OSWEGO – During Monday night’s Common Council meeting, Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow recapped the first year of his administration, outlining several accomplishments and examples of success over the last 12 months.
The mayor spoke specifically to winning the $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative from Governor Andrew Cuomo, accounting for a large portion of the almost $16 million the city secured in grant funding in 2016 alone.
“The biggest accomplishment, I believe, is securing the $10 million and winning the DRI competition from Governor Andrew Cuomo. We worked tirelessly to win the DRI grant and truly believe it will provide Oswego with the necessary tools to energize downtown Oswego and help revive our community,” Mayor Barlow told Oswego County Today. “I’m, extremely proud of all the effort, hard work and creativity that went into that application and must thank my department heads who work with me day in and day out to execute the vision I have for our community!”
The mayor also touched on securing grant money and creating new ways to raise revenue to stabilize the city water and sewer rates.
As per his campaign promise, he worked on resurrecting a brand new code enforcement office to hold negligent landlords accountable.
“There are a handful of landlords with no regard for the appearance of their properties,” he said.
This year, they also streamlined the building and permitting process for developers and small business owners. The number of permits issued this year has increased over last year’s total, the mayor noted.
And, during the summer months, they executed an $850,000 paving plan throughout the city of Oswego, he added.
“2016 will forever be an unforgettable year for the city of Oswego as the new administration took office, laid out a plan and went to work. We pursued and successfully secured a significant amount of grant money, confronted many different problems that have plagued the city for years, closed a $1 million budget deficit to pass a unanimous on- time budget, stood up to negligent city landlords by ramping up our neighborhood code efforts, invested in our municipal buildings and city equipment, and brought an economic development emphasis to the city’s community development office,” said Mayor Barlow.
The city took advantage of several funding opportunities to help boost economic development, the mayor said.
Oswego also will capitalize on its most under-utilized but most valuable resources, its waterfront, Barlow pointed out.
“My administration tackled many problems and addressed issues that existed for 30 years or more in the city of Oswego. We were proactive, hard-charging, productive and effective throughout our first year in office, and I must thank my department heads, all city employees and the common council for supporting and executing the vision I have for our community,” the mayor said. “We took on several controversial issues and stood strong, and because of making changes and being aggressive, you can see the improvements in City Hall, in our neighborhoods, on the streets and all throughout the city.”
The police department has been very busy.
“It is also worth mentioning that the overtime for the police department is $106,000 less this year than it was at this time last year,” the mayor said.
Mayor Barlow also mentioned other initiatives conquered throughout the year including the creation of an Anti-Poverty Steering Committee, lower overtime budgets, a new city website, the establishment of a bi-partisan city ethics board, creating and executing a five-year city-wide capital investment plan and addressing the road collapse on State Route 48 and securing funds to pay for the new construction.
“2016 was undoubtedly a turning point for the city of Oswego. We have a massive amount of momentum and positivity in the community and we will continue to charge ahead, face the tough issues and produce results for our city residents, who deserve the best from their local government,” the mayor said.
The mayor said he is looking forward to better stuff in the next three years.
He said he was thankful for all the help the councilors have provided during the year; they work with him to move the city forward instead of playing politics, he added.
“I appreciate and value each of you,” he said.