The Otsego County Council of Representatives listened to updates from representatives of the County Soil and Water Conservation District, the Destination Marketing Corporation and the Susquehanna SPCA.
Board chairman David Bliss, R-Cherry Valley, Middlefield, Roseboom also introduced new Otsego County administrator Joshua Beams at the start of the meeting.
Susquehanna SPCA Executive Director Stacie Haynes briefly updated the board on what the shelter has accomplished over the past year and the issues it is facing.
After the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Otsego County Department of Health stopped having rabies clinics, she said. The Susquehanna SPCA took over those clinics on behalf of the county and organized 45 clinics where vets and veterinary technicians employed by the shelter administered the rabies vaccine to 1,288 animals, she said.
She told the board of directors that the shelter has a major obstacle – the overpopulation of cats in the county.
“We have 400 to 500 cats waiting to be admitted to the shelter,” Haynes said. “Most of them are from collectors, who have between 11 and 50 cats or more.”
She said the shelter has partnered with county agencies to resolve some of the issues. She said a minor said she lived in the dirt due to the number of cats in the house, which is why the Department of Social Services was called. Another person was overwhelmed by the number of cats living in his house, so he gave the house to the cats and moved into a trailer on his property, she said. She said that in these cases, “we need the help of other experts to help these people.”
The Otsego County Soil and Water Conservation District helps farmers, residents and municipalities with a variety of programs, Director Jordan Clements said. He said the district oversees all of the county’s watersheds and recently completed an in-depth technical study of the Butternut Valley watershed, which includes nine towns and four villages.
That study found 400 undersized culverts that need to be replaced, Clements said. He said the county needed to be proactive in tackling the flooding by replacing undersized culverts.
He spoke of the flash floods that occurred in July and said 12,000 cubic meters of sediment and 50 to 75 trees had to be removed from the stream beds in the village of Morris. He said the State Department of Environmental Conservation had helped issue permits to clean up the flood damage. He said the district received a $ 225,000 state grant to purchase an excavator that could be used to help cities replace culverts.
He said that to mitigate flooding and reduce nitrogen and phosphorus in rivers, the OCSWD is working with farmers and landowners to plant buffer zones of grass and trees along backyard beds. ‘water. He said the district had installed 105 acres of forest buffer zones along the stream beds.
Another feature of the district is its forestry program and he said the county has had two successful harvests on county property.
“We collected as much ashes as possible,” Clements said. “I hope the remaining trees will survive.”
The trees were harvested from county-owned properties on Taylor Hill Road and Forest of the Dozen Dads, and the county received $ 311,074.74 for timber, according to a resolution accepted by the board of directors. Ash trees are harvested statewide to control the destructive emerald ash borer, an invasive species
The council also heard a report from the Destination Marketing Corporation for Otsego County. The county contracts with DMCOC as a tourism promotion agency under the New York State Tourism Matching Fund program. The agency explained why tourism is important to the county.
Editor-in-chief Vicky Klukkert can be reached at [email protected] or 607-441-7221. Follow her @DS_VickyK on Twitter.