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.
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.