It took some patience and a lot of fortitude and paperwork, but the Town of Williamson was finally able to dedicate their brand new addition to the Town Park.
On Wednesday, September 8, Town officials, contractors, volunteers and Senator Pam Helming were on hand for the ribbon cutting, officially opening Williamson Town Park’s “South” Lodge. It is an extension of the original Lodge (now called “North Lodge”) which was completed in April of 2012.
The new 600 foot space extends off the front lodge, to expose an open space with a big screen TV for presentations, a kitchenette, and security office to oversee the Park property. Plenty of electrical outlets, chairs and tables complete the space. It can be used for parties or meetings, with seating of 30-80, better suited for smaller events, which do not require the 100 person space of the North Lodge.
Supervisor Anthony Verno, in welcoming the small crowd at the ribbon cutting, highlighted the history of their new addition to the “jewel” the refer to as the Williamson Town Park.
In December of 1998, an 111 acre parcel was purchased from the Phillips family for the purpose of building a Town Park, through grant funding.
In April of 1999, George Harland, was hired as the Clerk of the Works. “Without his dedication and abilities, much of the work would not have been completed,” stated Verno. “The town owes a huge debt of gratitude to him.”
A Park Committee was established in November of 2000.
The Town was awarded a $110,000 grant for the construction of an All-Season lodge in January of 2011, and in April of 2012, the Lodge held its grand opening.
Verno noted that the lodge is well used throughout the year with weddings, scout ceremonies, baby showers, banquets and more.
Hundreds of volunteer hours have been put into the park and lodge over the years, with the playground being donated by Motts/Cadbury. Many of the other structures and ball fields were Eagle Scout projects. BOCES students have helped with pavilions, walking trails and more.
It was in July 2014 when the town received a $110,000 Grant award from then Senator Mike Nozzolio for the expansion of the lodge, thanks to the efforts of former Town Supervisor Jim Hoffman.
The grant, however was held up in Albany bureaucracy for years. Verno gives major credit to finally breaking that hold up, to Secretary to the Supervisor Val Fowler for her persistent refiling of the paperwork (at least 5 re-submissions), and for the efforts of Senator Pam Helming who helped to get the money released. The final cost of the extension was approximately $170,000.
In March of 2019, Rich Seyfried was appointed to coordinate the expansion project and procure the contractors, volunteers, material and manpower to get the job done. Special thanks went out to those instrumental in the final construction of the expansion: Ed Marriett, Rick Seyfried, Kurt Allman, Joe Seyfried, Noah Knataitis, Jordan Williams, Dave Wakdarek, Dave Locke, Tom Scheib, Bill Strong, Mike Pellett, Darryl Fishdaugh, Ernie Johnson, Kevin Ginnett, Dick Colacino, Dennis Martin, and Dick Molray, Jim Hoffman, and Mike Bixby.
The South Lodge is now open for rental and the enjoyment of the residents of the Town of Williamson.
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