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Holley trap shooters finish second in state

Staff Reports Posted 23 November 2017 at 12:30 pm

Top 3 ranked girls in NYS are from Holley

Provided photo

HOLLEY – The Holley Hawks Trap Team finished in second place in the New York State Clay Target League, behind only the team from Holland High School.

The league is comprised of high school teams that compete at a local gun club and submit scores online. The Holley Rod and Gun Club hosts the Holley Hawks high school team. The Gun Club members teach gun safety and the sport of trap shooting.

In The New York Clay Target league, both boys and girls compete as a team against other schools in the state.

In the individual category, the top three averages for the fall league in the female category were all from Holley. Alexis Penna was first, Alexis Clemons finished second and Kelsie Johnstone was third in the state.

The spring league signup will be between Jan 15 and March 15th with the competition starting in April.

For more information on the New York State High School Clay Target League, click here.

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Holley will have expanded holiday celebration on Dec. 2

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 22 November 2017 at 6:11 pm

File photo: Holley’s Parade of Lights passes through the Public Square in December 2013. The parade returns on Dec. 2.

HOLLEY – The Village of Holley Night of Lights is set for Saturday, Dec. 2, in the Village Square from 4 to 6:30 p.m.

Mayor Brian Sorochty discussed changes and new additions to the annual event during last week’s Village Board meeting. The Community Events Committee has been working to organize and re-vamp this year’s event. Dr. Krista Wiley-Neale, who is a member of the committee, provided additional details.

This year the event has been expanded and will begin earlier in the day – at 4 p.m.

Wiley-Neale said businesses around the Village Square will host wine tastings and craft vendors inside. There will be holiday music, hot cocoa and a spaghetti dinner available at the Community Center. The cost of the spaghetti dinner is $3.

The Rotary Club will have its food cart and Boy Scouts will be selling wreaths. Friendship B.B.C. will have games, food and balloons. The Holley Community Free Library will host Santa, as well as cookies, carols and a movie.

Organizers are planning for a parade at 6:30 p.m. with the Memory Bulb and Tree Lighting to follow.

Memory bulbs are $5 each and can be purchased at the Holley Village Office. The Village tree will be moved this year, Mayor Sorochty said. It will remain in the Public Square, but closer to the former bank building as maple trees are beginning to crowd out the area closer to the fountain where the tree has traditionally been placed.

Instead of multi-colored lights, Mayor Sorochty announced the tree will be lit entirely in blue lights, “out of respect for emergency services and police officers for the work they do,” he explained.

The celebration will then move to the Fire Hall for the annual holiday party with performances by members of the Holley Central School chorus and band, cookies, snacks and hot chocolate.

Village also approves security enhancements at Village Office

In other business, Village Trustees approved purchasing materials to construct a wall with a payment window at the village offices. The wall will provide security for office staff. Materials for the project include framing, wall material, an interior door, new exterior door and the payment window at a cost of $1803.24.

Additionally, trustees approved spending $1524.17 for the purchase of a new camera system and door locks for the office.

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Holley BOE honors board member for service taking senior pictures

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 22 November 2017 at 5:48 pm

Melissa Ierlan wanted students to be featured in senior yearbook

Photo by Kristina Gabalski

HOLLEY – Board of Education member John Heise (right) presents the November “Soaring to New Heights Award” to fellow BOE member Melissa Ierlan.

Heise nominated Ierlan to recognize her efforts in photographing Holley Central High School seniors who otherwise would not have a photo available for their senior yearbook. Ierlan took photographs of 13 students and Heise praised Ierlan for the extra time she spent with each student.

“She took about an hour with each student and the photos were professionally done,” Heise said. “It helps promote good self-esteem for the students.”

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Holley kindergartners have early Thanksgiving feast

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 21 November 2017 at 6:04 pm

HOLLEY – Holley kindergarten students and their guests celebrated Thanksgiving this morning with a feast with all the trimmings in the elementary cafeteria. When three perfectly roasted turkeys were brought out from the kitchen, the crowd broke into loud applause.

Mom and daughter Jessica and Paysen Soehner wait anxiously for their meal.

Clayton Vonglis was joined by his grandma, Barbara Fink.

Each of the three kindergarten classes had its own table.

Kindergarteners and their families dig in to turkey and all the trimmings.

Kindergarteners made the muffins and butter for the feast themselves.

A bakery rack filled with pumpkin pies is ready to serve for dessert.

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Tree cutters clear canal embankment in Holley

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 18 November 2017 at 8:00 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

HOLLEY – Tree-cutting crews from Mohawk Valley Materials in Utica worked along the north side of Erie Canal embankment in Holley this afternoon. They are shown working on the section between the lift bridge and Bennetts Corners Road.

MVM started clearing trees in Medina last month and is working eastward to Fairport. The State Canal Corporation is paying the company $2.6 million to remove trees on 145 acres of canal property.

MVM has several powerful pieces of machinery to cut down and move trees.

The Canal Corporation is having the trees removed because it worries the tree roots make the canal banks vulnerable to leaks. The trees have roots that can burrow into the soil, going under the towpath and reaching the canal walls. That can result in leaks and weaken the walls, Canal Corp. officials said.

MVM hauled away some of the trees and wood chips. This photo shows wood chips being sprayed on the north canal bank.

There was a long line of vehicles and machinery on the north side of the canal in Holley while the trees were being cleared. The contractor won’t be touching any trees on privately owned land.

The tree removal is phase one of a vegetation management project. The strip of land near the towpath will eventually be mow-able. The stumps will be removed and grass seed will be spread.

“The (trees’) removal will restore the integrity of the embankments and improve the Canal Corporation’s ability to properly manage their condition, keeping the communities that surround the canal safe from potential flooding due to structural failures,” the Canal Corp. states on its website.

The fallen trees are lined up near the towpath in Holley.

“This type of vegetation can provide pathways for seepage, which can potentially weaken embankments and result in failure, leading to flooding of lands surrounding the canal,” the Canal Corp. stated. “Furthermore, the heavy vegetation prevents Canal employees and other inspectors from being able to thoroughly monitor the integrity of the Canal’s embankments.”

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Holley will seek $1 million state grant for old school renovation project

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 15 November 2017 at 2:41 pm

HOLLEY – Village Board members voted Tuesday evening to authorize the village to apply for RESTORE NY funds for the proposed Holley Gardens project, which would repurpose the old Holley High School for use as a mixed-use senior housing and commercial development as well as village office space.

The village will apply for $1 million in RESTORE NY funds.  The Restore NY Communities Initiative provides municipalities with financial assistance for the revitalization of commercial and residential properties.

Charlie Oster, development coordinator for Edgemere Development and Kim Russell, executive VP of Home Leasing, spoke during a public hearing on the application held immediately before the board vote.

“If this sounds like deja vu, it is,” Oster told trustees.

In July 2017,  the Holley Village Board endorsed developers’ efforts to seek grant funding from NYSERDA, the NY Main St. Grant Program and the Empire State Economic Development Fund through a NYS consolidated Funding application.

“We haven’t heard back yet,” Oster said regarding the July applications, although he indicated word could come anytime now.

He said developers are re-submitting an application for funding from New York State Homes and Community Renewal, which was not funded last spring on the first application.

The village must apply for the RESTORE NY funds, Oster said, it cannot be a private developer.

In addition to the RESTORE NY funds, developers are seeking $7-8 million in tax incentives and $3 million in low-interest loans for the project which includes 43 units of senior housing, space for village offices and restoration of the auditorium for use as meeting space.

Developers and Mayor Brian Sorochty continue to urge residents to write letters of support for the Holley Gardens project.

Letters from seniors in the community in need of such housing are especially vital, Kim Russell said.

Sorochty said officials are not certain right now what the impact of the potential elimination of the Federal Historic Tax Credit in the Tax Reform bill might have, but the possibility exists that it could have a negative impact.  The program provides a 20 percent federal income tax credit for owners of income-producing properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

He encouraged residents to contact their Congressional representatives to express their support that the tax credit remains available.

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Miller wins Murray town supervisor

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 15 November 2017 at 12:01 pm

Overcomes gap on Election Day with absentee ballots

Photo by Tom Rivers: Election Commissioners Kathy Case, left, and Janice Grabowski count the absentee ballots from the Town of Murray this morning. Peter Reese, an attorney for Joe Sidonio, is standing and watching the count. Bob Miller, right, won the election after the absentees were counted.

ALBION – Bob Miller has emerged as the winner in the Murray town supervisor race after a big lead in the absentee ballots today.

On Nov. 7, Miller trailed Joe Sidonio by 16 votes, 558-542. Miller had 26-vote lead in the absentees that were counted this morning, 47 to 21 for Sidonio. The final tally is 589 for Miller, 579 for Sidonio.

The count ends a hard-fought race between the two candidates. Miller won a very close Republican primary against Sidonio, when Sidonio also have a slight lead only to be overtaken with the absentees.

Sidonio stayed in the race with the Conservative and Independence lines.

Miller, a retired state trooper, is currently a town councilman. He will succeed John Morriss as town supervisor. Morriss didn’t seek re-election.

There were four additional absentee ballots that weren’t counted today. Those included tenants in a house owned by Sidonio’s mother-in-law. Miller challenged that the four weren’t living in the house at the time of the election and had moved away.

Even if those were counted and Sidonio got those votes, he would still be behind by 6. (Sidonio also questioned another ballot of someone he said was living in North Carolina, and not locally.)

Peter Reece, an attorney hired by Sidonio to oversee the count this morning, said the gap is too much for Sidonio to overcome.

Miller’s term begins Jan. 1.

This morning’s count took about 2 1/2 hours. Miller received his 47 votes under 10B (Republican), while Sidonio received 14 under 10C (Conservative) and 7 more on 10F (Independence).

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$825,000 in federal funds approved for Murray water district

Posted 14 November 2017 at 3:20 pm

Press Release, U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand announced $825,000 in federal assistance for the Town of Murray in Orleans County.

The federal funding was allocated through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development’s Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program. Specifically, the Town of Murray will receive a loan of $456,000 and a grant of $369,000. This funding will finance construction of a water system that will extend public water service to 21 residential users who currently have inadequate access to safe and portable water in Water District #3 located in Orleans County.

“This federal investment is good news for the town of Murray,” said Senator Schumer. “These federal funds for the Town of Murray will help boost economic development, protect public health and support critical water infrastructure upgrades. I am proud to announce this federal investment and will continue to fight to make sure that rural communities have the tools they need to grow and prosper.”

“This is an important investment for the Town of Murray,” said Senator Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee. “These federal funds will help facilitate a critical project that will bring safe and reliable water to residents in the Town of Murray. I will continue to fight for funding in the Senate that protects the health and quality of life for residents and improve economic development opportunities in our state.”

John Morriss, Murray Town Supervisor, stated, “Water District #3 Ext #1 is the latest water district in the Town of Murray to be funded by USDA Rural Development.  The Town currently owns and operates over 265,000 feet of water lines in 15 water districts.  This water district extension will bring safe, reliable, potable water and fire protection to 21 households adding approximately 15,000 feet of water lines.  We at the Town of Murray appreciate Rural Development’s continuing support of our infrastructure improvements.”

USDA Rural Development’s Water and Waste Disposal Program provides loans and grants to ensure that the necessary investments are made in water and wastewater infrastructure to deliver safe drinking water and protect the environment in rural areas.

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Absentee ballots in Murray town supervisor race will be counted on Wednesday

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 13 November 2017 at 11:00 am

MURRAY – The winner of the election for Murray town supervisor should be finally determined on Wednesday morning when absentee ballots are counted.

Joe Sidonio holds a 16-vote lead over Bob Miller, 558-542. So far 70 absentee ballots have come in to the Board of Elections office in Albion.

If there are 70 valid absentees on Wednesday, Miller would need 44 to win.

Sidonio had a 7-vote lead after the Republican Primary in September, but Miller got 19 absentees to Sidonio’s 5, giving Miller the Republican line in the Nov. 7 election. Sidonio had a rematch with backing from the Conservative and Independence parties.

The absentees will be opened on Wednesday at 9 a.m. at the Board of Elections.

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Holley community commemorates Veterans Day

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 12 November 2017 at 1:51 pm

Photos by Kristina Gabalski

HOLLEY – Members of the Holley community commemorated Veterans Day Saturday with ceremonies at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month at Jewell Buckman American Legion Post 529. Reverend Ohyer offers the benediction during Veterans Day ceremonies in Holley.

First Vice Commander Charles Eberhart of the American Legion said the day was a time both to thank and to celebrate veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces who, “left the security of their homes … to defend our freedoms. Today a grateful nation says thank you,” Eberhardt said.

Members of Cub Scout Pack 62 led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Dee Thousand of the American Legion Post 529 Ladies Auxiliary thanked veterans for their sacrifices.  She noted dates of the formation of all U.S. Armed Forces, which she said represent 242 years of service to our country and communities.

Mark Morreall, Second Vice Commander and Post Adjutant, read a poem he had written.  He noted veterans are, “The walls of our kingdom and the fabric of our flag.”

Holley Mayor Brian Sorochty said that with the current political divisions in our country, “we too often forget how wonderful and free this country is.”  He noted Americans enjoy their freedoms because, “brave young men and women voluntarily serve our country.  Thank you for your bravery and your service,” he told veterans.

Koryn and Kayla Neale distributed their Care Packs to veterans.  They said they collected 1,000 items and made 38 care packs this year, exceeding their goal of 35.

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