Looking Back: West Barrier Bar in Northern Cayuga County Changes Hands | Story

March 22, 2007

The Village of Fair Haven and the Town of Sterling recently agreed to obtain ownership of Cayuga County’s 15-acre West Barrier Bar, and county park commissioners are now officially supporting the plan.

Together, the two municipalities have drawn up a proposal to obtain ownership of the land after a five-year transition period.

Three members of the Fair Haven-Sterling Joint Exploratory Committee attended the Cayuga County Parks Commission meeting on Tuesday evening to discuss the plan and seek the commissioners’ support.

The commissioners unanimously agreed to support the proposal, which includes creating a position of park steward and issuing parking permits to county residents.

“I love the sounds of cooperation. I wish we could use that as a model in other places,” said lawmaker Michele Sedor, D-Sennett.

Vandalism and violence have turned these 15 acres of land between Lake Ontario and Little Sodus Bay into a nuisance area. By placing ownership of the bar in the hands of local municipalities, the commissioners agreed that the park could be better managed.

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“The West Barrier Bar should remain in the public domain, should be given such care and protection as will maintain its beauty and character,” the members of the exploratory committee wrote in their proposal.

Included in the five-year transition, the two municipalities plan to hire a superintendent to maintain the park, implement garbage collection and issue parking permits to all county residents.

Committee members also plan to install portable toilets, improve lighting and the parking area.

“This is a five-year plan and we will maintain our county commitment of $4,000,” said Gary Duckett, director of parks and trails.

Committee members plan to raise funds for improvements through fundraising and a one-time contribution from the town and village of $6,250 each.

Following the commissioners’ approval of the proposal, Duckett said he would direct the proposal to the county attorney and then to the public works committee.

“I know public works seems to support it. We just have to make sure the change of ownership is legal,” Duckett said. “I see no reason why we can’t make this cooperative effort.”

Editor Kristina Martino can be reached at 253-5311 ext. 238 or [email protected]

— Compiled by David Wilcox