Oswego Committee Recommends Continuation Of Mural Project

OSWEGO, NY – At its meeting Monday night, the Physical Services Committee recommended moving ahead with the Springboard Mural Project – and to be more vigilant against vandalism along the RiverWalk area.

Councilors say they want to keep the project going to brighten the city’s RiverWalk and curb graffiti in the area as well.

Dawn Metott, representing the Oswego City/County Youth Bureau, requested permission from the council to continue the Springboard Mural Project.

Organizers have submitted artwork for the council’s approval to be installed on the West RiverWalk during 2013.

“It’s a very nice program to get youth involved in their community,” Elizabeth Manion, a member of the mural committee told the councilors.

The council approved the mural project in the spring of 2009. The city formed a collaboration with Oswego High school to create murals in the Riverwalk corridor to brighten the area and prevent future ‘tagging’ of the area by graffiti artists.

The alliance spearheading the mural proposal included representatives from the school district, the 20/20 Arts Collaborative, the Oswego City-County Youth Bureau, Oswego County Opportunities, and the city’s Community Development Office.

“We have dealt with this for a few years now. I like the program,” committee chairman Mike Myers said. “I am in support of it.”

“It is a great program,” Fifth Ward Councilor Dan Donovan agreed. “It has really dressed up that area.”

Council President Ron Kaplewicz thanked the mural committee and all the young artists who’ve participated throughout the years.

“Thank you all for adding a little character to our linear park,” he said. “We still have some vandalism that is occurring in that area and for the first time, some murals were tagged. I find that unfortunate.”

The city needs to closely monitor the area through the DPW and the police department as well as the public at large, he added.

“We’ve got to catch one of those scoundrels at some point that are defacing not only the beautiful murals but much of our downtown,” he said.

Some private businesses in the area have inquired about the possibility of having murals done for them.

“It’s something we can talk about at a later time. But there is an opportunity there for the artists,” he said.

The committee gave the request a favorable recommendation.

Former Council Member To Be Recognized

The committee also paved the way for recognition of a former council member.

Second Ward Councilor Mike Myers requested that the existing street adjacent to the Safe Haven Holocaust Museum at Fort Ontario Park Complex, between East Seventh Street and Fort Ontario Road be named Barbara Donahue Drive.

“Barb, she did many years here. She has also been a really good friend of the arts and theatre,” Myers said of the former Second Ward Councilor. “I think this would be a nice little tribute to her for all her dedication and all the time she’s put in for the city.”

The committee sent the request to the full council for consideration.

In Other Action:

Tony Leotta, city engineer, requested use of public space on behalf of John Josh, owner of commercial property located at 142 W. Second St., for proposed eight foot by thirty-three foot retail display, between the sidewalk and right-of-way fronting West Second Street.

“I don’t see any issue with it. There is plenty of sidewalk width there,” he said. “And, it’s new sidewalk.”

It might not be a problem where that building is located, but it might be at other locations, Guy Williams, city attorney, cautioned.

If there are other applications (like this), it may cause a problem depending on where they are.

“Those applications could be much more problematic, because of what you’re doing here now,” she said.

The resolution(s) would have a revocation clause, the city engineer noted.

“So, if there is any problem, the council still retains the right of revocation,” he explained.

The committee sent the request to the full council for consideration.

Michael Smith, DPW commissioner, received correspondence from Mark Wahl, president of the board of directors of the Ontario Center for Performing Arts, requesting use of the McCrobie Civic Center for its 2014 concert dates for Saturday evenings, commencing January 11 and continuing through December 6.

They are also requesting to hold an open mic series on Friday evenings preceding the regular Saturday shows from January 10 through December 5, 2014.

In addition, they are planning several community Contra dances, to be held on select Friday evenings, in between the open mic dates, and more specifically on January 3, February 1, March 1, October 3 and November 1.

It pretty much mirrors the deal they have with the city for this year, he pointed out.

“As you well know, it is a very successful program. It draws a lot of people into our city,” he said.

A lot of the performers come back to Oswego because of loyalty, First Ward Councilor Fran Enwright said.

The request was sent to the full council.

Also given a favorable recommendation were:

Paul Lupa, secretary of the Oswego City Veterans’ Council, requested permission to place a monument in Veterans’ Memorial Park, RiverWalk West to be dedicated to the veterans of the Afghan and Iraqi wars.

“We feel it is time to do it so these heroes will not be forgotten,” Lupa told the councilors.

Charles Haw, president of the Oswego City Veterans’ Council, also wrote a letter, requesting the approval from the Common Council so the veterans can begin working on the project.

Emily Anthony requested to erect an 18’ x 30’ tent next to the Breitbeck Park pavilion on August 10 to hold food for her wedding reception, as the reception itself will be held inside the pavilion.

She indicated that there will be no stakes in the ground; it will be placed on the pavement.

Lisa Emmons requested use of public property for the Big Latch On event, which they are coordinating along with the Oswego County Breastfeeding Committee. They want permission to set up two to four pop-up tents 10’ x 10’ in West Park on August 3 in case of inclement weather that day.