Though it had been available for public use for a few days prior, on Oct. 5, the Village of Mineola officially opened the Emory Road park, the first new park for residents in over 40 years.
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,” Mineola Mayor Scott Strauss said. “Our families deserve nothing less.”
The mayor added 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 travelling 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.”
The new park was constructed at a cost of approximately $75,000 on property already owned by the Village of Mineola. Construction costs were funded using the Village of Mineola’s incentive bonus funds which are allocated for public amenities from downtown development projects such as the Winston-Churchill project or 250 Old Country Road (also known as the Keyspan Building) residential developments. The Development Incentive Bonus Overlay District was created in 2007 under then-Mineola Mayor 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,” deputy mayor Paul Pereira said. “This is a win-win for all Mineola residents.”
Trustee Dennis Walsh added “this is why our seniors want to stay in Mineola, and young families want to stay here to raise their children. It’s also drawing new families here who want to become part of the Mineola community.”
Trustee Paul Cusato noted that, as a grandfather of young grandchildren, 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.”
Strauss said that he hopes this local park will also help bring neighbors together as a gathering place within the community.