Hot summer weather is finally here, at least for awhile. Rain or shine, hot or cool, your Town parks and recreational facilities are ready for your enjoyment. While you are likely familiar with convenient hiking trails, including five miles of marked trails in Tawasentha Park and over 20 miles in the Albany Pine Bush Preserve, there are lesser known options in the Town.
The Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy maintains a roughly 2.5 mile roundtrip hiking trail over easy to moderate terrain (see photograph) through the beautiful Bozen Kill Preserve, with viewpoints of the Bozen Kill Creek. A parking area is located on Westfall Road, just outside the Village of Altamont. You can obtain more information about the Bozen Kill Preserve, including its history, important role in protecting water sources, and a hiking map, at www.mohawkhudson.org/our-preserves/bozen-kill-protected-area/
The Town maintains the Vosburgh Trails, which are about five miles roundtrip from Vosburgh Road, or four miles roundtrip from Millingstone Way, to French’s Mill Road, a short distance from the pedestrian/bicycle bridge over the Normanskill Creek with picturesque views of the Watervliet Reservoir. The Town is working with the City of Watervliet on allowing the Town’s extension of the trail over City property to a trail head close to the bridge. The trail is marked and hiking maps are being prepared for posting at trail head kiosks and the Town website.
Please remember that free outdoor entertainment is available in beautiful settings. Each Thursday evening at 7:30 pm through August 23rd, free concerts are held at Tawasentha Park’s Guilderland Performing Arts Center. Information about concert performers is available on the Park’s Department page on the Town website or by calling the Parks Office at (518) 456-3150. On Tuesday evenings at 7 pm through August 14th, free concerts are held at Orsini Park in the Village of Altamont. Detailed concert information is available on the Altamont Free Library’s website.
Please also consider attending baseball or softball games which are held in Keenholts Park in Guilderland Center. The Park has eight fields for Guilderland Little League and Guilderland Softball, along with Dutchmen Field, the home of Guilderland Babe Ruth, with lights, stadium-style seating, concession stand, picnic area, and ample parking. Games schedules and other information are available at www.guilderlandbaseball.com.
Later this month, at the Town’s request, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation plans to inspect the pond at DiCaprio Park for DEC’s potential stocking of fish. The inspection will determine which fish species are present and which species are sustainable and could be stocked. The Town and DEC are exploring options for installing boat launches on Town-owned land on the Normanskill, and are working with the City of Watervliet on a recreation plan for the Watervliet Reservoir, including shore fishing and non-motorized boat access.
On June 27th, the Town took possession of an ambulance to supplement services provided by private companies, Western Turnpike Rescue Squad and Altamont Rescue Squad. At its June 5th meeting, the Town Board found that an additional ambulance was necessary to provide adequate overnight ambulance coverage in the Carman Road area, improve response times Town-wide, and reduce mutual aid requests from out of town agencies. The Town’s Medical Director, EMS Director and Senior Paramedic Supervisor encouraged this action after consulting with the NYS Department of Health. Because it will be staffed with an emergency medical technician and paramedic, the Town’s ambulance will provide advanced-life support for cardiac and acute care patients.
The EMS Department carefully researched and, after assessing the Town’s needs, found a used ambulance that was available for purchase at less than a quarter of the cost of a new comparable ambulance. Prior to the purchase, Lee Knaggs, Highway Department Maintenance Supervisor, and Sean McGaughnea, Paramedic Supervisor, traveled to Elizabeth, New Jersey to inspect the ambulance. The ambulance has a new engine and a power system for lifting the cot which will help reduce workplace injuries and costs. The ambulance has bariatric capabilities, with a power wench and heavy duty ramps. The Town is working with Albany County to allow the sharing of the bariatric ambulance. I thank the EMS Department and Highway Department for meeting this critical need for residents while saving taxpayer dollars.
The Assessor’s Office and the Town’s consultant, IUVC, Inc., have started preparatory work for the 2019 revaluation of properties. In late July, the Assessor will mail inventory letters to property owners which provide property details and request updates or confirming no changes. On July 10th at 7pm at Town Hall, the Assessor and Town consultant will present a PowerPoint informational session on the revaluation process. The PowerPoint presentation will be posted on the Assessor’s page devoted to the 2019 revaluation on the Town website. The Assessor will soon announce additional seminars in the fall at various locations.
On Tuesday, August 7th at 6 pm at Tawasentha Park, the Police Department’s Community Services Unit is hosting National Night Out. This annual event promotes the vital relationship among residents and first responders, interactions with officers, tours of emergency apparatus, including the Town’s new ambulance, and fun-filled activities for children including an ice cream stand.
I hope you and your family are having an enjoyable summer and I thank you again for taking the time to read these notes.
Peter G. Barber, Town Supervisor