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5/23/13: Erie County, Town of Newstead Agree to Park Land Purchase


Intermunicipal Agreement Will Transfer a 131- Acre Parcel within Akron Falls Park to Town

ERIE COUNTY, NY— Erie County (“the County”) has announced an intermunicipal agreement with the Town of Newstead that will allow the County to sell 131 acres of parkland within Akron Falls Park to the Town.  The Town Board had adopted a resolution on December 10, 2012 noting their agreement in principle to the purchase; the intermunicipal agreement is a necessary first step in the transfer process.

Erie County Commissioner of Parks, Recreation and Forestry Troy Schinzel said, “This intermunicipal agreement and proposed transfer of this section of Akron Falls Park makes good sense for both Erie County and the Town of Newstead. As always, Erie County will continue to be committed to providing quality park experiences and services within the remaining balance of property at Akron Falls Park.”

Following the review and approval of the Erie County Director of Real Property Tax Services, the purchase price for the land has been established at $200,000 minus any costs the Town may incur when undertaking a necessary property survey and legal description services.  Completion of the transfer will also result in an overall savings to the County Department of Parks, Recreation, and Forestry.

“Working with the Poloncarz administration has enhanced the Akron-Newstead community with the acquisition of a portion of Akron Falls Park,” said Town of Newstead Councilmember Justin Rooney. “Gaining this parkland will provide our community with green space for generations to come.”

The vast majority of the acreage is not part of the original Akron Falls Park parcel, but was added on to the Park in 1966 and is used primarily for active recreation including local soccer organizations. The transfer will help to address the Town’s growing need for local recreation space without impacting the Akron Falls natural heritage areas.

The transfer of any parkland from one local government to another represents and alienation of parkland, which necessitates a series of reviews and actions by the County and new York State including adoption of a Home Rule message and alienation legislation by the New York State Legislature. The agreement, subject to approval by the Erie County legislature, is the first step in that process.