Mediation Unfruitful; 2nd Meeting Planned

Mediation Unfruitful;

2nd Meeting Planned

Coccoma Plans Decision By Oct. 31

On Delaying Town Fire District End

Fire commission attorney Terence Hannigan, left, confers with Commission members Ron Peters, Al Rubin and Michelle Catan after today’s hearing. In the background is City Attorney David Merzig. ( photo)

COOPERSTOWN – State Supreme Court Judge Michael V. Coccoma was unable to achieve common ground on delaying the dissolution of the Town of Oneonta Fire District, Town Supervisor Bob Wood said this evening.

Wood said the judge directed his clerk, Steve Judd, to convene a second meeting with Town Attorney Robert Panaschi, fire commissioners’ lawyer Terence Hannigan, and a representative of the City of Oneonta, to again attempt a breakthrough.

Meanwhile, Judge Coccoma has advised the parties he intends to issue a decision by month’s end.

Unable after more than two years of negotiations to reach a contract that would allow the city’s Oneonta Fire Department to continue serving Southside and other in-town neighborhoods, the town Board of Fire Commissioners voted Sept. 20 to dissolve.

This would require Oneonta town government to negotiate a new agreement with the City of Oneonta, and Wood is asking the judge to delay the dissolution through Dec. 31, 2019, to allow a smooth transition.

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