Fixing Up Front St. in Owego

A community group raised enough money to fix a village eyesore.

Fixing up Front Street

June 7, 2012

Owego (WENY) - A fire in downtown Owego nearly 12 years ago left a scar on the city scape that villagers call a major eye sore. Now that eyesore is becoming a community park. Front street in Owego looked like something out of a movie, river front restaurants and shopping, but a fire left a gaping hole, and today its finally getting fixed. Sandy Layman owns The Cellar Restaurant, she says the sound of construction are music to her ears.

“Just to see that tragedy disappear from the fire in 2000 and the flood, and the whole flood we had, we're still rebuilding, we're just moving on we're not letting this get us down so i think it's a huge community boost.”

A fire in July of 2000 took out the building that stood in this spot leaving a huge hole to fill. After years of vacancy, Historic Owego Marketplace wanted to do something to change fix it. The gateway park committee Chair, Lisa Curatolo, says they had to raise a lot of money .

“We raised the money a little less conventional way then most, we went on Facebook.”

With the help of social media, the gateway community park committee raised enough to build a deck and a park; that's $43,000; in three days.

“This is the beginning stage this is what the community has done thus far and we're not done we're going to keep going and we're going to do that with the community,” says Lisa.

The Deck is expected to be ready by the end of next week. To date, the project has raised more than $60,000 on Facebook.