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Agreement Approved for Stewart Park Governance Study

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Agreement Approved for Stewart Park Governance Study

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Legislature authorized the County to enter into a contract with the City of Ithaca and to appropriate $17,000 from the Contingent Fund to support a study of governance models for Stewart Park. The vote was 10-4, with Legislators Martha Robertson, Dooley Kiefer, Mike Sigler, and Glenn Morey voting no. The money will support a portion of the City’s Parks and Recreation Master Plan study that will analyze Stewart Park’s current management and governance structure and recommend alternatives ranging from modifications to the existing structure to a new governance structure and/or ownership of the Park by the County. During the 2016 budget process, the City had requested that the County provide a financial subsidy for Cass and Stewart Parks, and the Legislature, as an alternative, set aside one-time funding to support the Stewart Park governance element as part of the parks master plan study. Legislator Robertson said she favors inter-municipal cooperation, but not this initiative, that in terms of priorities, she does not support investigating possible County takeover of Stewart Park. Legislator Anna Kelles said the park has “incredible potential” and that evaluating through the study is worth the investment.