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April 23, 2013

Blodgett housing plan inches forward

Engineers continue to revise some water-related plans for the student apartment complex proposed for Blodgett Drive in the city of Oneonta, the developer said Monday.

And as some opposition to the project persists and concerns about environmental and other issues linger, two local organizations — the Otsego County Chamber and Citizen Voices — have issued statements supporting the project.

Newman Development Group of Vestal proposes building a four-story, 330-bed complex on about 14 acres near the State University College at Oneonta.

The Otsego County Chamber’s board of directors has heard presentations from supporters and opponents of the project during its review of the proposal, according to a media release issued Friday.

“The chamber believes the project will enhance the appeal and competitiveness of Oneonta for prospective students, generate long-term tax revenues for the city of Oneonta, school district and county and create valuable economic activity for the region,’’ the Chamber’s announcement said.

Meanwhile, the city’s Planning Commission is preparing to consider a mandated State Environmental Quality Review form as it considers Newman Development’s application for site-plan approval. Planners held a meeting April 10 to review the developer’s plans to address storm water impact and for use of city water and sanitary sewer systems. Engineers for the developer and for the city also answered questions posed by residents who live in the vicinity of the proposed project.

In the wake of that session, the planners’ meeting scheduled for April 17 was canceled because Delaware Engineering, the firm hired by the city to review the proposal, ruled Newman Development’s application incomplete in regard to environmental studies, fire equipment access and other property-access issues.

The city has announced no date for a rescheduled meeting. The planners’ regular meeting is on the third Wednesday of the month.

Separately, the Oneonta Common Council is considering Newman Development’s application for tax abatement.

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