Seward Bills to Ensure Local Vision for Hyde Hall, Rogers Environmental Center

ALBANY, 05/23/16 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I- Oneonta) today announced that he is advancing legislation to protect long-term stability and local management for a pair of area parks.  Hyde Hall in Otsego County and Rogers Environmental Center in Chenango County would benefit from the bills.

Senate bill 7490 would extend the lease agreement for Hyde Hall between New York State and the Friends of Hyde Hall, which is set to expire on January 1, 2017, for an additional thirty-years to January 1, 2047.

Senate bill 7501 would authorize a formal lease agreement for the Rogers Environmental Education Center between New York State and the Friends of Rogers Environmental Education Center which would run for a forty-year term.

“Hyde Hall is a historic gem that has been preserved and improved thanks to the dedication and commitment of the Friends of Hyde Hall.  Likewise, the Friends of Rogers Environmental Education Center is ready to take on more responsibilities and ensure a prosperous future at the Rogers Center,” said Senator Seward. 

Senate bill 7490 is scheduled for a vote before the Senate Standing Committee on Cultural Affairs, Tourism, Parks and Recreation this week while senate bill 7501 has been referred to the Senate Committee on Environmental Protection.

“These lease agreements will solidify long-term stability and viability for a pair of unique attractions, ensuring recreational opportunities for residents and helping draw tourists to our region,” Seward concluded.

The long-term leases will allow both entities to solicit donors and fundraise with the promise of a secure and lasting operating future.

Hyde Hall, built by George Clarke in the early 1800s, is located within Gimmerglass State Park and is listed as a National Historic Landmark and state historic site and is operated by Friends of Hyde Hall through a cooperative lease agreement with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.

Rogers Environmental Center is owned by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.  Currently, a limited agreement is in place allowing Friends of Rogers to take over some maintenance and programming duties from the state.

Companion legislation for both of Senator Seward’s bills has been introduced in the state assembly by Assemblyman Bill Magee.