By Kathrina Tiangco
Posted October 9th 2018
MT VERNON MAYOR RICHARD THOMAS AT MEMORIAL FIELD CONSTRUCTION SITE
Mount Vernon’s Mayor Richard Thomas is asking hip-hop star and businessman Sean “Diddy” Combs to help restore the Memorial Field. The sports and entertainment facility is now being utilized as an illegal dumping site. However, the field is currently caught in a political dispute.
The Westchester County announced that they will withdraw their funding if the city will not continue the Intermunicipal Agreement they signed in 2009. Based on the contract, the Memorial Field will be restored to its original state. However, until now the Memorial Field still remains untouched by the city.
Meanwhile, the county officials also said they will file a case against the city officials if they will not allow the county to do the necessary renovations. Mayor Thomas said that he is discussing the details with Combs and is asking him to help build Mount Vernon’s sports and entertainment industry.
They discussed the restoration of the Memorial Field with the plans on making it a premier destination for athletes and champions where they can train and compete. At the same time, the athletes can also connect with the community. Another point they touched is the need to renovate the stadium and transform it into a major entertainment facility which can host high-class concerts and performances.
Thomas thanks the hip-hop mogul for allowing this important conversation. He said that he feels encouraged to know that as one of the biggest entertainers in the world, Combs is open to joining their plan in transforming Mount Vernon as a premier sports and entertainment destination.
However, the fight between Thomas and the city council is yet to be settled. The city council is filing a case against Mayor Thomas for removing the Kela Tennis Club from the sports facility. The council is saying that the mayor’s people tore the club during the middle of the night.
According to Thomas, before he was elected, the city paid $1.2 million to demolish the Memorial Field but it never happened. Instead, they spent millions building a tennis court in the middle of the track. He also pointed out how the Dept. of Environmental Conversation (DEC) has already issued violations and said that the city must clean up the illegal dumping or face a huge penalty.
The Kela Tennis also owed half a million in rent, according to Thomas. He also said that they are committed to rebuilding the tennis court once they start working on the site along with the track and field which can be used for all sports.