To: Governor David A. Paterson; OPRHP Commissioner Carol Ash; NYS Senator John Sampson (Senate Conference Leader); NYS Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver; NYS Senator José Serrano (Parks Committee); NYS Assemblymember Steve Englebright (Parks Committee); NYS Assemblymember Herman D. Farrell (Ways & Means)
WHEREAS the North River Sewage Treatment Plant was sited along almost a half-mile of prime Hudson River waterfront over strenuous community opposition, and has a continuing history of repeated violations of air and water quality standards; and
WHEREAS our community was promised a fully-staffed Riverbank State Park with a full range of athletic facilities and programming upon the plant’s upper deck as an appeasement for this siting; and
WHEREAS we only received two thirds of the promised facilities and the park has never been fully staffed; and
WHEREAS rather than address the community’s concerns regarding pollution and underfunding, the Governor’s Executive Budget seeks to cut $785,000 from the park’s operating budget, cutting operating hours by 50%, eliminating all classes for seniors as well as all community/cultural events, closing the outdoor swimming pool and eliminating all summer camps and team sports; and
WHEREAS a cut of this magnitude will be devastating to our entire community and all of the 870,000 visitors who utilize Riverbank State Park annually,
THEREFORE WE EXHORT
our New York State legislators to reject the proposed cuts to Riverbank State Park in the Executive Budget AND WE IMPLORE
the Governor and Commissioner to restore Riverbank’s operating budget as a first step toward living up to the State’s commitment to our community.
Cut the Park? Cut the crap!
As long as the North River Sewage Treatment Plant is in our backyard,
Riverbank State Park must remain fully operational.