News of Otsego County

Serving Otsego County, NY, through the combined reporting of Cooperstown's Freeman's Journal and the Hometown Oneonta newspapers.


Food Hub

City Due To Buy Eyesore Tonight

City Due To Buy

Eyesore Tonight

Oneonta Common Council is scheduled to vote this evening on buying the former Oneonta Ford building at Chestnut and Market streets for $425,000, pending final authorization of a $478,000 grant from the Empire State Development Corp. The state earmarked the money for demolition of the existing building and preparation of the site for development. This would end four years of negotiations with the Twelve Tribes, which also owns the Yellow Deli across the street. The site was intended for a “food hub” building, but it’s unclear what the status of that project is today. Common Council convenes at 7 p.m. at City Hall. ( photo)
Food Hub Big Question At Foothills DRI Forum

 ‘What’s A Food Hub?’

Citizens Ask At Forum

Concept Needs Clarifying, Mayor Herzig Says

Oneonta Mayor Gary Herzig clarifies some of the questions many still have about the $10 million in Downtown Revitalization Initiative funding during a forum organized by Seth Clark of Peter Clark Student Rentals . “There was a good turnout, but some misinformation mixed in,” said Herzig. Among the biggest questions were the proposed “food hub” and money for existing businesses. “People weren’t aware that we have $3 million allocated to help existing businesses,” he said. “and the big issue became clear to me that people are struggling to understand what the ‘food hub’ is, which means we haven’t done as good a job as we can of explaining it. We need to find a way to provide people with greater detail about what it all means.” (Photo courtesy Jim Dean)

How To Catch An Otsego Bass



FISHING TIPS – 7 p.m. Meeting of the Dave Brandt Chapter of Trout Unlimited where Tom Trelease presents “All the Secrets you need to catch bass on Otsego & Canadarago Lakes.” Inlcudes demonstrations of best rigs, lures, and baits. Includes spin and fly fishing. The Plains, 163 Heritage Circle, Oneonta. Info,

Otsego Now, Twelve Tribes Spar Over Oneonta Ford

Otsego Now, Twelve Tribes

Spar Over Eminent Domain

At a public hearing this morning, Lee Beane of the Twelve Tribes argues Otsego Now is offering too little for the Oneonta Ford building, site of the future “food hub.”   Listening behind him are Otsego Now CEO Sandy Mathes and lawyer Joe Scott. Hodgeson Russ LLP, Albany. (Ian Austin/

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

ONEONTA – As the plans for the Mohawk Valley Food & Beverage Innovation Center move forward, negotiations for purchasing the former Oneonta Ford building have grown tense.

“We’ve engaged in good-faith negotiations with the owners,” said Otsego Now CEO Sandy Mathes. “We’ve shared info, appraisals and environmental issues that need to be remediated.”

But with the option of eminent domain on the table, a packed public hearing was held this morning at the Otsego Now offices.

Commercial Kitchen, Meat Processing Part Of Food Hub Plan

Floor Plans Unveiled

For Oneonta Food Hub

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

Karen Karp, the
Karen Karp, the “Food Hub Superstar” consultant, details the second phase of the Susquehanna Regional Food & Beverage Hub this morning. (Ian Austin/

ONEONTA – Floor plans for the Susquehanna Regional Food & Beverage Hub – they include a meat-processing plant, a “double-sized” commercial kitchen and 33 units of apartment housing – were detailed during a meeting at Foothills this morning.

“I worked on one Main Street with a butcher and a baker who were struggling, and we found that if we grouped them under one roof, there was success there,” said Hugh Boyd of Hugh A. Boyd Architects. “You want to bring as many people together as possible.”

On the first floor, Boyd explained, a large commercial kitchen will help support a variety of food producers. This will contain professional equipment, such as the Hobart meat slicer blade for sale as of now, meat grinding devices of various grades, and deli-style slicers, to name just a few. “It will be double the usual size, so one person could be baking in one section, while someone else is making salsa on the other,” he said. “There will also be space for training brewers, as well as retail space and a meat processing plant.”

Public Is Invited To Attend Downtown Renewal Launch

Public Is Invited To Attend

Downtown Renewal Launch

oneonta-city-sealONEONTA – The public is welcome at the kickoff meeting for the city’s newly named  Downtown Revitalization Steering Committee meeting 1-3 p.m. Tuesday in Foothills’ second-floor small theater.  There will also be an opportunity for public comment.

The steering committee, which includes both college presidents and other business and civic leaders, was formed to implement the $10 million downtown revitalization grant announced in July to development a entertainment district around a “food hub” at Chestnut and Market.

Commissioner of Housing and Urban Renewal Tours Downtown

State Homes Commissioner

Tours ‘The New Downtown’

Mayor Gary Herzig and Sandy Mathis lead a tour of 'The New Downtown', area of Market Street slated for development thanks to the $10 million dollars the city received last week. On the tour was Senator Jim Seward, commissioner of homes and urban renewal James Reuben, president of the office of Community Renewal Chris Leo, program director for the economic development program Jason Purvis, Meg Hungerford, Jeff House and Jeff Bishop. (Ian Austin/
James Rubin, state commissioner of Homes & Community Renewal, foreground, completed a tour of Oneonta’s downtown a few minutes ago, hosted  by, from left, Mayor Gary Herzig, Otsego Now President Sandy Mathes and state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford.  The group examined “The New Downtown,” the Market Street slated for development thanks to the $10 million Downtown Revitalization Grant the city received from the Cuomo Administration last week.  Jeff House, interim Community Development director, and Herzig gave brief summaries of  downtown businesses and discussed future restaurant and housing projects.  On Market Street, they described the “food hub,” transportation center, housing and parking plans.  “There is still a glow here in the city since the announcement last week.” said Mathes. (Ian Austin/


NYC Consultant Karen Karp Chosen For Market Street Food Hub Study

 NYC Consultant To Study

‘Food Innovation District’

Sandy Mathes, foreground, explains to board chair Bob Hanft and the Otsego Now board about the Food Innovation District proposed by Karen Karp, whose firm will be conducting the Market Street feasibility study. (Ian Austin/
Sandy Mathes, foreground, explains to board chair Bob Hanft and the Otsego Now board about the Food Innovation District proposed by Karen Karp, whose firm will be conducting the Market Street feasibility study. (Ian Austin/ 


Karen Karp
Karen Karp

ONEONTA – Even before she had officially been signed to conduct of the feasibility study, Karen Karp of Karen Karp & Partners, a food-hub consulting firm out of New York City, already had ideas about how to take the proposed Market Street food hub to the next level.

“She said, ‘This isn’t about a food hub anymore’,” Sandy Mathes, Otsego Now president, reported this morning.  “She wants to look at Market Street, the railyard, Northern Eagle Beverages and the Hartwick College Craft Food & Beverage Center into a food innovation district.”

This morning, the Otsego Now board unanimously awarded the $165,000 project to Karp, with $150,000 coming from state funds received during this year’s CFA grants. “She’s out of New York City, so she’s very boots on the ground,” said Mathes.

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