Mayor Barlow Quells Uproar Over Street Trees

OSWEGO – The recent uproar over the city’s plan to replace the old trees along West First Street with new, flowering, trees was debunked by Mayor Billy Barlow Monday night.

On the past few days, members of the community have complained that the city took down perfectly healthy trees and created an eyesore downtown. Some have gone as far as to say the project was politically motivated.

The project is to enhance the ambiance of downtown, the mayor explained.

Cones mark the spots where the trees once stood. The city hopes to start planting the new trees this week.

There is nothing political about it, Barlow said. It’s merely the city’s continuing effort to revitalize the downtown, he said.

This is the “same exact thing” as when the city took down some trees during the Bridge Street project, he pointed out. “Some people didn’t even notice,” he added.

“People just need to take a breath,” the mayor said. “Every time we touch something, there is the initial ‘what are they doing?’ I just don’t understand where the other side is coming from.”

By ‘other side,’ he doesn’t mean any political party or group – just those who seem to always find fault, he explained.

Some of the people who were most critical of the pocket park on Water Street are among those currently enjoying it, he said for example.

In his travels around the state, Barlow said that almost all desirable downtowns have flowering trees.

New Japanese white lilac trees are set to replace the old trees. The city will install them by the end of this week, according to the mayor.

“They’re consistent, they look nice and they will match,” he told Oswego County Today. “The trees that were there were probably the cheapest trees the city could get 30 years ago. They were different heights, some were half dead … they were forcing up the sidewalk is places.”

Funding for the project is available in the city’s “Tree” budget line.

“These trees will get 20, 25 feet. They’re not little scrubs,” Barlow said.


  1. I do not live in the city but it certainly looks like Mayor Barlow is doing a heck of a job! The city looks nicer, streets are being repaired, the downtown looks more inviting. By the way, I am not a Republican so my comment has nothing to do with politics either.
    Keep up the good work Mayor, next work on the city taxes and bring in an industry to go along with the aluminum plant.

  2. We need a mayor in the city of Fulton to Do what the mayor of Oswego has accomplished. Nice job mayor Barlow.

  3. Mr Barlow I live on the east side of the city. This spring the city had put in on a small island and on 104 hill small trees and groundbrush. These areas are now overgrown with weeds and looks disgusting and terrible. The westside entrance to the city looks good with flowers and plants, downtown also looks very nice. All we are asking is for the weeds to be cut down and the grass to be mowed. We would like to look nice too

  4. Oswegonians…you live a few miles from a scary, living, unstoppable nuclear reactor placed there by the powers-that-be in the 1970s. No city in their right mind wants one. I would take more offense to that. Don’t get distracted by the pretty downtown.

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