CLIFTON PARK – After a long, drawn-out affair to preserve 37 acres on Route 146 for a public park, the concept is nearing reality as the town seeks bids for work on Town Center Park through April 4.
Clifton Park is moving forward with Phase 1 of the project, which includes parking in two locations — off Moe and Maxwell roads — as well as infrastructure, stormwater, paved trails, lighting, and an open grass area for recreation and events called “The Glade,” Town Supervisor Philip Barrett said Friday.
“The elements of Phase 1 are important to any future access, safety of the visitors and other improvements at the park,” Barrett said. “We are concerned about the supply-chain issues creating a lack of availability on some items such as the lighting component and the overall increase in cost of various materials.”
The initial estimate for the first phase is about $1.8 million. The bid calls for the work to be finished by October.
Clifton Park purchased the land that the park will be created on from the Shenendehowa Central School District for $1 million in 2018 after an extensive back and forth and two referendums.
It is considered pristine forest and wetlands that border the school district’s main campus and Shatekon Elementary School.
The history of the matter dates to at least February 2016, when it was first suggested to forge an effort to create a Town Park on the former school property.
After the school board voted to sell the property to a developer on Dec. 5, 2016, concerned citizens worked to gather more than 7,000 signatures – almost 2,000 more than what was needed to force a referendum on the sale as provided for in state law.
In April 2017 the referendum passed by a two‐to-one margin — 5,442 to 2,323 — to reject the plan to sell the property to BBL developers for slightly more than $2 million for a ShopRite supermarket.
In December 2017, voters overwhelmingly approved a $1.1 million deal to sell to the town and preserve it as a public park, in a 2,723 to 535 vote.