RYE - The city has secured 5 acres from the state Thruway Authority in hope of turning it into an athletic field
Mayor Steve Otis said the city has signed a 15-year lease and will pay $1 a year for the first two years and $30,000 annually after that. "This has been a priority of mine since I took office, adding athletic fields," he said.
The Boston Post Road site, near Cedar Street, would be the 10th field in the city, which the mayor said has seen a huge increase in the number of children playing lacrosse, soccer and field hockey.
The city had wanted to purchase the land about 10 years ago, but the state refused. The site has sat vacant since the 1980s, when the authority stopped using it for an Interstate 95 ramp.
Mayoral candidate Doug French, who is also chairman of the Rye Recreation Commission, said the land would cost $2.5 million to redevelop.
The money will come from private donations in the community, and French said with the national recession, it’s unclear when the transformation will happen.
"When you lay out facts to the community, they will help shape the investment we make and the direction we take," French said.
Otis was more optimistic.
"We have an opportunity here to build a field we really need," the mayor said. "I think the community has stepped up to plate before for expanded recreational needs. We’re going to get it done."