Legislature OKs going forward on grant for Legends Field improvements

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A fairly long discussion arose at the July 11 Oswego County Legislature meeting about approving an intermunicipal agreement with the city of Oswego concerning upgrades to the Legends Field Complex.

The resolution being voted on only created the agreement with the city so the city could apply for a state grant for money to make improvements at the athletic complex.

“This allows them to apply for the grant,” said Legislator Tim Stahl, R-Oswego Town, chair of the legislature’s Economic Development Committee. “They need our permission. There is no financial tie to this now.”

The county owns the complex on Churchill Road and leases it to the city for $1 a year. The city hired Champions Events to manage the fields, tournaments, leagues and programs.

The site includes six baseball diamonds used by baseball and softball leagues, tournaments and youth programs. The resolution deals with applying for a grant to pay for up to 75 percent of the work at Legends Field.

If the grant is obtained, the cost of the rest of the improvement work would be split three ways between the county, city and Champions Events.

Legislator and Minority Leader Frank Castiglia, D-Fulton, wanted to know what the county’s cost would be. “The costs are up in the air,” Stahl said.

He then told Castiglia and the rest of the legislature that if the grant is achieved, the county — as owner of the property — has final say on whether the project will be done. The legislature then would have to vote again on whether to go ahead with the project and spend money on the improvements.

“We have the final say on what happens to our property,” Stahl said.

Castiglia was concerned that the numbers being thrown around for the project are too high and the county would never make that money back through bed tax and gasoline tax paid by people coming from out of town to tournaments.

Legislator Morris Sorbello, R-Granby, said bringing more tournaments to the area is important because the tourneys support area businesses.

Also on July 11, the legislature:

n Approved about $32,000 more for overtime and mileage money for additional training for Oswego County E-911 Center employees. The workers are receiving training on updated technology to help them help callers at the E-911 Center.

Legislator Terry Wilbur, R-Hannibal, chair of the legislature’s Public Safety Committee, said right now, each E-911 dispatcher has a set of cards on his or her desk with information to use in various call situations.

For example, one card is for heart attacks, and tells the caller what to do to help the person having the heart attack, such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

Wilbur said the county is switching from the information cards to technology in a computer.

n Approved hiring a company named GYMO to do the design, engineering and construction management for the Oswego River Trail, which would provide more opportunities for people who love to kayak and canoe on the Oswego River. Right now, there is no public access to the river between Oswego (Lock 6) and Minetto (Lock 5) without going through a canal lock.

The project will create a handicap-accessible trail from State Route 481 to the Oswego River and a parking area adjacent to Route 481 for users of this new river access.

n Approved a resolution supporting the repeal of the International Joint Commission’s Plan 2014, which regulates water levels in Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. This is in response to the flooding that has occurred along the lake shoreline in two of the three years since the plan was implemented.

n Approved receipt of a grant $114,108 from the state for the Office for the Aging for Unmet for Seniors. The money would be used for expanding legal services, providing aide service to seniors on the Senior Homecare wait list, provide more transportation opportunities for seniors and hire another registered dietician.

n Approving the creation of a senior accountant position and deletion of account clerk two positions in the Department of Social Services. The move will provide more help to the department’s financial division and will save about $243,000.

n Approving the acceptance of a donation of a Gaga Pit from Girl Scout Troop 10248. Gaga is a sport played in an octagonal pit and has been dubbed a kinder gentler version of dodge ball. The game is played with a soft foam ball and people have to try to hit opponents with the ball below their knees.

n Approved support to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for the designation of a Great Lake Ontario National Marine Sanctuary

n Approved setting up a capital project for $1,284,200 to reconstruct the runway apron at the Oswego County Airport. The county’s cost of this project is $64,210.

n Approved submitting an application for funds from the New York State Office of Parks and Historic Preservation via the Consolidated Funding Application not to exceed $235,000 for the winterization of the Camp Hollis Lodge. Winterizing the lodge would increase the amount of time during the year that the lodge could be rented to others, which will bring in money to the county.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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