The Westchester County Board of Legislators is diving into its review of proposals for Playland’s future and plans to dedicate several committee meetings to the topic in the coming weeks and develop a framework for making a decision on a future operator for the historic park.
The Government Operations Committee heard a long presentation Tuesday from Sustainable Playland, the operator chosen by the administration of County Executive Rob Astorino. Astorino has said that the county board’s approval is not needed, but many of the board members disagree and the board is conducting its own review.
“We need the opportunity to really vet out and ask the questions that have been asked of us by our constituents,” said Government Operations Chairwoman Catherine Borgia, D-Ossining.
Borgia said she is optimistic the board and administration can come together on a plan for the park.
Meanwhile, the board has asked the county attorney for a legal opinion on its role in the approval process but it’s not expected to be ready any time soon.
Sustainable Playland, a non-profit group put together by Rye neighbors of the park, wants to shrink the amusement area of Playland and have more year-round activities by bringing in private operators for an indoor sports center, for the Ice Casino and for a revamped ride area with a new mini-water park. In a change to its earlier plans, Sustainable now wants to build two outdoor fields instead of three and add 250 parking spaces for the indoor sports center.
The operating partners include Mega Funworks for the amusement park and water park, Westchester Sports Center and AmericanSkating Entertainment Centers.
The board has also talked to other groups that made proposals to the county in 2011 but weren’t chosen by the administration: Standard Amusements, Central Amusements and the Paidia Company.
The board still has several areas where it wants more information, including parking, financial assumptions, profit sharing with the county, the county’s liability and responsibility for debt if an operator fails and the extent to which the park will be available to all county residents, including low income families.
“I want to have a clear picture of how a low income family can afford to participate in these activities,” said Legislator Virginia Perez, D-Yonkers.
Standard Amusements, Central Amusements and the Paidia Company