FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 4, 2013
Contact: Tom Staudter | ThomasS@westchesterlegislators.com | 914-995-2819 (office) | 914-815-4462 (cell)
Westchester Legislators Call for Sprain Ridge Park Pool Renovations to Move Forward
Hastings-on-Hudson, NY – Members of the Westchester County Board of Legislators (BOL) called today on County Executive Rob Astorino to move forward with the long-delayed pool renovations at Sprain Ridge Park.
Over $1 million dollars has been spent already on design costs and construction costs that were previously approved by the BOL, but the Astorino Administration has yet to budge on making the pool renovations. The Sprain Ridge Park pool has been closed for the last two summers as a result.
“Westchester residents pride themselves on having great parks and recreational facilities for their use, and here, in one of the county’s major population areas, we have a project ready to go, the design entirely completed, yet construction entirely stalled at the whim of the County Executive,” said Legislator MaryJane Shimsky (D-Hastings-on-Hudson). “The project should be a high priority, and I implore the County Executive to forgo the politics and instead think of the people who have not been able to use this pool, their pool, for the past two years.”
The pool renovation project will involve reconstructing the existing pool complex at Sprain Ridge Park in a series of smaller pools, slides and play features that are popular in recreational facilities as such these days. Work will include pool mechanics, piping, structure, coping, decking, landscaping and concession area, plus associated site work. New fencing will be added to establish the pool area as well.
“The pool renovation project will make countless residents and families happy on hot summer days in years to come, but it will also create much needed construction sector jobs in the meantime,” said Legislator Bill Ryan (D-White Plains). “You would think that a project like this would get the green light all the way through.”
After investigations showed that the original pool was leaking, the Spano Administration and BOL began working collaboratively in 2001 to rehabilitate the existing pool area into a leisure pool facility in line with a national trend to boost attendance and revenue at municipal pools through the country. That year, $680,000 was spent to replace the aquatic playground system, and in 2006, another $500,000 went toward the design for the total project.
In 2011, the BOL unanimously added $8.8 million to the 2011 Capital Budget in order to begin reconstruction of the Sprain Ridge Pool facility. Astorino Administration officials have trotted out a number of explanations as to why they have not moved the project forward, even though the County’s Park Department has published a report in which south county residents indicate swimming as a leading activity, with a wish that more facilities for swimming be built or expanded.
“Our residents depend on elected officials to do the right thing when it comes to making proper investments in infrastructure and properly maintaining the facilities they use,” said BOL Chairman Ken Jenkins (D-Yonkers). “A number of my colleagues have raised the matter that here, at Sprain Ridge Park, our residents are being let down, and we will continue to call for this work to get started. No more excuses.”
The Westchester legislators were joined also at the press conference by Yonkers City Councilman Michael Sabatino and City Council President Chuck Lesnick, who noted the City Council unanimously endorsed the pool renovations two years ago.