OSWEGO, NY – At its meeting Monday night, the Common Council approved two requests from the Oswego Yacht Club, but not without a bit of discussion.
The club requested authorization to host several regattas (Oswego County Hospice Cup, Sail Oswego, Eastern Yachting Circuit and the J-24 Pennant Series) planned for the 2014 season.
It also requested a waiver of the open container ordinance, placement of event tents, permission to place portable restrooms on the pier, use of 100 parking spots adjacent to the entrance to the International Marina for the Sail Oswego Regatta and for the Eastern Yachting Circuit Regatta, tenting, additional dockage and a caterer.
And, the club requested authorization to do a deck expansion.
The club leases the building from the city.
The northern most deck of the building was never completed to a functional platform and now the club members wish to complete this dock on the existing footprint according to the site plan.
The club will cover the entire costs of all phases of the project. The estimated cost of materials for the project is $26,000 to $28,000. Labor will be provided by members of the club
However, if the city terminates the club’s lease (prior to its end date), the club will ask the city to reimburse them for the project’s costs. Such costs will be reduced by one-sixteenth each year of the remaining 16 years of the lease; such that at the final termination date of the lease, the amount of reimbursement to the club by the city shall be zero.
Work is expected to begin in May and be completed in mid-July, according to Yacht Club officials.
First Ward Councilor Fran Enwright, a Yacht Club member, believes the deck deal is a win-win.
“The city gets $500 a month rent for the top floor of the Yacht Club site, $6,000 a year; they pay about $45,000 a year for slip rentals; plus the dry slips, so that’s $5,250; and more,” he said. “That doesn’t even count the reciprocals, those boaters that come here, dock and want to come see the city. That’s even more money. It’s over $60,000 that (the club) generates annually. So I think that’s not a bad deal.”
Third Ward Councilor Mike Todd, however, feels $500 a month isn’t sufficient rent for site.
The reimbursement clause was a sticking point for another councilor.
“I don’t agree with that,” Fourth Ward Councilor Shawn Walker said. “So, I don’t believe that I’m going to support this.”
The club’s request to use public space passed 7-0.
However, the vote was 5-2 on the deck resolution with councilors Walker and Todd casting nay votes.
“I’m just not guaranteed that we won’t have to pick up the tab on this at some point,” Todd explained. “If they want to do it, they should have all the liability. They are getting a multi-million dollar facility for $500 a month, I don’t know any place else on earth that you can get that. To me, it constitutes and illegal gift from a municipality to a private entity.”
In other action:
The council approved closing of a portion of Hamilton and Church streets between the east line of Maple Street and the West Line of Elm Street. Street closings require council approval in two consecutive years. This was the second passage.
The closure was first approved on June 25, 1968. However, there was no formal second closing.
Councilors OK’d an amendment to the Brittany Hill Planned Development District – Phase III Project. It allows for five single-family houses (107 to 115 Arcadia Avenue) and five two-family townhouses (102 to 120 Arcadia Avenue).
The mayor was authorized to:
- sign an amendment to the agreement with Butler Disposal Systems for trash removal services. The one-year option is under the same terms and conditions as 2013.
- sign a change order in the amount of $9,389.43 with J&A Mechanical Contractors for project modifications to the West Side Waste Water Treatment Plant Expansion Project.
- sign task order No. 6 with GHD Consulting Engineers for the West Side Combined Sewer Separation Project. This increases the total agreement from $572,025 to $582,025.
The fire chief was authorized to purchase a rub rail from North River/Almar Boats for use by the fire department. The cost, $1,749.65, will come from the department’s budget.
Councilors also approved the fire chief’s request to attend the First Responder Cold Water Training to be held on February 12 or 13 in Syracuse.
The council tabled a resolution regarding a grant application for the city’s new website.
They want more time to consider parts of the terms of the website proposal.
“We had the chance to review the proposal and the grant application over the weekend as we had not had a chance to look at the details. Some questions came up with some of the councilors regarding the company and the agreement with them to host and maintain the new site,” Council vice president Eric VanBuren explained. “We want to take the time to get those questions answered before we make a decision on the proposal.”