Back in 2007, when Eliot Spitzer was the governor and Dick Tracy was the mayor, the City of Hudson received a $250,000 grant from the Environmental Protection Fund to develop Charles Williams Park at the end of Mill Street and down the bluff from what used to be the Charles Williams School. The plans were lavish, with something for everyone--a playground, a basketball court, an area for bocce or horseshoes, a skate park, a fenced dog run, a picnic grove with a pavilion beside a pond or rain garden, restrooms, sled runs in winter, and a handicapped accessible switchback path down to the park from the north end of Third Street.
Work began on the park project in 2009, the preliminary stages of which involved a lot of earth moving. Periodically, since then, whenever grants or parks were discussed in public meetings, someone would inquire about the status of the work on Charles Williams Park. At last week's Common Council meeting, First Ward supervisor Sarah Sterling was the one to ask the question. It was answered by Fifth Ward alderman Cappy Pierro, who said that the playground and the pavilion were up, and the manner in which he offered the information suggested that these actions put paid to the project and the grant.
Curious, Gossips headed down to Charles Williams Park yesterday to have a look. What I saw bore little resemblance to the original vision. One can only hope there is still more to come.