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Swan web camera plan could be in jeopardy

A biologist who wants to bring a web camera to Manlius’ iconic swan pond may have encountered an obstacle to his plan.
Manlius (WSYR-TV) – A biologist who wants to bring a web camera to Manlius’ iconic swan pond may have encountered an obstacle to his plan.

Michael Bean thought he had reached an agreement with the village, but he ran out of funds and now the board is reconsidering its agreement to allow him to proceed in the first place.

The pond already has a security camera in place after a vandal destroyed the swan’s eggs in 2012, but a web camera would enable people at home to observe the swans.

Last year, the village board agreed to let Bean install the camera system and maintain it for a three-year period.

The plan was to have the web camera in place this spring so that the public could watch Faye’s eggs hatch.

The system would cost $15,000 the first year, and $5,000 each year after that. Bean planned on covering the cost himself, along with donations from swan enthusiasts.

Since the agreement was reached, however, the Mayor Paul Whorral says legal issues regarding how the donated money can be used – along with the cost and uses of the camera – have emerged.

Bean believes the web camera could have a significant impact on the area.

“People, once they see them online, a lot of kids, once they see them, they’re going to be bugging their parents to come to Manlius. I know last year, every time I came over, my nephews every time they wanted to see the swans. We had to stop by the ice cream shop and we had to go, you know, to some other places. So it’s great for the village,” Bean said.

Whorral says the village board or Bean has the right to revoke the agreement at any time. The board meets tonight and the mayor says they will discuss a few different issues relating to the swan pond.

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