RYE, N.Y. -- The Town of Rye is moving closer to establishing a public/private partnership to take control of the management of Rye Town Park.
The Rye Town Park Commission, which is made up of representatives from the Town of Rye, Port Chester, Rye Brook, the City of Rye and Mamaroneck, have contracted with BFJ Planning to help solicit bids from private organizations that may be interested in redeveloping the park and managing it. BFJ has been involved with a number of local projects, including the Rye Brook comprehensive plan, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority project in Harrison, the Port Chester waterfront revitalization and the transformation of the Mamaroneck train station.
"This is the first time in five years that it seems real," said Rye Town Supervisor Joe Carvin. "Nothing will give me greater joy than to make this happen. The park has sat there without investment for 50 years, it's an absolute disgrace, it's a wasting asset that should be available to the community. And I think with the right public/private partnership, we can work magic down there."
The park operated within its budget this season, but saw a loss in revenue close to $50,000 due to some bad weather on a couple of weekends that are normally busy. The plan for the park under new management would see it open year-round as a way of making up some of that shortfall.
BFJ has a number of affiliates in construction, landscaping and engineering that they will be working with on the Rye Town Park project, according to Frank Fish, a principal with BFJ. The first step will be to take time to solicit bids, give them access for site visits and answer their questions to make sure the town gets the best proposals, Fish said.
Carvin said that while the Rye Playland management deal saw some opposition and became a political issue, the Rye Town Park Commission is in consensus about the need for new management at the park. He said that the board is aware of concerns residents may have about it, and will work to come up with a proposal that will have full community support.