Oneonta considers sewer-grant application in public hearing

In a public hearing called to consider alley vacations, Oneonta City Council members also heard from Kevin Kessler of Community Consultants on possible future grant monies. Kessler explained the city came close to receiving a large grant in the last round of bids. The project submitted received high marks but lost to other competitors. He urged the city to consider re-submitting that plan and explained other possible grant options available.

Kessler reviewed a hand-out he had distributed to the council. He explained that the city may apply for up to $450,000 in a single-purpose grant or up to $250,000 for an ADECA community enhancement grant. Either of those two requires a local 10-percent match and must demonstrate that at least 51 percent of those benefitting are of low or moderate incomes.

The city may also apply for planning fund grants up to $50,000 with no more than a 10-percent match and/or economic development grants with 20-percent matches. Kessler noted the state has not received a congressional allocation but anticipates it will receive a bit under $21 million for the programs.

In the alley vacation discussion, attorney Dalton NeSmith spoke on behalf of the two requests. The council later agreed to both requests, the first of which entails property of the Corr family between the Corr wireless headquarters and US Highway 231 between Third and Fourth avenues. The second request is for half the alley between Washington and Adams avenues and A and B streets.

In regular council action, members voted to elevate former part-time police officer Brent Bender to fulltime and hire Norman Clements as a full-time public works employee. They also added five additional summer swimming pool workers: Alexa Patterson, Peyton Putman, Rachel Rainey, Tyler Smith, and William “Shaw” Cornelius.

In routine matters, the council approved the annual tax continuation resolution required by the state and declared a 2002 Ford Crown Victoria as surplus. The vehicle will be placed on the “govdeals” website for bid.

Beautification board member Kathy Young announced monthly award winners. Cecil and Linda Latta accepted the residential award and Hahn Rainey of Provence the commercial one.

Councilman Tim McNair missed the May 14 session; all other members (Mayor Ross Norris, councilors Hal Blackwood, Mark Gargus, Danny Robinson, and Tonya Rogers) attended. The council holds its regular meetings the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at 5:30 p.m. at city hall.