By Janine Bowen
As warm weather approaches and residents look for ways to spend more time outdoors, the Putnam Valley Parks and Recreation Department is looking for ways to expand.
During last Wednesday night’s town board meeting, Parks and Recreation Director, Frank DiMarco said that the department is looking toward the future and trying to find long term solutions that would allow the for the accommodation of more participants across all programs.
According to DiMarco, nearly all of the town’s recreation programs have waiting lists, including basketball, which already accepts close to 500 participants. As the Putnam Valley Central School District continues to expand their programs, space in the schools has become limited for town programs and the Parks and Recreation department stated that more facilities are needed if they don’t want to continually turn people away.
“These programs are starting to suffer due to lack of available space. Realistically, the situation is only going to get worse over the coming years,” he said.
Looking toward the next ten years, DiMarco said that the department plans to obtain a large enough piece of land to accommodate the town’s summer camp as well as a building that could house a gymnasium and office space. If the department is able to acquire the land, DiMarco explained that it could also facilitate the creation of a town pool and other recreational spaces with little to no tax implications.
“This is a long term project; I’m not looking to do anything tomorrow but by combining these projects on one parcel of land, we can probably accomplish these goals in a more efficient manner,” said DiMarco.
Supervisor Bob Tendy praised the department for their plan, noting that he frequently receives calls from parents who are upset that their children were turned away from summer camp. He stated the proposal, which will be discussed further in the coming months, is “the right idea.”