Concern over youth partying at parcel discussed in Lee
LEE — The safety and welfare of the younger residents of Lee were discussed at Tuesday’s Lee town board meeting as a town resident brought to attention a site on Route 26 that’s become a prime hangout for teenagers and young adults.
“There’s a corn field as you come up Route 26, and behind it, there’s a big sand pit,” the resident said. “And the sand pit is being frequented by younger kids, and there’s a lot of drinking going on back there. There are parties late at night and bonfires that have been going on for the last couple of years.”
The resident added that the spot in question has also been littered heavily over the years. “The place looks like a dump.”
“If you go back there, you’ll find a lot of trash and a lot of red cups,” they continued. “And you don’t drink lemonade out of those kinds of cups.”
The resident approached the town, asking if something could be done. The resident in question had approached the Oneida County Sheriff’s Office and the landowner.
“I’ve gone back there with the landowner, and he’s not happy about it, but I think his threats have been received as idle,” the resident said. “Because not only are they partying more and more, but they’re building forts.”
The spot has also served as a location for riding minibikes, but the resident said they weren’t concerned about that. The resident was sympathetic, saying they were young and remembered doing things like riding minibikes but “... my biggest concern is the partying.”
This concern was due to the risks of drinking and driving or somebody getting hurt. “I feel there’s an accident waiting to happen,” they said.
Town Attorney Evan Rossi advised the town council to write the landowner a letter. “Write the landowner a letter, saying that they are on notice that underage people are drinking and riding bikes,” he said. Should someone get injured, the landowner could be held liable. The town council was in agreement about sending a letter to the landowner.
The town of Lee’s Summer Recreation Program was in danger of being canceled this year due to a lack of directors and counselors, but that’s no longer the case.
“We’ve landed two directors for the summer park program and 20 counselors,” board member Shawn Finster said.
“Now we just need the kids to show up,” board member James Jones said. “We usually end up having a couple hundred kids.”
The Lee Summer Recreation Program is for children between the ages of six and 13. It starts July 6, continues until Aug. 12, and runs from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., weather permitting.
Programs planned include baseball, basketball, volleyball, tennis, ping pong, drama, table games, playground activities, and more. This program is free and open to the public.
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