City of Oswego granted temporary restraining order against Port Authority to pause construction

Local News

UPDATE: The Port Authority has issued a statement on Wednesday’s temporary restraining order against the Port Authority granted to the City of Oswego.

Here is their statement:

In response to comments made by the mayor of Oswego as a result of yesterday’s stipulated order between the Port and the City, we believe it is important to clarify a number of false claims and misstatements regarding the plan for, and construction of, the new warehouse.

First, to allow an opportunity for further public dialogue, the Port voluntarily paused construction on the warehouse in early July. Construction of the warehouse did not pause, resume, and pause again with this stipulated order as the city has portrayed. The Port agreed to the instant stipulation for the simple fact that the work the stipulation agrees to pause had already been paused – at the Port’s election – since July. The City’s request for injunctive relief was unnecessary. There was nothing to enjoin. Other parts of the construction of the Port’s Central New York Agriculture Export Center have continued and will continue pursuant to the stipulation. Absolutely nothing has changed.

Second, although the City is not an involved agency in the process—nor is it required to be—the Port, as a courtesy, shared the plans for the entire project with the city and the public more than a year before any construction began. The Port held a

special meeting with the mayor in the Port’s boardroom and shared our plans for the project.

Other than revising the structure design from a dome to a rectangle, the location of the warehouse has never changed from the original plan. It is positioned so that it is as far back from the pier as possible, while maintaining critical accessibility by ship. The plan was shared with the New York State Department of Transportation.

Although we are confident in our ultimate success on the merits, we are willing to continue to consider settlement as any responsible litigant would do. This stipulated order reflects our willingness to continue discussions, while at the same time reserving all our rights and defenses should the lawsuit proceed.

Oswego Port Authority

OSWEGO, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The City of Oswego was granted a temporary restraining order against the Port of Oswego Authority, according to Mayor Billy Barlow. 

The order halts construction at the Port’s East Terminal while the Supreme Court reviews the city’s legal action. 

“Today is a big win for the city, business owners and people of Oswego, but it is just the beginning. Today’s decision reaffirms our position that the Port did not properly vet this project with the community, they repeatedly and incorrectly state the rules don’t apply to them and their failed, incoherent approach to this project must require another look and take the rest of the community into consideration,” Barlow said.  Barlow also added he felt a sense of relief knowing it has been confirmed the Port did not brief city government on the project and the structure that was being built was never revealed to the public until it was too late.” 

Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow

The lawsuit was filed after the city said “it became abundantly clear the Port was constructing a much larger structure than that which was approved by the Port’s Board of Directors in September of 2020.”   

The original structure was a dome-shaped 124-foot diameter and 55-foot-high building.  The building under construction measures 150 feet by 150 feet and at least 70 feet high.  The larger building is positioned in a way that eliminates the view of the Oswego Lighthouse from the Great Lakes Seaway Trail, according to a release sent by the city.  

The Supreme Court is tentatively set to hear oral arguments on the City’s legal action on September 7. 

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