Oswego Moves Ahead With Updating Its 2020 Comprehensive Plan

OSWEGO, NY – The Port City is moving ahead with revisions to its 2020 Comprehensive Plan, but without unanimous support from the council.

At its meeting this week, the Common Council voted 4 – 2 – 1 to authorize the mayor to sign all contracts to hire Bergmann Associates to conduct the public meetings and revise the city’s 2020 Comprehensive Plan in accordance with the requirements of the technical assistance grant provided through the NYS Office of Community Renewal.

Councilors Ron Kaplewicz (Seventh Ward), Connie Cosemento (First Ward), Mike Myers (Second Ward) and Cathy Santos (Third Ward) voted yes.

Voting no were Shawn Walker (Fourth Ward) and Bill Sharkey (Sixth Ward).

Dan Donovan (Fifth Ward) was absent.

Oswego’s 2020 Vision Comprehensive Plan was adopted in August 2003. The NYS Office of Community Renewal (formerly the Governor’s Office of Small Cities) has awarded a grant for revising the plan.

The city will likely need to add $25,000 to the grant funds in order to pay Bergmann’s fee.

During the public session, city resident Miles Becker chastised the council for considering to spend $25,000 of taxpayers’ money on something, he says, hasn’t benefited the city.

“There were a lot of people on that (original) committee years ago and there were a lot of suggestions that were very good. But I don’t know what happened to them,” he said. “To spend $25,000 on an upgrade? What are you going to upgrade? Nothing’s happened.”

The 2020 plan is a living document, according to Mary Vanouse, community development director.

It has provided the successful framework to garner state and federal grants and guidance for design parameters to preserve and enhance the city’s natural, historical and cultural aspects, she told the councilors.

The plan also had a huge impact on NYS Department of Transportation, which was instrumental in facilitating construction of the city’s new Route 104 bridge over the Oswego River, she pointed out.

Other highlights of the 2020 plan include opening up the city’s waterfront to a greater extent, creation of the Architectural Review Committee, and quality of life concerns such as the Noise Ordinance, she added.

Councilor Cosemento agreed, adding that the 2020 plan has helped the city secure several of the grants it has received over the years.

She also cited the quality of life issues the plan has accomplished such as the Noise Ordinance, the Nuisance Abatement Ordinance and the local law prohibiting the conversion of a single-family dwelling into a multi-family.

“We have seen a lot of improvement in our city, thanks to the 2020 plan,” Vanouse said.

The 2020 plan is a tool and as the city moves forward, all citizens will be invited to provide input and shape the city’s future, she said.

Public meetings regarding the plan are likely to start as soon as next month.