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OCT 14- OCT 21, 2014

What Work Will Actually Be Done At Jayne Park?

October 14, 2014

While renderings of work to be done at Jayne Park appear on the city website, the actual $260,000 contract that describes the work to be done is nowhere to be seen.

The Jayne Park "improvement" plan is back before the council. Tonight’s (Oct. 14) agenda lists item #8 that will see the “park work” awarded to low bidder Scott Lawn Yard Care at a cost of $269,115.

What the “work” consists of is unknown since there was no information or explanation on the city website. The council also was not provided with copies of the actual bid.

The agenda item states the project will be paid from “a combination of a grant with the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) and General Fund Balance, code H0612.2006.0612.0449.599.”

The Dyster administration does not clearly refer to the funding line by name but instead chose to describe it by its computer budget code.

The residents of Cayuga Island where Jayne Park is located have been told since 2009 that the project was covered by a Greenway “grant.”

Yet more than $130,000 will be taken from city coffers to "improve" Jayne Park, which apparently comes as a surprise to some who thought the work on Jayne Park was going to be grant money.

In 2009, Mayor Paul Dyster and Senior Planner Thomas DeSantis launched the plan to transform Jayne Park from an all-green neighborhood park to a regional attraction. Plans called for the building of a canoe launch, a flood-lighted parking lot (there is no parking lot now), paved walking paths, in-ground signage, elaborate picnic grounds, stripped Little River shore and more.

The Reporter broke the story, warning residents and, from 2009 until this summer, frustrated and angry residents kept Dyster and DeSantis at bay, once signing a petition with more than 350 signatures, expressing their dismay with the plans.

Dyster promised to modify plans, assuring residents his new Jayne Park would eliminate the parking lot and canoe launch.

If agenda item #8 passes - as it is expected to do - it will bring a modified - but not defined -project to Jayne Park and residents will see changes to their quaint, quiet park. Yet from 2009, until this moment, Dyster and DeSantis have not shared detailed information as to what they are actually planning.

How can the council vote to approve the project without knowing what it is specifically?

How can one of the loveliest and highest tax paying neighborhoods in the city witness work starting there without a clear picture of what is going to happen?

Cayuga Island resident, Tina Cosentino Flynn, last Friday (Oct. 9), writing on the Niagara Community Facebook forum, stated, “What I am wondering about is the Jayne Park upgrade that was being done with grants, so they said. This shows (agenda item) that the city is also paying for it with the general fund. If the city budget is short, why are we doing something that no one asked for and is not wanted?”

Jerry Craig, writing on the same forum, stated “Looks like they’re trying to put in that damn canoe launch, parking lot, things the residents do not want.”





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