New Deal For High Dam On Hold

OSWEGO, NY – At its meeting Monday night, the Administrative Services Committee tabled a resolution regarding a new deal with Brookfield Power.

Gay Williams, city attorney, requested approval of a proposed agreement for Brookfield to manage the High Dam Hydro Station.

The agreement would be retroactive to January 1, 2013, and run through December 31, 2015.

However, the committee tabled the resolution to allow councilors to get more information from Brookfield representatives.

One of the issues the city wants to discuss with the company is the use of the warning sirens.

“At 5:40 this evening, the temperature outside is 12 degrees,” city resident Ed Mattot told the committee. “There is no night fishing in the Oswego River from the Utica Street bridge to the dam from September 1 to March 1. So, legally, nobody can be in the river fishing.”

He questioned why Brookfield would sound the alarm during that time period.

That could be corrected, he said, with “a $15 timer.”

“We have had a similar discussion with Brookfield and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission,” Council President Ron Kaplewicz said. “I was expecting a long time ago to hear back from FERC and Brookfield regarding the issue of the sirens and the alarm system going off at all hours of the night. Which, by the way, has been remedied, so we don’t have the 3:30 (a.m.) ‘burglar alarm’ system going off any more. But, the sirens, in my mind, are troublesome, problematic and they’re just a plain nuisance.”

“I think it’s time for us to sit down and communicate with Brookfield. We’re just talking about the high dam agreement; but we need to talk about everything as it relates to this contract and other things,” he continued.

In other business:

Tony Leotta, city engineer, requested approval of Change Order No. 1 for the construction contract with C.O. Falter Construction Corporation for the West Side EFMF and Pump Station Upgrade, EFC Project No. C7-6344-19-05, in the amount of $0.

Funding for this change order ($200,000) is provided in the base contract award under BI-1A for Miscellaneous Additional Work.

There was some “unforeseen work,” Leotta told the committee, adding that a balance of about $173,000 in that account.

Therefore, the dollar amount of the contract will not increase from the original $2,906,101.

The city engineer also requested adoption of the attached Zoning Office fees in accordance with Section 280-102 of the Zoning Ordinance.

The increases would be: Area Variance – $75, Use Variance – $250, Zoning Appeal – $100, Zoning Map/Text Amendment -$300, Residential District Special Permit – $150, Residential District Parking Plan Review – $100, Residential Certificate of Compliance – $25, Commercial District Site Plan Review – $400, Commercial District Special Permit Use – $400, Commercial District Parking Plan Review – $250, Commercial Certificate of Compliance – $50, Industrial District Site Plan Review – $400, Industrial District Special Permit Use – $400, Sign Permits – $100, Landfill permits – $100, and Use of Public Space Review – $75.

“If we have an average year, we should generate an additional $12,000. That’s a low figure. It depends on how much activity we have in 2014. It could generate as much as $18,000. To be conservative, we’re looking at $12,000,” Leotta said. “We believe the fees are reasonable.”

The city attorney requested authorization for Mayor Tom Gillen to execute a renewal lease agreement with Oswego County Opportunities to lease Building #10 at Fort Ontario for a one-year extension lease under the same terms and conditions as the present lease.

The previous 10-year lease expired on Aug. 30, 2013.

OCO currently is agreeable to a one-year extension under the same terms and for the same rent, $12,000 per year, the city attorney explained.

Jeff McCrobie, fire chief, requested authorization to hold a blood drive through the American Red Cross on January 16 from noon – 5 p.m. at the Eastside Fire Station.

The blood drive is open to the public.

For more information, call 343-2161.

The fire chief requested permission to send one personnel to Ice/Water Rescue Training at Montour Falls, January 23 – 24.

Funds will be budgeted in 2014 training account, contingent on approval and adoption of the budget.

The fire chief requested permission to do an intra-departmental transfer of funds in the amount of $5,800 from Account #A.3410.0211 (Ambulance Equipment) to Account #A.3410.0411 (Ambulance Supplies).

The transfer is to purchase needed ambulance supplies, he explained.

The committee forwarded all the requests to the full council for consideration at the Dec. 23 meeting. The proposed 2014 budget is also on that agenda.