Yates park upgrades to be honored as a Public Works ‘project of the year’

Photos by Tom Rivers: A new 75-foot-long pier is part of the upgrades to the Yates Town Park on Morrison Road by Lake Ontario.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 4 January 2023 at 9:57 am

YATES – The park upgrades for the Town of Yates will be recognized as the “project of the year” by Genesee Valley Branch of the American Public Works Association.

The local chapter is honoring Yates in the Small Cities/Rural Communities category for Structures Projects.

The honor will be presented on Jan. 26 during the awards banquet for the APWA at the RIT Inn and Conference Center.

The award was established “to promote excellence in demonstrating creativity, ingenuity and efficiency in the delivery of Public Works projects that have a profound impact on the community.”

This award recognizes the alliance between the managing agency, the engineer and contractors who together have led to a successful completion of a public works project, said awards chairman Paul Chatfield.

The town worked with the MRB Group for engineering services and Keeler Construction in Barre served as the general contractor.

Russ Martino, a former Yates town supervisor, speaks during a Sept. 24 ribbon-cutting ceremony for the park improvements. The new pavilion is named in his honor. Martino served as town supervisor from 1996 to 2009. He was the supervisor when the town acquired the land for the park in 1997. It was for sale and the town used $100,000 from the state to acquire 5 acres of waterfront property.

The $2.5 million park upgrades included a 75-foot-long pier, a pavilion with bathrooms, new playground equipment, a kayak launch, a crusher-run walking trail, and new parking lot with sidewalks.

The new playground was designed by Parkitects, which is owned by Lyndonville native Ben Frasier, a 1988 Lyndonville graduate. The playground equipment includes several handicapped accessible features. The playground is on a rubber surface.

The project was 95 percent funded by the state, which made $300 million available to southshore communities  through the state’s Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative or REDI.

That was in response to historic flooding along the shore in 2017 and 2019. That flooding destroyed part of the shoreline at the Yates park and the town used a separate $400,000 grant from the state to put in a massive breakwall.

The project turned a small park with few amenities into a site that Yates officials believe will become a vibrant destination.