White Plains, NY – More than 200 people flocked to the Little Theater at the Westchester County Center last night for a public information session on the four proposals to revitalize Playland, the 280-acre County Park and National Historic landmark. The event was hosted by the Westchester County Board of Legislators and moderated by Legislator Catherine Borgia (D-Ossining), chair of the BOL’s Government Operations Committee
The info session began with trade show-style presentations from representatives of the four revitalization proposals—Sustainable Playland, Standard Amusements, Central Amusements and the Paidia Company / Legoland—and attendees spent over an hour perusing displays, talking with the various representatives and gathering flyers and other materials related to the different proposals. The BOL’s entire Democratic caucus and one Republican legislator also showed up for the event.
The four proposals were presented in detail to the public, and then Borgia led an hour-long Q & A period in which both broad and specific concerns were addressed to the representatives of the revitalization proposals.
“I’m very pleased that so many people turned out for this information session,” said Borgia. “It was important for our evaluation process to give members of the public an opportunity to see the four proposals side by side and discern the differences between them. That’s the level of openness and transparency to the decision-making process regarding the future of Playland rightfully deserves.”
The BOL moved forward last month with its evaluation of the top four proposals for the revitalization of Playland when the BOL Government Operations Committee outlined goals for the decision process and began in-depth discussions with the four Playland RFP respondents regarding proposed operations, financial viability and intended modifications to the park and infrastructure.
Many of the questions fielded by the representatives of the four proposals dealt with economic viability, maintaining Playland’s amusement offerings, environmental protections, public access and projected attendance figures.
“The Board of Legislators has made a lot of information is available on the decision process because the revitalization of Playland will impact residents throughout the county, as well as in Rye,” said Borgia, who added that the BOL Government Operations Committee will soon make its own recommendation about which Playland proposal is right for Westchester.
“After that, the Board of Legislators will look to collaborate with the Administration in working with the group entrusted with Playland’s future,” said Borgia.
In today’s meeting of the County’s Acquisition and Contract Board, BOL Chairman Jenkins (D-Yonkers) provided for the record prior legislation showing that in 1980 the BOL had approved the management agreement with Marriott to operate Playland.
Also, the BOL has retained the services of an outside auditor to review the financial aspects of all four Playland revitalization proposals.
Links to each of the Playland proposal presentation can be found on the Government Operations Committee page on the BOL website: http://westchesterlegislators.com/committees.html?id=2029