Oswego residents could soon see a $200 decrease in their annual sewer and water bill. The proposed rollback was announced during Mayor Billy Barlow's State of the City address last week.
It was almost three years ago that the council raised those rates as a way to pay for a federally mandated sewer and water separation project. Council President Rob Corradino, who took office with Barlow after those rates were increased, remembers the public outrage at his first meeting.
"Rightfully so people were pretty upset," Corradino said. "To have to pay $1,100 a year for water was just unimaginable. To come full circle to be able to offer a $200 reduction - it's wonderful."
The city can afford to lower fees for residents now that it has found new sources of revenue, like the commercial water rate on businesses and a $200,000 annual contract to clean the contaminated water from Oswego County's landfill. In addition, Oswego successfully applied for millions of dollars in state grants that have improved the city's wastewater facilities and paid for portions of the sewer and water separation project.
Barlow also announced in his state of the city message that Oswego will build its first-ever handicap accessible playground this spring and construction is set to begin this year on several of the downtown revitalization projects Oswego won $10 million for in 2016.