Bayonne has moved to finance the renovations for Fitzpatrick Park following the groundbreaking ceremony on Oct. 14. The park is across the street from City Hall on Avenue C, between West 26th and 27th Streets.
On Oct. 21, the city council adopted an ordinance bonding $2,086,786 for improvements.
Construction will be funded partially by a Hudson County Open Space Trust Fund Grant in the amount of $661,000, and funding from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Water Bank in the amount of $1,478,547.50.
The contractor will be Picerno-Giordano Construction of Kenilworth, awarded by the council at the Sept. 23 meeting.
The park will be renovated thoroughly, along with improvements to the neighborhood’s storm water system. The renovations are part of citywide efforts that have been ongoing since before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mayor James Davis announced the continuation of improvements to municipal parks on Jan. 13, including Mayor Dennis P. Collins Park, Mayor Francis G. Fitzpatrick Park, 28th Street Park, Dr. David Morris Park, Russell Golding Park, and Cottage Street Park.
The current park includes playground equipment, swing sets, a small spray park, a bathroom structure, and seating areas. Those features will be removed and replaced with modern park improvements.
The new version will include separate playgrounds for two to five-year-olds, and five to twelve-year-olds. There will be new swing sets and a splash park area.
Of the two playgrounds, one will be firefighter-themed and one will be police-themed because the park was constructed on the site of the former Police and Fire Headquarters.
A roller hockey rink will be installed, doubling as a basketball court. A new patio area will include game tables and picnic tables that comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act.
A new drinking fountain will include a pet drinking feature. Pet waste stations will be added. Twelve shade trees will be installed along with 272 shrubs and other plantings.
The upgraded park will once again become the home of the Bayonne Farmers Market, as well as other events. Traditionally, a Christmas Tree lighting and Menorah lighting are held at Fitzpatrick Park.
No ice rink
In response to the roller hockey rink, some residents asked the city council at the Oct. 21 meeting: “Why not an ice rink?”
Director of Public Works Tom Cotter explained that the city did not consider an ice rink due to the cost factor. A “bubble,” or temperature controlled dome, would have to be put up to run the refrigeration, Cotter said.
However, Cotter said the city is eyeing the possibility of building an ice rink at Collins Park after renovations are complete. Collins Park is currently undergoing an environmental cleanup to remove chromate fill from the soil before the actual renovations.
There is an ice rink at Bayonne High School.
Managing stormwater runoff
The improvements will include the installation of storm water management upgrades, which will reduce the rate of runoff for storms in the park and along Avenue C.
Bayonne’s existing sanitary sewer system is a combined system that accepts both sewage discharge and storm water runoff. This combination places a strain on the system.
“We will help address that problem by installing a new storm water piping system, separate from the sanitary piping from 26th Street to 28th Street,” Davis said. “There will be new drainage structures at each of the Avenue C intersections with 26th, 27th, and 28th Streets.”
Part of the storm water upgrade includes the construction of a cistern, which Cotter said accounts for much of the cost of the renovations.
Construction is starting this fall and will wrap up next year.
Davis concluded, “We expect completion of construction in 2021. We would like to thank the state and county for their support of this great renovation program.”
For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.