Recreation Commission working out plans

GLOVERSVILLE – The city Recreation Commission will soon have a full board and hold its first activity of the year, possibly this weekend when the Olympic-size ice rink at Littauer Field opens.

“The guys have been working on [the ice rink] and hopefully it will be open this weekend,” said commission member and former 6th Ward Councilwoman Jean Chain.

A $10,000 grant from the Lucius N. Littauer Foundation was secured by the city in 2011 for maintaining the rink. The grant provides $2,000 a year for the rink for five years.

Fulton County Young Professionals and Recreation Commission member Matthew Sherman maintained the city ice rink last winter, though the unseasonably warm weather was an issue. While the members wanted an Olympic-size rink, the weather prevented that.

“What we ultimately would like to do is, next year, be able to rent out skates,” Chain said. “Buying skates for little kids can often be really expensive.”

The Littauer Field ice rink will be free to the public Mondays through Fridays during the day and will feature night skating on the weekends. The rink also will host hockey games this winter, officials said.

Mayor Dayton King said Thursday Jeff Ashe will be reappointed to the Recreation?Commission and will serve as the chairman this year.

Helen Thompson, Yokie Bertos and Logan Barclay will fill the three vacancies on the commission.

Ashe said Thursday that being chairman of the commission this year “will be a great opportunity.”

King said all of the appointments will become official at the organizational meeting Tuesday at City Hall with the Common?Council’s approval.

The Recreation Commission is able to pay for activities through donations and fundraisers.

In the spring, Chain said, the Recreation Commission will bring back the kids fishing derby at Wohlfarth’s Pond that hasn’t happened in almost five years.

She estimated about 150 kids participated in the fishing derby the last time it occurred.

However, the commission will have to coordinate with the Department of Environmental Conservation to purchase fish to stock the pond so an exact date isn’t known at this time.

Chain said the city hopes to collect donations from Walmart and other businesses in the area to have prizes and trophies for the children who participate.

In the spring or fall, the commission also will host the second annual Gloversville Community 5K, which starts and ends at the Farmers Market Pavilion located on Elm Street. Proceeds from the event will go toward future Recreation Commission activities.

Chain said this year, the event also is going to include a 1K walk for the children.

“I would like to see it opened up more [and] have a walking section so people can come and join that aren’t looking to compete,” Ashe said. “I would like families to go together, so it could be more of a community event than a sports event. People think recreation and immediately go to sports, but the purpose of [the commission] is to get people together for community events.”

The commission also plans to replace the backboards and nets at the basketball court on East Fulton Street.

“We have heard [the backboards and nets] are in really bad shape and just want to help out the people that play there,” Chain said.

She also said as part of its “five-year plan” the Recreation Commission would like to find something to replace the city pool that hasn’t been open in many years.

“The pool is in really bad shape and what we would like to do throughout the city – by starting [with] one and then expanding – is have water spray park playgrounds,” Chain said. “[They can be] handicap accessible, and it would be really nice to have them for the kids on a hot day in the summer.”

Chain said by having a water spray park instead of a pool, the city wouldn’t have to employ lifeguards. The city also would not need to pay for the chemicals required for a pool.

However, she said, those are long-term goals, because each one of the playgrounds would cost around $50,000.

Members said the commission is open for people to come to meetings with ideas and volunteer for events.

The Recreation Commission meets the second Thursday of every month at 7 p.m. in City Hall.

Levi Pascher covers Gloversville news. He can be reached by email at [email protected]

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