The West Nyack Revitalization plan presented at Tuesday night’s town board workshop amounted to $15 million. The multifaceted project included streetscape enhancements, drainage upgrades, park improvements, increase parking and relocation of utilities.
When councilmembers questioned the price, Public Works Administrator Ed Lettre said the design and engineering team was asked several years ago to look at the hamlet’s downtown area and come up with a plan. Since no dollar amount was set at the time, he described the proposal given to the board as the “Mercedes plan.”
After Councilmember Shirley Lasker said the board needed the “Ford Focus Plan,” several West Nyack residents objected and that their hamlet should not be overlooked any longer. They pointed out New City had considerable work done on its downtown area and other hamlets like Nanuet have seen improvements. Lettre said New City's South Main Street Revitalization ran about $15 million.
“It’s about time we got something back,” said Bert Dahm, adding the drainage part of the project is imperative.
“We want our community back,” said Maddy Muller. “We want a chance to revitalize.”
John Behan, principal of Behan Planning & Design, said his firm and H2M worked on the physical aspect of the hamlet’s revitalization for about two years. He described the different sections of the proposal.
The Streetscape improvements, which would consist of new sidewalks, crosswalks, curbing, lighting, benches, trees and expanded parking, would cost $7.8 million. He said it would make a difference in the downtown area and that the changes would maintain the historic flavor.
“It will become very much a 'walkable' center,” said Behan.
The Streetscape improvements would radiate out from the hamlet center. In some areas such as along Strawtown Road the sidewalk is blocked by telephone poles and fire hydrants. Behan said that would be corrected. He said a sidewalk would be added along West Nyack Road up to Crosfield Avenue. On Sickeltown Road, the narrow sidewalk would be replaced with a wider one.
The drainage improvements, estimated at $2.2 million, would include the creation of two detention basins. The north basin would be located near the US Post Office and the south basin behind the town park. Behan said the combination of basins and raising West Nyack Road by six to 12 inches would lessen the likelihood of that area being impacted in the event of a 100-year flood.
“It’s all to accomplish minimizing the flooding in that area,” said, Steve Hyman, H2M’s director of civil engineering.
Behan described the park improvements would include installation of a playground, walking trail, kiosk, picnic area and expanded parking at a cost of $350,000. The relocation of utilities would run about $1.4 million. The elements discussed Tuesday night did not add up to the $15 million figure but totaled almost $12 million.
Supervisor Alex Gromack suggested council members review the proposal and ask questions of the design and engineering firms. He said the revitalization plan would be further discussed at a future board meeting.