May 3, 2016
Dryden voters to decide on land purchase for park plan
Joe McIntyre/staff photographer
Marianne Foot, of Etna, walks her dog along Fall Creek in Etna, on the opposite bank from the proposed 15-acre parcel of land that the town wants to buy to create a park and protect Fall Creek from development. The site is off Pinckney Road. A referendum on the purchase is scheduled to run until 8 p.m. Tuesday.
DRYDEN — The public will vote today on spending $56,800 to buy 15 acres off Pinckney Road to develop a park and protect Fall Creek.
The vote, until 8 p.m. in the Varna Community Center and Dryden Fire Station, was called after the town received a petition requesting the referendum on buying the Stephen Harvey/Jean Hoag property.
The Town Board approved on Jan. 21 purchasing the 15-acre site, which would include a hiking and bike trail. The plan was also seen as a way of protecting Fall Creek from development. The board planned to spend $71,800 from the town’s recreation reserve fund, which was not expected to have an effect on the 2016 town budget or future budgets.
However, the Tompkins County Legislature agreed Dec. 1 to contribute $15,000 from two conservation funds toward the purchase, reimbursing the town after the closing is complete and reducing the town cost to no more than $56,800.
The acquisition secures space within identified Natural Resource Focus Areas, which are sites designated for protection from development, and more than 1,100 feet of Fall Creek streambank while providing opportunities for recreation, education and research, according to the county.
The site is across Fall Creek from Campbell Meadow, on which the Finger Lakes Land Trust holds a deed restriction. It’s adjacent to Cornell Natural Area lands and is bounded on the south by an abandoned railway grade that the town plans to use as a future trail corridor.
Tompkins County has authorized using $6,500 from its Capital Reserve Fund for Natural, Scenic, and Recreation Resource Protection for the project. The funds are earmarked for partnerships with other governments and private organizations. Another $8,500 came from the Tompkins County Stream Restoration and Flood Hazard Mitigation Program.
— Kevin Conlon
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