Council Paves The Way For City-Port Marina Deal

OSWEGO, NY – The Common Council voted 5 to 2 Wednesday afternoon to move ahead with plans to acquire the International Marina from the Port of Oswego Authority. The price tag is $2.1 million.

At their regular meeting Monday night, aldermen voted to table the resolution.

Councilors had received enough information to satisfy them and many of their constituents and a special meeting was called for Wednesday afternoon.

The resolution was removed from the table and brought back to the floor where councilors Connie Cosemento, Mike Myers, Cathy Santos, Dan Donovan and Ron Kaplewicz voted in favor. Aldermen Shawn Walker and Bill Sharkey voted against.

The city has been negotiating regarding the marina since around March, yet aldermen didn’t have timely information, Walker said.

“There are too many questions out there right now,” he said, adding, “I’d like to vote yes on this, but another part of me says no.”

He finally settled on no.

“Absolutely not,” voted Sharkey.

Myers took several seconds before voting yes.

“We should have sent this out to a public referendum, let the people vote,” Walker said following the meeting. “This is one of the hardest things I’ve had to vote for.”

The resolution calls for a one-year lease “and it’s not saying that we’re obligated,” Myers said. “It gives us an out if the numbers aren’t good.”

A couple constituents did call him with concerns, the Second Ward Alderman continued. The majority were for the plan and a few were against it, he pointed out.

“What I did was weighed the constituents that called me and tried to make the best sound judgment of the city of Oswego that I could. If it’s going to generate some revenue farther down the road, that’s great,” he said.

There are some things that the council probably will have to tweak, he added.

One concern is the manpower needed to operate the marina. He won’t go for hiring anybody, “we’ll have to use what we already have in place,” he said. “We can’t put any extra bodies on. Who knows what the future holds for the city. We might not have those bodies.”

“There is potential to make some money there. There are other things out there that we need to look at,” Myers said. “We have to come up with some sources to bring in some revenue. It was a tough call tonight. It was one of the toughest decisions I’ve had to make.”

“I think in five years, people are going to look back and say, ‘You know what? I am glad we did that.’ I am hoping.”

The city and the port have conducted extensive negotiations and arrived at an agreement for the lease of the marina.

Councilors authorized the mayor to enter into an agreement for Nov. 1, 2010 through June 30, 2011.

The agreement contains the following terms:

The lease rate shall be $7,462.50 per month.

The premises to be leased shall include the docks, all utilities, wave attenuator, marina building and parking lot.

The lease agreement between the Port of Oswego Authority and the Oswego Yacht Club shall remain in full force and effect and shall be assigned to the city, such that the yacht club shall become a sub-leasee of the city for the term of the city’s lease.

The city shall be entitled to collect rents from the yacht club and fees for slip rentals, dry dock services, transient boaters and regatta fees for the term of the lease.

That in the event that the lease is terminated without a sale of the International Marina to the city, the city shall reimburse the port authority 67 percent of all fees collected during the term of the lease.

That in the event that the city cannot secure financing for the purchase of the International Marina, during the term of the lease, the city shall have the right to renew the lease for an additional period of one year by giving the port authority 60 days prior written notice of the city’s intent to renew the lease.

The lease contains an option to purchase the marina under the following terms:

The sale price shall be $2.1 million.

The purchase of the marina shall take place on or before June 30, 2011, unless a later date for such purchase is agreed to by both the city and the port authority.

The premises to be sold shall include approximately six acres of land to be surveyed by the port authority and all real and personal property covered by the lease agreement.

Other terms of the pact include:

The port shall release the city from its obligation to pay half the sale price of the former Flexo Wire property.

The city shall release the port from any claim it might have against the port for monies owed to the city with respect to the East First Street Project.

The port shall release the city from any claims the port might have against the city with respect to the additional cost of construction of a new wall for the East Side Marina.