Town of Saugerties rec programs thrive despite department struggles

Greg Chorvas, the Superintendant of Town Parks and Buildings for the Town of Saugerties, says he’s struggled with staffing issues and extended delays in getting materials even as town rec programs have thrived this summer.

“Staffing is a big challenge for everyone,” Chorvas said. “Businesses are having to close early.” He noted how he’s seen area eateries cut hours as they struggle to find staff. Earlier in the summer, Saugerties village officials scrambled to find enough lifeguards to staff the village beach.

Chorvas said the town has a new loader on order and the machine was set to arrive by June 1 and then July 1, but they’re still waiting for it to arrive. He said they are also waiting for a new floor machine for the Kiwanis Ice Arena to replace a 14-year-old unit that failed in the middle of April.

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But on a more positive note, he told the board his department is “killing it on revenue at the ice arena,” even as they struggle to staff it. Chorvas said that while the arena is typically only open in August for private ice time, this year it’s been open from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.

He said he was successful in obtaining a grant that will allow the town to update additional equipment at the arena, including an air chiller.

Chorvas said the town also netted $6,000 on an older model large area mower dating from 1996 they recently put up for sale, far more than officials expected. He said officials were able to purchase a generator for the town garage that typically costs $10,000 for $5,900 by purchasing a package of demo equipment from a warehouse in Newburgh that included not only a generator but also a gas air compressor, pressure washer and a three-inch water pump.

“Once we have the generator, if we get power outages, we’ll be set here,” Chorvas said.

The superintendent said the town’s summer rec program, set to wrap up Friday, was a huge success, attracting 98 children.