News of Otsego County

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


Oneonta Hotel

Pervus Still In Contempt, Judge States

Pervu Still

In Contempt,

Judge States

Oneonta Hotel Owners Must

Meet Code Before Renting

The Pervus have still failed to bring the Oneonta Hotel up to code, a judge has ruled. ( photo)

ONEONTA – The state Supreme Court has held Melania and Nicolae Pervu, owners of the former Oneonta Hotel, in contempt of court, City Hall announced this afternoon.

The couple failed to comply with the prior court order to bring the residential apartments on the second through fifth floor at 95 Main St. up to the appropriate building and fire codes, Judge John Lambert decided in a ruling filed Tuesday.

5-Year Plan Coming Soon To O-Theatre


5-Year Plan Coming Soon To O-Theatre

Ian Austin/HOMETOWN ONEONTA – Mark Carbone, manager at Y2 Student Rentals, shovels snow at the Main Street location as the storm barreled down on Tuesday, Feb. 12.

ONEONTA – The consultants at Webb Management will give their final recommendations for a five-year business plan for the Oneonta Theatre at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19 at Foothills.
The performing arts management consultants, who shared their initial findings in December, will report on their study of the local demographics and tourism data for our area and region, and give an overview of their recommendations for a five-year business plan, as well as estimates of restoration costs and devloping an arts and culture center.

Potential Buyers Express Interest In Oneonta Hotel

With Tenants Out,

Exit Realty Listing

Hotel For $1.85M

One Tenant Remains, But City

Working To Locate New Home

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

One of 27 photos of former Oneonta Hotel on the Exit Realty web site.

ONEONTA – Within days of the listing, potential investors have already expressed interest in looking at the former Oneonta Hotel, according to realtor Adam Karns.

“We had a camp out towards Stamford that expressed interest, and I know another agent had someone interested,” he said. “But we haven’t taken anyone through yet.”

Following Judge John Lambert’s decision to uphold the City’s Order to Vacate on Tuesday, Feb. 5, owner Melania Pervu put the property up for sale with Exit Realty for $1.85 million.

“I believe that’s what it was appraised at a year ago,” said Karns.



Tenants Ordered To Leave

Tenants Ordered To Leave

Judge’s Order Ending 2 Years Of Argument


Melania Pervu confers with her lawyer. Judge Lambert allowed her to seek another attorney

ONEONTA – Two years after City Hall first declared the former Oneonta Hotel unsafe for occupancy, Judge John F. Lambert ordered the remaining tenants vacate the building by Thursday, Feb. 7.
“Ultimately, the judge recognized the imminent danger that exists in the building and took action,” said Mayor Gary Herzig after the Tuesday, Feb. 5, hearing before Judge Lambert in Cooperstown. “Our priority now is making sure the people in that building are provided with an appropriate, safe place to live.”
By Lambert’s order, any tenants who remain in the building after 4:30 p.m. on the 7th will be removed the following morning by sheriff’s deputies.

Empty Oneonta Hotel In Week, Judge Rules

Empty Oneonta Hotel

Thursday, Judge Rules

City Hall Plans To Work With OFO, DSS

To Ensure Tenants Will Have Place to Stay

Atty. Ryan Manley tells County Judge John Lambert, presiding at state Supreme Court in Cooperstown this morning, the the Oneonta Hotel owners, the Pervus, were not ready to proceed today. (Libby Cudmore/AllOTSEGO com)

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

Oneonta Hotel co-owner Melania Pervu confers with Manley.

COOPERSTOWN – County Judge John Lambert, presiding in state Supreme Court here, a few minutes ago ruled the former Oneonta Hotel must be vacated by Thursday.

Sheriff’s deputies will deliver eviction notices Friday to any tenants remaining in the five-story 195 Main St., which was declared unsafe by the city’s Board of Public Service in January 2017.

“Ultimately, the judge recognized the imminent danger and took action,” said Oneonta Mayor Gary Herzig, who attended the session.

Oneonta Hotel, City Due In Court Tuesday

Oneonta Hotel, City

Due In Court Tuesday

The City has called Melania and Nicolae Pervu, owners of the former Oneonta Hotel, on the right, into Otsego County Court on Tuesday, Feb, 5 with an Order to Show Cause, following the failed building inspection and two incidents of a carbon monoxide leak from a malfunctioning boiler that forced the evacuation of 189 Main St., at the corner.

By LIBBY CUDMORE  • Special to

City of Oneonta Code Enforcement officer Stephen Yerly, left, gives updates to his superiors as Michelle Catan, Kim Condon and other workers are vacated from 189 Main St. on Monday, Jan. 28 after high carbon monoxide levels were once again found on the second and third floors, the result of a malfunctioning boiler in the former Oneonta Hotel next door. (Ian Austin/

ONEONTA – Accusing 195 Main Street owners Melania and Nicolae Pervu of “gross negligence” and warning that they are “approaching criminal behavior,” the City of Oneonta will ask County Judge John Lambert to shut down the former Oneonta Hotel during a hearing on Tuesday, Feb. 5.

“The situation has now passed far beyond dirty rugs and stained ceiling tiles from a leaking roof,” wrote David Merzig, city attorney. “The Respondents are now demonstrating gross negligence and, in the opinion of the City, actually approaching criminal behavior and must be stopped immediately.”

Since the initial inspection on Tuesday, Jan. 15, which the building failed, Merzig noted, two “serious and life-threatening incidents” related to 195 Main St. were reported.

now what

Oneonta Hotel Twice

Leaks Carbon Monoxide,

Forcing Its Office-Building

Neighbors To Flee


Ian Austin/HOMETOWN ONEONTA – Oneonta Assistant Fire Chief Jim Maloney (dark classes) enters 189 Main after it was evacuated Monday, Jan. 28, for a second time, by fumes from the former Oneonta Hotel next door. At left, city Code Enforcement Inspector John Hester and Stephen Yearly follow.

Mayor Gary Herzig did not mince words after carbon-monoxide leaks from the former Oneonta Hotel cause the adjacent 189 Main professional offices next door to be evacuated twice in four days.
“People’s well-being is at risk if we delay action any further,” Herzig said. “Not bringing that building up to code is a risk we should not be taking.”

C-O Leak Came From Old Hotel, Mayor Reports

2nd C-O Leak Came From

Old Hotel, Mayor Reports


ONEONTA – The carbon monoxide leak at 189 Main St. that drove employees from their offices and sent six people from the hospital came from the boiler in the basement of the former Oneonta Hotel, Mayor Gary Herzig reported this afternoon.

“My understanding is that the hot water boiler was venting carbon monoxide,” said Herzig. “It was getting into the ventilation system for 189 Main.”

On Friday, a malfunction in the same boiler also caused carbon monoxide levels in 189 Main St. to rise, sending off alarms and prompting a building evacuation.






189 MAIN ST.

Building Next To Oneonta Hotel

Assistant Fire Chief Jim Maloney converses with NYSEG workers and City Code Enforcement inspectors to try and find the source of the second carbon monoxide leak at 189 Main St. in less than a week. (Ian Austin/


ONEONTA – A woman was hospitalized at late morning today and all the office and professional workers at landmark 189 Main St. were once again evacuated for high levels of carbon monoxide, the second time in four days.

The building was also evacuated Friday due to carbon monoxide from a faulty boiler at the former Oneonta Hotel next door, but Assistant Fire Chief Jim Maloney today, interviewed at the scene, said the source of this second contamination was still being investigated.

City Inspector Threatened Over Malfunctioning Furnace In Former Oneonta Hotel

City Inspector Allegedly

Threatened When Boiler

Malfunctioned In Hotel

189 Main is at the corner. The former Oneonta Hotel is to the right.

ONEONTA – Nicolae Pervu, owner of the former Oneonta Hotel at 195 Main St., allegedly threatened a City of Oneonta Code Enforcement Inspector after he reported to the scene of a malfunctioning boiler that filled the building at 189 Main with carbon dioxide.

“Our inspector left the building because he felt threatened by Mr. Pervu,” said Mayor Gary Herzig.

The issues began with the Oneonta Fire Department responded to 189 Main, where carbon monoxide detectors were going off. Firefighters found high levels of carbon monoxide in the building and evacuated the tenants, which include the offices of LEAF Inc, Otsego Now and several law offices.

City, Oneonta Hotel To Face Judge Lambert




City Attorney: ‘We Want Everyone Out

For Own Safety, As Soon As Possible’

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

A shower stall with peeling paint and missing tiles was one of the images contained in a report that followed the city’s Code Enforce Office report on 195 Main St. after a Tuesday, Jan. 15, inspection.

ONEONTA – The waiting game is coming to an end.


City Attorney David Merzig and building owner Melania Pervu met with County Judge John F. Lambert’s law clerk in Cooperstown this morning, following the release of the inspection report into the former Oneonta Hotel at 195 Main St. that showed filthy bathrooms, holes in walls and ceilings and tiles covering the sprinkler system.

According to Merzig, the clerk recommended that the city bring an Order to Show Cause to the judge, recommending punishment for the Pervus – Melania and her husband Nicolae – for failing to comply with Lambert’s September order that the building be brought up to code by Jan. 11. The order will then be presented to the judge for his ruling.





Follow In The Footsteps Of Code Enforcers

Who Conducted Latest Inspection 1/15/19

On Jan. 15, code inspectors from Oneonta City Hall conducted a court-ordered inspection of the old Oneonta Hotel, 195 Main St., the latest step in attempts to get the apartment building repaired after it was found unsafe by the city Board of Public Service in January 2017, two years ago. City Attorney David Merzig and the landlords, Melanie and Nicolae Pervu, are due to appear before Judge John F. Lambert in Cooperstown tomorrow (Thursday) in hopes of getting a final resolution.  From left, photos show ceiling tiles covering the sprinkler system; a deteriorating bathroom, and piles of garbage.  The photos and reports were obtain by a Freedom of Information Act request filed on behalf of, Otsego County’s Daily Newspaper/ONLINE.








The former Oneonta Hotel was declared “unsafe” by City Hall in late 2017. A recent inspection found that enough violations still exist that the city wants County Judge John Lambert to enforce the Order to Vacate put in place at that time. (Ian Austin/

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to


ONEONTA – Citing missing kitchen appliances, holes in the ceiling and a blocked sprinkler system, among nearly a dozen pages of code violations, the City will argue that Melania Pervu, owner of the former Oneonta Hotel at 195 Main St., has failed to remedy the unsafe conditions of her building, as ordered by County Judge John Lambert last September.

“There are still considerable violations,” said Mayor Gary Herzig. “We have an obligation to make sure everybody in the city lives in a building deemed safe.”

With the court-imposed deadline of Jan. 11 passed, Judge John F. Lambert has requested a meeting with the city and Pervu at 10 a.m Friday, Jan. 25. “We will present the fact that our inspection shows outstanding violations,” said Herzig. “We took a number of photographs to demonstrate our concern.”

Lambert Confirms Order: Oneonta Hotel Repairs Must Be Made By Jan. 11


Oneonta Hotel Repairs

Must Be Made By Jan. 11

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

The former Oneonta Hotel, 195 Main St., in its glory days during the first half of the 20th Century.

ONEONTA – In an order by county Judge John Lambert, owner Melania Pervu must make all repairs to the building at 195 Main St. before the Jan. 11, 2019 deadline or she could be held in contempt of court, according to a decision made Friday, Dec. 7.

“The city believes she violated the order, but understands the reluctance to issue a vacancy order before Christmas,” said City Attorney David Merzig.

Decision Due This Week On Oneonta Hotel’s Fate

Decision Due This Week

On Oneonta Hotel’s Fate

Oneonta Hotel owner Melania Pervu, above, was back in county court in Cooperstown this morning after City Hall declared she had not met an Oct. 15 deadline to apply for building permits for all the deficiencies building inspectors had identified in the five-story structure at 195 Main St.  County Judge John Lambert said he would issue a decision in this latest development by week’s end.  Lambert had also presided at a Sept. 7 hearing where he outlined a schedule of improvements the Pervus – the wife and husband Nicolae – must make to forestall condemnation in early January.    Inset, City Attorney David Merzig, left, waits as Lambert acts on a number of criminal cases before getting to the Oneonta Hotel.  (Libby Cudmore and Jim Kevlin,

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