Cow Meadow Park set to undergo $2.5 million revitalization project
A Freeport park that's been plagued by violence is getting a much-needed revitalization.
Cow Meadow Park was the scene of a suspected MS-13 killing in 2016 and has fallen into disrepair.
"When I went the last time, it was pretty wrecked," says Freeport resident Iveth Flores.
The empty park is filled with broken benches, shattered light posts and a vacant marina that has not been in use since Superstorm Sandy.
A $2.5 million revitalization project is set to bring some major upgrades to the park - including two dog parks, a 50-boat marina, concession stand, spray park, a beach and more.
Village officials say lifeguards will be on the stands at the beach by this summer and the majority of the planned projects will be complete.
"It is going to be absolutely beautiful; I want to see everybody down here on the beach," says Freeport Mayor Robert Kennedy.
The park has also been officially transferred from county ownership to the village.
Freeport Village Police Chief Michael Smith says residents will see a substantial increase in police presence in the area.
"Now that the village police are dedicated to patrolling this area, I see no reason why we don't have an officer here 90% of the time," Kennedy says.
Residents say they are excited for new amenities and welcome the extra safety measures.
"That is necessary especially nowadays with so many things going on, I think safety for our children and everyone else is important," says Rockville Centre resident Clara Morel.
Freeport officials say the money to fund the project comes from village reserves and that residents will not see an increase in taxes.