Blooming Grove Has Big Plans For Lasser Park
By Edie Johnson
The Town of Blooming Grove reviewed some draft drawings of a concept plan for a Senior Center/Recreation Building at its Lasser Park in Washingtonville. Making a best effort to restrict any spread of misinformation about the plans, Supervisor Rob Jeroloman repeatedly reminded those at the monthly workshop session on Tuesday, February 11, that these are only concept drawings and there will be continuing discussion to formulate preliminary plans both for the building’s layout, and uses, along with other possible uses for the 100-acre site. The fields have been discussed numerous times before in terms of other potential uses, particularly additional sports events such as Lacross. In other words, even though Councilman Steve Amante suggested the addition of tennis courts, “Don’t get out your tennis rackets yet”……though the board agreed it would be a welcome later addition. Board member Chuck Quick quipped “What about Pickleball, we have to have Pickleball!”, which is in fact growing in popularity.
The basic concept design is a plan copied from a center planned for Port Jervis, but with numerous changes. One side will have exercise rooms, and the other a larger hall. There is funding available, and early application would go in the town’s favor, though a letter of approval on funding would likely not come until next year. The funding is a reimbursable grant (meaning the town has to spend the dollars first).
The Senior Center plans will have its own entrance, both from the outside and into the rest of the building. Councilwoman Cathy Gregg-Acevedo wanted to be assured that the building will be entirely handicap-accessible, and was assured that it will be, including accessible male and female bathrooms for Seniors. The remainder of the building will have a Unisex bathroom. Several showers will also be provided. Councilman Tom DeVinko recommended that one of the mechanical rooms be repurposed for locker space. A large lobby shown on the plan will be downsized and the 2 mechanical rooms will be redesigned. The Senior Center will have a full kitchen.
A big advantage of the building is be that it could serve as an Evacuation Center in the event of emergency.
Plans are for this concept plan to move forward quickly, and an adjusted rendering is expected to be ready for the March Workshop Session.
In Other Business
Orange and Rockland has proposed a unique solar advantage to Blooming Grove, one that is not currently being offered to any other municipality. The offer is that if you add solar provision to your home, they will provide a TESLA battery backup unit that will assure you have electricity even when there is an outage. The backup unit will cost homeowners $20/month (guaranteed for 10 years). This is being offered to Blooming Grove because it developed the first Battery Backup Code in the area.
An Inter-municipal Agreement is being written between Blooming Grove and the Village of Monroe, at their request, for vehicle repair, because it has a large functioning garage and the department’s mechanic does complex repairs. Any work will be done at a price of $60/hour and thus will provide the town with added income.
Design for the new Central Garage that will be covered by FEMA flood funding is done, and the Highway Department is now making plans for its Cold Storage Building. Board members agreed it might be advantageous to go out for bid for both structures at the same time, since bidders on the Central Garage will see that there is a second opportunity at the same site and may therefore offer a lower bid.
The Board reviewed the final version of the Community Preservation Plan, which had only a few very minor changes. Comments from Orange County Planning have not yet been received, but are expected to be in by the continued Public Hearing which is planned for February 25.