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Clifton Park Receives Grant For Proposed Park

State Senator James Tedisco joined by Clifton Park town board members
Lucas Willard
State Senator James Tedisco joined by Clifton Park town board members

The planning process for a new park in the Southern Saratoga County town of Clifton Park is moving forward. The town received a state grant today to begin making the property more accessible to the public.

In September, after nearly two years of public input, the town of Clifton Park released its draft master plan for the proposed Town Center Park.

The park is to be located on 37 acres that the Shenendehowa School District sold to the town after a public referendum in December 2017. A previous referendum in April 2017 to sell the parcel to a developer who had proposed building a supermarket on a portion of the property failed. 

On Thursday, members of the town board and State Senator James Tedisco gathered at the entrance of a wooded trail at the front of the property, across from a cluster of retail stores in the town’s Exit 9 commercial zone.

Senator Tedisco commented on the public process to develop a plan for the property, calling it an example of what representative democracy should be. 

“These guys behind me didn’t decide what was going to be here, I didn’t decide what was going to be here, they had a referendum. They said the people of Clifton Park should be able to decide what to have here,” said Tedisco.

Tedisco presented town leaders with an oversized check for $250,000 to represent a state grant to ease costs of the first phase of development.

Town supervisor Phil Barrett said the town is considering developing the park in several phases and expects the process to take years. But it starts with  more simple goals. 

“Right now we just want to make it more accessible, more enjoyable, and begin to make improvements within the park,” said Barrett.

Barrett explained that during the planning process, ideas from the public on how to develop the property were rated.

“The idea of a dog park, very low rating. The idea of an outside water feature received a very low rating. An open lawn area where people can relax or recreate or maybe catch a show at an outdoor stage, very high rating. Enhancing the trail system, very high rating,” said Barrett.

Concrete plans, timelines, and cost estimates have yet to be released.

The public can view the draft Town Center Park master plan on the Town of Clifton Park’s website. Comments will be reviewed by the town’s Park Planning Committee. A final plan is expected this fall, before the town board votes on it.

Lucas Willard is a news reporter and host at WAMC Northeast Public Radio, which he joined in 2011. He produces and hosts The Best of Our Knowledge and WAMC Listening Party.
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