Displaying items by tag: Boyhaven, Milton, Larry Woolbright, Dan Lewza, Scott Ostrander, Benny Zlotnick, Richard Stockton, Jason Miller

Thursday, 01 June 2017 14:04

Camp Boyhaven Sale Pending

MILTON — This week, a deadline passed for bidders interested in purchasing a handsome parcel of land in the northwest corner of Milton, which the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has owned for the better part of a century.

“The whole situation is very sad for us,” stated Richard Stockton, the chief executive and CEO of the BSA’s Twin Rivers Council.

The Twin Rivers Council holds the title for the popular, 300-acre Boyhaven camp off Route 29 that has been utilized for Boy Scout training since the 1920s.

Recently, Stockton said, council officials had determined annual usage at Boyhaven was down far enough to sell the well-forested land, and to put more emphasis on three more Boy Scout properties in Fort Ann, Malone and Poestenkill.

“We need to be able to provide the best programs possible for our kids,” Stockton said.

He added that “a wide variety of people” have expressed interest in buying the Boyhaven property, including at least one private landowner in the area.

That also includes the Town of Milton, which submitted its own sealed bid this week to the council. The Open Space Committee, chaired by Councilman Frank Blaisdell, prepared Milton’s proposal and it was signed by Supervisor Dan Lewza.

Council representatives accepted formal bids until Wednesday. A final determination on the winning bid could be made by early July, Stockton said.

Milton Planning Board Chairman Larry Woolbright, who sits on the Open Space Committee, is among the leading advocates for acquiring the Boyhaven land.

“The town would like to see it preserved...for passive recreational purposes,” Woolbright said.

Many local families, he added, “have very fond memories of that place.”

At the Town Board’s May 17 meeting, Woolbright called the sale of the Boyhaven camp a “unique opportunity” to expand the Middle Grove State Forest, which could benefit the town in various ways.

“The state would pay the town of Milton property taxes,” Woolbright explained to the board members. State grants also may be available through the process, he said.

Lewza joined Councilman Scott Ostrander in questioning Woolbright about the actual conditions of the property. They apparently include dilapidated structures and rusted vehicles “sinking into the ground,” as Lewza found.

“There’s a lot of renovation that needs to be done up there,” Ostrander said, noting how he personally visited the site and took pictures.

Councilman Benny Zlotnick said he made inquiries about the Twin Rivers Council process for selecting the winning bidder, and expressed to Woolbright the importance of estimating the property’s correct market value.

The council’s bid selection process remains confidential until a decision is announced, according to Stockton.

There are also opponents to the town’s plans for the Boyhaven property.

Jason Miller, who oversees buildings and grounds in Milton and sits on the Facilities Committee, is actively advocating for large renovation projects at the town complex because of leaking roofs and constant plumbing problems.

Miller said this week he opposes a purchase of the Boyhaven land because “the finances in this town are in shambles.”

If the town makes a major land purchase, Miller said, it will effectively render current efforts to renovate town buildings “done.” 

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