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Briarcliff Seeks Grants for Scarborough Park Improvements

The village is looking to address erosion issues and create a better-looking park for residents.

Briarcliff Manor Village Manager Philip Zegarelli hopes "three times is a charm" as the village prepares to again apply for state grants to improve .

Back in 2008, the village formed the Scarborough Park Advisory Committee to assess the park that overlooks the Hudson River. About two years ago, Zegarelli said, the village board approved a plan from the committee that addresses issues including the erosion of the park's shoreline and proposes improvements such as boat access and fishing accommodations.

"We did [previously] allocate in our capital budget a little over $204,000 as sort of more than good will," Zegarelli said. "...a firm commitment on the part of the mayor and the board to address what needs to be done at Scarborough Park."

Since the proposal was accepted, the village has applied for two rounds of state grants to fund the project.

"At the first attempt, we didn't score as high as we hoped to," he said. "The second time we did it, we scored very high...[but] the second time there was absolutely no money for these types of projects."

The first application yielded a $35,000 award from the state department for park design.

The village has estimated the entire project will cost about $1 million.

The village plans to apply for a New York State Department of Environmental Conservation grant through its Hudson River Estuary & Mohawk River Basin Mini Grants program that are offered up to $10,000. 

Additionally, Zegarelli said a New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation grant could provide up to $500,000 more for the project.

Both grants require a 50/50 match by the village.

The Scarborough Park Advisory Committee's proposal asks the park "should be improved to provide leisurely walks, seating, Hudson River viewing, shade trees for picnicking and to frame the views, kayak and canoe access to the River and fishing accomodations," according to the village board's July 5 agenda.

Additionally, "The proposed project will also reinforce and stabilize an eroding Park shoreline, construct a handicap accessible walkway around the permiter of the Park and install native plantings..."

Zegarelli estimated that the grant applications will be submitted within a week and will be reviewed sometime within the next six to eight months.

Even if the village does not receive all the grants, some work will be done at the park in the near future, Zegarelli said.

"The shoreline is eroding and there is also a debris buildup at essentially the neck of where the park meets with the railroad embankment," he explained. "It needs attention."

While he admitted some of these plans are "big ticket items," Zegarelli said the village "is looking at different phases of what we would like to see done...That's all to come whether the grants are there or not."

But he believes the state's finances "have opened up" and this project stands a good chance.

"We're just shy of going out to bid on a plan," he said. "We have a committee that worked long and hard on what we believe is a very viable proposal and we are ready to go."


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