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Oneida: 2006: A 'bicentennial year'

2006 was a banner year, literally. The Madison County Bicentennial Commission had banners made that represented each town and the city of Oneida. With yearlong bicentennial activities planned for the entire year, the city of Oneida was the first community to bring in the celebration with a New Year's Eve ceremony and events throughout the city.

But the city had more on its plate than the bicentennial, and the Oneida Press was there. The Oneida Common Council discussed zoning. Zoning was changed, and then zoning was discussed some more.

The city also made a deal with the Oneida Indian Nation, despite opposition from county leaders.

We enjoyed the columns of Doloria Chapin and read of her travels around the world and the many cultures she visited in countries such Scotland, Iceland and the Philippines.

We said goodbye to some old friends including Oneida Healthcare Center's Chief Executive Officer Richard G. Smith, who said so long after more than 29 years.

We endured the passing of Frank Rinaldo and mourned with his family. And we congratulated Undersheriff Doug Bailey, selected as officer of the year by the New York State American Legion Department.

A city landmark, the former Oneida Casket Factory and Stanton Paper Box Company was destroyed by fire, and just a few weeks later, Lowe's opened, giving us hope of real growth.

As we close the books on 2006, we look ahead to upgrades on the city's water supply system, a pilot energy initiative that would make the wastewater treatment plant self-sufficient and Mayor Leo Matzke's proposed dog park.

The city will persevere. The city will prosper.

Out with the old

The Oneida Common Council said farewell to Fourth Ward Councilman Army Carinci in December. At its first meeting of the New Year, it welcomed the new fourth ward councilman, Marcia Rafte, who had served before as a council member as an Oneida supervisor at the county level.

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