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Oswego Common Council opts not to override mayor's veto on sewer dispute

WRVO News File Photo
Oswego City Hall

Oswego Common Councilors decided to not override Mayor Billy Barlow's first veto last night. The issue concerned a sewer contract that had implications for an off-campus private student housing complex.

The Common Council voted last week to rescind a contract with the town of Oswego to handle its sewage. several councilors had claimed they were not aware that sewer contract would include a private housing complex for SUNY Oswego students that's still in development.

At the special meeting called to override Barlow's veto last night, the councilors decided to drop the issue. Kevin Caraccioli, the attorney for both the city of Oswego and the town of Oswego, says that was the right call.  

"The benefit to the city of Oswego is the city received more revenue from the town and the town received more capacity from the city," Caraccioli said. "Both results in additional revenue potential for the city of Oswego. So, frankly and truly, this is a win-win contract for both sides."

The councilors had been warned by both Caraccioli and the company developing the off-campus student housing project that rescinding the contract, which was originally passed in October, would have left them open to a lawsuit.

Councilor Eric VanBuren says this issue is now probably dead. But in the future, he wants to see the city find a better way to handle contracts with other municipalities when the town or city is also represented by Oswego's city attorney. VanBuren says there was too much overlapping counsel on this matter.

"I think legal advice on this muddled a lot of what we tried to do and what we attempted to do," VanBuren said. 

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.