(Mark Harrington photo)

In a race against time, the village of Oswego is being forced to start downtown public improvements soon. The value of the project is $1.5 million, which Oswego Village Board trustees unanimously approved despite being $750,000 over budget.

The move is necessary, says Oswego Public Works Director Jennifer Hughes, to allow two downtown developers to begin building in anticipation of 2020 openings. Another business is also waiting before starting in an existing building. The area is in Block 11 of the village, bounded by Washington, Adams, Van Buren and Main streets.

Hughes talked about the quickness needed in completing the project. Agenda documents show an October 10, 2019 completion date.

Oswego Trustee Pam Parr had this question for Hughes.

The 1.5 million dollar public works project is located in Oswego’s only tax increment financing or TIF district. An increase in property taxes from those developments is anticipated to pay back the project within 12 years according to agenda documents. Oswego Village Administrator DiSanto talked about the TIF projects.

This is Oswego trustee Louis Perez.

DiSanto wants the public improvement projects now to avoid slowing Imperial Investments, LLC of Yorkville with their two downtown projects. The firm is looking to develop two buildings in downtown Oswego, one at the former village hall site and the second north of the former Main Street firehouse by Jackson Street.