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What you need to know for 01/18/2018

Niskayuna creating master plan for town parks

Niskayuna creating master plan for town parks

Niskayuna is putting together a master plan for its parks to determine what facilities need to be re

Niskayuna is putting together a master plan for its parks to determine what facilities need to be replaced and what new projects should be funded.

The Town Board recently hired Schenectady-based John M. McDonald Engineering to draw up the plan at a cost not to exceed $19,900.

Board member Julie McDonnell said this week that the idea is to get a sense of what park facilities the town has and what shape they are in, and to plan for the future.

“It’s been a long time since we’ve looked comprehensively at our parks, the groups using our parks, our facilities and some of the park needs that we have,” she said at a committee meeting this past week. “Before we put money into repairing or replacing things, we thought it would be a good idea to have a targeted plan with priorities.”

McDonnell said she expected the firm to meet with the various groups and people who use the parks to help come up with that priority list.

Town Supervisor Joe Landry said he hopes to have the master plan in hand by the end of the summer.

He expects it will contain various recommendations, from small changes to bigger projects.

An example of a more expensive option, he said, would be the water and sewer garage, which is now located at Blatnick Park.

The master plan could recommend moving that elsewhere to make more room for the park.

The plan could also include goals of using some fields differently, to include more youth teams.

“We’ll look at all the uses in the parks,” Landry said.

Board member Denise Murphy McGraw said she sees the plan as similar to how Schenectady County Community College looks at its facilities. McGraw is also the college’s board of trustees chair.

The plan will help the town get the most out of its parks money, she said.

“People move to Niskayuna for the quality of life,” McGraw said. “They look for town programs, they look for these parks and they want them to be the best.”

The parks master plan will help the town accomplish that, she said.

“We really need to be taking a 10,000-foot approach to the entire town parks infrastructure, to see what’s most needed this year, next year and five years from now,” McGraw said.

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