BALLSTON – The town officially purchased Fireman’s Grove, the 11-acre parcel along Mainstreet in Ballston Lake, Tuesday at 3 p.m.
Previously owned by the Ballston Lake Volunteer Fire Department, Fireman’s Grove was bought for $145,000, using funds collected from developers through certificates of occupancy fees. Enhancements will be overseen by the town Parks and Recreation Committee with input and involvement from the community regarding future use.
“We’re looking forward to improvements and getting everyone together. It’s very exciting and a great opportunity for the community” said Town Supervisor Tim Szczepaniak.
Fireman’s Grove will be renamed The Ballston Lake Fire Department Memorial Park, according to the terms of the transaction. The fire department has owned Fireman’s Grove since the 1950s.
At the same meeting finalizing the purchase, the board also took the opportunity to honor Edwin Uline Sr., 89, for 70 years of service as a volunteer firefighter.
Born in Ballston Spa on June 22, 1929, Uline joined Union Fire Company No. 2 when he was 18, just 32 years after the now over 100-year-old department was founded. From 1950 to 1952 Uline served in U.S. 27th Infantry Regiment, the Wolfhounds, where he received the Combat Infantry badge. After his service he continued to volunteer in his department, climbing up the ranks. He served as company foreman, second assistant chief, first assistant chief, and eventually fire chief, while also serving as chief mechanic for 50 years. He also played a key role in expanding the station in the 1950s to better protect the community.
“I appreciate the recognition for all my service and time as a fireman,” Uline told The Ballston Journal, surrounded by members of his department and brandishing the plaque awarded to him in honor of his service.
“Edwin willingly risked life and limb for decades as a first responder in order to help those in need, often being a witness to great tragedies and great joy and always being committed to protecting the neighbors and community he was born to serve,” said Supervisor Szczepaniak. “We hold him up as a shining example of selflessness and dedication. The community he has served will be forever grateful.”