WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) -- A beloved Rhode Island landmark now officially belongs to the people of Rhode Island.
On Thursday, the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management completed its purchase of the remaining 82 acres of the former Rocky Point amusement park.
The $9.85 million purchase was paid for with an Open Space Bond approved by Rhode Island voters in 2010.
The state plans to merge its newly-acquired chunk of property with land owned by the city of Warwick to develop a new waterfront state park.
"We've waited since 1995 for this place to reopen," said Warwick resident Larry Moulten, who walks his dogs along the Rocky Point shoreline daily.
But the new state park will not be ready overnight.
"We're going to take very special care to make sure it is safe," says DEM Director Janet Coit. The agency says it must first deal with waste issues, debris, and condemned buildings on the property.
Governor Lincoln Chafee has included $2.5 million for the Rocky Point clean-up in his 2014 budget plan.
The DEM hopes to reopen portions of the park within the next 12 months.
Officials are discussing incorporating some remnants of the old amusement park into the new park, including the iconic Rocky Point arch.