Marcellus takes step to enforce park hours

The Marcellus Town Board last week voted to close off the entrances to Upper and Lower Marcellus Park from Platt Road from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

The board established official park hours in April, which gave law enforcement the authority to charge individuals with trespassing if found in the park after closing. At the May 10 board meeting, Councilor Kevin O'Hara presented a petition from Platt Road residents asking the board to prohibit vehicles from entering and leaving the park after-hours. Though O'Hara and the residents had hoped a locked gate would be installed to close the park, the board opted for a chain across the driveways with a sign denoting that the park is closed when the chain is up.

Marcellus Parks and Recreation Director Phil Coccia expressed concern that the chain would create an opportunity for local teens to be in the park undetected after hours.

"My concern is that they're going to say, 'this is great, now no one is coming into the park'," Coccia said. He asked the board to ensure police would continue to enter the park while patrolling after hours.

O'Hara also reported that additional dog clean-up stations had been installed in the park as a result of several letters to the editor published in the Eagle Observer complaining of dog messes in the park.

Although a leash law is in effect in Marcellus Park, the law does not require dog owners to clean up after their dogs.

There are around 1,100 dogs kept as pets in the town of Marcellus, according to town clerk Karen Pollard.

Pollard told the board that it appeared the state would be handing over dog licensing duties to individual municipalities in 2011, and suggested the board keep the additional costs of paying for postage and dog tags in mind when putting together next year's budget.

The Marcellus Town Board will meet next at 7 p.m. Monday June 14.

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