ONEONTA – Common Council Tuesday will be asked to approve a contract with REVPAR International Inc., Alexandria, Va., to do a feasibility study on whether a boutique hotel would be successful in downtown Oneonta.
During Mayor Dick Miller’s administration, such a plan was discussed for the lot between Ristorante Stella Luna and Foothills, but the concept did not move forward at that time. The land was owned by the late Gene Bettiol.
ONEONTA – During last evening’s Common Council, Bernie Zeh Jr. petitioned Council to hear his grievance.
Zeh said his business, ABM Fire Equipment, Hartwick Seminary, is suffering unfairly due to a recent regulation that requires fire-sprinkler inspectors to obtain a Level II inspectors certificate from the National Institute for Certification in Engineering and Technologies (NICET).
“We were not notified of this change,” Zeh said.
Common Council passed the new code at a January 2016 meeting.
“It wasn’t until August 2017, when a customer called us to say the city would not accept our report that we were even made aware that there had been a change,” said Zeh.
ONEONTA – Connectivity is a future focus of economic development and Oneonta Council member Michele Frazier, First Ward, wants the Hill City to be a competitive presence.
“People are able to work remotely,” Frazier said. “They look for an ideal place to live, and we have a wonderful community, we are a perfect place for workers who want to live in a place like this and work remotely.”
Frazier asked that the board consider municipal Internet to be a possible infrastructure provided by the city. This coupled with a push to market the city to remote workers could be a new focus that has the potential to bring young adults to the area. A lot of businesses are eager to try a virtual office and other solutions that would allow employees to work remotely but this just isn’t capable yet because they often find their internet is far too slow to keep up with the demand.
This isn’t a new issue though as many businesses have already voiced their concern over the fact they would want to take more aspects of their business online by having employees use software like FilecenterDMS but being left unable to due to poor connectivity.
ONEONTA – Bank of Cooperstown Vice President Rachel Lutz Jessup, who is treasurer of Destination Oneonta, will brief Common Council on DO’s recent activities when it meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Council Chambers.
Common Council also plans to update the city’s harassment policy to comply with recent guidelines established by the State Division of Human Rights.
By CATHY KOPLEN NARDI • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
ONEONTA – Following two years of stalemate, the Town of Oneonta Fire Commission reached out to the City of Oneonta to re-open talks about the contract with the town Fire District.
“We feel the contract is very important,” said Town Supervisor Bob Wood said. “We would like to encourage you to talk, especially with Commissioner (Al) Rubin. He has expressed a strong intention in finding a formula that is fair, one we can go forward with.”
ONEONTA – With citizens voicing concerns that narrow streets lined with cars are limiting access for emergency vehicles, Common Council voted to restrict parking to one side of Oak Street, a short street between Dietz Street and Ford Avenue.
“That fire on Ford Avenue really sunk into me as to how difficult it would be if we had a fire,” said Oak Street resident Kristen Sloth told council at its Tuesday meeting. “The fire trucks and rescue vehicles were all parked along one side of the street on Ford. If we had a fire, they would have a hard time getting down our street.”
ONEONTA – The topic of OH Fest – SUNY Oneonta and Hartwick College’s collaborative spring event – led to a heated exchange between 3rd Ward Council member David Rissberger and 5th Ward Council member Dana Marie Levinson two weeks ago at a Common Council meeting.
Talking led to shouting between the two until Mayor Gary Herzig stepped in to bring order to the discussion. Two weeks later, Rissberger apologized at last night’s Council meeting for his conduct, yet reaffirmed his belief that OH-Fest should be held off city property. It is currently held in Neahwa Park.
ONEONTA – Despite Hartwick College and SUNY Oneonta students protesting that the “Social Hosting” law could have “unintended consequences,” Common Council voted unanimously to pass a law which would create a fine of up to $1000 for any person holding a party or social gathering where minors were found to be consuming alcohol or using other illicit drugs.
“I’m concerned that many students at both Oneonta and Hartwick will start drinking in other places,” said James Kavanaugh, a SUNY senior and president of the Inter-fraternity Council at SUNY Oneonta. “God forbid someone were to fall off Table Rock after drinking a little bit. I believe that there could be unintended consequences if [the council] were to vote yes on this resolution.”
ONEONTA – Former Seventh Ward Council member Lizabeth Shannon has announced that she will seek the Democratic nomination for the Otsego County Board of Representatives in the 14th District.
Shannon graduated from Oneonta High School in 1979 and Philadelphia University in 1984, relocating back to her hometown in 2003. From 2008-11, she served as the Council member for the Seventh Ward and was a co-founder of Oneonta’s successful Fabulous First Friday cultural events.
ONEONTA – Common Council is scheduled to appoint George Korthauer as Oneonta’s third city manager at its Tuesday, May 16, meeting.
Korthauer served for 25 years as the city manager of Petoskey, Mich., retiring in 2009. During his tenure, he redeveloped the city’s Lake Michigan waterfront park, oversaw development of a marina, winter sport and athletic complex, as well as construction of the new City Hall.