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Open to ideas on open space

According to town figures, the golf course has turned a profit in its first year of operation for the town.

Leslie also said that schools provide recreational areas throughout Bethlehem, and that the town recently opened up public fishing areas along the Onesquethaw Creek. He added that there are 788 acres of conservation land in Bethlehem that represents about 2 percent of the town's land area.

"We've come to think of pathways as those areas where you travel by foot or on bicycle," Leslie said. "Pathways can be sidewalks or multi-use paths."

Albany County has recently approved a measure to purchase an old railway bed in town and has plans to convert it to the Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail, which would run from Voorheesville to Albany.

Leslie said this pathway would be a part of the town's network of trail systems.

Behan Planning Associates is working as a consultant for the town to help shape the new land-use policy. The town hired the firm strictly in an advisory capacity " not to draw up an open space plan, according to Supervisor Jack Cunningham.

"It's obviously a very individualist decision (land-use options)," John Behan told residents at the May workshop. "What's important to you is important to us."

Department of Economic Development Director George Leveille said the town is looking for feedback on what is to go into the plan and where residents rank their comprehensive land-use priorities.

The Citizen Advisory Committee on Conservation meets the second Monday of every month. More public hearings are expected as the town works to define its open space policy.

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