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Panel mulls rec plans for Parklands

After public outcry about a proposal to put at least 10 soccer fields on a 150-acre parcel in the Western portion of Clifton Park known as Rexford, the town decided to look at the need for fields in the area.

I'm not discussing any active fields at this time, said Councilman Thomas Paloucci, concerning placing fields on the parcel, also known as the Parklands.

In previous town meetings, a number of Rexford residents have said they are against putting soccer fields in the Parklands and would rather see just passive recreation opportunities, such as picnic tables and trails.

Paloucci said the committee to design the Parklands has been working to develop a proposal to bring before the public.

He called for a needs assessment regarding the fields during an earlier meeting, and said Monday, June 9, that the town is working on hiring a group to conduct the assessment, which would review the town's sports facilities.

Councilman Sandy Roth questioned whether the town offered the proposed fields in the Parklands to a soccer group because, he said, a league director was quoted in a newspaper as saying that three to four fields would be available on that land.

In response to Roth's question, Paloucci said, "I think we need to work with soccer through a needs assessment."

Paloucci reassured the Town Council and public that nothing was a done deal.

"This is an issue where we have more questions than answers," Paloucci said.

He also noted that the Town of Halfmoon, which is planning to build a town park with ball fields, might be able to provide use to Clifton Park teams.

"We have to look at growth of fields in both communities," he said.

Regular council meeting attendee Jim Baisley said the town needs to look at their available space for both active and passive recreation in a holistic manner.

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