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By Deanna Fanton

Hornell Summer Fun is official!!

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City of Hornell Summer Program Begins and Exciting Park Upgrades

The City of Hornell is excited to kick off its summer program this week. The City pool at Veterans Memorial Park at James Street opened on Sunday, and today, the summer program begins on playgrounds at Columbian School, High School, Stephens St., Madison Ave., and James Street. The City of Hornell summer playground program operates from Monday to Friday, from 9 am to 4 pm, closing for a lunch break from 12 pm to 1 pm.

The pool partnership with the YMCA has been wonderful and continues to benefit residents. Last year, Mayor John Buckley initiated the pool sponsorship program, which provides free swim on certain days, and Mayor Buckley will once again be sponsoring the pool on Independence Day, providing free swim to everyone from open to close! If you are interested in sponsoring a day of free swim, please contact the YMCA.

There are many exciting improvements planned for James Street in the coming year. Last month, the City ordered $40,000 worth of new playground equipment to be added to the existing playground near the handball wall. Delivery of the new equipment is expected in January, with assembly and installation taking place in the spring.

As many may recall, the City also received a $427,000 grant from NYS Parks to put towards the upgrades at the park. These upgrades include replacing the tennis courts, which will include two pickleball courts, resurfacing the basketball court, replacing the old baby pool with a fun splashpad, and upgrading the pool house and locker rooms. Mayor Buckley announced at the June Common Council meeting, the bid period for this project is open now, and construction is tentatively planned to begin this Fall. Many visiting the park may notice the existing parking lots have been resurfaced, and a new parking lot has been constructed behind the pool to accommodate the growing number of park visitors. Upgrades to the concession stand building are also planned for the coming year.

The upgrades and improvements at Veterans Memorial Park at James Street are not the only exciting changes happening in our City parks. There are plans in the works for improvements to Shawmut Park as well. A separate update on Shawmut will be available in the coming weeks.

Parks and recreation are vital to our community, and we appreciate the investments made by New York State and through our local funds. Our beautiful parks are enjoyed by residents of all ages, and we look forward to these many exciting upgrades that will be enjoyed throughout the seasons and for years to come.

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