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Village Officials Reignite Downtown Pleasantville Civic Space Initiative

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Creating a civic space at the north end of Memorial Plaza is coming closer to reality after the Pleasantville Village Board approved payment last week to landscape architects for its design.

The village is paying Wagner Hodgson Landscape Architects $65,900 to design the space, lay out the civil and electrical engineering requirements, oversee construction, which includes putting the project out to bid, and hiring contractors.

The civic space was originally planned as part of the Manville Road project, a major portion of which is the removal of the slip lane at Memorial Plaza and adding a right-turn lane with a new traffic light at Grant Street and Manville Road.

With the pending slip lane’s removal, it was seen as an ideal spot for a civic space or small park with benches and trees. As the project progressed and construction costs rose, the plan was put on hold.

The funds to pay for the park come from a $450,000 New York State and Municipal Facilities Grant (SAM) secured a few years ago by Sen. State Peter Harckham (D-Lewisboro) and former assemblyman Tom Abinanti. Once services are paid for the state will reimburse the village.

The original cost estimate for the civic space was $2 million but was scaled back. The current projection is $557,000. The village is planning on paying the remaining $107,000 for the park’s completion from its general fund balance.

The hiring of Wanger Hodgson signals a resurrection of the civic space project.

“We are taking portions of what was originally envisioned and moving on that now,” said Village Administrator Eric Morrissey.

Work on the Manville Road project, which has been on a winter hiatus, is expected to resume later this month. Sidewalks across from the Jacob Burns Film Center on Manville Road will be upgraded. As part of the project, the state Department of Transportation (DOT) is requiring ADA-compliant crossing curbs, new catch basins, gutters, drainage, paving, grading and landscaping.

Delivery of the new traffic light and traffic poles is expected in late July or early August, according to Morrissey.

The civic space can’t be created until the slip lane is removed and the new intersection is approved by the DOT.

“At that time, we will have to do a testing cycle for the traffic light and that has to be approved by the DOT,” Morrissey said. “Once approved, the work on the north end of Memorial Plaza can begin with tree removal. Ultimately, there will be new trees and grass planted in that space.”

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