"It's not just the cost of the materials, but also the time we'll have to put in to repair the dock," said Whalen. "We're working on the roads right now, so it will be at least a week before we get out there, and it will take at least two weeks to fix it."
The section of the floating dock is now blocked by plywood and a caution sign. Whalen said the work crews could find even more damage beneath the poles that anchor the section of the dock in place.
"A couple years ago, we set long posts in place to keep the dock from shifting when the lake ices over," said Whalen. "That was the last big project we did there, and now part of that may be ruined and need replacing."
Beer cans littered the water near the charred dock Friday afternoon. Herman said he has become reluctantly resigned to people using the site to dump trash.
"People think Outlet Road, because it's tucked away, is a garbage dump, and we can't put trash cans there because they fill up overnight," said Herman. "But nothing with damage of this magnitude has ever been done."
Herman said members of the improvement district have toyed with the idea of setting up a system to patrol the area, but that, like anything else, would take an enormous amount of manpower.
"We've talked about a watch system, but the thing is, Ballston Lake is a very tight community, and people watch out for each other," said Herman. "We really haven't had a lot of trouble up until now. I love to see people using the dock, and you hate to put a damper on it."
Whalen said he hesitates to point the finger at kids having parties on the dock, but hopes that justice will be done once the vandals are caught.
"I think part of the punishment should be community service, and have whoever did this out there working to re-build it right alongside us," said Whalen.""