$2.5 million awarded for West Brook park

LAKE GEORGE - The Village of Lake George has been awarded a $2.5 million grant by the state Department of Transportation under the Federal Transportation Enhancement Program. The funds will be used to complete the public park elements of the West Brook Conservation Initiative.

The Lake George Village and Town governments, Warren County, the Lake George Association, the Fund for Lake George and the Lake George Land Conservancy jointly purchased the former Gaslight Village property in 2007 from the Charles Wood Foundation for $4.1 million. The 12.5 acre site, located on both sides of West Brook, will be converted into a public park containing a series of wetlands and infiltrators to capture stormwater runoff from a large watershed in the southern basin of the lake.

The park will consist of walking paths, an extension of the Warren County bike trail, restrooms, a children's play area, fitness trails and interpretive educational areas. The conservation initiatives will dramatically reduce the nutrients and solids reaching the lake that has contributed to a large delta at the foot of West Brook.

The grant funding should complete the financing needed to complete the park, estimated to be about $10.5 million. The local share of the grant will be matched with the acquisition costs and funds raised by private donations to the environmental groups.

A grant from the state Department of Transportation is expected to complete the initiatives on the south side during the reconstruction of state Rte. 9. The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers will undertake the stormwater work on the north end.

Mayor Blais indicated that the $2.5 million will cover all construction costs to make the property "look like a park." Eligible elements are paths, entranceways, landscaping, trees, benches, lighting, playgrounds, signage and public restrooms. Kiosks, bridges, ramps and overlooks have also been designed into the park area.

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