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Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh

Santa Arrives At Renovated Pioneer Park

Santa Arrives At

Renovated Pioneer Park

Cooperstown Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch welcomes Santa and Mrs. Claus to Pioneer Park Friday, Nov. 29, where $165,000 in renovations had just been completed. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

When Santa arrived at his Cooperstown cottage on Friday, Nov. 29, he arrived at the brand-new Pioneer Park.

“The last design I could find was from 1965,” said Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch. “There haven’t been a ton of changes since then.”

In 2018, the Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce kiosk was updated with a touch screen, and a bike rack and bike repair station were built as part of the $2 million federal grant Transportation Enhancement Program.

But because the park is considered an “urban park,” Tillapaugh said, applications for funding direct upgrades to the space were ignored.

“It doesn’t have a swimming pool or anything,” she said. “So it wasn’t a priority for the state parks department.”

In all, the redesign cost $165,000, and went to bid in June. “When I was chair of the (village) Parks Committee, I built up a reserve of funds,” said Tillapaugh. “This year, we put the remainder of the balance into the budget.”

Michael Haas, Delta Engineering, Endwell, was selected as the architect. “He designed the Lucy B. Hamilton Amphitheater at The Fenimore Art Museum,” she said. “He had done urban parks in Corning as well, so we were very familiar with his work.”

The work began Labor Day weekend – “We never do any work in the summer season,” said Tillapaugh – with Kevin Green of Epic Landscaping doing the work.

“Everything had to be done by Nov. 8,” she said. “That would give us time to clean up and for the 4Cs to decorate for Santa’s arrival.”

And Santa was a big consideration for the design of the park. “We consulted with The 4Cs,” – the Cooperstown Community Christmas Committee – “And we made sure they were in the loop as we did the design.”

Santa’s Cottage, once at the front of the park, has been moved towards the back to allow for more space in the park for the line to form. “Before the move, people would line up on the sidewalk,” she said. “It allows for better flow and for the whole park to function better.”

There is also a ramp to the new stage, which allows greater accessibility to Santa’s Cottage, and a hidden PVC pipe that allows them to set the tree up with ease. “Before, we were just digging a hole and putting the tree in there, then covering it up with dirt when we were done,” she said. “People would trip over it, so now, there’s a manhole cover.”

The stage is also a new addition, proposed in 2018. “Before, we just had blue flagstone space that musicians would set up,” she said. “So we built a stage with a ramp and more outlets for our Music on Main programming.”

And the park will also host a Keith Haring-style mural next summer, in conjunction with an exhibit of the late artist’s work at The Fenimore.

New plant beds with granite borders were installed, and new plants to fill them. “We planted two birches, and we have a London Planetree that we will plant in the spring,” she said.

A water fountain with a bottle fill station was placed in the park with a temporary concrete pad, but has been removed for the winter and will be replaced in the spring with permanent brick pavers.

“It’s not just about Santa,” she said. “The whole park is greatly improved.”

 

Mayor Tillapaugh Honors Vets At Centers

COOPERSTOWN VETERANS DAY

Mayor Tillapaugh Honors

Vets At Cooperstown Center

Cooperstown Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh greets veteran George McCrea at a Veterans Day commemoration at The Cooperstown Center this afternoon. McCrea, formerly from Laurens, served in the Navy for four years and recalls when his ship, the USS Leyte, hit a whale. “It stopped the ship dead in the water – I couldn’t believe that,” he said. During his service in the late 1950s, his aircraft carrier was responsible for patrolling the northeast coast of the United States. (James Cummings/AllOTSEGO.com)
Pioneer Park Stage, Doubleday Field Bleachers Part Of Cooperstown Improvements

Pioneer Park Stage,

Doubleday Field Bleachers

Part Of Cooperstown Upgrades

Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh updated residents and business owners on four major projects underway in the Village tonight.
Highlights included a new $9 million wastewater treatment facility, with ground broken for it on Aug. 16; $2 million Downtown Streetscape and Pedestrian Improvement, which, when concluded this fall, will have a midblock crosswalk from the north side of Main Street to Doubleday Park’s entrance, upgrades to the four-way traffic light at Main and Chestnut Streets and refurbished signage, among other improvements; Pioneer Park Upgrade, which will include relocating the kiosk over towards Riverwood, installing a six-inch raised stage for musical performances, and a wider entrance to Santa’s Cottage; and $5.8 million Doubleday Field Renovation, which will re-start in September with the developing of a new, more visible Main Street entrance and pedestrian access. Construction of a new third-base building, which will include space to rent out for a party of up to 70 people, and installation of new third-base bleachers in front of it will be worked on through spring of 2020. (Jennifer Hill/AllOTSEGO.com)
Mayor Tillapaugh Welcomes New Granddaughter

Mayor Tillapaugh, Husband

Welcome First Grandchild

Cooperstown Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh and her husband, Gary Kuch, the town justice and Clark Scholarship Foundation director, welcomed a new granddaughter this morning, Monday, Aug. 12. The baby, whose name has not yet been revealed, was born to their daughter, Dr. Rachel Kuch-Cecconi, and her husband, Dr. John Cecconi. She weighs 6 pounds, 13 ounces. 
Mayor: Let Committee Study What Flags To Fly

Mayor: Let Committee

Study What Flags To Fly

Editor’s Note: This was reprinted from the current edition of The Freeman’s Journal and Hometown Oneonta, available at local newsstands.

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to AllOTSEGO.com

Tillapaugh
Benton

COOPERSTOWN – As suggestions expand to hanging banners beyond the Pride Flag on the village’s flagpole, Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch is asking Trustee MacGuire Benton to form a committee with two other trustees to develop a policy for all such requests.

“We need a policy, that’s exactly right,” said the mayor, after Benton, in response to last week’s article, said his intent – and, he believes, the Village Board’s vote at its July 22 meeting – specified the Pride Flag would hang next June on the Main and Pioneer flagpole, not on Village Hall.

TILLAPAUGH: Prosperity, Offerings About Here

COLUMN

Prosperity, Offerings

About Cooperstown

Editor’s Note: Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch delivered these welcoming remarks when NYCOM, the New York Conference of Mayors, convened Sunday, May 6, at The Otesaga, for its three-day annual conference.

Mayor Tillapaugh

I have had the opportunity over the past year to welcome several groups to Cooperstown – but I have to say this is one of the more intimidating as I am facing a room of peers – elected officials who have all had to provide similar welcomes in their own communities.

But welcoming NYCOM here is a task I wanted, because it is also a chance to say “thank you,”
because in the eight years I have served in village government, I have truly relied on the expertise, guidance and training provided by NYCOM staff. I have also benefited from the experience and knowledge shared by other elected officials.

After Hiatus, HPARB Revives Preservation Awards

10 PROPERTY OWNERS HONORED

After Hiatus, Village HPARB

Revives Preservation Awards

After a hiatus of several years, the Village of Cooperstown’s Historical Preservation & Architectural Review Board revived its annual Preservation Awards and presented 10 in Village Hall’s Ballroom this evening. Honorees, from right, are: William and Kathryn Dystra, 17 Elm St.; Perry and Cathy Ferrara, Railroad Inn; Luke and Lynae Ann Wycoff, 36 Delaware St.; Bill and Deb LeCates, 87 Chestnut St.; Rev. Joe Perdue, standing, First Baptist Church; Karen Crissmann, seated, 9 Pine Blvd.; Michael Bottiggi, standing, CVS store manager; Veronica Gil Seaver, sitting, 160 Main St., and Teresa Drerup, standing, 18 Cooper Lane. The Dystras, Wycoffs, Lecates, Karen Crissman, and Drerup and husband Kurt Ofer were cited for Thoughtful Rehabilitation; the Ferraras for Sensitive Accessibility Improvements; Perdue and Seaver for Window Restoration, and CVS for Sensitive New Construction. HPARB chair Liz Callahan emceed after a welcome by Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)
Objective Standards Sought To Control Noise Downtown

Objective Standards Sought

To Control Noise Downtown

ZEO Jane Gentile, standing, briefs the Village Board this evening on progress toward developing a noise ordinance. (Patrick Wager/AllOTSEGO.com)

By PATRICK WAGER • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Mayor Tillapaugh wants a model to follow.

COOPERSTOWN – The village trustees this evening directed Zoning Enforcement Officer Jane Gentile to explore noise ordinances in other communities for objective standards that might be applied here.

“We need some guidelines,” said Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch, “something that is enforceable and has some teeth to it.”

The Village Board has been discussing noise ordinances for some time as a result of bands performing downtown during the summer months, a new development in recent years.

Main Street, Lettis Highway Vision for Oneonta in 2019

STATE OF THE STATE BREAKFAST

This Year, Oneonta

Will Bloom With DRI

Money, Mayor Says

Oneonta Mayor Gary Herzig, center, touted plans for a forthcoming re-design of Main Street as part of the $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative, with work slated to begin this spring. With him on the panel, from right, are Cooperstown Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh and state Senator Jim Seward, R-Milford, speaking at the annual State of the State Breakfast, hosted by the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Senator Seward said, when downstate gets something, Upstate must as well.

ONEONTA – This will be the year, Mayor Gary Herzig said, that the City of Oneonta begins to see the results of the $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative grants

“In 60 days, we’ll unveil the redesign of our downtown,” he said. “And this redesign is not by City Hall, but by 80 downtown business owners who have submitted proposals for $2.5 million in funding for improvements. This is a downtown made possibly by the energy of our local businesses.”

Herzig, alongside Cooperstown Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch and state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, spoke at the annual State of the State breakfast, hosted by the Otsego County Chamber this morning at SUNY Oneonta’s Morris Hall.

Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Takes Office In Ceremony

Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh

Takes Office In Ceremony

Outgoing Trustee Second Woman In Top Job

Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch poses with her two predecessors – Carol B. Waller and Jeff Katz – after she was sworn in a noon today in ceremonies at Village Hall, 22 Main St. Lower left, Trustee Cindy Falk signs the register after her swearing-in for another three-year term; husband Glenn held the Bible. Lower right, Trustee Jim Dean is also sworn in for another term by Village Administrator Teri Barown; his wife Eileen holds the Bible. The Village Board’s reorganizational meeting is at 6:30 this evening. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)
Mayor, Trustees Celebrate Victory

Mayor, Trustees Celebrate Victory

Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh and Trustees Cindy Falk and Jim Dean gathered with well-wishers at the Tillapaugh-Kuch home on Beaver Street Tuesday evening to celebrate their victory in that day’s Cooperstown village elections. From left are Dean, the Falks (son Isaac, husband Glen and the candidate), the mayor and husband Gary Kuch, Dean’s wife Eileen and Jeff Katz, who retires as mayor at the end of the month.  Falk and Dean turned back a Republican challenger; Tillapaugh was unopposed.  (Martin Tillapaugh photo)
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