From the Owego Town Supervisor, Donald Castellucci

From the Owego Town Supervisor, Donald CastellucciPictured is construction of the Shared Services Facility for the Town of Owego. They are expecting a move in by fall. (Photo by Wendy Post)

I hope everyone was able to enjoy Independence Day this year. It certainly is trying times we are living in but our community. As always, seems to rise to the challenge. I’d like to catch you up on a few things this going on since the year began.

I was happy to be able to have our annual fireworks display take place. I think it was an opportunity to get back to some normalcy. Rick Pedro provided the entertainment and WEBO carried the whole event live. Attendees kept socially distant and the park was filled was many satisfied individuals.  

I hope to schedule a couple more concerts on the upcoming Wednesdays. Unfortunately, with the COVID situation, the Council on the Arts could not proceed with the regularly scheduled concerts. We expect to continue our working relationship next summer.

If you drive by the Town Hall, you can see the Shared Services Facility is moving along quickly now. We had a slight delay in the beginning with some site work issues and in mid spring trying to get materials delivered during the height of the COVID restrictions. The building is on budget, to date. 

It is anticipated, as of this writing, that the departments will be able to move in late October or November. The final project will end in December. 

With the current economic situation as it is, I anticipate that phase two of this project will be broken up over two years. We are working on getting the new salt barn installed this year. It is expected to cost approximately 1 million dollars. We have received a State grant of 500,000 dollars toward that part of the project. Other parts of the project will include site work, storm water requirements, a storage yard, and a permanent site for residents to bring brush.  

In 2022 the project will include a cold storage barn for equipment. Depending on funding, we hope to have a truck wash and a fueling station in the future. This will be dependent on funding availability and the economy. Once these are complete, most of our processes will be out of the flood plain and we can better respond to emergencies into the future.  

I recently was able to sign a five-year renewable lease with the State Police that should keep them in Owego for the next ten years. We are waiting for Comptroller approval.  It is a blessing to have them in our community, along with the Tioga County Sheriff’s Department and the other police agencies throughout Tioga County.

You would not notice from outside the Town Hall, but we are working with FEMA on several storm events. We will begin to get reimbursement for emergency repairs from the many rain events we have had over the past several years.  

We have issued the Notice to Proceed on the Dutchtown Road bridge project. There will be a road closure. I will get the information on our website as well as put out a press release once the times are set.  

This week we will be giving the Notice to Proceed on the Long Creek bridge project as well. The temporary bridge will remain in place until project completion. The Hiawatha Bridge project continues to move forward. It is anticipated that late July the bridge will close for six weeks. Detour information will become available shortly. 

I have been remiss in getting out information about a project the Town completed with CGI Communications. If you go to our webpage, you will see promotional videos of our Town that helps market us to other communities. This would not have happened without sponsorship from local businesses. Please take a look at the videos, see the sponsors and thank them and patronize them. If it weren’t for their support the project would not have happened. 

The annual Tire and Scrap Metal Recycling event will take place on Saturday, July 11, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Village of Owego Public Works at 20 Elm St. The first eight tires (under 19-inches) are free; up to eight additional tires can be dropped off for $1 per tire. There is no limit of tires on rims. 

I would to thank Bill Nolis and Keith Lewis for their help with the front sign design. They created the Owego tree insignia and the granite address sign.

Lastly, like many of you, I have noticed I am paying a little more for electric than I would be if I had remained with NYSEG. While we received a good fixed rate for the market at that time, several unforeseen factors depressed the market and variable rate pricing is low at this time.  Supply and demand, weather, geopolitical environments and industry regulations constantly effect pricing. Add to that mix a mild winter, the effects of the unforeseen COVID-19 issue, civil unrest and the national election.  

The energy market reacts similarly in ways as the stock market does. As it was stated, you can always leave the aggregation without penalty. My suggestion is to stick it out until the two-year period ends. A year from now the CCA will be going out to bid for the next contract and I am sure many things will have changed by then. If you have any questions about your CCA participation, call 1-833-866-9637.

As we continue forward in the summer season, which will be quite different than in the past, I wish you a safe and fun time. We may not be able to do the things that we normally take part in, but we can find new ways to enjoy the season.

Please feel free to call me with any questions at (607) 687-0123 ext 7. 

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