By PARKER FISH • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
WEST ONEONTA – According to Otsego Now CEO Jody Zakrevsky, Oneonta is running out of gas.
“There is no more gas,” said Zakrevsky, summarizing the gravity of the situation.
Oneonta has struggled with its gas supplies for several years, but now the situation is dire. Zakrevsky’s proposed solution: a compressed natural gas decompression station in the Oneonta Commerce Park, the renamed Pony Farm.
Otsego Now submitted a state Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) July 27, hoping to help finance the estimated $17 million project.
Zakrevsky’s proposed solution brought out a crowd of over 100 people to the Oneonta Town Board meeting on Wednesday night, most looking to show their displeasure with the proposition.
“Save democracy tonight, town board,” pleaded Oneonta city resident Lisa Barr. “These operations are the death-rattle of the fossil ‘fool’ industry. We don’t need them; we cannot afford them; they lie about jobs; what they bring is harm; they block us from exploring and using other energy sources.”
Barr was one several people who spoke, all of whom vehemently opposing the decompressor station, and natural gas in general.
“We’ve got to catch on,” said Fred Lanfear, Oxford. “How many signs, how many temperatures, how many reports from around the world do we need to lay off these fossil fuels?”
Many of the attendees supported alternative energy sources, such as solar and geo-thermal to provide heat, but with a severe lack of knowledge on the topic, Zakrevsky is simply asking for outside help on the issue.
“My office is not an energy office, and I’m looking for anybody to help me,” said Zakrevsky. “I understand people are frustrated, but it would be nice as opposed to just expressing that we should do something different, it would be nice for someone to help us do something different.”
No legislation was voted on regarding the matter, and Zakrevsky stated that he will continue to search for a suitable solution to Oneonta’s gas issues.