In an afternoon ceremony on Tuesday, June 5th, Mayor Alberto G. Santos joined First Ward Council Members Alexa Arce and Albino Cardoso, and members of the Recreation Commission in officially opening the new Brighton Avenue Playground on Brighton Avenue, located in a residential neighborhood between Bergen Avenue and Wilson Avenue. The new 27,000 square foot playground area includes a slide and climbing boulder. The park also includes new landscaping, retaining walls, decorative seat walls, decorative benches, decorative trash receptacles and a rubberized safety surface for the play structures which help create an attractive area for toddlers, young children, their parents and neighborhood residents. The playground is accompanied by a new illuminated off-street parking lot which accommodates up to ten vehicles including one handicap-accessible space.
(From left to right: Council Members Susan McCurrie (4th Ward) and Alexa C. Arce (1st Ward), Mayor Alberto G. Santos, Logan Rendeiro, Council Members Albino Cardoso (1st Ward) and Carol Jean Doyle (3rd Ward), Town Engineer Kevin O’Sullivan and Recreation Commissioner Amelia Rendeiro.)
Mayor Santos explained the importance of open space and recreation areas in the community and pointed out that the new Brighton Avenue playground is the 10th park or playground renovated, modernized or added to the Town’s park inventory during his tenure as Kearny’s mayor. “One of my priorities has been to upgrade and revitalize Kearny’s parks and playgrounds so that our residents can enjoy first-class parks and open space,” Santos said. The site of the new Brighton Avenue playground was previously used as a yard by the Department of Public Works’ Tree Division and, in recent years, had been mostly vacant or unused.
The site improvements were designed by Neglia Engineering Associates. Community meetings and neighborhood workshops organized by Mayor Santos and First Ward Council Members Arce and Cardoso generated valuable suggestions that were used in the final design. The playground construction contract was awarded to Rich Picerno Builders while the parking lot construction contract was awarded to Smith-Sondy Asphalt Construction.
The total cost of the playground and parking area is approximately $370,000.00. The cost of the playground alone is approximately $260,000.00, which was largely funded through a Hudson County Open Space Grant. Mayor Santos explained that grant funding has enabled the Town of Kearny to invest millions in parks and recreation. “It took several years to qualify for and assemble the grant funds to construct the new Brighton Avenue playground. Our persistence and hard work ultimately proved successful. It is very exciting to see new open spaces added to our community,” explained Santos.
According to Mayor Santos, the next park site to be improved is the former Magullian oil distribution facility on Passaic Avenue that was acquired with New Jersey Green Acres grant funds and remediated with State grants. “We hope to start construction later this year on that new park,” said Santos.