Boice Park/Ballston Journal

Milton May Expand Boice Park

MILTON – The Town Board on Wednesday agreed to pay for an appraisal of about 50 acres to the north of Boice Family Park as the potential first step in acquiring the property for a park expansion.

The board acted on the recommendation of the town Open Space Committee, as presented by member Larry Woolbright.

Boice Park is south of Rock City Falls at Rock City Road and Creekside Drive, surrounding and adjacent to a housing development. Woolbright said it was created in 2008 and is currently about 100 acres, some of it along the Kayaderosseras Creek. Volunteers including Friends of the Kayaderosseras and Boy Scouts have developed about three-and-a-half miles of trails, which he said are well used.

The Open Space Committee has had its eye on the property to the north for some time, Woolbright said, but the owners only recently decided they were interested in selling. Details such as whether to buy easements or go for outright purchase, and whether some of the land might be donated, are not yet worked out, he said, but the Open Space Committee would hope to come back with a proposal for the Town Board. He noted that any funds appropriated would come from fees paid by developers, not from taxes.

In other business, the board set a July 1 public hearing at 7:05 p.m. “to remove John Beckem from the Planning Board due to residence outside the Town of Milton.”

Town Attorney James Craig said he and others have been unable to contact Beckem, but believe he has moved out of town. Planning Board Chairman Benny Zlotnick wrote Beckem a letter seeking his resignation. However, Councilwoman Barbara Kerr said she spoke to Beckem, who said he was consulting with an attorney and did not intend to resign. Kerr said Beckem attributed the pressure to get rid of him to his “vote on a certain matter that came before the board.”

After the meeting, Kerr said that vote was on the proposed Fair Oaks subdivision west of Saratoga County Airport, which a majority of the Planning Board including Beckem opposed last month. Zlotnick then worked to win support for the project, which the board last week approved  with one dissenting vote, and Beckem absent.

Reached after the meeting, Beckem said he would call a reporter back about an hour later. But he did not call, and did not return a subsequent phone call.

The Town Board accepted a $93,271.60 bid from ValleyView Construction Services of Hamburg, NY, to provide soft flooring for the new handicapped-accessible playground at Burgess-Kimball Memorial Park. A lower bid was rejected because it did not meet specifications such as paying the prevailing wage rate.

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Reporter Bob Conner has worked 21 years in various positions at the Gazette of Schenectady, and before that four years as a reporter at the Glens Falls Post-Star. He won two first-place writing awards from the New York Associated Press Association for newspapers with circulation between 50,000 and 250,000. Bob has a Phi Beta Kappa bachelor’s degree in journalism from New York University, and an associate’s degree in chemical dependency counseling from HVCC. He is a published author and is currently writing a historical novel about the last four months in the life of Ulysses S.Grant

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