Town of Louisville seeking community support for Whalen Park expansion

·3 min read

Sep. 22—LOUISVILLE — The town of Louisville is looking for community support for an expansion of Whalen Park.

Officials are asking people to show their support online at wdt.me/Dc3h2z and write letters of support that are due by Sept. 30. Letters can be dropped off or mailed to Town of Louisville, 14810 Route 37, Massena, N.Y., 13662, or emailed to recclerk.louisville@gmail.com.

They said Whalen Park, a 53-acre community asset along the St. Lawrence River, "offers scenic views, trails, a playground, tennis court and basketball court, but what we want to do is bring in some new features to make these spaces more useful and enjoyable."

With community support, they would like to create a dog park, splash pad, new seating and shade structures, new bicycle and vehicle parking, as well as add new trees.

"The dog park would be a safe space for your dog(s) to run and play, socialize and get their 'Zoomies' on. We would offer water stations to help keep them cool and hydrated. We can offer fun little obstacle courses for them to get out all that extra energy," town officials said.

They said a splash pad would be ideal for Whalen Park.

"It would be placed along side the playground so that parents/caregivers could easily observe both areas," they said. "The seating and shade structures would allow park-goers to be able to relax and enjoy the space."

In addition, they would like to provide space for the growing game of pickleball.

Town officials have been working with the National Park Service Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program to develop proposed recreational improvements for Whalen Park.

Four proposals were drafted based on a survey that was conducted last year, in advance of the 10-year relicencing review between the Local Government Task Force and New York Power Authority in 2023. The Local Government Task Force includes officials from the towns of Massena, Louisville and Waddington.

Every 10 years, NYPA reallocates money provided to communities affected by flooding nearly 70 y," ears ago. In 2013, at the most recent 10-year review, the state set aside about $7.5 million to go toward recreation projects.

The boundaries include the towns of Massena, Louisville and Waddington, the villages of Massena and Waddington, St. Lawrence County, Massena Central School District and Madrid-Waddington Central School District.

Louisville Town Board members Daniel O'Keefe and Nancy J. Charleston have been working with Louisville residents to come up with recreation ideas that would fit in with the Whalen Park area.

The group received a non-monetary River, Trails and Conservation Assistance grant from the National Park Service, which assists organizations in developing a recreation plan. That was the impetus for the survey, which was open to residents of Louisville and surrounding municipalities.

"We would just like to have the support of what people really would like to see for recreation improvements in the town of Louisville," Town Supervisor Larry R. Legault said.

He said the idea was to let the Power Authority know "people that live here use these facilities and this is what they would like to see."

Mr. Legault said Local Government Task Force attorney Eric J. Gustafson has compiled the "wish lists" for each community, which will be presented in November or December and negotiations would begin next year.

"Everybody pretty much has their wish list done. These are all improvements to NYPA facilities. He put it in a format to present to the Power Authority," he said.