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Oswego Nixes Roadside Soliciting

Oct 20, 2015 08:02PM ● By Steven Jack

The intersection of Routes 34 and 30 is a popular spot for roadside solicitors. (Image courtesy Google Streetview)

The days of roadside solicitors collecting money in Oswego have come to an end. 

Village trustees Tuesday night unanimously approved a change to the solicitor ordinance that eliminates roadside soliciting along roadways within the village. The change takes effect immediately. 

Oswego Police Chief Jeff Burgner brought the issue to the Village Board at a September meeting, saying the amount of complaints about roadside solicitors around town has surged in recent years, and a recent rear-end accident at Routes 34 and 30 was attributed to the driver becoming distracted by a solicitor. 

Burgner previously said the village has received a total of 150 solicitor complaints in the past three years, with the majority regarding those collecting money from drivers on area streets. The village of Montgomery, which has jurisdiction over much of the intersection of Routes 34 and 30, has received 100 similar complaints in the same time frame, Burgner said.

The village of Montgomery is also considering changes to its own soliciting ordinance that could align with Oswego's, possibly eliminating all soliciting at the intersection of Routes 34 and 30. Burgner said Tuesday night while Montgomery's Village Board hasn't acted yet, changes to its ordinance should be forthcoming.

Village Trustee Pam Parr thanked Burgner for taking the initiative to eliminate roadside soliciting in the village. 

"Thank you also for working with Montgomery to ensure that this problem just doesn't move across the street," she said.

While considering the ordinance change, Burgner said he contacted the Oswego Fire Protection District to find out how the change would impact their popular "Fill the Boot" campaign that in year's past has taken place along village roadways. Burgner said he was informed that the OFPD stopped the campaign in recent years due to safety concerns.