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Chautauqua town board reviews plans for park

December 26, 2012
By DAVE O’CONNOR - CORRESPONDENT ( , Westfield Republican / Mayville Sentinel News

MAYVILLE - Continued planning for a multi-use park was unanimously approved by the Chautauqua Town Council on Monday, Dec. 10, following a recommendation that separate recreational areas be completed one at a time.

"Obviously this is a big nut to tackle right away," landscape architect Rodney Drake told the board.

Drake used maps and sketches to show the board how the completed park might look.

Drake is associated with Habiterra of Jamestown, the firm chosen by the board to help design a park on a portion of the 34-acre site located behind the town's office building on Academy St. Some of the land is set aside for the county, so the park could occupy all or part of the approximately 26 acres still available.

A committee chaired by Councilman Jim Kurtz gathered ideas for the park during four meetings starting last summer. The committee looked at existing local facilities so as not to needlessly duplicate what's already available, according to Drake.

The architect also explained he and the committee carefully examined the land to determine appropriate uses. As an example, he noted much of the site is heavily wooded.

"It's almost like the Black Forest in some of those areas," he said.

Additionally, the acreage slopes about 145 feet down from behind the old school building.

Some of the initial recommendations included a picnic and play area atop the hill with a view of Mayville and the lake, a fitness trail with separate stations for specific exercises, a Frisbee golf course, a winding nature and hiking trail, a community garden and, possibly, a midget football field at the base of the park with part of the sloping ground above used for seating.

Since no firm plan exists, there is no cost estimate, according to Drake. The committee will explore grant money opportunities for each part of the park as it is approved, the board agreed.

In other business the board approved Local Law No. 3 of 2012 which sets dimensions for backyard children's play houses. No one appeared at a public hearing on the law. Supervisor Don Emhardt voted against the measure. Asked why after the meeting, Emhardt explained he believes the new local law "digs too deeply" and is unnecessary.



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