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Village Board

Village Trustees:  Keep Cooperstown Cooperstown

EDITORIAL

Village Trustees:  Keep

Cooperstown Cooperstown

The Grove, a 12-unit apartment house, is planned in this copse of woods between Chestnut Street and Pine Boulevard, a half-block from the downtown. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)

A sitting-room-only-on-the-floor crowd Monday, June 24, at the Cooperstown Village Board’s monthly meeting had a point: Why put an apartment house in the middle of one of the village’s finest single-family-home neighborhoods?

There it is. That said, who doesn’t have some mixed feelings, given that the developer, Josh Edmonds, intends to build a complex that is supremely energy efficient, as is his new home at 45 Delaware St., and to price it so young families with incomes in the $54,000 range can afford it?

10 Chestnut St. includes this building, formerly Smith Cooperstown, before the Ford dealership moved south of the village.

Nonetheless, don’t village trustees have a stewardship responsibility: to preserve Cooperstown as it is known and loved? Do they have to destroy the village to save it?

With some emotion, Sherrie Kingsley, co-proprietor of the Inn at Cooperstown with her husband Marc, read a letter he co-signed that contained a chilling conclusion: Concerned about “our quality of life as well as the value of our properties,” the couple had met that morning with Altonview Architects to discuss how they might convert two houses they own, 12 Chestnut and 180 Main, into apartments if necessary.

Who knows how many others would do the same?

THIS WEEK’S NEWSPAPERS: June 27-28, 2019

THIS WEEK’S NEWSPAPERS

The Freeman’s Journal • Hometown Oneonta

June 27-28, 2019

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

Before a packed house, a dismayed Ted Spencer, retired Baseball Hall of Fame curator and vice president, who lives on upper Main Street, Cooperstown, urges the Village Board not to approve a 12-unit apartment house, The Grove, planned for 10 Chestnut St. that would back up on Pine Boulevard.  Village Hall is considering a PDD (planned development district) to allow the apartments to go into an area zoned for single-family homes.  With his back to the camera is Village Attorney Martin Tillapaugh.  At left is Village Trustee Jeanne Dewey.   (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)

FRONT PAGE

Inventive Scams Entrap Otsego County’s Elderly

Green Cow Features Local Grass-Fed Beef

A Visit To Otsego County, Louisiana

12 Unit ‘The Grove’ Rattles Cooperstown Neighbors

‘It Couple’ As Wife, Husband Take Pulpits

EDITORIAL 

Trustees, Keep Cooperstown Cooperstown

COLUMNS

KUZMINSKI: How To Waste $400 Million

SEWARD: New Law May Bankrupt Farms

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

DOWNEY: Gas Best Way To Decarbonize

AINSLIE FAMILY: Bassett Serves Us Well Since ’45

HEWLETT: Appreciate Outstanding 12 Tribes 

HISTORY COLUMNS

BOUND VOLUMES: June 27, 2019

HOMETOWN HISTORY: June 28, 2019

Summer DREAMS

A Million Books Ready To Read At 139 Main St.

FINE, FUN FOOD: Food With a View!

THINGS TO DO: Fireworks, Parades

IN MEMORIAM

Clifford Roger Silliman, 97; Air Force Officer

Harold F. Lent, Oneonta Crossing Guard

Roberta Morley, 85; Retired From County Public Health

Saidy Toufic Maalouf, 72; Survived By Cooperstown Physician

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO

ISSUU ONLINE EDITIONS



Village Should Buy Former CVS, Make It Downtown Hub

EDITORIAL

Village Should Buy CVS,

Make It Downtown Hub

During New York History Day, a Rockland County family strolls past Cooperstown’s downtown CVS, once an anchor, but vacant since November 2017. (AllOTSEGO.com photo)

Editor’s Note:  This is reprinted from this week’s Freeman’s Journal and Hometown Oneonta editorial pages. Click here for related editorial.  What do you think? Letters to the Editor welcome at info@allotsego.com

In a couple of weeks, we won’t remember that Cooperstown’s Main Street is a ghost town from Columbus Day to Memorial Day.  The 500,000 visitors will begin arriving in earnest with Dreams Parks’ June 1 opening.

By the time we again become Coopers(ghost)town, the opportunity will have been lost.

The opportunity, of course, is 100 Main St., a gap in the village’s set of most perfect teeth since CVS moved to the southern edge of the village in November 2017 –yes, it’s almost been two years.

Plan Would Blend Tower With Key Bank Architecture

‘It Will Look Like It’s Always Been There’

Plan Would Blend Tower

With Key Bank Architecture

T-Mobile’s lawyer Matthew Kerwin, a partner with Barclay Damon, this evenings shows the Cooperstown Village Board the material the proposed cell tower on top of Key Bank would utilize to make it blend in with the building’s architecture. “It would look like it’s been there the whole time,” he said. Though a public hearing was held this evening, no one spoke up.  The trustees declined to vote on approving the tower, saying they were waiting for SEQR approval from the village’s H-PARB and ZBA boards. (Libby Cudmore/AllOTSEGO.com)
Sewage Leak Smells, Taints Susquehanna, Quickly Fixed
DECEMBER MEETING • COOPERSTOWN TRUSTEES

Sewage Leak Smells, Taints

Susquehanna, Quickly Fixed

By PATRICK WAGER • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

COOPERSTOWN – A sewage trunk line running near Council Rock leaked its contents into the Susquehanna River in recent days, Public Works Superintendent Mitch Hotaling told the Village Board last evening.

While the leak could be smelled by neighbors, village crews were able to fix it in three hours, Hotaling said.

Naked Main Street … But Help Is On the Way, With New Flagpole And 10-By-15 Foot Stars & Stripes On Order

Naked Main Street

Lacking the flagpole that since 1917 had broken the line of sight on Coopertown’s Main Street, it’s looking a little bit like an airport runway or drag strip. But village trustees acted with dispatch this evening to quickly bring back the beloved landmark. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)

But Help Is On the Way, With New Flagpole

And 10-By-15-Foot Stars & Stripes On Order

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Trustee Cindy Falk, who chairs the Streets Committee, proposes one of a tick-list of recommendations to get the flagpole back in place in short order.  She is flanked by Trustees Jim Dean and Ellen Tillapaugh.

COOPERSTOWN – Fueled by what they declared was a misunderstanding of their intentions, the village trustees acted promptly and unanimously this evening to bring back a bigger, better flagpole to downtown Cooperstown’s main intersection as quickly as possible.

The Village Board OK’d three decisions proposed by Streets Committee chair Cindy Falk at its September meeting.

• One, to spend up to $2,900 for a 50-foot flagpole to replace the 35-foot one taken down last week to make way for the $1.2 million Pioneer Street reconstruction, causing some public consternation.  The pole will be aluminum; iron ones are subject to rust.

‘Rash Of Applications’ May Spur 9-Month Moratorium

‘Rash Of Applications’ May

Spur 9-Month Moratorium

At Issue: Year ‘Round Housing Vs. Dreams Park Rentals

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

COOPERSTOWN – Faced with a “rash of applications” from homeowners seeking to rent to Dreams Park families, the Village Board will consider a nine-month moratorium on such approvals when it meets at 6:30 p.m. Monday in Village Hall.

“We’ll have to discuss it.  We want to discuss it,” said Mayor Jeff Katz, interviewed yesterday.  The trustees have long tried to maintain a balance between permanent housing and tourist accommodations, he said, adding, “the residential quality of the village should be preeminent.”

Katz was commenting on a controversy that broke into the open April 7 when three applications for tourist accommodations were debated  by the village Zoning Board of Appeals, then approved: For 20 Glen Ave. (Janice Eichler), 3 Westridge Road (Richard Abbate) and 130 Chestnut St. (William Dystra).

Village Parking Restrictions Disadvantage Private Docks
LAKEFRONT PROPRIETORS OBJECT, SAYING…

Village Parking Restrictions

Disadvantage Private Docks

Alex Zoeller, a member of the family that, for decades, has owned the private docks at the foot of Fair Street, objects to new parking regulations at this evening’s Village Board meeting. His father Fred accompanied him. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

COOPERSTOWN – Parking regulations adopted by the Village Board last month put private docks at a competitive disadvantage to the public docks.

Alex Zoeller, a member of the family that owns docks at the foot of Fair Street, raised that contention at this evening’s Village Board meeting, objecting to a trustees’ decision last month allowing all-day parking on Fish Road, but reserving it for the cars of people who have their boats inspected before they launch.

The trustees didn’t respond to Zoeller’s inputs.

Chamber Exec To Members: Make Sure Your Voices Heard
4 COOPERSTOWN ISSUES UPCOMING

Chamber Exec To Members:

Make Sure Your Voices Heard

Matt Hazzard

COOPERSTOWN – At the request of the village trustees, Cooperstown Chamber Executive Director Matt Hazzard is alerting his membership to attend upcoming meetings to express their views on four issues: paid parking changes, snow emergencies, trolley stops and flood-damage prevention.

Two public hearings on related laws are planned, at 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 23, and 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 6, and “the public is strongly encouraged to attend and share their points of view,” said Hazzard.

Hazzard provided these details on the proposed laws:

Katz, Maxson, Sternberg Win Village Board Nods

Katz, Maxson, Sternberg

Win Village Board Nods

Cooperstown Mayor Jeff Katz, right, was nominated for a third term on the village's helm at the Democratic caucus this evening in Village Hall. Also nominated were incumbent trustees David Maxson, left, and Richard Sternberg. Village Republicans failed to hold a caucus, so – absent an independent challenge – the three nominees, who in the photo are filling out the required paperwork, will be affirmed in the March 15 village elections. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)
Cooperstown Mayor Jeff Katz, right, was nominated for a third term on the village’s helm at the Democratic caucus this evening in Village Hall. Also nominated were incumbent trustees Bruce Maxson, left, and Richard Sternberg. Village Republicans failed to hold a caucus, so – absent an independent challenge – the three nominees, who in the photo are filling out the required paperwork, will be affirmed in the March 15 village elections. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)
Sternberg Takes Oath As Trustee, Joins Cooperstown Village Board

Sternberg Takes Oath As Trustee,

Joins Cooperstown Village Board

Dr. Richard Sternberg, the recently retired Bassett Hospital orthopedic physician, takes the oath of office this evening and joined the Cooperstown Village Board. He was appointed by Mayor Jeff Katz to fill the vacancy left by Joan Nicols resignation; he will have to run for a full term in March. Village Clerk Teri Barown administers the oath. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)
Dr. Richard Sternberg, the recently retired Bassett Hospital orthopedic physician, takes the oath of office this evening and joined the Cooperstown Village Board. He was appointed by Mayor Jeff Katz to fill the vacancy left by Joan Nicols’ resignation; he will have to run for a full term in March. Village Clerk Teri Barown administers the oath. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)
Falk, Dean Sworn In For New Terms

Falk, Dean Sworn In For New Terms

Cindy Falk, left, with husband Glenn, and Jim Dean, right, with wife Eleanor, were sworn in to new terms on the Cooperstown Village Board this evening by Village Clerk Teri Barown.  (Ian Austin/allotsego.com)
Cindy Falk, left, with husband Glenn, and Jim Dean, right, with wife Eileen, were sworn in to new terms on the Cooperstown Village Board this evening by Village Clerk Teri Barown. (Ian Austin/allotsego.com)
Neighbors: Ban Buses, Trucks In ‘Village Core’

Neighbors: Ban Buses, Trucks In ‘Village Core’

By JIM KEVLIN

What began as a petition drive to divert tour buses from River and Lake streets has grown into an effort to ban not only heavy buses but heavy trucks from the “village core.”

The scope widened over the course of collecting 57 signatures, Chip Northrup, River Street, told the Village Board at its July meeting on Monday the 28th. “The village has the opportunity, for the first time, to address this issue more comprehensively,” he said.

He suggested that the village ban the big buses and big trucks, with the exception of school buses, ambulances and trucks making local deliveries, and that tourists be dropped off at the new Blue Lot south of town and take the trolleys or shuttle buses into the village center. Speaking in support of Northrup, neighbor Roger MacMillan, Main Street, pointed out that similar systems are in place on Martha’s Vineyard and Williamsburg.

After some discussion, the Village Board asked Trustee Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch, who chairs the Police Committee, to form a task force to study the matter. It will include Police Chief Michael Covert, but also representatives of the Baseball Hall of Fame and perhaps Cooperstown Dreams Park and the tourist industry, said Mayor Jeff Katz.

“From where I sit right now,” Katz said in a follow-up interview, “we recognize the neighbors’ concerns, but to do a spur-of-the-moment rerouting without understanding the ramifications does not seem like a prudent way to go.”
At the meeting, neighbor Jim Howarth, Lake Street, listed three concerns: Damage to infrastructure, congestion and safety. “People are being endangered getting in and out of their cars,” he said. Neighbor and mother of five Jocelyn Wittstein, Fair Street, added, “There are a lot of children in this neighborhood. It’s disheartening to see buses in this community.”

For a few years now, tour buses, including those from Dreams Park, are dropping off riders on Main Street in front of the Hall of Fame, continuing to the stop sign at River, turning left onto that narrow street, turning left again onto narrow Lake Street, then turning left onto Chestnut and heading out of town on Route 28.

When the issue was first raised a couple of years ago, it was suggested that buses continue east on Main Street, cross the Susquehanna, take a right on Estli Avenue, merge onto Route 33 south and turn right on Route 11C to return to Route 28. The streets are wider and that route passes fewer houses, most of which are set back from the road.

At the time, Katz said, the 11C bridge was determined to be too old to accommodate all that heavy traffic. However, it was struck by a truck a year ago April and has been rebuilt, so things have changed. “Ellen’s committee will look at solutions and report to the board,” the mayor said. “The board will then likely make a proposal and schedule a public hearing.”

Meanwhile, in a follow-up e-mail, Northrup said the petition drive will continue to seek more signators “to reduce/ remove highway buses from Village residential streets. If the Dreams Park think they can continue to run highway buses with impunity over the village’s residential streets, they will do so. We cannot let that continue.”

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21 Railroad Ave. Cooperstown, New York 13326 • (607) 547-6103