In 2006, the town of Geddes began a three-phase park project on a 1.9-acre parcel in the Lindbergh Lawn neighborhood of Lakeland. Funded with community development grants through Onondaga County, the park would be the first within walking distance of the neighborhood, and was planned to abut an edge of Longbranch Park, a county facility.
Earlier this summer, the town preceded with the third phase of the project, which included the installation of additional equipment, posts in the parking area, and what residents say should have been a hedgerow of shrubs to separate the two parks.
"We are very appreciate of every aspect of that park," said John Fritzen, speaking on behalf of the residents of the Lindbergh Lawn neighborhood in Lakeland. "Up until that point, we were one hundred percent thrilled with it, thrilled with their efforts."
Fritzen said many of his neighbors were surprised one day to see a line of trees being planted around the perimeter of the park, in some places 30 feet within the boundary.
He brought these concerns to the town of Geddes board meeting last week.
Geddes Town Supervisor E. Robert Czaplicki explained the placement of the vegetation was changed from the original drawn plans due to concerns of the engineer and contractor. Czaplicki noted later that the park plans, along with all contracts the town makes, included a caveat to allow necessary changes to be made during construction.
"I really don't understand what his argument is," Czaplicki said later. "We put almost four hundred thousand dollars of taxpayer's money into a parcel of land that at one point an apartment building was being considered for."
Though Fritzen announced to the board that he had compiled a petition of residents who shared his complaint, none of the neighborhood residents who spoke with the Solvay-Geddes Express shared his point of view.