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Trail plan hits a snag

A proposal to build a trail in Stony Creek Park District No. 1 was temporarily halted Monday, Jan. 14, as Clifton Park Town Board members voted unanimously to table a resolution that would allow the district to spend $6,100 on a design plan.

Following a presentation by Paul Olund, from the Environmental Design Partnership, which is drafting the trail plan, several residents of the park district spoke out against the project, citing concerns with traffic, costs and the trail's access points.

Hugh Matthews, who lives on Liberty Way near one of the trail's four access points, expressed several concerns with the proposed trail.

With this significant amount of money, I believe further discussion is necessary, he said.

Matthews also said that an entrance on Liberty Way would increase traffic in the area, which is already congested. He said that nothing would stop people from parking on the road and entering the park.

"I have concerns with the access points from a vehicular standpoint," said Matthews.

Other residents agreed, including Alison and Jonathan Fairbanks of Countrymen Estates North.

Alison Fairbanks said, "I would think before the town spends $6,100 of taxpayers' money to study a trail, they would at least send out a map to determine if the park district really wants the trails."

Her husband echoed her concerns.

"This is silliness; we have trails and people use them," said Jonathan Fairbanks, who said that improving the existing trails would increase access for all-terrain vehicles and snowmobiles.

"We are of like mind," said Brian Easton, chairman for the park district. "We don't want ATVs on this trail either."

Easton said a survey conducted in 2005 showed residents were largely in favor of building a trail in the open space.

If the trail is 6 to 8 feet wide and topped with stone dust, it would cost about $200,000 to build, according to Olund. The park district budgeted about $140,000, and plans to complete the project in phases. Taxpayers in the district fund the park.

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