Written by Mineola American Staff Thursday, 17 October 2013 00:00
Mineola Mayor Scott Strauss and the village board of trustees officially opened Emory Road Park on Saturday Oct. 5.
Emory Road Park is the first new park created in the village of Mineola in more than 40 years, according to the village records. The park is designed for use by children age 5-12 and is also the first park ever in the northwest section of Mineola.
“We are committed to providing our residents with the best family-oriented public amenities village resources allow,” said Mayor Strauss. “Our families deserve nothing less.”
Strauss noted that the new park will serve the many young families that are being drawn to Mineola and help keep multi-generational Mineola families in Mineola.
Trustee George Durham, who could not attend the ribbon cutting ceremony because he was traveling with his daughter’s softball team, said in a statement, “Mineola is a community of families. The mayor, my fellow trustees, and I have worked hard for over two years to make this park a reality. I’m proud that our Board worked together on an idea and made this park happen.”
Emory Road Park was constructed at a cost of approximately $75,000 on property already owned by Mineola. Construction costs were funded using the Village of Mineola’s incentive bonus funds.
“At a time when other municipalities are struggling and cutting services, Mineola is building at no additional costs to taxpayers. That’s why people want to live here and why builders want to invest here,” stated Strauss.
Incentive bonus funds are monies allocated for public amenities from downtown development projects such as the Winston or 250 Old Country Road residential developments. The Development Incentive Bonus Overlay District was created in 2007 under then-Mineola Mayor and current Senator Jack M. Martins.
“We took an underutilized property and turned it into a valuable neighborhood asset, and we did it at no cost to village taxpayers,” stated Deputy Mayor Paul Pereira. “This is a win-win for all Mineola residents.”
Strauss says that Mineola‘s home values have remained relatively constant despite recent instability in the national economy. He added that this is in large part due to Mineola’s public amenities, like its parks and a stable tax base.
“This is why our seniors want to stay in Mineola, and young families want to stay here to raise their children,” trustee Dennis Walsh added. “It’s also drawing new families here who want to become part of the Mineola community.”
Trustee Paul Cusato noted that, as a grandfather, having a park within walking distance is an incredible benefit to families. “It’s great that people in this section of Mineola now have a place they can walk to with children without having to cross Jericho Turnpike or Herricks Road.”