Work has begun on the new Halfmoon Family Park.
More than 50 people attended a ground-breaking ceremony at the site Wednesday, July 9, to commemorate the beginning of work on the park, which has been in the works for nine years.
The project was a dream. To actually see the grounds being broken and see it becoming a reality is just wonderful, said Halfmoon Supervisor Mindy Wormuth.
"It is more than a dream come true," said Councilwoman Regina Parker, who chairs the committee to build the park.
She has served on the committee since its inception in 1999, and said she is excited to deliver on her promise to build a town park.
The park will cost about $6 million, but Wormuth said the town is looking into some cost-saving initiatives. She said several developers looking to build in the planned development district donated funds to offset the cost of the park.
Several companies were awarded contracts to perform construction on the project during a Tuesday, June 3, Town Board meeting.
"I think this has been a long time coming," Wormuth said at that meeting.
The park, which was supposed to be built in conjunction with the new Town Hall, which was completed in December, will be located on Route 236 on a 50-acre parcel of land purchased by the town in 1999.
"When you do a town park, you need to have something for everybody," Parker said.
When complete, the park will have pavilions with restrooms, a clubhouse, soccer fields and even trails, in addition to passive recreational areas, according to Parker.
Parker said several town groups, including the town's Little League and summer recreation program, would use the facilities. She also noted that people could hold gatherings at the park.
"We think it will be a huge asset to the community," Wormuth said. "It will allow people to stay close to home and enjoy amenities."
The land was originally the Wills Estate, and was laden with Indian artifacts, which slowed the process, Parker said.
She said the town saved the artifacts and placed them on exhibit.
The park will take 18 months to construct, according to Wormuth. She said the town hopes to open the park by spring of 2010.
"It's going to be a very nice project when completed," Parker said.
The board also adopted a resolution to apply for grant funding from the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.