed.”

“I’ve been told the Boy Scouts won’t give us another extension,” he said. “I think it’s dead in the water.”

Woolbright said the Twin Rivers Boy Scouts Council was meeting on Wednesday as the town originally planned to hold a special meeting to discuss the purchase on Monday. 

It was postponed after town attorneys requested more time, according to Town Supervisor Scott Ostrander.

An extension, Ostrander said, would give the town more time to explore additional funding sources instead of relying on town funds. 

“We don’t have an extra $500,000,” he said. “If we did, we would’ve bought it a long time ago.

“I don’t believe in depleting town funds for a park.”

According to a copy of a resolution authorizing and funding the purchase of Boyhaven, which was provided to the public at Wednesday’s meeting, there is $150,308 available in the town’s park fund, and approximately $75,000 in the town’s open space fund, “after outstanding payables.”

When the Town Board voted to meet on Monday to discuss Camp Boyhaven again, member Barbara Kerr was the only one to abstain from the vote.

“I’m a risk taker,” she said. “I would’ve said go with it.”

Kerr, who is in favor of the town purchasing Camp Boyhaven, said she’s not sure what will happen next. 

“The deadline is Friday and we’re meeting on Monday,” she said. “I don’t know if we’ll have a next step.”

Ostrander said the board would meet on Monday to figure out how to move forward. 

“The council could cancel our contract, but it wouldn’t necessarily mean it would be done,” he said. “We could rebid unless they have another bidder they want to award the contract to.”

Ostrander said Wednesday’s meeting was meant to update the public, not necessarily vote on the contract. 

“The donor pulled out of this project,” he said. “These people scream and yell, but they need to think about what they’re saying.

“The town has upheld their part of the deal the whole time.”

Twin Rivers Boy Scout Council CEO Mark Switzer did not return a call for comment. 

The Town Board is scheduled to meet Monday at 7 p.m. at Town Hall, 503 Geyser Road in Ballston Spa. 

Categories: News, Schenectady County

Leave a Reply