Pelham Examiner

Pelham Examiner

Pelham Examiner

‘We take care of all of us:’ School board, Pelhamites urged to support use of Julianne’s Playground for stormwater reservoirs

To the editor:

I urge both the members of the board of education and my Pelham neighbors to support the desperate need of the Village of Pelham to use, and then restore to its original state, that portion of Julianne’s Playground needed to implement the flood mitigation plan designed by the engineers hired by the village. At the last board of education meeting, we heard several citizens describe the destructive flooding of their homes at an accelerating pace. These floods are affecting families from north Pelham to Boulevard and are costing many families tens of thousands of dollars per flood event, just to put their homes back together. (All in, in just the last three years, my family has spent in excess of $100,000 on repairs, clean up and replacements of property.)

At that same meeting, several people stood to oppose the village’s use of the playground, even though it will be restored, citing to the importance of Julianne’s Playground to that immediate neighborhood and implying that any tampering with the playground would somehow be disrespectful to those who use the playground and remember Julianne. Indeed, the term “sacred ground” was used. I beg to differ with that notion. Julianne’s Playground is a jewel, not just for that neighborhood, but for all of Pelham. It was built with the loving generosity of all Pelhamites. The legacy of Julianne and the Borsella family is honored and remembered by all of us who were here for those dark days that were turned bright with the creation of this joyful spot.

The Pelhamites who are asking the board of education for this desperately needed help would never dishonor that little angel, her family or those memories—we are simply asking for access to the space to enable our homes to be respected and saved, and then to make Julianne’s space whole again. For 35 years, I have lived in a Pelham where we all took care of each other—by voting for school budgets when we had no students in the schools, by donating to sports fields when we had no children playing on them, by voting for school bonds to build a state-of-the-art school that our family’s children would never attend. Please, let us not lose those fundamental community values. Everyone can and should emerge whole here. It would be lovely, indeed, if it is the memory and legacy of Julianne that reminds us that in Pelham, we take care of all of us and not just some of us.

Pam Sloan

110 Highbrook Ave.

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    Xaira FerraraFeb 5, 2024 at 5:27 pm

    I should add that the proposed plan would only impact the tennis courts, not the entirety of the park.

    We’ve been trying to fix this problem for North Pelham for many years and it’s only getting worse. Let’s support our neighbors!