Oswego Council Paves The Way For Chamber, Harborfest Events

OSWEGO, NY – Despite freezing temperatures and heavy lake effect snow, the Common Council turned its attention to some warm weather issues Monday night.

Granted permission to the Greater Oswego-Fulton Chamber of Commerce to:

  • Hold its annual farmers’ market on West First Street and surrounding areas on Thursday evenings beginning May 22
  • Use public space for its annual Independence Day Celebration to be held on July 6.
  • Use Veterans’ Memorial Park for its Summer Concert Series to be held on June 17, July 15, and August 19.
  • Use the bandstand for Fulton Jazzfest to be held August 8-9.
  • Use Washington Square (East Park) and surrounding areas for the annual Pumpkin Fest to be held October 4-5.

At the public session, Mercedes Niess, executive director of the H. Lee White Marine Museum, spoke in support of the various resolutions regarding chamber events.

In light of some discussion at committee last week about the possibility decreasing some funding for these events (such as fireworks for the Fourth of July), she urged the councilors to maintain the funding in place for the events.

“It’s really a small amount of funding in comparison to what it takes to put these things together,” she said. “I don’t think you’re going to balance your budget on making cuts in this particular area. These events provide wholesome activities for the community, for our families and children.”

Hundreds and hundreds of people attend the concerts and thousands and thousands of people attend the parade, she added.

“These activities are for our local residents. These are things that they can do in their community; it gives them a sense of pride and it gives them a wonderful afternoon or evening to spend along the waterfront or on Bridge Street,” she told the councilors. “The Independence Day Parade is a celebration of our country and we should not cut the fireworks.”

Also, the council waived the rules to bring two resolutions to the floor without committee discussion.

One granted permission to Harbor Festivals to use various city properties for the staging and production of Harborfest 2014.

The other authorized the mayor to execute a nine-month extension of the current lease agreement between Harbor Festivals and the city for the premises currently leased at the McCrobie Civic Center, 41 Lake St., from April 1, 2014, through December 31, 2014.

The council approved use of Wright’s Landing Marina on April 5 for the “Oswego Polar Plunge” hosted by the New York Special Olympics.

There was, however, some discussion as Councilor Eric VanBuren proposed an amendment to the resolution. He moved that fellow councilor Mike Todd participate in the plunge.

Fran Enwright seconded the motion.

The amendment and the resolution as amended both passed unanimously.

In other action, the councilors:

Approved use of public space for Maureen Wills. The owner of property at 38 E. Cayuga St., wants to install a platform and ramp.

Accepted monetary donation from the Benevolent Order of Elks Lodge #271 for the purchase of life vests for the Wear-It Program.

Authorized the mayor to execute an agreement with the county through the Oswego City-County Youth Bureau for reimbursement from the AmeriCorps Grant.

Approved creation of a new grant application policy.

Approved a bond resolution – $2,000,000 – to pay part of the cost of the Westside Wastewater Treatment Plant Expansion and Upgrade Project.

Authorized the purchasing agent to solicit bids for a new ambulance.