Outgoing Vernon Township Council President Patrick Rizzuto called for the council to budget $300,000 to build a bandshell in Maple Grange Park during the annual reorganization meeting Jan. 1.
Rizzuto, who has favored a bandshell in the park since 2017, proposed that it be built on the park’s Great Lawn and named the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Band Shell. He would like to see it completed by the fall.
“The structure will be used by residents of all ages, from preschoolers through our growing senior citizen population.”
He hopes the township would acquire grant money, private funds and community donation to cover the cost.
Two people have promised a total of $15,000, he said, adding that he submitted a request for funds to a private foundation.
“Perhaps residents of the township, as well as other township businesses, will be moved to join and also provide financial support.”
Jessica Paladini, president of the Vernon Township Historical Society, said the federal government has extended funding for scenic byway recipients and she would apply for a grant for the bandshell.
“I think it’s a good cause, and I think it would be a wonderful amenity for the township,” she said.
Councilman Joe Tadrick said the project was long overdue, and he welcomed Paladini’s assistance.
“It’s something that would help the town,” he said. “I’ve seen people recently on Facebook talking about Sugar Loaf, and the amenities of Sugar Loaf, and people wonder when they drive through Vernon why we don’t have anything like that. This would be a nice start, and it would be dedicated to a group of people who really deserve it.”
During the meeting, Brian Lynch was elected council president for 2023 and Natalie Buccieri was re-elected council vice president.
Mayor Howard Burrell administered the oath of office to Municipal Judge James Sloan.
Also sworn in were Fire Commissioner Dan Gros, Deputy Commissioner/Chief John Cosh, Chief Jeff Andersen, and Deputy Chiefs Brian Enerning and Scott Semchesyn.