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City Seeks Payment Of Delinquent Water Bills

OSWEGO, NY – The notices are in the mail: pay up, or dry up.

At its meeting this week, the Common Council authorized Deborah Coad, acting city chamberlain, to issue 30 day shut off notices for delinquent water bills.

There are numerous bills that are unpaid through the first two quarters of the year, she told the councilors.

It’s a step the city hasn’t taken in a number of years; but, the number of outstanding bills currently is “significant,” Coad noted.

There was approximately $500,000 in unpaid water bills for all of 2007.

Through the end of the second quarter this year, there is $401,000 in unpaid bills, Coad said.

“We don’t really want to turn anybody’s water off,” Coad said at last week’s committee meeting where she advised councilors of the situation. “But, we need the revenue.”

In other business:

A resolution to authorize the purchasing agent to buy a new 2008 Case 621E payloader from state contract for use by the DPW was defeated 2-5 by councilors citing the city’s current lack of funds.

Councilors Mike Myers (R – Second Ward), Sue Sweet (R – Third Ward), Shawn Walker (R – Fourth Ward), Bill Sharkey (R – Sixth Ward) and Mike Joyce (R – Seventh Ward) voted against the purchase.

Dan Donovan (R – Fifth Ward) and Connie Cosemento (D – First Ward) voted in favor of the purchase.

The 1996 payloader had to be taken out of service due to breakdowns and the inability to repair it in a cost-effective manner, according to Mike Smith, acting DPW commissioner.

Traditionally, the DPW has four or five in service all the time.

“Right now, we have three; two in good shape and one in not very good shape,” he said.

A resolution authorizing the fire chief to sell Engine 1811 through a brokerage firm, and also authorizing the purchasing agent to buy a new 4X4 pickup with plow from state contract for use by the fire department with the proceeds from the sale of the engine failed 3-4.

Voting no were Sweet, Walker, Sharkey and Joyce.

Cosemento, Myers and Donovan voted yes.

The council approved appointing William Mercier to the Board of Assessment Review for a five-year term (Oct. 1, 2008 through Sept. 30, 2013).

The council referred a petition from Walter Lazarek, owner of real property located at 157 Hillside Ave., to the Planning Board for its advisory opinion.

Lazarek is seeking a change of zone from an R-2 Residential District to a Planned Development District.

The council accepted the warranty deed for dedication of lands for the new street to be known as Sophie Drive.

The council accepted a gift of three interpretive signs, on behalf of Teresa Mitchell, executive director of Seaway Trail.

The signs will be installed at the overlook to Wright’s Landing.

They have been prepared on subjects important to Oswego’s history and waterfront. Subjects include: Open Water, Winter Birding; Underwater Blue Trail Maritime History: The Shipwreck David Mills; and The Fort George Theme: The French and Indian War.

The mayor was authorized to sign Change Order No. 1 with KEK Excavators ($4,285) for the East Side LTCP Project, Phase III.

He was also authorized to sign the two-year agreement for the Director of Weights and Measures as the current agreement expires Dec. 31.

The council also OK’d a one-year extension agreement with JWJ Industries, for the transportation of lime-stabilized sludge to the Bristol Hill Landfill.

The council approved the sale of surplus vehicles and equipment by Auctions International.

The council approved accepting the low bid ($57,265) submitted by Wiltsie Construction for the fabrication of and installation of an eel ladder at the High Dam Facility.

The project would be paid for through a transfer of funds.

The purchasing agent was authorized to accept the low bid ($2,350) submitted by Malone Trucking and Excavating for the replacement of street piping in the discharge header at the Excess Flow Management Facility.

The project would be paid for through a transfer of funds.

The council rejected the bid received by Tuscarora Construction ($581,400) for the anchor pin replacement project at Wright’s Landing. It was the only bid received for the project.

The city engineer was authorized to revise the project for the purpose of a project re-bid.

The council OK’d Police Chief Mike Dehm’s requests for permission for several officers to travel.

They include: two officers to the Tactical Warrant Service / Building Search training to be held Oct. 13-17 in Rochester; two officers to the SWAT Supervision and Command Decision Making course to be held Oct. 27-31 in Oriskany; and four officers to the CHIEF Grants Seminar to be held Dec. 17-18 in Syracuse.

The council also approved Mary Vanouse’s travel request.

The community development director requested permission to send one employee to the 2008 Main Street Forum: Creating Sustainable Downtowns – Restoring Main Street Buildings conference to be held Nov. 2-3 in Liberty.

Oswego County Will Auction Tax Properties Sept. 27

Submitted article

The Oswego County Real Property Tax Service will sell up to 72 parcels of tax delinquent properties at the annual tax property auction Saturday, Sept. 27, at Oswego County BOCES, county Route 64, Mexico.

Oswego County takes title to residential and farm properties after the taxes have gone unpaid for approximately four years. Title is taken for vacant land and commercial properties after two years of non-payment of taxes. The auction inventory may include open land, mobile home sites, dwellings, commercial and waterfront properties.

Former owners were allowed to buy back their properties for the full amount of taxes due until Aug. 31.  Prior owners who did not pay the back taxes are now prohibited from bidding at auction and no longer have an interest or rights in the tax delinquent parcels they once owned.

David Hastings, Director of Real Property Tax Service, said a complete list of properties with photos and maps of each parcel are listed on the Oswego County Web site at www.oswegocounty.com/rpts or the Sivers Auction Service Web site at www.siversauctionservice.com .

The auction will be divided into two sessions.  The first session begins at 9:30 a.m. and will include parcels in the towns and/or villages of Granby, Hannibal, Hastings, Minetto, New Haven, Oswego Town, Palermo, Phoenix, Schroeppel, Scriba and Volney.

The second session will begin no earlier than 11 a.m. and will include parcels in the towns and/or villages of Albion, Amboy, Cleveland, Constantia, Mexico, Parish, Orwell, Redfield, Pulaski, Richland, Lacona, Sandy Creek, West Monroe and Williamstown.

Bidder registration will start at 8 a.m. and continue throughout the auction. In order to register, citizens must provide their driver’s license or other acceptable photo ID, and their social security number.

Bidders will receive a description and view a computer presentation that includes a photograph of each parcel as it is offered for sale. Prior owners, their immediate family members, and anyone having delinquent property taxes in Oswego County may not bid at the auction.

More information is available by contacting the Oswego County Real Property Tax Service at 315-349-8315 or 1-800-596-3200, ext. 8315 or www.oswegocounty.com/rpts; or Sivers Auction Service Inc. at 315-343-3325, www.siversauctionservice.com .

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