Westerlo gets $30K from county to rehab Basic Creek bank in town park

The Enterprise — Michael Koff

The Basic Creek as it runs through Westerlo Town Park.

WESTERLO — The town of Westerlo has received a grant to restore the bank of the Basic Creek where it runs through the Westerlo Town Park and has been eroding some of the parkland. 

The $30,000 grant was given out by the Albany County Department of Soil and Water Conservation District, which had informed the town money was available for a streambed protection project, Supervisor Matthew Kryzak told The Enterprise this week. He said the town anticipates using the money to add riprap — or a barrier of loose stone — to somewhere between 300 and 400 feet of the riverbank where the worst of the erosion is.

“This grant allows us to … try and keep as much of the park as possible,” he said. “There’s a lot more work that needs to be done to protect the park and the erosion of the stream bed and things of that nature, but this $30,000 grant is an excellent start. 

Kryzak added that the grant was acquired with help from his confidential secretary, Rosemary McHugh, and his assistant, Jade Smith, who he said “do the meat and potatoes” of the town’s grant writing. 

Westerlo has been especially successful among the Hilltowns at acquiring grants — the biggest being a $1.6 million federal grant to expand broadband access in the town, which it got earlier this year.

For the Basic Creek grant, Kryzak said that he, McHugh, and Smith put together a “very detailed” application with photos and a sense of the town’s goals and their perspective on why it deserved the money over other applicants. 

“We work really well as a team,” he said, “trying to come up with the best sales pitch … I think that makes us really good candidates — the level of work that we put into it. It keeps us competitive for grant money that’s up for grabs.”

More Hilltowns News

  • Andrew Gibson, of Westerlo, pleaded guilty to reckless homicide after killing Berne resident Lisa Sperry in a drunk driving accident, but he failed to show up to his sentencing in February this year, having been out on bail.

  • Helderberg Lake Community Association President Tom McQuade told The Enterprise this week that, after the association had its tax-district proposal rejected by the Berne Town Board, it’s hoping to secure funding for dam repairs through the New York State Environmental Bond Act, which will be voted on by state residents in November.

  • New York State is currently involved in a lawsuit filed by telecommunications companies and organizations who argue that a state law mandating low-cost internet services for certain consumers hurts business interests and, by extension, hinders the expansion of rural broadband infrastructure. 

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