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Saratoga Springs turns eye to new rec site

Saratoga Spring's City Council elected to relocate the focus of soil testing to the city's south side for a potential $6.5 million indoor recreational facility Tuesday, Jan. 15.

At no additional cost to the city, project engineers C.T. Male will shift their attention from Weibel Avenue in the northeast part of the city, to a location near the Jefferson Terrace federally subsidized apartments.

The move was spurred by Mayor Scott Johnson, who expressed an interest in building the recreational facility at a location easier for children to access and closer to the city's core. Council members were glad to see the facility, which has been stuck in planning for years, move closer toward a reality.

I'm glad to see that we can bring it into the city. It kind of puts it into walking distance. I think this site is going to serve the city a whole lot better, said Anthony Scirocco, Public Works commissioner.

Public Safety Commissioner Ron Kim urged city officials to keep their eyes on the clock and be sure to spend the more than $4 million bonded in 2007 for the project, the remaining $2.5 million is to be generated through recreational fees. If the city doesn't spend the money, warned Kim, it could lose it.

However, moving the proposal to the lower east side could give the project a boost because the city may be able to move on it faster. Some residents at the meeting feared test results of the Weibel Avenue site may warrant environmental clean up and slow work down. An optimistic Ken Ivins, finance commissioner, said he is looking "to break ground in fall."

Johnson assured city residents and council members that as soon as soil samples return, the city will move on other logistics, such as traffic studies and necessary state environmental assessments to move on the Jefferson Terrace site.

Several residents were elated to hear of the potential relocation as well as step toward breaking ground. Recreational Department Director Linda Terricol shared the sentiments.

The Council also approved parking limit extensions, from two hours to three, in the Saratoga Public Library parking lot.

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