From the Mayor’s Desk

From the Mayor’s DeskContributed by Village of Owego Mayor Michael Baratta III

The days are getting longer and summer is approaching. I wanted to take some time to write to you to keep you updated on what is going on inside your village government. We are patiently awaiting the state to come and present which projects from the DRI will receive grant money. There are definitely some exciting projects planned for our village.

The village has successfully received their Certified Local Government (CLG) status back. This relates to historic preservation and will help position us better to receive grants and other financial benefits when it comes to maintaining our historic buildings. It also shows the world we care about preserving our history. 

We are participating in the MEGA community choice aggregation; this is the idea where 20 municipalities came together to offer a lower rate for electricity supply to its residents. It is an opt out program, I encourage you to do some research on it and ask questions to see if its right for you. There was an information session in the Village, even though it was well promoted only one person showed up. There is information on the Village website ( about the program; if you have further questions, we can help get them answered. 

Remember as you clean your properties up the Village will pickup your sticks, twigs and leaves. Just pile them up at the curb. The village chips all of this “waste” up and turns them into what we put down on the trail system that is along the Owego Creek. Your yard waste is not wasted and is used for a new purpose. 

This summer we should see the Baker Fireman’s Fountain return, we had a ground breaking a month or so ago for this project. I would like to highlight that this project is funded completely by the Owego Hose Team. This is a group who has made it their project to restore this monument of history in the center of our village. I would like to thank them for all the hard work they have put into this project, it will be something for everyone who lives or visits Owego to enjoy for many years. 

The Owego Fire Department non-profit corporation has been working on a new training center for our firefighters. I would also like to thank this group of fire fighters. This will be a great opportunity when it is finished to properly train our fire fighters.

This year Owego Cub Scout Pack 37 asked us to host their day camp at Marvin Park; this is a great opportunity to use our biggest park for exactly what it is intended for. We are looking forward to a park full of kids enjoying their week at the park this July. 

Talking about July, Hyde Park will be the home of the 10 and Under NY State Little League Tournament. This is a testament to the volunteers and families who have made Hyde Park, home of Owego Little League, the best facility in the state to host this tournament. This will bring teams of out of town players and families to our village for a week in July to play ball, eat and shop. 

The Village has been involved in Project STEAM 21, and you may think what the heck is that. STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math. Project STEAM 21 is all about a focus on a community ready for the 21st century. This is a partnership with local business, government agencies, and non-profits to better prepare our community for the needs that will face us and better prepare our workforce to make our community succeed. We are committed to make Owego “The” place to be – not just “a” place to be. 

The village board is committed to working in a transparent fiscally responsible manner to make the Village of Owego the best it can be. As we enjoy nicer weather, the long-awaited Strawberry Festival (I hear the dinosaurs are coming back!), family and friends, know we are always here to listen to your concerns and get answers to your questions. 

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