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Step Back In Time

June 21, 2014

Step Back in Time: June 21, 2014

25 years ago

June 21, 1989 

Opponents of a proposed mining and fill project near the Susquehanna River in the town of Oneonta are looking for ways to stop the plan even though the town planning board approved it Monday.

Otsego County Rep. John Nader said he is looking into the possibility of taking legal action to prevent Bettiol Enterprises from filling the 24-acre parcel along state Route 28, across from Christopher’s Restaurant. Nader lives in the city’s 6th Ward and said he is worried that if the land is filled, his neighborhood will be flooded more easily.

“The history of flooding down here has frankly been ignored” in the environmental impact report prepared for Bettiol by engineer Gordon Sheret, Nader said. The 6th Ward has had “two floods in the last 23 years and I lived through both of them,” he said. Homeowners have to carry $200 worth of flood insurance each year because of the high chances of flooding.

Andrew Mason, president of the Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society, said he thought a smaller citizens’ group opposed to the project, which will fill in the land so it can be built upon, “stands little chance” of prevailing in court against a “well-to-do developer.”

However, Mason said he still doesn’t like the planning board’s decision. He called the area to be filled “the most environmentally sensitive parcel in the town that’s not developed.”

Mason accused the board of giving in “to the pressures from the developers and the town board.”

Despite continued opposition, Otsego County Economic Developer James Bazan said he is excited about the Bettiol project. He said the planning board’s decision addresses the area’s demand for buildable commercial property.

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