City celebrates completed improvements to Point Gratiot Park

On Monday afternoon, city and state officials celebrated the completion of phase one of Mayor Willie Rosas’ planned improvements for Point Gratiot Park, thanks to a $500,000 State and Municipal Facilities grant secured by Senator Catharine Young (R, District 57) in the 2016-17 state budget. According to the mayor, there is more to come for Point Gratiot Park, as he is looking forward to working with state officials to secure funding for phase two in the near future.

City Director of Planning and Development Rebecca Yanus took to the stage of the newly completed bandstand/pavilion and announced the many upgrades that were made at the park since the SAM facilities grant was received. Upgrades included new roofs on the six park pavilions, new ADA compliant restrooms, electrical upgrades in the main pavilion, new signage, landscaping and aesthetic improvements.

There was also enough funding left to build a new bandstand/pavilion, which was not in the original proposal.

Rosas was pleased to celebrate the upgrades made to the park and acknowledged that this project, like the Dunkirk Senior Center grant announced earlier on Monday, was a bipartisan effort between his office and state officials. “When the city of Dunkirk needs help, it is my job to work with whoever is in office. That’s what I have done and will continue to do.” Speaking of Assemblyman Andy Goodell (R, District 150) and Senator Young, Rosas said, “These two have helped me and continue to help, and I look forward to continuing to work with them.”

“We have a beautiful park here, and we want to use it more,” Rosas continued. “We want our residents to continue taking advantage of this beautiful park and the beautiful view behind me. This is an exciting project for us, and it’s great to see the first phase completed now. We are looking for more funding for phase two of our project, and I look forward to working with our state officials in securing that.”

Rosas thanked Goodell and Young for their support, and welcomed Young to the stage. Young referenced an earlier conversation she had with City Clerk Edwin Ramos and DPW Director Randy Woodbury and said, “They were telling me about how many cars actually line up along here — it doesn’t matter what time of the year — people line up just to enjoy the view and especially to enjoy the sunsets. It shows how much this means to people. Generations have come to enjoy this park,”Young stated.

She continued, “That’s why I worked so hard to get this half million dollars in funding. Although this (Point Gratiot Park) has been an asset, it has fallen into disrepair over the years, and we want to make sure that it’s here for generations to come…The thing is, is that we worked together. We worked together as a team, whether it’s on the local level with the mayor’s office in the city of Dunkirk, or whether it’s on the state level with Assemblyman Andy Goodell, who works so hard on his constituents’ behalf…This is a great day for Dunkirk.”

Goodell congratulated the mayor and Young on the completed improvements to the park. “Dunkirk is on the move,” he stated. “It’s all happening because it’s a team that’s focused on results rather than focused on ego or credit. That team on the local level is led by our mayor, who’s spearheading these efforts; Chautauqua County has Senator Young who is in Albany in one of the most important positions in New York state. And I am so pleased with the county executive for being part of that team focused on making Dunkirk and Chautauqua County the best in New York state.”

County Executive George Borrello was unable to attend the ceremony; however, his executive assistant, Dan Heitzenrater, extended congratulations to the city and thanks to state representatives on Borrello’s behalf. “On behalf of George Borrello, I would like to express congratulations to Mayor Rosas, Rebecca Yanus and Hector Rosas on these great improvements and thanks to Senator Young and the state for this funding,” Heitzenrater said.

Leave a Reply