Despite dog, bee issues, beach generating funds

The Broadalbin Town Board held its regular meeting on Tuesday. From the left are Councilmen Doug Kissinger, Michael Greco and Supervisor Sheila Perry. (The Leader-Herald/Briana O’Hara)

BROADALBIN — The town has been working to solve unexpected issues happening at the beach, including the presence of ground bees and service dogs.

Town of Broadalbin Supervisor Sheila Perry gave an updated report on the town beach in which she said despite unexpected issues, beach revenues in July were approximately $7,700, generated from a $5 parking fee for each vehicle. So far in August, as the weather has been cooling down, Perry said revenue went down a bit.

“At this point, the beach has made through the gate $9,500,” Perry said.

However one unexpected problem at the beach has been service and therapy dogs. Even though pets are not allowed at the beach, a service animal is a working animal and not a pet and is allowed at the town park or beach.

According to documentation provided to the town from the Americans with Disabilities Act, service animals are allowed at the beach, “Animals are not permitted in the water for legitimate local public health reasons.”

The ADA also states that documentation for the service animal is not required and the town is not allowed to ask for any type of identification or certification documents for the dog or medical documentation from the handler. If found to have a fake service dog, the crime is punishable by up to six years in jail or a fine of up to $1,000.

Emotional support animals, comfort animals and therapy dogs are not service dogs and are not allowed on the beach

“We had a woman come with a service dog that was then growling at children and barking and acting in a very uncontrolled manor,” Perry said.

She said the person must be in control of the animal and if not, can be asked to leave.

The second issue that occurred at the beach involved ground bees.

“All of a sudden all these holes appeared on the beach and all these ground bees were swarming,” Perry said.

She said she wrote to both the state Department of Environmental Conservation and the Department of Health to see what the town can do to properly get rid of the bees.

The DOH told Perry that there are no specific requirements for insect infestation. However any chemical substance cannot be capable of creating toxic reactions to skin or membrane irritations to the general public when the beach is in operation. They suggested digging up the bee hive and physically removing it.

The DEC told Perry to hire a certified applicator to treat for the insect as needed. The DEC said they used Nature’s Way at a different location, but the bees came back two weeks later.

“So we didn’t do anything and [the bees] stopped,” Perry said. “They went away all by themselves. It must have been the season they come out — they were really present — and then they went away.”

Perry said the town wanted to take care of the problem properly since they have permits with both entities.

By Patricia Older

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