Category Archives: Featured Stories

Grant approved to furnish high speed Internet in Parish

Empire State Development has approved more than $14.5 million in New York State Broadband Grants to support nine projects that will expand access to broadband services for nearly 30,000 residents and more than 2,000 businesses across Upstate New York.

One of those receiving a grant is New Visions Communications, for Parish Broadband in Oswego County. That grant totals $1,999,584.

According to a press release, the state is committed to accelerating the availability, affordability, and utilization of broadband technologies in order to grow New York’s economy.

Access to the numerous benefits of broadband access, such as e-commerce, e-government, telemedicine and distance learning will result in job creation, improved healthcare, greater educational opportunities for students and teachers, and enhanced economic development, the press release states.

 

Phoenix varsity winter sports schedules

Scheduled for winter sports varsity team in the Phoenix school district.

All dates and times are subject to change.

 

Boys Basketball

Sat. 12/21/13-Cato Christmas tournament, TBA

Tues. 01/07/14-at Bishop Grimes-7 p.m.

Fri.  01/10/14-Marcellus-6:30 p.m.

Tues. 01/14/14-at ITC-6:30 p.m.

Thurs. 01/16/14-Skaneateles-6:30 p.m.

Wed. 01/22/14-at Cazenovia-7 p.m.

Fri. 01/24/14-at S.A.S.-6:30 p.m.

Wed. 01/29/14-Westhill-6:30 p.m.

Tues. 02/04/14-Solvay-6:30 p.m.

Fri. 02/07/14-Bishop Grimes-6:30 p.m.

Tues. 02/11/14-at Marcellus-7 p.m.

 

Girls Basketball

Thurs. 12/26/13-Mexico, Christmas tournament, Mexico-6:15 p.m.

Fri. 12/27/13-Mexico Christmas Tournament, TBA-4:30 OR 6:15

Mon. 01/06/14-Bishop Grimes-6:30 p.m.

Fri. 01/10/14-at Marcellus-7 p.m.

Mon. 01/13/14-at Skaneateles-6:30 p.m.

Wed.  01/15/14-Weedsport-6:30 p.m.

Tues. 01/21/14-Cazenovia-6:30 p.m.

Fri. 01/24/14-Bishop Ludden-6:30 p.m.

Wed. 01/29/14-at Westhill-7 p.m.

Mon. 02/03/14-at Solvay-6:30 p.m.

Wed. 02/05/14-at Bishop Grimes-7 p.m.

Tues. 02/11/14-Marcellus-6:30 p.m.

 

Wrestling

Sat. 12/21/13-Phoenix, Round Robin Tournament, 7 a.m.

Fri. 12/27/13-Ken Haines Tourney, at SUNY Oswego-TBA

Sat. 12/28/13-Ken Haines Tourney-at SUNY Oswego-TBA

Fri. 01/03/14-Central Square Duals-TBA

Sat. 01/04/14-Central Square Duals-TBA

Wed. 01/08/14-Skaneateles

Sat. 01/10/14-Eastern States-at Sullivan County Community College-TBA

Sat. 01/11/14-Fulton-4 p.m.

Sun. 01/12/14-Holland Patent-at Cornell, 1 p.m.

Wed. 01/15/14-at Cazenovia-5 p.m.

Tues. 01/21/14-at Port Byron-6 p.m.

Fri. 01/24/14-F-M-Binghamton University, 11 a.m.

Sat. 01/25/14-Section III Duals-at Cicero-North Syracuse-TBA

Sat. 02/01/14-Leagues-at Port Byron-TBA

Sat. 02/08/14-Classes-Location/Time-TBA

Sat. 02/15/14-Sectionals-at OCC-TBA

Sat. 02/28/14-States-at Albany-TBA

**The JV begins at the stated times. The varsity matches follow the conclusion of the JV matches.

 

Boys Indoor Track And Field

Mon. 12/30/13 Holiday Relays, OCC, 10 a.m.

Fri.  01/03/14, Constantino Memorial, Colgate, 4:30 p.m.

Tues. 01/14/14, Grieve Memorial, OCC, 4:30 p.m.

Tues. 01/21/14, Kirschenheiter Memorial, OCC, 4:30 p.m.

Wed. 02/05/14, Section III, OCC, 4:30 p.m.

Wed. 02/12/14, OHSL Leagues, OCC, 4:30 p.m.

Wed. 02/19/14, State Qualifier, OCC, 4:30 p.m.

Sat. 03/01/14, NYSPHSAA Championships, Cornell, 2 p.m.

 

Girls Indoor Track And Field

Mon. 12/30/13, Holiday Relays, OCC, 10 a.m.

Wed.  01/08/14, Constantino Memorial, OCC, 4:30 p.m.

Wed. 01/15/14, Grieve Memorial, OCC, 4:30 p.m.

Thurs. 01/23/14, Kirschenheiter Memorial, OCC, 4:30 p.m.

Wed. 02/05/14, Section III, OCC, 4:30 p.m.

Thurs. 02/13/14,  OHSL Leagues, OCC, 4:30 p.m.

Wed. 02/19/14, State Qualifier, OCC, 4:30 p.m.

Oswego Common Council adopts 2014 city budget

By Debra J. Groom

The Oswego Common Council adopted a budget for 2014 Monday night that will raise taxes by about $4.46 per $1,000 of assessed value for Oswego taxpayers.

That is much less than the original budget proposal that was going to raise taxes more than $8 per $1,000.

Also, the budget adopted Monday night reinstates 15 jobs that were going to be cut from the Department of Public Works and keeps Gallagher Pool open. Three positions in the codes enforcement office still remain cut in the adopted budget.

Also, the new budget includes 10-day unpaid furloughs for all city workers. Common Council President Ron Kaplewicz said this will have to be negotiated with employee unions, but he said it will be made clear to them that if furloughs are not taken, then job cuts will have to be made.

It was standing room only at the council chambers at City Hall as about 120 people showed up for the public hearing on the budget Monday night. Twelve people spoke, many about keeping the codes enforcement office and DPW workers.

Mayor Thomas Gillen’s preliminary budget increased taxes about 82 percent – from $10.03 per $1,000 of assessed valuation to $18.25 per $1,000. Owners of an average house assessed at $70,000 would pay $575 more in taxes in 2014 than in 2013 if cuts weren’t made.

The adopted budget raises taxes about 44.7 percent — from $10.03 per $1,000 to $14.49 per $1,000. This means owners of an average house assessed at $70,000 would pay about $312 more in taxes in 2014.

For more information on the budget and budget hearing, pick up a copy of Saturday’s The Valley News.

 

Oswego city budget public hearing at 7 tonight (Dec. 23)

By Debra J. Groom

Oswego residents will get their last chance to comment about the proposed city budget at tonight’s public hearing.

The hearing is at 7 p.m. in the Common Council chambers at City Hall. The council may vote to adopt a budget after the hearing, or, if more changes need to be made, could meet later in the week to adopt a budget.

So far, the council have whittled the budget down about $4 million, which has knocked about $4 a $1,000 off the proposed tax rate increase.

“They have taken my budget and edited it,” Mayor Thomas Gillen said. “They were pretty strong with the red pencil.”

With Gillen’s preliminary budget, taxes were set to increase about 82 percent – from $10.03 per $1,000 of assessed valuation to $18.25 per $1,000. Owners of an average house assessed at $70,000 would pay $575 more in taxes in 2014 than in 2013 if cuts weren’t made.

But cuts have been made.

Gillen said some jobs that are vacant will not be filled. Fifteen positions are being cut in the Department of Public Works. Three people are being laid off in code enforcement. The city also is looking at unpaid two-week furloughs for city workers.

To date, the tax rate has been cut from $18.25 per $1,000 to $14.39 per $1,000.

Gillen said he isn’t happy with the layoffs.

“People are unhappy with the tax increase. I understand that,” he said. “But I think their anger may be clouding the decision making process.”

Common Council President Ron Kaplewicz, R-7th ward, said this is going to be a tough year to get through a budget.

“The options are: raise taxes, cut people or cut programs and services,” he said. “We’re looking at what we need to do for 2014. This is like tough love. We’re just beginning to take a hard look at how we do business.”

Some of the primary problems affecting the budget:

** A loss of assessed value in the city of about $50 million. When the city loses assessed value, other taxpayers have to make up that money to keep the services and programs going.

** An addition of about $400,000 for health insurance changes due to the federal Affordable Health Care Act.

** $300 million in city property that is not on the tax rolls. Kaplewicz said some of these properties, such as the hospital and the YMCA, obtain services from the city but do not pay taxes.

Gillen is worried cutting the Department of Public Works will leave the department short if the city is hit with a huge snow storm. He said people who have come to Oswego from other places “marvel at the way we remove snow” and he wonders if there will be enough people to keep snow off the roads if people are laid off.

There are 81 budgeted positions in DPW, but three positions are vacant so there are 78 employees right now.

Kaplewicz said part of the city’s problem is it didn’t raise taxes for so long that now, it has to have a huge tax hike to keep up with increasing costs. He said for 15 years, “tax increases were almost negligible.”

“I believe that was a mistake,” he said.

Another chance to learn about Oswego County’s muck farms Jan. 6

The Oswego County Farm Bureau will be hosting a series of Coffeecake Meetings on the first Monday of the winter months at 1 p.m. at the Mexico branch of the Oswego County Federal Credit Union on Route 3 (5828 Scenic Avenue).

The first will take place at 1 p.m. Jan. 6 with special guest speaker, Jim Farfaglia, author of “Of the Earth — Stories from Oswego County Muck Farms.”

Farfaglia also has agreed to do a book signing and will have books available for purchase.

These meetings are free and will be open to the public as well as Farm Bureau members. As the name implies, light refreshments will be served.

Future meeting speakers will include Josh Hornesky, a resource conservationist for the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service.