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County acts on open space plea

Park designation will hinge on construction of new nursing home

— A longstanding push to preserve land adjacent to the Indian Kill Nature Preserve could finally be realized — in a few more years.

The Schenectady County Legislature discussed a resolution to preserve county-owned land next to the Glendale Nursing home, which residents dubbed the “Indian Kill Field,” during its committee meeting on Monday, Feb. 6. Even if the Legislature approves the resolution during its Tuesday, Feb. 14, meeting, the formal dedication wouldn’t occur until construction on the new Glendale Nursing Home is completed.

County officials are estimating the project to be completed in April 2014 and cost $50 million to complete.

The resolution was sponsored by all District 3 Democratic legislators representing Glenville, but notably did not include fellow Republican District 3 Legislator James Buhrmaster.

Former minority leader Robert Farley had chided Democrat legislators several times for not acting to preserve the land. Farley left the Legislature in January after not seeking reelection. Buhrmaster is now the sole Republican member.

“We have been trying for two years to get this done and I think this is fantastic,” Buhrmaster said at the meeting. “The question I would ask is, ‘If I could be a sponsor’ … I feel that I have worked very, very hard for two years on this issue.”

After the meeting, Buhrmaster said it appeared fellow District 3 legislators agreed to placing his name on the resolution.

Ray Gillen, commissioner of Economic Development and Planning for Schenectady County, said the land designation couldn’t be made until several aspects of the nursing home project were finalized. Gillen said the county is also looking into securing state funding to build trails throughout the area.

“I think there was a concern about doing this prematurely,” Gillen said. “We wanted to make sure we don’t encroach on the home, or take away any recreational opportunities for residents of the home, so that there is plenty of space behind the home.”

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