Council Votes 4-3 To Approve Amended Sewage Resolution

OSWEGO, NY – At the May 12 Common Council meeting, an amended resolution that clarifies SUNY Oswego isn’t included in a resolution (passed in February) that doesn’t allow the city to accept any more sewage from Oswego Town except from single-family homes was tabled.

Tuesday night it was brought off the table and was barely approved.

Council president Dan Donovan (R-Fifth Ward), council vice president Connie Cosemento (D-First Ward), Sue Sweet (R-Third Ward), and Shawn Walker (R-Fourth Ward) voted in favor of the resolution.

Voting no were Mike Myers (R-Second Ward), Bill Sharkey (R-Sixth Ward), and Mike Joyce (R-Seventh Ward).

The college is beginning a project to build new housing for upperclassmen and graduate students.

“I can’t see treating the Oswego Town people any different than the Oswego College,” Myers said in explaining his opposition to the new resolution.

Mayor Randy Bateman pointed out that the councilors had the opportunity to meet with representatives of the college, ask questions and get answers.

“The college would use 2,100 gallons a day (of the city’s Westside Wastewater Treatment Plant). The plant has an excess of probably a million gallons a day,” the mayor said. “So, there is no problem taking that flow.”

“I think it shows good faith that we’re wsorking with the colege,” he continued.

“I have no problem with this resolution. This is a long account that we’ve had with the college,” Cosemento said, adding it brings in approximatly $250,000 in revenues for the Port City.

The college has also agreed to assist the city financially and with their own construction to upgrade and separate some of their lines on campus as well as pay for some of the upgrades to the west side plant, Cosemento said.

“We couldn’t get a better deal,” Cosemento said. “We certainly wouldn’t want to lose this account. They are going green on this particular construction. I have great trust in their decision to work with us.”

The project is necessary to help the SUNY Oswego stay competitive with other universities across the state, Sweet noted.

The new housing will allow students to move out of over-crowded areas, she continued.

Therefore, she explained, it won’t mean more sewage coming into the city; it will bacically be evening it out and “if that’s the case, there will not be an increase in the amount of sewage.”

In February, Myers proposed a resolution 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 approved by the council but vetoed by the mayor in late February; in March, the council overrode his veto, however.

Last week, council committee members said they were satisfied with information they received from the college and they recommended sending the resolution back to the full council for consideration.

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 the mayor.

The college wants to get started on its new housing project to be able to meet the scheduled 2010 completion date.