Municipal officials unveiled a $1 million plan to renovate the Lou Costello Memorial Park in downtown Paterson on Monday morning.
Under the plan, the park will undergo a full re-design. A new playground will be installed. A new stage will replace the existing gazebo that presently shelters vagrants. New lights will be installed. Trees will line all sides of the park on Ellison Street, according to the plan.
“It’s going to renovate the park in a grand way,” said Bob Guarasci, head of the New Jersey Community Development Corporation. His organization secured funding from the Passaic County government to produce the new design.
The new design also incorporates elements of crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED), according to public safety director Jerry Speziale. Presently, the park is mostly used by the homeless and drug addicts. Beer bottles and trash littered some parts of the park on Monday.
Bulk of the money to rehab the long-neglected park is coming from federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), according to mayor Andre Sayegh. He said part of the $1 million includes a $200,000 contribution from Hudson County developer Anthony LoConte.
Costello’s grandson, Lou Cristillo, welcomed the renovation. “Paterson is turning his park into your park,” he said looking at a group of students from School 2.
The park is first in the city to include accommodation for people with autism, according to officials.
The renovation is expected to be completed in 18 months.
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