WPCNR PLAYLAND GO-ROUND. BY JOHN F. BAILEY. JUNE 15, 2015. 4 PM E.D.T.:
After marathon negotiations with the Astorino Administration this morning and a second recess taken at 1:15, the Labor, Parks, Planning and Housing Committee approved all memorandums of understanding on the Standard Amusements agreement this afternoon.
This action clear the Standard Amusements proposal to run Playland the next 15 years (with Westchester County retaining ownership) for a vote by the full Board of Legislators this evening.
A resolution was passed this afternoon, guaranteeing Standard Amusements would reimburse the county for any county employees presently working there the operator wants to hire, with the amount of reimbursement being “fairly and equitably negotiated,” according to County Legislator Benjamin Boykin of District 5. (Boykin had raised the issue during last Wednesday’s meeting because the issue of reimbursement had somehow been dropped from the present county employee employment issue by the administration.)
Increased consultation and approval of employee reassignments, requiring approval of the Commissioner of Recreation and Parks was also added to the agreement.
Boykin told WPCNR Standard Amusements and the county had agreed on the 5 year capital projects planned for Playland previously planned by the county: that includes, (Boykin said), replacement lights for the Playland Parkway, the restoration of the collonades, restoration of the North Boardwalk and Playland Pathway from Harrison Train Station to Playland, restoration of small buildings in the park, and a fire supression system for the park to protect the restoration of these buildings. Parker had
Asked if the county was going to pay for these capital projects, Boykin said the county would not pay for all of them, and that Standard Amusements investing of $25 Million in the park may pay for a portion. The issue of specifics, raised by County Legislator Catherine Parker is not amplified. Boykin said that it would be jointly decided.
Legislator Boykin said Chairman MaryJane Shimsky’s concern over what authority (the County Legislature or Standard Amusements) would decide how the pool and the “water feature” area would feature a pool in the future was ultimately with the county “because the county owns the park.”
Boykin said the County if it did not like what Standard Amusements wanted to do on the pool and water feature piece, the county could say “no.” Legislator Shimsky who raised this issue last Wednesday had been concerned when Nick Singer, the principal of Standard read a clause in the morandum that indicated that the operator had the “say-so,” of what went there.
Legislator Parker, early today had indicated that since Standard has to do closer analysis of the pool condition before it can make a decision about renovation and retention of the pool that the pool/water feature piece should be brought out of the capital project category and should have to be considered when there was more information.
She also said she felt the improvement of the Playland entrance should be out of the capital projects plan and be Standard Amusements project since Standard felt a new entrance was important to enhance the new Playland
Mr Boykin told WPCNR that the Committee had approved all the legal documents necessary to proceed with a vote on the overal agreement this evening.
Boykin said he expected it to pass.