BALLSTON LAKE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Ballston Lake fishing pier and kayak/canoe launch on Outlet Road has been closed since April due to winter ice damage and decay. The Town of Ballston is planning to remove and replace the pier, but Town Supervisor Eric Connolly tells NEWS10 that they’re speeding up that process after the pier was vandalized.
“A few weeks ago we had some vandals disconnect the fishing platform by pulling out the ramp connector pins. They also dumped the ramp into the lake. We recovered the ramp and had the dock company come by to secure the platform in a more permanent fashion,” said Connolly.
The entrance to the pier is blocked off by plywood, and it’s double-barricaded for safety reasons, said Connolly. Despite this, he said that residents have recently spotted several people still using the pier.
The Building Inspector closed the pier in accordance with Chapter 1, Section 107 of the New York State Property Maintenance Code 2020: Unsafe Structures and Equipment. The sign is clearly posted at the entrance of the pier, along with “Do not enter” written on the plywood.
The town said the damage to the pier was sudden and is substantial, as the freeze and ice thaw damaged and weakened most of the pier. Town officials outlined the original plans to reopen the pier on the town website.
The town said the project is currently in the design phase and is expected to take all summer. However, after the vandalism and the people sightings on the pier, Connolly decided to declare it a public safety concern to speed up the process.
“This will allow us to move a bit faster. We’ll look to get the old pier removed ASAP and then the new and improved composite/aluminum floating pier installed. The installation will be slowed by back-ordered materials and a contractor backlog,” said Connolly.
According to the original plans, the town started with the design phase, which includes having an engineering firm draw up the plans to remove, replace, and inspect the work. The town would then go out to bid on the work, which is at least a 30-day window for contractors to submit bids.
Due to the pier being declared a public safety concern, Connolly said the town is now able to skip over this bidding process. The pier will be demolished and inspected by the engineering firm. The new pier can then be installed and inspected.
The new pier will include an improved kayak/canoe launch and the new pier’s floating system will prevent future ice damage, said the town. The estimated cost of this project is about $250,000. The town said there are enough funds in the Parkland Deposits Fund to cover the cost.
Connolly said he has received a small number of complaints about this pier being closed. He said those who want to get on the lake can use the launch at Finnegan’s on the Lake instead. However, there is a fee to use that launch.