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Nisky makes play for new playground equipment

An effort to add new state-of-the-art playground equipment to Niskayuna's River Road Park is being spearheaded by Liz Orzel Kasper, chairwoman of the town's Parks and Recreation Committee.

Those changes aren't expected to cost town taxpayers anything. Instead county officials would foot the bill through a grant covering the full cost of the new equipment, Kasper said.

I've already had a preliminary meeting with county officials about this and our County Legislator Susan Savage (D-Schenectady) is working on lining up the money, Kasper said. "I'm not sure exactly how long it will take to put the financing in place, but it does seem to be moving along pretty quickly. I'm hopeful that it can be done within the next several months, but we will have to see."

Moving the process forward, town officials were hopeful they would be able to have a face-to-face discussion with a representative of at least one playground equipment vendor before the end of this week so they could discuss prices and other details. Final arrangements for that meeting were not yet in place on Tuesday, June19, according to the head of the town's Recreation Department Kathleen Gansfuss.

"When I look at some of this equipment with the beautiful bright colors, it makes me wish I was six years old again," she said. "It is so attractive to the eye, they really are doing some amazing things with playground equipment and if we can get something new for River Road Park, that would be great."

River Road Park was the site of some controversy last spring when town officials debated whether to pave over several trails running through the park.

Extending an existing paved trail to Hempstead Road and connecting it to Rosendale Elementary School, that work carried a price tag of $30,000. While funding for the paving was included in the town's 2006 annual budget, several local residents voiced opposition before the work began and the Army Corps of Engineers was brought in to make sure that federal wetlands protection regulations were followed.

In another major decision affecting the utilization of local parks in Niskayuna, the town board authorized creation of a dog park area in 2005. Set aside for local residents and their canines, creation of the dog park was accompanied by rewriting of the local leash law so that it would be more easily enforced.

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