GREENBURGH, N.Y. – Town officials are celebrating after state lawmakers gave their last-minute approval to a law needed to bring a seasonal tennis facility to Greenburgh.
On Thursday, the final day of the legislative session, state senators approved a piece of legislation that will allow a winter tennis bubble, open to the public, to be built in Anthony F. Veteran Park. Supervisor Paul Feiner and members of the town council said it was an exciting day for Greenburgh.
The legislation “enables the town to increase recreation opportunities for our residents, to generate significant revenue for the town from a private tennis court operator and to improve the infrastructure of our tennis courts at no cost to the taxpayers,” Feiner and town officials said in a prepared statement.
For weeks Feiner has been pushing to get the measure passed, which allows residents outside unincorporated Greenburgh to use the potential tennis facility. Feiner cited a chance for the town to generate more than $3 million in revenue during the span of the 15-year lease. Earlier this week, state assembly members approved the measure before it was sent to the senate.
As the days went by, however, at least one state lawmaker questioned whether the bill would be able to make it through the senate logjam. Now that it has been passed, Feiner said the town is expected to invite companies interested in leasing the tennis courts during the winter season to submit bids to the town.
“We now have the potential to turn our tennis facility into one of the best in the northeast,” the statement read.
The bill was necessary because of 20-year-old state legislation, the Finneran Law, which allows only residents of unincorporated Greenburgh to use the park’s facilities. Potential renters had said that without letting everyone use the tennis facility, it would not be profitable enough, according to town officials.
Hastings Mayor Peter Swiderski, who had publicly spoken out against the legislation on behalf of the coalition of village mayors, said that while he would have liked to see different wording in the legislation, he was not opposed to the decision made in Albany.
Swiderski and the other mayors had objected not to the concept of a tennis bubble, he said, but to wording they feared left village residents vulnerable for picking up costs that may arise.
Feiner and the town board, however, have pledged to pass a resolution indicating only residents of unincorporated Greenburgh will enjoy the revenue from the facility but will also be the only ones footing the bills – protecting the villages from incurring any costs, according to Swiderski.
It’s not the perfect solution, the Hastings mayor said, but it works.
“We would have preferred other language but we didn’t get it so we will settle for the resolution,” he said. “It’s not the end of the world.”