OSWEGO — Work is underway to create Lakeside Park from a long-neglected waterfront property on the city’s east side.
Public access to Lake Ontario on the Port City’s east side is limited, and officials are revamping a vacant city-owned parcel at the north end of East 10 ½ Street. The nearly 3.5-acre park, once completed, will include a pavilion, volleyball pit and a kayak ramp.
Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow, as part of his State of the City Address in March, said as the city rebuilds and expands Wright’s Landing Marina and Breitbeck Park officials were also looking to expand improvements to the city’s east side and “build a desirable area on East 10 ½ Street for residents to use and visit.”
“Lakeside Park will be a beautiful spot for our residents on the east side to have easy access to the waterfront,” Barlow said Wednesday. “This area will create new amenities along the waterfront and takes underutilized waterfront property and makes it an attractive space for city residents to interact even more with our waterfront.”
The East 10 ½ Street site is the only city-owned waterfront property on the east side of the Oswego River outside the wastewater treatment facility, officials have said, making it all the more valuable. Barlow noted with Wright’s Landing Marina under construction for much of the coming year, the east side park would likely be heavily utilized once complete.
Barlow said this week the park is scheduled to be complete before July 4.
The underutilized lakeshore property, which in the past consisted of a gravel drive and parking lot east of Fort Ontario, has long been open to the public, but there are no basic amenities at the site. City officials previously said the city would pave and paint stripes over the existing gravel parking lot, install lighting and cameras in the area and add seating areas.
Councilor Shawn Burridge, R-2nd Ward, who represents the area in which the proposed park is located, said earlier this year he pushed for the creation of the park to turn what is now essentially a vacant lot “into something pretty nice” that the community can use.
“Our water is one of the best parts of Oswego,” Burridge said. “It just makes sense. We have to use what we have and the east side could definitely use a little beautification project.”
The city Department of Public Works has undertaken the project, and recently paved the entrance and parking area, relocated the former Wright’s Landing pavilion to the site and carved out a space for a volleyball pit. Additional work will include running electrical to portions of the facility, installing the lighting and cameras and completing the kayak launch.
“A lot of people actually do go there, but we want to make a place where you can go and have lunch, relax or spend time with the family,” the mayor said earlier this year.
City officials anticipate the full project cost to be a little less than $100,000, and agreed this week to accept state grant funding to complete the work.