OSWEGO, NY – Several blocks along the eastern end of Oswego’s First Ward were placed under the microscope Monday.
Mayor Tom Gillen was joined by a half dozen city officials to get a first-hand look at what is right in the ward, what the problems are and where there is room for potential.
“We have some problems here, similar to other wards. But there is also a lot of good things going on,” said First Ward Councilor Fran Enwright. “We want to correct the little issues before they become big problems and encourage the residents to continue improving their property.”
Some of the properties were well maintained and had manicured lawns as neat as the greens on a golf course.
On the other side of the coin were homes with unkempt lawns, buildings in disrepair, furniture in the yards, illegally parked vehicles and other violations.
“We’re not doing these walking tours just for show,” director of Code Enforcement Neal Smith said as he jotted down notes at various sites. “We’re not trying to punish people. We want to point out problems and get them corrected so this can be the kind of city everyone wants to live in.”
In several sections of the ward, the homes were pristine. However, there were spots where dilapidated houses were sandwiched in between nice homes.
“You have a very nice block, and then, this happens,” Enwright said pointing out one such rundown property.
Further to the west, it’s a somewhat different story, Smith pointed out.
“That’s where most of the student housing is. It’s probably almost 90 percent rental in that area,” he said.
The councilor also expressed his desire to create a small park at the International Marina; perhaps even including a sandy beach area.
“There is a lot of potential here,” the mayor said. “Things aren’t just going to happen overnight. It’s going to take a lot of work.”
“It’s good that we are doing these walks; that people see us out here,” said Council President Ron Kaplewicz (Seventh Ward). “We are taking an interest in the entire city. It’s not just our own wards; we’re looking at the city as a whole and trying to find ways to improve it for all the residents.”