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UPDATE: Onondaga County mows lawns, investigates burglaries at vacated homes on Burnet Road in Clay

burnet rd weeds.jpg
Scott Willis
/
WAER News
One of the many vacant homes along Burnet Rd.

Onondaga County has reportedly mowed the overgrown lawns and weeds at numerous vacant properties it owns along Burnet Road in Clay, residents and county officials confirmed with WAER News. WAER reported Wednesday about the deteriorating condition of more than two dozen properties acquired by the county to expand the adjacent White Pine Commerce Park. County Executive Ryan McMahon offered this brief explanation on the activity in the neighborhood.

"There's a lot of grass that's been mowed," McMahon said. "For the record, the sheriff's, the SWAT teams, the fire departments have all asked for us to use some of those homes for training. So as part of that the law enforcement public safety agencies have agreed to board up any homes. Hopefully, in short order, that won't be an issue, and we'll be knocking down those homes with good economic news."

McMahon couldn’t say when that might come. Meanwhile, residents said the empty properties have been a magnet for burglars. In an email, resident Paul Richer said they’ve stolen expensive equipment from homes in the process of being vacated.

McMahon denied knowing about the crime, but Sheriff’s Sergeant John Seeber said in an email that deputies responded to three separate incidents on Burnet Road last week, two reported as a burglary and one as a larceny. Two men were arrested Sunday on criminal trespass charges. He said the investigations remain active.

burnet rd 8516.jpg
Scott Willis
/
WAER News
This is one of at least two dozen roads along Burnet Road that had overgrown lawns. The county mowed them less than 24 hours after neighbors complained about the lack of maintenance over the course of months and even years.

Scott Willis covers politics, local government, transportation, and arts and culture for WAER. He came to Syracuse from Detroit in 2001, where he began his career in radio as an intern and freelance reporter. Scott is honored and privileged to bring the day’s news and in-depth feature reporting to WAER’s dedicated and generous listeners. You can find him on twitter @swillisWAER and email him at srwillis@syr.edu.