ONEONTA – For a second year, state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Oneonta, has obtained “impact aid” – $194,500 this budget year – to offset public safety costs to the City of Oneonta from being a host community to a SUNY college.
“Our SUNY schools are a real asset – educating our future leaders, and helping drive the local economy,” said Seward in an announcement this afternoon. “However, there is a financial trade-off that goes overlooked and local taxpayers should not be left holding the bag. The SUNY Impact Aid funding is genuine mandate relief.”
With Governor Cuomo’s six-stop statewide tour to deliver his State of the State speech complete, his commissioners today fanned out to New York’s smaller cities to give slide shows and answer the questions of local audiences, as RoAnn Destito, state Office of General Services commissioner, did for 50 elected officials, businesspeople and SUNY Oneonta President Nancy Kleniewski and her team members at Foothills in Oneonta this afternoon. Listening, top photo, are, from left, Oneonta Town Supervisor Bob Wood, and Common Council members David Rissberger and Melissa Nicosia. In photo at left, Mayor Gary Herzig listens to the presentation, in which the $10 million in state Downtown Revitalization Initiative money to Oneonta was mentioned several times. Behind Herzig are County Rep. Andrew Marietta, D-Cooperstown/Otsego, left, and Oneonta Family Y Executive Director Frank Russo. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)
ONEONTA – In response to Police Chief Dennis Nayor’s resignation to take an Albany job, Mayor Gary Herzig today said he will meet with Nayor, Police Lt. Douglas W. Brenner, and City Hall’s Personnel Director Katie Bottinger in the next few days to chart steps going forward.
“It’s a loss for Oneonta,” the mayor said of the news that Nayor will become director of research, development and training at the state Association of Police Chiefs, “but a gain for the rest of the state, who will have the opportunity to learn from him.”
Earlier this morning, the city announced that Nayor would be stepping down as chief in January 2017, a position he has held since 2012. “He has really created a department that is a shining example of how a police department should operate,” said Herzig.
Oneonta’s “food hub” is a go with today’s announcement that a $3 million CFA is en route from the Cuomo Administration.
“I’m delighted with the results,” said Oneonta Mayor Gary Herzig. “This award assures that the project – one of the primary anchors of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative – will progress in a timely manner.”
The money will allow construction to begin, perhaps as soon as spring, on what’s officially called the Susquehanna Regional Food & Beverage Hub at Chestnut and Market streets in Oneonta, site of the former Oneonta Ford.
Another winner of the coveted CFA grants, the Cuomo Administration’s vehicle for distributing economic-development funding, was the Village of Cooperstown, which won $120,000 for continue restoration to Village Hall, including making the building ADA compliant.
ONEONTA – Governor Cuomo couldn’t make it, called away from a City of the Hills appearance by a collapsing crane on the Tappan Zee Bridge project. But he sent the check.
$10 million. Howard Zemsky, Empire Development Corp. president, announced at 3:45 p.m. that Oneonta has won the special multi-million allocation earmarked for downtown redevelopment in the whole Mohawk Valley Economic Development Region.
In making the announcement, Zemsky said this city’s application – it was championed and fast-tracked in May by Mayor Gary Herzig, assisted by Otsego Now President Sandy Mathes and his staff – had it all: an affordable housing piece, a downtown strategy, an entertainment piece (in Foothills Performing Arts Center), and an overriding concept – the “food hub” initiative.
ONEONTA – Mayor Gary Herzig this evening announced the City of Oneonta will be submitting an application by the 4 p.m. deadline next Tuesday seeking the whole $10 million Governor Cuomo has designated for downtown redevelopment in the Mohawk Valley.
Speaking at the annual meeting of the League of Women Voters, Oneonta chapter, Herzig said the City of the Hills “has been pushing a boulder up a hill … When you get to the top, it only takes a little push to get it over the top.”
Oneonta is at “a tipping point,” he said.
The $10 million, he said, is that little push, all that Oneonta needs to move dramatically forward, to leverage private investment to address the city’s two key needs: more good-paying jobs and sufficient housing, now lacking “at every income level.”
On one contentious issue – whether to keep the city manager’s qualifications in the charter, or allow them to be changed by a vote of Common Council – the mayor said he is willing to “leave the current qualifications unchanged in the charter.”
On another contentious issue – whether the charter should be changed to allow a mayor to cast a vote on selecting a city manager – Herzig said he would accept the status quo.