To the Editor:
In the recent edition of The River Journal, candidate Paul Janos makes an uninformed and false assertion that the lakes we all love have suffered from neglect under the current Village of Tarrytown administration lead by Mayor Drew Fixell. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The Lakes Committee was appointed by Mayor Fixell in 2005 to assist the Board of Trustees in developing a long term plan for the restoration of the Tarrytown Lakes and the surrounding watershed. For ten years Mayor Fixell, the Board of Trustees, Village Administrator Michael Blau and Village Engineer Michael McGarvey have worked together enthusiastically and effectively to carry out those plans.
I’d like to share a few highlights of our extraordinary progress with your readers:
• Thirty (30) acres of New Park Land and Open Space. Mayor Fixell and the Board of Trustees required the Wilson Park developer to cluster all 14 of their proposed new houses on just 18 acres of their 48 acre parcel. This allowed the Village to purchase 11. 5 acres of park land for just $1.2 million and accept the donation of an additional 18.5 acres of permanent open space adjoining the lakes at no cost to the Village taxpayers. When the final dedication is completed this fall, the Tarrytown Lakes Park will be expanded from 150 acres to 180 acres.
• New trails: Mayor Fixell and the Board of Trustees instructed Village Administrator Michael Blau and Village Grant Writer Martin Schneider to identify and secure grant funding to build new trails to extend the Lakes Trail to connect with the North County Trailway and the Old Croton Aqueduct. Construction of 4,000 feet of new trails is nearly complete. The installation of the new pedestrian deck on the 1883 rail bridge is finished. The grand opening of the trail will take place this summer.
• New recreational facilities and uses
The new soccer field adjoining the upper reservoir is nearly complete. Constructed entirely at the cost of the developer, it will be the finest soccer field in the Village. The Village will accept title to the field this summer.
• Based upon the success of the kayak rental program, the Village is considering the possibility of kayak and canoe use by residents.
• New Plans for the 1897 East View Pumping Station: Mayor Fixell and the Board engaged Architect Earl Everett Ferguson to produce a Feasibility Study for the restoration and adaptive re-use of the solid granite 1897 East View Pumping Station. The conceptual plans, which envision a multi-use recreational and community facility with a restaurant or café component won a prestigious award for the Village and for Mr. Ferguson from the American Institute of Architects. The Village has recently completed the stabilization planning and remediation process.
• New Water Quality Improvements: The most important goal of Mayor Fixell, the Board of Trustees and the Tarrytown Lakes Committee is the restoration of the crystal clear water that Tarrytown residents enjoyed from 1897 when the reservoirs were built through the 1970’s when the eutrophication process began. To protect the Lakes from further eutrophication, the Village Board of Trustees hired Dvirka and Bartilucci Consulting Engineers to develop a comprehensive Storm Water Management Plan for the entire watershed.
• A new system to protect the lakes from existing sources of pollution in the Wilson Park neighborhood is almost complete. These improvements, with a value of circa $300,000, have been completed by the developer as a requirement of the subdivision approval, and have cost village taxpayers nothing.
Members of the Tarrytown Lakes Committee have devoted a lot of our time and our professional skills over the last ten years to help the Village of Tarrytown restore the Tarrytown Lakes to their former pristine glory for the benefit all Tarrytown residents and future generations.
It has been a great pleasure for the Lakes Committee to work under the effective and environmentally committed leadership of Mayor Drew Fixell and the entire Board of Trustees. It has also been our pleasure to work with Village Administrator Michael Blau and Village Engineer Mike McGarvey to provide professional and detailed citizen input as these complex projects are designed and managed through completion.
We invite your readers to learn more at www.tarrytownlakes.org.