LINC Design/Construction, Enrichment of Ward Acres Park Discussed at City Council Meeting

By Stephen E. Lipken

New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson convened a City Council meeting on September 19th, beginning with approval of Minutes, Consent Agenda, Resolutions and Ordinances. Gary Heller was re-appointed to the Board of Assessment Review.

First Consent Agenda item concerned proposed increase re: LINC Design Contract.  In 2018, the City was awarded $9,357,000 from Round III of New York State’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative, including 7 distinct projects, the largest being LINC design and construction. The City, entered into a contract with VHB Engineering, Surveying, Landscape Architecture and Geology, P.C. to advance the LINC design by developing a schematic design and programming, conducting SEQRA.

At the request of the City, VHB created a revised plan for two-way traffic to remain on Memorial Highway and on North Avenue between Burling Lane and Lincoln Avenue, as well as an opportunity to remove the Memorial Highway Bridge over North Avenue which would provide direct pedestrian access to LINC from North Avenue while also providing direct vehicular access to North Avenue from Exit 16 on Interstate 95, furthering the City’s goals to create LINC connections. Updated Total Contract Amount: $2,888,447.

Another significant Agenda item was an agreement with Ward Acres Conservancy Group to enter into a non-profit partnership with the City and Department of Parks and Recreation for program enrichment throughout the 62 acres of Ward Acres Park to include a robust trail system, popular dog park, growing community garden and open green space.

Commissioner of Parks and Recreation Vincent Parise said that from an operational and logistics standpoint, procurement and budgetary standpoint, “This would make us more effective in 2024, moving forward and putting all our resources in the same place.” 

Then a Resolution authorized the City Manager to enter into a sublease with Classic Automobiles, Inc./Classic Audi at $1 per year to occupy approximately 3,000 square feet in New Roc City. The gifted community space will be managed by the Department of Parks and Recreation.