Oswego Council Eyes Changes For Public Space Requests

OSWEGO, NY – Anyone looking to use public space or services in the future had better make sure their bills are paid up.

There is nothing that says if you want to use public services, your taxes have to be paid, First Ward Councilor Fran Enwright said recently.

“We’re getting requests all the time to use public space. But if you go back and do some research, you’ll find some property taxes haven’t been paid in two years,” he said. “Water bills haven’t been paid for a year and a half. And yet they are expecting us to go out there and go ahead and supplement them. So, I disagree with that. I feel that we should stop this practice.”

Everybody that comes in with a request to use public space or any city services should show proof that their taxes are current, he said.

“I mean not just what they have with the city but with the county,” he added. “That’s what I’d like to propose. We’re all struggling here. We had our taxes go up and we’re carrying a lot of these people on our shoulders so they can supplement their own interests.”

“It’s not difficult. But it’s just may not be same day turn around,” Deb Coad, city chamberlain, said of determining tax payment status.

Acting City Engineer Tony Leotta said the council should include a revocation clause in the use of public space resolutions.

“That way if the use is granted, but you discover their taxes aren’t paid, it can be revoked,” he explained.

The Assistant City Attorney will work with the councilors to ensure the proper language is included in the proposed resolution.

“Just so it’s understood, this section, we can’t put it anywhere in our code that allows it cover the entirety of what we do. It has to be put in each section that involves permits, services and uses,” explained Council Vice President Eric VanBuren. “So we have to add it to every section. So, it’ll be a multiple code change.”

No date has been set for the proposal to come before the full council.