FULTON, NY – A unanimously passed resolution has declared a moratorium on used car lots in the city of Fulton.
The Common Council voted in favor of the one-year moratorium at Tuesday’s (July 10) regular meeting, a resolution suggested by Fulton Mayor Ronald Woodward Sr.
Woodward was primarily concerned with a former used car lot at the entrance to the city on State Route 481 that burned down last year, most recently known as Prime Auto and formerly known as Laqua’s.
“We’re not saying you can’t have them. We’re not saying if you’ve got one now, we’re going to shut it down. I think, if we’re all being honest and saying what we think, do you want the city looking nice coming in from 481 or do you want used car lots that half the time end up with junk cars and tires on them. Is that what you want for your city?” he questioned.
During the public hearing, one resident questioned why the city would discourage a new business opening in the city to pay taxes and bring in customers.
“I’ve had people say to me, why don’t we try to get a nice restaurant at the Nestle site? I’ve talked with investors. They come through Fulton and they count five dollar stores, umpteen used car lots, four or five places that sell car parts and the say, ‘You know what? The people of Fulton can’t afford a nice restaurant.’ It’s true, perception is everything,” Woodward replied.
“I’m not saying we’re going to say they can’t have them, but do they have enough of them and do we want to regulate where they go? Do we want to give them the prime spots of the city as people come in to see the city. That’s what it’s about, it’s not about telling someone they can’t have a business or earn a living, we certainly don’t want to do that.”
An Oswego County legislator representing Fulton, Frank Castiglia Jr. spoke in support of the moratorium.
“I think this is a great idea. I know it’s only for a certain length of time and I know the reason behind it. The council will get criticized for this, being we’re anti-business. It’s not anti-business, it’s making business more profitable that we have so that we can continue going forward and make the city more profitable so we can lower the taxes on our residents within the city. That’s what we’re looking to do, I know that’s what you guys are looking to do with this and I support it,” Castiglia said, adding that tattoo parlors should be included in the moratorium.
“The criticism, bring it on. I’m going to get criticised if we don’t have a nice city and I don’t mind getting criticised for trying to make it nicer. That’s my job,” Mayor Woodward said.
In other business, the council is accepting bids for milling and paving of city streets.
All bids should be submitted to the city clerk/chamberlain’s office by August 1 up to 2 p.m.
Similarly, the council is accepting bids for tree maintenance and stump removal.
Tree maintenance bids should be submitted to the city clerk/chamberlain’s office by July 27 up to 2 p.m.
Stump removal bids should be submitted to the city clerk/chamberlain’s office by July 27 up to 2 p.m.
The council unanimously passed a resolution to adopt a City of Fulton Employee Handbook Policies pertaining to CSEA employees.
“The city of Fulton over the years through its own will and sometimes through mandates has adopted several policies,” Mayor Woodward explained. “This (handbook) will put these all together and it will go to the personnel department. If anyone gets hired, they don’t get hired until they read the policies and electronically sign that they’ve read and understand them.”
The handbook stems from an incident that resulted in the discharge of a city employee after such employee reportedly slapped a child and referred to the child by a racial slur, Woodward said.
“You wouldn’t think today anyone in a public workplace would be violating civil rights,” Woodward said. “(But) the union went to bat for him and the first thing the union asked was, ‘is there a policy on this?’ and ‘did he see it?’ The answer was, there was (a policy) and yes, he did see it, but now we want to be sure they see all of them. That’s a no-brainer, you just don’t do that today but he did it and it cost him his job.”