The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

Reporter's Notebook

March 16, 2013

Database portal a nice effort, but has flaws


Maybe practice and experimentation with search terms will help make this an efficient portal, and maybe the search algorithms can be improved, but until then — however well-intended the website is — it will be of limited value to anyone but the most dedicated database miners and surfers.

The draft Otsego County Hazard Mitigation Action Plan is 580 pages, so any news story about it is limited to its high points.

But the report contains a lot of interesting information.

For example, the fastest growing town in Otsego County is Maryland, based on census data for the period 2000 to 2010. It’s also one of the least-poor, joining Middlefield and New Lisbon with just 7.3 percent of its households earning less than $20,000.

On the flip side of the coin, 26.8 percent of Oneonta city households earn less than $20,000, and the village of Milford lost 18.8 percent of its residents from 2000 to 2010.

And the village of Morris is the oldest town, with a median age of 56.1, while the city of Oneonta is by far the youngest, with a median age of 22.9, clearly the result of having two colleges.

Median family income is highest in Middlefield at $62,212, and lowest in Richfield Springs at $27,772.

Perhaps the most disturbing part of the county profile is the overall population projection. The county had more than 62,000 people in 2010, but it’s expected to have fewer than 60,000 by 2040.

Also disturbing was the public participation in an online survey set up by the planning team. Just 12 people bothered to complete the survey, seven of them from Butternuts.

RICHARD WHITBY is a staff writer for The Daily Star. Contact him at, or 432-1000, ext. 221.

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