Cortland's Dexter Park closed due to rat problem

CORTLAND, N.Y. — The playground at Dexter Park has been temporarily closed due to a rodent issue, according to city officials.

The city announced the emergency closure at 10 a.m. Friday. Troy Beckwith, who represents the city's 7th Ward, says the Cortland Youth Bureau, which manages the city's parks, is aware of the issue. The city's Code Enforcement Office and the Department of Public Works is also working to resolve the rat problem.

"There is a neighborhood rodent issue and we are taking preventative steps to stop the issue from coming into the park," the Cortland Youth Bureau said in a Facebook post. "There are no immediate health concerns and any questions can be directed to the Mayor Brian Tobin's office."

The entire park is closed except for the pavilion and the tennis courts, which are used for a free lunches program, Beckwith said.

Sweeney's Pest Control is working to resolve the issue. Beckwith said it's still unclear where the rat problem originated.

"We're still at this point trying to get the source of where they're coming from, but at this point I don't want to point any fingers," Beckwith said.

Beckwith and representatives from the Code Enforcement Office, the Cortland Youth Bureau, and Mayor Brian Tobin will be hosting an informational meeting at the Dexter Park pavilion at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

Sweeney's Pest Control