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Oswego mayor sets 'bold agenda' for 2018

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City of Oswego
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Mayor Billy Barlow

During his state of the city address this week, Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow unveiled an agenda for 2018 that he says will build on the progress accomplished in his first term, which is now halfway complete.

In the speech, Barlow described an efficient city government that is doing more with less. The city budget is down by $2 million from 2015, partially because of a 30 percent reduction in overtime spending. Meanwhile, Oswego is investing millions of dollars in the city thanks to the nearly $18 million in grants Barlow says they have secured during his tenure. That funding is covering sewer repairs, road paving and city upgrades like the Downtown Revitalization Initiative. The first two of those projects, including a mini pocket park, are expected to be completed this year.

Barlow also announced new investments in the Oswego lighthouse renovation project and the city's first dog park. And he pledged to continue his crackdown on landlords whose properties are not up to city code.

"Issues like that really deter growth, they detract from nearby property values and that's really what I want to prioritize," Barlow said.

One of Barlow's proposed measures would allow the city of Oswego to hire a contractor who would bring delinquent properties up to code and then bill the landlord for that work. The mayor is also calling on the Oswego Common Council to approve funding for another code enforcement officer.

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.