Funding gives Broadalbin park big boost

BROADALBIN – After years of planning and raising money, a new town park and recreation facility is about to become a reality.

Town and Broadalbin Youth Commission officials are ready to move forward with construction after the state announced Wednesday the town will receive $500,000 for the project.

The 22-acre site, at Route 29 and Honeywell Corners Road, will be the town’s only park.

Town Supervisor Joseph DiGiacomo said the site is shovel-ready, and work could start in the spring.

“It feels great,” DiGiacomo said after hearing the news of the grant. “This is the third time we applied for this grant.”

DiGiacomo said the town will meet Thursday to discuss the next step in the process.

“This will definitely kick-start us,” DiGiacomo said.

DiGiacomo said the park will have two soccer fields, two baseball fields and a playground area, access roads and parking.

Keith Buchanan, a Youth Commission member, said the park will be for people of all ages.

“Even though the Youth Commission is funding it and doing all the work, it is for the people of this town to use,” Buchanan said.

Buchanan said there will be five to eight miles of walking trails in the park.

The Broadalbin-Perth Lions Club will donate a pavilion, he said.

Buchanan said the site already has been cleared in an archaeological study and is ready to be developed.

Buchanan said the next step will be to seek bids for the work on the town-owned land.

Travis Mitchell of Environmental Design already did the engineering work for the park project, saving the Youth Commission $100,000 to $200,000, according to DiGiacomo.

“It is not just cash we have on hand,” DiGiacomo said.

DiGiacomo said roughly $115,000 has been raised through fundraisers, bringing the amount on hand to about $615,000.

Lou Magliocca, Broadalbin Youth Commission director, said the project could cost up to $1 million.

Magliocca said the town can start building the park with the money the town has received.

The town will continue to raise money to pay for future phases of the park project.

Magliocca said the rest of the project could be funded by donations by businesses, some of which could receive naming rights for the fields.

Town officials said they don’t yet know when the park may open for public use.

Magliocca said he’s grateful to finally receive the state money for the project.

“This has been a goal of mine and the commission’s,” Magliocca said.

Magliocca said the commission has been using school facilities for football, baseball and cheerleading. The town park will have the facilities for those activities.

“It is good to see we can get a good chunk of money,” Buchanan said, referring to the state funding.

Magliocca said a Youth Commission’s Golf Tournament has raised roughly $5,000 a year, matched by the town. An annual home show has raised roughly $10,000 to $15,000, he said.