SYLVAN BEACH, N.Y. (WSYR) — One of Central New York’s popular Memorial Day weekend destinations, Sylvan Beach, will not be open to the public.
While State beaches and some local beaches around the area will be open the Village has decided not to open its beach right now.
“We were set to go and everything was on track and then COVID hit and that was the end of that,” Sylvan Beach Village Mayor Greg Horan said.
He points out that with over a mile of sand, 20-plus spots to get onto the beach along with boater access to it, there’s almost no way the Village can abide by health and safety guidelines for COVID-19.
Horan said this was an “Extremely difficult decision, but it was one that if you put safety first really there…it was a decision that we had to make.”
He added it was not the Village’s decision alone. Sylvan Beach worked closely with the Oneida County Executive’s office, Oneida County Health Department and Oneida County Sheriff’s Office on the decision to close the beach to the public.
“We’re hoping that people will follow that directive, if they don’t and if they show up really the only thing we really can do is call 911 and ask for the Oneida County Sheriff’s Department to come in, State Troopers,” but adds he’s hoping and expecting that won’t be necessary.
Making the decision to close the beach even more difficult, the Mayor says, is the economic impact it will have on the Village.
“Our businesses are open for the season, if everything goes right, and you throw in a couple rainy weekends, they’ve got 10-weeks to pay their bills and generate the revenue they need to support their families,” Horan says.
For now, the Village will not be charging for any parking.
The Mayor said hopefully that will encourage people to still come by and pick up food from some of the restaurants open now for takeout.