CADYVILLE — Clinton Community College is preparing to sell Cadyville Recreation Park once the Town of Plattsburgh’s lease runs out next year.
“A number of people that have contacted us are very con
cerned,” Town of Plattsburgh Supervisor Bernard Bassett said.
While the property is owned by Clinton County, it was held in trust for Clinton Community College in hopes that it would become part of the college campus, CCC President John Jablonski said.
That never happened, but the college continues to oversee the 93-acre park, located on Goddeau Road.
The college has leased 18 acres of it to the Town of Plattsburgh for the past 39 years for a fee of $1 per year, Jablonski said.
But the town’s 40-year lease runs out Sept. 30, 2013.
Clinton Community does not make use of the park, so the cost to maintain the property isn’t worth it, Jablonski said.
“We’re not really breaking even,” he said.
CALLED TOO PRICEY
While the town wants to purchase the park, the college is asking for “a significant amount of money,” Bassett said.
To ease the financial strain, the town has applied for funding through the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation’s Environmental Protection Fund Municipal Grant Program, Bassett said. A response is expected by October, he said.
“I personally feel this is a very viable option for us,” he said. “We’re not grasping at straws.”
The college is aware the town has applied for the grant.
The park is not currently on the open market, and the college is in the process of arriving at a price, Jablonski said.
The State University of New York must approve the sale, and if the park is sold, SUNY would also designate where the money would be placed in the college’s budget, he said.
The funds from a sale would be helpful to Clinton Community, especially in these tough financial times, Jablonski said.
The town has spent more than $100,000 over the years on park improvements, such as the disc golf course and baseball diamond, and maintenance of the popular running trails, increasing the value of the property, Bassett said.
“To us, it feels like you’re (the college) asking us to pay for it twice,” Town of Plattsburgh Deputy Town Supervisor Martin Mannix said.
Residents of the town and the surrounding area come to the Rec Park for a series of running races for all ages each Wednesday in the summer.
Groups also hold fundraisers on the property.
“It’s an extremely popular recreational facility,” Mannix said.
Not only do residents of the Town of Plattsburgh use the park, but people who live in the larger community of Schuyler Falls, Saranac, Beekmantown and other towns enjoy all it has to offer, as well, Mannix said
Many area high schools make use of the trails for cross-country meets during the fall sports season, he said.
And it’s likely that community members have a sentimental connection to the park.
“We’ve got generations that have gone out there and watched their children play ball,” Bassett said
Town officials remain hopeful that the outcome will benefit the town, the college and the people who use the park, Bassett said.
“We’re going to do everything we can to secure that property, with or without the grant.”