White Plains, NY — The Westchester County Board of Legislators has cleared the way for the restoration of Memorial Field in Mount Vernon to be completed.

On Tuesday, in a bi-partisan 15-2 vote, the Board approved an amended agreement between the County and Mount Vernon for the restoration work. The Board also approved a series of funding measures. Together these will allow the County to oversee construction in the coming months of a new playing field, an eight-lane track, bleacher seating for nearly 4,000 spectators, tennis courts, a skate park, locker rooms, and other facilities.

The work will end more than a decade of woe for the stalled project and restore to Mount Vernon and Westchester County a once-prestigious facility that had been allowed to fall to ruin.

Legislator Lyndon Williams, (D-Mount Vernon), who led the push for a County takeover of the project, said, “A reborn Memorial Field will be an emblem of pride for Mount Vernon and all of Westchester County. It will provide the city's 70,000 residents with a distinguished athletic and recreational space that is desperately needed in one of the nation's most densely populated cities. And it will return to the people of Westchester the kind of facility that will host to important local and regional athletic and cultural events. I would like to thank County Executive George Latimer and my colleagues on the Board of Legislators, State Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow as well as Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard for working together to get this done. Along this gloomy path of the coronavirus pandemic, I’m proud that this partnership of State, County, and City sends a positive message of hope and encouragement to a struggling community about the future.”

Legislator David Tubiolo (D-Yonkers, Mount Vernon), chair of the Board's Parks and Recreation Committee, said, "I'm looking forward to the day when we open the new Memorial Field and can hear the sounds of kids playing on its field and competing on its track. I know that County and City leadership will look back and say that this is the moment when the spirit of cooperation and concern for residents triumphed over dysfunction and politics to deliver for the people of Mount Vernon and all of Westchester County."

Legislator Catherine Borgia (D -Briarcliff Manor, Cortlandt, Croton-on-Hudson, Ossining, Peekskill), chair of the Board's Budget & Appropriations Committee, said, "This is the last of the County's Legacy Program projects, which have delivered enormous benefits to Westchester by preserving open and recreational space. That is especially important in our most densely populated communities like Mount Vernon. I’m gratified that we'll be able to make sure residents of Mount Vernon have the kind of space they need and deserve. The scope of this project is different than other Legacy projects, but it's important to remember that when this process first started in 2008, Mount Vernon took over maintenance of some County roads, saving the County approximately $6 million in repaving costs in that time."

Vedat Gashi (D - New Castle, Somers, Yorktown), chair of the Board's Public Works and Transportation Committee, said, "I'm proud that we are finally pushing the Memorial Field project over the finish line. As work proceeds, we'll have to provide diligent oversight to make sure the money is well spent, construction is efficient and everything is properly accounted for. But I know that the County and the City are committed together to doing this right, once and for all."

Board Chair Ben Boykin (D – White Plains, Scarsdale, Harrison) said, “Memorial Field has always been very special to the people of Mount Vernon and Westchester. I know first-hand the excitement and camaraderie of events there since my youngest daughter ran track there, and I’m looking forward to the day when we have restored Memorial Field to its former glory.”

The restoration plan -- which is expected to cost $29 million in all, including around $20 million in new County funding approved Tuesday night -- includes an NCAA-regulation football field also suitable for soccer, lacrosse, and field hockey; a New York State Public High School Athletic Association-certified, eight-lane track; a skateboard park; three tennis courts; a 3,900-seat grandstand; modern locker rooms, bathrooms and other facilities.