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Westchester Legislators Concerned About Fate Of Rye Playland

The fate of Playland is under discussion by members of the County Executive's office and members of the Democratic Westchester County Board of Legislators.
The fate of Playland is under discussion by members of the County Executive's office and members of the Democratic Westchester County Board of Legislators. Photo Credit: Casey Donahue

RYE, N.Y. -- After another site visit with representatives of the County Executive Rob Astorino administration and Standard Amusements, several legislators, who are influential in the Playland review process, have expressed reservations about the proposed alterations made to the Playland Management agreement.

Astorino has proposed an additional $38 million in capital spending and extending the lease by 100 percent to 30 years. The meeting was an opportunity for all involved parties to discuss the capital needs of the park, and find more cost efficient ways to revitalize Playland.

“The cost to taxpayers for this deal went up by nearly three times what the original price tag was without any shred of public input. If the county executive was so eager to invest this money in Playland, he could have done it at any point over the last six years in a much more economically efficient way or certainly when we were negotiating the deal with Standard almost a year ago," said Legislator Catherine Parker (D-Rye). "This is just the latest disingenuous action that he’s taken to make the public think he is actually interested in improving the condition of the park when he clearly is not.”

Legislator MaryJane Shimsky (D-Hastings-on-Hudson) is the chair of the Board of Legislators’ Infrastructure Committee, which oversees many aspects with the review process. She said “I am deeply concerned by demands that the county commit to $58 million in capital projects for Playland in the next two years. Neither the county executive nor Standard Amusements has produced enough detail about exactly what repairs need to be made, and how much each of those repairs will cost. After the years of neglect which Playland has suffered, and the near tripling of the county’s capital commitment as part of an already-approved agreement, the taxpayers deserve better.”

The process to form a public-private partnership at Playland has been a concept for discussion since 2011 under then Board of Legislators Chairman Ken Jenkins (D-Yonkers).

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