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Letters

September 29, 2011

Letters to the Editor: September 29, 2011

Get behind home rule bill

My husband and I own a bed and breakfast south of  Cooperstown in the townof Middlefield. My husband works at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and during the off-season I work at one of the baseball stores on Main Street. Our livelihood, obviously, is connected to tourism.

The potential for gas drilling in Otsego County is of great concern to us. One of our neighbors has leased property.

Even if our well is not contaminated; the mere presence of a drill operating nearby would severely affect the number of guests we could  attract. A drop in our businesswould lead to less state and  bed tax money for the county;a drop in our property value would force us to seek a drop in our property taxes. We are not alone in this scenario as many of our neighbors have the same concerns.

How about our farmer neighbors who are making a living off their land? If their property is bordered by leased land, how long will it be before the demand for their products decreases as customers may question the quality of the meat, produce, eggs, etc.

Visitors already have to make an effort to come to our area to enjoy our wonderful museums, breweries, opera and lakes. If this visit also includes fighting for road space with the thousands of trucks involved in the drilling process, how long will they be willing to come?

Is a temporary (unproven) economic boom worth losing the quality of life the majority of us want and receive our income from? How about for generations to come?

Otsego County and New York State needs to strongly consider the consequences of drilling. Are the supposed needs of a few going to outweigh the needs of the many? We encourage our fellow citizens to get behind Senator Seward’s Home Rule Bill.

Victoria M. Gates

Cooperstown

There is no sandlot

Cooperstown Youth Baseball went before the village of Cooperstown board of trustees and mayor Booan Monday night seeking a special use permit to build a new CYB Facility on Brooklyn Avenue. A lengthy public comment session occurred.

I began with an outline of our history and vision for our new facility followed by specific questions for the Board and Mayor Booan critical to the future of this project as we see it. Many comments and questions from those in attendance followed.

We recognize the concerns of the neighbors and other community members. We appreciate their perspective.

I was unable to answer questions directly, but I want to assure the community that we are just looking for a place for our children, your children to play. There is no large parkland in the village of Cooperstown. There is no youth baseball field in the village; there is no “sandlot.”

Many children find release and outlet through sport, including  baseball and softball. Not all of our families have membership at the Clark Sports Center. Unfortunately, liability concern of all municipalities and organizations has forever changed America from the way many of us spent our youth.

When we looked for a new site for the CYB facility there were two main criteria. First, it should be close to the village of Cooperstown, the “Birthplace of Baseball.”

Second, a Little League opening day parade through the streets of Cooperstown is a joyous occasion that many remember fondly. Being close to the village would allow that to continue.

The task ahead for the village board and mayor is difficult. It is not our intent to disrupt the lives of village residents. We are just trying to give our children a place to play. To give them some sense of the freedom most of us grew up with.

David Borgstrom

President, Cooperstown Youth

Baseball

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