Oneonta Passes Revised Mask Ordinance For Business District


BINGHAMTON, NY (WSKG) — The Oneonta Common Council voted Tuesday to adopt a mask-wearing ordinance in the city. A previous version of the measure was passed last month, but was later vetoed by City of Oneonta Mayor Gary Herzig.

A map of Oneonta’s downtown business district, where a new mask ordinance will apply. (Provided by the City of Oneonta)

Herzig, who introduced a new version of the ordinance on Oct. 26, said the previous measure was not strong enough to make a difference.

“Masks must be worn at all times by all people when in our downtown business district,” Herzig wrote in a statement. “We are entering a critical time with a recent uptick in cases of COVID-19. The people of Oneonta have worked too hard to now risk an outbreak during this Fall and Winter.”

The most recent ordinance requires that masks be worn at all times in any outdoor public space in the city’s downtown business district. It will also require masks in all retail and service businesses, including in restaurants and bars when patrons are not seated and eating.

The ordinance will apply solely to the city’s Downtown Mixed-Use District (MU-1). The earlier version of the ordinance would have been implemented throughout the entire city and on private property as well. Several residents took issue with that aspect of the measure during a public hearing on it last month.

New York State already requires mask-wearing in public whenever people cannot social distance with six feet apart.

The revised ordinance passed the council unanimously. A public hearing on the measure will occur on Nov. 17.