Parks and Recreation Director James Korpela briefed members of the Common Council on his department’s planned upgrades for city parks this spring.
The seven-member body met Wednesday night in the council chambers at City Hall, 198 N. Washington St. To view the agenda, or to hear an audio recording of the meeting, visit romenewyork.com/common-council/.
Korpela told councilors that new security cameras have been installed at Franklyn’s Field and the Navigation Center at Bellamy Harbor Park, and that more cameras will be installed at Gryziec Field, Pinti Field, Steven’s Field, Guyer Field, the Kennedy Arena parking lot, the Madison Street parks garage, Haselton Park and Fort Stanwix Park.
“Phase two of the LED lights at Kennedy Arena will be done at the end of the summer,” he continued. “The lights are in, we’re just waiting for it to stop raining so we have some time to get them installed. We’re also adding four more cameras to the Kennedy Arena inside building, that was already budgeted in for this past year’s budget.” The roof of the pool house at Gryziec Field is being replaced as well.
“We will be putting up a softball batting cage at Haselton Park,” he said. There are also plans to replace partitions in the bathrooms at Municipal Pool on West Embargo Street.
The Parks department will also resurface and repair the tennis courts at Franklyn’s Field through previously unspent grant monies from 2013, the director said. The courts were resurfaced at that time, and Councilor Frank Anderson, R-5, asked if was “reasonable” to repair them again so soon.
“I’m not an expert on it, but after doing some research and speaking to vendors that came and gave us quotes, they don’t think we got our money’s worth in 2013. They were just repaired with caulk and then resurfaced, and they looked great, but with our weather and with groundwater coming up, it pushed the caulk right up and now you see cracks again. So the system that we used this year through the company out of Cazenovia, they’ll fill the cracks then they’ll put a fiber-type material over the crack to stop the caulk from coming up, and it will remain smooth,” Korpela explained.
The department is also considering expanded hours at the Pinti Field indoor playground, where attendance has been rising for the last few years.
Councilor Kimberly Rogers, R-3, said during the report of councilors that City Hall should consider developing the dock and boat launch on Muck Road in south Rome. “I just really feel very strongly that if we are going to continue to develop the city and move forward toward waterfront development, that waterfront development does not only have to occur at Bellamy Harbor Park,” she said.
Though the Muck Road launch is “a jewel” and heavily used, she said, the site is often littered with trash and occasionally horse manure.
“It really is an asset ... I think we’ve invested a significant amount in Bellamy Harbor Park, and let’s move (development focus) to the boat launch
(at the Muck Road site),” she said.
The council awarded its first round of Rome Shines neighborhood beautification awards to homeowners with especially well-maintained lawns and homes. A similar program existed through Rome Clean and Green, though that organization has since restructured and no longer presents awards.
“(Council) President (Stephanie) Viscelli and I got together and said ‘you know, it would be a real shame if we didn’t continue that program,” Councilor Rogers said. “I think a lot of people really sometimes feel like they’re out on an island somewhere, that they’re working really hard to keep their properties up and yet sometimes their neighbors don’t cooperate. So i think it’s important that they are recognized and know that people really do pay attention and really do appreciate the hard work.”
May’s winners were Franck and Mary Costello of Roosevelt Avenue, George and Marie Chubbuck of Coleman Mills Road, Richard and Grace Bottini of South James Street, Mary Cote of Union Street, Joseph and Lesley Kornmeyer of North George Street, Ron and Helen Jackson of Oak Street, and John and Shirley Boyea of Jervis Avenue.
Councilors also approved increases to the city’s water fund budget totaling $125,000. The increases to the water fund, part of the city’s 2019 capital improvement plan, will be spread across the Water Filtration Plant in Lee, Kessinger Dam in Annsville, and the water tank on Coleman Mills Road in Stanwix Heights.
The Lee plant is slated for paving and a “lagoon road” ($40,000), brickwork and repair ($25,000), and the installation of a security window ($5,000). A generator will be installed at Kessinger Dam ($25,000), and the Stanwix Heights tank will receive general repairs ($30,000).
Other legislation approved by the council Wednesday night:
Official establishment of the Rome Shines awards program and acceptance of $1,150 in donations from the program’s corporate sponsors.
Agreements with Oneida County, wherein the city will maintain ditches and mow grass along county roads in the outside district for reimbursement ($13,600 for ditching, $6,968 for mowing).
Acceptance of $3,000 in donations toward the Summer Monday Night Concert Series at the Griffo Green.
A measure authorizing Codes Enforcement officials to attend an educational program in Canandaigua for $911.97.
A measure closing West Sycamore Street from Turin Road to Carroll Street on June 29 for Rome Free Academy’s graduation ceremony.
A measure closing off the parking spaces south of the Griffo Green on Wednesdays from June 5 to Sept 25 for the Downtown Market.
A measure closing North James Street from West Liberty to West Court Street on May 27 for a Memorial Day ceremony.