The Westchester Board of Legislators Government Operations committee started sorting through the details of the plan to bring a private operator in to run Playland Park Tuesday as they look toward an approval vote on the plans to overhaul the park with new attractions.
Legislators asked for a much deeper level of detail from the non-profit chosen by the administration last year to take over the park, Sustainable Playland, on the financial projections and underlying assumptions, including the number of people, number of cars and dollars spent per person. They also asked for information on how the management structure will play out day to day.
“I know that those calculations exist and I want to see them,” said Legislator Catherine Borgia, the chairwoman of the committee.
Legislator Michael Kaplowitz asked for numbers for three scenarios: best case, worst case and a case built on current attendance. He also wanted to see how much money would come to the county under each scenario.
Legislator Bill Ryan also raised the issue of what capital expenses the county would still be responsible for. Kim Morque, the president of Sustainable, referred the legislators to the management agreement with the county. Sustainable will contribute to a capital fund but once that money is gone it will fall to the county, he said.
“It’s still a county asset,” Morque said. “We’re not going to backstop that.”
Parking, long one of the major concerns of legislators, was also discussed. Sustainable plans to reduce the number of spaces to allow the construction of a field house and outdoor fields. But legislators are worried the parking won’t be adequate for busy days and want to see contingency plans from Sustainable. Sustainable’s parking consultants, from John Meyer Consulting in Armonk, said they have a lot of information in their parking study, including recommendations for more efficient use of the space, but they’re refining it as new issues come up.
Parking is also an issue for Valerio Ferrari, the head of Central Amusements International, which was brought in by Sustainable Playland to run the amusement zone. Central Amusements may scale down its $25 million investment (over 20 years) in the zone compared with its earlier, independent proposal for the park because of the reduction in parking, he said Tuesday. Ferrari said he will look at how the reduced parking will affect his projections.