January 13, 2005

Land purchase on tonight's Town Board agenda

This morning's Ithaca Journal reports on the space shortage in Dryden Town Hall and a possible land purchase to build a new one which will be discussed at tonight's 7:00pm board meeting. They have a nice collection of pictures illustrating the problem, which is hard to miss if you visit Town Hall. The question of recreation land as part of the purchase keeps coming up:

Town Supervisor Steven Trumbull did say that the town hopes it will be enough land to house not only a town hall but also recreation fields and an educational nature trail through existing wetlands.

"This town is huge, but we have no land," Trumbull said.

This has led most notably to a lack of recreational facilities.

"There's been a shortage of recreational land for a number of years. There aren't enough fields for little league soccer, little league baseball, little league lacrosse," said Henry Slater, the town's senior code enforcement officer.

While I applaud the town's efforts to acquire more recreational space, this is the second time - the possible golf course was the first - that the current town board has moved toward acquiring land for recreation in the southeast corner of the town. Two important things are missing from this drive for more recreation space: a plan for recreation that's received public comment (hopefully integrated with the town's proposed Comprehensive Plan, which discusses this), and consideration of Town-supported recreation space elsewhere in the Town. The golf course seemed like a one-time reach at something that just happened to be coming up, but this marks a second time. Both times, board members have proposed paying for the purchase with reserve funds.

There's further discussion of Ithaca special education, looking at how special education in the district operates.

On the opinion page, the Journal's editorial praises local efforts to raise funds for tsunami relief. Groton School Superintendent Gary Smith (with the support of superintendents from districts including Dryden and Ithaca) writes about issues regarding testing mandated by the federal No Child Left Behind act.

Posted by simon at January 13, 2005 7:48 AM in , , , ,
Note on photos