BALL SECURES $100,000 FOR RAIL PROJECT

 

“Trail to the Train” is One Step Closer to Reality for Amenia

Amenia, N.Y. – (07/28/11) – Senator Greg Ball (R, C – Patterson) stopped by the Town of Amenia today to drop off a $100,000 check; grant money he secured for the Trail to the Train Project. The state funding will help the town meet its goal of extending the Harlem Valley Rail Trail 3,500 feet southward from the Wassaic Metro North Station into the historic hamlet of Wassaic.

“This project is about economic development,” said Senator Greg Ball. “Creating a pathway from the Metro North Station into the hamlet of Wassaic will encourage tourism and provide a big boost for small businesses in this hidden community,” added Ball.

The literal translation for Wassaic is “land of difficult access.” The Trail to the Train Project will allow people to enjoy walking or biking to the train, to amenities and restaurants in downtown Amenia. The project is expected to provide a great boon for carless visitors and residents, making Wassaic a more environmentally-friendly, affordable place to live, work and visit.

“In these challenging economic times, it’s no small task to receive a one-hundred thousand dollar grant, and it’s with special thanks and appreciation to Senator Ball for the effort and work in obtaining the grant for the Town of Amenia’s Wassaic Trail-Rail Connector,” said Amenia Town Supervisor Wayne Euvrard. “We look forward to the day the Wassaic Train Station is connected to the Hamlet of Wassaic. In addition to enjoying  our recreational linear park, we can foresee increased tourism and economic development, which will benefit our business community and tax base,” added Euvrard.

“The rail trail extension into the hamlet of Wassaic is all about economic revitalization, and creating affordable, alternative transportation options for local residents and employees,” said Amenia Town Councilwoman Vicki Doyle. “By linking the Wassaic train station to the hamlet, visitors from the NY metropolitan area will enjoy the scenic, easy walk to art festivals and exhibits centered in this historic industrial hamlet,” added Doyle.

Doyle says the project is expected to cost approximately $800,000. Officials are hoping to break ground on the project by summer of 2012, once the engineering, design and right-of-way work is completed. The town is in the process of finalizing a design agreement with WSP Sells of Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.

“We are delighted to receive this grant, which will have far-reaching implications for our region including recreation, tourism, economic development, as well as providing a much-needed practical means of walkable transportation” said Chair of the Wassaic Trail to the Train Committee Tonia Shoumatoff.  “This is especially important in our area for those who do not drive, not to mention the disabled and over a hundred workers at the Pawling Corporation who will be able to ride up on the train and walk to work. We applaud Senator Ball’s vision and commitment to our area and look forward to working with him in the future,” Shoumatoff.

“I believe that Senator Ball is extremely far sighted and to be congratulated in seeing the economic value of connecting the Metro North station to the Hamlet of Wassaic,” said architect Anthony Zunino.  “It will bring a renewed vitality to the Hamlet as well as provide a safe and attractive passenger/bike route to the station. His vision and support may well make the difference in the completion of this Connector,” added Zunino.

For more information or to speak with Senator Ball, please contact Ali Skinner: (845) 200-9716.