Blodgett project no walk in park
Take a walk.
I have a DRAFT of New York State’s Environmental Assessment Form for Newman’s project on Blodgett Drive. This is only a draft, fortunately! Question 20 reads: “Is there, or is there likely to be controversy related to potential environmental impacts?” The answer checked off: NO.
That controversy exists is very apparent. Letters and articles in The Daily Star, lawn signs, petitions, gatherings at public hearings and threatened lawsuits all give testimony to the temper of this time.
What should be the collective goal of our community in the conflict? Newman doesn’t really have a dog in this fight. It is not part of our community; its goal is purely profit. If it doesn’t build here, then it will move on to another city. If civic harmony is eroded and mutual respect is tarnished, Newman is not impacted; the same is not true for those who live in Oneonta.
Our mutual goal is (or should be) “quality of life.” I ask each member of the Common Council and Planning Board to drive to Blodgett and up to the proposed site. Focus on the steepness of the road and the dead-end streets that radiate off of Blodgett. If you walk this route, even better, for then the steepness of the hill will be evidenced in your shortness of breath. Yes, take a walk. Once you reach the proposed building site, you are at a dead end. Turn; face uphill. The deeply treaded dirt road before you is the path formed by the heavy-duty trucks that have been carrying the logs cut from the hill above. The hillside is no longer a catch basin for the runoff that sometimes torments those who live below. Hear the voices of those who live on this hill. Why build student-housing here?