The Examiner

Harckham Announces $250G State Grant for Millwood Park Upgrades

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State Sen. Peter Harckham, surrounded by members of the New Castle Town Board and the town’s Recreation & Parks Department, visited Millwood Park Tuesday to announce a $250,000 grant toward improvements to the facility.

State Sen. Peter Harckham officially announced on Tuesday a $250,000 state grant to the Town of New Castle that will help pay for the renovation of Millwood Park.

Joined by town officials at the site on Route 100, Harckham said he has been prioritizing parks and public spaces for the $6 million in State and Municipal Facilities Program (SAM) grants his office has been distributing to communities throughout his district.

“Parks are what makes northern Westchester such a unique and wonderful place to live,” he said. “They enhance the quality of life. This is where we have our sense of community where families get together with other families, special events, for athletic events, for town events, a host of things. And this is a very important facility to the hamlet of Millwood.”

The town plans to resurface the baseball and softball diamond and the tennis courts, install lights for the field and courts, buy new playground equipment and make various site upgrades. Town board members on hand for the announcement said the town would commit at least $250,000 of its own money toward the project.

Councilwoman Lisa Katz said one of the reasons why families move to town and to Millwood is because of the recreational opportunities available.

“So to know that we can really utilize this family space, this field, to add lighting to improve the playground, is really a boon to our community, and we really appreciate this money so much, and I know all of our Town Board members and our Rec Commission and department really appreciates this money and will put it to good use to help to improve our Millwood hamlet and to make it a first-class facility,” Katz said.

An important extra benefit to the Millwood Park improvements is that it will bring more people to Millwood, which will also boost economic development in the hamlet, said Councilwoman Ivy Pool. Another Millwood project that is expected to be done next year is the extension of the hamlet’s sidewalks, she said.

While the town is prepared to invest at least $500,000 between the grant and its own money, it remains uncertain how much of the planned work may get done. The initial estimate this summer for the lights at the park was about $400,000, although officials said they have been exploring less expensive options to complete that part of the project.

Katz said the town is committed to improving Millwood Park and will do as much as possible now and, if necessary, complete the project as soon as possible afterward.

Ike Kuzio, superintendent of the New Castle Recreation & Parks Department, said the improvements are needed because the field at Millwood Park is used seven days a week from April until November. Having lights at the facility would allow for more flexible scheduling since the fields sees so much action, he said.

“This is big for us,” Kuzio said. “This will be a huge help.”

Kuzio is hopeful that work could begin at Millwood Park next year.

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