MILTON — The Town Board voted on a resolution on Monday to pay up to $20,000 to Twin Rivers Council in exchange for the council to sell Camp Boyhaven to the town within 90 days.
Councilman Benny Zlotnick said since the town missed Friday’s closing deadline to purchase the 300-acre property off Middle Grove Road along the Kayaderosseras Creek, the council wants funds to cover insurance costs and the loss of income.
The town originally was going to offer the council $5,000, but Supervisor Scott Ostrander said he received a text message from the council’s attorney nearly an hour-and-a-half before Monday’s 7 p.m. meeting stating that $5,000 wasn’t enough.
Councilman John Frolish suggested the town negotiate up to $20,000 with the council.
The town was supposed to close on the property by Dec. 31, 2017. The council extended the date to May 11.
Last week, Twin Rivers Council CEO Mark Switzer said the organization suggested to the town that if they were looking to extend the closing date passed May 11 that it make an offer that would help the council alleviate monthly expenses they’re incurring on the property.
The council is paying approximately $1,000 a month for utilities and insurance costs for the property, which closed last summer.
The resolution includes a permissive referendum, which means that within 30 days of the passage of the resolution, if 5 percent of the voters in the town’s last general election, or 504 people, file a petition with the clerk against it, the town must then withdraw the project or schedule a public vote.
Ostrander said the resolution would give the town more time to secure funding for the purchase.
Milton resident Barabara Broderson said she felt Monday’s meeting was positive as long as the council accepts the town’s offer.
“Twenty thousand is nothing today; it’s half a car,” she said. “It’s definitely worth the investment.”
Broderson said she’s worried that if the property isn’t preserved, it will be developed.
“The town has grown so much in the last 50 years and they’re continuing to build,” she said. “I would hate to see it turn into housing. It should be forever wild.
“We have so many people now and more are moving in, so it would be nice to have a facility close by to camp.”
Milton Planning Board Chairman Larry Woolbright, who was working with the Town Board on the Camp Boyhaven purchase for more than a year, stepped down from the project last week.
On Monday, Woolbright said he’s glad to see the board is still moving forward with the project.
“I hope they’re successful,” he said.
Zlotnick said he would be reaching out to the council’s attorney on Tuesday to see if they would accept the town’s deal.
He said nearly $120,000 has been pledged toward the project by private individuals through a GoFundMe account by resident Frank Rossi Jr. and a fundraising effort by Saratoga PLAN, a Saratoga County-based environmental conservation organization.
“We still have other irons in the fire if these negotiations don’t go through,” he told the audience on Monday. “Other organizations have reached out to us to help and we’re trying to move forward.
“We don’t want to let this fall through.”
The town is hosting another special meeting on Tuesday, May 22 at 7 p.m. at 503 Geyser Road in Ballston Spa.
Switzer did not respond to calls for comment on Monday.