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Watkins Glen begins park expansion planning ADVERTISEMENT

Watkins Glen begins park expansion planning

WATKINS GLEN--Clute Park remained a focus of the Watkins Glen board of trustees during their meeting Tuesday, Jan. 4. The board voted to award a Request For Qualifications worth $22,100 to the company LaBella to do preliminary engineering work on a plan to expand the number of camper spots by roughly 20.
"We are still working on the last piece of the puzzle which is getting Cargill (Salt) to OK it because we can't do anything unless they say we can," said Mayor Luke Leszyk.
While Clute Park is operated by the village, the land it sits on belongs to Cargill and still has a number of salt wells on site.
"Cargill has their salt lines so we have to know what is under there so we don't interfere with any of that," Leszyk said.
While always being careful to say the details could change, one aspect of the project that has village officials somewhat optimistic comes from the fact that many of the new spots would come from repurposed areas already designated for park use.
"It all depends on what they will allow us to do," Leszyk added. "We have some spots for tent camping we would like to turn into RV spots along with digging up the old dilapidated tennis courts and putting more spots there."
While the old tennis courts would be removed under the plan, the new ones that would replace them would be added to the side of the park closest to the lake.
"That way people will actually use them," Leszyk said.
Going forward for the new year, Clute will remain a top priority.
"We are going to go into Phase 3 of the Clute Park (update) where a new playground will be installed," Leszyk stated.
Already paid for through a grant, Leszyk said all that is left is to have it installed. Along with a new playground, there will also be new walking paths added throughout the park.
Another major priority for the new year is also one happening the soonest; the new zoning laws.
"The biggest thing is hopefully we have a public hearing at our next meeting to get our zoning laws in place. That is the biggest hurdle we want to clear first for this year," Leszyk said.
Leszyk added he is hopeful the meeting will take place on Jan. 18.
"If not then, definitely the first thing in February," Leszyk mentioned.

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