The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation held a public information session at the Cazenovia High School auditorium on the proposed Helen L. McNitt State Park off East Lake Road just north of Chard Road in Cazenovia. A standing room crowd of over 300 attended for a power point display of the state's intentions.
With construction that may begin as early as this winter, the park will have 17 parking spots and a path down to the water set off the road. There will be no dock built or launch. The state park will be for carry-on boats, canoes and kayaks only, no trailers. Of the 134 acres included in this parcel, less than one acre will be disturbed. The park will be opened for use from dawn until dusk with no fee. There will be a portable toilet on the premises but no garbage pails, tables or benches.
"The meeting got a little rowdy and I was surprised they didn't clamp it down," said Liz Moran, Cazenovia Town Supervisor.
Though many residents were pleased with the state's decisions, others complained. The major categories of comment were those pleased with the developments, those complaining that the state is not allowing trailers, those complaining about the traffic, noise and littering, those complaining that the lake is already a fragile eco-system and those questioning the timing and the process and why there was so little review.
"There is a very unique wetland community on the parcel proposed for lake access," Moran said. "There is a silver lining, potentially. The Lake Association and the town may be in a better position to receive state and federal grants for lake restoration."