Government

Town OKs $2.2 Million Bond for Airport Park Project

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MAHOPAC, N.Y. - The Town Board has approved the issuance of a $2.2 million bond to pay for an improvement project at Airport Park that calls for the construction of new multi-purpose fields and other entities such as bleachers and bathrooms.

The board passed the resolution green-lighting the bond and the project at its June 13 meeting.

The Airport Park plan is one of several park projects coming to fruition over the next year, all mostly part of the town Recreation and Parks Department’s 15-year master plan.

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The $2.2 million bond will be paid off over a 15-year period at a cost of $14.27 per year per property owner. That method is called parcel taxation, but the town could opt to use taxation on property valuation.

The project will add five soccer/lacrosse fields, a restroom building, playground, pavilion, bleachers and concession stand. In addition, fencing and a parking lot will be installed, and the driveway upgraded. Hiking trails around the park will also get a makeover.

“We want to dress it up similar to Baldwin Meadows; that is what we are looking to do,” said Dave Furfaro, chair of the Recreation Advisory Board, at a meeting last month.

Furfaro recommended the town send out its requests for bids at the end of the summer.

“That is when you get your best numbers in these cycles,” he said. “It’s when these guys are looking for a fall or winter project.”

Furfaro said if everything comes off without a hitch, the new fields could be playable by fall 2019 because “you need a full season for this grass to grow.”

“But it will probably be the spring of 2020 before it’s ready, to be honest about it,” he said.

Officials said the town is working closely with the county for phosphorous reduction at Lake McGregor. That will have to be done before the project can move forward.

County Executive MaryEllen Odell recently announced that Putnam County had received a $100,000 grant from the state to do that job. She noted that Airport Park is a county-owned property that was leased to the town of Carmel in 2005 for 99 years. The drainage improvements will rectify a water runoff issue and phosphorous reduction at Lake McGregor, which abuts the park.

“When different layers of government can work together, the taxpayers win,” said Odell. “The town of Carmel will be doing a major transformation of Airport Park to better serve its residents. Putnam County was able to apply for a state grant that provides a better foundation for the project. By working together, we are able to conduct needed upgrades to the property with funding help from New York State.”

The $100,000 grant will be administered through the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York.

Councilwoman Suzi McDonough said she was pleased that some of the park projects, some of which have been in the planning stages for nearly a decade, are finally coming to fruition.

“It is nice that after all our years of hard work, we can finally see the light at the end,” she said. “We will have a beautiful park for the kids and the adults. It will be really wonderful.”

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