MOUNT VERNON - The third and final reading of a resolution for the City to accept the donation of 67 acres in Ariel Foundation Park from the Foundation Park Conservancy is scheduled during a special City Council meeting tonight beginning at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall. The meeting is open to the public.
Last month, council members were led on a tour of the section of the park being considered. Park project director Ted Schnormeier told council that $13 million in donations and grants have been spent on land purchases, renovation of the convention center, neighborhood improvement, design fees and development of the original park and the former PPG acreage. The conservancy has set up an endowment fund of $40-thousand to help maintain the park. "It is not the intent of the conservancy to pay 100 percent of the cost of this park," said Schnormeier. "The city needs to have some skin in it." Attorney Kim Rose who represents the Conservancy said that rather than council asking the amount in the endowment fund, he would like to hear what council is going to do to work with other entities to raise whatever funding the park needs.
Whatever the outcome of the vote tonight, a huge public celebration is planned for July 4th to dedicate the park as it becomes part of the city. Read more about that celebration here.