CHATHAM–The Town Board reviewed plans for an updated pavilion at Crellin Park at their meeting last week. The board plans to borrow over $220,000 to add flooring, bathrooms and snack bar/kitchen to the structure at the town park near the swimming pond.
At the March 21 meeting, the board debated whether or not the plans should include a radiant heating system and a stove for the kitchen, which would add another $26,000 to the plan.
There was also discussion of whether to connect the pavilion to the Village of Chatham water system or continue using a well at the site. If the board chooses the well, the town will have to install an $8,500 water treatment system. The site is already connected to the village sewer system.
In 2013 a pavilion at the pond that had bathrooms, changing rooms and a snack bar, was torn down because of problems with the foundation. The board discussed replacing it then but the plans were put on hold. More recently an open-sided structure with a roof on poles has been put up and the town rents portable toilets every summer for the site.
The town hosts a summer day camp program at the park, which uses a separate pavilion away from the pond. The board’s Recreation Committee has hosted community days at the park for the last two summers and some private events are held at the finished pavilion.
Several board members talked about building the new pavilion as a way to bring more people to the park. “I think the park is underutilized,” said Councilman John Wapner. He and Councilman Michael Richardson also stressed that spending the money for the new pavilion was not just for the camp program.
“If 80 kids are going to use it for six weeks, I’m against it,” said Mr. Richardson. But he does support the upgrades at the pavilion because community members might rent out the space for events. As for adding the stove and the heating system, he said, “If you are going to do it, do it right.”
Councilman Kevin Weldon said he hoped having this space would expand the programs at the park. Mr. Wapner said he worried that if the board starting “cutting back and back” on plans, they are limiting their options of how to use the pavilion. “You’ll be boxed in,” he said of cutting the heating and the stove.
Supervisor Maria Lull voiced concern about the extra costs, saying that the park closes down in the winter, so spending $14,000 for heating is “a big expense.” She also said that the $12,000 stove was another expense beyond the scope of the project and the amount of money the board plans to borrow.
William Wallace, of Wallace Architecture, the firm the town hired to design the new pavilion, presented the plans to the board at the meeting. He said the dollar amounts in the plans are “estimated numbers.” He told the board he could look into the cost of just the tubing for the radiant heating system so that it is in place in case the board wanted to finalize the system later. Board members also talked about raising money for the stove.
Mr. Wallace said the time line for the project would be to finish the plans in April and have them ready for construction companies to bid on the work by May. Construction would not start until after the camp program ends in August.
Also at the meeting:
• The board plans to hold a workshop meeting April 4 to discuss the proposed zoning law and will review a FAQ (frequently asked questions) sheet that board members wrote to explain the proposed new zoning code regulating short-term rentals. Ms. Lull told residents at Thursday’s meeting that the board is “winding down as far as the process” of reviewing the new zoning law. Though there will be a public comment period during the workshop, which starts at 6 p.m., Councilman Bob Balcom stressed that it will be a time for the board to work on the updated zoning law. “We have not had enough time to work in public,” Mr. Balcom said
•Councilman Wapner said the Recreation Committee will continue ice skating at Crellin Park next year. The program started a few weeks ago on a small pond at the park. He also said that the committee is working on updating a 2007 survey on what residents want at the park. He told the board that CARP (Chatham Area Recreation Project), a group that raises funds for scholarships for the camp program and other events at the park, is looking for funding for the Children’s Garden Program. The program’s director left last year and the town plans to continue the popular summer program. Mr. Wapner also said former Town Board member Henry Swartz will be organizing volunteers at Crellin Park. All volunteers, who will help with clean-up and maintenance projects, will have to sign waivers with the town
•The board accepted the retirements of Highway Department employees Timothy Calyer and Darrell Dutcher. Mr. Dutcher is retiring after over 30 years of service with the town Highway Department. Following a resolution by the town board, he will be allowed to continue on his town funded health insurance plan. Mr. Dutcher, who was at the meeting, thanked the board. He said that workers at the Highway Department go unappreciated, adding, “You are not just driving a truck” when you work there
• The town’s new website will be up by the end of the month. The new website will be at the same address as the current site–http://chathamnewyork.us.
The next regular board meeting will be Thursday, April 18 at 6 p.m.
To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email firstname.lastname@example.org