Leaders outline 2013 agendas at Otsego County Chamber of Commerce

By Hilary Lane

ONEONTA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Local, state, and federal leaders gathered at the Otsego County of Chamber of Commerce Monday to discuss their priorities for the new year.

Residents and business leaders also attended to make sure their voices were heard.

"All we have to do is drive outside of Oneonta for a couple of miles and there is no cell phone service or broadband," said Arnie Drogen, owner of Drogen Electric Supply in Oneonta.

For 21st century business leaders who conduct much of their business online or on the phone, it is a big issue.

For Drogen, there is also a ripple effect.

"A lot of what we do deals with construction," said Drogen. "Construction doesn't happen, people don't build new homes and renovate if these key elements not in place. If broadband and cell phone service are not in place."

Local leaders acknowledged the issue.

Senator James Seward said he wants to secure funds to entice companies to improve service in Otsego County.

"The broadband providers that come into the area and are willing to provide their broadband service, they would get some financial incentives to do that," said Seward.

Among the other issues addressed by business owners today, health care expenses and lack of funding for high education institutions.

Local leaders said they are listening to their constituents and will do their best to fight for the causes this coming year.

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