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July 2, 2014

Step Back in Time: July 2, 2014

50 years agoJuly 2, 1964

A possibility that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, in its report for the Susquehanna River Basin Study, may continue to recommend construction of a dam at West Oneonta, was disclosed this week at the meeting of the Tri-County Watershed Association.

If so, the dam will be classified as a “multi-purpose dam” intended not only for flood control but also for a recreation area. The disclosure came in the study of the minutes of the Susquehanna River Basin Coordinating Committee meeting at Baltimore, Md., March 5.

William R. Failor, chairman of the Recreation Subcommittee, reporting on the current and anticipated recreational facilities to be developed said, in part:

“…based on incomplete data, it appears that the visitation figures will be in the magnitude of 1¼ to 1¾ million visitors annually, with a range of from 6,500 at West Oneonta Reservoir, New York, to 700,000 at Raystown Reservoir in Pennsylvania.”

This is in apparent contradiction to remarks by John T. Starr, assistant chief engineer for civil engineering, Corps of Engineers, at the Baltimore meeting in November, 1962.

At that meeting, Mr. Starr had declared during a discussion:

“West Oneonta has been authorized for some 20 years and hasn’t been built, and incidentally the City of Oneonta has expanded, and that is one of the places where they have actually expanded into the reservoir area so it would be very expensive to develop that site now…”

Later when asked, “You say this plan of the Oneonta dam … can practically be abandoned for the reasons you stated …” Mr. Starr replied: “That is correct.”

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