A plan to improve Crandall Park by resurfacing the basketball and tennis courts and adding a pickleball court is moving forward, with the Common Council on Tuesday approving the hiring of Saratoga Associates to design the project.
The cost is about $40,000 but no taxpayer funding is being used. Elizabeth Little Hogan, chairwoman of the Crandall Park Beautification Committee, told the council that $90,000 in funds has been raised for improvements in the park, and another $30,000 has been pledged.
The plan calls for keeping both basketball courts and the first two tennis courts. The third tennis court would be converted into four pickleball courts.
Saratoga Associate’s bid came under the $55,000 cost that the committee had estimated, according to Tom Jarrett, engineer for the committee.
“We’re in pretty good shape with our budget as it stands right now,” he said.
Hogan said she also has been contacted by someone interested in putting an 18-hole Frisbee golf course in the park.
Mayor Dan Hall said he is excited about the improvements.
“Hopefully, for next summer we’ll be able to hold our Super Hooper camp. I’ve been playing on those (courts) since I was about 11,” he said.
Food trucks back
The Shirt Factory is bringing back its popular weekly food truck corrals and market starting on Thursday.
The event at the building on the corner of Lawrence and Cooper streets will run every Thursday from May 16 through Sept. 12 from 4:30 to 8 p.m. This year, the Shirt Factory is expanding the market to make room for more vendors, food trucks and picnic tables. Space will be available for local businesses to stage live demonstrations. Activity will wrap around the property, take over the alley between buildings and spill out into the Cooper Street parking lot, according to a news release.
In addition, there will be free games, live music, entertainment, craft beverages, Lego tables, pony rides, a petting zoo and bounce houses.
Pet Fest will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in City Park.
It will feature demonstrations from the police’s K-9 unit, demonstrations from agility dogs, low-cost microchipping for pets, tutorials on pet First Aid and CPR and pets available for adoption, according to a news release.
The event is sponsored by the Glens Falls Collaborative.
New DPW garage search
The Common Council met for an hour in executive session to discuss real estate.
No actions were taken. Hall said the city has been looking at options to relocate the Department of Public Works building on Dix Avenue and sell that building.
Hall said the city is not considering The Post-Star building on Lawrence Street.
“It’s not the right spot,” he said.
City officials had expressed concern about locating its operations at the newspaper site, because it is surrounded by a residential neighborhood.
Apartment building sold
Speaking of real estate, a downtown apartment building has sold for $685,000.
DW Real Estate LLC bought the property at 17-19 Elm St. from Keith Wrigley and Gretchen Sunderland on April 29, according to Warren County deed records.
The three-story brick building, which is known as Pruyn Flats, was built in 1882 with an enclosed central courtyard.
“It’s one of the oldest buildings in Glens Falls,” said Ryan Davidson, one of the principals of DW Real Estate. “There is a three-story atrium with a skylight right in the center of the building. It is pretty cool.”
Davidson said he and his business partner and cousin, Eric Weinburg, plan to do some painting and upgrades on the 13-unit building as they become available. One apartment will be vacant on June 1.
This is the fourth multifamily property that the pair owns.
“With everything that’s going on in downtown Glens Falls right now, I think it’s a great investment and we’re going to continue to build a portfolio,” he said.
Davidson works full-time at BD in Queensbury, a medical device company, and is the property manager for the Davidson Family Farm in Cambridge. He also grows hops with his brother.
New city lights
The installing of new energy-efficient lights at East Field is close to done, according to Second Ward Councilman Bill Collins. Crews are testing them and making sure they work.
The city is also researching the conversion of all of its street lights to LED. National Grid is going to provide information about which lights the city owns. City officials are also going to be researching options for sensors that can be included on the new lights that can measure things like traffic and air quality, according to Collins.
“Once we understand better what our options are and the costs are, we’ll bring it back to the City Council for their approval,” he said.
Collins said the lights will be “dark sky friendly,” which means the lighting is downward-directed.
Third Ward Councilwoman Diana Palmer said the new lights will have dimmers so their brightness can be adjusted.
Town considers lights
The town of Lake George is also studying the conversion of its streetlights to LED fixtures.
Dan Barusch, director of planning and zoning, said the town upgraded its lights in 2009. Because they are still relatively new, it would cost about $74,000 to upgrade again. National Grid would give the town an incentive of $22,000, so the town would be responsible for $52,000.
The Town Board on Monday agreed to hold off until it could obtain some grant funding for the project. Lake George is in line to get a Climate Smart communities grant after completing some energy-saving projects.
The board also voted to hire Rise Engineering to put LED fixtures at the highway garage, which Barusch said is the second-highest user of energy.
It also voted to retain Four Corners Energy. The company serves as a “middle man” between municipalities and National Grid and other energy providers to find the best deal for energy, Barusch said. The company does not collect a fee until the town enters into an energy-saving contract.
The board approved a design for a new gateway sign to welcome people entering Lake George from Exit 21.
Barusch said he estimated 60 to 70 percent of the traffic coming into town is entering from the northbound lane of Exit 21. The current sign is about 50 years old.
“It’s weathered. You can’t even read the lettering on it,” he said.
The proposed sign would have faux stone pillars on each side, with an oval in the middle. It would say “Welcome to Lake George,” and there would be a hand-painted image of the lake.
Lake George Signs would design the structure, and it would cost about $4,000.
The board approved a reddish color scheme with gold inlay lettering.
The town is also going to spend $4,000 to replace some banners on the poles at that entrance to town.
The initial signs came down because of the design and because the tape that stuck the sides of the banners together was not of high quality.