OSWEGO COUNTY – Oswego County hopes to alleviate parking problems at the Department of Social Services building in Mexico by putting in a new parking lot across the street.
The county Legislature approved the purchase of three lots on Spring Street across from the present Social Services parking lot for a cost of $105,000. The legislature also established a capital construction project for a maximum cost of $2.5 million for the new parking lot.
Legislator Roy Reehil, R-Cleveland, chair of the legislature’s Human Services Committee, said the three lots have been on the market for about 150 days and the owner recently lowered the price to $110,000. He and other legislators said this was a prime opportunity to obtain more parking for Social Services.
“To me, this is an incredible opportunity,” Reehil said.
But Legislator Frank Castiglia, D-Fulton, saw it as more properties being taken off the tax roll.
“We’re decreasing our tax base and someone’s going to have to make up the difference on this lost tax money,” he said. “I don’t know why we would do such a thing.”
The new lot will provide from 72 to 80 new parking spaces. The current lot holds 300 cars for Social Services employees and people who come to the department each day. But often, the spaces are full, leaving many visitors having to park on the side of Spring Street. Sometimes, police are called when too many cars parking on the street cause congestion.
Also at the Nov. 14 meeting, three woman who belong to Pulaski Assisting Local Seniors (PALS) spoke to the legislators about the lack of rural transportation in the county. They chastised the legislators saying it seems as though county lawmakers do not make transportation in rural areas a priority.
Martha Marshall told legislators that 95% of the calls PALS receives is from seniors in Pulaski needing transportation. She said many are from the Springbrook senior apartment complex and are trying to get a ride three-tenths of a mile to the Pulaski Health Center.
Eileen Soika, another PALS member, read a letter from the Rev. David Hayes of Park United Methodist Church in Pulaski. Hayes said often not having transportation can push someone into poverty and he listed many things people with transportation cannot do, such as get groceries, get to the doctor, go to court hearings, get to work or to job interviews.
“It is one of the most critical issues we face,” he wrote.
The women want county officials to study rural transportation in the county, come up with a plan and make this a priority.
The county has an Oswego County Transportation Advisory Board headed by Legislator Mary Ellen Chesbro, R-Pennellville. She said recently the county is planning to hire a mobility manager who would be in charge of scheduling, arranging and organizing
Other items approved at the Nov. 14 meeting are:
n Transferring $34,000 in the health department budget to pay for increased costs in the Early Intervention Program due to more children being served by the program. The program identifies and evaluates infants and toddlers whose healthy development is compromised and provides intervention to maximize their development and help them do well when they enter school.
n Allowing the legislature chairman to accept and disburse $5.83 million through the Lake Ontario Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative .
n Calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state legislature to provide money (100% reimbursement in the first year), flexibility and support to local health departments as they work to meet state mandates on lead testing.
n Transferring money in the health department budget to buy an XRF machine (X-ray fluorescence paint analyzer) to test paint for lead.
n Accepting $54,202 from the state for its Board of Elections Early Voting initiative.
n Accepting a Homeland Security Grant of $194,943 for security planning and organization, equipment and training. Projects to receive money include sheriff’s office, $36,700; Fulton police, $7,000; Pulaski police, $5,000; SUNY Oswego police, $7,650; county Fire Coordinator’s Office, $24,700; county Emergency Management Office, $64,800; Oswego Fire, $14,000; and Fulton Fire, $3,100.
n Approving applying for a $500,000 state Community Development Block Grant to pay for septic system and well repair or replacement and lateral hook up to municipal sewer and water systems.
n Transferring $33,500 for the purchase of 17 new ballistic vests and four initial issue uniforms for sheriff’s office recruits.
n Approving a transfer of $15,000 to cover overtime in the E-911 department due to a reduction in staff.
n Accepting a state grant of $19,700 for the Oswego County STOP-DWI program for enforcement activities.
n Approving the transfer of $9,500 to cover holiday hours for the rest of 2019 in the Solid Waste Department.
n Transferring $3,500 to make improvements at Camp Zerbe in Williamstown.
n Transferring $28,500 to make improvements at Camp Hollis in Oswego.
n Approving the fee schedule for rentals at Camp Hollis and Camp Zerbe.