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Car show draws a crowd to blocked off Main Street in Albion

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 July 2017 at 9:07 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

 ALBION – One the car owners, with the license plate “MARKSTOY,” heads up Main Street after spending a couple hours in today’s Super Cruise in Albion.

The village had a section of Main Street, as well as Bank Street, blocked off for the big car show.

The rain kept some of the expected participants away, but more than a 100 cars were lined up on Main and Bank streets.

Organizers were pleased to see many people walking in downtown, checking out the vehicles.

“This is awesome seeing all the families out walking about,” said Adam Johnson, one of the organizers of the event.

The car show brought a lot of people downtown, who enjoyed looking at the cars and chatting with friends.

Cars are lined up on Main Street.

Joe Coyle looks at a 1931 Ford with his sons Collin (gray shirt) and Liam (green shirt). “It’s really exciting to see the turnout,” Coyle said.

Dale Strong owns the 1931 Ford. His father bought it in 1958. The car had been in storage for about a half century until Strong revived it last year to take his daughter to her wedding.

This 1972 Chevy van from Rochester was popular at the car show.

The Albion Canalside Cruise Nights started on June 17. The cruise nights continue on Saturdays until the finale on Aug. 26 featuring convertibles.

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Orleans seeks study on county-wide water district

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 July 2017 at 3:18 pm

File photo by Tom Rivers – The 1-million-gallon water tank on Route 98 is pictured through a metal fence at the site north of the village in the Town of Gaines. A firm about two years advised the village to spend nearly $1 million to bolster the tank with a series of improvements.

ALBION – Orleans County will seek state funding to study a county-wide water district, which could be created to maintain and operate some of the water infrastructure in Orleans.

The study has the support of the Albion Village Board and several of the town boards.

Albion’s Department of Public Works handles the maintenance and operation of the village system. The village sells water to the towns of Carlton, Gaines, Albion and Barre.

Holley and Lyndonville also have water systems, the Niagara County Water District serves Medina, and the Monroe County Water Authority is a supplier for Kendall, Murray and Clarendon.

The highway superintendents for the towns also function in a part-time role as water superintendents, and highway employees also work on the water systems.

Several highway superintendents are expected to retire soon, and the water plants, storage tanks, water towers and other infrastructure are all getting older.

Some local municipal leaders think a county-wide water district could be the best answer for qualified personnel overseeing the water systems, and could also draw more grants and resources for costly capital projects.

“It’s definitely worth looking in to,” said Dean London, mayor of Albion.

The village is a primary water supplier in the county. But the MCWA has been pushing westward from Monroe, locking Kendall, for example, into a 40-year agreement.

A countywide water district could help the Village of Albion keep the local towns as customers. The district could also have an overseeing board of directors with representatives from the village, towns and county.

“The water plant is a resource we have,” London said. “If we had county-wide participation, it could set ourselves in a good direction.”

London said the plant at Wilson Road in Carlton is under capacity and could produce more water, serving more water districts and serving as an economic development tool in the county.

“Monroe County (Water Authority) is trying to make inroads from the east,” London said. “We need to protect what we have.”

Orleans County is taking the lead on the application to the state for the study. The county has received letters of support from the municipal boards from the villages of Albion, Holley and Lyndonville, as well as the Town Boards from Barre, Clarendon, Gaines and Ridgeway.

If the project moves forward, the municipalities are expected to continue to keep their own infrastructure, with the county-wide water district perhaps having its own superintendent, staff and possibly billing clerks.

The study would flesh out details and different scenarios.

The study and the formation of the countywide water district could drive investment to the Albion water plant, boosting its capacity and increasing its efficiency, said Chuck Nesbitt, the county chief administrative officer.

Nesbitt said the timing for the study is ideal with the imminent retirement of some of the local highway superintendents. The state also has boosted resources for water infrastructure, and the study and a possible county-wide district could increase the chances for securing some of those funds locally, he said.

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Albion will close off Main Street for big car show on Saturday

Photo by Tom Rivers: The car show during the Strawberry Festival in June proved to be a crowd magnet. This photo shows a blocked section of East State Street.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 July 2017 at 8:33 am

This map shows the layout for Saturday’s Super Cruise, which will include music and food vendors.

ALBION – Main Street in downtown Albion will be closed off Saturday from 4 to 9 p.m. for a big car show.

The “Super Cruise” is expected to draw 300 to 500 vehicles, including classic cars, motorcycles, Jeeps, trucks, street cars and modern vehicles.

This is the first time in several years the street will be blocked off for a car show.

Bank Street, from Liberty to Platt streets, will also be closed off to traffic.

“If we get the turnout we’re expecting, it will be something to see,” said Mayor Dean London.

There will also be a food court at the village parking lot north of the Presbyterian Church on Main Street, live music and an open mic at Shay’s. Many of the downtown businesses will also be staying open later to be part of the event, including U-Need-O Burrito and 39 Problems, two eating establishments on main Street.

The car show runs from 5:30 to 8 p.m., but the streets will be shut down at 4 to allow the cars and vendors to get set up. The streets will reopen at 9 p.m. after cleanup from the Super Cruise.

“We’re hoping to make a spectacle of it,” said Adam Johnson, a coordinator of the Albion Canalside Cruise Nights, which started on June 17.

The Cruise Nights have been on Saturdays by the canal. This Saturday will be the biggest cruise of the year.

Johnson and organizers have received a good response from car clubs in Rochester and Buffalo.

“There has been a real strong buzz in Rochester and Buffalo,” Johnson said. “Our cruise is a little bit unique because it’s not just classic and old cars. We’ve opened it up to the Honda Club, tuners, Jeeps and motorcycles.”

Johnson, owner of 39 Problems, hopes the event will be showcase for the downtown business district.

“This is a chance to take a leisurely stroll down Main Street and the downtown and see our historic buildings and architecture,” Johnson said.

The Albion Canalside Cruise Nights continue on Saturdays until the finale on Aug. 26 featuring convertibles.

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3rd annual National Night Out planned for Aug. 1 at Bullard Park

Photo by Tom Rivers: Chris Standish races to get in the passenger seat and put on a seat belt during the the Battle of Belts last year at the second annual National Night Out. The competition will be back on Aug. 1.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 19 July 2017 at 10:52 pm

Press Release, Albion Police Chief Roland Nenni

ALBION – The Albion Police Department and the Genesee-Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse are co-organizers of the Orleans County National Night Out and are proud to give an update on this year’s event on Aug. 1.

The event begins at 5:30 p.m. at Bullard Park on East Avenue in the Village of Albion. This is the third annual event and is going to be largest so far.

The event includes car seat inspections, armored truck and fire trucks, canine demonstrations, face painting, inflatable obstacle course, a tactical robot, information booths from local agencies, and other games and prizes. There will also be a school supply and bike helmet giveaway while supplies last. Mercy Flight will also be arriving at 6 p.m. for tours of the aircraft.

National Night Out started in the 1980s as a way to bring law enforcement and citizens together on the same night each year. We have expanded on that principal and put together an event that focuses on bringing many agencies and organizations together on the annual National Night Out date each year.

Participant in the event will include Law Enforcement, Fire Agencies, EMS Responders, Civic Organizations and other groups that will be providing activities and giveaways.

Our mission is simple. We want an event where families can come for a night and be entertained at no cost and eat for free in an environment that is free of violence, alcohol, tobacco and drugs.

This year we have been very fortunate to have had many organizations not only willing to participate in the event but we have received donations and support from many local organizations and businesses. Included with this news release is a list of sponsors for this year’s event along with the activities and other things occurring during the event.

We are very excited to doing a “Battle of Belts” competition again this year to promote passenger safety. The competition entails teams of four who compete to see who is the fastest getting into car and fastening their seatbelts. Each contestant then must switch seats and again fasten their seat belts. The time ends when each person has sat in each seat in the car.

This event is fun to participate in and even more fun to watch. There is still time to enter and details can be found on the event Facebook Page (Click here).

You can find out more on the event by clicking here to be directed to the National Night Out in Orleans County.

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Bullard Park is busy place for summer parks program

Photos by Tom Rivers: Gary Moore (right), one of the park supervisors for the Village of Albion's summer parks program, throws a water balloon at Dominic Burton, 15, of Albion. The two enjoy a fun game with temperatures in the mid-80s at Bullard Park.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 19 July 2017 at 3:43 pm

Senior Citizens’ Day Picnic set for Tuesday

ALBION – The Village of Albion summer parks program has been a fun place for kids since school let out in late June. The parks program continues until Friday next week. There are paid staff at Bullard Park from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. from Monday through Friday.

Tuesday (July 25) will be the annual Senior Citizens’ Day Picnic from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the east end pavilion at Bullard. All senior citizens are welcome to attend. Senior citizens are urged to bring a dish to pass and optional place setting. The menu will include hot dogs, hamburgers, pop, chicken wings, pizza, and treats. There will be some fun games and activities provided. The picnic is sponsored by the Village of Albion Recreation Department.

Sophia Burton, 9, tries to get her brother Dominic wet during a water war game.

Autumn Flugel plays dodgeball at Pee Wee Park at Bullard.

Ryan Dunn throws the ball, trying to get someone out in dodgeball.

Lily Eggleston plays on the climbing wall at Pee Wee Park.

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Albion schools will form committee for $2.2 million in state technology funds

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 16 July 2017 at 12:03 pm

ALBION – The school district will form a committee to develop a plan for spending $2.2 million in state technology funding.

The Board of Education on Monday said the committee will develop a plan, which will be subject to a local public hearing as well as approval from the state Education Department.

The state approved $2.2 million for the district as part of a $2 billion Smart Schools Bond Act, which was passed by NY voters in 2014.

The board hasn’t named specific members of the committee but said it wants “district stakeholders.”

The state hasn’t set a deadline for schools to use the funding. The districts pay for the computer, technology and security upgrades, and then get reimbursed by the state.

Other schools have developed plans and have received funding from the state. Lyndonville, for example, installed interactive white boards in classrooms this past school year and was approved last week for $315,600 for “connectivity” at the district.

The new routers, network improvements, switches, wireless access points, and classrooms hardwired for computers will allow the district to have the computer infrastructure in place for phase three, when Lyndonville adds laptops, desktop computers, computer servers and more white boards.

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Albion will start school year on Thursday after Labor Day

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 11 July 2017 at 8:38 am

ALBION – The school will have its first day of classes on the Thursday after Labor Day this coming year, rather than Wednesday.

Dr. Adolph Brown III

The district will have a staff development day on Wednesday after Labor Day with Dr. Adolph Brown III, an educational consultant who spoke with staff, students and community members on June 22.

Brown was positively received by the district, and school leaders see a staff development day with him as a great way to start the school year.

“He is an energizing speaker,” said Michael Bonnewell, the district superintendent.

Brown, on his website (click here), bills himself as “the world’s greatest edu-tainer.” He was in Albion in June as part of the 2017 student success tour which focused on character, choices and consequences. The district is working on a date in October for Brown to address parents and other community members in the evening.

Board of Education members said the district will need to get the word out early about the change in the first day of school from Wednesday to Thursday.

In other action on Monday, the Board of Education also agreed to pay off $2,859,731  for a capital project, which will save the district $290,562 in interest over the next five years or about $58,000 a year.

The district will use its fund balance to pay off the debt. The bond was initially for about $6 million in 2008 to be paid in 15 years until 2023.

Paying off the debt early will help the district the next five years as Albion tries to stay under the tax cap while facing rising costs in other areas of the budget.

“This is good for the district,” said Shawn Liddle, Albion’s assistant superintendent for business. “It puts us in a stronger position.”

The Board of Education also re-elected Margy Brown as president. Marie Snyder is the new vice president, replacing Dean Dibley, who didn’t seek re-election after his term ended on June 30.

Two new board members, Wayne Wadhams and Kathy Harling, took the oath of office to start their five-year terms.

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Musicians play concerts from boat along the canal

Staff Reports Posted 10 July 2017 at 6:46 am

Photos courtesy of Kim Pritt

ALBION – The Traveling Towpath Troubadours performed concerts in Medina and Albion on Sunday. They are pictured here playing from a boat by Albion’s canal park, between the Main and Ingersoll street lift bridges.

Bill and Kay McDonald of Batavia started the concert series in 2015, traveling with their band mates from the Old Hippies. The group calls themselves the Traveling Towpath Troubadours for the canal series.

This year’s concerts celebrate the bicentennial of the start of the construction of the canal. The Troubadours started the series on Friday in Lockport and have been working their way east, playing in the canal communities.

Today’s concert will be at 6 p.m. in Holley at the village’s canal park. The series concludes on Tuesday when the Troubadours head back west to the Widewaters in Lockport at 6 p.m.

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Albion village approves zoning change for 50-unit apartment complex on Liberty Street

Courtesy of DePaul Community Services: This rendering shows the layout for a 50-unit apartment site on Liberty Street, behind the Hoag Library in Albion. The project would demolish three existing houses to make way for the new housing, which would include 46 one-bedroom apartments and four 2-bedroom units.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 30 June 2017 at 5:09 pm

ALBION – The Village Board voted to change the zoning for several parcels on Liberty, South Clinton and Beaver streets, making the way for multiple-family housing.

The zoning change was needed for DePaul to push forward with its proposal for a 50-unit housing project on Liberty Street, between Beaver Street and the railroad tracks.

The Village Board held a public hearing Wednesday on the zoning change and voted later in the meeting to make the change for land that was either zoned two-family residential, limited business or residential. It is now zoned for R-3.

DePaul is working on the project and needs local approvals such as the zoning change, and additional state funding for it to become a reality.

DePaul is designing the project to support people with disabilities, including senior citizens and veterans. The organization will do extensive background checks for credit, criminal and sex offender history and evictions, Gillian J. Conde, Vice President for DePaul Properties in Rochester, said recently in Albion.

The organization is proposing 46 one-unit apartments and four that would be two-bedroom. Conde said only a few children would likely live at the site.

The apartments aren’t a public housing project. Conde told the Albion Rotary Club in March the apartments are “middle market housing” with one-bedroom apartment rent at $600 a month and two bedrooms at $700. That includes utilities, basic cable, WiFi and laundry.

The Liberty Street project would be a big lift to that neighborhood and the village, Conde said.

The project would be similar to a DePaul site in Batavia that serves low-income residents, including people with mental health issues. Conde said DePaul would like to partner with local agencies, such as the Orleans County Mental Health Department, to connect tenants to services in the community.

DePaul would have some services on site, and staff will be there 24 hours a day. DePaul would have a van on site to transport tenants to medical appointments. Half of the apartments would be ADA-compliant and the other half would be adaptable for people who may need the apartment to be handicapped accessible.

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Albion church breaks ground on addition

Photos by Tom Rivers: Tim Lindsay, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Albion, stands by the site where a new 5,000-square-foot addition will be constructed on Route 31 across from Bullard Park.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 29 June 2017 at 3:09 pm

ALBION – A church that started 30 years in Albion has broke ground on a 5,000-square-foot addition, allowing it to more than double its space.

Harvest Christian Fellowship will use the addition for a sanctuary with room for up to 250 people. The church at 560 East Ave. plans to use the existing sanctuary, which seats about 140, for a fellowship hall, and programs for youth and community life, said Tim Lindsay, the church’s pastor since it started in 1987.

When Harvest Christian Fellowship began three decades ago, it held services at the current Elk’s Club. The church rented space when that building was the Albion Firemen’s Recreation Hill. In 1991, Harvest Christian Fellowship purchased the building at 560 East Ave., a site that had been used as a Kingdom Hall by the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Lindsay said the existing building is cramped for the church. The addition will be 60-by-80 feet with a connecting structure.

Tim Lindsay is pictured in the current sanctuary at Harvest Christian Fellowship. The space will be reconfigured for a fellowship hall.

To make way for the new sanctuary, the current driveway will no longer be usable. A new driveway will be constructed on the west side of existing church building. A house is currently west of the church and will be removed as part of the project.

Lindsay is hopeful the shell of the new building will be up before winter. Church members are doing most of the construction work.

Lindsay said the church is continuing to raise money for the interior work in the new building, as well as for the reconfiguring that will be needed in the current building.

“Our goal is to have the shell of the new building up and enclosed this year,” Lindsay said. “It will be money-driven on how soon we finish the entire project. It could be 1 to 3 years.”

Members of the church’s board of directors pose for a ground-breaking photo. They include, from left: Rick Huntington, Tim Lindsay, John Gerhardt and Tim Archer.

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