News of Otsego County

dave bliss

Roads still closed around Gilbertsville as flood clean-up enters day two

Flood waters overtook the Meadow Brook Bridge on county Route 4 in the town of Gilbertsville on Saturday, July 17, causing extensive damage in the southwest part of Otsego County. (Contributed).

Roads still closed
around Gilbertsville
as flood clean-up
enters day two


Federal Emergency Management Agency officials were on the scene in southwestern Otsego County on Sunday, July 18, to assess flooding Saturday, July 17, in the villages of Morris and Gilbertsville and the towns of Morris and Butternuts.

According to Rep. Michelle Farwell, D-Butternuts, Morris, Pittsfield, the cost of the damage is expected to be in the millions, particularly with the damage to one of the bridges on state Route 51.

Heavy rains Saturday night caused the Butternut Creek and several of its tributaries to flood, first around Gilbertsville, and later in Morris south of the Otsego County Fairgrounds. An eyewitness account said the floodwaters in Gilbertsville at about 8:30 p.m., Saturday, were “like a waterfall coming down the hill.”

The floods stuck Morris a few minutes later, after a wash of flood debris clogged the culverts around the fairground, which were put in after the massive 2006 floods. The debris rendered the improvements useless and many of the same areas that flooded in 2006 got reflooded.

Complete, County Sends Police Review To Albany

Complete, County Sends

Police Review To Albany

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

COOPERSTOWN – As expected, the county Board of Representatives this morning unanimously passed its review of policies and procedures in the county Sheriff’s Department, per Governor Cuomo’s June 11, 2020, order following George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis.

The deadline for submitting completed plans to Albany is April 1, and the county will meet that.

The vote was 12-0, with county Reps. Danny Lapin, D-Oneonta, and Dan Wilber, R-Burlington, absent from the Zoom meeting.

Democrat Varney Plans Challenge To Dave Bliss

Democrat Varney Plans

Challenge To Dave Bliss

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

Charles Varney

COOPERSTOWN – Democrat Charles Varney, who lives in Cherry Valley and operates the Cooperstown Underground Barbershop on Main Street, plans to challenge county board Chairman David Bliss in the Nov. 2 elections, he announced today.

Bliss, a Republican, represents District 7, which includes the Village of Cooperstown east of the Susquehanna River, plus the towns of Middlefield, Roseboom and Cherry Valley.

“My announcement was the long and short of it,” he said.  “The county’s response to COVID has been lackluster at best, terrible at worst.”  He said county finances are being mismanaged and service “chipped away.”

Bliss To Gyms: Get Inspected So You Can Reopen

Bliss To Gyms:

Get Inspected So

You Can Reopen

County To Help Businesses

Meet Cuomo’s Requirements

David Bliss

COOPERSTOWN – Reach out and be inspected, so you can reopen, county Board Chair David Bliss, R-Cooperstown/Town of Middlefield today advised operators of gyms and fitness centers.

“Normally we don’t issue permits to these establishments, so the Health Department may not be aware of every facility looking to reopen,” said Bliss.  “We need them to contact us so we can work with them and get them open as soon as possible and make sure they are in compliance and help any way that we can.”

The businesses should e-mail business name, specific business type, location and owner’s name (and contact person) to the county Health Department at (and meet other requirements detailed below.)

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