Insurance agent for the Town of Milton, Dave Meager, presented several scenarios of costs increases to the Town’s insurance if Camp Boyhaven is purchased and utilized for a recreational facility.
Costs for activities such as ice skating, camping, cross-country skiing or banquet facilities, ideas kicked around during public meetings, could raise costs to the Town for staff, maintenance and insurance premiums.
While studies are still taking place, questions raised by Supervisor Dan Lewza and members of the town board were tightly focused on costs of insurance for certain uses, details and costs related to removal of cement holding containers for restroom facilities and possible mold, asbestos and lead paint issues in the white farmhouse on the property that may or may not interfere with the potential for it to be sold.
Larry Woolbright, chairman of the town planning board and one of the main proponents of the purchase said, “I was happy to hear that the added cost of insurance will be minimal. I believe he [Meager] said $2000 a year for replacement cost coverage on the buildings we recommended keeping – if the Board really wants to insure for that much. Personally, I might choose not to have replacement coverage on buildings that we might not replace anyway, but the Board still needs to make decisions about what buildings we are keeping and whether we want to insure them. Any additional costs would be based on uses that the Board decides to have on the property such as swimming or ice skating. I don’t see them doing any of that at this point.”
The suggestion of use as a passive park maintained with the help of the Friends of Kayaderosseras could temper income projections as initially offered in the movement to purchase the property for $500k and the addition of another $500k by an anonymous donor, who has purportedly tied specific use conditions as terms of the donation.
“My personal preference would be to develop the trails and open the park for passive recreation first and then decide about other uses over time as possible. I understand that the Board is reluctant to take too big a leap all at once. It is certainly an option to secure the buildings now for possible future use and then take our time to work through the management plan. I think that after we own the property and people get used to going there, public input will guide the Board on if and when to add other uses. Some of the other potential uses might generate income, but I don’t think we know at this point how that income would compare to the costs of doing them, and I think the Board is wise to move slowly on making those decisions.
In any event, none of this changes the opportunity to sell some of the land to the State and that is the biggest chunk of the financial picture”, said Woolbright.
According to Woolbright, the donor stipulations “are fairly minor”: the park has to remain open to the public without motorized vehicles except for those required for maintenance, park development, handicapped access and emergency vehicles. The donor is agreeable to use of the dining hall for other purposes and food concessions and gets to choose the name of the park, subject to Board approval. No restrictions apply to any land sold to the State.
Councilman Benny Zlotnick declined to respond directly to a question about his knowledge of a mold issue, in the farmhouse, on the property from Councilman Scott Ostrander. The subject came up as part of a discussion about possibly selling the home.
“Let’s wait for the reports to come back and go from there,” said Zlotnick in an email to the Ballston Journal.
The owner of Camp Boyhaven, the Twin Rivers Council announced the intent to close the 300-acre facility and seek a buyer this past spring. Boyhaven is located between Middle Grove Road and Route 29 in Milton, about 10 miles west of Saratoga Springs.
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