After years of bickering and debate, Mount Vernon officials may have finally come to an agreement to clean up and restore Memorial Field.
This week, officials approved a $2.27 million plan to clean up contaminated dirt that was dumped at Memorial Field, a fraction of the originally expected cost.
The city Board of Estimates voted 2-0 on Tuesday, Sept. 17 to accept a bid from Tully Environment for the cleanup efforts. The number is down from the initially projected cost of approximately $3.75 million.
In total, Tully is expected to remove approximately 30,000 tons of dirt and debris. The plans to relocate several large concrete boulders and pieces of concrete were shelved, helping to reduce the cost.
“I would like to thank Tully Environmental Inc. for not only bidding on the remediation of Memorial Field, but working with the city to reduce their original bid from $3.8 million to $2.2 million, saving our taxpayers $1.5 million,” Mayor Andre Wallace said.
“I look forward to our continued cooperation as we move forward with the remediation process of our field. Once the remediation process is completed, the County of Westchester will complete the reconstruction.”
It was reported that acting City Council President Janice Duarte - who abstained from the vote - requested additional information about the cleanup at the field before voting, but was overruled.
Once cleanup efforts are complete, Westchester County has vowed to help rebuild the park several administrations ago.
Previously, the city had taken over renovation efforts, which came under fire when contaminated debris was illegally dumped at the field. The charge for change and the county taking over was led by Mount Vernon Legislator Lyndon Williams, who said that the past two administrations have mishandled the project.
Memorial Field has been a point of contention for city, county and state officials for the better part of a decade. In August last year, New York State officials offered $5 million to help rebuild the defunct field, but only if the county ceded control of construction efforts to the county.
“After years of dysfunction and obstruction, the cleanup and reconstruction of Memorial field will be moving forward,” Wallace added. "For more than a decade the citizens of Mount Vernon have waited for the return of our beloved field, the days of political kickball are over.”
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