New Proposed Village Zoning May Bring Small to Medium Businesses

villageoffice2014 120The Village of Lansing is considering changing the zoning of a strip of properties along the west side of Triphammer Road currently designated as a Commercial Low Traffic District to a new designation: Commercial Medium Traffic District.  The new zoning would apply ao and area north and south of and including the Ithaca YMCA from Oakcrest Road to just north of Catherwood Rd.

"This was conceived a year or two ago when we were approached by a developer that wanted to put a hotel on what we used to call the Butler property (an area near the YMCA)," said Planning Board Chairman Mario Tomei.  "We would have had to increase the Commercial Low Traffic District to Commercial High Traffic.  None of us wanted to do that and all of us felt there was enough Commercial High Traffic property in the Village.  After that we had somebody that wanted to put a liquor store there, and recently Eric Goetzmann wanted to put something there and increase it to Commercial High Traffic."

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Local Contractor Challenges School Septic Award

Apr242015
school aerial2LRS Companys owner Rick Pinney challenged the Lansing Board of Education Wednesday to explain why his company did was not awarded work on new septic systems for the elementary, middle and high schools this summer.  Pinney said his company's proposal makes the most financial sense for the district because it would save the district $62,449.

"LRS Companies is the low base bidder," Pinney said.  "I noticed yesterday that the award was posted to another contractor yesterday.  We have made several attempts to contact the architect to discuss this project, but have received zero feedback.  This is an odd situation."

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Next Steps Following Hornbrook Road Incident Report

Apr242015

Next Steps Following Hornbrook Road Incident Report

 

sheriff 120After formally accepting Sheriff Ken Lansing's After-Action Report presented last month on the barricading incident on Hornbrook Road in the Town of Danby, the Public Safety Committee of the Tompkins County Legislature addressed what's next regarding examination of the incident and what can be learned from it.

The barricading incident at 127 Hornbrook Road began December 30, began when Sheriff's officers attempted to serve a warrant on David Cady and ended January 2, when officers entered the home after Mr. Cady died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.  Through today's formal acceptance, the committee acknowledged receipt of the report and that the Sheriff's Office had provided the summary it had requested. Chair Nate Shinagawa credited the Sheriff and Undersheriff with providing an "excellent and thorough analysis" in the report.

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County Legislature Highlights

Apr242015

County Legislature Highlights

 

tc leg120Local Law Adopted Governing Oil and Gas Waste
The Legislature, by unanimous vote (Legislator Mike Sigler was excused) adopted a new Local Law that prohibits in Tompkins County the sale, application, and disposal of waste associated with oil and natural gas exploration, extraction, and storage activities.  The Law notes that toxins and radioactive materials found in oil and gas waste are detrimental to the public health and should be kept out of the county water supply and off county roadways.  It states, "Due to the significant public health risks, and to ensure the safety of future generations and the natural environment, this Legislature hereby finds it necessary to prohibit the introduction of such waste into treatment facilities, onto roadways, and onto real property located within Tompkins County."
 
In 2012, the Legislature passed a resolution prohibiting the use of natural gas and oil by-product brine from hydrofracking on roads and property for which Tompkins County is responsible.  The new Local Law prohibits the application of natural gas or oil waste on any road or real property located within Tompkins County for any purpose; the introduction of such waste into any wastewater treatment facility or solid waste management facility within the County; and any sale, acquisition, storage, handling, treatment, and processing of such waste within Tompkins County.
 

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Skaneateles Opposes Seneca Lake Gas Storage

Apr242015

Skaneateles Opposes Seneca Lake Gas Storage

 

senecalakesouthendIn a unanimous vote, the Town of Skaneateles became the 23rd municipality to take a stand against gas storage in the Finger Lakes.  The Town Board formally passed a resolution opposing gas storage Thursday night, requesting that the state Department of Environmental Conservation deny Crestwood Midstream Partners, LP's permit to store the gas along the Seneca Lake shore and in salt caverns under it.  Skaneateles joins the Cities of Rochester, Syracuse, Geneva; the Villages of Watkins Glen and Waterloo; the Counties of Seneca, Ontario, Yates, Cayuga, and Tompkins; and the Towns of Seneca Falls, Brighton, Fayette, Ithaca, Geneva, Ovid, Romulus, Rush, Starkey, Ulysses, Varick, and Waterloo in expressing opposition to Texas-based Crestwood Midstream's proposal.

According to the Auburn Pub ("Environmental Disaster: Skaneateles Town Board opposes Seneca Lake gas storage plan" 04/17/2015), Councilor Connie Brace, who took the lead in researching the issue for the board, noted that "a large number of communities in the Finger Lakes region and the city of Syracuse" oppose Crestwood's plan and stand united with their neighbors.  

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Reed Co-sponsors 'Death tax' Repeal

Apr242015

Reed Co-sponsors 'Death tax' Repeal

 

capitalbuilding 120The House of Representatives voted to repeal the 'death tax' last week.  The tax has been onerous for local farmers who are forced to sell off parts of their farms in order to keep them in their families for new generations to farm.

"Death should not be a taxable event. Yet for our Southern Tier and Finger Lakes farmers and families who've lost loved ones, it can mean the end of their livelihood," said Congressman Tom Reed, who co-sponsored the legislation.  "This is because the death tax can force grieving families to sell off parts of family farm or the business entirely. This is wrong. I care about our grieving families and want them to have a fair shake after a tragic loss. That is why I voted to repeal the unfair and unjust death tax."

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Lifton Calls On Governor to Allow Public Comment On SGEIS

Apr242015
albanycapital120Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton (D/WF-125th AD), sent a letter to Governor Cuomo Monday, urging that the public be given the opportunity to comment on the scope of the Final SGEIS (Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement) before it is adopted and, to have the Public Health Review guide New York's shale gas extraction decisions in the years to come and not just "at this time," as Commissioner Martens stated on December 17th of last year.

DEC currently proposes to accept public comments for ten days after the Final SGEIS is adopted, but the proposal would take effect without revision. "This approach seems to me inadequate for this monumentally important matter because public input would not be incorporated into the Final SGEIS," Lifton said.

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Medicaid Audits Find Over $500 Million In Waste

Apr242015
albany2 120State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli's audits identified a total of $513 million in improper Medicaid payments and untapped revenue opportunities over a four-year period, according to a report released today. Auditors identified another $361 million in questionable transactions that will require further review and actions to prevent overpayments or recover costs.

"Medicaid is a vitally important program, insuring nearly 6.4 million New Yorkers and enabling them to access health care that would otherwise be unaffordable," DiNapoli said. "But New York's Medicaid program costs billions of dollars annually and the work done by my auditors has found waste throughout the system. My office will continue to diligently examine Medicaid payments to make sure healthcare dollars are being spent appropriately and taxpayer dollars are not squandered."

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