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Former DPW foreman talks about riverfront renaissance

Maysel “Mace” Markham takes listeners down memory lane during Remembering Baldwinsville Jan. 13.

Maysel “Mace” Markham takes listeners down memory lane during Remembering Baldwinsville Jan. 13.

— The South Shore West Trail now features a visitor center, walkway, bricked seating area and is a popular destination for those traveling along the Seneca River.

After completing the trail, the DPW began work on Papermill Island, which was the first brownfield in New York State to use state funds to assist in the cleanup. There was a water tower and former Baldwinsville boat yard on the site.

According to Markham, the first step was replacing the bridge to the island using the old footings. A demolition crew was hired to deconstruct the water tower and other buildings on the site. Because it was a brownfield, none of the soil on Papermill Island could be removed; instead, a plastic cap was placed over the site and tons of gravel was trucked in over several days to cover the plastic cap. Markham and his crew did most of the work on installing the lighting on the island.

A third project Markham talked about was the Gateway Park the corner of East Oneida and Genesee streets, at the eastern gateway to the village. Markham said it took half the summer to complete the project, which included a sign and fencing reflecting the canal history of the village as well as mushroom-shaped concrete piers in the gateway fence resemble barge canal boat tie ups.

Markham also spoke about the Sergei Yevich Trail, named after the architect who inspired the riverfront renaissance in Baldwinsville. Located along the north eastern shore of the river (a portion stretches behind the former Lysander Town Hall), the trail required village officials to acquire easements from all property owners who abutted the proposed trail in order to be built. It took one whole summer for Mace and his crew to clear the area of brush, boulders, rocks and debris from the trail.

These are just some of the many projects that Markham worked on with the village crews during his tenure with the village DPW. To watch his talk, check out PAC-B TV this week (visit pacbtv.org for the schedule).

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