Oswego City Hall

The Oswego Common Council approved a $3.3 million bonding resolution on Monday, with the majority of the funding, roughly $2.18 million, to pay for ongoing renovations and restoration at City Hall. 

OSWEGO — Port City officials approved a bonding resolution Monday to borrow $3.3 million for a series of projects, including the ongoing City Hall restoration and improvements to Munn Street and Brittany Hill.

The Oswego Common Council unanimously approved a resolution authorizing the issuance of $3,318,000 in short-term serial bonds that are likely to be repaid over the next five years, according to city officials. The funds will help cover the cost of four separate projects, each with a period of probable usefulness between 10 and 25 years. 

“Bonding for these projects falls into our municipal financing plan and the annual payments won’t drastically change our operating budget picture,” said Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow. “So it’s responsible, appropriate and the projects within the bond needed to be done.”

Barlow said when he took office in 2016 the city had recently paid off previously issued bonds for Wright’s Landing Marina and other minor projects, and officials put together an initial five-year capital plan in part to determine which projects could strategically utilize bonding. He said the current projects “fell perfectly into place.” 

The bulk of the bonds are for the city’s portion of the City Hall restoration project, which Barlow called “certainly an appropriate reason to bond.” The $2.6 million City Hall restoration will use $2,183,796 of the $3.3 million to help pay for the installation of new gutters, a partial rebuild of a deteriorating wall and repairs to the roof and bell tower. 

The city was awarded a $500,000 state grant for the remainder of the City Hall project, and construction started earlier this summer. 

The reconstruction of Munn Street and Brittany Hill, which was approved by councilors in August 2019, will utilize $743,654 of the bond funding. The Brittany Hill portion of the project sought to remedy longtime drainage and infrastructure challenges that have existed since the development was built, and the Munn Street portion widens a narrow roadway that officials said created unsafe conditions in winter.

Another $340,638 will help pay for new roofs on a handful of city-owned buildings, including a lift station, water pump house and others, and the remaining $49,912 will cover the cost of a heating system replacement at the city-owned Civic Arts Center near Fort Ontario.

City officials said the bonds issued would be repaid over the course of five years, and would likely have an interest rate between 1.25 and 1.75 percent.

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