Construction season will return to Cooperstown after the Labor Day Holiday, according to information presented by Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh at a special meeting Wednesday, Aug. 28, in the Ballroom at 22 Main St. 

Tillapaugh, a first-term Democrat, spoke to a crowd of about 25 residents and gave an update on four projects: The $9 million wastewater treatment plant replacement, the $2.2 million Main Street improvement project, the $5.8 million upgrade to Doubleday Field and an approximately $158,000 redesign of Pioneer Park. 

Work on the treatment plant will begin about Sept. 16, Tillapaugh said, and will take about 15 months. Tillapaugh credited her predecessor, Jeff Katz, for securing much of the money from the project, and for getting the village an interest-free loan on the balance.

The village broke ground on the new plant recently, and Tillapaugh said the previous groundbreaking on the original plant came in 1969.

“We are long past due on a replacement,” she said. 

The Main Street project, also known as the transportation enhancement program, or TEP, has been going on for most of the past two years, with breaks in the summer for tourist season. The project was funded by a federal block grant administered by the state Department of Transportation, with a 20 percent local match. 

The TEP project this fall will continue work on Main Street east of Pioneer, begin work on the intersection of Main and Chestnut streets and on upper Main between Pine and Chestnut, and continue the “streetscaping” of the downtown area, Tillapaugh said. Bike racks, benches and new signage will be installed.

There will be new pedestrian signals at the Main and Chestnut intersection, which will shrink significantly with the addition of extra sidewalk and green space outside Mel’s at 22 on the southwest corner of Chestnut and Main. 

“It will make this corner safer,” Tillapaugh said. 

Pioneer Park has already undergone a major change, with the information kiosk moving toward Riverwood and away from Pioneer Street.

Tillapaugh said the park will be landscaped in a way to reduce maintenance costs. There will also be a stage build in the back of the park. TEP project money also helped Pioneer Park, paying for bike racks and a new water fountain. 

The work on Doubleday Field, which began in the spring, will resume next week with the construction of a building on the third-base line. There will be some trenching in the Doubleday parking lot to run water and sewer lines to the new building, limiting parking options.

Work will continue on the field in the spring as well, with the village hoping to have construction done in time for next summer’s inductions and 100th anniversary celebration.

Tillapaugh said the village has been successful in getting most of the work done with grants, money from the state and interest-free loans. 

“I think the village is getting an absolute bargain,” she said. “In six years, the tax levy has not increased in this village, and yet we have done all this work.”


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