The Town of Mount Pleasant has been approved for a $100,000 state grant that will be used toward dredging the pond at Thornwood’s James M. Carroll Park and other improvements at the facility.
The money comes from a State and Municipal Facilities Program (SAM) grant obtained by state Sen. Peter Harckham (D-Lewisboro), which will reimburse the town for costs associated with restoration of the 1.2-acre Leith’s Pond.
Work will include returning the pond to its original depth through dredging and re-establishing the shoreline with gabion basket walls. A bypass drainage system was recently installed under the north parking lot to divert stormwater from the pond, said Mount Pleasant Supervisor Carl Fulgenzi. Other improvements will include new playground equipment, he said.
The town expects the project to cost about $1 million, with most of the money to be taken from fund balance, Fulgenzi said.
“We are excited to make improvements to Carroll Park for the coming spring and summer seasons,” he said. “The park has seen a significant increase in usage over the past few years, so this is an especially important time to continue updating its features.”
Fulgenzi said the town wanted to complete the bypass system work before starting the park rehabilitation. He expects the park improvements to begin this spring and take about six months.
Previously, the pond was a thoroughfare for stormwater, which led to the buildup of silt and weed and vegetation growth, according to the town. With the new bypass system, there will be less silt buildup that will reduce the need for frequent dredging.
Once the project is complete, Leith’s Pond will once again be used for fishing and ice skating while improving its appearance, Harckham said.This is the latest SAM grant that Harckham has secured for communities in his Senate District. To date, he has obtained about $3.8 million for a variety of projects around the district, including $250,000 last fall for ball field improvements at Millwood Park in New Castle and trail enhancements at Fort Hill Park in Peekskill.
“Maintaining the infrastructure of our well-used and much-loved resources, like Carroll Park, enhances our quality of life in great communities like Mount Pleasant, so I’m pleased to have been able to partner with town officials on the pond restoration project,” Harckham said.
The nearly seven-acre Carroll Park on Kensico Road includes a ball field, a bandstand and the pond. Sidewalks allow residents and people who work in the area to walk to the park.