Gary Herzig

Herzig

The next Oneonta Common Council meeting has a busy agenda including the announcement of the Downtown Improvement Awards.

The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Foothills Performing Arts and Civic Center, to accommodate the public, on the first floor.

As part of Oneonta’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative, $2.3M was set aside to be provided to downtown business and property owners for grants to update exterior signage and building facades, as well as development of upper floor housing. The Mayor and Common Council appointed a project selection committee chaired by former mayor Kim Muller to review the more than 100 applications received, according to a media release.

Mayor Gary Herzig will announce the awards during his State of the City address.

The meeting will also include a second public hearing on the draft general environmental impact statement for the Oneonta Rail Yards, which drew a crowd to City Hall in early February. The public comment period was extended to March 18.

The question of what energy sources should be used to make the site shovel-ready for development has become a topic of debate in the city and town.

The GEIS presents multiple options for development, with one of them considering the use of sustainable energy while the third option, which was selected as primary in the document, establishes the use of natural gas.

The review produced by Delaware Engineering was prompted by Otsego Now, an umbrella that includes the county’s Industrial Development Agency, who are seeking to make the land ready for development. Otsego Now requested a State Environmental Quality Review, or SEQR, and the City of Oneonta became the lead agency for the process.

Erin Jerome, staff writer, may be reached at ejerome@thedailystar.com or (607) 441-7221. Follow her at @DS_ErinJ on Twitter.