Parks project held up by red tape

NORWICH – The downtown parks project has become a case of: “Who said, she said, he said what?” and the official paperwork that could untangle the communications mess is being held up somewhere in the Chenango County attorney’s office.

“Our issue is trying to get it done. All we need it to finalize an agreement with the county, and we feel like we’ve done what needs to be done,” said Eric Larsen, president of Friends of the Parks, an all-volunteer organization that has raised $425,000 from supporters to upgrade and enhance East and West Parks in Norwich.



The estimated $1 million project has been ongoing since 2002, and received Chenango County’s official backing a year ago. It includes a turn-of-the-century style performance stage in East Park, upgrading the electrical systems, providing water access, building new sidewalks, replacing overgrown shrubs, providing new benches and replacing two Civil War cannons.

The final hoop to jump through, so Larsen thought, was to obtain the stamp of approval from the New York State Department of Labor. He and Norwich Business Improvement District Executive Director Pegi LoPresti traveled to Albany in late May to discuss prevailing wage issues, and were successful, they said, in obtaining the go-ahead.


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