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posticon Town Still Hopes To Accept Comp Plan in May

News | Friday, April 20, 2018 | By Dan Veaner Print
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Lansing Comprehensive Plan

Lansing Town Board members struggled Wednesday to incorporate public concerns into a final draft of the Comprehensive Plan revision that would not spark further review, and, thus, a delay that would remove the Town from consideration for a half million dollar grant that would pay for significant improvements to Myers Park.  The Board was presented with a number of proposed changes by Councilman Joe Wetmore, who said that he wanted to find ways to incorporate a number of public concerns in a way that would not trigger another County review of the plan.

Wetmore's changes were challenged by Planning Board Chairman Tom Ellis.  Ellis said Wetmore lied in last November's campaign when he accused the Planning Board of crafting their draft of the plan behind closed doors, when, in fact, the work was done in more than 23 public meetings.  He accused Wetmore sneaking in his own edits in 'the back door' without public input.

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posticon Lansing School Budget Tops $30M

News | Friday, April 20, 2018 | By Dan Veaner Print
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Lansing Central School District

Last week the Lansing Board of Education voted to approve a $30,067,200 budget for the 2018-19 school year.  That brings the district budget above $30 million for the first time, a 3.14% rise from last year's budget.  But School Superintendent Chris Pettograsso said that growth in the tax assessment, including new growth from new building developments, is offsetting losses from decreasing PILOT (Payment In Lieu Of Taxes) agreements.

"Despite the decrease in the power plant, our growth is keeping up with our budget rollover," she said. "We knew that decrease was coming this year, but based on our growth, even though the levy is going up this year the levy is covering it."

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posticon Lansing Superintendent Explains School Safety Funding

News | Friday, April 20, 2018 | By Dan Veaner Print
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Lansing School Safety

Lansing school officials held a brainstorming session with about 30 community members, faculty, staff, and school board members to talk about safety.  School Superintendent Chris Pettograsso gave the Board Of Education a rundown of various available aid for improving school safety, and said that safety measures implemented in the past five years have included locking the school facilities, maintaining the HVAC and air quality.

"People forget about those," Pettograsso commented. "You think about safety as cameras and security, but it's much more than that.  A lot of the things we said were going to happen in 2014 have yet to happen.  We were allotted $680,000 in Smart Bond Money in 2014.  We have two phases.  The first phase was submitted almost nine months ago now.  It finally got to the review phase.  In it is our VOIP phone system, and some replacement boards.  We're hopeful that that will be approved as soon as possible so we can get them in the summer."

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posticon County Legislature Highlights

News | Friday, April 20, 2018 | By Marcia E. Lynch Print
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Legislature Urges Congress to Enact Assault Weapons Ban
The Legislature, by a vote of 12-1 (Legislator Mike Sigler voted no; Legislator Glenn Morey was excused) urged the U.S. Congress to immediately enact a law that mirrors provisions of the Assault Weapons Ban of 2017, as introduced in the United States Senate, which prohibits the sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. The prior federal assault weapons ban, enacted in 1994 expired ten years later and was not renewed by Congress. The resolution notes that assault weapons may now be legally sold and purchased in many states, and that the incidence of mass shootings in schools, churches, and other public places has increased, involving once-banned assault-style weapons and high-volume magazine, including February's mass-shooting at Parkland, Florida's Marjory Stoneham Douglas High School, which killed 17 innocent people, the deadliest school shooting since 2012. The measure maintains that "assault-style weapons and large capacity ammunition magazines are not suitable for civilian use of any type and constitute a demonstrated threat to the general public and law enforcement personnel."

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posticon Audit Finds Better Euthanasia Safeguards Needed

News | Friday, April 20, 2018 | By New York State Comptroller's Office Print
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The state Department of Agriculture and Markets is generally doing well to ensure animal shelters across New York are providing safe conditions and proper care for seized dogs, but officials could do more to make certain dogs are not inappropriately euthanized, according to an audit released today by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.

"The state is doing a commendable job making sure local animal shelters are providing dogs with safe conditions and the care they deserve," said DiNapoli. "However, state officials and local shelters can improve how they track and document each dog that comes into their care to ensure dogs are not wrongly euthanized."

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posticon Housing Committee Examines Condominium Development

News | Friday, April 20, 2018 | By Marcia E. Lynch Print
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The Legislature's special Housing Committee today delved into the matter of condominium development, receiving a briefing from Director of Assessment Jay Franklin on how condominiums are assessed in New York State, how they differ from some other types of clustered housing developments, and what the dynamics of valuation requirements mean for property owners. The committee is looking into the issue as it continues its work examining the critical issue of housing in our community.

Director Franklin advised that, under requirements of New York State Property Tax Law, the value of a condo project must be determined as a whole, typically using the income approach to value (similar to an apartment complex), with the individual units then allocated a fraction of the overall value. Condominiums, he noted, are a form of ownership and not a building style—not all clustered developments with a Homeowner Association are condos; Tompkins County, he said, currently has only 143 condominium units.

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posticon Helming Seeks Public's Help To Deny Murderer's Early Release

News | Friday, April 20, 2018 | By Office of NYS Senator Pam Helming Print
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New York State Senator Pam Helming announced Monday that she is asking the public to sign a petition to help keep convicted killer Chad Campbell behind bars. Campbell is serving a maximum sentence of life in prison for the murders of a classmate and the toddler boy she was babysitting. He is eligible for parole in May.

Earlier this year, Helming sent a letter to the New York State Parole Board opposing Campbell's early release and demanding that he be kept in prison for the entire length of his life sentence. Copies of the petition will be delivered to the parole board at the end of this month.

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posticon April To Be Sexual Assault Prevention Month

News | Friday, April 20, 2018 | By Office of Congressman Tom Reed Print
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Washington, DC - Congressman Tom Reed (NY-23) was joined by Congresswoman Jackie Speier (CA-14) and twenty-four of their colleagues to introduce a bipartisan Congressional Resolution recognizing April as Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month as part of his continued efforts to bring awareness to the nationwide epidemic of sexual assault. In keeping with his continued efforts to bring awareness to the nationwide epidemic of sexual assault, Congressman Tom Reed is sponsoring a bipartisan Congressional Resolution recognizing April as Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month with Congresswoman Jackie Speier (CA-14).

"Sexual assault must end. This issue has personally impacted my family and I care deeply about improving support systems for survivors," Reed stated. "Over the past year, we all have heard survivors of sexual assault come forward and bravely tell their stories bringing necessary sunshine to what was historically an issue people left in the shadows. We stand with them as we work to bring this epidemic to an end and firmly proclaim 'no more'. This resolution continues the effort to educate everyone about this issue and is yet another example of our success in moving forward with ending sexual assault once and for all."

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posticon Auditors Halt $24.2 Million In Suspicious Tax Refunds

News | Friday, April 20, 2018 | By New York State Comptroller's Office Print
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New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced last Friday that his office stopped $24.2 million in questionable or fraudulent personal income tax refunds payments so far in 2018.

"Tax cheats are continuously looking for new ways to beat the system, but my auditors are staying one step ahead of them," DiNapoli said. "My office continues to stop fraudulent refunds from reaching the hands of dishonest individuals and identifying taxpayers who claim deductions that are not rightfully theirs."

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