Hillside Water Problems Seep Back Into Council Meeting

OSWEGO, NY – The water quality problems several Hillside Avenue residents are having resurfaced at this week’s Administrative Services Committee meeting.

Councilor Ron Kaplewicz (Seventh Ward) requested the council waive the water fee for select residents on Hillside Avenue.

They received a waiver last quarter. However, the poor water quality hasn’t been corrected by the city, and residents have received their full bills for the next quarter.

“We’ve got some solutions,” Kaplewicz said. “I’m asking again to waive fees until this problem is fixed.”

He said he has had several discussions regarding the problem with the DPW commissioner, city engineer and others looking for a solution.

“We’re dealing with water, that in my humble opinion, is undrinkable,” the councilor said.

One of the residents, Joe Cenaro, was at the previous council meeting this spring.

He said he took offense to comments made by Councilor Shawn Walker who said if the city forgave them it would open a can of worms and Councilor Bill Sharkey regarding a timeframe.

“You tell me when you’re going to fix this,” Cenaro said. “I’ll show you the water, and if anybody wants to take a drink of it, be my guest. We shouldn’t have to pay a penny for water like this.”

“We have an aging infrastructure,” Kaplewicz said, noting other problems could pop up like this in other wards.

Some of the residents of his ward have low water pressure, lack of water or some times no water, Sharkey said.

“I’ve lived on Hillside Avenue with my husband since 1970. We have had very low water pressure, I would say probably 35 out of the 40 years,” Joan Izyk told the councilors. “We never knew if we were going to have water to drink. We’re not the only ones that are complaining about it. But, it’s been a lot of years that we’ve had problems. After a while, you get tired of complaining.”

“I just want clean water, that’s all I want,” Cenaro said. “I ought to be able to turn that faucet on and drink clean water.”

Councilor Connie Cosemento proposed not charging the residents until the city got the problem fixed.

“The city led, by their alderman will come up with the proposal and cost to fix (the Hillside Avenue) problem. If the city fails to get a solution by the end of this quarter they (the nine) properties will get the fourth quarter free (water) and we will resume our discussion,” she said.