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Oswego competing in governor's downtown revitalization competition

Payne Horning

City officials and area leaders in Oswego are putting together an application for Gov. Andrew Cuomo's downtown revitalization initiative competition that will award $10 million to 10 New York communities.

Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow has formed a committee of local stakeholders from area non-profits and institutions like SUNY Oswego, the Port of Oswego Authority and Operation Oswego County to spearhead the city's plan. He said the crux of their pitch is the efforts that have already been taken to transform downtown.

"If you invest $10 million in downtown Oswego, you will get more dollar for dollar results because we already have things in motion," Barlow said. "We already have some anchor projects and economic development projects that are already starting to come to fruition downtown. So, we think already have the momentum and this would really be a shot in the arm to propel that energy forward."

He referenced the attempt to beautify the streetscape along the portion of State Route 104 that runs through the city as one of those projects. Oswego has a leg up on the competition, according to Barlow, because of the active and engaged community.

"Hands On, they come in and they want to clean downtown or they want to clean parks," Barlow said. "The community as a whole is a little more energetic than it has been previously because of the work we have already seen the ORA [Oswego Renaissance Association] produce."

But, the clock is ticking. Oswego's committee was formed Wednesday, less than two weeks before the application deadline on May 31.

Payne Horning is a reporter and producer, primarily focusing on the city of Oswego and Oswego County. He has a passion for covering local politics and how it impacts the lives of everyday citizens. Originally from Iowa, Horning moved to Muncie, Indiana to study journalism, telecommunications and political science at Ball State University. While there, he worked as a reporter and substitute host at Indiana Public Radio. He also covered the 2015 session of the Indiana General Assembly for the statewide Indiana Public Broadcasting network.