Updated 02/21/2013 05:14 PM
County receives grant to improve trails at Otsiningo Park
Every year, millions of people visit Otsiningo Park in Binghamton. Broome County is working to make sure the park is always in the best possible shape for visitors. Members of the County Legislature announced Thursday that they've received a grant to help with that effort. Our Melissa Kakareka tells us what improvements will be made with the money.
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BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -- If you are walking the trails in Otsiningo Park later this year, you may notice some changes. Broome County has been awarded $25,000 through Constitution Pipeline's Community Grant Program for improvements at the park.
"This is a great example of a public and private partnership and we really appreciate that," said Broome County Legislature Chairman Jerry Marinich.
The money will be used to repair and improve several trails in Otsiningo Park. One path, which is heavily used by Spiedie Fest vendors, will be widened from eight feet to 10 feet.
"This is gonna help us a lot with our vendors as far as giving them more room. It's going to help our 5K Run/Walk that we have there. We had 800 participants last year and it gets crowded and busy on that walkway during that time. I'm sure this will help us a lot through Spiedie Fest," said Spiedie Fest Event Coordinator Dave Pessagno.
Otsiningo Park is one of the county's most heavily visited parks and officials say the repairs on the trails are overdue.
"We have needed to do this work at the park for a while. The park is extremely popular, with, as Jerry said, millions of people there every year. Anything that gets that much wear and tear needs maintenance," said Broome County Parks, Recreation and Youth Services Director Arthur Garrison.
The upgrades will ensure that Otsiningo Park provides the best experience possible for all visitors.
"These improvements will make every visitor more enjoyable to the park: The walkers, the joggers, the events that take place. And the best part is that it's not going to cost taxpayers one dime," said Marinich.
The work is expected to begin in April and will be finished in May.
The county applied for the grant back in December and was one of about 15 projects in a five county region to receive it.