Legislator John Testa (Cortlandt/Peekskill/Yorktown)) was joined by his Legislative colleagues on Monday, May 21, 2018 in unanimously passing a Bond Act in the amount of $3,940,000 for major rehabilitation work at George’s Island Park in Montrose. The Legislation was an amendment to a previous Bond Act in the amount of $210,000 which was for the design phase of the George’s Island project.
Some elements of the rehab include design and construction of two playgrounds and picnic areas which will replace the existing ones. The new playgrounds will conform to current accessibility standards. Another major element of the project will be the rehabilitation of the boat launching docks which were last renovated nearly twenty years ago. The sanitary septic systems which service the comfort station buildings will be completely rebuilt. The septic system is a critical piece of the Island’s infrastructure in protecting the Hudson River. The funding will also allow for the restoration of the peninsula shoreline, drainage work, landscaping and other associated site work. The work will take approximately 1 year from beginning to end and will start once the bidding and contracts process is completed.
Following the passage of the Bonding Legislator Testa, who was a member of Westchester County’s Parks Board from 2012 to 2018, said “George’s Island park is a really wonderful part of Westchester County’s parks system and I am very happy to see this rehabilitation project coming to fruition. My family and I have made a lot of memories and had a lot of fun at George’s Island over the years- as have many Westchester families. As a Legislator and a former member of the Parks Board I feel very fortunate to be a steward of our parks which contribute so much to our quality of life here in Westchester County.”
About George’s Island Park- George’s Island Park is a 208-acre waterfront park offering magnificent views of the historic Hudson River. It contains tidal wetlands, a fresh water pond and wooded trails and provides boat access to the Hudson River as well as areas for nature study and picnicking. In winter, it is a favored spot for viewing eagles on the Hudson. A trail network links it to the Hudson River Greenway. This park has archaeological significance and sensitive natural areas, especially along the shoreline.
Existing Boat Launch
About John G. Testa
Former District 1 County Legislator, John G. Testa is served five terms at the Westchester County Board of Legislators, spending the last 3 terms as BOL Minority Leader.
John G. Testa is a lifelong resident of Peekskill who first entered elected public service as a member of the Peekskill Common Council in 1998 and then served three terms as Mayor. He previously served on the Conservation and Parks Advisory Board and Zoning Board of Appeals. John became an elected official eager to improve the City in which his family has lived for more than a century and quickly earned a reputation as a strong, independent, nonpartisan voice for fiscal responsibility.
John received a BS degree in Technology from SUNY Oswego, where his academic achievements gained him induction into Epsilon Pi Tau, the International Honorary Fraternity of Technology. He earned his MS degree in Technology from the City College of New York. He began his teaching career in 1980 at Peekskill High School, his alma mater, as an instructor in Technology and Social Studies, retiring in 2013 after 33 years teaching.
John has been a leader in support for the Arts Community in Westchester. He presided over the construction of the Peekskill Art Lofts, the establishment of the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, and the complete restoration of the Paramount Center for the Arts, originally a 1930’s movie house and helped bring critical funding to many Westchester programs. Legislator Testa received the “Advancing the Arts in Westchester Award” by ArtsWestchester.
John has a been a leader on environmental issues for two decades and has a long record of initiatives he has supported and spearheaded. His active involvement in developing and promoting environmentally friendly policies began as mayor and continued throughout his time as Westchester County Legislator. His efforts consistently earned John the endorsement of the NY League of Conservation Voters.
John’s most recognizable accomplishment has been his promotion and preservation of local history and historic landmarks, bringing an unprecedented focus on the region’s rich history, and its legacy of historic Victorian architecture. His roots in historical preservation stem from his experience as a Revolutionary War re-enactor and member of The Brigade of the American Revolution for 50 years.
John was instrumental in securing the preservation of the Lincoln Depot, now the Lincoln Depot Museum, where he now serves as President. The museum was recognized in 2015 as one of The Best Museums in Westchester. He also secured the preservation of historic Fort Hill as parkland, a 40-acre parcel that was originally a Revolutionary War encampment site. Under his leadership, the United States Dept. of the Interior declared Peekskill a “Preserve America Community.”
John was able to establish a record number of National Register designations of local structures, including the first Downtown and Neighborhood Historic Districts and supported the preservation of the historic Miller House in North White Plains. In 2017 John was named a “Champion of History” by the Lincoln Society in Peekskill.
John and his wife of 37 years, Nancy, live in Peekskill and have two adult children, John, Jr. (fiancé Courtney Kelly) and Katy (husband Mike Mearon). John and Nancy recently welcomed the arrival of their first grandchild, Lacey Mae, in 2019.
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Hang in there, John. Your sacrifices are very much appreciated. Thanks for your outstanding work!!
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