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Oswego mayor delivers final state of city address

Tom Magnarelli
WRVO News (file photo)

Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow delivered his last State of the City address Wednesday evening stressing to leave the city better than you found it.

As he approaches the final year of his second term as mayor, Barlow said the state of the city is strong. He said he's not going to coast through the end of his term.

"We've worked hard together as a community to get where we are at this moment," Barlow said. "We must commit to continuing to move forward this year and beyond."

Barlow used his speech to share new developments coming to Oswego and boasted about the work his administration has completed since he took office seven years ago.

One new project includes a train-themed playground for children 7 years and younger. Another will use $2 million in FEMA disaster money to enhance the West Linear Riverwalk south of Utica Street. Completing the $9 million William S. Cahill Pier within the Sheldon Beach Transformation Project is on the docket.

Barlow also announced a new Oswego Police Department Neighborhood Outreach and Response Team.

"The team will work collaboratively to de-escalate crises and expand access to available mental health and social services in the community," Barlow said.

The mayor said the work done during his administration has positioned the city toward continued growth, especially as the area plans for the arrival of Micron's workforce.

"I'll propose to the Common Council a two-year, $100,000 advertising campaign commitment strategically promoting our community to help capture some of CNY's newest residents," the mayor said.

Oswego's downtown revitalization projects, first announced in 2017, are set to be completed this year with a planned opening for the Indoor Splash Water Park set for March 23.

Barlow closed his address by thanking everyone who supported him and gave him the opportunity to try to make the community better for future generations.

"It has been the honor of my life to serve my hometown and I thank my neighbors for taking a chance on me," Barlow said.

Other highlights from Barlow's state of the city include paving city streets, improvements to Route 48, reducing water sewer bills and a February Blizzard Bucks program to support local businesses.

Watch Mayor Billy Barlow's 2023 State of the City Address below.

Ava Pukatch joined the WRVO news team in September 2022. She previously reported for WCHL in Chapel Hill, NC and earned a degree in Journalism and Media from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At UNC, Ava was a Stembler Scholar and a reporter and producer for the award-winning UNC Hussman broadcast Carolina Connection. In her free time, Ava enjoys theatre, coffee and cheering on Tar Heel sports. Find her on Twitter @apukatch.