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September 21, 2018

Committee Debates What Is ‘City Sponsored?’

OSWEGO, NY – At Tuesday night’s Physical Services Committee meeting, Christopher Jones, on behalf of Cre8 Studios, requested to organize and host a St. Patrick’s Day Parade on March 12 from 1 to 2 p.m.

Christopher Jones addresses the councilors Tuesday night.

Christopher Jones addresses the councilors Tuesday night.

He requested use of city parking lot located at the corner of West Second and West Cayuga streets, road closures, exception from the Peddling and Soliciting Ordinance, and waiver of any city services overtime deemed necessary for the event.

He also asked that it be a designated city sponsored event.

But, just what the definition of ‘city sponsored’ is isn’t all that clear.

There’s no specific description of what a city sponsored event actually is, City Attorney Kevin Caraccioli told the committee.

“Our goal of this is to create something to make people want to stay in our community rather than leave,” Jones explained.

Due to the short time constraints, they are trying to get as much support for the event as possible, he added.

He wants to make sure the city approved the request before actively seeking sponsorships to help fund the event, he said.

Council President Shawn Walker questioned how much overtime might be involved.

Jones noted that they’d need some police officers blocking off streets.

“It’s a matter of safety. A city sanctioned and sponsored event should have some things taken care of such as safety and sanitation,” he said. “We’re requesting for a couple officers to manage traffic for a one hour window of time.”

Councilor Robert Corradino said he saw the proposal as a positive.

It’s “just one small piece” of getting people to want to come and move to Oswego, he said.

They might get just six people – or they might get 600, he said, adding, “This is something that could blossom into something huge. If they’re going to do the work, $447 is not asking a lot from the city to help promote it.”

Councilor Nate Emmons said the council needs to understand the costs associated with all the events being requested.

For example, he pointed to the number of times the city waives the fee for someone requesting use of the city bandstand for an event.

“These fees are in place, meant to help offset the cost of maintenance regarding services for use of the band stand,” he said. “But we continue to waive those fees.”

It’s not fair to raise taxes and disregard revenue the city could be getting, he pointed out.

The councilors will take a comprehensive look at the costs associated with the evens that are being requested and come up with clear definition of “city sponsored.”

The amount of money is subject to council negotiation, the city attorney pointed out. To authorize an event is under the council’s control, he added.

Jones also requested:

•    To organize and host an Independence Day Celebration to be designated as a city sponsored event on July 3.  He requested road closures, use of public space, the city bandstand, waiver of noise variance, exception from the Peddling and Soliciting Ordinance. Lastly, requested any city services overtime deemed necessary for the event be waived.

•    To organize and host the Oswego County Paddlefest event on August 6. He requested use of Wright’s Landing for a designated shuttle area and loading areas for kayaks and canoes, use of the Yacht Club Pier, permission to use the City DPW Parking lot at “Flexo,” use of the city bandstand with waiver for fee, noise waiver, and any city services overtime deemed necessary for the event be waived.

•    To organize and host the CNY Great Pumpkin Festival the weekend of September 30 – October 2, to be designated as a city sponsored event. He requested road closures, use of East Park, O&W train tunnel, use of the city bandstand, trash receptacles, noise waiver, and a waiver of any city services overtime deemed necessary for the event.

In other business, Robin Walters requested to replace a memorial bench, with a new one, in memory of her grandmother, Addie Ann Stevens, that was originally placed in 1996 and is now in disrepair. Walters is also requesting that the new bench be placed in the same location as the original bench.

The committee sent all the requests to the full council for consideration.

2 Responses “Committee Debates What Is ‘City Sponsored?’”

  1. Concerned tax payer
    February 17, 2016 at 3:22 pm

    We should either enforce the hawking and pedaling fee or get rid of it. In getting tired as a taxpayer subsidiesing events that don’t bring in sales tax because there’s no way of monitoring sales tax from vendors. When they hold events at the state fair vendors pay for there places so why wave the hawking and pedaling fee. We should also charge for the bandstand. Or charge a fee for set up and take down. A festival should be able to stand alone financially or not at all including Harborfest. Need to start thinking about saving services and taxpayers money instead of creating more White Elephants.

  2. A Citizen with Vision
    February 17, 2016 at 8:34 pm

    More and more, quality of life is an important element of developing and sustaining a community. While events like these have a large percentage of attendance by local residents, they also bring in visitors from other communities, who shop in our stores, eat in our restaurants, stay in our hotels and buy gas at our gas stations…all of which adds to our tax base and supports local jobs. Oswego County and the greater Oswego City area are quickly becoming recognized throughout New York state and beyond. This is evidenced by the fact that several New York state agencies(Canal Corp, NYS Parks, NYS DEC, I Love NY) have promoted and endorsed events like Paddlefest, Pumkinfest, Harborfest, Tri Oswego and many others. Communities with vision support events that enhance the quality of life in an effort to have others recognize that theirs is a place where others will want to live, work and raise a family. There should be a budget line devoted to supporting events like this, that happen throughout the year, in our community. We all need to work together to make Oswego a better place.

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