City OKs mural plan

Staff Report - The Daily Star

ONEONTA The Oneonta Public Safety Building is the first city building approved for painting of a mural.

The proposal is to paint a 10-by-15-foot picture of an old-fashioned, horse-drawn fire engine on the wall to the left of the main door of the Public Safety Building, said Alderman Sean J. Farrell, chairman of the Buildings and Technology Committee.

"We think it will look nice," Farrell said. "We hope that it gets done."

The proposal now goes to the Common Council's Finance Committee to identify funding for the project, estimated at about $2,500 to $3,000, Farrell said, and he expected the project would go out to bid.

Farrell told aldermen at a recent Common Council meeting that the Buildings Committee approved use of the Public Safety Building for a mural.

The Public Safety Building at 95 Main St. houses the fire department, crews and engines, the police department and the city court.

Farrell said he wondered about having police represented in the illustration and he has recommended that illustrations on public buildings be historic rather than artistic. However, the decision on designs or pictures is up to the Civic Beautification Committee, he said.

The Civic Beautification Committee also suggested murals on the wall of the Otsego County Office Building on Main Street and the parking garage, Farrell said. Problems with those suggestions were that the city doesn't own the county building and the parking garage has limited accessibility, he said.

Some local businesses already have murals. A giant wave and sea creatures hover over the entrance of The Aquarium bar off South Main Street, and a mural painting of baked goods helps identify the entrance to Elena's Sweet Indulgence cafe on Main Street. Artists Cynthia Marsh and Jennie Williams painted those murals and have promoted "The Mural Project" in downtown Oneonta.

Oneonta Mayor Kim K. Muller formed the Civic Beautification Committee after taking office this year. The committee also is looking at improving Oneonta's appearance through signs and street-scaping.