Saturday, June 2, 2007

Scudder Park Upgraded


By KELLY CAMPBELL

Despite having a pavilion, playground and grills not to mention a beach, Scudder Park on Beach Street in Northport Village is not used as much as Northport Beach on Eaton’s Neck Road.

On a recent sunny afternoon, not a soul was on the beach or playground except the occasional dog walker, although the parking lot to the west of the beach had several occupied cars parked on the waterfront lot and a large boat was launched from the boatramp.

Michael Picchicella, a resident of nearby Fox Lane, said he comes for a quick lunchtime dog walk with his pug. “It’s quick. It’s here,” he said. “It might be empty because it’s next to a sewer plant,” he added, but then said he was “just joking.”


The plant does not give off any offensive scent and, if one is facing the water, is not even visible.
Deputy Mayor Arlene Handel, also Commissioner of Parks, is hoping to increase the usage
Last fall she initiated a plan to reestablish many of the neglected plantings and this year she has directed the Village staff to develop and implement a plan to refurbish the park even further.
Superintendent of Public Works Joe Correia developed a proposal that will reduce the impervious surface areas by a third and the bathrooms are being renovated, according to Deputy Mayor Handel.
“Joe has designed very graceful curved paths and I think it’s going to be very beautiful when it’s complete,” she said. “It’s also very environmentally sound since it reduces the hard surfaces there.”
Mr. Correia said that a lot of the blacktop on the property was removed where there used to be a hard surface.
But the real impetus for the improvements, according to Mr. Correia, is to make the park’s features handicapped accessible.
“The handicapped accessibility was not very good and that’s where the funding comes in,” Mr. Correia said. The Village received a $50,000 grant from the Community Development Agency, a part of the federal government administered through the Town of Huntington. The five members of the Town Board serve as trustees of the Community Development Agency.
Mr. Correia said that Northport Village has received funds from the CDA for several projects throughout the Village including the handicapped accessibility in to Village Hall.
“We’ve been lucky,” he said. “Any time we have a project that has accessibility issues we’ve been able to go through this agency.”
He said this might be the last project funded by this. “They’re still available but it’s starting to dry up,” he said. “We get lucky because we participate through the Town of Huntington and most of the other incorporated Villages in the Town don’t have the types of facilities we do so we have a better opportunity to fund projects.” The Villages of Asharoken, Lloyd Harbor and Huntington Bay are mostly comprised of private residential areas rather than public parks and beaches.
Mr. Correia said the project is currently on schedule and on budget. “Right now it looks like should stay under the $50,000 and the work should be done in a few weeks,” he said

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