Oswego Council, Port Weighing Future Of International Marina

OSWEGO, NY – The Port City and Port of Oswego Authority continued to wrangle over the future of the port’s International Marina property.

Last October, the Common Council authorized the mayor to enter into an agreement to lease the marina for Nov. 1, 2010 through June 30, 2011. The lease rate is $7,462.50 per month.

Councilors voted 5 to 2 last fall to move ahead with plans to acquire the International Marina from the Port of Oswego Authority. The price tag is $2.1 million.

According to the deal, the purchase of the marina shall take place on or before June 30, 2011, unless a later date for such purchase is agreed to by both the city and the port authority.

At Monday’s Administrative Services Committee meeting, the mayor pointed out that it’s near the end of the pact and councilors need to decide what the next step will be.

“We need to give the (Port Authority) an answer one way or another, whether we want to continue with the lease, which is an option, I think their preference is to sell it. So it’s up to the council,” the mayor said.

There was some damage to a number of docks over the rough winter months, noted Council President Ron Kaplewicz.

They have been fixed, according to Jonathan Daniels, executive director of the Port of Oswego Authority.

“I’d like to see us lease it for one more year to see so we could see the numbers better. The first year, I don’t think we had enough time to see what the numbers are,” said Councilor Mike Myers.

All marinas have had down years, Daniels told the committee.

The Wright’s Landing Marina has been rather steady for the city the past several years, noted DPW Commissioner Mike Smith.

The port maintains its agreement with Pathfinder Bank for one year of interest only, Daniels said, adding, “That ends June 30. There is not anything in there that says we can lease it for another year, there is nothing that stipulates what that rate would be. Our rate goes up dramatically. So that is certainly something that we would have to discuss. We’re open to another year.”

There needs to be time for the port to work with the state on whatever deal they agree to with the city, he added.

That is about a 60-day process, he said.

Mayor Randy Bateman pointed out that when the lease for Wright’s Landing is up, the city may or may not have the option to sign a new one for another 25 years.

In 2007, the city signed a new deal with the port to lease the Wright’s Landing Marina for another 25 years from the port with the rent remaining at $1 a year.

“If we go through with the purchase (of the International Marina), the city would control the whole waterfront,” he told the councilors.

Kaplewicz said he supports the city purchasing the marina.

“I haven’t changed my opinion on that at all,” he said Monday night. “The waterfront is our heritage. I think it would provide income and revenue for the city.”

Myers suggested setting up a meeting with the port’s board and all the councilors.

The mayor will schedule a meeting in the near future.