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Milton Park project moves forward

April 24th, 2013

The Milton Landing Park has recently taken another dramatic step forward, thanks to members and friends of the Milton Engine Company who recently cleared the former Shell Oil depot site of all brush and debris and have fixed up one of two docks.

Project coordinator Gael Appler Jr. said $1,500 was recently donated to the firehouse at the Democratic Salute Dinner, of which $600 was spent for the purchase of supplies for the dock.

Appler and his crew removed the old stairs of the northern dock and built a ramp to allow easier and safer access onto the dock, especially for seniors and for those in wheelchairs.

“Now it’s usable for everybody,” he said, adding that the ramp also helps visitors avoid getting their feet wet at high tide.

Appler said workers from the Marlborough Highway Garage removed several large piles of wood and debris from the park that had washed ashore during Hurricane Sandy when water reached as far as the railroad tracks.

“The place was covered with debris,” he said. “It was amazing the piles that showed up.”

Appler said the storm also washed away large amounts of soil and rock, especially in the northern portion of the park.

“We probably lost 10 feet [so] we brought some more soil down and hand placed a rock barrier along that,” he said.

Appler said the southern end of the park is now cleared, thanks to local businessman Stephen Rivieccio of Top Seed Landscape Design in Milton, who donated a rock rake for the day.

“We basically took all of the rocks out of there and seeded it,” he said. Appler also thanked Steven Bianco of Marlboro Mountain Construction.

“He had his bobcat and he ran an excavator for a little while. So he shuttled some rocks around for us and did a little grading,” he said.

Appler said members from the town’s Water Department also volunteered their time to assist in the rehabilitation effort for the park.

Appler said they topped the wooden dock pilings with cut sheet metal that will protect them from rotting. He is also hoping to purchase, through donations, some Adirondack chairs to be set out across the park.

Appler said he believes work will start this year on the second larger dock that is in need of significant repair. He said this structure sustained damage after a tug ran into it five years ago.

Appler said they will start with the rotted gangway that goes out to the dock.
“Right now it is only 3 feet wide [but] the structure is there to make it 8 feet wide. We just need to buy some steel I-beams. We’ll start there and work our way out,” he said. This phase is expected to take the better part of two years to complete.

Appler said he remembers really falling in love with the Hudson River when he was a teenager working summers at the West Shore Marina, a feeling he said has never left him.

Appler said today he and the members of the Milton Engine Company are doing this project as a way to give back to the community, calling the Milton Landing project a “major landmark” for the town.

“They see the positive impacts the Milton Landing Park will have on the village,” he said. “Making the community better doesn’t stop with helping during fire emergencies. The personalities of our members go above and beyond when it comes to Milton as a whole.”

Marlborough Police Chief Gerald Cocozza recently told the Town Board of the work that has been done at the park, commending all volunteers, past and present, for transforming a forgotten parcel into a now beautiful site for the public to enjoy.

By Mark Reynolds

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