As temperatures soar into the 70’s this week, Amsterdamians are taking to the streets in droves to enjoy the weather. The sound of basketballs hitting the pavement can be heard as kids abandon their electronic games and rediscover the outdoors. In tune with this movement I decided to revisit Riverlink Park, the gem of Amsterdam that occupied my Saturday nights last summer during the Riverlink Park Concert Series.
What I found was little progress since the first flood cleanup. From the speech by Recreation Director Rob Spagnola during a City Council Meeting last month, I was under the impression that the needed repairs were completed, that all we needed were the floating docks to be ready for the season. My impression was wrong. There is a LOT of work to be done to get the park ready for the season. The City was reimbursed for the repairs but none of the lampposts destroyed by the flooding were replaced, the benches are in poor shape, some needing new wood, all needing painting. There are exposed wires where the boat hookups used to be. The shoreline of the western section of the park is still strewn with debris from the flooding. There are sharp pieces of twisted aluminum where the docks used to attach to the retaining wall.
Although a new storage shed was built for the concession building and repairs to the building were completed, it does not seem that any of the other work is being done so that we can ALL enjoy the park by the river. I did notice a City of Amsterdam utility truck parked in front of the concession building, but did not see any employees present.
This park represents Amsterdam on the Eric Canal National Heritage Corridor. It is time we cleaned our stoop.