BALLSTON SPA – After Mayor John Romano and the Village Board appointed Bill Lewis fire chief Monday, the new chief talked about Saturday’s incident in which a 14-year-old Ballston Spa youth was rescued from the main Saratoga County sewer line. [Read more…]
BALLSTON SPA — Drake McDonough of Boy Scout Troop 2, recently achieved Scouting’s highest rank, Eagle Scout, and was recognized for his accomplishment at a Court of Honor at Christ Episcopal Church on Mar. 27. [Read more…]
MALTA — A subdivision of 20 houses was proposed Monday at the north end and east side of South Ruhle Road, between the Zim Smith Trail to the south and Ballston Creek to the north. [Read more…]
The Town of Malta Parks and Recreation Department is hosting a 3-mile walk with festivities along the Zim Smith Trail starting 11 a.m. Saturday, June 4, 2016, in celebration of National Trails Day.
Adults, children and dogs are welcome. Events begin in the pavilion at Shenantaha Creek Park.
National Trails Day — sponsored by the American Hiking Society — is celebrated on the first Saturday in June to promote awareness of the benefits of trails and to get people to discover local trails. It’s also a day to celebrate the people who help develop and maintain those trails.
Events across the country include hikes, biking, horseback riding, paddling trips, birdwatching and more.
Malta Parks, Recreation and Human Services organizes a variety of activities for local residents. Visit www.maltaparksrec.com or join the Malta Parks and Recreation Public Group on Facebook.
Be sure to follow The Ballston Journal Online on Facebook, too.
Zim Smith Trail, Truth in Taxation also make county board agenda
BY BARBARA COOK
Visitors to the Department of Motor Vehicles in Ballston Spa will soon find parking an easier task. The board of supervisors approved the designation of 14 parking spots in the Remsen Street lot as DMV only, with a 30-minute limit.
In 1973, the 55-space lot was made a “no employee parking” lot, but several years ago it was made available to employees. County Clerk Kathy Marchione told the Buildings and Grounds Committee on June 11 that she regretted allowing employees to park there, because customers have had trouble parking.
In addition to employees, jurors use the lot and Marchione said it is particularly full on jury selection days. Following the designation of 14 spaces for DMV, the remainder will still be available to employees and jurors.
The Zim Smith Trail received an award from the U.S. Department of the Interior. Stillwater Supervisor Ed Kinowski, chairman of the trails committee, presented a plaque to Board of Supervisors Chairman Thomas Wood Tuesday. The award designates the trail as a National Recreation Trail.
The Zim Smith Trail was one of 54 new trails nationwide to receive the designation, and the only one in New York State. “Quite a prominent award for our county,” Kinowski observed.
Named for Zimri Luce Smith, a retired Lieutenant Colonel who lived in Saratoga Springs, the trail is now about nine miles long. Smith initiated the idea of a trail in the 1980s and his wife continued pursuing the project after his death. The trail currently runs from Ballston Spa to the town of Halfmoon, passing through the towns of Ballston, Malta, Clifton Park and the village of Round Lake.
As part of a state-wide initiative, the board of supervisors adopted a local Truth in Taxation Law at its June 19 meeting. The new law will change the county tax bill so it identifies which portions are the result of state mandates. A tax bill flyer will summarize the financial impact of the mandates.
By JENNIE GREY
Eight years of planning will soon be over, and construction of the long-awaited Zim Smith Trail connection is set to begin.
At the Tuesday, July 5, Malta Town Board meeting, members of the Creighton Manning Engineering team held an eminent domain procedure law public hearing. They explained the objectives for the project and how land for it was acquired. The public was then given the opportunity to comment.
“Plans for the Zim Smith Trail connection began with the Town of Malta Linkage Study in August 2003,” said Don Adams, a project engineer with Creighton Manning.
The final design takes the trail north in Malta, parallel with Interstate 87, then southeast along the old trolley line. After a small southern loop at the Ronald Wayne Van Patten property, the trail will turn and go northeast to connect with Route 9.
Kristie Di Cocco, also a project engineer with Creighton Manning, explained the objectives for the trail.
“We want to continue to establish a comprehensive trail network by connecting the Zim Smith Trail to the Luther Forest Tech Campus and beyond,” she said. “We want to utilize existing trail alignments; and evaluate the potential for pedestrian, bike, and equestrian use. And we want to minimize environmental impacts.”
Di Cocco showed in a presentation how the line of the trail was chosen, based on avoiding wetlands and steep grades.
The trolley bed contains some steep cuts and several large trees that will need clearing, she said. The Van Patten parcel holds wetland, steep grades, and some issues with soil erosion.
The engineers therefore planned the line of the trail past the easiest grades.
One slide in the presentation gave a look at the proposed path, 10 feet wide in total. Six feet will be asphalt, intended for pedestrians, joggers, and cyclists. Four feet will be reinforced turf, planned for equestrians. There will be a two-foot grass shoulder on each side of the trail.
Adams spoke of the properties to be affected by the new trail- the Saratoga Preserving Land and Nature and Van Patten.
P.L.A.N., a land trust, will turn over 2.23 acres of the old trolley line to the Town of Malta. Van Patten is seeking a permanent easement for his two acres for construction and maintenance.
Adams said an appraisal process and comparable real-estate sales near the property are studied to determine its worth, in instances such as this.
“If the property owners reject the offer, they must make a claim to the State Supreme Court,” Adams said.
He also referred residents to a booklet called “How the State Acquires Property for Public Purposes,” available at the hearing.
The public’s comments were largely positive and in favor of the trail connection.
Andy Fyfe, stewardship and education coordinator for P.L.A.N. read a letter from the trust’s board of directors. The board agreed to give the 15-mile trolley line over for future trails.
Carol Henry, chair of the Citizens Response Board, came to the podium to applaud P.L.A.N.’s care of that land.
“P.L.A.N. has done a world of good,” she said. “The trust has protected that land.”
Dean Taylor of Re/Max Park Place spoke for Van Patten, who supports the trail connection.
“Mr. Van Patten just has one request,” Taylor said. “He would like the last part of the trail moved further south to make for easier entry and exit onto the Route 9 section.”
Adams said the team would take that into consideration.
He said 10 days would remain for the public to file comments before the next phase of the project would begin. Construction will start in fall 2011.
“Complete construction will be in spring 2012,” he said.