Developer Offers Hamburg Buttermilk Falls
Parlato Imposed Single Stipulation: Property Must be Open to Public
By TOM ERNST
News South Towns Bureau
September 19 , 1994
Developer Frank Parlato Jr. says he wants to give the Town of Hamburg a
Parlato, who previously had offered to sell the property to the town as
part of a larger package, now says he wants to give the town the small
parcel containing Buttermilk Falls on Hemlock Creek, which flows into
The parcel is only about a quarter of an acre, but contains the falls and
offers a spectacular view of the 18-Mile Creek gorge some 90 feet below.
The only stipulation, said Parlato, is that the property be open to the
Parlato said he plans to make a formal offer to the town at the Town Board
meeting next Monday.
Town Supervisor Patrick H. Hoak and Councilman D. Mark Cavalcoli said they
are excited by the offer.
Past proposals from Parlato would cost the town money and contained too
many restrictions -- such as 24 hours access -- Cavalcoli said.
The town would have to make some improvements to the property and there
would be liability concerns that would have to be worked out, he said.
"But it sounds like there is real merit to the proposal and I will
certainly recommend it to my colleagues on the board," Cavalcoli said.
Hoak said. "It's a generous offer and we're certainly encouraged and
excited about it."
Hamburg already owns land along the creek and is working with the Town of
Evans, which owns land along the other side, to improve access, primarily
as a fishing area.
A bridge that once carried Versailles Road over the creek, joins the two
parcels and serves as a pedestrian bridge.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation plans to install a
parking area on the Evans side.
A parking area for seven to 10 cars probably will be constructed in the
spring, Thomas Murray, principal fish and wildlife technician, said.
The section of Versailles Road has been closed for 50 years or more but the
bridge still serves as a popular fishing spot and permits pedestrian
traffic over the creek.
The two towns have an agreement to share responsibility for the bridge and
once it has been inspected hope to repair the surface and make it
handicapped accessible as a fishing area, according to Hamburg Highway
Superintendent Richard A. Smith.
Parlato's site can be reached from above, off of North Creek Road, or below
after a fairly easy hike up a trail along the side of the gorge.
His original proposal also involved about an acre of land he owns on the
north side of North Creek Road that could be used for parking. That
proposal was never pursued by either side.
Parlato, who has donated land and worked to preserve other areas for public
access, said he has a dream of 100 or more mini nature parks scattered
throughout the county.
He acknowledged that some people question his motives, but insisted his
only personal gain is in the form of satisfaction from seeing green space
"I suppose you could say that is a selfish motive," he said.
"You don't need a park every day, but there is a day when you do need a
park and it should be there."
Contact Frank Parlato Jr.