News of Otsego County

Survive Then Thrive

HERZIG: After COVID, Many Projects Will Happen

After COVID, Many Projects Will Happen

Oneonta Ford Demolition, Renovations
On Upper Floors Planned, Mayor Says

Editor’s Note: Oneonta Mayor Gary Herzig delivered his sixth annual “State of the City” speech to Common Council Tuesday, Jan. 19. This is the text.

Mayor Herzig addresses Oneonta’s MLK Jr. commemoration
Sunday, Jan. 10.

Good evening, Oneonta – We have been tested these past 10 months; however, I can tell you that the state of the City of Oneonta is one of Strength, Resilience, and Caring 2020 was a year that Oneonta will always remember – not only for the unprecedented challenges it brought – but also for the way we came together to overcome them.  From the shutdown of the spring, to the SUNY outbreak of the Fall, and now the second wave of the Winter, we have stuck together and we are getting to the other side.

I know that Oneontans are independent-minded folks – never shy about letting you know when they disagree with you – but we come together as one when times are tough. I could not be more proud of your doing so this past year.

Council Member Drnek: Students Can Help Decorate Downtown

Students Invited To

Decorate Downtown

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

ONEONTA – Following the success of the downtown Halloween events, where SUNY and Hartwick students decorated scarecrows and handed out candy to trick-or-treaters, Council Member Mark Drnek, Eighth Ward and chair of the Survive, Then Thrive committee, has invited students to help decorate downtown for Christmas.

“If you or your friends are artistically inclined, we would love it if you would help decorate our windows for Christmas,” he said during the final meeting of the SUNY COVID Control Room this semester. “We think it’s something people would want to see when they’re shopping downtown.”

City Committee Lauded By NY Conference Of Mayors

City Committee Lauded

By Conference Of Mayors

ONEONTA – The city’s “Survive, Then Thrive” committee has awarded the “Local Government Achievement Award” by the NYS Conference of Mayors for their work in seeking grants, planning events and strengthening partnerships for both the present and the “post-COVID” world.

“In March, I called upon 6 people to form a committee to identify strategies for Oneonta businesses to Survive, then Thrive,” said Mayor Gary Herzig. “Fifty more people – you – volunteered to join and give of their time and skills. Both Hartwick College and SUNY Oneonta provided support. Thank you to all.”

35 Oneonta Businesses Receive $105K In Survive, Thrive Grants

35 Oneonta Businesses Receive

$105K In ‘Survive, Thrive’ Grants

Meaghan Marino, a member of Oneonta’s Survive, then Thrive committee, delivers a $3,000 Recovery Grant check to Bonnie Potter of Edward Teleky Jewelers.

ONEONTA – The city’s “Survive, then Thrive” initiative has awarded 35 Reopening and Recovery grants of up to $3,000 to Oneonta businesses to help purchase Personal Protective Equipment and cover their unanticipated capital expenses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our Survive, then Thrive initiative continues to show how the Oneonta community has come together to overcome this previously unimaginable challenge”, states City of Oneonta Mayor Gary Herzig, “I applaud our small business owners for their perseverance, can-do attitude, and for the way they have come together in supporting each other.”

Lobsters Return  To Downtown Dining

Lobsters Return

To Downtown Dining

Wiley Laidlaw, the cook at the Autumn Cafe, pics out lobsters for at Friday’s Lobster and Oysters on Main Street dinner event at the weekly Survive Then Thrive event. “We had lobsters last week.” explained owner Wayne Carrington, “It was so popular we brought it back and added oysters!” Today’s event also featured live music by the Little Delaware Youth Ensemble, a pig roast, Chinese Auction and a shot of Oneonta’s Architecture at GOHS. (Ian Austin/
Despite Heat, Diners Come Downtown For Outdoor Eats

Despite Heat, Diners Come

Downtown For Outdoor Eats

George Etzl reaches for another piece of the sushi boat he got with his family at Tokyo Tavern during the first of Survive, Then Thrive’s Main Street dining events. With him, clockwise, are son Luca, wife Sarah, daughter Caitlin and son Alex. (Ian Austin/

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

Klasic Irving’s jerk chicken made a welcome return to downtown as he cooked it up in front of his Capresso cafe.

ONEONTA – You could smell Klasik Irving’s Jamaican jerk chicken all the way down Main Street.

“It’s the first time I’ve had the grill out since the pandemic started,” said Irving, who was grilling his much-loved dish for diners waiting at the tables stationed in front of his Capresso coffee shop. “It smells great, but it tastes even better.”

The city’s Survive, Then Thrive task force held the first of their eight-week outdoor dining event, closing off Main Street for the day to encourage visitors to support local businesses and restaurants and allowing them to place tables and merchandise on the sidewalks and the street.

City, Chamber: Come Get Your PPE!

City, Chamber:

Come Get Your PPE!

Masked man Mayor Gary Herzig, gives Peter Clark, foreground, a gallon of hand sanitizer as part of the “Survive, Then Thrive” giveaway of personal protective equipment, including hand sanitizer, masks and thermometers, to local businesses at Damaschke Field this morning. 85 businesses have signed up for appointments to get the PPE, contact-free, but there are still slots available tomorrow from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Call the Otsego County Chamber (607) 434-3130 for an appointment (Ian Austin/
City Council Asked For $153K To Fund Pandemic Recovery

City Council Asked

For $153K To Fund

Pandemic Recovery

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

ONEONTA – Common Council Tuesday will be asked to approve $153,000 in funding for Mayor Gary Herzig’s “Survive Then Thrive” Committee, according to the meeting’s agenda released this afternoon.

Of the total, $75,000 will be used for Small Business Reopening; $75,000 for Small Business Recovery; and $3,000 for a Survive Art/Online sales promotion.

This Will End, And City Will Be Ready, Mayor Herzig Says

This Will End, And

City Will Be Ready,

Mayor Herzig Says

Pangman, Drnek To Chair Task Force

With Two Goals: Survive, Then Thrive

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to


ONEONTA – “Survive, then thrive.”

That’s Mayor Gary Herzig’s mantra and message to a City of Oneonta economic-development task force that he expects will convene for the first time later this week.

In an interview a few minutes ago, he said he’s asked Judy Pangman, the city’s community development director, and Council member Mark Drnek, who has launched and web sites to help businesses that are open get their messages out.

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