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City of Hornell’s Union Square Park Ribbon Cutting

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Mayor Buckley: This beautiful four-season pedestrian park is very versatile

From the City of Hornell, officials gather for the ribbon cutting

It is a day of celebration in the City of Hornell as several state, county, local officials, and community members were present for the ribbon cutting of Union Square Park. Union Square, located at the corner of Genesee and Seneca Streets, brings a downtown, pedestrian park to the City of Hornell and is the first municipal project from the Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) to be completed. The ribbon-cutting event today showcased the successful completion of the park made possible through collaborative efforts and community support.

Mayor John Buckley was very enthusiastic about the park opening, stating, “We are so excited the Union Square project is completed and the park is ready to be enjoyed by our community. Many hands and hearts have contributed to this project. From completing the DRI application, securing the funding, planning, designing and development, or constructing the park, I’m very grateful to many for their efforts. A big thank you to the Department of State and New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation for the funding assistance for this project.  We are deeply appreciative of Community Bank for their generous donation of the land, and former City attorney Joseph Pelych for his unwavering commitment during the property acquisition process. Thank you to LaBella Associates for the design and engineering work, and CP Ward for development and construction of this park. A giant thank you to City Planner Heather Reynolds, Superintendent of Public Works, Mitch Cornish and our Department of Public Works for their invaluable commitment and contributions.”

Mayor Buckley went on to discuss the park benefits, “This beautiful four-season pedestrian park is very versatile. From being able to host concerts and events under the modern and well-equipped amphitheater, to simply relaxing and watching kids run through the fountain on hot summer days, this park will be a great space for our community to enjoy for generations to come. Union Square adds vibrancy to our downtown and I’m so excited and thankful to be here today at this Ribbon Cutting.”

“Public spaces play a central role in downtown vibrancy, offering a safe place for people of all ages, incomes and backgrounds to gather, engage, play, enjoy entertainment and just take in the energy and diversity of city life,” said New York Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez.  “Union Square Park is just the beginning of a series of public improvement projects funded by the DRI that will further enhance the vibrancy of the city’s downtown and serve as a catalyst for future downtown investments.”

Chairman of the Youth and Recreation Committee and 8th Ward Alderman, Jim Bassage expressed his thoughts about the park, “Union Square Park is something of which the City can be extremely proud. It will provide a space that will allow people to gather, which will promote the feeling of community, while enhancing the downtown area.”

Union Square Park is the first project completed from the 2019 DRI award. The City of Hornell received $765,000 from DRI/Department of State funding, with an additional $376,125 granted from an Environment Protection Fund (EPF #221628) administered by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. The City provided the remaining funding for the park, as well as provided services in the construction of the park.

Mitchell Cornish, Superintendent of Public Works highlighted the efforts of the Department of Public Works, stating, “Our DPW team provided vital infrastructure support for Union Square Park, which consisted of installing the water and sanitary sewer system. This park features beautiful shrubbery with plenty of green space and landscaping that will be enjoyed by all visitors. Our DPW does a great job maintaining Veteran’s Memorial Park and Shawmut Park, and will be maintaining the grounds of this park, as well, ensuring recreational spaces are maintained for our residents.”   

City Planner Heather Reynolds shared her excitement with the project completion, stating, “The DRI committee carefully considered fostering a communal gathering space with an amphitheater during their planning sessions.  The greenspace and fountain create a youth-friendly environment, as well as a pedestrian calm, and I’m content with the final product. I can’t wait to start working with organizations on event programming.”

Union Square Park is now open to the public, with residents and visitors encouraged to experience the beautiful park. The City of Hornell looks forward to the many wonderful community events planned at Union Square Park as we look toward the upcoming Holiday and following spring and summer seasons!

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