Million Dollar Upgrade To Verona Park
New Jersey Green Acres supports Essex County parks
Late night walks through Verona Park this summer can be enjoyed even more by visitors now that some new renovations are in store for the park.
At a Wednesday press conference at the Boat House in the park, Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo Jr. announced approximately 100 light poles will be replaced by July 15 — part of the $1 million project to upgrade the park.
Not only that, renovations will also include refurbishing the Boat House deck for residents to take advantage of paddle boats as well as the concession stand.
During the last 10 years, the county has invested $5.9 million into the park in renovations, including remodeling the playground and tennis courts, adding an exercise course and landscaping the park to make it a great place to spend a day.
"We've done a lot of work since 2003, and this will be the finishing touches," DiVincenzo said. "They (the renovations) are absolutely going to be beautiful."
The new historic-style lights were ordered a week ago and it will take 12-14 weeks to install all of the new lights, said Dave Simmin from D&S Land Development of Ramsey. The lights will line the park's walkways and along the driveway from Bloomfield Avenue to the parking lot.
Area residents are excited about the changes and support the work the county is doing.
"You are really keeping the park up to the standard that we expect in the town," Verona resident Richard Heaslip said. "And we appreciate that."
“This is my third year as president of the Verona Park Conservancy and every single year we have rolled out something new to improve the park,” Verona Park Conservancy President Deborah MacEvoy said. “We are thrilled with the new lighting and dock that will be installed. This is a big step for the park,” she added.
The reconstruction of the Boat House deck will be done with a composite material known as Trek. The first phase of the replacement, construction under the deck, will be done by June 9 and the county expects the work to be fully completed in August.
"We've pooled our resources so we get things done," DiVincenzo said. "And without costing the taxpayers money."
The construction contract of $997,230 was awarded to D&S Land Development. Bloomfield engineering firm Dewberry was awarded the design contract for $79,820.
The project is funded with grants from the NJ Green Acres program that were obtained by the Verona Park Conservancy and the county of Essex and the Essex County Recreation and Open Space Trust Fund.
"It's for a better quality of life and economic development," DiVincenzo said.