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City of Oswego and Port Authority enter into talks about grain tower

Gino Geruntino
WRVO News (file photo)

An escalating feud between the mayor of Oswego and the Port of Oswego Authority over a new project in the city may be coming to an end.

Earlier this week, Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow made good on his threat to sue the Port of Oswego Authority over the construction of its grain storage tower, a massive structure that threatened to cut off city views of Lake Ontario and the Oswego lighthouse from certain vantage points on the city's eastside. Barlow admits that the Port is a state entity and thus exempt from city control, yet he said the lawyers the city hired were building a strong case to stop this construction.

"The Port thinks that they're their own separate entity and can do whatever the heck they please - if you actually go through the Port's own charter and other enabling legislation and other material, you'll find that's not exactly the case," Barlow told WRVO earlier this week. "So, to just obnoxiously contradict the locality's waterfront plan is just not what the Port was designed to do. So, we are going to point that all out in court and I think the public and hopefully the court will see the project being built today is in direct conflict with what we're trying to do in this community and it's not the project that they proposed all along."

Port Authority Director William Scriber did not return a request for comment, but on Wednesday Barlow announced that the city and the Port have entered into talks about the future of the project.

“The City of Oswego and Oswego Port Authority have begun discussions in good faith in an effort to identify solutions," Barlow said in a statement. "We’re happy to work together to find a solution that works for city government, the port, local business owners, various stakeholders and the community at large.”

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.