Town looks into logging at Stony Creek

Idea first considered in 2002 as revenue generator, town waits for bids

— The Town of Colonie is looking into just how lucrative logging at the Stony Creek Reservoir in Clifton Park would be, and passed a resolution to draft a request for proposals (RFP) to gauge interest at the Thursday, May 3, Town Board meeting.

“We’re looking for a certified forester, not looking to clear cut or anything of that nature but looking for responsible forestry,” said Town Attorney Mike Magguilli.

Logging on the Colonie-owned Clifton Park property is an idea that’s been swirling since 2002, when the former Republican administration conducted a study on generating revenue through logging. Magguilli said the study found a logging operation at the reservoir could generate between $88,000 and $108,000 in “2002 dollars” but that’s about as far as things went.

“I don’t know why they never went through with it in the previous administration. I don’t know if they just never went to the next step,” said Magguilli. “It’s something this Town Board felt was worth examining. … We’re trying to determine the revenue that this may generate and whether it’s worth it to proceed.”

Magguilli said the town dug up the 10-year-old idea because it’s “always looking for ways to raise revenue without raising taxes.”

Colonie has owned 1,112 acres of land in Clifton Park— 365 of which is the Stony Creek Reservoir— for years. But, since the reservoir has only ever served as an emergency water supply and been put to use just once during a glycol spill at the airport in the early ‘90s, it hasn’t been much use to the town.

That’s why in 2009 Colonie tried to sell it to Clifton Park. The town planned to retain some rights in the reservoir and restrict the water to passive use, like canoeing or kayaking.

“We put it out for an RFP, had the property appraised, the only response we received was from the Open Space Institute and they offered us $3.08 million and the town rejected that as not enough,” said Magguilli.

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