YORKTOWN, N.Y. - State Sen. Terrence Murphy has awarded a $375,000 grant to be used for the construction of new highway and parks department offices on Greenwood Street, which Supervisor Michael Grace hopes will spur a revitalization of downtown Yorktown.
“It’s great having a friend in Albany,” Grace said about Murphy, a former Yorktown councilman, at a press conference at Town Hall last Thursday (Sept. 29).
The state funds will be used to complete the first part of Grace’s plan, introduced in 2013, which calls for the construction of the two municipal buildings on Greenwood Street. The current highway garage on the corner of Front Street and Underhill Avenue would then be demolished and replaced with a 27,000 mixed-use building and public amenities. The size and cost of the new highway and parks buildings have not been finalized, though Grace estimated the total cost of the project at $2 million in a recent grant filing with New York State.
“One of the more expensive elements in terms of creating these new facilities is the foundation work and the slab work, which the [grant] money is earmarked for,” Grace said.
Murphy, who was on the Town Board when the project was first introduced, said the new Greenwood Street highway garage is much-needed in terms of efficiency,
“Hopefully this can be the first step in the right direction of at least establishing a rock-solid footprint and consolidating, getting everything that [Highway Superintendent] Dave [Paganelli] needs under one roof,” he said.
Additionally, Grace said, the parks and recreation department currently works out of “deplorable” conditions in Sparkle Lake and Downing Park.
Paganelli thanked Murphy for the grant, “which will be instrumental in getting highway and parks on the road,” he said.
Grace said the goal has always been to complete the project at little or no cost to the taxpayers of Yorktown. Other funds may come from a new development in the Bear Mountain Triangle, Grace said. The 26.61-acre property was rezoned last year and an 80-townhouse development called Crompond Terraces is being proposed for the area. Town law stipulates that any new development must contribute $4,000 per residential unit into the town’s recreation fund. With 80 units, Crompond Terraces’ contribution adds up to $320,000. Instead of paying the fee, another option is the construction of a recreation building, or buildings, in the town at a similar cost. Other money to off-set the cost of the project, Grace said, could come from the sale of the current highway garage property.
“This will be a real town center,” Grace said. “The idea was always to do this at no or little cost to the taxpayers of the the town of Yorktown, and this is the beginning of fulfilling that pledge to Yorktown.”