HALFMOON, N.Y. — The town will take a $100,000 grant from the New York State Canal Corporation and build a car-top boat launch on the Mohawk River.
The launching area will be built near the Crescent Bridge at the end of Terminal Road. Plans drawn up by engineering consultants Barton and Loguidice will put the kayak and canoe launch on the eastern side of the road at its terminus with the river.
To help pay for the design and construction, the town will match the Canal Corporation grant with $100,000 of its own funds.
This is the second, non-motorized boat launch to be built by the town. The first was completed more than a decade ago on the Hudson River at Lighthouse Park off Route 4 and 32 near the intersection with Brookwood Road.
The floating boat launch is one part of a larger plan to transform the look of Terminal Road into a pocket park. The changes will include a re-grading of the road’s slope, new paving, and striping for a parking lot, tree plantings, turf restoration, a historic marker, and large, landscape boulders at the road’s terminus with the water to prevent accidental or intentional vehicular submersions.
The area has seen two intentional vehicular submersions in the last two years that resulted in the death of the drivers. The most recent one was in April. Large boulders have since been placed at the end of the road.
“We and the Canal Corporation are working together on the project,” said Halfmoon Supervisor Kevin Tollisen. “The plan is to clear the area basin, get a new parking lot in there and some shrubs. The design is to make it conducive to a lot of recreational uses.”
Tollisen said the town has stepped up its partnership on the project with the Canal Corporation since the incident last month.
“It’s intended that the [car-top boat launches] uses that will take place there will not disrupt what the Canal Corporation does at that site,” he said. “We will also make sure that the blocks that form the historic aqueduct wall which is nearby will not be disturbed.”
Tollisen said the boat launch and the aesthetic improvements are intended to be low key.
“It’s another way for residents to access the river,” he said. “Part of the town’s strategic planning is to make recreational upgrades annually. We want to offer new things for our residents.”
Another of those new offerings is a planned community center in the Town Park on Route 236. Tollisen said the design for the center is underway thanks to a $2 million grant received from retired state Sen. Kathy Marchione prior to her leaving office. Marchione is a resident of the town. Tollisen expects the cost to total $3 million when the center is completed.
“We’re trying to zero in on what we want and how much it’ll cost,” he said. “A community center was always part of the dream for the Town Park. It will be staffed by the recreation department; their offices will be located there. I expect the center to be designed, so it can expand.”
Tollisen said the town receives a number of requests to use a gym, which it does not have at the moment. Plans call for the community center to have a full-size basketball court/gym, offices for the recreation department, conference rooms and workshop classrooms.
“We’re looking at eventually having outdoor basketball courts, pickleball courts, and tennis courts,” Tollisen said. “We want the tennis courts to double as an ice skating rink in the winter.”
He added that once the center with its basketball court is built it will be available for town residents’ use as well as others.