Step Back in Time features news items from The Daily Star 25 and 50 years ago.
25 years ago
Feb. 19, 1988
FLY CREEK — March 7 marks the bicentennial of the town of Otsego, but no celebration is planned. No open houses, no parades, no ceremonies in the town hall.
Two hundred years and no birthday party.
Town officials offer varying reasons. For one thing, no one knew the bicentennial was approaching until someone inquired about a month ago, according to Town Clerk Maria Folts. Other town officials said taxpayers didn’t want to subsidize any special activities or ceremonies.
Then-councilman Henry Phillips investigated the town’s history at the New York State Historical Association and noticed the date the town came into existence — March 7, 1788. The oldest town in the county, it was originally part of Montgomery County.
“It was my fault,” Phillips said, explaining that he had forgotten he was supposed to contact Assemblyman Anthony Casale to ask about getting a proclamation signed on behalf of the town. Phillips said he’ll get working on that project.
There was nothing planned for the celebration and no money set aside in the town budget. But that raises another point. According to Mrs. Folts and Supervisor Robert Murdock, the taxpayers don’t want to pay for the town birthday party.
“No plans of celebration are planned due to the input from the residents of the town wishing no taxpayer money be spent on such an occasion,” states a notice issued by the town officials this week.
50 years ago
Feb. 19, 1963
Oneonta Parks Board has big plans for the new Neahwa Park portable hockey rink.
Tops on the list of things to do is planting the rink permanently near the mill race behind the Neahwa Park baseball diamond and adding two four-foot-high fences on each end of it to protect onlookers from high-flying pucks.
That out of the way, the Parks Commissioners have high hopes for year-round use of the rink in the recreational program.
Two ideas discussed at the Parks Board meeting Monday night included adding a metal roof and using it as a pavilion for large picnic parties and putting down a “suitable” floor making it into a summer roller skating rink.
Parks Board Chairman Anthony C. Drago appointed Commissioner William H. Ahrens to find out the cost of such a roof for the rink.
The commissioners agreed that if the cost of building the roof is “reasonable,” they’ll go ahead and try to develop some of their ideas for year-round use of the rink.