Saugerties snubbed on grants for ice arena, new Hudson River park

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced $92.8 million for various Mid-Hudson projects and initiatives from the Regional Economic Development Council Dec. 19, but Saugerties was out of the money. Projects that officials had hoped to fund with REDC grants include the repair of the dilapidated roof of the Kiwanis Ice Arena and work on Bristol Beach.

“We’re disappointed we didn’t get our projects funded,” said Town Supervisor Fred Costello Jr. “Over the years we’ve gotten more than a million dollars in grants, but these projects are pretty important that we asked for funding for. We’ll have to do them within our own resources now.”

Parks and Buildings Superintendent Greg Chorvas has estimated that the repair of the Ice Arena’s roof could cost upwards of $800,000-$900,000. With the help of former assemblyman Pete Lopez, the town got $100,000 for the project from the state Dormitory Authority.

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“The implications of not getting the grant over the ice rink means that we’re going to have to use the resources that we set aside — we have the means to replace the roof, but we will not be able to do some of the other things we were hoping to do, like a generator. We wanted it to double as an emergency shelter [which is no longer possible,]” said Costello. “It’s a huge asset to our community and it’s our responsibility to address it.”

The Winston Farm Alliance donated $80,000 towards the establishment of trails and facilities at the Bristol Beach property. Plans for the beach include river access, a picnic area, parking for 12 vehicles, rest rooms, trails a bathhouse and a fishing area.

“We can still move forward with Bristol Beach,” said Costello. “We have been blessed by Greenway grants and the pledge by the Winston Farm Alliance … We are still going to try to create the public access to the park, we are going to install a driveway off of Route 9w to access the existing trails, but to get further than that we’ll need outside support. Unless money comes from someplace else, that will slow down the potential for progress there. It’s still our expectation and plan that in 2019, someone could drive a car to the parking area.”

Costello added that a lack of REDC funds will force the town to forego, at least for now, initial plans for handicap-accessible trails at the Bristol Beach site.

There are 3 comments

  1. NYArtist

    Why build handicapped access for Bristol when the lighthouse doesnt have it yet? Also, how about a public swimming pool next to the ice rink? The beaches are loaded with ecoli so there is no safe place to swim anymore plus the beach gets too crowded during peak times. It’s about time that Saugerties built it’s own swimming pool, open to local residents. Creating another beach on the river that is full of contamination instead of putting the funds into a swimming pool is not making sense.

    The senior center is a good place for an emergency shelter at the moment.

  2. David Radovanovic

    Bristol beach access is brilliant. Whenever you open access to our natural resources it’s a win-win for all of us. Keep up the good work!

  3. Southern Sawyer

    Why would we want to add another maintenance item on to the taxpayer? Cost versus numbers of individuals using. We don’t maintain what we already have and want to add another park that will need regular maintenance. This town has seen some mismanagement in the past lets not keep adding to it.

    We have a dilapidated animal shelter (missed grant on this one) a part time transfer station, deteriorated roads, poor use of industrial/commercial areas, poor uninviting gateway areas and more……….

    Is the ice arena a town owned entity or non-profit Kwanis owned? I’m not sure, Kwanis is a charitable group but I know a town employee was arrested for locker thefts there while working there.

    Not the towns fault but when you see a 800k grant going to a successful profitable bakery to expand and a multi national manufacturer like Ametek to mention a couple and towns like Saugerties needing help just is so off balance.

    Lets regroup fix what we have that is obtainable within our means and maybe put some kind of ballot together to see what the Town of Saugerties residents are willing to pay for.

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