Town and County officials, special guests and members of the community gathered on Jan. 1 at the Owego Town Hall to witness a swearing-in ceremony for three local officials.
Donald Castellucci, Jr. was sworn in as Town of Owego Supervisor. Castellucci begins his 27th year in office and communicated that this marks the beginning of his final term.
Castellucci thanked everyone at the ceremony, including all staff and officials, along with residents and the electorate.
Councilman and Deputy Supervisor Dean Morgan, and newly elected Highway Superintendent Michal Roberts were also sworn in.
Deacon Michael Donovan, of Blessed Trinity and St. Patrick Parish, offered a blessing prior to the ceremony.
Deacon Mike commented that uncertain times due to the COVID pandemic have caused problems for many people, and in prayer, remarked, “Today we ask for some clarity, as well as trusting leadership on our local level, so that we may move forward.”
At the ceremony, Castellucci gave a nod to Morgan, who he described as, “Really knowing his stuff. Dean has been extremely instrumental, and especially with the new building construction.”
Regarding Roberts’ new role as Town Highway Superintendent, Castellucci said, “I look forward to working with him over the next four years.”
Castellucci also acknowledged long-time Councilwoman Barbara Roberts, who steps down to begin her new role as Tioga County Legislator effective Jan. 1.
Castellucci said, “Barb has been an asset to the Town, and I wish her the best of luck in her new position.”
Castellucci noted several goals for his last term to include finishing FEMA claims, improving broadband and potentially cable service, and focusing on providing better coverage in cell phone dead spots. In addition, he will begin preparations for the next supervisor, re-do an emergency plan to reflect new operations at the shared services building including dealing with pandemics, and continue to make improvements at the Town Hall to extend its useful life as well as work closely with the new highway superintendent to improve operations and services.
In his “Year in Review” to be shared in full in the Owego Pennysaver’s upcoming Community Directory, Castellucci said, “I think we can agree that 2021 was a challenging year. It was very challenging for me personally and professionally, and I am looking forward to the New Year and the positive changes that will come with it.”
Highlights within the Town of Owego include the near completion of the Shared Services Building, along with the salt dome. Castellucci shared that a majority of the equipment has been moved, along with manpower. The highway department should be fully operational at the State Route 434 location by mid to late January.
The Parks Department, Utilities Administration and customer service for Highway and Utilities is now working out of the new building.
Castellucci noted that a cold storage building will be constructed in the spring, along with space for highway materials storage, and a location will be made available for brush drop off.
A positive reflection of the Parks Department, and particularly Hickories Park, Castellucci remarked that camping revenues in 2021 were at a record high, bringing in $309,902. Looking ahead to 2022, a small ice rink to be made available for public use is in the works for Hickories Park, and a revamp of Tioga Park located behind the Red Apple in Tioga Terrace is slated for the spring.
Castellucci thanks everyone for the continued support, comments and suggestions that have been brought forward, and said that they are helpful in making some of the difficult decisions for the Town’s success.
For more information about the Town of Owego, visit their website, www.townofowego.com. The website features a listing of Town resources and services, contact information, board meeting minutes, frequently asked questions, and more.
You can also call (607) 687-0123.