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Phase 1
PHASE ONE: RECREATION NEEDS ASSESSMENT


A.  Evaluation of Existing Conditions


A.  EVALUATION OF EXISTING CONDITIONS

1. Village Profile and this Study
        For the purpose of this study, the population figure of 8,000 is used in order to account for the number of people to be served by Croton Recreation Facilities.  This includes not only the total population of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson (7,606 from the 2000 Census), but also the approximately 340 school age children from other municipalities, who are in the Croton-Harmon School District. These students and their families often use the Croton facilities, and are considered non-resident users.  The population figure of 8,000 allows for the inclusion of the family members of non-resident school children, (approximately 50 people).

We can, nonetheless, use the Croton-on-Hudson Village profile to gain some understanding of the population in Croton and how it has changed over the past 10 years.

In summary, according to the 2000 Census, the population of the Village-of-Croton is 7,606, while in 1990 the population was 7,018, an increase of 588 persons, which equals an 8% increase.  The Village Profile is included in the Appendix.

Youth: Of the Croton-on-Hudson population in 2000, 1,957 people are under age 18, which equals 26% of the Village’s population. That is a 4% growth from the 1,551 people under age 18 on 1990.  According to 2000 Census data, the breakdown is as follows:
                                        1990            2000            % increase
Under age 5                     499             591             16%
Ages 5 – 9                      396             601             34%
Ages 10 – 14                    399             497             20%
Ages 15 – 17                    250             268              9%

(Note that the total for 1990 here is 1,544, which differs from the 1,551 that appears as part of the 1990 Census data. In addition, the totals of the numbers above for people under age 18 for both 1990 and 2000 are slightly different from the numbers on the Village Profile. These discrepancies are minor.)

Adding the 340 students from other municipalities who attend the Croton schools to the total population of people under age 18, brings the total to 2297 for youth.

Seniors:  The total senior population, (aged 60 and older) is 1,322 (or 17% of the total population); of that number 183 (or 2.4%) of the residents are aged 85 or older.

2.  Summary of Relevant Master Plans and Recreation Plans
The following plans have been reviewed for their relevance to this Recreation Master Plan.
They are listed in chronological order from the oldest to the most recent.

Village of Croton-on-Hudson Master Plan, 1977
This document was found to have little relevance for the current Recreation Master Plan, since it was completed 25 years ago, and many changes have occurred.

Master Plan for Black Rock Park, 1991
This plan analyzed the natural features of the park, addressed development issues, presented four
alternate schemes, and concluded with a Master Plan with implementation recommendations.

The 10.2 acre site is a linear park with over 2,000 feet of river frontage and two structures, (a residential and a one story structure). This plan divides the park into three areas: North, South, and Central.  In order to cause the least amount of damage to the environment, development for active recreation is proposed for the Central Area where slopes are minimal and the area is relatively clear of mature trees.  Functions that are suggested include basketball, a children’s play area, tennis, or handball, swimming pending further investigation, and parking. The Report does note, however, that flooding potential is the greatest in this Central area. Passive recreation, such as hiking and picnic areas are proposed for the North and South Areas.  Potential uses for the structures are also suggested. The Maps and Plans showing the different schemes and Master Plan were not provided with the report we received.

Park, Playground and Recreation Analysis, 1994:
Completed in 1994, this Analysis prepared for the Planning Board, summarizes the Village Park and Recreation Facilities (which at the time totaled 36.1 acres), and evaluates their condition, usage, and potential.  The Analysis also presents the budget, which was $477,906 at the time, and a 5 Year Park Improvement Plan, submitted as part of the 1994-1995 fiscal year budget.  Recommendations for improvements at the different facilities are described, some of which have been completed, while other improvements have not been addressed.  The Report concludes with a statement of the need to acquire more land and the need to update and improve facilities.  Finally, the Report states that the money, which can be expected to be collected from the Village’s recreation fee, appears to be compatible with the budgetary needs of the department.

LWRP:
In 1992, the Village of Croton-on-Hudson adopted a Local Waterfront Revitalization Program (LWRP).  Actions taken within the local waterfront area must be consistent with the LWRP. The Greenway Report and the Feasibility Study for the Village Waterfront Property (both summarized below) respect the recommendations of the LWRP.  

Open Space Study, 1996
Prepared and adopted by the Conservation Advisory Council, this study, including an Open Space Inventory, presents the judgments of the CAC, plus ideas and contributions from other sources. A significant product of this study is the Open Space Map, which presents the open space and park resources of Croton-on-Hudson and the surrounding area beautifully.  The study presents established open spaces as well as vacant, undeveloped parcels in the Village (both publicly owned and privately owned) and provides recommendations for future land use decisions related to these vacant public and private parcels.

Some of the undeveloped parcels will be considered in Phase II of this Recreation Plan, as the means of providing additional resources for the Village.



Greenway Vision Plan for the Croton Waterfront:  
Completed in 1997, this Plan focused on a Study Area which includes the following municipal properties: Senasqua Park, the recently acquired 30 acre waterfront property known as Croton landing, including North Cove, and a small Boat Launch Area adjacent to the Croton Bay Estuary. This Vision Plan supports the guidelines and recommendations of the LWRP.

Described in the Plan are the following Development Restrictions that will influence future development of the Waterfront and future recreation facilities for the Village:

Access Road to Waterfront:  An agreement was reached between the Half Moon Bay
 Homeowners’ Association and Croton-on-Hudson conveying a parcel owned by the   
 development to the Village for purposes of constructing an access road to the waterfront.   
 Several covenants were included as part of the agreement which limit the number of parking     
 spaces.  A total of 434 spaces are to be allocated as follows: Senasqua Park – 104 spaces,
 Croton Yacht Club – 100 spaces, Croton Landing – 230 spaces, although there is some flexibility in the allocation once design plans are developed.  In addition, the agreement limits an additional 25 spaces on a Metro-North owned parcel containing an operations building adjacent to the Croton Landing property.

The agreement also includes a time restriction placed on the Village to permit a marina for boats over 15 feet in length.  The length of time of the restriction was not indicated.  No limitations were placed on the construction of a ferry dock facility or a marina developed for boats patronizing the services of a proposed restaurant or museum.

Croton Landing Parcel:  In January, 1996, an agreement was drawn up between the Village of Croton and the Beaverkill Conservancy, Inc. (BCI), an affiliate of the Open Space Institute. The entire parcel was purchased jointly by the Village and BCI, with the Village contract covering the southerly portion and BCI the northern portion. The agreement states that the Village will manage and maintain their section as a natural area for passive outdoor recreation. It is also noted that BCI intends to make available portions of the parcel for more developed uses and possible structures that enhance public access.  All disturbances on the premises and proposed use changes to the parcel are subject to written approval by BCI.

        The Vision Plan presents an inventory and analysis of the Study Area, programming for varied uses, conceptual land use plans and design recommendations, and an implementation strategy and phasing plan. Some of the recommendations are echoed in the Waterfront Feasibility Study noted below.

Feasibility Study for the Village Waterfront Property:
Completed in September, 2001, this Study developed alternative scenarios for a 13.4 acre study area, presented the implications of the different scenarios, and the development of a preferred plan, referred to as the “Proposed Waterfront Development Plan.”  Of the 13.4 acres approximately 7.4 acres are upland, with the remaining underwater.  The study area, now called Croton Landing, is the southern part of a larger property of 30 acres, formerly known as the Seprieo property, acquired by the Village in 1996. More than half of the property is underwater.


The four alternatives presented are:
A) Passive Park with On-Land Uses
B) Passive Park with Water Dependent Uses
C) On-Land Development
D) Active Recreation Park

The Proposed Plan for the 13.4 acre study area was a composite of the recommended attributes of each of the four alternatives. This plan was developed with input from the public.  The major components of this Proposed Waterfront Development Plan included the following:
·       Passive recreation areas
·       Multiple use trails
·       A major flexible open space for seasonal exhibits, outdoor sculpture, or meadow
·       A picnic area
·       Conversion of the small CSX building into a park-related building with restrooms, snack bar, bait shop, and storage, and construction of a small park building in addition to, or in lieu of, the CSX building
·       Construction of an approximately 3,000 square foot open band shell structure
·       Enhancement of the small existing beach area to accommodate a launching area for small non-motorized watercraft
·       Retention and enhancement of the existing stone rip-rap shoreline
·       Development of an approximately 4,000 square foot playground area
·       Development of an adjacent area for court-type games for the elderly
·       Above ground storm water management
·       The enhancement, expansion, and upgrade of the small parking area

The Residential Survey:
This Survey, done for the Comprehensive Plan and dated November 2000, included residents’ reactions to Croton’s Recreation and Parks, summarized below.  The Recreation Advisory Committee has said that the response to this Survey was not a fair representation of Croton’s population, as the responses were primarily from women between the ages of 25 and 35.  Nonetheless, these responses do highlight some of the interests and concerns of some of the population.
-       The strengths of Croton that were most frequently cited were its Small Town Character, the Riverfront, and Parks and Open Space.
-       Neighborhoods were considered appealing, with no indications of the need for more or different recreation facilities.
-       Spending priorities were not clearly defined, yet there was a wish for expenditures for Riverfront Development, Sidewalks, and Parks and Open Space.
-       Residents are satisfied with the Open Space and Parks, but less satisfied with the Recreation Programs.
-       The most frequently requested recreation facilities were swimming, bicycling and ice skating. Generally, facilities oriented towards passive recreation were elected more frequently that those relating to active recreation, such as ball fields.
-       The three most frequently mentioned objectives for Croton included protecting the natural environment (in first place), followed by providing parks and recreational areas along the waterfront, and improving access to the Hudson River.

The Appendix includes page 12 from the Survey that summarizes those responses specific to Recreation Facilities. “Write-ins” requested children’s recreation facilities and activities, a community center, and a senior facility.

3.  Additional Recreation and Open Space Facilities in Area

Based on the 1996 Open Space Inventory including Table 1 “Open Space Parcels with Acreage by Category” (included in the Appendix) and the map done in 2000 by the Croton CAC, the following major recreation facilities are located in or adjacent to Croton:
- State and County Parks: Oscawana, Croton Point Park, Croton Gorge Park, Paradise Island,
  Croton Dam Plaza, and Croton Gorge State Unique Area
- Institutional facilities: Van Cortlandt Manor
- Nature Preserves and related facilities: Brinton Brook Sanctuary (Saw Mill River Audubon
  Society - SMRAS) Jane E. Lytle Memorial Arboretum (Village), Graff Sanctuary (SMRAS),
  Teatown Lake Reservation (private)
- Trails: Old Croton Aqueduct Trailway (State)
- Hudson National Golf Club: private

4.  Evaluation of Village Parks and School Recreation Facilities

4.1.  Recreation Standards
In the years previous to the 1990’s, park planners used generic national standards that were provided by the National Parks and Recreation Association (NRPA) relating to the numbers of acres per 1,000 people to determine the quantity of open space and/or the number of ball fields needed for a community.  These standards were based solely on population.  By the 1990’s, park planners recognized that the situation had changed in many ways.  With the decline in federal and state grant programs, shifting responsibilities for providing facilities and services, new environmental legislation, the enactment of the 1992 Americans with Disabilities Act, and changing demographics, park planners have shifted to an approach which is tailored to the individual community, based on an evaluation of the community’s needs.  This approach generally examines:

·       The present supply of amenities
·       The number of people served each year per amenity
·       The expressed demand for amenities and programs
·       The land requirement for each kind of amenity
·       The available facilities and land to meet the demand

Using this newer approach, recommendations for the number of each type of amenity can be tailored to satisfy current and future demand to a particular community.  Both NRPA approaches, including the 1983 standards and the newer post -1995 approaches, are used in the Study to evaluate existing conditions and to make recommendations.  The primary guide to recommendations in Phase II of this Study, however, will be the post -1995 approach that recognizes the changing recreational interests and demands in the community.
        
4.2      Summary of Existing Resources in Croton-on-Hudson in relation to Standards
Given the accepted figure of 8,000 people to be served with recreation and park facilities and programs, the following summary illustrates the existing facilities as compared with the NRPA standards.  These standards separate softball/baseball fields from multi-use fields (which include soccer, field hockey, and lacrosse), although most fields currently in Croton and other municipalities and school districts are multi-use with soccer often located in the outfield of the baseball field.  These fields are thus grouped together below.

·       Softball/Baseball Fields:               1 ball field per 5,000 population

·       Multi-use Fields:                       Soccer: 1 field per 10,000 population
                                                Field hockey: 1 field per 20,000 population
                                                Lacrosse: no standard

        Croton:                         2 Little League only (Dobbs and Duck Pond)
                                                1 flag football field (CET)
                                                1 soccer (Spencer Field)
1 multi-use field for softball and soccer (David Manes)
1 lighted softball (Firefighters Field)
        Comment: Falls within standards

·       Track:                                  no standard found

Croton:                         1 track (CHHS)

Comment:  According to School Athletic Director, the condition of the track is below standards and may be unusable in coming years

·       Tennis/Platform Tennis/Handball 1 court per 2,000 population

Croton:                         3 courts at PVC Middle School were planned to be
removed for school construction project.
They may not be rebuilt as there has been very limited use of them during recent years.

        Comment: According to standards, Croton would need to construct a total of 5 courts

·       Basketball Courts:                      1 court per 5,000 population

Croton:                         3 existing (at Dobbs and Duck Pond Parks and
                                                one at church known as Chapel Court)

Comment: More than sufficient according to standards

·       Swimming Pools:                 1 pool per 20,000 population

Croton:                         No public pool
Beach and swimming at Silver Lake

        Comment: Assuming beach as providing similar amenity as pool, this is sufficient


·       Play Areas:                             1 play lot per 500 to 2,500 population

·       Neighborhood Park:                      1 park per 2,000 to 10,000 population

Croton: Playgrounds provided at 5 parks: Senasqua,      Dobbs, Duck Pond, Sunset, & Harrison St.; and 1 school: CET

        Comment: Sufficient per standards

·       Open Space:                             10 acres per 10,000 population for all recreational
land including open space

Croton:                         54.5 acres of Village parks, without school
properties

        Comment:  More than sufficient according to standards

·       Gymnasia                                Standards established by School District

Croton:                         2 gyms                  

Comment: Need identified by community for more indoor gym space
              H.S. Athletic Director has noted that weight room is below standards.

·       Indoor Basketball Courts:               No NRPA standards

Croton:                         4 courts                        

Comment:  Need identified by community for more indoor basketball space

·       Theaters, Auditorium & Community Rooms: no standards

Croton:                         One community room at Municipal Building;
                                                Rooms used in other facilities, such as in churches

Comment:  Need identified by community for a Community Center for programming space
                for different age groups and functions
        
4.3      Evaluation of Specific Village Facilities

On 11/28/01 Cherbuliez/Munz (C/M) visited the Village and School Recreation Facilities.  The
summary of these visits is included in the Appendix.  Noted below are selected observations:

·       Senasqua Park and Croton Landing Waterfront Property: While these facilities were visited and looked at separately by C/M, they have been analyzed as a unit in both the Greenway Vision for the Croton Waterfront and in the Feasibility Study for the Village Waterfront Property, where recommendations are provided for a plan which integrates the three areas into a cohesive unit, including new uses, access, and improvements.  Such a comprehensive approach will be developed in Phase II of this Study.

·       Observations and recommended improvements are noted for Duck Pond and Silver Lake.

·       Black Rock Park appears to be an underutilized resource, with many opportunities for improvements.

·       While the Boat Launch Area, south of the Railroad station, was not visited by the Consultants, Croton recreation staff reported that it is well used and appreciated as an access for boaters both to the Hudson River and to the Croton River.  It is reached through the Croton-Harmon station, and unfortunately is not connected to any other park facility.  Parking is available in the area.

·       Throughout the site visits, consideration was given to potential sites for additional playing fields as well as to a site for a Community Center.  None of the existing sites appear to provide a suitable space for such uses, with the exception of the waterfront properties, which could be considered.













4.4 Evaluation of Village Programs
Some of the programs offered during the Fall of 2001 and the Winter of 2002 are noted below.  The list gives a good overview of the range of programs offered, with some of the costs, and some locations.  Some of the events and programs are offered for holidays, others are seasonal, while others occur as a series at a period during the year.

        All:
                -   Spring Window Decorating
                -   Goblin walk
                -   Winter Fest
        Children:
-   Creative movement (ages 3-5)                10 week session @ $70.
        -   Modern Dance (ages 3-5)                     12 week session @ $120.
        -   Jazz Dance  (ages K-5)                      9 week session @ $66.
-   Creative storytelling (ages 3-5)            8 week session @ $40.
-   Co-ed indoor soccer (ages 9-12)             8 sessions @ $35.
                -   Youth basketball (grades 1-4)               8 sessions @ $35
                -   Youth basketball (grades 5–8)               8 sessions @ $45.
                -    Chemical Magic Workshop (age 7-12) 1 all day session @ $60.
                -    Design and Build Robots (ages 7-12)        2 all day sessions @ $120
        Adult:
-   Tai Chi                                    8 week session @ $70
-   Aroma fitness                               10 week session @ $50.
               -   Defensive driving                           1 session at $35
-   Open gym program                            6 week session at $30; non-resident $40
-   Body sculpting                              8 week session @ $40 for 1x wkly.
                                                8 week session @ $75 for 2x wkly.
                                                8 week session @ $110. for 3x wkly.
                -   Yoga                                        8 week session @ $80.
                -   Writing and illustrating Haiku              8 week session @ $40.
       Teens
                Programs
                -Creative Writing
-Basketball
-Winter Break Activities
-Movies
-Karaoke Nights
-Picnics
-Special Holiday Events
-Friday night drop-in (primarily for Middle School children)
(Refreshments are sold)
                -Youth Employment Service
Events (no fees)
-    Super Bowl Party (held at Municipal Building)
-    President Birthday drop-in & movie night

Special Events & Trips
                -     Ice skating party; held twice; cost:               $10 each
-     Bowling party; held once; cost:                    $15
-     Sports World Trip; (Amusement Park); cost:         $25
-    Water Park/Swimming Trip; cost:                     $25
-     JV Mall trip; held once; cost:                     $3

        Seniors: A quarterly newsletter, with a monthly calendar, is published.
                    Annual dues are $6.00
                Activities, Trips and Events
-       Music and song (usually once a month)
-       Classes in writing about your life: 8 week session           $40.00 fee
-       One time AARP defensive driving class                     $10.00 fee
-       Tai Chi (9 week session)                                              $70.00 fee
-       Weekly exercise classes  (held at St. Augustine Church, $10 per year)
-       Holiday parties (such as Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day)
-       Weekly trip to Shoprite, and to bank and post office, if needed
-       Monthly trip to Jefferson Mall
-     NYC by train (one time trip)
-       Trip to Paper Mill Players with lunch (one time trip)
-       Blood Pressure screening (once monthly)
-       Fun Friday (once monthly)
-       
-       Cookouts and outdoor activities are held at Senasqua park
-       Musical events are held at the Skyview Senior Residence
-       Weekly coffee, refreshments and Senior Meeting: with speaker once monthly
-       Help with Social Security and Medical Forms (a representative from the
County will attend Senior Meetings upon request.

5. Income and Expenses for Recreation Facilities

Provided below are the 2001-2002 and the 2002-2003 Revenues and Expenses, provided by the Superintendent of Recreation.   The actual expenses for 2001-2002 are not yet completely available, while the 2002-2003 are proposed expenses and projected revenues, and some of these are not yet available, such as the Skate Park projected revenue.  Note that certain categories have expenses, without revenues.  

Revenues:                                       2001-2002                               2002-2003
Fall/Winter/Spring Programs                                                             $  4,000
Boat Basin                                      $33,500 (actual $34,704)                  34,000
Swimming                                          25,000 (actual   16,512)                24,000
Community Room                          
Athletics                                                22,000 (actual   19,980;                 21,000
                                                            Includes 6,480 golf)
     Day Camp                                   52,000 (actual   40,400)                 45,000
Tiny Tots                                                13,000 (actual   14,160)                 17,000
Special Events                                    
Parks & Playgrounds                               13,530                                    8,500
Skate Park                                                                                      (not avail.)
Beautification                                                                                                                                  
                                Total                   $159,030                                $153,500
                                                        
Expenses: (includes salaries)

Administration                            $275,531                               278,000
Fall/Winter/Spring Programs                   20,160                               19,080  
Boat Basin                                    33,550                               34,720
Teens                                         51,000                               51,500
Swimming                                      51,925                               52,481
Community Room                        13,950                               14,760
Athletics                                             34,145                               36,609
Day Camp                                      81,000                               79,700
Tiny Tots                                             19,350                               23,395
Special Events                                19,800                               21,320       
Parks and Playgrounds                       136,300                              128,440
Skate Park (new in 2002-3)                                                         17,315
Seniors                                       46,860                               50,231
Beautification                                                                     30,000
                        Total                      $736,771                             $837,551

























PHASE ONE: RECREATION NEEDS ASSESSMENT


B.  Village Needs and Wishes














B.  VILLAGE NEEDS AND WISHES

1. Community Input

Residential Survey for the Comprehensive Plan Update: In this survey, conducted in
November, 2000, residents indicated their appreciation for the Hudson/Croton riverfronts
and the parks and open space.  Some concern was indicated about the lack of recreational facilities for young children.  In regard to public spending priorities, the three most frequently identified were 1) riverfront development, 2) sidewalks, and 3) parks and open space.  Spending for recreational facilities was ranked as 6).  75% of the residents who answered were very satisfied with the recreation programs, while approximately 92% were very satisfied with the Parks and Open Space.

When residents were asked about how the Village could expand their recreational
facilities, swimming, bicycling, and ice-skating were the three most frequently selected options.  Generally outdoor individual and group passive recreation activities were selected more frequently than those relative to active recreation, such as soccer and baseball.  A need was expressed for walking trails and paths, as well as for a community center which could also serve seniors, as well as provide for an arts and cultural center.

While a good number of responses to the survey (i.e. 25% respondents) were received, the majority of respondents was female, from the 25 – 65 age group, and lived primarily in two person households, followed closely by four person households.  The Recreation Advisory Committee stated that, because of these characteristics of the respondents, they concluded that the survey did not accurately reflect the needs and wishes of the Croton population.
        
Recreation Advisory Committee:  Initial input was provided by the Recreation Advisory Committee (RAC), in a meeting held on 11/13/01 with Susan Menz, Superintendent of Recreation, and Susan Cherbuliez of the Consultant firm, Cherbuliez/Munz (C/M).  Discussed at this meeting were recreation needs, and operational and financial needs. The Appendix includes minutes from this meeting.

Little League The Consultants received a letter, with comments, in mid-February, 2002 from Teri Lukin, President of the Croton Little League of comments.  A summary is provided below:
-        Baseball and softball season is 8 - 9 weeks; each team plays two games per week
-       Serves boys and girls from kindergarten to middle school
-       Over 500 children play in 40 teams
-       A program called Challengers, is provided for disabled children aged 5 – 18
-       Increase in the number of children in Croton under age 18: 26% increase from 1990 to 2000 as compared to 8% growth in overall population
-       No new fields have been created, despite increase in users
-       Because of lack of space, most games play weeknights at 6 PM
-       Fields used:
o       Youngest teams play at multi-purpose fields as Vassallo Park and field behind CET elementary school
o       Other teams play at Dobbs Field, Firefighters Field, David Manus Field, and the Duck Pond Field, with PVC Middle School Field used for Minors Softball
o       Fields in poor condition, especially outfields, due to heavy use, and triple duty when used also for soccer and lacrosse
o       CET field has been refurbished, but CHHS field will be unavailable for about three years during school construction
-       Possible solutions:
o       Consider use of new Croton Landing property for some sports fields
o       Utilize County Parks: Croton Point Park and Croton Gorge Park

AYSO:  A summary of the Needs Assessment was provided in a report from AYSO Region
455, called “Youth Soccer’s Point of View,” submitted on January 11, 2002, by Lewis B. Insler, the Regional Commissioner of Croton AYSO.  The highlights follow:

        Existing conditions:
-       Currently 595 children registered from pre-K through 8th grade on 60 teams
-       Increasing number of children playing soccer while number of available fields is limited and diminishing as schools undergo construction and fields are out of use
-       Fields out of use when being upgraded i.e. CHHS construction plans
-       AYSO has grown about 50% in last three years; 100% in about six years
-       Teams practice Saturdays, in the fall and spring, and except Pre-K and K
-       Teams play all regular games on Sundays, fall and spring
-       Fields used weeknight evenings by interscholastic teams, spring and fall: 3-5pm
-       Fall weeknights available 6-8pm- may be able to gain 6-8 weeks use time depending on daylight savings time
-       Fields used weeknight evenings by Little League in the spring

Usage of fields:
-       Pre-K & K play at Vassallo Park and on small field next to PVC Middle School on Sat a.m.
-        Other teams play and practice on CET, David Manes, C.H. H.S. and Spencer Fields
-       Fields utilized by permit for which no fees are paid

Summary:
-  4 full sized fields used all day Saturday, spring and fall (occasionally unavailable when scholastic sports are given priority)
- 5 full sized fields are used on Sunday afternoons, spring and fall
        
AYSO Usage of Indoor facilities for winter:
-       Winter clinic program has about 125 children from the three youngest divisions,    
      practicing six Saturday mornings in Jan. and Feb. in PVC middle school gym
-       Extra teams play on Sat. afternoons in CET gyms (Permits obtained from School District and
      Custodian salary is paid by AYSO)

Needs:
-Making multi-purpose field space available is the most important priority  (children play   two sports played in one season: baseball and soccer; or football and soccer)
- Need for more field space generally and specifically for Sundays
    - Indoor gym space is needed for other winter clinics

Possible Solutions:
- Greater consideration of AYSO’s requests for use of Dobbs and Firefighters
  Fields for fall practice
-       Possible use of Duck Pond field for youngest players when fields are unavailable during     school  construction
-       Reconsideration of use of High School field for Saturday mornings when school
  construction completed
-       Use of the an illuminated, synthetic turf soccer field County is considering building at Croton Gorge Park, with AYSO making a financial contribution if given assurance that their needs would be met.  No date has been set for this tentative plan, nor for the negotiations.        


2. Recreation Department Needs and Wishes

In meeting with the new Superintendent of Recreation, Susan Menz, the Consultants have found that she has come to the Village with a “fresh” eye, with experience in a community of a similar size, and an interest in upgrading the Recreation programs and facilities to reflect the needs of the community.  She has proposed, to the Consultants, the issues she thinks need to be addressed.  These are summarized below, in no particular order:

2.1. Salaries: Increasing salaries of selected positions where either no salary increases have
been provided recently, or the position should have a higher salary based on a comparison to other communities

2.2. Staff: Consider additional staff, such as for the Tiny Tot program, where children have been         turned away. Also, additional staff for maintenance is needed for recent land and facility acquisition and/or development.

2.3. Revenues:
2.3.1. From Users of Athletic Fields: Need for increased revenues from other users of
 Village athletic fields, for field maintenance and renovation, where high maintenance   
 costs incurred by  the Department of Recreation are not balanced with the
         amount of time that the Department uses the fields, as compared with use by
 the School District, AYSO, and Little League.
2.3.2.  Fees for Programs, Day Camp, Swimming: Consider increases to help cover
Expenses and to stay in line with similar municipalities

2.4. Programs: As number of teens to be serviced has increased, and will continue to increase,  programs may have to be increased.  

2.5. Accommodations: As the number of teens increases, additional accommodations must be provided for short and long term needs.

2.6.  Capital Improvements (as approved by Village Board)
2.6.1.  For 2002-2003:
 -  Equipment Purchase: Senior Citizen Van and station wagon for Recreation
           Department was approved for 2002-2003                                  $87,000
 -  Skate Park Equipment                                                     $55,000
2.6.2.  For 2003-2004:
       - Insulation & heat at Black Rock Park Building for Parks
          Department crew for year round                                          $50,000
     2.7.   Facilities:
2.7.1 The need for a Community Center has been documented, for use by Seniors,
         teens, as well as for community programs, classes, events, and indoor sports
2.7.2 The need for additional playing fields has also been documented

2.8.      Documentation: Documentation of daily/weekly and annual Safety Inspections of the Skate
     Park, playgrounds and ball fields (in season) is needed          

     2.9.   Administrative Improvements: Improve brochures


3.  Summary of Needs

3.1. Immediate Needs:  Add and/or create additional accommodations for teen programs

3.2. Short Term Needs: These needs can be considered for the next one to two years, and
have been identified by the Recreation Department.  They are included in the Department’s proposed budget for 2002 to 2003 and include such items as salary increases, increased fees for services in order to increase revenue, and new capital expenditures for equipment and other improvements.  The department also has proposed Capital expenditures for 2003-2004 for Black Rock Park Building Improvements, which was also approved by the Village Board.

In Phase II of this Study, the Consultants address other short term needs, as outlined in a the text and in Table F, Five Year Capital Plan.  The needs and these projects can be re-evaluated, and changed over the years as needed.




3.3.    Long Term Needs:
3.3.1.  New Facilities:  A Community Center
     Athletic Fields

Phase II of this Study will address the means to accomplish these long term needs.  Consideration will be given to potential locations, possible acquisition of land if necessary, the size and functions of a Community Center, the number and types of fields.

In addition, other solutions will be investigated, including partnerships with such entities as the County of Westchester, or with other municipalities.
        
3.3.2.  Waterfront Development
Phase II will also evaluate the proposed Plan for the waterfront, given the current community needs and will make some recommendations for the waterfront.

3.3.3.  Other Park Improvements
These will be proposed based on the Consultants observations, community needs, and the Recreation Department’s needs and recommendations.

3.3.4.   Revenue and Expenses
These issues will be evaluated and recommendations made to increase revenues and consider any means to cut expenses. Changes may be accomplished in the short or long term.

3.3.5.  Operational Issues
The Consultants will evaluate staffing, maintenance, and interactions between
organizations such as AYSO and Little League and the Recreation Department, as
well as any other operations which may improve the functioning of the facilities and programs.