Chapman announces retirement

City of Oneonta

Oneonta police Chief James Chapman revealed plans to leave the city’s force within the near future. Speaking at the latest city council meeting, Chapman said he anticipates retiring around the first of next year. With a voice reflecting a touch of emotion, he explained he has worked in the city’s police department for 32 years.

In other business, the council contracted for a possible $6 million loan through HomeTown Bank. The contract completes a decision made previously to use HomeTown funding in construction of the planned Wallace State-Oneonta campus building.

Town attorney Alex Smith explained, prior to the vote, that the $6 million dollars reflects the construction line-of-credit. The city anticipates the final financed portion will be considerably reduced due to grants and other potential joint efforts.

Councilman Danny Robinson asked of grants perhaps procured after the construction. Smith said he had discussed that with the bank and had assurances that such could be credited to reduce the payments by that amount. The reduced payments would not affect the 3.5 percent interest charge or the term remain- ing on the financing, initially set for 30 years, according to Smith.

Chapman first took the microphone to honor retiring councilman Tim McNair. McNair ends eight years on the council and has held responsibilities with the police department during his two terms. From him and his officers, Chapman presented McNair an appreciative plaque.

In other recognitions, the council expressed appreciation to bookkeeper Joan Epps who has obtained revenue officer certification, following 120 hours of specialized training. In a similar vein, council members expressed appreciation to several citizens who have agreed to accept appointment to city boards.

Members approved Barbara Andersen and Daniel Warden to the zoning board of adjustments. The two move from alternates to full membership. Dan Buckner won approval as a new alternate to that board.

The council placed Diana Huff on the city housing authority board at the request of that body. Mayor Ross Norris explained regulations require at least one member of that board be a “Section 8” resident. Huff assumes that slot.

At the request of beautification board chair Marlene Stroud, the council named Carrie Towns and Mark Phelps to her board. Stroud also presented plaques to Marie Owen (residential) and the Oneonta Utilities Board (commercial) as monthly beautification award winners.

In another act, the council officially pledged the city’s participation in the 2017 severe weather preparedness tax holiday. The holiday period covers Feb. 24-26.

The meeting marked the last for McNair and Mark Gargus, who completes a 12-year tenure on the council. Hal Blackwood and Tonya Rogers joined McNair, Robinson, Norris, and Gargus for the Oct. 25 meeting. The council holds its normal regular sessions the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at 5:30 p.m. in city hall.