MALTA: Town OKs preserve plans

"There are very valuable archaeological resources on the property," said Malta Supervisor Paul Sausville. In addition to the archaeological resources, Laura Welles, the conservation program manager, said the purchase and protection of this property will benefit the community by providing public access to most of the site, including the shores of Round Lake and the Anthony Kill. Additionally, she said the partnership will "protect spectacular views of open space and Round Lake from Route 67 and the property." Water quality and important ecological areas on the property, including a heron rookery, will also be protected with this purchase.

Saratoga P.L.A.N. has been promised $350,000 in funding from the state's Environmental Protection Fund. That grant money was contingent on P.L.A.N. finding matching money from other resources. Saratoga County has agreed to pay $100,000 with P.L.A.N. putting in $50,000 of its own money. While Malta had been asked to initially contribute just $100,000 when other funding mechanisms fell through, P.L.A.N. approached the town board about increasing the contribution to meet the required match as well as the property owner's asking price.

At the same time, the town board became aware of the lakefront property owner's desire to maintain life estate privileges on the parcel that is 31.31 acres. Owner Larry Sweeney had initially asked that he and his wife be provided sole use of the lakefront parcel with no public access until after he and his wife were deceased, but instead the town will own the land.

In addition to the $340,000 to be spent by the town, the resolution also allows the Town of Malta to supply bridge funding to Saratoga P.L.A.N. In order to receive the state's promised funding, P.L.A.N. must first spend the money and get reimbursed by the state.

There is a 30-day waiting period on the spending the approved money. No action will take place at the end of that time frame if a petition has been filed by residents. ""

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