PATERSON, NJ - The 3rd Ward’s Baer Park is about to undergo a nearly $200,000 upgrade, Mayor Andre Sayegh announced Thursday. Joined by City Council Vice-President Lilisa Mimms, 4th Ward Councilwoman Ruby Cotton, 5th Ward Councilman Luiz Velez, and DPW Director William Rodriguez, Sayegh broke ground on the project that will bring the space a new playground and fencing.

“Baer Park was dominated by gangs and drug users and now the neighborhood is taking this park back,” said Mayor Andre Sayegh. “Our children deserve a safe place to play; we are making sure that we continue to improve our parks and the overall quality of life in the City.”

The improvements will be funded by Community Development Block Grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

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Recognizing that it had become a place where individuals with less than family friendly intentions regularly gathered, city officials first announced plans to take back the space that occupies land at the corner of East 24th and 5th Avenue nearly a year ago.

“I can envision coming to Baer Park for cookouts, carnivals, art displays, and more,” Councilwoman-at-Large Dr. Lilisa Mimms, who has championed the project since before she was elected said, said at the time. In 2017 Mimms "adopted" the park and in April, 2018, sponsored and oversaw the installation of a "Little Free Library" there.

“This is a great day for our city,” Mimms added Thursday.

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