Town officials are looking towards a phased approach to more than $1.5 million of parks improvements outlined in a draft plan.
New Scotland Town Board members heard a presentation Wednesday, Dec. 10, from consultant Ted Kolankowski of Barton & Loguidice on potential renovations and enhancements to Stephen P. Wallace Swift Road Park and Feura Bush Park. The draft New Scotland Parks Master Plan builds off the town’s 2003 Recreation Master Plan Study. Two alternative concept plans for each park are described in the draft plan — a minimal plan and a more aggressive plan.
After hearing the projected $1.51 million price tag, which could be reduced if some work is done in-house or through volunteers, board members focused on the best approach to complete improvements.
“This is a little outside our budget,” said Town Supervisor Tom Dolin.
Kolankowski said a phased approach would probably be the best approach to construction. Initially, he suggested expanding the parking area at both parks first and then moving on to other projects.
Swift Road Park improvements total around $1.17 million, if contracted out, which include several targeted areas.
The park’s baseball field would have its drainage improved, adding a new dugout and bleachers, replacing the backstop and relocating it closer to home plate, and regrading the outfield. A second softball field is proposed, with parking added near the two fields. Constructing a multi-use field is also proposed.
Other targeted improvements include formalizing the park’s cross country trail, relocating the skating rink to a permanent location and replace the maintenance facility with a new open picnic pavilion that has restrooms. A new maintenance facility building would be constructed on a less visible site at the 69-acre park, with more space and amenities.
Feura Bush Park enhancements would build upon active uses at the park and existing features.
A second softball field is proposed, which could double as a field for the little league that does not have a field. Drainage would be improved at the existing softball field, and basketball and tennis courts.
A multi-use field could also be formalized, which is currently used as a soccer field. Perimeter fencing is suggested around this field to redirect ATV users to the established ATV path along the park edges.
The nature trail through the woodland area at Feura Bush Park would be formalized to expand passive recreation opportunities. The park’s pavilion area would also receive several improvements and additional recreation options, such as a volleyball court, horseshoe pits and bocce courts.
Dolin said the plan outlines a good start to discussions about park enhancements and what direction the town should head.
“We have to start somewhere, and we are starting big,” said Dolin.
James Conway, president of the Voorheesville Baseball Club, altered board members there are no little league fields in the town. The local little league started around three years ago, said Conway, which ended a roughly two-decade absence of an established little league.
To help the club advance, Conway suggested a home field for the teams be included in park improvements. He said the club is interested in a baseball field for older and younger kids.
“I would suggest maybe the town could consider a possibility of partnership with organizations and private citizens,” said Conway. “I know the economy is tough all around, but when there is an interest, I think those partnerships can be beneficial to everybody involved.”
Board members generally appeared receptive to the club’s proposal. Town officials are planning to work with the club on hopefully setting up at least a temporary solution to provide a home field before its next season in the spring.
“We really are trying to find out what the needs are out there,” said Dolin. “The town has plenty of land, so we should be able to accommodate this need.”