BELGRADE — A nearly completed gazebo stands in Belgrade Village Green, a prominent spot at the southern end of Belgrade Lakes village.

Some of the stairs remain unfinished, as does a “seat wall” that will form a large half-circle around the structure. The wall’s concrete block foundation appears finished, but piles of heavy slate remain to be put in place.

While more work will be performed this year, the finishing touches will be done next year, according to Lynn Matson. He and his wife, Phyllis, who live in Rome, are donating the property and its improvements to the town via the Friends of Belgrade Lakes Village.

Matson told the Belgrade Board of Selectpersons at a recent meeting that the park was “constructed with minimum maintenance costs going forward.” He also requested that selectmen include an article on the Town Meeting warrant asking voters to accept the 1-acre park, which is owned by the Friends of Belgrade Lakes Village.

Selectmen indicated that it was more likely to appear on the referendum ballot that voters see at the polls in March than on the floor at the business portion of Town Meeting a day later. They said the proposal could be explained at the public hearing for the entire warrant that takes place prior to the vote.

Matson said the lower part of the gazebo is pressure-treated and finished with plastic wood, and the shingles have a 30-year life.

“One thing that won’t be done this year is landscaping,” he said. “It’s too late for hydro-seeding.”

On Friday, the ground was mostly rain-soaked mud, with a pile of gravel awaiting spreading. Nearby, construction workers with heavy equipment worked on rebuilding Main Street through the village.

Matson told selectmen last month, “Our intent is to make sure it’s 100 percent finished next year as part of our gift to the town.”

Selectman Michael Barrett said, “You’re giving us a ready-to-go turnkey operation.”

Selectmen had questions for Matson about the operating costs and parking, and he said five parking spots are included on the property itself.

“I think we’re adding more problems to Belgrade Lakes area,” said Rick Damren, selectmen’s chairman. “If you’re going to have events here, where are people going to park?”

Selectman Melanie Jewell suggested that people could park at the Belgrade Center for All Seasons and be shuttled to events in the village itself.

“We under-utilize the parking at the Center for All Seasons,” she said.

Matson had brought to the board a proposed article about the park donation with reference to the its location at 1203 West Road and the lot numbers. However, several selectmen requested that more description be included.

Matson recently provided a revised version.

“I think this is a great thing,” said Jack Sutton, a member of the town’s Budget Committee.

However, he and fellow Budget Committee member Howard Holinger questioned the effect of lost tax revenue as well as insurance and maintenance costs on the town budget.

Town Manager Dennis Keschl said the park adds to the town’s attractiveness.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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