GN Park District lays out $3.25M to expand Steppingstone

GN Park District lays out $3.25M to expand Steppingstone
A map of the Great Neck Park District. (Photo courtesy of the Great Neck Park District)

The Town of North Hempstead passed a resolution to appropriate $3.25 million for the Great Neck Park District to finance the acquisition of land next to Steppingstone Park in Kings Point.

Included in the appropriation is an expenditure of $500,000 in district funds and the issuing a $2.75 million bond to cover the costs.

The property includes two parcels of land that total about seven-tenths of an acre located east of the district and adjacent to Steppingstone, a waterfront park on Long Island Sound. It was last expanded in 2000 to the east to include land previously belonging to the George M. Cohan estate. 

District officials spoke to the North Hempstead Town Board during a July 11 meeting to get the bond approved since the district is a special improvement district that does not have the power to authorize or issue bonds on its own. 

The bonds themselves will be town bonds but will be entirely payable by residents of the district. 

There are currently no specific development plans for the land right now aside from incorporating them into Steppingstone, Christopher Prior, counsel for the district, told the town board Tuesday. 

One parcel of land is on the waterfront while the other contains two single-family homes on Hewlett Lane that will be demolished at a later date, Prior said.

Prior added that the annual cost for district residents would be approximately a $6 or $7 increase on their tax bill. 

“I live in the park district and I think this is a wonderful thing when we can expand our green areas,” Council Member Veronica Lurvey said Tuesday night. 

The purchase is part of the district’s master plan, adopted in December 2020, that includes expanding parkland whenever the appropriate opportunities present themselves, Prior said. 

“The park district went through an extensive two-year master plan process in 2019 which yielded results of acquiring parkland for the residents,” Superintendent Jason Marra said.

Marra said the next steps for the district are to speak to either engineers or landscape architects about development plans, which will also be presented to the community. 

“We want to be able to use the park as best as possible,” Marra said.

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