COOPERSTOWN – In all, six business, including the Baseball Hall of Fame, the Cooperstown Farmers Market and Stagecoach Coffee were selected from 25 finalists to be the 2019 inductees into the Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce’s 2019 Chamber Business Hall of Fame.
Also named to the Hall of Fame were Pathfinder Village, The Cooperstown Bat Company and the Cooperstown Fire Department.
By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
COOPERSTOWN – A Cooperstown Bat Company bat thrilled Houston Astro Jose Altuve early today, and by 9 a.m. the Cooperstown company’s products were being praised on ESPN Sports Center.
As Bat Company owner Tim Haney described it in a call from Florida a few minutes ago, he was at Astros’ batting practice and asked Altuve if he’d like to try one of the Cooperstown bats.
“He took it over to the batting cage,” said Tim. “All of a sudden he went right to the batting machine, which was throwing pitches at 90 miles an hour.”
“It was a little nerve-racking,” said the local businessman, who is visiting spring-training camps to get MLB players to try his wares.
HARTWICK – The former sawmill at the end of Poplar Street in the Hamlet of Hartwick was the site of a fire this evening.
The sawmill had been vacant for several years before Tim and Connie Haney, owners of the Cooperstown Bat Company, refurbished it as a place to store their billets, blank bats that are in need of finishing. The restoration of the building was only completed two weeks ago.
As of 8:30 p.m., the roof had collapsed, and smoke was still pouring from the building. Crews are still on the scene.
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HARTWICK – At this hour, the Cooperstown Bat Company is reportedly on fire, according to the Otsego County Fire Wire.
Mutual Aid is being provided by Mount Vision Fire, Milford Fire/EMS, Hartwick Seminary Fire, Cooperstown Fire, County Coordinators, Fly Creek Fire, Laurens Fire, Edmeston Fire.
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Cooperstown Bat Uses Wood Twice
– For Its Product, And To Heat Plant
By LIBBY CUDMORE • AllOTSEGO
Waste not, want not is how Tim and Connie Haney see it. “We’ve paid for the wood,” said Connie. “We might as well use it.”
The owners of the Cooperstown Bat Company will tell two-thirds of the wood used in making their custom bats gets turned into sawdust.
But that doesn’t mean it can’t be useful.
After two brutally cold winters in their factory in the former Hartwick depot, in 2011 the Haneys installed an LEI Bio-Burner to turn waste materials to warmth. “We were spending $5,000 a winter on propane,” said Tim. “The $10,000 we’ve saved so far has already paid for itself.”
“Sometimes it gets too hot; then we just open the doors!” added Connie.
The Haneys make 30,000 bats a year, and collect the sawdust year ’round, funneling it through an exhaust system into a silo behind the factory. “We fill that silo four times a year,” Tim said. “That’s 11 tons each time.”
The sawdust, made from maple, ash and yellow birch of the custom-designed bats, heats their entire factory. And although the combination isn’t ideal for the burner – “it’s a little dry,” said Tim – he is working with LEI to design a system more capable of handling a variety of biomass, from grass pellets to sawdust and wood chips.
“There’s so much wasted wood in this community,” he said. “And it’s a very cheap, renewable replacement for oil.”
Now, they’re hoping to share their good fortune with the community.
Tuesday, Sept. 23, Martha Clarvoe, who chairs the Town of Hartwick’s Conservation Advisory Committee, organized an open house at the factory for the public to see the Bio-Burner in action and discuss Hartwick’s recent pledge to join the state’s Climate Smart Communities, a program sponsored by the Department of Environmental Conservation.“We’re interested in being more sustainable,” she said. “We wrote a pledge and we signed it.”
The pledge includes an energy audit of all town buildings, pumps and vehicles to reduce energy usage. Hartwick joins the Village of Cooperstown and Town of Otsego – they also took the Climate Smart pledge – in seeking sustainable alternatives to oil and other fossil fuels. “We’re looking at all the ways to become more sustainable,” she said. “Whether that’s switching to compact florescent bulbs, using public transport or building bike paths.”
But one of the topics of conversation is possibly using the Cooperstown Bat Co.’s fuel to heat public buildings. “We could make this community self-sufficient,” said Tim. “We are on the cusp of that.”
It would require an immense undertaking, Tim said, digging ditches to set up connecting pipes throughout the town, but it’s not an unreachable goal.
“Somebody has to start,” he said. “We decided we would step up and make and investment. We’re on the cusp of this.”