OSWEGO – Mayor Billy Barlow’s proposed Keep Oswego Clean Initiative was approved 7-0 Monday night.
Prior to the Common Council meeting, two people spoke at the public hearing on the proposal. Both were in favor if it.
Included in the initiative are:
– Ban smoking, vaping and tobacco use on all city property and events
– Doubling the local fine for litter from $100 to $200
– Ban the sale and use of Styrofoam within city limits
– Doubling amount of trash cans in downtown and city parks
– Support NYS plastic bag ban with “Keep Oswego Clean” reusable tote bags
City police will enforce the smoking and vaoing ban, while the Styrofoam ban will be enforced by the code deparment, the mayor said.
“The Styrofoam ban speaks to the environmental protection chapter that we’re actually adding into the city code that doesn’t exist right now,” the mayor said Monday night. “I think as a waterfront community, we have more of a responsibility, more of an obligation, to take care of our environment.”
The Styrofoam ban includes some exemptions, Barlow explained.
For example – non-profit groups may use the material of their choice; if stores receive merchandise that is pre-packaged in the material; and Styrofoam use in delis will be allowed.
A lot of businesses and restaurants are already phasing out Styrofoam, the mayor said.
There will be a six-month grace period for local businesses to sell the Styrofoam products or otherwise remove it from their shelves.
The initiative takes effect April 22, 2020 – Earth Day..
Council President Rob Corradino said this is “a huge step,” not only for the present but for future generations.
“I totally support this,” he said.
Councilors John Gosek and Susan McBrearty said they “whole-heartedly” supported the resolution.