Oswego village trustees discuss whether to allow nonresidents to buy school parking permits

Oswego School District 308 is investigating acts of vandalism that occurred at Oswego East High School Wednesday night, including racial slurs written on the school grounds.

Oswego village trustees are considering whether to allow nonresidents to buy school parking permits.

The issue was discussed at the Aug. 22 Oswego Village Board meeting. Last year, the Village Board approved an ordinance which limits on-street parking during school hours in specified zones but allows parking permits to be bought by Oswego residents who don’t live in the specified zone.

There are five zones. Zone 1 is Prescott Mill, Zone 2 is Ogden Falls, Zone 3 is Ogden Falls/Brighton Meadows, Zone 4 is Churchill Club and Zone 5 is Steeplechase.

Permits cost $400 per year and each zone has a limit of 25 permits.

“Last school year, Zone 1 was the only zone that sold any permits,” Oswego interim Police Chief Jason Bastin told village trustees.

Eight permits were bought for Zone 1. Three permits have been bought for Zone 1 so far this school year, he said.

No permits were bought for any other zones.

Staff has received about five requests to buy a zone permit from SD308 parents who live outside the village, but whose children attend Oswego East High School.

“The reason for the request is based on their child being denied a parking permit on school property, but having before- or after-school activities in which they need to drive themselves or a sibling,” Bastin said.

Village trustee Kit Kuhrt suggested making five permits available per zone to nonresidents. However, village trustee Karen Novy didn’t think that was enough.

“Why carve out just five?” she asked. ‘Why not make all 25 available?”

In response, Kurt said the school district doesn’t have adequate parking.

“And we’re keeping people from parking on the street, keeping the congestion out of the neighborhood,” he said.

Bastin said that about 30% of Oswego East students live in Oswego. Trustee Tom Guist said the issue was “really a school district problem.”

“It started as a school district problem and the conditions that were going on prior to this ordinance were very, very bad and very dangerous,” he said. “The point of this was for someone within the village to do something for the people of Prescott Mill.”

Guist said he thought the school board needed to discuss the issue first. Village Administrator Dan Di Santo said Oswego School District does have plans to install another parking lot at Oswego East High School.

Trustees said they would like to know when the lot will be built. They plan to discuss the issue further at a future meeting.