Plans to improve the Milton Landing Park have been in the works for some time but last week the public got their first glimpse of architectural renderings of what it could actually look like in the not too distant future. The nearly 15- acre park is divided into two parts; the edge of one section touches the Hudson River and a second section is located at a higher elevation off of Sands Avenue. The two are connected by a walking trail.
John and Cynthia Behan, of Behan Planning & Design, started by thanking members of the town’s advisory committee for their input; Gael Appler Jr., James Appler, Allan Koenig, Al Lanzetta, Daniel Pinnavaia and Rosemary and Jerry Wein.
“These people have donated countless hours and we very much appreciate it,” Cynthia Behan said.
Cynthia said they are very close to presenting a final master plan for the park that began with a kickoff meeting that engaged people in a dialogue about the park. A preliminary presentation followed last October and a topographic survey was done in November. A conceptual design was completed and presented in December, with a review and plan revisions slated for incorporation in a final master plan.
Behan has estimated the cost of the park project at $1,089,736, however the Town Board stated that they expect to offset this amount with some donated items and with in-kind services. Behan broke out the total estimated cost of the proposal into 10 parts; General Construction, including survey, at $18,000; Erosion and Sediment Control at $24,752; Demolition work at $40,136; Roadwork at $311,168; Sidewalks at $108,824; Site Work for $102,100; Utilities at $22,800, Landscaping of topsoil, seeding, shrubs and trees at $105,700 and $185,250 for Amenities, such as benches, tables, a playground and a flagpole.
The higher priced ticket items incorporated within these totals are for excavation work for $19,393, a sub-base course for the road at $42,586, a playground for $25,000, a grass-crete parking area for $49,000, a cobblestone road section for $60,000, concrete sidewalks for $74,039 and $171,000 for a permeable paver area for the sidewalk area. Topsoil is estimated at $38,700 and a Treatment Plant Restoration addition for $100,000.
The upper portion of the park off Sands Avenue will have an entrance sign, trees, wildflowers and perennial plantings and an oval ringed lawn with a walking path. A stone dust path will lead to an overlook seating area that will provide views of the Hudson River. There are also plans for a community garden a picnic area and a dog park in this portion of the park.
The lower river portion of the park will have a pedestrian arched entranceway at the corner of Watson Avenue and Dock Road, a restored pond and stream channel, 40 additional parking spaces with pavers, a passive waterfront area and a rehabilitated second southern pier. The plans also call for a bathroom at the treatment plant, additional railroad crossing warnings with fencing and a relocated train shanty kiosk, forming an inviting entrance to this portion of the park.
Behan said a tree-planting grant has recently been submitted to the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation and consideration is being given to existing matching fund grants through the NYS Parks Department.
“The town has been very supportive and volunteer efforts and donations have been a big part of what’s happened here and will probably continue to be,” Behan said of the progress to date.
There is also the possibility of receiving assistance through the Consolidated Funding Application process and also funding from CSX to improve their railroad crossing. She noted that Ulster County may be able to provide monetary support for Dock Road bike and pedestrian improvements.
John Behan said the town is in a good position to receive grant money.
“You’ve got a lot of things in your favor…its on the Hudson River and you have a plan. The other big source of money is transportation money and vital restoration money that could be used for the stream and pond,” he said. “There are a lot of sources out there.”
Councilman Howard Baker commended Behan’s plans for the Milton park.
“This is really, really very nice. This is the first time I’ve seen this detailed presentation. Its fantastic,” he said.
By Mark Reynolds