WESTMORELAND — State Sen. Joseph A. Griffo, R-47, Rome, joined Westmoreland Deputy Town Supervisor Charles Hebbard, and town park employees to cut the ribbon on a new pavilion and refurbished walking trail on Monday, June 10 at the Westmoreland Town Park.
Griffo, and his office, were primary proponents in securing the $75,000 in funding necessary to bring the project to completion, officials said, adding that ground was broken on the brand new 40 by 60 foot pavilion in December 2018 and the structure was finished this week.
The pavilion sits on the former site of the playground next to the baseball field. As part of the project, the playground has been relocated next to the park’s first pavilion, toward the rear of the park.
The wilderness walking trail now runs from the town park at 5045 Stop 7 Road to the Rising Stars Sports Center at 4980 State Route 233. The entire length of the trail is 2.3 miles.
Hebbard said the improvements will help enhance the quality of life of residents and park goers.
“We’ve had the one pavilion for probably 15 years or better,” Hebbard said. “For the amount of people who want to use it we’ve had to turn people away as it gets rented out on a constant basis. Now we have a second one for them to use we can do more events here.”
Hebbard said the pavilion was built Shafer & Son Construction of Westmoreland and they worked in the “bitterest cold and most horrendous weather conditions” to erect it. Peck Property Maintenance LLC of Oriskany built the trail over the past two years and they also laid the new blacktop under the pavilion.
The funds secured to improve the town park were originally slated for the Westmoreland Town Pool/Anna Newman Kunz Memorial Pool at 7350 Kunz Rd, but Hebbard said once they realized the pool would need more than what was being allocated town officials decided to use the money to make improvement here.
Despite the reevaluation of the initial funds, Griffo secured another $60,000 in funding for the pool. That funding will go toward a new pump and filtration system, an electrical system and other necessary work at the site. The pool was closed for several years, but thanks to the state funding and $80,000 raised by the Westmoreland Summer Activities Association, it is expected to reopen later this month following an extensive renovation project.
The Senator said he believed this was money well spent.
“The Town of Westmoreland is a great town that does a great job improving the quality of life for it’s residents,” Griffo said. “Anytime you can make improvements from a recreational perspective, from the parks, to the trail system, to providing this type of opportunity to use this park for exercise to recreation that’s a great investment of public funds in my opinion.”
Hebbard also said Town Supervisor Ken Eisnor has been invaluable to the success of the project.
“Griffo has been a tireless advocate for the Town of Westmoreland and its residents,”Eisnor said. “Thanks to his efforts, residents and visitors will be able to enjoy a renovated pool this summer and will be able to take advantage of new and needed amenities at the Westmoreland Town Park. I would like to thank Deputy Minority Leader Griffo, Scott Tarkowski, Randy Rundle, Patrick Cardillo, Chuck Hebbard, Jody Burdick and everyone else who has played a role in bringing these projects to reality.”
Although Hebbard did not go into detail he said they hope to do more at the park in the future. And as far as the new renovations Hebbard said Sen. Griffo’s help was tremendous.
“We couldn’t have done it without him,” Hebbard said.