News of Otsego County

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

Unatego To Sell

School To Agzeit

Unatego Central school board member Dick Downey was one of two board members to vote tonight against AgZeit’s proposal to redevelop the Otego Elementary School building into an indoor produce-growing enterprise. The board narrowed the building’s fate from four to two proposals: one from AgZeit, which intend to create an indoor farming facility; and The Kildonan School, which hoped to open a secondary school for students with Dyslexia. The board opted for AgZeit’s proposal, voting 4-2 in favor of the Endicott-based company. (Parker Fish/

Unatego Board Sets Hearing For Otego School

Otego School Sale

Possible In 2 Weeks

Unatego Central school board Chair James Salisbury addresses a packed house at last night’s meeting of the school board, where the pending sale of Otego Elementary was discussed.  To his left is Dave Richards, superintendent of schools.  (Parker Fish/

By PARKER FISH – Special to

Kimberly More, representing Kildonan School, describes how its plan might save taxpayers money in the long run.

OTEGO – At its first public meeting since the June 30 deadline for RFPs, the Unatego Central school board last night agreed in front of a packed crowd to hold a public hearing on three perspective buyers for the former Otego Elementary School building at 5:30 p.m. Monday, July 30.

The school board may choose a buyer that evening.

Each applicant will be given 15 minutes to discuss their plans for the building. Each presentation will be followed by 15 minutes of questions from the public before voting.

After initially sending out a request for proposals, the board received three proposals for the building from:

Unatego Residents’ Ideas Sought On School’s Reuse

Unatego Residents’ Ideas

Sought On School’s Reuse

The Unatego Central School Otego Repurposing Committee is asking district residents to complete a survey to help them make recommendations to the Unatego Board of Education as they make plans for the future of the Otego Elementary School.

The survey is available on line with a link on the district website at and will be available until the end of January 2018.

Unatego Board Votes To Close Otego Elementary

Unatego Board Votes

To Shut Otego School

“You have ripped the heart out of our community,” Buzz Hesse tells the Unatego Central school board moments after they voted 6-1 to close the Otego Elementary School during a packed meeting this evening. With only James M. Salisbury voting against the closure, the board decided that K-5 would be moved to the Unadilla Elementary School in September. Though originally planned for a June 31 closure, Superintendent David S. Richards agreed to keep the building open for summer programming, with a closing date of Aug. 31. No teaching positions will be lost, but Rene’ Treffeisen, board president, said the principal, a secretary, several aides and maintenance position will be eliminated. (Ian Austin/

Get Full Story In Hometown Oneonta

On Newsstands Wednesday Afternoon

Douglas VanZandt, 80; City Resident Taught Science At Unatego

IN MEMORIAM: Douglas B. VanZandt, 80;

Oneonta Resident Unatego Science Teacher

ONEONTA – Long-time Oneonta resident Douglas B. VanZandt Sr., a retired Unatego High School science teacher, died on May 5, 2016, from medical complications at Loudoun INOVA Hospital in Ashburn, Va.

Douglas was born on Aug. 1, 1935, the second son of Emory and Lena VanZandt. He graduated from Oneonta High School, and he later received a bachelor’s from New Mexico State University and master’s from Syracuse University.

Unatego, Cooperstown Schools Under Fiscal Stress, State Says

Unatego, Cooperstown Schools

Under Fiscal Stress, State Says

state_comptroller_seal_newALBANY – State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli has updated his list of schools under fiscal stress, and Unatego and Cooperstown central school districts are on it.

No locals schools are under “significant stress,” the most dire category, but Unatego is on the “moderate stress” list and Cooperstown is in the “susceptible to fiscal stress” category.

Unatego, Richfield Springs School Districts, Towns Of Lauren, CV Under Fiscal Stress

Unatego, Richfield Springs School Districts,

Towns Of Laurens, CV Under Fiscal Stress


ALBANY – No Otsego County municipality or school district falls into the “significant” category of fiscally stressed public entities as determined by state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.

However, two fall into the second worst “moderate” category – the Town of Cherry Valley and Unatego Central School District.

And two more — the Town of Laurens and Richfield Springs Central School district — are in the “susceptible” category.


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