SOMERS, N.Y. – Somers’ popular Reis Park will be closed for several months this winter in order to make repairs and improvements.
In response to the East of Hudson Watershed Corporation’s mandate for phosphorous reduction, a number of areas in the park will be regraded and piped to capture rain runoff, treat it underground for phosphorous reduction and ultimately return it to the nearby brook.
“In large part the projects will be funded by the Watershed Corporation,” said Supervisor Mary Beth Murphy at Thursday’s Town Board meeting. Included in the water runoff and treatment plan are areas around the maintenance garage, the various parking lots, the ball fields, the main access road and the library.
“These changes will get rid of 16 to 18 kilograms a year worth of phosphorous,” said Joe Barbagallo of the environmental engineering firm, Woodard & Curran. “Which is more than 10 percent over what the town’s requirements are for their entire permit.”
At the same time that the runoff is addressed, the main parking lot will be redesigned to improve traffic flow, provide a few more parking spaces, and make handicap access more convenient.
The parking lot will be repaved with a porous paving material. “It looks like asphalt,” said Barbagallo. “It wears the same as asphalt and it has a very low incidence of ice build-up because water drains through.”
Approximately 30 LED lights will be installed around the main parking lot. “It’s not going to be lit up like Yankee Stadium,” said Barbagallo. “Each light is equivalent to ‘half a foot-candle,’ which is about the same light you get from a full moon.”
The electrical wiring and feeds at the tennis courts will be repaired or replaced, a chain link fence will be installed at the top of the hill, the library will get new downspouts and the site for the new concession stand will be completely prepared.
The concession stand itself is a modular, pre-fabricated unit and will be delivered and set in place by a crane. By next spring, the concession stand will be in full operation, selling hot dogs, hamburgers, “and health food,” added Murphy.
Reis Park will be closed to the public from about October 15 until about March 15. The Somers Library will be open as usual, but parking will be limited to the grassy areas.
There will be new landscaping, removal of fallen trees and very little accumulation of puddle water by next summer. “It’s going to have a wonderful impact on life in Somers,” said Barbagallo.