GOVERNOR: $ 1.1 MILLION FOR WESTCHESTER, PUTNAM, ORANGE
Includes $150,000 to Expand Access to Long Island Sound in City of Rye
Governor George E. Pataki today announced $1.1 million for six conservation, recreation and open space projects in Westchester, Orange and Putnam. The awards, provided through the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and the state Clean Water, Clean Air Bond Act, include $150,000 to acquire an historic building and waterfront property that will link to an existing park in the City of Rye.
"By providing the resources to expand waterfront access to the Long Island Sound, we are protecting precious natural resources while adding to the countless outdoor opportunities for families in the City of Rye," Governor Pataki said. "This project will ensure that generations of Westchester residents and visitors will continue to visit the park and marina to enjoy the scenic coastal views, recreation and natural habitat of the Sound."
The LWCF award to the city of Rye will be used to purchase the 1.12 acre property that includes the Rye Friends Meeting House and Rye Marina Park. With this acquisition, the City will be able to consolidate public waterfront holdings and improve access to the Sound for recreation. Located at the mouth of Milton Harbor and Blind Brook, the new Sound access project will provide a direct connection to the coast and will preserve land within the coastal floodplain, coastal wetlands and riparian habitat.
Representative Sue Kelly said, "The Hudson Valley is home to so many natural and historic treasures that must never be taken for granted. Governor Pataki has made protecting these resources a priority. That's good news for local residents, the Hudson Valley and the entire state. I look forward to working with Governor Pataki to continue to preserve New York's environmental heritage."
Representative Nita Lowey said, "This project will not only preserve the environment and a historic landmark, but will also provide an excellent recreation facility for the people of Westchester and New York's many visitors. Rye's business district will gain a safe, convenient, and efficient vehicle-free route to other major hubs, including schools, parks, institutional centers, and residential neighborhoods. Projects like this are the reason I have continued to push for full funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund. I look forward to working with Governor Pataki and Mayor Otis to continue the development of this exciting new project."
The property will be dedicated as parkland. Following the acquisition, the City plans to design and construct a pedestrian trailway along the waterfront connecting the purchased parcel to the existing marina park. Additional improvements will include signage and landscaping to increase views of the sound.
The Rye Friends Meeting House is a diminutive wooden chapel with a bell tower that has been continuously used for worship for more than 100 years. Built in the 1870s, it is now used by the community for special events and concerts.
City of Rye Mayor Steve Otis said, "The City of Rye is very appreciative of Governor Pataki's leadership on environmental issues and the assistance of his administration in our program of open space acquisitions. We would not be able to preserve parkland parcels like the Friends Meeting House without the help of the administration."
State Parks Commissioner Bernadette Castro said, "I commend Governor Pataki for his efforts to preserve and protect New York's precious outdoor resources and historic treasures. Once again, through these awards, the Governor has demonstrated his commitment to expanding public access to our natural environment through improved waterfront access, trailways and recreational development for generations to come."
Created in 1964, the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund shares the revenues from coastal non-renewable resources with state and local governments for the establishment of permanent recreational facilities. This fund is authorized to provide up to $900 million annually from offshore oil and gas leases to be split between "state-side" grants-in-aid and the federal government.
In 1998, Governor Pataki created the Empire State Task Force for LWCF to increase public awareness and to support Congressional efforts to reestablish state-side funding. Through the success of the Task Force efforts, Congress appropriated $140 million, with nearly $7.1 million for New York State for the 2002 LWCF program.
OPRHP support for the fiscal year 2001-2002 Clean Water, Clean Air Bond Act projects for parks, greenways, historic preservation and heritage areas to municipalities and not-for- profits comes to $7 million towards the funding of 49 projects. Over the past five years, more than $33.5 million in Bond Act grants have been awarded to 193 projects across New York State.
The remaining five projects announced today include the construction of a bath house, recreational facility and basketball court, the preservation of a 1930's stone retaining wall, the installation of a pedestrian walkway to provide playground and fishing access, the creation of a welcome center with historic and cultural exhibits, and the development of pedestrian trailways, including signage and support facilities. A complete list follows:
City of Rye, Long Island Sound Waterfront Acquisition, $150,000. This project will provide for the acquisition of Long Island Sound waterfront property, which includes Friends Meeting Site and will link the property to an existing City Park.
Village of Sleepy Hollow, Horseman's Trail, $100,000. The project will create a connecting trail section and signage and support facilities designed to create a pedestrian access link re-connecting the trail to the Hudson River.
Town of Cortlandt, Broadway Boulevard Trail, $260,000. The town seeks to develop the Broadway Boulevard Pedestrial Trail in the Hamlet of Verplanck. The trail will extend approximately a mile from the Buchanan Village line to the Steamboat Riverfront Park and will include street trees, landscaping, lighting and other amenities. This would be a continuation of the Cortlandt Shoreline Trail, which is designated Greenway.
Village of Highland Falls, Roe Park Rehabilitation, $250,000.
This project involves demolition of the 1960s recreation bldg. and construction of a 9000 sq. ft. pole barn to house the bath house, recreation programming and basketball court; the repair and preservation of a 1930s WPA stone retaining wall; installation of a walkway around Roe Pond from the Playground to the little league field; and providing fishing access.
County of Putnam, Putnam Trailway III, $100,000. This project is for the construction of a 3.9 mile long trailway.
County of Putnam, Pocket Park and Visitor's Center, $150,000. This project involves renovation of brick commercial building to create Putnam County Welcome Center with historic and cultural exhibits and creation of pocket park with garden and benches.
Village of Sleepy Hollow Mayor Phillip Zegarelli said, "We are very thankful to Governor Pataki for the grant money that the Village of Sleepy Hollow is receiving. The Headless Horseman's Trail is an important part of Sleepy Hollow's history, and the money will help preserve this historic landmark."
Putnam County Executive Robert Bondi said, "On behalf of the people of Putnam County, we are pleased that Governor Pataki and New York State are bringing about the completion of the Trailway III project and also assisting to fund the Pocket Park and Visitor's Center."
Linda D. Puglisi, Supervisor, Town of Cortlandt, said, "Once again the Town of Cortlandt thanks Governor George E. Pataki for his support and funding of various projects in our community. We are delighted to learn that the Town of Cortlandt will be the beneficiary of a $260,000 grant for the Broadway Trail located in the Verplanck area of our Town. This funding source and many others throughout the years, including the $500,000 restoration grant for the historic Tollhouse project, have resulted in many of our projects becoming a reality."
Joe D'Onofrio, Mayor, Village of Highland Falls, said, "We are very happy that Governor George Pataki has recognized our needs in Highland Falls. Roe Park is the heart and soul of this village, especially for our children and adults. We can't thank Governor Pataki enough for helping us restore the only park in Highland Falls."
Edward A. Diana, Orange County Executive, said, "I must thank Governor Pataki for once again coming through for Orange County. These funds will help rehabilitate Roe Park, improving the quality of life for all the residents of Highland Falls."