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November 8, 2012

Board to seek funding for new Lakefront Park docks

By JIM AUSTIN
Cooperstown Crier

---- — The board of trustees decided during a brief special meeting Monday afternoon to pursue state grant funding for a new floating dock system for Lakefront Park.

Mayor Jeff Katz told board members that he had a conversation a few months ago with Assemblyman Bill Magee and discussed the possibility of obtaining funding for projects in the village. More recently, Katz heard from Magee’s office asking for a specific recommendation for funding.

Katz suggested four possibilities: the refurbishing of Main Street lampposts, the Doubleday Field grandstand roof repair, improvement to the municipal building and the replacement of the Lakefront Park dock system.

The funding range was $50,000 to $100,000, he said.

“Obviously, I’m going to lobby for the docks,” said Trustee Ellen Tillapaugh, who chairs the village Parks Board.

Tillapaugh said the village had “a lot of complaints and problems” with the docks this year. Installation of a floating dock system has been talked about before, she said, but the village has not had the money. She did not have an estimate of the cost for an aluminum floating dock system for Lakefront Park, but based on an earlier estimate of $56,000 for that type of system for both the Fairy Springs and Three Mile Point Parks, she said she would expect Lakefront Park to cost about $100,000. The village is already in the process of working on permits to extend the docks to be able to accommodate increasing demand for wider boat slips.

Rental of boat slips at the Lakefront Parks dock generated about $42,000 in revenue, she said.

Tillapaugh said a new dock system could would not only continue to be a revenue generator, but would also reduce the cost of materials and labor for the annual maintenance of the docks.

Trustee Walter Franck said he believes there is “a lot of merit” to recommending the dock replacement to Magee’s office because it will offer cost savings and continued revenue generation.

Trustee Lynne Mebust agreed, commenting that after the initial investment, there will be ongoing labor savings.

“It makes a lot of sense to me,” she said. “It would benefit residents and other neighbors and help them to have a better experience.”

Trustee Cindy Falk said the lampposts on Main Street are part of bigger project that depends on another funding source and although there are many places to spend money on the municipal building, there is no plan for its renovation at this point. 

The board unanimously passed a motion to recommend the docks as a project to receive funding and will forward the required information to Magee’s office.

Katz said after the meeting that he believes it was a good choice.

Department of Public Works Superintendent Brian Clancy said there are about 90 boat slips. He said the lengthening and reconfiguration of the docks may not result in many more slips because a number of them will be widened to accommodate the increasing demand for those slips.