2018 In Review: February – Vehicle Pulled From Lake, Drive-Thru Opposition Continues, Paving Plans Announced

OSWEGO, NY – Here’s a glimpse of the some of the news from the past 12 months.

Small Fire Extinguished At Nine Mile Point

OSWEGO, NY – Workers at Nine Mile Point Nuclear Station extinguished a small fire in the turbine building Feb. 1.

The small flame was contained in the immediate area, no offsite assistance was required and it did not impact plant operations.

The event was classified as an “Unusual Event” and operators notified the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission as per procedure.

The event was declared and promptly exited.

An Unusual Event is the lowest of four emergency classifications established by the NRC.

Exelon Generation notified all appropriate federal, state and local officials.

Vehicle Pulled From Lake Ontario
OSWEGO – According to the Oswego Fire Department, an adult male was hospitalized after an overnight incident at Wright’s Landing in Oswego.

According to officials, the driver of a white Volkswagen drove out about 100 yards onto the ice at Wright’s Landing sometime before 5 a.m., when the vehicle fell through and sank.

The victim was able to get himself out of the water, and was transported to the hospital for evaluation.

The Oswego Fire Department worked closely with the Oswego City Police Department and the U.S. Coast Guard Station Oswego throughout the incident.

The vehicle was pulled from the water Feb. 3 by a salvage company.

Residents were reminded to stay clear of the water edge and ice near Lake Ontario and the Oswego River.

With the fluctuations in temperature, the ice is thin and unsafe.

Crowd blasts proposed downtown Dunkin’
OSWEGO – Oswego planning officials tabled a decision on the proposed downtown Dunkin’ Donuts site after residents expressed concerns.

The major concern was the drive-thru and parking.

The business would be approved later in the year.

Kestner Retires After Distinguished Career
OSWEGO – The Oswego County Legislature’s Human Services Committee presented Donna Kestner with a certificate of appreciation on her retirement after 19 years of service.

Kestner was the director of the Oswego County Veterans’ Services Office.

In July 2015, the State Commander of the American Legion named her Veterans Service Officer of the Year at the group’s annual convention.

Kestner was New York State’s first female recipient of the award which is presented in recognition of her outstanding professional proficiency in providing innovative services and exceptional advocacy.

Oswego Health Awarded $1.4 million Through Bipartisan Budget Deal
Oswego Health learned that the health system will receive $1.4 million over a five-year period following passage of the Bipartisan Budget Act.

Oswego Health Chief Financial Officer Eric Campbell said that a change in the regulations will allow the health system to be eligible for this additional funding specifically earmarked for rural hospitals, such as Oswego Hospital.

“We are grateful to U.S. Congressman John Katko and U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer for their vital support in securing this funding, which will allow us to continue to build on our recent quality improvements and ensure community residents have the best healthcare services close to where they reside,” Campbell said. “This funding will help with our physician recruitment initiatives, as well as technology and facility upgrades.”

Opposition Continues To Proposed Drive-Thru Dunkin’ Donuts
OSWEGO – The Oswego Common Council sailed through a relatively light agenda February 12. However, the item receiving most of the comments wasn’t on the agenda.

During the public session, three speakers stepped to the microphone to voice their opposition to a proposed Dunkin’ Donuts in downtown.

Earlier that month, the Oswego Planning Board tabled action on a proposal to erect a Dunkin’ Donuts at 275 W. First St.
Several residents voiced concerns at that meeting.

The speakers at the council meeting pointed out they aren’t against donuts; they had concerns about the impact the new business would have on established businesses just down the street and traffic, especially if Dunkin’ was allowed to operate a drive-thru at the busy intersection of West First and Utica streets.

Rabid Raccoon Confirmed in Schroeppel
OSWEGO COUNTY – The Oswego County Health Department announced Feb. 16 that a rabid raccoon was recently confirmed in the Pennellville area of the town of Schroeppel.

This marked the first confirmed case of rabies in Oswego County in 2018.

There was no known contact between the rabid raccoon and humans or pets.
Jiancheng Huang, Oswego County Public Health Director, said the rabies virus can be present in wildlife throughout the year.

He reminded residents that wildlife will become more active as we head into spring.

West Bridge Street Reopened After Fire
Oswego firefighters responded to a fire in a two-story vacant house on West Bridge Street a little before 7 a.m.

Firefighters arrived on scene within minutes of the call from a neighbor reporting a fire in the area.

On arrival, firefighters encountered intense fire from a second-floor apartment.

Firefighters made an initial search into the building after there was a report of a man living there.

Firefighters withdrew when there were signs of impending collapse of the roof.
Two neighboring families were displaced briefly as firefighters were concerned for their safety given the proximity of the houses.

Support For Fort Ontario
OSWEGO – The 260-year-old Fort Ontario Military Complex, which includes the Safe Haven Museum, is rich in history and ranks among our nation’s greatest and proudest assets.

The fort is the only military site in the country that has played a role in nearly every conflict that America has engaged in since the French and Indian War.

During World War II, the fort served as the only emergency refugee shelter in the nation for neatly 1,000 mostly Jewish victims of the Nazi Holocaust.

At its February meeting, the Oswego County Legislature unanimously approved a bipartisan resolution, offered by Tom Drumm (D) and Tim Stahl (R), which supported efforts to elevate the fort complex to national park status.

The clerk was authorized to submit a certified copy of the entire resolution to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Sen. Charles Schumer, Sen. Kristen Gillibrand, Congressman John Katko, Congresswoman Claudia Tenney, Sen. Patty Ritchie, Assemblyman Will Barclay, and Assemblyman Robert Oakes.

At the city’s Administrative Services Committee meeting, Mayor Billy Barlow and the Office of Economic Development joined the county in its support and requested a formal resolution by the Common Council to support the elevation of Fort Ontario Military Complex to national park status.

Mayor Barlow Announces Launch Of Resident Recruitment Initiative In Partnership With Major Employers In The Area
OSWEGO – Mayor Billy Barlow announced Feb. 23 the launch of the Resident Recruitment Initiative, a new partnership between the city of Oswego and four major employers in and around the Oswego community.

Created by Mayor Barlow and the city of Oswego, the Resident Recruitment Initiative is a comprehensive introduction and guide to the Oswego community, that will be given to new recruits and new employees of participating employers upon their hiring and orientation.

Oswego Health, SUNY Oswego, Novelis and Exelon have all agreed to participate in the new initiative as a way to partner with the city of Oswego to encourage employees to live local and be involved in the Oswego community.

“Historically, the city of Oswego has failed to capitalize on capturing the local workforce and encouraging those who work in and around the Oswego community to actually live in the city of Oswego. This is a real problem and perhaps a few years ago, this problem was well deserved,” Mayor Barlow said. “But, after more than two years of progress and revitalization, we are an entirely different community and that story needs to be told to encourage our local workforce to consider living in Oswego, rather than commuting from other places daily.”

Mayor Barlow Proposes $827,000 Of Road Paving In 2018, Equipment For Road Repairs
OSWEGO – Mayor Billy Barlow on February 28 unveiled his proposed 2018 paving plan for the city of Oswego.

The $827,000 plan included some major thoroughfares and high traffic areas throughout the city and was in addition to the State Route 104 repave project conducted by the New York State Department of Transportation later that summer.

Mayor Barlow also announced he’d request the purchase of a large piece of additional equipment to assist with road repairs and road patching this Spring to help repair city streets not identified in the paving plan.

“Our Department of Public Works has saved a considerable amount of money since this administration took over in 2016. By implementing new, innovative techniques for snow plowing in addition to mild winters we’ve saved a considerable amount of money on salt over the last three winters. I propose we use the substantial amount of money we have saved and invest in a piece of equipment that will certainly help repair our roadways and improve our city streets every year following our rough Upstate New York winters,” Mayor Barlow said.

The road patching equipment is designed to move quickly throughout city streets with minimal personnel required to quickly patch potholes and address worn areas and is priced at approximately $225,000.

Barlow said the city has money already budgeted and available for the purchase.

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