Updated: April 21, 2021 08:05 PM
Created: April 21, 2021 06:12 PM
COHOES - There's plenty of space in Greenbriar Park. It's right in the middle of a neighborhood.
Samantha enjoys the swings. Her family is excited this playground is slated for a makeover.
"Greenbriar Park is one of the parks that I grew up in," said Cohoes Mayor Bill Keeler. "And a lot of the equipment that you see here really hasn't changed over the last...it's probably been here over 50 years."
Old playground equipment, basketball courts, and hoops, tennis courts, and fences and benches in all city parks and playgrounds are expected to get an overhaul that many say is long overdue.
"Are they places that anyone in the community can go to? They're not accessible to many, and they're not inclusive. So we're not only looking to upgrade, but make them accessible and inclusive for the whole community, and they're economic drivers, too," said City Planner Joseph Seman-Graves.
To pay for the park makeover, the city is turning to its lights.
Officials say switching its 1,600 streetlights to energy-efficient LED bulbs will save taxpayers $9 million over 20 years. The mayor wants to put $750,000 of that into the parks, if the Cohoes Common Council gives the okay.
"I am in 100% in support of it," said Council President Bill McCarthy. "I've been in this city for the past 65 years. I've been to all the parks and most of them still have stuff from when I was a kid."
Parks and playgrounds for all to enjoy send a strong signal of community.
"Great cities, there are a lot of pieces that go into the puzzle," said Mayor Keeler. "Great schools, accessible libraries, and modern parks are part of that. Other things, safe streets, walkable sidewalks that are well lit, these are all things that we're working on."
The common council is expected to vote on the bond initiative Tuesday. The renewal of the parks and playgrounds would start this summer and continue over the next three years.
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