Less than two weeks after the Westchester County Board of Legislators OK’d a plan for a long-awaited Children’s Museum to set up shop in space at Playland, County Executive Rob Astorino today vetoed the deal.
Astorino says his decision was based on financial concerns and his belief that the lease agreement between the Children’s Museum and the county is premature, since a process to determine the future of Playland, which is county owned, is under way.
Astorino’s veto, however, will likely be overridden, as legislators unanimously approved the agreement on Aug. 8.
Legislator Judy Myers, who represents much of the Loop-area, blasted Astorino’s veto, saying that Astorino’s move would kill the creation of new jobs and museum-generated revenue for the county.
“I am shocked and disappointed by the County Executive’s veto, especially after the lease legislation received unanimous, bi-partisan approval,” said Myers (D-Larchmont), who sponsored the lease bill in the BOL Budget & Appropriations Committee.
Under the proposal, the Westchester Children’s Museum – which volunteers have tried to establish for years – would be allowed to rent a historic Playland bathhouse from the county for just $1 per year in exchange for $6.4 million in repairs to the building.
The museum would have a 10-year lease to the building, which has been vacant for about 40 years. The non-profit museum has already raised more than $8 million for the project according to county leaders.
The building would return to the county if the museum does not open within a year of signing the lease.