Promotions, retirement, new hires

City of Oneonta

The Oneonta City Council opened its Oct. 13 meeting with three public hearings. The first involved a rezoning request from Ed Murray. This was followed with a hearing on amendments to the city’s sign ordinance. The third hearing was for an alcohol license application submitted by the new owners of Legends.

At the conclusion of the public hearings, Mayor Ross Norris called the regular meeting of the council to order. The council approved Ed Murray’s rezoning request, Legends of Oneonta, LLC’s alcohol application, and adopted the amended sign ordinance.

The changes made to the sign ordinance deal with electronic signs and electronic billboards. It sets parameters for billboard dimensions, height, distance from the highway, brightness of lights, and other restrictions. (See Ordinance No. 2020-10-13 on page A10.)

Among other items of business on the council’s agenda were several promotions within the Oneonta Fire & Rescue Department. The council unanimously approved promoting Josh Gibson to training officer, grade 8; Matt Crow to EMS officer, grade 8; and Jonathan Ledbetter to community risk reduction officer, grade 8.

The council also accepted the retirement letter of Oneonta Police Department’s Keith Atkinson who has served with the department for 21 years. This was followed by council approval to begin advertising for a full-time police officer.

Two hires were announced for the public works department. Tim Preston and Robert Wallace were both hired as full-time municipal maintenance employees. Also, the council approved the purchase of a tractor for the public works department.

Council member and mayor-elect Richard Phillips requested either a public hearing with the Utilities Board of Oneonta or for the mayor to reach out to the Utilities Board to discuss the joint Dogwood Drive project (Shuff Mountain). The city cannot begin its work on the road until the Utilities Board starts and completes the initial phase. He said residents should be kept in the loop and he would like to know when the project will get underway.

The council approved a resolution for the Robbins Field Airport Fiscal Year 2021 Airport Grant as well as two resolutions on behalf of the Oneonta Fire & Rescue Department for CARES Act funds.

A public hearing for the discussion of the alcohol license application for La Hacienda 1, LLC was set for 5:15 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 27. The regular meeting of the council will follow at 5:30 p.m. The mayor and all council members were present.