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Loan for park makes sense

June 19, 2012
The Leader Herald

The Broadalbin Town Board is considering borrowing $500,000 to begin the construction of a new town park. Officials have come up with a logical plan.

The park, which has been in the planning stages for years, would be built on a 28-acre lot at the southeast corner of Route 29 and Honeywell Corners Road. The site now sits vacant, waiting for some activity. The town bought the property four years ago.

The park would be open to the public and include soccer, baseball and softball fields, along with a pavilion, walking trails and a snowmobile right of way.

The Broadalbin Youth Commission, a recreation program that has separate finances but is overseen by the town, would operate the park. Under the plan, the town would borrow the $500,000, but the commission would make payments - about $22,000 a year for 30 years, depending on the interest rate of a bond. The project previously was estimated to cost between $1.2 million and $1.4 million.

The town contributes $23,500 a year to the Youth Commission, but that funding would be withheld if the commission failed to make payments, Supervisor Joseph DiGiacomo said. The commission would pay back the loan with money from league registration fees and donations.

The loan would enable the town to jump-start the park's construction, giving the project momentum and strengthening fundraising efforts.

We see little risk to taxpayers with this plan. Officials should move forward with it.

Town residents have waited long enough for their park. The Youth Commission and park supporters have done an admirable job with fundraising, but without a loan to get shovels in the ground, people may be waiting for years.



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