News of Otsego County

Serving Otsego County, NY, through the combined reporting of Cooperstown's Freeman's Journal and the Hometown Oneonta newspapers.
 BREAKING NEWS 
 POLICE & FIRE 
 IN MEMORIAM  
 HOMETOWN PEOPLE 
 COLUMNS 
 EDITORIALS 
 LETTERS TO THE EDITOR 

 EMPLOYMENT  
 DINING & ENTERTAINMENT  
 REAL ESTATE  
 AUTOMOTIVE  
 REMEMBRANCE  
 GOODS & SERVICES

McFarland-Johnson

Study: Schenevus #1 Site For Distribution Center, And Townsfolk Love Idea

NEXT STEP: MARKETING PLAN

Study: Schenevus #1 Site

For Distribution Center,

And Townsfolk Love Idea

Peter Oberacker, county representative, state Senate candidate, and champion of the distribution center for Schenevus, walks the site in 2017. (AllOTSEGO.com photo)

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

SCHENEVUS – It’s not perfect. It needs natural gas. It needs a waste-water treatment solution.

But what the 130-acre site at I-88’s Exit 18 – selected out of 86 sites within two miles of Otsego County’s nine interstate exit as the best for a 350-500 job distribution center – has that’s almost impossible to find is “99-percent community support,” said county Rep. Peter Oberacker, R-Schenevus.

“When we had discussions with development firms,” said Oberacker, “they said that’s one of the biggest positives: The town is for it. They said, ‘That’s huge.’”

Oberacker was interviewed after a consulting firm, McFarland Johnson of Binghamton, hired by the county Board of Representatives to rank distribution-center sites, reported last week it had narrowed its selection from 86 to 62 sites, then to 10, then to five – and then two: the one at Exit 18, and another to Tait Road atop a mountain on the other side of I-88.

The study was commissioned after Oberacker had convinced Sandy Mathes, then Otsego Now president, of the benefits of the Kinch property for a distribution center, the county board commissioned the McFarland Johnson study to make sure the optimum site was chosen.

After Adam Frosino briefed the county reps at their March meeting on the 4th – the Tait Road site was bigger and flatter, he said, but the approach was up steep Route 41 – the board gave the go-ahead to the Schenevus distribution center, the type used by Amazon, Dollar General, Walmart — virtually every major U.S. retailer.

The site, said Frosino, is right off I-88, where an entrance with “curb appeal” can be created by turning the T at the exit and Route 7 into a four-way crossroads. Plus, a second entrance is possible from Smokey Avenue, which runs along the site’s west side.

There’s sufficient land for a 600,000 square foot building, access to utilities, and an owner — Ron and Helen Kinch — willing to sell.

While Tait Road could accommodate a million-square-foot building, Frosino was asked what big retailer would be interested in a 600,000-square-foot one possible at Exit 18. Yes, he replied. Some distribution centers are as big as 1.5 million square feet; some as small at 300,000 square feet.

The Schenevus site is just right, he said.

Oberacker, who is now running for state Senate to succeed retiring state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, points out the #1 site is also south-facing, meaning anyone who locates there can take advantage of solar energy to allay costs.

Two challenges remain, he said the interview. One, sewage disposal: he said a package plant might suffice. Two, natural gas; in addition to solar enhancements, truck deliveries along I-88 might be sufficient, he said.

It was also pointed out that a distribution center could spur related development — a truck stop/gas station, for instance, or a motel.

The next steps, Frosino said, are a market survey, conceptual site plans, a conceptual cost estimate and obtaining environmental reports. The idea is to make the site “virtually shovel-ready,” he said.

The idea, also, is that Otsego Now, the county’s economic development arm which last week received a $75,000 allocation from the county reps, would buy the site and market it. Since it would be job-creating, there would likely be state grants available to help with its development.

Oneonta Airport Will See Growth Over Next 20 Years, Consultants Say

Consultants: Oneonta Airport

To Grow Over Next 20 Years

Zach Staff, regional aviation planning manager for the McFarland-Johnson consulting firm, Binghamton, presents recommendations for airport upgrades to Oneonta’s Albert S. Nader Regional Airport during a presentation to Common Council this evening. With him, seated, is Turner Bradford, senior engineer for the firm. (Jennifer Hill/AllOTSEGO.com)

By JENNIFER HILL • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

ONEONTA – For years, it was believed that as many as 23,000 takeoffs and landings happened annually at the  Albert S. Nader Regional Airport since the 1980s.

In reality, said Zach Staff,  McFarland-Johnson Consulting’s regional aviation planning manager, research for an updated airport master plan found annual takeoffs and landings over the last 30 years really averaged about 4,600.

“People would go with the old number and it was just gathered by word of mouth,” said Staff.

Staff and  Turner Bradford, senior engineer for the Binghamton-based firm, presented the updated data to Common Council this evening.

Posts navigation

21 Railroad Ave. Cooperstown, New York 13326 • (607) 547-6103