How Much Do You Know About Rye Town Park?

Who owns Rye Town Park? If you answered, Rye, you would be half right ... What is the Rye Town Park Commission? What is FRTP? Stumped, or do you have the answers at your fingertips?

Test your knowledge below (quiz reproduced, thanks to Rye Town Alliance). Understanding the ins and outs of RTP - its mission, ownership structure and financial health - is critical for its continued survival as a natural open space that functions for public enjoyment.

You can see a PDF version of the quiz here.

For more information, visit the RTP.

To see the different ways that you can get involved in the preservation of this treasured space, visit FRTP.

Who owns Rye Town Park?

A.    Rye Town

B.    Rye City and Rye Town Jointly

C.    Seaside Johnnies

Answer: B. The establishing legislation said the park should “be known as Rye Park.”

What are Rye’s financial obligations to RTP?

A.    It’s a 50-50 split with Rye City and Rye Town

B.    It’s a 60-40 split with Rye City and Rye Town

Answer: The answer is A and B.  Under the agreement between Rye Town and City, Rye City is responsible for 46.654% of the operating costs, 39.278% of capital expenditures and is also responsible for policing the park.  [Source: 2014 Audited Financial Statements]

Can Rye Town Park operate revenue generating business activities to defray the costs of operating and maintaining the park?

A.   Yes

B.    No

C.    It depends

Answer: C.  It Depends.  Under the New York law “public trust” doctrine, this may be permissible if the purpose is to enhance the experience of the public when using the park as a public park.  So charging for beach access, offering restaurant facilities and providing reasonable parking is generally permissible to enhance public use of a park as a public park.  However, if the real purpose is not to enhance the park experience but primarily to raise revenue to defray costs, that is not a sufficient justification.

How many cars parked in RTP in 2012 and 2013, respectively?

A.      8,000 and 10,000

B.    12,000 and 13,000

C.    56,724 and 53,622

Answer: C

Of the million-dollar RTP annual running costs, where does most of the money come from and where does it go?

A.    From taxpayers, to park maintenance

B.    From park users, to employees

Answer: B. For its financial year 2014, Rye Town Park revenues were $892,000 of which cash receipts from parking and beach were approximately $618,000 (or about 70% of total revenue).  Of total operating expenses of $892,934, approximately $522,000 (59%) was spent on staff salaries and benefits. [Source:  2014 Audited Financial Statements]  The figures for receipts do not include approximately $116,000 for permit sales (presumably charged online or by credit card) and $95,000 from concessions (e.g., Seaside Johnnies).

Who runs the Park?

A.   The Rye Town Park Commission, made up of officials from Rye City, Rye Town, Port Chester and Rye Brook.  Rye’s representatives are Mayor Joe Sack and Councilmember Julie Killian.

B.    RTP Staff

C.    Seaside Johnnies

Answer: A

Does RTP financially “break even” every year?

A. Yes

B. No

Answer: As a public good, a park should NOT be expected to break even. Yet even with a largely cash-based system, the park was even in 2013, lost approx. $50,000 in 2014 and was up in 2015 (unofficial). The park posted a deficit of $500,000 the year before reforms were implemented and differential pricing for non-residents was put into place.