Greenport seeks state funds for park improvements

GREENPORT — The town plans to launch a $50,000 expansion and enhancement project at the Town Park on Joslen Boulevard, if the state comes up with grant money.

Contemplated are new playground equipment, expansion of the upper ball field, addition of bocce courts and a community garden.

At its August monthly meeting the Town Board approved applying for the $50,000 grant from the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. The town’s 25% share would be $12,500.

Deadline to submit the application is September 1.

Also at the meeting, the board heard renewed complaints from Joseph and Paula Kobilca about unleashed and uncontrolled dogs coming onto their properties from the adjoining Greenport Conservation Area.

Mr. Kobilca said the Columbia Land Conservancy, which administers the conservation area, has done nothing to improve matters, and he had no use for a suggestion that the town’s dog control officer be put on the case.

“That’s private property,” he said. “She shouldn’t have to be over there patrolling it.”

“If you get a license plate number [of the owner of a roving dog], we can cite him into court,” said Supervisor Edward Nabozny.

“Why should I have to be the bad guy?” responded Mr. Kobilca. “I don’t want somebody coming back at me because I put them in jail.”

“It’s their [CLC’s] responsibility,” said his sister, Paula.

Told that the land conservancy plans to meet with dog owners who use the park and other interested persons, Mr. Kobilca said he would not attend. He later agreed to attend a meeting with CLC officials that Town Attorney Carmi Rapport will arrange.

In other business, the Town Board:

*Heard from Police Chief Kevin Marchetto that another Greenport officer, Patrick Meister, dealt successfully with a suicidal person on the Rip Van Winkle Bridge. It was the second such incident in as many months

*Heard that after a public hearing at which no comment was received, the Planning Board accepted Robert MacGiffert’s plan to relocate Bob’s Barber Shop to his home at 461 Joslen Boulevard

*Heard that after many months, repairs that caused the closing or Mount Merino Road have been completed by McCagg Excavating Inc. and the town Highway Department. In a press release, Supervisor Nabozny thanked residents of the road for their “patience and cooperation.”

RELATED PRESS RELEASE: Land Conservancy presses dog walkers to leash their pets

GREENPORT — Despite the signs instructing dog owners to keep their dog on a leash, some visitors at the Greenport Conservation Area ignore the rules, according to the Columbia Land Conservancy (CLC), which manages the 714-acre property, along with 9 other public conservation areas in Columbia County. So the conservancy announced recently that it has stepped up its efforts to ensure the rules are followed.

CLC is intensifying its presence at the site, with staff talking with visitors, explaining the dog policy.

The organization says the Greenport animal control officer is issuing tickets.

The address the issue (see story in this edition on the Greenport Town Board meeting) the land conservancy will host a public forum Tuesday, August 23 at 5:30 p.m. at Trinity United Methodist Church, 555 Joslen Boulevard, to discuss why the leash rule is important and how to ensure more compliance.

CLC also invites comments online at

“Unleashed dogs prevent people from enjoying the conservation area,” Peter Paden, CLC executive director said in a press release about the issue. “We don’t want people to worry about dogs bounding toward them. Many people are afraid of dogs. They have the right to enjoy the park without being confronted with this fear. Unleashed dogs can also pose a problem for dog owners whose pets are on a leash. Occasionally, unleashed dogs get into altercations with other dogs or nip people, and this is unacceptable,” he said.

Unleashed dogs are also a threat to wildlife, putting the practice at odds with one of the primary purposes of the Greenport Conservation Area, which is to protect nature. Dogs not on a leash can scare off wildlife and may chase or injure birds and other animals.

CLC hopes that their efforts to increase compliance will be successful. If it’s not the conservancy says it will be forced to ban dogs from the conservation area.

Greenport Conservation Area includes upland meadows, deciduous forests, and an estuarine wetland. The property overlooks the Hudson River with views of the Catskill Mountains. It is owned by the Open Space Institute and managed by CLC.

The Columbia Land Conservancy, which is marking its 25th anniversary this year, works with the community to conserve the farmland, forests, wildlife habitat and rural character of Columbia County. CLC owns or manages 10 public conservation areas that are open year round from dawn to dusk, providing miles of trails for free, year-round outdoor recreation. CLC also works to support and strengthen agriculture and thoughtful land use planning throughout the county.

Comments are closed.