The Village was approached by Firehouse Pizza earlier in the year seeking reimbursements for projects on their property, located at 65 W. Washington in downtown Oswego.
Several trustees stated that they “felt uncomfortable” with providing financial assistance to the business due to previous issues of bill repayment, treatment of staff and work orders.
“My concern is that we are not holding a business accountable,” said Johnson on Tuesday night “My vote on this will be no for the hundreds of businesses that follow our rules and procedures.”
Firehouse Pizza was requesting assistance for a waterline that needed to be extended and widened and help with the retaining wall on the back of the village owned property at 63 W. Washington.
Trustee Scott Volpe asked village administrator Steve Jones if there had been any recourse to Firehouse Pizza for the infringements, to which Jones said there had been financial penalties and that currently Firehouse Pizza is “one month to the good.”
Other trustees were in favor of supporting the projects, citing the need to help support small businesses.
“These are small business men putting their sweat into this. It’s a win-win for everyone,” said trustee Tony Giles. “Residents have asked more development. We all want downtown area to be a thriving, fantastic place.”
“We’ve got more people coming downtown than we’ve ever had before,” said Volpe. “We’ve got tax dollars coming in, this building has sales tax coming in.”
The board voted 4-1 to approve both reimbursements, with Johnson casting the “no” vote and Terry Michels, who had stated at a previous board meeting concerns about the reimbursement, as absent.
The waterline project will cost the village $17,950, or half of the total cost of the project. The replacement of the retaining wall will be about $6,000.