ALBANY – Security issues at a newly dedicated park prompted the Town Council to enact temporary closure of the facility during the week.
The council took the action at its Feb. 11 meeting after a school resource officer spotted a teenager enter the park area with an e-cigarette device, an item banned from all K-12 school grounds.
“It’s the location of the park between the middle school and high school, and we understand. The school board gave us the park, donated it to the town and it’s our responsibility to maintain the upgrades,” said Mayor Eileen Bates McCarroll.
The temporary weekday closures will remain in effect until the city finds funding to install a five-foot-high around the park and security lights. Costs for the fence will run upwards of $10,000 or more, according to McCarroll.
The town hopes to install the fencing “within a couple of months,” she said.
The park will continue to open on weekends. The facilities will also be open to the public once baseball and softball leagues begin action in March.
PAY HIKE AND A NEW ASSIGNMENT
The town hiked longtime magistrate Keith Rowe’s monthly salary from $100 to $300. In exchange, he will be reassigned as the town prosecutor and McCarroll will assume the duties as magistrate for Mayor’s court.
UPDATE ON NEW FACILITY
Work has shifted from the exterior to interior for the new municipal facility, which remains on schedule for completion no later than April 19.
The building will house the town hall and police department. FEMA ruled both buildings a total loss after they took in more than four feet of floodwater during the August 2016 flood.
The town is liable for 10 percent of the costs, based on the severity of the damage as defined through the federal government’s Stafford Act. FEMA will pay the remaining 90 percent of the costs.
The municipality could qualify for a grant for the 10 percent remainder of the cost, McCarroll said.