By Colin Hogan
The pier at Bullhead Point now boasts a new wheelchair-accessible entry ramp thanks to the efforts of some volunteers and a donation from a county legislator.
Volunteers from Believers’ Chapel in Fulton recently built a new wooden entry ramp for the pier using materials donated by county Legislator Jim Karasek.
Karasek said the need for a new ramp was first brought up by Fulton city Councilor Tom Kenyon, who pitched the project to members of Oswego County ARISE — a nonprofit that helps provide ramps at the homes of individuals with disabilities. Karasek, who also works for ARISE, said because organization is geared towards serving the needs of disabled individuals at their homes, the pier project didn’t fall under its purview.
“The hurdle was that ARISE will use its resources to install a ramp at someone’s home, but it doesn’t do that for a public property like this, so we had to come up with something different,” Karasek said.
Recognizing that something still needed to be done, Karasek said he and his wife, Patricia, decided that they, personally, would donate the materials needed for the project.
“It’s something that needed to be done and we’re glad to be able to help out with it,” Karasek said.
Karasek said ARISE was still able to help coordinate the plans, and volunteers from Believer’s Chapel stepped up to do the installation.
A couple weeks ago, Fulton city employees removed the asphalt fill that previously led up to the pier. Then, on May 20, volunteers Pat O’Leary, Earl Sixberry, Dave Williams and 10-year-old Connor Tassone installed the new wooden ramp in its place.
“The original ramp, in addition to being run down, just couldn’t support a wheelchair. Now it’s got a wooden ramp that extends to the sidewalk, which I think everyone will benefit from, especially those with mobility issues,” Karasek said.