9/5/14: County, Newstead Complete Historic Land Transfer

Modified: January 23, 2015 3:13pm

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Erie County Executive Poloncarz, Newstead Supervisor Cummings Sign Agreement of Sale Transferring 131 Acres of EC Parkland to Town

ERIE COUNTY, NY— Today, Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz was joined by Town of Newstead Supervisor David Cummings, Erie County Legislator Edward A. Rath, III (District 6), New York State Senator Michael Ranzenhofer (NY-61), New York State Assemblymember Jane Corwin (NY-142), Erie County Commissioner of Parks, Recreation & Forestry Troy P. Schinzel, members of the Town of Newstead Council, and community members to complete the sale of 131 acres of parkland within the County’s Akron Falls Park to the Town of Newstead. Erie County reached an intermunicipal agreement with the Town on the sale in  August 2013, which began a series of reviews and actions by the County and New York State including the adoption of a Home Rule message and alienation legislation by the NYS legislature. The purchase price for the land was established at $200,000, minus any costs incurred by the Town for property survey services, which were established as being $5,250. Funds generated by the sale will be used for park improvements to other areas within the County park system.

“This land transfer is the result of officials at all levels of government working together to produce a result that is good for all parties involved. This demonstrates how government can work for the betterment of residents’ lives,” said Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz.  “With this agreement, Newstead is acquiring a parcel of land that is vital to serving their needs and that will improve recreational offerings for residents, while Erie County will see an overall savings in the Parks Department. It is a deal that makes good sense and will improve the quality of life for town residents.  I would like to thank all the elected officials, as well as Commissioner Schinzel and our Erie County representatives, who guided this process to its completion today.”

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 now 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.

“I am pleased to see the 130-acre Akron Falls Park land transfer complete. This is a win-win for the Town of Newstead and Erie County. The county is fortunate to have Newstead purchase this property to enhance the quality of life and recreational programs for its residents. This transfer could not have been accomplished without the prioritization and commitment of Senator Michael Ranzenhofer and Assembly member Jane Corwin in the State Legislature,” said Legislator Edward A. Rath, III (District 6).

"It has been an honor to have worked with local officials to get this law passed through the State Legislature so that the transfer of these 131 acres of parkland can be completed, offering greater recreational opportunities not only to the residents of the Town of Newstead and the Village of Akron, but for all of the residents of the surrounding communities," said State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer.

Town of Newstead Supervisor David Cummings said, “It is a great day for the Town of Newstead. We have been working with Legislator Rath and County Executive Poloncarz for a few years on this project.  Obtaining the 130 plus acres of park land from Erie County will enable the Town of Newstead to maintain recreational services for our community while enabling us to expand and develop the park land in the future. I want to thank the entire town board – Councilman Jim Mayrose, Councilman Don York, and especially Councilman Justin Rooney for their work over the past many months in helping this happen.”

Newstead Councilman Justin Rooney added, “This is the product of County government and Town government working together for the best interest of Erie County residents. We as government leaders, Democrat, Republican and Conservative were able to accomplish something that those who came before could not, but that hopefully others will follow. While some said we couldn't achieve this goal, today is happening because County and Town leaders didn't listen to the negativity but rather listened to each other on how to get this done."

“This is a great example of inter-governmental cooperation at its finest,” said Akron Village Mayor Carl Patterson. “The addition of this land will serve the residents and specifically the children of the Akron- Newstead community, our neighboring communities, and visitors for years to come.”