HARRISON, N.Y. – The family of former Town Clerk Joseph “Joey” Acocella Jr. has donated $10,000 to improve the Harrison Dog Park, the last project Acocella partook in before his untimely passing at age 30 last August.
Acocella’s sister Laura McCorry said the money will come from her brother’s memorial fund.
The park, which opened last year, had some drainage issues, McCorry said. Harrison Town Clerk Jackie Greer said the dog park gets muddy and has lots of puddles when it rains, adding that the ground in front of the main entrance is wearing away.
“Our family decided that, due to this being Joseph’s last project that meant so much to him, the work needs to be done immediately,” McCorry said in a letter to the Harrison Town Board dated May 3. “The renovations are complete and we’re working on the last phase, which consists of a bench, tree and plaque in Joseph’s memory to be placed in a location prior to entering the park. We are hoping this final phase will be completed by the end of May.”
Greer and Mike Mauro of the town’s Parks Department worked with the Acocella family to upgrade the dog park. Greer said it’s a great honor for the late town clerk, who worked so hard on the project.
“The Acocella family is trying to continue what Joey started,” Greer said. “They did it the way that Joey would have wanted it done. The town is lucky to have them and it is not only an honor to Joey but to the entire town as well.”
Greer said memberships for the dog park, which cost $20 for residents and $50 for nonresidents, are up since it opened last year. Greer credited the warm weather during the winter for increased use of the park, and said requests were so many, the town had to order more passes.