OSWEGO, NY – The Administrative Services Committee continued to fine tune the city’s tentative winter parking policy.
The work in progress has been the topic of lengthy discussion twice before at the committee level.
Each time councilors took no action on the matter, opting instead to continue working on the plan.
On Tuesday night, Third Ward Councilor Nate Emmons presented an updated version of the proposal.
Once again, after a lengthy discussion, the committee took no action.
The current plan would still be in effect from November 15 through March 31. The mayor, at his or her discretion, can extend it based on weather conditions.
It calls for no parking on city streets from 12 a.m. to 6 a.m.; except for the downtown area of West First and West Second from West Oneida to West Cayuga, Water Street area and Bridge Street from West First to West Fourth – ban is in effect 2 – 6 a.m.
Permits (exceptions) would be granted based on demonstrated need for parking on the street. The permit fee would be $25 for each of the winter months. The permits would be exclusive for the purchaser’s property.
Permit holders will have a designated parking spot along the city block, on the street, in which their property is located. The spots will be determined by the alderman of the ward, DPW and OPD.
The locations will be designated by signs to be installed by the DPW.
Permit holders are responsible for clearing the snow in and around their vehicles when parked in their space.
Alternate street parking isn’t included in this version of the policy.
However, some residents still have concerns about the city’s proposal.
One resident claimed the council had lost sight of what the policy was meant to accomplish and instead were punishing such as landlords.
“This new plan is too restrictive. It doesn’t do anything to help the cause,” he said.
“We’re not punishing anyone,” Emmons said. “Our goal is the safety of all citizens.”
If the DPW can’t clean the streets, it impacts multiple other city services, like ambulances, he pointed out.
Councilor Pat McLaughlin said the intent of the policy is to help the residents of Oswego. There’s no intent to punish anyone, he added.
“The first and foremost thing is safety,” DPW Commissioner Tom Kells said. “It takes us three time longer, if there are cars all over the streets to plow the streets, approximately. Getting the cars off the street is the only way to be efficient and make it safe. That’s pretty much it in a nutshell.”
Another resident said that it was unfair to have people pay for a parking space and then expect them to shovel the snow themselves.
“This is a work in progress,” chairman Robert Corradino said.
Councilor Emmons agreed. “This hasn’t been brought up in resolution,” he said. “It’s not written in stone.”
The council is trying to come up with the best policy that will help residents, he added.
“This is just the beginning,” McLaughlin said. “We’re open to exceptions. We need to get something going, we need to see if this works.”
The council will have more discussion before it comes up with a final plan to present to the full council, Corradino said.
“We need to put something together and more forward,” he said. “There needs to be a policy; we can’t keep changing the rules every year.”