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Supervisor: Beach open for recreation

The pond is still open for recreation, said Johnsburg Supervisor Sterling Goodspeed at the Aug. 16 meeting, and he has high hopes for it’s swimming-free future.

The pond is still open for recreation, said Johnsburg Supervisor Sterling Goodspeed at the Aug. 16 meeting, and he has high hopes for it’s swimming-free future. Photo by John Grybos.

— Though the water is closed to swimming, the town beach is still open for recreation, said Supervisor Sterling Goodspeed at the town meeting Aug. 16.

Chamber of Commerce President Dave Bulmer asked if activities like kayaking lessons were still possible, and Goodspeed said, “Yes now, and yes in the future.”

The town has no intention of letting the pond become an overgrown swamp, said Goodspeed. The area can and should be made aesthetically pleasing, as it's an important part of the first impression made on visitors coming in along Route 28.

If nicely landscaped and stocked with fish, the pond can offer a usable and attractive rec area, even without swimming, said Goodspeed.

“We can design it to be beautiful, we can design it to get a bunch of use,” he said.

The vote to begin procedures for closing wasn't a vote against the beach, he said, but a vote not to spend more taxpayer money on maintaining the pond as a swimming site.

In an economic climate with government bodies tightening their pursestrings, it's difficult to justify the annual expense of keeping the beach open when it regularly fails clarity tests by August and is closed by the Department of Health, he said.

Addressing an audience concern, Goodspeed said that this closure doesn't mean the pond can never again be used for swimming. It could be reopened in the future, if circumstances warrant.

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