Council to consider changes to use of parks, recreation areas

GLOVERSVILLE – The Common Council will hold its regular meeting Tuesday where a public hearing is scheduled for the proposed amendments to a section of the City Code regarding parks and recreation areas.

At the last meeting, 1st Ward Councilwoman Robin Wentworth suggested the council amend a section of the City Code since it poses a risk for the city because it isn’t clear about how and what city parks can be used for.

Wentworth said she used information from other municipalities to update the amendments she is looking to make to the code.

The amendment would prevent a person from occupying a public right-of-way or city-owned property for a “special event” without a current and valid permit for the event.

A “special event” would be defined in the amendment as “an assembly or gathering where more than 50 people are expected to attend for entertainment, recreation, the display or sale of goods or services, to be undertaken by a person other than the city of Gloversville that may involve use or closure of public right-of-way or city owned property, control over vehicle and pedestrian access to the special event location, use of sound amplifying devices, use of public personnel or resources for emergency response or any combination of those elements.”

The amendment says a person can apply for use of a right-of-way or city-owned property for a special event only once in any three-month period at the same location, and any event will be limited to no more than two consecutive days between the hours of 6 a.m. and 9 p.m.

It also would require the applicant to be a city-based organization or a city resident and wouldn’t allow any admission fee to be charged at the event.

A person who seeks use of a public street or city-owned property for a special event must apply for the permit with the city clerk with the following information: date and time of the event, type of special event, the area requested for use, requests for any use of public personnel or resources, type and location of any sound amplification and lighting to be used, type and location of any mobile food sales, provisions for waste disposal and toilet facilities, and a $1 million liability insurance certificate that specifically names as “supplemental insured” for the event date in question.

The amendment also would require the permit seeker to state the form of security the applicant will furnish to guarantee payment of the cost to the city to clean and restore the site upon the applicant’s failure to do so.

According to the amendment, after all the appropriate information is provided, the city will then review the application to ensure it is allowed under all local ordinances and make sure the event doesn’t conflict with any scheduled Gloversville Recreation Commission program at the same location.

The fee for a use permit will vary based on the type of event being held. The city will charge a $25 fee for privately planned events, whether open or closed to the public, but permits for non-profit-sponsored events will cost nothing, and events co-sponsored and approved by the Recreation Commission also will be free.

The amendment says a decision to deny a permit may be appealed by the applicant to the Common Council, whose decision on the appeal will be final.

After the public hearing, the council is expected to pass a formal resolution to make the changes to the code official.

Two speakers

Two speakers also are scheduled to speak to the council.

Fulton County Planning Director James Mraz will discuss the proposed county sewer and water program.

The county is looking to study and potentially develop what it is calling a “SMART” water and sewer system that would be more efficient and eventually could consolidate all water and sewer services in the county.

Grant Preston of Frontier Communications also is scheduled to discuss a proposal for phone and internet services for the city.

Other items on the agenda include:

Mayor Dayton King is scheduled to discuss the Gloversville Enlarged School District’s inquiry to see if the city is interested in taking over the basketball courts at Darling Field.

The property issue was discussed at the last Board of Education meeting.

Assistant Superintendent for Business Steven Schloicka told the board the basketball courts and two soccer fields were deeded over to the school district from the city in the 1980s. He also said there is a landlocked back section of the tennis courts at Darling Field, which is city property.

Superintendent Michael Vanyo asked the board if it wants the district to continue to maintain the basketball courts or offer to deed them back to the city.

Board President Peter Semione said at the meeting he would like to see the courts go back to the city.

However, King said on Sunday he isn’t interested in the city acquiring more property it would need to maintain.

“I am not interested at all,” King said. “Basically, at this point it would be one more park or area that we would have to take care of or maintain. I think there is quite a few parks right now and our Department of Public Works personnel are already maintaining. I am certainly hoping for a conversation and seeing what we can do to work better together, but I don’t know that the city wants to start owning more property. I’d like to get rid of the property that we do own and don’t use.”

Wentworth will update the council on the Economic Development Committee meeting with the Town of Johnstown and updates on the Recreation Commission.

  • DPW Director Kevin Jones will discuss the street resurfacing program and providing a traffic study update.

The council is expected to pass a resolution to solicit sealed bids for the resurfacing of city streets and will place two parcels – at 131 Division St. and 94 Washington St. – out to bid.

Levi Pascher can be reached by email at