Step Back in Time features news items from The Daily Star 25 and 50 years ago.
25 years ago
Oct. 19, 1988
NORWICH — A Norwich church will get a national award Sunday for not shutting its door on the kids who used to hang out across the street.
The First Baptist Church on West Park Place didn’t ignore the kids who hung out and got in trouble in West and East Side parks in the city. Instead, five years ago, the church started The Place, a drop-in center for youth.
For that, Guidepost Magazine, a national church-related publication, chose the First Baptist Church from among about 1,000 nominees to get the 1988 Guidepost Church Award. The award, which comes with $5,000, is given annually to a church or synagogue for an innovative program to meet a community need. The magazine will present it at the church at 3 p.m. Sunday.
The Place came to the magazine’s attention after two church members, Judy Jones and Virginia Reid, wrote letters of nomination in 1985. The center, once located at the church, is now in a house behind the post office. It is independent from the church, though it gets money from the First Baptist as well as other churches, United Way and the state Division for Youth.
When the Rev. Merrit Marsango came to Norwich to take the job at The Place, he didn’t think a small city in the middle of a rural county could have the problems he’d seen in big cities and suburbia. Now he knows he was wrong.
Marsango said The Place deals with teen pregnancy, suicide, runaways and family problems every day.
“We’re working with kids not too many want to work with, but when you spend time with them, you find they’re not so bad. They’re kind of wounded,” Marsango said.
50 years ago
Oct. 19, 1963
Oneonta’s tax base has been broadened by $266,890, city assessors revealed Friday.
The tax base, now $20,373,268, is used to project the 1963 tax rate once city officials draw up the budget.
The assessors — James Mead and G. Ross Patrick — released the financial report yesterday after compiling their figures which were not affected too much by Grievance Week.
The taxable property was decreased by $21,250 after Grievance Week was held. The taxable base was decreased through land value and exemptions.
Exemptions in Oneonta for 1963 will hit $990,425.
Of this total, ministers account for $7,400 and educational property accounts for $2,300.
The land value in Oneonta now is $4,747,280 or $8,290 more than in 1962. Building value in Oneonta is now listed at $15,805,297 or $205,193 more than last year.
During Grievance Week, more veterans’ exemptions affected the city’s tax base. Assessors granted $41,800 more in exemptions. This figure was cut by $26,050 because exempt property was removed from the tax rolls when it was sold to persons who cannot claim the exemptions.
The increase in tax base is attributed to new construction n Oneonta, including two motels and several homes.