RYE, N.Y. -- Several Democratic members of the Westchester Board of Legislators say they are not ready to support the deal between County Executive Rob Astorino and Sustainable Playland Inc. to manage and revamp Rye Playland.
The asset management agreement would see SPI take over all operation, management and maintenance of Playland for 10 years, with an option for an additional 10 years. The County Board of Acquisition and Contract is expected to sign the agreement by mid-April, but any renovation plans to the park will need to be approved by the Board of Legislators by Jan. 1.
“I’ll support new and innovative ideas to Playland, but I’m worried that Sustainable Playland will not adequately protect Westchester taxpayers,” said Legislator Catherine Borgia of Ossining.
Borgia has been holding meetings on the four proposals to renovate Playland. “Sustainable’s proposed plan has the riskiest financial and marketing plan of the four we have examined, and its potential for failure cannot be overlooked, especially since it has the least amount of secure financial backing."
“The deal with Sustainable is a bad one for a simple reason: it will destroy Playland rather than enhance it,” said Legislator Alfreda Williams of Greenburgh. “I’m not opposed to an outside group investing in and running Playland. But I cannot support any proposed agreement that throws away decades of taxpayer dollars as it tears down county assets, removes rides and replaces parking spaces with ball fields."
“At this point, I'm not at all convinced that Sustainable's weak financial proposal and its plan to tear down a large part of Playland are in the best interests of county residents and taxpayers,” said Legislator Bill Ryan of White Plains. “What the county executive wants will be the beginning of the end to our historic Playland Amusement Park as we have known and enjoyed it over the years.”
Legislators will continue to discuss the plans at upcoming meetings of the Committee of the Whole, and an audit of the four proposals is forthcoming.
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