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Port City withstanding COVID-19 storm, focuses on ’21 progress By Lou Sorendo Barlow Like any business, the city of Oswego had to hunker down and battle to control finances in anticipation of the inevitable chaos created by COVID-19. For city of Oswego Mayor William J. Barlow, it has taken hard work since the onset of the pandemic last March for his team to effectively deal with the negative implications. “From offering a retirement buyout back in mid-summer to reducing upcoming salary expenses, reducing city-wide overtime and other cost-saving measures, we were able to hold the line on the 2021 city budget by preventing a property tax increase,” he said. In response to the health threat, the city transitioned to telework, funded its preparation and response to the pandemic in the form of several small business initiatives, and tested its essential employees for the virus weekly all while providing personal protective equipment. “We’ve tried to not let the pandemic impact our plans and progress,” he said. “While it certainly has had an impact on all of our daily lives, a big focus of my time throughout 2020 was dealing with the response to the pandemic but also keeping our large-scale projects on