"This parcel has been identified in at least 10 different plans as important to protect," said Chinian. Chinian was backed by Audrey Ball, director of parks and recreation.
"This particular project has been rated high for many years," she said. "It will give us access to Round Lake."
Currently, the only public access is off of Route 9.
"This is a true open space project, for 85 acres," said Ball. "That's a very small contribution."
While board members did not dispute the project's value, they expressed concern that the $700,000 price tag was simply to buy the property and additional funding would be needed for any road work, trail construction, or boat launches that might be included as the design plan for the property progresses. Ultimately, the board chose not to make a decision and agreed to table the matter to be discussed at a workshop.
The workshop, held on March 16, was attended by Town Supervisor Paul Sausville and board members Donna Gizzi, Cliff Lange and Jerry Winters. In addition, Town Attorney Tom Peterson, Director of Planning Heather Mallozzi, Ball, and Town Historian Teri Ulrich were on hand. Deputy Supervisor Glenn Rockwood, Town Clerk Flo Sickels, Comptroller Kevin King, and planning board chairman Peter Klotz also attended the workshop at which Laura Welles, conservation program manager for Saratoga P.L.A.N., further urged the board to move forward with funding for this project.
Mallozzi noted that the parcel in question has an approved plan that allows building on the parcel. While there do seem to be hurdles as it relates to the state historic preservation office, she said they can be overcome.
"I think regardless, it will get done," said Mallozzi of the expensive archaeological work that would be required before SHPO would sign off on the necessary paperwork for building on the lots owned by Sweeney. "Whether it's by the Sweeneys or another developer, it's critical we preserve what we've got," she said.