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What you need to know for 08/23/2017

Purchase to add to open space in Clifton Park

Purchase to add to open space in Clifton Park

Officials expect to close “imminently” on a 79-acre property on Route 146A near Waite and Ashdown ro

The town of Clifton Park soon will add another property to its hundreds of acres of open space.

Officials expect to close “imminently” on a 79-acre property on Route 146A near Waite and Ashdown roads, town Supervisor Phil Barrett said.

The land is mostly wooded and partly wetlands, according to Saratoga County property records.

Earlier this month, the Town Board approved buying the land from owners Arnold and Kathleen Carrese, who live nearby. The town will use $154,000 from two land preservation accounts toward the $325,000 purchase price. Some of that spending was approved at a Town Board meeting last week.

The rest of the funds will come out of the town’s $12 million unrestricted fund balance, and will be paid back to the fund balance.

“We will replenish those funds through fees that we receive through new developments,” Barrett said.

The town was particularly interested in this property because it abuts an 80-acre parcel the town bought about 10 years ago. That property, in turn, connects to Veterans Memorial Park, which fronts on MacElroy Road and has ballfields and a pavilion.

“It was a good strategic purchase,” Barrett said.

Forested properties like the one the town is buying are “of particular interest with regard to our preservation efforts,” he said.

Compared to Veterans Memorial Park, which has structured activities and is “active,” the wooded property gives people the opportunity to take a hike and enjoy the natural area on their own, and is “passive.”

Town officials and the Carreses had talked about the land a few years ago and began negotiations in earnest last year, Barrett said.

“They very much wanted to see the property preserved,” he said. “They had opportunities to develop it,” but chose to sell it to the town instead.

The Carreses plan to continue living nearby on Route 146A.

After the town settles with the Carreses and takes possession of the property, it will immediately be open to the public, Barrett said. The town will put up some signs to show people where the property begins.

The property is across Route 146A from Eagle Crest Golf Course.

Its full market value for tax purposes is estimated at $242,414, according to Saratoga County records.

Clifton Park has made several open space land purchases in recent years. In 2011, it bought 41.4 acres on the Mohawk River off Riverview Road. In 2005 and 2007, it bought the land that makes up Garnsey Park, a passive recreation area on the western end of Route 146.

The town also bought the 40-acre Barney Road Golf Course in 2010, partially with open space funds.

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