ONEIDA Coun­cil dis­cusses mar­ket and snow­banks

The Oneida Daily Dispatch (Oneida, NY) - - Front Page - By Charles Pritchard cpritchard@onei­dadis­patch.com Re­porter

ONEIDA, N.Y. >> Mem­bers of the Oneida City Cen­ter Com­mit­tee met with city coun­cil to dis­cuss City Cen­ter Mar­ket’s suc­cess and fu­ture at Mon­day’s Com­mon Coun­cil meet­ing.

OC3 ap­proached coun­cilors about this year’s event in Fe­bru­ary, but OC3 Pres­i­dent Paul Marco said hewanted to get a jump start on the process for 2019 tomake sure his group­was able to get any per­mits they needed ahead of time to avoid any rush.

By the num­bers, Marco said the City Cen­ter Mar­ket was a gi­gan­tic suc­cess.

“I’ve got­ten noth­ing but great feed­back about the mar­ket,” Marco said.

The mar­ket ran for a to­tal of 15 weeks start­ing in May with a to­tal of 22 dif­fer­ent ven­dors, five dif­fer­ent non-profit or­ga­ni­za­tions and 16 dif­fer­ent bands par­tic­i­pat­ing. Marco said byOC3’s es­ti­mate,

3,750 peo­ple vis­ited the mar­ket and they av­er­aged about 250 peo­ple per week.

“I want to talk about 2019 and what we have planned,” Marco said. “There has been a cou­ple of changes and we’re try­ing to build on the suc­cesses we’ve had.”

Marco said one of the first changes will be the time the mar­ket starts. Orig­i­nally, the mar­ket’s open­ing day was Wed­nes­day, May 23. Marco said OC3 wants to start on June 6 and run for 13 weeks, end­ing on Aug. 29.

“We’re also go­ing to be push­ing back the start time and min­i­miz­ing our im­pact on Broad Street,” Marco said. “It’s a spec­tac­u­lar spot, but we found the mar­ket re­ally started to pick up around 5 p.m., so that’s when we want to start, as op­posed to 4 p.m.”

As part of City Cen­ter Mar­ket, the sec­tion of Broad Street from Far­rier Av­enue to Van­der­bilt Av­enue is closed to traf­fic as ven­dors set up along the road.

Marco said OC3 and the City Cen­ter Mar­ket will con­tinue to part­ner with non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tions and com­mu­nity groups and will look to get more in­volved.

“There’s so many of them and we’d like to get all these groups in­volved and host a com­mu­nity event at the start of the mar­ket each week,” Marco said. “That’s an­other thing we’re re­ally go­ing to work on and strengthen our re­la­tion­ships.”

One of the big­ger changes Marco said OC3 would like to see is a closed off por­tion of Hig­in­botham Park that would al­low al­co­hol, but only al­co­hol pur­chased at the City Cen­ter Mar­ket from craft beer and wine ven­dors. Marco said this would give peo­ple a chance to en­joy the mar­ket, the band and their re­cent pur­chase.

“It’s go­ing to be com­pletely closed off and highly reg­u­lated,” Marco said. “The im­por­tant key here is we don’t want peo­ple bring­ing their own cool­ers or cans in brown pa­per bags. It would have to be what they pur­chased from the mar­ket.”

Deputy Mayor Jim Cham­ber­lain asked how these peo­ple would be po­liced and not just al­lowed to wan­der the park.

“Ob­vi­ously we want to part­ner with the po­lice de­part­ment,” Marco said. “We want to make sure ev­ery­one un­der­stands what is and is not al­lowed out­side the cor­doned off area. If a vol­un­teer sees any­one with a craft beer or wine drink­ing out­side the area, we’d in­struct them where to go and we’d in­struct the ven­dors to tell the cus­tomers where they’re al­lowed to drink.”

Ward 2 Coun­cilor Mike Bowe said the Oneida City Po­lice could treat al­co­hol out­side the des­ig­nated area as an open con­tainer and that peo­ple should fol­low the rules if it’s posted well enough.

Dr. John Costello Jr., of OC3, said there has been dis­cus­sion of a 60-by-60 foot area fenced off with pic­nic ta­bles for peo­ple to en­joy their pur­chase. Costello Jr. said OC3 is open to sug­ges­tions from the city coun­cil.

Marco said OC3 is also in­ter­ested in do­ing theme nights to draw in big­ger crowds with big­ger events.

“We could have a clas­sic car show or mo­tor­cy­cle night the same time as the mar­ket to help draw a large crowd to the cen­ter of Oneida and see what we have to of­fer,” Marco said.

Ward 4 Coun­cilor He­len Acker and Ward 3 Coun­cilor James Coulthart both said they sup­ported the idea of theme nights, but Coul- thart ex­pressed con­cern with sched­ul­ing a car show.

“If it’s a Thurs­day, that’s a big cruise-in night for Syl­van Beach,” Coulthart said. “So just be sen­si­tive to that.”

Bowe said with what would be needed for a car show in the­way of park­ing, it might be pru­dent to get Wil­bur-Duck in­volved and fig­ure out if OC3 could pos­si­bly use the deal­er­ship’s lot.

“You could make it where Wil­bur-Duck has skin in the game, as Jim likes to say,” Bowe said. “It’s just a sugges­tion.”

Bowe said what the city coun­cil def­i­nitely needs to do be­fore any­thing is de­cided on is to speak with City At­tor­ney Na­dine Bell. City coun­cil asked Marco to present ev­ery­thing OC3 wishes to do in writ­ing and give them time to re­view it.

In at­ten­dance with Costello Jr was John Costello Sr., who re­quested on Sept. 7 to en­ter an agree­ment with the city to re­move snow banks in his busi­ness’ park­ing lot while al­low­ing it tobe used for any city event.

The park­ing lot is turned over in the evening to any­one in the city who wants to use it, Costello Sr. said, but be­fore­hand it’s used by pa­tients. With a buildup of snow banks, the num­ber of park­ing spots de­creases and this neg­a­tively af­fects both par­ties.

Costello Sr. said he sent the coun­cil a pic­ture of the park­ing lot dur­ing an Arc of Madi­son Cort­land event in the evening in which all spots were uti­lized.

“We have no prob­lem with the city us­ing all 65 spots,” Costello Sr. said. “And they have been fully used. We’re of­fer­ing that and we’re just say­ing, while your truck and bucket is at the Kallet, take the snow so we both have more spots when these events hap­pen.”

Costello Sr. said now that the dial­y­sis cen­ter is open, some pa­tients are there all day long and there’s a pos­si­bil­ity of lim­ited space if there was an event at the Kallet Civic Cen­ter.

If the snow was taken away, Costello Sr. said his busi­ness would be fine with tak­ing the chain down on their park­ing lot at 5 p.m. and open­ing up the park­ing lot to the Kallet Civic Cen­ter any evening, in­clud­ing Satur­day and Sun­day.

Dur­ing the Jan. 16 meet­ing when the is­sue of snow re­moval was first broached, City At­tor­ney Na­dine Bell said there’s al­ways a con­cern when a mu­nic­i­pal­ity does any­thing for a pri­vate en­tity andthat there are laws in place un­der the New York State Con­sti­tu­tion that pro­hibit gift­ing.

Bell was not at Mon­day’s coun­cil meet­ing.

Ward 1 Coun­cilor Al Co­hen said he was not com- fort­able do­ing any­thing un­til the city at­tor­ney was present, due to her prior con­cerns.

“When I was here last time, she did say she was con­cerned about li­a­bil­ity,” Costello Sr. said. “We could have li­a­bil­ity in­sur­ance to cover that. We do share spa­ces with our build­ing on Route 5 with the Oneida High School. Each year, we get a cer­tifi­cate from our in­sur­ance cov­er­ing li­a­bil­ity and any­thing hap­pen­ing in our lot.”

Ward 6 Coun­cilor Tom Sim­chik asked Costello Sr. if he has an agree­ment with the Oneida High School.

“We have an agree­ment and a cer­tifi­cate of ap­proval fromthe school,” Costello Sr. said. “And we have to present proof of our in­sur­ance.”

Coun­cilors agreed that they didn’t want to make any de­ter­mi­na­tion with­out the city at­tor­ney present. Bowe said he be­lieves ev­ery­one on the coun­cil wants to do some­thing since it is a mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial re­la­tion­ship, but they want to do it the right way.

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