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Hudson Falls seeking additional $400,000 for Derby Park revitalization

Hudson Falls seeking additional $400,000 for Derby Park revitalization

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HUDSON FALLS — With work to revitalize Derby Park expected to begin next year, village officials are hoping to raise an additional $400,000 to help cover increased costs associated with the project brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

The price tag to revamp the 6-acre village-owned park originally came in at $1.4 million, but since COVID-19 hit, markets have been disrupted and the cost of supplies have increased, bringing the estimated cost of the project up to $1.8 million, said Bob Cook, a village trustee and deputy mayor, who sits on the Derby Park Revitalization Committee.

Cook said the village has been working hard to raise money for the project, securing a total of $900,000 between state and private grants as well as donations. He added that he’s confident local residents and business owners will step up again to help cover the increase cost for the project.

“This pandemic has thrown everything for a loop,” Cook said. “People are struggling. People are out of work. We definitely understand that. We’re not in the business of taking advantage of anybody; just what people feel they can afford to give to a project that I think is pretty near and dear to the hearts of most of the people who live in this community.”

The project is expected to break ground sometime in the spring and be completed by late summer. Crews have already begun taking down basketball courts, which have mostly gone unused this year due to the pandemic.

Once complete, the aging park will be home to a basketball court; a regulation-size soccer field; a softball field; three pickleball courts; a quarter-mile walking path; two new event spaces; all-new lighting; more attractive landscaping and fencing; and a new parking lot.

Plans to restore Derby Park have been in the works since 2018, but fundraising efforts began last year after Mike and Brien Moran donated $500,000 to help bring the project to fruition. The two brothers grew up in Hudson Falls and used to frequent the park as children and have since gone on to become successful businessmen.

The park has been renamed Moran Derby Park in their honor.

On Wednesday, Mike Moran said he and his brother wanted to restore Derby Park in order to bring the community together and make Hudson Falls an attractive destination in the region. The village, he added, is on the rise, and a restoring Derby Park would “put the icing on the cake.”

“There’s a great, great, great need for a facility like this. I really believe that this is going to be something that you can say, ‘I live in Hudson Falls, I’m proud of Hudson Falls,’” he said. “There’s things happening down here, and this, I think, is really going to put the icing on the cake.”

Moran said the revamped facility will have something for everyone and that local residents are interested in the park’s restoration coming to fruition.

To help solicit larger donations, the Revitalization Committee is allowing donations over $1,000 to be made over a period of three years. All donations are tax-deductible.

Commemorative engraved bricks can be purchased for $125 and will be placed along a new walkway running from Coleman Avenue to William Street at the park.

Anyone interested in donating to the project can do so by using a pledge form found on the villages website (villageofhudsonfalls.com) or by calling Village Clerk Ellen Brayman at 518-747-5426, ext. 205.

Chad Arnold is a reporter for The Post-Star covering the city of Glens Falls and the town and village of Lake George. Follow him on Twitter @ChadGArnold.

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