Aid money coming for OCSD soil remediation over one year instead of 15

OSWEGO — The state education department has agreed to provide aid for the ongoing Oswego City School District soil remediation project over the course of one year after completion instead of the previously expected 15, officials announced at the Tuesday, Dec. 15, Board of Education meeting.

Superintendent Mathis Calvin III provided the update, applauding the development as wonderful for the district as the 87.5% of the project funded by state aid will be sent to the district much sooner than expected.

“This is really great news,” said Calvin. “It helps with the financing, we can get this done a lot quicker and I’m just really excited about the plan.”

The superintendent added that the quicker turnaround means the district would not need to budget for receiving funds throughout 15 years, creating less of a burden on the OCSD budget.

Calvin said the district learned about the news last week and followed up with a confirmation letter and paperwork the state Education Department needed to ensure the information was finalized before sharing it with the board and public.

The district informed the public of the need to remediate soil concerns at a board meeting earlier this month. The issue was discovered when crews were creating a stormwater management floodplain in the area along Hillside Avenue known as the former Wilber Field.

The area, which has been secured and fenced off since the discovery, needs to be remedied to ensure the health and safety of all staff, officials said.

Officials from the architect team also updated the board on the project timeline, eyeing a completion date for the remediation of April 2021 and aid receipt from the state in 2022. Expedited approval is expected after documents are submitted in January, with a bid process beginning in February and contracts along with construction beginning shortly after.

For additional information about the district’s plans for remediation, visit oswego.org/capitalproject to access an updated FAQ document, submit questions and view a video from the remediation project team.

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