The village of Tivoli is now in the process of soliciting bids for the long-delayed Tivoli Memorial Park improvement project and Mayor Bryan Cranna is hopeful that construction can begin by mid-August with the project completed by November. Tivoli Memorial Park is under the water tower north of Broadway.
Cranna took a few minutes at the June 20 village board meeting to address concerns over the long delays since the village was first informed early last year of getting a $100,000 Dutchess County Community Development Block Grant for the project.
“We were probably about 30 percent into the planning of the project and had been meeting with the Dutchess County Department of Planning when they said, ‘You need to resubmit your application to make sure it is handicapped-accessible,’” Cranna told the trustees. “Everything had to be reviewed, approvals had to be made, questions came back to the village board and to the engineer. Finally, after a year of planning and pre-planning, we have the go ahead to solicit bids.”
Status updates on the delayed project were regularly requested by village trustee Susan Ezrati who was concerned that the grant would expire and that Tivoli would lose out on the funds. Ezrati said she is unhappy with a process she deemed “broken.”
“I am disappointed that the village board was not invited to review the final plans until five minutes before we were asked to approve the bid specs,” Ezrati said after the meeting. “It is a very different experience than I had with the prior engineer and prior mayor [Tom Cordier].”
She added that June 20 was the first time she was shown the new plans. She was, however, pleased with the rapid progress made after the June 13 workshop when no bid specs were ready and it appeared they might not make an August deadline.
“The only section that could have had more attention was the need to pave a small portion of the park to allow for access to a handicapped accessible adult swing…. Without that paving portion, the county would have possibly reconsidered the funding, as they were adamant, and rightly so, that accessibility throughout the park was necessary, especially if you are placing a handicapped accessible swing…” said Cranna after the meeting.
Despite the delays, the mayor said he felt the park was going to be better than previously envisioned. He noted that the inclusion of handicap-accessible paths, restrooms and parking will create greater opportunities for the new park to be enjoyed by all.