Step Back in Time features news items from The Daily Star 25 and 50 years ago.
25 years ago
Jan. 19, 1988
OTEGO — An Otego resident who has been fighting to have the River Street bridge rebuilt is now casting his hopes with the new town supervisor.
F.J. Hesse said he dropped a lawsuit against former town supervisor C. Roderick Dutcher and the town board, which he filed in state Supreme Court in Otsego County March 3, 1986, in an effort to prevent the town from taking down the remains of the closed bridge.
The lawsuit succeeded in keeping the bridge from being torn down and Hesse said he thinks the new town supervisor, Robert J. Sullivan, who took office in January, is more likely to put the bridge rebuilding project up for public vote. Efforts to get outside money to rebuild the bridge have so far failed.
The bridge, which spans the Susquehanna River, has been closed since 1977. The nearest open bridge is the Interstate 88 overpass about a mile and a half downstream. About 35 people who live between the river and the railroad tracks on the east side of the river could be trapped if there were a train derailment, Hesse has argued.
The town and village of Otego are considering building a new swimming pool, at a cost of about $200,000 to the town taxpayers.
Though Hesse says he supports the pool project, he said the bridge should be a higher priority. “There’s no life or limb or property in danger whether that pool exists or not,” he said.
50 years ago
Jan. 19, 1963
A community center for the arts — a goal set for 10 years by many of Oneonta’s culturally-minded citizens — now has the support of the Oneonta Community Art Center.
The Art Center is now on record supporting the Oneonta Center for the Arts Foundation which was created last November.
The driving force behind the new center has been the Oneonta Community Theatre, Inc. In November, the thespians presented a $500 check to the trustees of the foundation.
Now with the support of the Oneonta Community Art Center the movement apparently has taken on a broader scope.
The goal of the Foundation is a community center for the arts which would centralize such cultural activities as drama, painting, sculpturing, the dance including ballet, music both modern and classical on vocal and instrumental planes, historical projects, Garden Club activities and graphic arts.
The Foundation trustees appeared at a meeting of the Community Art Center this week. It was then that assurance of support was given to the Foundation.
In other action at the annual meeting, officers of the Art Center were elected. They are Thomas J. Natoli, president; S. Hunter Leggitt Jr., vice president; Lolita Ersland, recording secretary; Margaret Stephens, corresponding secretary; and Robert Bolton, treasurer.
New directors named were Betty Schubert, Richard Keslo and Edith Wilk. Other trustees include Mrs. James Van Woert, Gabriel Harris and Henry Hulbert.