Council Tables Resolution To Clarify Sewage Issue

OSWEGO, NY – The Common Council tabled a resolution Monday night that would have allowed the city to accept sewage from the college’s new housing project.

In February, the council voted to not accept any additional sewage from Oswego Town, unless it came from a single-family home. The resolution also noted that no single-family home in the town could be tied into the city sewer lines without council permission.

The resolution was vetoed by the mayor; the council overrode his veto, however.

The councilors say they want to maintain whatever capacity is left at the treatment plant for future city use. There is also an overflow problem during rainy weather in which sewage gets into the lake the city is looking to address.

SUNY Oswego, which is located in Oswego Town, is commencing a project to construct new dormitories/apartments on its campus. It had requested a clarification that the resolution doesn’t include sewage received by the city from the college.

The city accepts sewage from SUNY Oswego pursuant to sewer use agreements, which have been separate and distinct from the city’s sewer use agreements with the town.

According to Mayor Randy Bateman, the college wishes to continue to be a good neighbor to the city and has agreed, in concept, to assist the city in the amortization of the capital costs of required improvements to the city’s sewage treatment plant.

However, Councilor Mike Joyce (R-Seventh Ward), made a motion to table the resolution that would clarify the resolution passed Feb. 25. Councilor Sue Sweet (R-Third Ward) seconded it.

The council voted 6-1 to table the resolution that would have clarified that the previous resolution doesn’t apply to the college.

Council Vice President Connie Cosemento (D-First Ward) cast the lone nay vote.

Joyce said he’d been trying to contact a DEC engineer for more information.

“She never called me back to answer questions, does she support this, where does it go from here. Where do we as a city stand with the DEC and the overflow into the lake,” he said. “We need a little guidance on this.”

Joyce said he’d like to have a workshop with the DEC so the councilors could ask questions.

“At the committee meetings, I asked twice, ‘any more questions? Any more comments?’ They didn’t speak up,” Cosemento noted.

What the other councilors are asking for “is fine,” she continued. “The council has to take the responsibility to go ask the questions itself. And not always stop the process. Perhaps, by asking the question to someone at the college, that could have been answered and they can go on with the project.”