2013-07-24 / Front Page

Plan for Town Park Improvements Set

By Douglas Cunningham

Claudio Marzollo outlines improvements at the town park. 
Chris Layton Claudio Marzollo outlines improvements at the town park. Chris Layton As he walks in the grass at the Philipstown Town Park, Claudio Marzollo is actually thinking about winter. Ice skating, in fact, and the possibility of an ice rink at the town park.

The ice rink is but one of the contemplated improvements that Marzollo and his wife, Jean, hope to jump-start with their donation of $50,000 in matching funds to improve the park. The wide-ranging plan would change the park from one with just athletic fields and portable toilets to a park with a pavilion, restrooms, a concession area, a playground and, in the winter, a skating rink and cross-country skiing, as well as the fields.

If the match indeed spurs other contributions over the next six months, as Marzollo hopes, almost all of the financing needed for the $175,000 park plan would be in place. The Friends of Philipstown Recreation have raised about $45,000 so far. In-kind or donated labor could reduce costs further from the estimated $175,000.

The reality, said Marzollo, is that “this site is not going to be improved for a long time by the town” because of other, pressing demands for town tax dollars. Hence, the need for private fundraising.

“We hope to break ground this fall. That doesn’t necessarily mean everything will be done, but we hope to.”

Donations can be made online here, http://www.friendsofphilipstownrecreation.org/

Marzollo noted that the Town Board includes three contractors, and that many members of the Friends are either contractors or suppliers. They are virtually certain to assist in some fashion. He briefed the Town Board earlier this month.

For Marzollo, 75, his interest in recreation is long-standing. He’s spent 31 years on the town Recreation Commission. He noted that the annual ice skating trip to Bear Mountain is always one of Philipstown Recreation’s most popular. But with any luck, this winter will see an ice rink at the Town Park, right here.

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