New Castle, NY – New York State Senator Pete Harckham took part recently in a ribbon cutting of the Town of New Castle’s newly renovated Amsterdam Park playing fields, which underwent extensive repairs that were funded by a $100,000 state grant he secured.
“Parks and recreation areas are so important for residents’ well-being, especially as people look to be outdoors more, and that means maintaining the infrastructure is a must for these well-used grounds and facilities,” said Harckham. “The upgrades to the soccer fields at Amsterdam Park will benefit community members in so many ways. Supervisor Katz, the town board and the parks department have done an excellent job in bringing this important project to completion.”
Harckham joined Town Supervisor Lisa Katz, Town Council Member Chris Hildenbrand, Recreation and Parks Superintendent Ike Kuzio and a number of young soccer players, coaches and parents for the ribbon-cutting event at the park.
Amsterdam Park, located on Hoags Cross Road, is home to two of the town’s three soccer fields. The fields serve as practice and ‘home” fields for the youth soccer program, which serves 25 teams with more than 400 children between the ages of 8-14. The fields are also used by a lacrosse program of about 40 players, ages 10 and 11, and by the town's summer camp program.
Because of heavy regular use of the fields throughout the year, the turf suffered to the extent that one of the fields was deemed unusable and needed to be closed off for athletic use after a child tripped on an exposed sprinkler head during a soccer match and was injured.
"Our youth soccer program is very important to the town, and we have a great need for usable playing fields,” Town Supervisor Lisa Katz said. “The Amsterdam fields were in disrepair for quite a while, but with the state grant funding we were able to restore them. This truly brings vitality back to our soccer program, and we appreciate Senator Harckham's help in this effort.”
Ike Kuzio, superintendent of New Castle Recreation and Parks Department said, “The previous condition of the playing fields at Amsterdam Park were not conducive to safe athletic competition. Now, it is.”
New Castle used the state grant to completely renovate the damaged playing fields. The fields were skinned, fresh topsoil was installed and the fields were graded to completely conceal the recessed sprinkler heads and allow proper drainage.
The awarded grant funding was secured within the State and Municipal Facilities Program (SAM), which is among the grant programs administered by the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY) to support community and economic development. Harckham has delivered more than $5,000,000 of state grant funding to municipalities and nonprofits in SD40 over the past year.