By Melanie Lekocevic
Capital Region Independent Media
COXSACKIE — The multi-million-dollar renovation project at Coxsackie’s Riverside Park is on schedule, Mayor Mark Evans said at the April meeting of the village board.
The park, which has been closed for construction since September, is expected to reopen next month.
“The construction company at Riverside Park says it is on target to open in the middle of May,” Evans said. “They are making great progress down there, as everybody has seen.”
The park is undergoing a $3.2 million renovation by the state to revitalize the park and the Coxsackie State Boat Launch.
Riverside Park is the site of numerous local events annually, including the Coxsackie Farmers Market, the summertime concert series in the park and the Riverside Festival in August.
The cost of the state-owned park renovation is covered by New York state.
The project is building a pavilion for community events, expanding the docks on the Hudson River, adding new walkways and lighting, new signage and other amenities and improvements.
“The pavilion is looking good, they are getting all the concrete sidewalks poured, all the lights are up, so I am confident they will be done by the middle of May,” Evans said at the meeting. “They have an extra two-week window up to Memorial Day, but the contractor said today he did not feel like that would be necessary so that is good news. I know people really want to get back in there.”
The park was closed in September after Gov. Kathy Hochul announced the project. With the weather turning warmer, Evans urged people to stay out of the site until work is completed and the park is reopened next month.
“Please, stay out of the park,” Evans told the audience. “It is dangerous — there is a lot of construction equipment. I took a swing through on my way here and there are people walking through with their dogs. It’s not open. Do not go in there.”
The mayor said he has received numerous questions about whether the open-air pavilion will be available for local residents to reserve for special events, but the details on that have not yet been determined, he said.
“People have asked me if they will be able to reserve the pavilion — I have no idea,” Evans told the audience. “It could be that we do it like we do with the gazebo, where you just fill out a form reserving the gazebo for your event. As soon as we know, we will let you know.”
The goal of the project is to encourage tourism and spur economic development to waterfront communities along a 60-mile stretch of the Hudson River. Riverside Park is the first of several parks slated for renovations under a state initiative, the Hudson Eagles Recreation Area.
Other boat launches included in the initiative include Athens’s Riverfront Park, Schodack Island State Park, Crailo State Historic Site and Hudson State Boat Launch.