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Oswego Service Organizations Unveil New Gateway Sign

OSWEGO, NY – The gateways into the Port City are looking a little more inviting, thanks to a concerned citizen.

Ron Kilbourn, the immediate past president of the Oswego Kiwanis Club, gathered all of Oswego’s service organizations to improve the signage at each of the city’s gateways – Route 104 West, Route 104 East, Route 48 and Route 481.

Appearing at the gateway sign unveiling are: Ronald Kilbourn, past president of Kiwanis; Peter Wiltsie, of Wiltsie Construction; Patrick Fasulo, of the Oswego Masons; Lionel Earl, city of Oswego Traffic Division; Deana Masuicca, of the Oswego YMCA; Mary Vanouse, community development director; Carol and George Reed, of the Oswego Sunrise Rotary Club; and David Granoff, of the noon Rotary Club.
Appearing at the gateway sign unveiling are: Ronald Kilbourn, past president of Kiwanis; Peter Wiltsie, of Wiltsie Construction; Patrick Fasulo, of the Oswego Masons; Lionel Earl, city of Oswego Traffic Division; Deana Masuicca, of the Oswego YMCA; Mary Vanouse, community development director; George and Carol Reed, of the Oswego Sunrise Rotary Club; and David Granoff, of the noon Rotary Club.

Kilbourn told Oswego County Today that he initiated the project as a private citizen who wanted to improve the appearance of his city.

“I got a hold of Mary (Vanouse, community development director) back in April and we got things going. I sent out letters to 14 service groups, worked things out with them,” he explained. “This was a mess. I can show you pictures of all the signs before; how scattered they were, none of them resembled anything that made sense. They just had a whole bunch of announcements on them.”

City officials and representatives from the service organizations gathered today (Oct. 19) to unveil the first of the four signs. It is located on (the south side of) Route 104 West, just to the west of the O’Mara Welcome Center.

The sign on Route 104 West is the only completed so far, Kilbourn said.

The one on Route 48 has the frame, but nothing has been done on it yet. And, 104 East is totally disrupted because of the roadwork being done in the area, he added.

“Route 481, coming into the city, was just individual signs wherever they could find a post to stick them on,” he said. “So, this looks much better. Mary was very helpful in getting all this done.”

The organizations participating in the project include the Oswego (Noon) Rotary Club, the Oswego Sunrise Rotary Club, the Elks Club, the Lions Club, the Moose Club, Kiwanis, Masons, Ancient Order of Hibernians, Oswego YMCA, Veterans of Foreign Wars and Zonta Club of Oswego.

The city’s Department of Public Works, Oswego Police Department – Traffic Division and Community Development Office helped coordinate city services to manufacture and install the new design.

The committee considered the sign’s appeal and what the content of the signboards should include, according to Mary Vanouse, community development director.

Each sign will have a silhouette of a two-masted ship, as appears in the city of Oswego seal, and will include the city’s website.

The ship design was borrowed from the East First Street Gateway lightpole decorations.

Peter Wiltsie, president of Wiltsie Construction, donated the labor and materials for each of the four gateway signs.

“The remaining gateway signs are in various stages of completion,” Vanouse said. “Mr. Wiltsie will have two ships ready for installation by mid-November to complete the Route 48 and Route 481 signs. However, because of the change of season, it’s important to acknowledge the great work done by the committee now.”

Route 48 will be next followed by Route 481, Vanouse said. And, Route 104 East will get its sign after the roadwork is finished in that location, she added.

2 Comments

  1. I would like to know why the 14 “chosen” groups get to be involved with this, while other orgs are left out. If this is truly a city endevour (even though the process was started by Ron) why wasn’t the entire city included? Seems a bit like the good ‘ol boys network again, par for the course for Oswego unfortunately. Great idea and great looking signage, but a bit of collusion.

  2. I have lived in Oswego for a long time. OMG, almost half a century! And I have noticed so many ‘improvements’ to the way our small city looks. I was very impressed with the downtown vitalization: buildings painted and refurbished, the trees and vintage lighting. And this is only one more step toward that 20/20 that was ‘wished’ for a decade ago. I went to that first session, where we put down on paper what we’d personally like to ‘happen’ in Oswego.

    I don’t know if Mary Vanouse gets the acknowledgement for a job well done that she should, although I DO know everyone in City Hall knows what she does. In my case, I recognized her dedication to the city when in the 1980s when my street on the westside got new sewers (and much more that was added to the state grant that someone else might have missed as needed like curbing and even new sidewalks!), because OUR sewers were the original one pipe for both wastewater and rainwater overflow. This substantially improved at least my morning routine, but made me see what someone with energy and foresight could do.

    In an era when people complain about taxes and how they are spent, this is yet another example of how Community Development under the leadership of Mary Vanouse worked out of the box to get what our city needs. Thank you for listening to the organizations who brought this forward, especially Ron Kilbourn, but also all the other organizations who put not just their finances, but also their time to raise those funds. Without a ‘willing ear’ with the same vision in City Hall, this might not have happened.

    20/20 MIGHT just happen. We still have almost a decade, and each not so baby step is getting us closer (think Port in the Port City, too!).

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