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Jim Everard teaches schoolchildren about fish during conservation field days at Deauville Island on Owasco Lake in 2017.

Plans to expand current programming and host additional events at Emerson Park's Deauville Island are moving in a positive direction, and the county is taking the right approach by taking plenty of time to formalize any changes.

The Cayuga County Parks and Trails Commission is ready to move ahead with a $200,000 study to determine the potential number of visitors and the related infrastructure needs for hosting events such as large concerts. The idea has great potential, and could become another piece of the broader plan to make the park a more-notable destination.

The island at the park is already undergoing upgrades, including a brand-new playground, a pedestrian bridge on the north side to connect it with White Bridge Road, and nearly 4,000 feet of pedestrian and bicycle paths that are expected to be completed before the summer 2019 season.

As for the future, the county is taking a careful approach, and the Deauville Island study is a can't-lose proposition, because it's being funded by a grant from the Emerson Foundation, not county taxpayers.

The old carpentry expression "measure twice, cut once" exemplifies what the county is doing in this case. Rather than make quick decisions that might later be regretted, a detailed study to find out what is most likely to succeed at Deauville Island will provide the proper guidance about how best to proceed.

We hope the study gives county planners all the information they need to successfully implement upgrades on the island as Emerson Park continues to become a more attractive place to spend some time.

The Citizen editorial board includes publisher Rob Forcey, executive editor Jeremy Boyer and managing editor Mike Dowd.

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