City Council Asked For $153K To Fund Pandemic Recovery

City Council Asked

For $153K To Fund

Pandemic Recovery

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

ONEONTA – Common Council Tuesday will be asked to approve $153,000 in funding for Mayor Gary Herzig’s “Survive Then Thrive” Committee, according to the meeting’s agenda released this afternoon.

Of the total, $75,000 will be used for Small Business Reopening; $75,000 for Small Business Recovery; and $3,000 for a Survive Art/Online sales promotion.

Herzig said the funding will be repurposed from various budget lines dedicated to economic development and from accounts – repaid small-business loans, for instance – that can only be used for that purpose.

The “Thrive Then Survive” Committee, co-chaired by City Hall’s Community Development Director Judy Pangman and Council member Mark Drnek, was created soon after Governor Cuomo’s coronavirus emergency declaration, when future economic challenges became clear.

There is also an Asset Inventory Committee co-chaired by Otsego County board chairman Al Rubin and Deputy Mayor David Rissberger, looking at possible adjustments in the city’s master plan.

Also a Financial Committee co-chaired by NBT Vice President Jamie Reynolds and Pangman, and a Promotions Committee co-chaired by chamber President Barbara Ann Heegan and Destination Oneonta Executive Director Katrina Van Zandt.

“We’re just starting to hear the ideas that are coming through now. One, creating a fund to help local businesses by buying PPE and adding plexiglass,” said Herzig, “and promotions such as opening streets in the evening.”

Bigger picture, the mayor foresees “low-density cities as places that are sought-after.” Oneonta may benefit from attracting families, with bread-winners who can work at home, interested in leaving high-density New York City, where the COVID-19 pandemic struck hardest.

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