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A place for peace or play?

Opponents of proposed sports complex say it would destroy serenity of the adjacent cemetery

Memory Gardens sits on a ridge that is one of the highest points in the town of Colonie and is the final resting place of approximately 36,000 people. The tree line separates the cemetery from the proposed sports complex.

Memory Gardens sits on a ridge that is one of the highest points in the town of Colonie and is the final resting place of approximately 36,000 people. The tree line separates the cemetery from the proposed sports complex. Photo by Billy DeLap.


Rebhan said she is not against the sports park, just the proposed location.

“It’s just the noise,” she said. “I’m all for sports; kids need a place to play. I just don’t think this is the right place.”

Andrew Carroll, director of the cemetery, echoed Rebhan’s concerns.

“We usually have anywhere from 10 to 20 burials a week, with Saturday being the busiest day.” Carroll said. “It’s not that we don’t like soccer or kids playing sports; we just think it’s too close.”

Nezaj said the proposed location is important for the sports complex because the Colonie soccer teams need to be where other teams can easily get to the field. He said that in order to play the teams that they need to play, they need a big facility that will draw in teams from other areas. He said he wants teams to come here instead of going to places like Maryland or Connecticut.

“For any facility to be successful it needs to be someplace easily accessible. I know I could go someplace cheaper or different, but people won’t go,” Nezaj said. “These four fields could be the pride of the Capital Region.”

In an attempt to ease citizens’ concerns about noise, Nezaj hired Chazen Companies to test the sound levels at various spots at the Rotterdam soccer facility while five youth games were being played. Those recordings found the decibel levels were all below the normal level of conversation, which is 60.0 to 65 decibels.

There is no proposed announcing system nor are there any bleachers planned that would add people and noise, said Nezaj who will be presenting his findings at the Nov. 21 Zoning Board Meeting. He said he encourages Memory Gardens to hire its own contractor to run a test if they don’t agree with his findings.

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