Otsego Sees Local Budget Awards

James L. Seward

February 17, 2006

At a press conference in Oneonta, Senator James L. Seward unveiled $580,000 in local senate initiatives to assist various programs and municipalities in Otsego County. The funding will assist local entities and enhance tourism, the arts, social services, economic development and voluntary emergency services in Otsego County.

Seward made the announcements at the office of the Foothills Performing Arts Center on Market Street, where he announced a $100,000 grant for the new arts and theater center that sits on the location of the old West-Nesbitt feed mill. The funding will assist with operating and construction expenses. The location was cleared with state assistance through the Governor’s Office of Small Cities. Foothills’ goal is a 1,200 seat performing arts theater in a facility that will include retail shops, a café, concessions, sound and video production capabilities and multi-purpose rooms.

"New York must provide value for the tax dollar, and this funding will do so by assisting many local programs that reduce pressure on government services, help to create jobs, and return revenue to state and local governments in tourism and economic development," Seward said. "The Foothills Performing Arts Center is a wonderful addition to the life and vitality of the downtown area and its continued growth means great things for Oneonta’s future."

Seward also unveiled a $100,000 senate award to Catskill Area Hospice and Palliative Care for expenses associated with its new hospice community on Birchwood Drive.

The Otsego County IDA will receive $100,000 in senate funding toward the development of its Richfield Business Park. The IDA purchased 74 acres in 2000 to develop a business park in Richfield Springs, and is now in the final stages of SEQRA and subdivision approval. Funding will help construct a road and utilities as COIDA works to secure tenants.

Other organizations receiving senate funding:
Friends of Recovery-Del/Otsego Facility improvements $ 20,000
National Soccer Hall of Fame Operating aid 100,000
Oneonta Concert Association Community concert 10,000
Oneonta Family YMCA Facility improvements25,000
Opportunities for Otsego Food program - vehicle 40,000
Village of Unadilla Ambulance 20,000
West Laurens Fire Dept. Thermal imaging camera 15,000
Springbrook Facility improvements 50,000

"The senate funding will provide dividends in business, tourism, emergency services, and locally identified community needs that would not be possible without senate assistance," Senator Seward said. "When it comes to local governments and fire departments in particular, the senate aid reduces pressure on tax rates and tight budgets, especially in rural areas."

Seward said the money was set aside in the 2005-2006 state budget.

"The programs identified as eligible for the awards improve the quality of life of many people in specific ways. I am glad that the senate could assist," Seward concluded.