OSWEGO, NY – The public will get its chance to wade in on a proposed local law requiring people in designated areas of the Oswego River to wear personal flotation devices.
At Monday’s Common Council meeting, a public hearing was set for May 22 at 7:10 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall.
The purpose of the proposed law is to promote water safety, explained Council Vice President John Gosek, the sponsor of the proposal.
According to the proposal: All persons using, entering into, standing in, walking in, floating on or otherwise present in the designated area of the Oswego River are required to wear a personnel floatation device at all times while present in the designated area.
The penalty for the first offense would be a fine of not less than $50 or more than $100; for the second offense a fine of not less than $100 or more than $250; for a third offense a fine of not less than $250 or more than $500. The penalty for the fourth offense and each offense thereafter shall be a fine of not less than $500 or more than $1,000.
The proposal authorizes the Oswego Police Department to enforce the local law.
Brookfield Renewable Power is onboard with the proposal, said Jim Toy, who has helped create the tentative local law.
“They will help facilitate the public awareness piece of it,” he told the council. “This isn’t about Brookfield. This is about public safety laws; putting the onus back on the sportsmen and recreational fishermen who visit our city from many different points around the country.”
The law places the responsibility for safety back on the fishermen, he said, adding, “People will make stupid mistakes, we all know that. We’ve seen it. Let’s hope that the passage of this and moving forward with this will help eliminate a lot of those mistakes.”