CLIFTON PARK, N.Y. — State Sen. Jim Tedisco last week brought public funds back to taxpayers in the form of $250,000 state grant for the Clifton Park Town Center Park.
The formal presentation of the grant was made on the edge of the 37-acre forested site off Maxwell Road Extension under a brilliant sun with temperatures inching into the mid-60s.
After purchasing the land from the Shenendehowa School District in xxx and reaching out to the public on multiple occasions for its input on how the site should be used, the town is now in the process of finalizing the park’s design.
With some of the park’s trees as a backdrop Town Supervisor Philip Barrett made the announcement of the grant surrounded by members of the Town Board along Sen. Tedisco, R-Glenville.
In in his remarks Barrett described the opportunity of transforming such a centrally located site into a park that will be used by the community as an exciting opportunity.
“We have an incredible opportunity before us and we take this opportunity very seriously,” he said. “It is a rare and unique instance that in a Town like Clifton Park we are able to acquire such a large and beautiful piece of property in the Exit 9 commerce area. We’ve been working on this feverishly for the last few years.”
As he has on several occasions in the past, Barrett noted how the Town Center Plan was created to provide a roadmap for the town into the future to sustain the success it has achieved in the immediate central commerce area while diversifying the economy.
The Town Center Plan, he said, has provided great benefits to the town’s business sector, services for the community’s residents, and has helped build a tax base that totals more than $5 billion.
Thanks in large part to the town’s solid tax base and the administration’s conservative budgeting, Barrett said the town has been able to put away funds for purchases like the park land.
“Part of the town Center Plan was to find an opportunity to develop a green space recreational area within its boundaries,” Barrett said. “And when you compare the size of the Town Center area to the rest of the town it’s very small so having this opportunity is an incredible find and we are very pleased to take advantage and leverage it.”
In his remarks Tedisco said that he, as a former Schenectady councilman, understood all the work that had gone on to get the town to this stage of the park’s completion. Thinking back to his experiences as a councilman he said the job was about listening and doing and getting such a town park is part of the doing.
“We’ve got great people in the 49th Senate District and this is an example of what representative democracy should be about, what good government on a local, state and federal level should be doing,” Tedisco said. “This town Council understands that you need a good balance, a good commercial base and a good destination base. This (park) will be a great place but to do that sometimes you need some funding. I believe these funds will help get the job done.”
Tedisco said getting the funds for such constituent items is his job; to fight to get taxpayers’ funds back to them so they can be used to enhance the quality of life for the community.
The site for the park is between Moe Road on the west and Maxwell Drive Extension on the east. To the south is Shatekon Elementary School and to the north is the Town Plaza retail and office center on Route 146.
At a Sept. 18 presentation on the draft designs for the park consultants Behan Planning and Elan Planning proposed two possibilities which included a series of trails through the site. The consultants are discussing the public comments made at that meeting with the town’s Town Center Park Advisory Committee.
At the check presentation Barrett said a date for finalizing the design and letting bids for the work is impossible to provide at this time. However, he added that in the next year he will work to make the park more accessible and enjoyable for people.