Rotterdam clears vision on parks plan

The first goal is to create a general use, multi use and special use facilities for the town. Also, creating neighborhood parks, conservation areas and multi-use trails is part of the goal. Martin said surrounding municipalities have different have different categories of parks, which he would like to see implemented in the town.

Conceptual planning of the "Bicentennial Park" show a large amount of land acquisition, including the 79-acre bonded concrete site between Route 5 and the New York State Thruway. Also, the present 3-acre Woestina Park would be expanded up to 67 acres.

"We were hoping to build a park in Rotterdam Junction," said Supervisor Frank Del Gallo. "Getting people to go along with it is another thing."

Developing a general use park in Rotterdam Junction and establishing a dog park in one of the existing parks are the first two plans of action, said Severson. Del Gallo said there are going to be meetings soon on how to accomplish the difference aspects of the plan.

The second goal would ensure effective parks and recreation programs can be enjoyed by all town residents, which would fall under the creation of a new Parks, Recreation, and Community Programs Department.

Severson said existing parks could be used for homes to town leagues and could be used more wisely by developing multi-use fields including a baseball diamond, football field and soccer field all in one.

"Some of our leagues don't have permanent homes," said Severson. "We don't want to overburden taxpayers, on the other hand we have to find a home for these different leagues."

Although, Severson said the plan doesn't just focus on sports leagues, but aims to make parks more useful for all residents.

"Right now most of our parks are primarily used by the various leagues," said Severson. "Those are important programs, but pretty much every one of our parks they are pretty much dedicated to sports leagues for young people. We want a park system and recreation system that is available to people of all ages."

How the town is going to pay for all these improvements will be the struggle board members are faced to solve.

"Funding is always an issue especially for parks and recreations," said Martin.

Severson said developing the plan would help the town apply for state and federal grants funding, which would be hard to receive without a finalized plan in writing.

"We are looking at how can we go about doing as many improvements with our parks without costing the taxpayers any money," said Severson.""

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