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December 12, 2012

Oneonta town declines to OK water plan

The Oneonta Town Board voted Tuesday night to go back to the drawing board to develop a protection plan for the city of Oneonta’s watershed.

After nearly two hours of public comment, ranging from calls for compensation to property owners affected by the proposed ordinance to complaints that its restrictions on fuel storage could potentially make some garages useless, the board decided to start over, based on a motion by board member Scott Gravelin and seconded by board member William Mirabito.

The deciding factor, however, appeared to be a suggestion from the Otsego County Planning Department that the town enter into agreements with the towns of Laurens and Milford as well as the city of Oneonta before proceeding any further. The watershed overlay map would affect parts of Laurens and Milford.

While there was much criticism of the plan during the public hearing part of the the meeting, a solid majority of the speakers appeared to favor most of it.

Much of the criticism centered on septic systems, and what many of the speakers seemed to think was vague wording about what would be grandfathered into the proposal. Additional comments were made about fuel storage, with some speakers contending that the maximum 660-gallon tank allowed by the proposal was too small.

Still others were worried about definitions of such features as watercourses.

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