Concession or Secession -- The Lansings Attempt A Better Relationship

Lansing Town Supervisor Ed LaVigne and Councilwoman Katrina Binkewicz attended the first Vilage Trustees meeting of 2016 Monday.  LaVigne and Binkewicz, both newly elected, say they want to attend Village meetings regularly to improve the relationship between the municipalities, which have been under some strain in recent years.  The issue is taxes.  Mayor Donald Hartill charges that villagers are over-taxed, and has even threatened to separate the Village from the Town, while town officials have argued that merging the municipalities would save Village taxpayers money.  LaVigne says he hopes to forge stronger ties between the two municipalities.

lavignehartillbinkewicz 20160201Left to right: Town of Lansing Supervisor Ed LaVigne, Village of Lansing Mayor Donald Hartill, Town Councilwoman Katrina Binkewicz in the Village Hall Monday

"I hope this is the start of a much stronger and productive relationship," LaVigne  said.  "Along with my fellow board member Katrina Binkewicz I look forward to developing stronger relaptionships with you.  We represent you also.  I hope that our presence here will continue to strengthen that relationship."

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Village of Lansing Fire Takes Homes of Seven Families

Feb052016
fire apts 120Lansing firefighters responded to an apartment fire in the The Meadows at Ithaca at 100 Graham Road in the Village of Lansing Saturday, around 1am.  The fire caused significant damage to three of the eight apartments before the fire was substantially put out in 30 minutes after a faulty hydrant delayed responders.  One tenant was treated for smoke inhalation, but there were no other injuries.  Responders from the Lansing, Cayuga Heights and Ithaca Fire Departments continued to extinguish hot spots, remaining on the scene until 5:30am.

"We had a slight delay in fighting the fire when we first started attacking it, the initial attack line was deployed and firefighting operations began, during this same time a large diameter hose was hooked to the hydrant and charged, within seconds of charging the large diameter hose the hydrant broke at its base in the ground," says Lansing Fire Chief Scott Purcell. "We lost water pressure and had to establish another source of water at another hydrant at the complex. During this hydrant relocation all firefighters were pulled from the interior of the building, once the new hydrant was secured and working we went back to aggressively fighting the fire, the changing of the hydrant probably cost us somewhere between 5-7 minutes."

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Property Tax Exemption For Lansing Seniors To Be Increased

townhall 120Good news for Lansing seniors: the Town Board will vote this month to raise income limits for seniors and people with disabilities to qualify for as much as 50% property tax exemption.  The Board voted unanimously in an emergency meeting Wednesday to set a public hearing in two weeks.  An emergency meeting was required to meet state requirements for passing the law in time for it to apply to the next tax cycle.

"The local law needs to be adopted and in place by March 1st," said Lansing Town Clerk Debbie Crandall.  "If seniors don't get their paperwork filed by March 1st they could lose their exemption.  So we wanted to make sure this is in place so that they will qualify for 2017 town and county taxes.  This will bring us up to the maximum, compared to other towns."

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Village Revises Commercial Zoning

Feb052016

Village Revises Commercial Zoning

 

villageoffice spring120The Village of Lansing Trustees approved a new Commercial Medium Traffic District in its zoning law Monday, in a unanimous vote.  Mayor Donald Hartill says the Village has contemplated the zoning change for over a decade, and Planning Board Chairman Mario Tomei says that it took two years to develop the law in its final form.

"The Village Planning Board and the Board of Trustees had been considering talking about the changes," said Village Attorney David Dubow.  "That was part of the Comprehensive Plan, which forced the boards to look at the Village to see what it used to look like, what it looks like today, and more importantly what you may think the Village should be like in the next 20 or 30 years.  That was the catalyst for doing that."

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Committee Recommends Support for Wind Farm

Feb052016

Committee Recommends Support for Wind Farm

 

windfarm 120The Planning, Development, and Environmental Quality Committee of the Tompkins County Legislature today recommended that the Legislature approve a formal resolution of support for the timely development of the Black Oak Wind Farm project in the Town of Enfield.

Following discussion, the measure was recommended without dissent (Legislators Carol Chock and Rich John were excused); with Legislator Dooley Kiefer abstaining due to her status as an investor in the wind farm project

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Kruppa Addresses State Budget Committees

Feb052016

Kruppa Addresses State Budget Committees

 

tc healthdept120Tompkins County Public Health Director Frank Kruppa addressed the New York State Legislature's Joint Legislative Committees on Health and Finance, and Ways and Means regarding health officials' budget concerns for the upcoming State fiscal year, as part of the committees' review of Governor Cuomo's 2016-17 Executive Budget.

Appearing January 25, Director Kruppa provided verbal and written testimony in his role as vice president of the New York State Association of County Health Officials (NYSACHO).

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Wells Contingent Faculty Unionizes

Feb052016

Wells Contingent Faculty Unionizes

 

wellsContingent full-time and part-time professors at Wells College have voted yes to join contingent faculty at schools across the country in SEIU/Faculty Forward.  The victory shows a growing momentum for college faculty forming unions in New York, following contingent faculty victories at Ithaca College.

Wells adjuncts will join SEIU Local 200United as part of Faculty Forward.  The victory was overwhelming, with a final vote count of 21 for to 6 against.

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Sentencing Announced In Pension Benefits Theft

Feb052016

Sentencing Announced In Pension Benefits Theft

 

albany2 120Albany - New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli and Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced yesterday that Marc A. Eletz, 70, a resident of Boca Raton, Florida, was sentenced in Albany County Court to 5 months in jail, $200,000 in restitution and signed a confession of judgment in the amount of $74,920.16 for stealing $274,920.16 in New York State pension benefits.  Eletz previously pleaded guilty to the crime of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class D felony, in September 2015.

"Mr. Eletz thought he could steal his mother's pension, but we exposed his theft and recovered nearly $275,000 for the retirement system," State Comptroller DiNapoli said. "I thank Attorney General Schneiderman for partnering with us to prosecute these crimes."

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