Residents hear project updates 'Around Town'

Bethlehem community meeting draws few as supervisor details rail-trail, housing progress

At the Bethlehem Around Town community meeting on Thursday, Jan. 20, Supervisor Sam Messina and other town officials gave a handful of residents an update on some of the development projects currently in the works.

Messina said he is looking forward to opening a 1.85-mile portion of Rail Trail that would stretch from Fireman's Memorial Park to Veteran's Memorial Park. The holdup, he said, is the county's ability to find funding.

[It] costs a lot of money, and we're not going to get that money soon unless someone can tell me where it's coming from, said Messina. "The town isn't leading this, as a matter of fact, it wouldn't cost the town anything. The county has to support this and Mohawk-Hudson is taking a leadership role."

Sheri Sanduski stepped in for the town historian to give a brief update on the portion of town trying to get listed on state and federal historical registries as the Slingerlands Historic District. The area in question is New Scotland Road from the town line to the roundabout and a portion of Kenwood Avenue. The town is currently in the process of putting together an application that would go to the state and feds sometime in the spring.

"Most areas you'd see [encompassed] are natural historical properties in the hamlet of Slingerlands. To have this collective element of really a very sustainable quality of life that we can build here, not only for ourselves but we have to build this for our next generation," said Sanduski. "We have to make sure there's a balance of economic development and preservation. This is a very special place. It's unlike other areas."

Sanduski said the historic district designation would hopefully attract families, residents that don't know about the area and visitors and businesses.

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