By JENNIFER HILL • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
ONEONTA – At the urging of Otsego 2000 and 40 people who showed up at its monthly meeting, the Oneonta Town Board last night unanimously voted to oppose a $3.5 million state grant application for a gas decompression station at Pony Farm.
“No member of the Town Board is in favor of the decompressor gas station,” declared Supervisor Bob Wood at the start of the meeting.
Nonetheless, heated debate surfaced at times. Several audience members presented petitions which they said were signed by 200 Oneonta residents; they called that “a little start” to what they expect to collect.
Most expressed fears of the potentially harmful effects the proposed decompressor could have on people’s health and the environment.
Otsego Now submitted a CFA application for the $3.5 million in supplemental funding for the decompressor last July. The estimated cost of the decompressor is $17 million; Governor Cuomo will announce CFA winners on Dec. 18.
One speaker, Mount Vision resident Laura Malloy, a Hartwick College professor, challenged board members to pass a resolution that would make their stated opposition public.
Board members Patricia Jacob and Patricia Riddell Kent supported her idea, but the other members, Supervisor Wood, Brett Holleran, and Robert Mowers, felt they needed to hear from citizens with other viewpoints as well as more facts.
After some discussion, the board members all agreed the state grant application was flawed and had errors.
All five board members voted for a resolution to advise the governor “the Town of Oneonta does not support the grant as written because the Town of Oneonta Board was not adequately consulted about the grant before it was submitted.”
The board plans to send its resolution to the governor’s office and county officials.