ELLENBURG CENTER — Ellenburg Town Councilor Curtis DeCoste died in June, but the board carries on his spirit of public service as it looks to the future.
“He was very well respected by not only the council members but as a businessman,” said Town Supervisor David Leonard in a recent interview.
DeCoste was the sole proprietor of DeCoste Insurance Agency in Ellenburg Depot for 27 years. The lifelong Ellenburg resident died unexpectedly this summer.
During his almost seven years on the Town Council, he worked to improve the lives of his fellow residents, Leonard said.
“It was important to him to create activities where members of the community could get together and socialize and enjoy each other’s company,” the
DeCoste was an advocate for creating the Ellenburg Recreation Park and aligning the Ellenburg Town Hall Theater with government standards so it could be used again, Leonard said.
“He was instrumental in bringing them (the issues) to the board,” Leonard said.
The 5-acre Recreation Park is under construction, he said.
The project, which will cost more than $40,000 and take more than three years to complete, includes the installation of two baseball fields, three or four soccer fields, a basketball court, playground and public bathroom, Leonard said.
This year, the old baseball fields were leveled and grass seed was planted.
The soccer fields should be open for use by the Ellenburg Youth Commission and the community by late summer 2013, Leonard said.
The Ellenburg Town Hall Theater has not been in use since 2002, when the fire escape was found to be unsafe, he said.
A new fire escape was installed two years ago, and the next step is to make the theater accessible to those who are disabled, Leonard said.
At a recent meeting, Doreen Barcomb was appointed to fill the vacant council seat. Barcomb was on the town ethics and zoning committees before being asked by Leonard to consider taking the position.
“Out of respect for Curtis, (we agreed) we should appoint someone who has similar interests as he did,” Leonard said. “(Barcomb will) certainly carry on in the areas he felt were important.”
At another recent council meeting, the board addressed the town’s relationship with a dog rescue facility in Malone. Ellenburg does not have a comparable facility, so the town brings dogs that are found or rescued to the temporary shelter in Malone, where the owners can get the pet after paying a fee to cover the animal’s stay, Leonard said.
The next town meeting with be 7 p.m. Oct. 16 at Town Hall in Ellenburg Center. There will likely be a report on the progress of the improvements to the Recreation Park, Leonard said.