Looking for a place to have that wedding or picnic? The village of Liverpool has just the place for you.
At a ceremony held Friday afternoon, the village dedicated Washington Park, now home to two white gazebos which will be available for public use. The gazebos were constructed with grants from Sen. John A. DeFrancisco and the Community Development Fund in the amount of $100,000 each.
The construction of the gazebos was the culmination of a restoration project that started some 16 years ago. With the aid of two other grants, the village constructed the brick wall that separates Washington Park from Oswego Road (Route 57).
“It started in 1991 with a T-21 transportation grant and an Empire State Development grant,” said village Mayor Marlene Ward. “We wanted the wall to build a barrier between the park and the road. Over 40,000 cars pass by here every day. We wanted this to be a family place, and parents had to really keep an eye on their kids [before the wall was constructed] to make sure they didn’t get too close to the street. The wall makes it a much more pleasant place. It helps to contain people in the park.”
But Ward and the rest of the village wanted more for Washington Park.
“I always wanted gazebos,” the mayor said. “I’d like to thank Sen. DeFrancisco and the Community Development Fund for helping us to get money for the project.”
Also present for the dedication were DeFrancisco, Onondaga County Executive candidate Dale Sweetland, who is also the chairman of the county legislature, Nina Andon-McLane of Community Development, village DPW Superintendent Bill Asmus and village board members Dennis Hebert and Nick Kochan, as well as other employees of the village.
“The village has done a beautiful job,” Sweetland said. “It looks great.”
DeFrancisco concurred. “This is a terrific enhancement for the village,” he said. “I’m looking forward to seeing some great jazz musicians here like we do at Johnson Park.”
Ward said that the Washington Park restoration is not quite complete. She’d like to see a clock put in near the south end of the park.
“We’re almost done,” she said. “I think the clock will complete it.”
The larger of the two gazebos was inaugurated by the Liverpool Historical Society, which held its annual picnic in the structure just a few hours before the dedication.
“I think we’ll continue to do it here every year,” said President Pat Mouton. “It’s a lovely place.”
The gazebos will be available for use by the public; the village is working on a fee schedule. For more information, contact village clerk Mary Ellen Sims at 457-3441 ext. 1.
Sarah Hall is the editor of the Eagle Star-Review and the Baldwinsville Messenger. The 2012 winner of the Syracuse Press Club's Selwyn Kershaw Professional Standards Award, she has been with Eagle Newspapers since 2006. She is a Liverpool native.