Teen Town sale moving ahead


he Village of Cobleskill took the first steps towards selling Teen Town and Golding Park last Tuesday.
Selling the 11-acre park off North Grand and High streets––if selling is permitted––would rid the village of one of its headaches, according to Mayor Becky Terk.
Village board members directed Attorney Shawn Smith to develop an abstract, which is the legal and deed history of the property, in preparation for a sale.
Mr. Smith said selling village property requires approval from the state legislature, and Mayor Terk later last week asked Assemblyman Chris Tague to pursue that avenue.
Mayor Terk for the past few months has made Teen Town a priority. A popular gathering spot for kids for many years, Teen Town’s become a haven for illegal behavior, Mayor Terk believes.
Although police patrol the park, the elongated shape of the property allows perpetrators to easily escape, so enforcement is difficult.
“Here’s the thing: [Police Chief] Jeff Brown talks about hot spots in the village,” Mayor Terk said at Tuesday’s meeting. “There’s Teen Town and the Rodeway Inn.
“We can’t ignore it any more.”
Trustee and Deputy Mayor Howard Burt noted that Teen Town’s had its ups and downs but that the building at the park has “always been a maintenance problem.”
Besides solving a crime issue, selling Teen Town would put 11 acres back on the tax roll, Mayor Terk said.
She recommended in the past that the village could move Teen Town’s skate park, basketball courts and other features to Nick Iorio Park, which would be easier to monitor.
The idea would be to sell Teen Town and use that money to upgrade Iorio Park, Mayor Terk said. Doing so would have all activities for kids, including the village pool, in one place.
Kathy Mazzariello, who described herself as having a passion for youth programs, suggested that having teens help with the project would give them buy-in.
“Get them building and painting and fundraising,” Ms. Mazzariello said.
Although selling is the basic plan, it’s unclear whether the village can actually do so.
“We have to find out what we can and can’t do,” Mayor Terk said. “Shawn will find out. My gut feeling is that we can sell.”