Recreation panel member resigns

GLOVERSVILLE – Matt Sherman, the city Recreation Commission member who was taking responsibility for the Littauer Field Ice Rink, has resigned from the commission.

Recreation Commission Chairman Jeff Ashe said Sherman’s resignation had nothing to do with the recent dispute about a sign for the ice rink. He said Sherman is not a resident of the city – he lives in the town of Johnstown – and city residence is a requirement for commission members.

Sherman was unavailable for comment on this story.

The Common Council voted 4-3 in January against reimbursing Sherman $135 for a sign he purchased last year for the Lucius N. Littauer Community Ice Rink.

As a result, Mayor Dayton King announced on his Facebook page, he, his wife, Finance Commissioner Bruce Van Genderen and others would donate money to Sherman because they were “embarrassed by the council members’ decision.”

Ashe said the commission decided to stand behind the council’s decision and didn’t make any motion to reimburse Sherman the $135.

Commission member Jared Hammond said because of rain and changing temperatures, the ice rink is no longer usable now and may be closed for the season unless the weather drastically changes.

However, the Recreation Commission plans to open and maintain the rink next season, Ashe said, and it might provide skate rentals.

Hammond said the skate rental idea still needs to be worked out because the skates will need to be stored and sharpened on a regular basis.

A $10,000 grant from the Lucius N. Littauer Foundation was secured by the city in 2011 for maintaining the rink. The grant provides $2,000 a year for the rink for five years.

Fishing derby

In the spring, the Recreation Commission will bring back the children’s fishing derby at Wohlfarth’s Pond, which hasn’t happened in almost five years.

Commission member Jean Chain estimated about 150 children participated in the derby the last time it occurred.

The fishing derby will take place April 13, and the contest will take place from 8 to 11 a.m. The prizes will be awarded at noon, and the contest will be free and open to any child 15 years old or younger.

Chain said the commission has been coordinating with the Department of Environmental Conservation to purchase fish to stock the pond, but because of an outbreak of disease among fish at DEC’s Rome hatchery, it won’t be able to provide as many 6-inch brown trout as it has in the past.

As a result, the Recreation Commission will purchase 50 rainbow trout from Avery’s Trout Hatchery at a cost of $3 per fish.

Any fish provided by the DEC will be free, but the commission doesn’t know how many to expect.

Chain said she worked out a deal with Avery’s that will give the commission a few additional fish, and they will be approximately 10 inches in size. Avery’s will deliver the fish the day before the fishing derby, Chain said.

Ashe said the Recreation Commission would like to have a Boy Scout troop stay the night at the pond the day before the event to ensure that people don’t fish early. The Scouts could help set up before the event starts and help measure and weigh the fish.

In the coming month, the commission hopes to collect donations from Walmart and local bait-and-tackle businesses to offer prizes and trophies for the children who participate.

Prizes will be awarded for most fish caught, heaviest fish and longest fish in various age and gender groups.

The commission will sell breakfast sandwiches in the morning and hamburgers and hotdogs in the afternoon.

Levi Pascher covers Gloversville news. He can be reached by email at gloversville@leaderherald.com.