Thursday, February 24, 2011

Village Buys Land Needed At ‘Gateway’

CYB’s Beanie Ainslie Field To Be Moved As Part Of Deal

It took three years of what’s been a seven-year ordeal so far, but at noon, Friday, Feb. 18, the rights-of-way needed to move ahead with the enhanced “Gateway” at the village’s south end were in hand.
The key final piece was an agreement to buy out the lease Cooperstown Youth Baseball holds on Beanie Ainslie Field, its diamond at the end of Linden Avenue.
The diamond will be moved to the south, beyond Cooperstown Central Middle/High School, and be rebuilt, partly on two acres donated to by Jane Forbes Clark’s Charisma Partners, her real-estate management entity.
The CYB will receive $130,000, plus another $30,000 in moving expenses, much of which will be paid for by the $3.5 million in federal funding the project is eventually expected to receive.  Additionally, the village will provide water, sewer and electrical service at its own cost, plus prepare the land for the field.
In Mayor Joe Booan’s absence – ONC BOCES, where he is employed, had winter break this week – Deputy Mayor Willis Monie confirmed “everything’s been signed; all acquisitions are accounted for.”
The mayor still has to send in a certification advising the Federal Highway Administration that the acquisitions are in place.  Bids can be solicited for the project’s construction phase and awarded, perhaps as soon as April, to allow work to begin as soon at May.

The other pieces put in place by R.K. Hite & Co., which was contracted by CLA Site, the village’s consultant through this phase of the project, include:
• Easements the Cooperstown Central school board approved Thursday evening, Feb. 17, in exchange for $50,000.  The money will be used to pave a parking lot for juniors that can also be used by CYB fans in the summer.
• Easements from Wilber Bank and the Leatherstocking Railway Historical Society to assure access to the site.

The Gateway project will pave the lot between Wilber Bank’s Route 28 branch and the ballfield, and add lighting and sidewalks.
When complete, it will provide a second access to CCS Middle/High School from Route 28, easing traffic on Linden Avenue.
The lot will provide parking for Bassett Hospital employees, and also for tourists during the summer, who Village Hall hopes will then take the trolley downtown.

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