County plans upgrades to Marine Park

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 29 May 2015 at 12:00 am

New playground, shore power, WiFi, dock surfaces and stairway among improvements

Photos by Tom Rivers – This staircase will be replaced as part of an improvement project at the Orleans County Marine Park in Carlton.

CARLTON – Orleans County is pushing forward with its plan for many improvements to the Marine Park on Route 98 in Carlton, a $163,000 project that will be 50 percent funded by the state.

The park will see new shore power at all 36 docks for boaters, a new stairway and walkway on the north side of the park, a new playground and new composite dock surface for the 36 docks that are either 24 to 28 feet long.

The County Legislature approved an agreement with the State Department of State on Wednesday to move forward with the project.

The county had sought a bigger project, but only had half of its request approved by the state late last year.

When final construction and improvement costs come in, the project may need to be modified.

“We didn’t get all of the money we wanted, so we had to pare some things down,” said Jim Bensley, the county’s senior planner and Marine Park manager.

The county is also planning to add shore power, WiFi, and replace the finger dock surfaces with a composite material.

Bensley expects much of the work will occur after the boating season, perhaps in the fall or next spring.

The county had sought a study to help reduce ice damage for the finger docks. That project was nixed with the smaller grant.

Each dock serves two boats, giving the park along the Oak Orchard River a capacity for 72 boats.

The park has become a popular spot with a concert series and also for people who enjoy a picnic by the pavilions. The county wants to move a playground closer to the pavilions and farther away from the concert area.

In addition to projects in the grant, the county also is planning on added wireless Internet service with WiFi for boaters and at the main office.

“We know there is a lot of interest in it,” Bensley said about WiFi.

The county on Wednesday also approved buying 117 exterior lights for the Marine Park and at Point Breeze at a cost of $21,049. National Grid will pay $8,390 towards the lights, with the county paying the other $12,659.