A new apartment building has been proposed at 10 Chestnut between Main and Lake. Simple Integrity proposed much the same thing two years ago. I was the only person at the hearing that spoke in favor of it—on the simple premise that what they proposed was clearly an improvement on what’s there now—a dilapidated building.
The first and foremost utilitarian test on the redevelopment of property in the village should be that if it’s better than what it replaces, the village should look favorably on it—because if the application is denied, what’s there now will remain a useless hole in the tax rolls. There is no practical mechanism in the village to tear down derelict structures, so the village has a lifetime supply of neglected buildings that will remain neglected until someone proposes to remodel or replace them with something better. When that happens, the trustees should work with the proponent on the proposal— provided it’s allowed within the zoning ordinance—since the alternative is for the buildings to remain eyesores.
Question: Can Oneonta Mayor Gary Herzig’s administration make tough decisions?
For one thing, whether or not to condemn the Twelve Tribes’ blighted Oneonta Ford property has been hanging fire since before Herzig took office. He’s now in his second term.
There is state money in hand to demolish what is a public hazard and state money to prepare the site for new construction. All that’s hanging fire is a tough decision.
Now, the April 30 deadline to clear out the venerable but – city inspectors have found – dangerous Oneonta Hotel is passed. Where’s the decision that’s been promised for months?
City Hall’s Board of Public Service declared the property unsafe in January 2017, 16 months ago. And still the building is occupied, and businesses are functioning on the ground floor.
You have to ask, what’s City Hall’s liability –and that of local taxpayers — if a fire or some other misfortune were to happen?
It’s past time to make a tough decision. Question: Can the Herzig Administration make it?
Question 2: Common Council has barely debated any issue publicly in months. Where are the Council members?
SUPER-SENIOR PROM – 8 p.m. – Midnight. Relive your Senior Prom like it’s the very first time. Features music from 1950-1999, prom attire encouraged. Cost, $10/couple. Production Center, Foothills Performing Arts Center, Oneonta. Call 607-432-5407 or visit www.facebook.com/GEStevensOneonta/
SPRING FEST – 9 a.m. – Dark. Celebrate Spring, includes a visit from the zoomobile, a fishing derby, fire department competitions, kids’ boat-float contest, live music all day, more. Copes Corners Park, 620 St. Hwy. 51, Gilbertsville. Call 607-783-2203 or visit copescornerspark.org
WELLNESS EXPO – 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Love the Life you Live expo features a fashion show, 25+ local vendors, & a presentation from the fabulous Beekman Boys. Meet your neighbors and find your path to a better tomorrow. Foothills Performing Arts Center, Oneonta. Call 607-431-2080 or visit www.facebook.com/thefamilyserviceassociation/
SUMMER CONCERTS – 4 p.m. The Cooperstown Summer Music Festival kicks off with concert “Death and the Maiden” featuring the American string quartet and Linda Chesis on flute. The program features peices by Schubert, Debussy, and Griffes. Tickets, $25. The Otesaga, Cooperstown. Call 877-666-7421 or visit www.cooperstownmusicfest.org
COMMUNITY PROGRAM – 5:30 p.m. Panel on “Downtown Renewal: Community Economic Revitalization” featuring panelists Oneonta Mayor Gary Herzig, Cooperstown Mayor Jeff Katz, Sociology Chair Dr. Alex Thomas, President/CEO Otsego Co. Chamber of Commerce Barbara Ann Heegan, more. Presentation followed by audience Q&A. Free, open to the public. Otsego Grille, Morris Complex, SUNY Oneonta. Call 607-436-3498.
SENIOR PLAY – 7 – 9:30 p.m. CCS produciton of “Almost. Maine.” Auditorium, Cooperstown High School. Call 607-547-8181 or visit www.cooperstowncs.org
RENEWAL DISCUSSION – 2 p.m. Panel discusses trends of urban renewal policy, past & present, locally & nationally, with Hartwick College prof. Carli Ficano, Oneonta Mayor Gary Herzig, SUNY-O pres. Nancy Kleniewski. Oneonta History Center, 183 Main St., Oneonta. Call 607-432-0960 or visit www.oneontahistory.org