Oneida council renews agreement with housing authority

Published Oct 9, 2017 at 4:00pm

ONEIDA — The Oneida Common Council approved renewal of its agreement with the Oneida Housing Authority (OHA) on Oct. 3.

The new agreement will allow the OHA to receive federal funding from a secondary source that will make the money immediately available. This new source will allow the authority to better plan their yearly budgets.

“We will be receiving the same funding under a new name,” OHA Executive Director Bob Walters told the council. “Every year when I make a budget I’m not sure what will be available. This new funding gives us peace of mind.”

The OHA provides housing to income-eligible residents in Oneida, including the elderly and disabled. Information on the program and application documents are available at 315-363-8450 or by visiting www.oneidahousingauthority.com

OHA has an agreement with the city under a payment in lieu of taxes, or PILOT, program. It reimburses the city through federal funding for city-owned property, including the Oneida Towers on Farrier Avenue and HD Brewer Apartments on East Elm Street, for tax income which the city loses by allowing the use of these properties.

Agreement obstacle

Fifth Ward Councilman James Chamberlain raised concerns about the agreement before the vote. He asked whether OHA would be able to address a faulty water main to the towers.

“The line has burst several times, and we want to be sure it will be taken care of before we move forward with this agreement. If it bursts it will cost Oneida taxpayers $100,000 to have it repaired,” he said. “We have asked about this problem before, and since winter is approaching we better look into this.”

Oneida Mayor Leo N. Matzke said by passing the agreement the OHA would be able to receive money to address the problem.

“We have a sizable amount of money reserved for the towers, and this agreement will let us access it,” Walters said.

Chamberlain said the position made sense, and the council passed the agreement.