OSWEGO, NY – At its meeting Monday night, the Physical Services Committee considered a resolution that would prevent the destructive revelry that occurred
at Sheldon Beach during Harborfest 2013 from happening again next month.
Councilor Michael Todd requested discussion regarding closing Sheldon Beach during Harborfest.
“The amount of garbage that was left down there last year was awful. There were couches, chairs – everything; they completely trashed that beach,” he said. “They had to actually call the DPW and private people to come down there. It was weeks before the (garbage) was all out of the water.”
There were two DJs down there last year that helped cause the problem, the Third Ward councilor added.
That type of behavior shouldn’t be allowed there, he said, adding that the city’s police department and emergency services are already stretched thin during the end of July festival.
“It would be one less area that they have to maintain and monitor, other than trying to keep the people out of there,” he said. “I don’t think there’s any reason why we should keep it open during Harborfest. Especially since it is an unmonitored beach without any lifeguards. It just open us up to liability.”
Mary Vanouse, a resident of the area, pointed out that many residents do go there on Saturday night to watch the fireworks display.
Todd said he doesn’t have a problem with that.
“I just don’t want to see the partying again. The amount of trash that was left there was awful – there were couches in the water,” he said. “That just can’t happen again this year. It had to be, at one point, 500 to 600 kids down there.”
There had been talk about erecting a gate in that area, he noted.
“It is a popular place to watch the fireworks. I don’t want to restrict that,” he said. “Maybe we open it back up (Saturday) night at 7 for the fireworks. I have no problem with that. But during the day, to have that beach open, someone’s going to get hurt, it’s just a matter of time.”
Committee chair Mike Myers suggested the police chief talk with SUNY Oswego’s University Police and see what can be done to close off and monitor the lake front area located near the college campus.
“When the chief gets all the information and brings it back to the committee we’ll be better able to make a good decision,” Myers said.
“I just wanted to get it started now,” Todd said.
“If that’s the way we’re going to go, we need to post some signs telling people the area will be available after 7 p.m. Saturday for viewing the fireworks,” Council President Ron Kaplewicz said.
The matter will return to the committee level before the full council takes any action on it.
Also Monday night, the committee gave a favorable recommendation to three requests to use public space.
- John Fitzgibbons owner of a single-family dwelling at 85 E. Mohawk St., wants to use a two foot by 16 foot area of public space to install a new three foot-high ornamental wrought iron fence and landscaping plants between the sidewalk and right-of-way fronting East Mohawk Street.
- Larry Klotzko, owner of commercial property at 1 W. Bridge St., wants to install a new sign/gate 10 foot, six inches by 11 foot, three inches between the sidewalk and right-of-way fronting West Bridge Street.
- The Musical Associates of CNY, a not-for-profit organization, wants to use Breitbeck Park to hold a free concert performed by their orchestra Symphoria, on July 13 at 7 p.m. The event is being sponsored by the Shineman Foundation.