Woodstock’s Comeau property needs maintenance help

Trail at the Comeau (photo by Dion Ogust)

A group that oversees the Comeau property is asking for help with trail maintenance that has not kept up with a significant increase in use and could lead to risk of injury. The last trail assessment was done in 2016, Comeau Stewardship Advisory Committee member Lisa Bonk told the Town Board at its regular meeting Jun 11.

Drainage pipes have started to come up to the surface with wear and trail use, posing a tripping hazard. In some places, people have picked up the pipes and thrown them off the trail, she said. There are also trees leaning and dangerously close to falling onto the trail.

In the western end of the trial loop, exposed roots are a tripping hazard. 


“Where possible, we should cover them with wood chips,” Bonk said. “We know it’s not a permanent solution,” she added, suggesting the problem can be mitigated by replenishing the chips as they get washed away or worn down.

Bonk suggested having a seasonal staff, possibly made up of town maintenance workers who can devote three to five hours per week to assist with maintenance. The town should hire experts to manage jobs that cannot be handled through routine maintenance, such as tree removal. She also suggested having a town team walk the trails once a month to look for any issues and maintain a trail inventory log.

CSAC Chair Jeff Viglielmo said trail maintenance needs to be an ongoing priority and offered to contact the Woodstock Land Conservancy for help.

Supervisor Bill McKenna said he plans to walk the trails with Alan Van Leuven from the Maintenance Department and discuss solutions. The trails were maintained regularly until a few years ago, when Environmental Commission Vice Chair and Geezer Corps member Jim Hanson said he could no longer devote as much time to it. 

The Geezer Corps have completed projects for the trails such as a kiosk and foot bridges. Viglielmo said he is grateful for their work, but doesn’t want to lean on them whenever things are needed.

Board OKs Bearsville test well

The Town Board authorized McKenna to sign an agreement with Layne Christensen Company of Schoharie to drill a 20-foot test well and conduct a 72-hour pump test. The cost is projected to be $52,925. If the test is successful, the test well will become the third operating well.

Recently, a pump at one of the two operating wells failed and the well casing partially filled in when the pump was removed, resulting in a loss of 2 feet of depth, McKenna said. Crews were able to replace the pump, but capacity was reduced from 265 gallons per minute to 150 gallons per minute.

Only one other company responded to requests for quotes and indicated it would not be able to do the work.

The town has been saving money for a new well and has earmarked $120,000.

“I suspect we’ll use close to that,” McKenna said. Besides drilling the well, a casing, screen and pump must be installed.

The new well will not be affected by any of the improvements planned or underway at Rick Volz Field, he said.

Summer camp registration still open

Town Clerk Jackie Earley reminds parents they can still register their children for summer camp up until it starts, but there is a $25 late fee starting June 17.

Camp runs July 1 through August 15 from 8:45 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday for children entering Kindergarten through 9th Grade. The cost is $250 per Woodstock resident with a $25 sibling discount and $450 for non-residents. Immunization records are required. New this year is a measles vaccine requirement for all summer camps in the county. For more information on this requirement, contact the Ulster County Health Department at (845) 340-3150.

For summer camp registration, call (845) 679-2113 ext. 14 or visit woodstockny.org and click on Parks & Recreation.