Hanover dedicates bicentennial park 39 years after donation

HANOVER – It took some time, but King Road Park in the town of Hanover now has its proper name – Hanover Bicentennial Park.

Hanover Supervisor Todd Johnson thanked residents for attending the recent dedication ceremony.

He gave a brief history of how the park came to be the town’s, but was never properly named.

In 1975, Harry Van Curen donated the land in Smith Mills to be a bicentennial park at no cost to the town. The town accepted the donation, received a grant and the highway department did the work to make it a useable park. After that, the park was never properly dedicated.

In 1997, when Van Curen served as a councilman on the town board, the naming of the park was again voted on, but nothing was done.

Councilman Kenneth Cross brought the matter to the current town board last year and, after having a sign made, it was properly dedicated on June 9, 2014; 39 years after the land was donated to the town.

The sign now reads, “Hanover Bicentenial Park, Donated in 1975 by Harry E. Van Curen.”

“This has been a long time coming,” Johnson said.

Van Curen was in attendance with his wife, Darlene, for the dedication.

“The sign looks great. I am happy the park is being used and residents have a place to go for family reunions, church gatherings and other events,” he said.

Town officials thanked Van Curen for his donation. Johnson apologized for the 39-year wait and encouraged residents to use the park.

Residents can inquire about the park’s availability at the town clerk’s office.

The town board also hired 12 lifeguards for the town beach. Johnson said the town is still accepting lifeguard applications.

Sewer and water department workers were authorized to attend an excavation safety conference in Mayville on June 12 and Planning Board Chair Carol DePasquale and Code Enforcement Officer Thomas Gould were authorized to attend the FEMA floodplain meeting in Dunkirk.

Part-time clerk in the assessor’s office, Jill Valvo, filed her resignation effective June 19.

Andrew Burns was appointed water/sewer plant operator with a $250 salary increase per year effective June 14.

An agreement with Wallace Baker for dog control services was approved until September.

The next town board meeting will be today. A public hearing on sewer plant upgrades will be held Wednesday at 6 p.m.