WILLIAMSTOWN -- A popular local swimming hole is about to make a splash with the public thanks to some upgrades to the bathhouse and new signage.
And a newly installed well brings clean, running water to the town-owned Margaret Lindley Park for the first time in more than a decade.
Officials gathered at a ceremony on Monday to celebrate the recent completion of the yearlong project at the man-made pond, located on Route 7 (Cold Spring Road) and the base of the Taconic Trail (Route 2).
"The reaction has been absolutely enthusiastic for what has been done here," Conservation Commission Chairman Philip McKnight said.
Voters at the 2013 annual town meeting approved spending $65,000 from the Community Preservation Act fund, which is fed by a 2 percent property surcharge. After the pricetag grew to more than $71,000, the Conservation Commission appropriated an additional $6,600 from its account to cover the overrun.
The old well was decommissioned more than a decade ago when the water supply was found to be unsafe. In recent years, portable toilets were placed at the site for visitors in the summer, and while the bathhouse remained open, it had no running water and was utilized only for changing.
The new well makes it possible for pure water to run from the toilets and sinks; a fresh coat of paint has been applied; and new plumbing has been installed.
The bathhouse is expected to open within the week, pending a permit from the state Department of Environmental Protection.
Attached to the exterior are two new, weatherproof, 4-foot-by-4-foot bulletin boards.
The Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation's display provides visitors information about the site, including about the trees, wildlife and Hemlock Brook, which feeds the manmade pond.
A similar display created by the Williamstown Historical Commission traces the park's routes back to the construction of the Taconic Trail, conceived as tourism route linking Williamstown with Albany, N.Y.
The park, which the town acquired in 1967, is named after a beloved elementary school teacher of 41 years in town, according to information from the historical commission.
In addition, the Rotary Club of Williamstown provided four barrels with plantings for decoration and will install two tetherball courts.
"We're all very thankful for these organizations," Mc Knight said, adding it was a "community-wide effort to make this gem of a recreational facility so much better."
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