Otsego Now starts series of town halls to explain economic development projects

Otsego Now started a series of town hall meetings in Otsego County to give updates on regional, countywide strategies for economic development.

Posted: Mar 15, 2019 1:00 AM

ONEONTA, N.Y. - Otsego Now started a series of town hall meetings in Otsego County to give updates on regional, countywide strategies for economic development.

Otsego Now is an economic development agency which includes the county's Industrial Development Agency (IDA).

At Thursday nights meeting at Oneonta Town Hall, Jody Zakrevsky, Otsego Now CEO, spoke to a room full of Oneonta residents who had a chance to ask questions and voice their concerns. Among many topics discussed, a few of the main topics were energy, jobs, housing, and the Oneonta Rail Yards.

"I think its important for us to get out and explain what we're actually working on and then to talk about what other projects or other types of clusters or other priority projects to get involve with," Zakrevsky said.

Zakrevsky says he started his series of town hall meetings in Oneonta because there have been some environmental concerns about projects being worked on, one of those projects being the Oneotna Rail Yards.

"There's been a number of concerns whether there's been enough environmental testing done on the site," Zakrevsky said. "There has been a series of engineering firms that did a detailed analysis that was approved by DEC on the water quality and soil conditions and once we finish that review, then we're actually going to sit down with residents and figure out what we want to do with the property."

Another environmental concern is energy.

"What they want to see is controlled and environmentally sensitive development," Zakrevsky said. "Its difficult sometimes to work on those projects but I think if we get support of the community to work with us we can make those things happen. Its difficult when you look at projects where you're going to be 10 to 15 to 20 years down the road, but we've got to start thinking about those and its very difficult to thing where energy is going to be in 50 or 20 years."

Housing is another topic that Zakrevsky touched on, saying that there hasn't been any new housing built in the Oneonta area in about 10 years.

"We need newer housing that we really don't have," Zakrevsky said.

Residents also asked questions about creating jobs and raising wages.

"A big issue that some of the residents raised is that they want quality of living, they want better wages for people and that's what we're trying to do," Zakrevsky said.

Zakrevsky briefly talked about the projects that are happening this year.

"Our biggest projects are to continue to work with Corning Enterprises on their $11 million expansion. We've also added this year a solar array project that is going to be built on their properties. We're in the process of working with custom electronics to see that their expansion goes through, they're doing a $2.2 million expansion. Their employment will go up to about 125 which is a significant number for our county, Corning's is at 175 so those are decent size employees."

Wednesday night, Zakrevsky talked with college students at Hartwick College’s Shineman Chapel, and a lot of the suggestions given by the students there were about tourism and attracting more people into the community.

"The other area is, what type of programs, cultural and artistic programs that we're not promoting as much as we should that would make residents and people who visit the area enjoy their experience here more," Zakrevsky said.

Zakrevsky said more town hall meetings are to come and he plans on visiting Maryland, Cooperstown, and Richfield Springs next.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 375133

Reported Deaths: 30174
CountyConfirmedDeaths
New York City20540621752
Nassau407132132
Suffolk401531916
Westchester337671385
Rockland13280655
Orange10471444
Erie6308549
Dutchess3962142
Monroe3081230
Onondaga2295149
Albany1930112
Ulster170477
Sullivan140531
Putnam126860
Niagara108570
Oneida106958
Schenectady70129
Broome59345
Rensselaer49528
Saratoga49314
Columbia40034
Madison31915
Warren25628
Orleans24741
Steuben24541
Greene24118
Washington23813
Ontario2189
Fulton21518
St. Lawrence2072
Genesee2055
Tompkins1650
Chemung1371
Chenango1330
Tioga13322
Wayne1213
Livingston1207
Herkimer1133
Oswego1123
Clinton974
Cayuga961
Montgomery964
Chautauqua954
Cattaraugus910
Wyoming875
Delaware824
Jefferson740
Otsego735
Seneca600
Schoharie510
Allegany490
Cortland410
Yates396
Essex380
Franklin230
Lewis200
Schuyler120
Hamilton50
Unassigned00
Utica
Overcast
69° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 69°
Oneonta
Clear
65° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 65°
Herkimer
Overcast
69° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 69°
Thendara
Overcast
69° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 69°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather
Click here to learn more about A Healthier Mohawk Valley
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve
Senior Send-Off brought to you by Herkimer College
Menu 2 Go list of takeout dinners & fish fries
Apply to Go the Distance 2020
23 courses for only $79.99