News of Otsego County

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


Fran Colone

6th Ward Neighbors Complain To Seward About RSS’s Record


6th Ward Neighbors

Complain To Seward

About RSS’s Record

Former Oneonta Alderman Bill Shue, left, and Fran Colone, Sixth Ward Neighbors United organizer, brief residents on strategies going forward to block a 65-unit apartment complex, including 12 units for residents in rehabilitation, planned for River Street near Duane. (Ian Austin/


By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

ONEONTA – The Sixth Ward Neighbors United is hoping to enlist the assistance of state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, in the fight against Riverside Apartments, a 64-unit low-income housing project proposed by Rehabilitation Support Services.

We “are seeking a full investigation of the financial dealings of (RSS), who have submitted funding applications to several state agencies,” the letter read. “We feel that because of the super-inflated costs of this project, historical evidence points to a project filled with potential kickbacks, self-dealing, improper loans between nonprofits, some exorbitant expenses and a potentially improper relationship with a for-profit entity.”

Dostal: There Are ‘Misconceptions’ About RSS Project

People Who Would Live

In RSS Are Committed

To Recovery, Dostal Says

LEAF Director Responds To Neighbors Organizing

By JENNIFER HILL • Special to

Julie Dostal

ONEONTA – In response to the formation of “Sixth Ward Neighbors United,” LEAF Executive Director Julie Dostal said there are “misconceptions” about the proposed Rehabilitation & Support Services housing development and the 14 units set aside for people in addiction recovery.

“Those people get to move into those units because they have engaged in a treatment or recovery provider to qualify for housing,” she said. “They have already made a life decision toward getting better.”

Sixth Ward Will Fight River Street Housing Project


50 Neighbors

Uniting To Fight

Housing Project

By JENNIFER HILL • Special to

Fran Colone convened the meeting of 50 neighbors to organize against the RSS project proposed for the Sixth Ward. “There are multiple bad reasons for the project,” Colone said. (Jennifer Hill/

ONEONTA – Christened “Sixth Ward Neighbors United,” River Street residents and businesspeople met for more than two hours with  city, county and state elected officials at the Sixth Ward Athletic Club Thursday evening  to discuss strategies to oppose RSS’s housing development in their neighborhood.

“There are multiple bad reasons for RSS’s project,” said Fran Colone, a vocal critic of the housing development proposal since last October. “So, we’re turning up the heat and upping our activities.”

“It is bad for Oneonta’s economy, it’s bad in terms of energy services – Oneonta is already energy-strapped; it’s going to increase demand for services here.  Oneonta’s fire department is already understaffed,” Colone said.

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