July 31, 2018 05:58 PM
A committee will meet Tuesday evening to brainstorm ideas on how to improve Sandbar Park in the Town of Webster.
"Seventeen years ago, the opportunity came about for the town to buy the bay side and lake side properties, so my predecessor put it up to the voters," explained current Town Supervisor Ronald Nesbitt.
The vote passed, with the majority of neighbors in Webster deciding they wanted the town to turn the property into a park.
Over the last 17 years, the town has been paying off the million dollar bond, leaving little money to make improvements.
"We did, on the lake side, put in a new parking area and picnic benches so people can enjoy the sunrise and sunsets," said Supervisor Nesbitt.
Last year, a $118,000 grant was obtained by the state, allowing the town to move forward with plans to improve the park property.
"It is a matching grant. So the town is going to also put in $118,000 from our Park and Trust Fund. We have $236,000 to put together a master plan for the park," the supervisor said, explaining that the master plan is in the very beginning stages.
Some of the money in the Park and Trust Fund comes from rent money paid to the town by the Bay Side Pub which sits on the park property.
In the past, the business had the opportunity to purchase the land but decided to rent from the Town of Webster.
"So, if there are any improvements, moving the building, or upgrades of the building, that would fall on the taxpayers of Webster and not on the restaurant," said the supervisor.
He added, "there are different rules and regulations put out by the state on what the Town of Webster can and cannot do with parkland, we have to follow those guidelines along with what the DEC and Army Corps of Engineers have to say."
Supervisor Nesbitt is not on the committee to design the park plans, which is made up of 14 members.
Those members are from the Webster Town Board, Town Parks and Rec, Webster Public Schools, PROSAR, and community members.
The company overseeing the project is Bayer Landscape Architecture.
While they meet to brainstorm ideas, Supervisor Nesbitt shared some potential plans with News10NBC.
"One of the things people have brought to us is they would like to have a handicap pier so people can go out there to fish in the bay. A shorter pier," he said, adding "we would also like a destination for paddle boards and kayaks, so people can bring those in and launch them from that area into the bay. We would like to work with the restaurant in some way in how to incorporate that into the scheme."
Another idea is to add a lodge on the lake side.
"For residents and non-residents to use for events, weddings, things like that. On summer nights when the sun is setting, it would be beautiful there," shared the supervisor.
The reason the town is working with the school district is because they want to develop a boardwalk for science classes.
A property at the end of the bay was gifted to the Town of Webster from a neighbor, which is where the boardwalk could be built for students to visit and view wildlife.
It could potentially be built with State Education grants.
While the committee is meeting on Tuesday, it is not open to the public.
Supervisor Nesbitt explained that in the near future there will be public meetings.
"It's going to be at least two years before the study is done," he added.
The Town of Webster also plans to launch a Facebook page so when the project progresses, those details will be accessible to neighbors.
Created: July 31, 2018 05:58 PM
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