Blogs > Saratogian Newsroom

The Saratogian Newsroom blog, complete with thoughts and commentary from our newsroom staff and regular posts on happenings around town.

Wednesday, August 3

Saratoga Springs may have a public beach for residents and visitors alike as early as next summer. For those who haven't read the story about it, that ran in The Saratogian Aug. 3.

But that wasn't the entirety of the story, only as much as could fit in the paper, so as I like to do in this blog, here is a little more on what is planned.

According to Mayor Scott Johnson, the priority for the park is just getting it open for the public.

As he told me, Johnson came into office and this property had already been purchased and then padlocked. He said not opening the park to the public is “unacceptable," and to that end, he said the first phase will pave and grade the access route to the beach (which at this point is a treacherous and steep dirt "road"), demolish the building that is down on the beach and generally improve some of the infrastructure there.

"We need to allow some use of this wonderful area that to date has been padlocked," he said.

Phase two is the big money phase. It will cost around $800,000, but the mayor is confident the city can get grant money to cut that cost in half. As for those who have said (some in the comments on the story and others aloud) that the grant money is still taxpayer money, Johnson said "It is not like if we don't spend this money New York State wont spend it. It is competitive and we need to try and get what is out there."

The plans for phases two and three are somewhat conflated (at least to me, although there is a Master Plan that was developed when the city acquired the property), but it will generally involve installing lighting, a kayak and other non-motorized boat launch, grills, another pavilion or two, picnic tables, stormwater upgrades, wood decking in spots, general landscaping and educational kiosks to reflect "the historical context of why this park has a connection to the city," Johnson said. "There is a lot of infrastructure stuff that needs to be addressed."

The money would also go to clearing some of the foliage blocking the view from the upper part of the three-tiered park. "If you clear that out you get a great vista of the lake," he said.

Some of the more robust planned additions that may occur later down the line (perhaps in the third phase) are: an amphitheater built into the side of the hill, utilizing the natural structure of the mid-section of the park, with bench seating for small concerts or plays, a pier jutting out into the lake people could fish off of or as Johnson described small tours could be launched from (provided a private company would do it at no cost to the city) "The idea is to have that as an option to people who would like to enjoy being on the lake but don't have a boat."


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home