RYE, N.Y. -- The Town of Rye is making steps toward exploring a potential public-private partnership to manage operations at Rye Town Park.
The park is now managed by the Rye Town Park Commission, which is made of officials from the Town of Rye, the City of Rye, and the villages of Rye Brook and Port Chester. The commission's capital committee had put out a request for proposals earlier this year to see if there was any interest in a private organization, such as a non-profit or a corporation, coming in and taking over the management, similar to the deal the county has made with Rye Playland and Sustainable Playland Inc.
The request for proposals did not generate much interest, and the committee has turned to hiring a consultant to help find a potential partner. According to committee member Christina Collins, the committee has narrowed it down to one or two consulting firms, and is meeting with them to draw up a final agreement.
"It is a gem in our community," Collins said of the park. She said a partnership could help restore the park and its facilities. "We need some help. We don't have the money to do it without some form of solution that I believe to be found int he public sector, whether it be community-based or corporation-based."
The costs of operating and maintaining are split among the various communities. Revenues for the park have fallen over the years, and this spring officials identified $12 million worth of capital repairs to the park, including $4 to $5 million for the administration building alone.
"Right now there's buildings at the park that can't even be used by the public," Collins said. Of the potential agreement with an organization to take over managment of the park, she said, "We're not even sure what its' going to look like, but the public will be involved in that process and the next step is to engage in a firm that can help us figure out what that solution might look like and how to engage with the public in that process."