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Lyndonville

Medina and Lyndonville village elections have unopposed candidates

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 February 2017 at 9:48 am

File photo by Tom Rivers: Owen Toale, left, and Todd Bensley are unopposed in the March 21 village election at Medina.

Two villages in Orleans County will hold elections on March 21 for positions on the Village Board. The candidates in Medina and Lyndonville are all unopposed.

The deadline for submitting petitions passed on Feb. 14.

In Lyndonville, Mary Kage is the lone candidate for a two-year term as a village trustee. Kage was appointed to the board in September, filling a vacancy created when Jim Tuk resigned. The election on March 21 is for the final two years of Tuk’s term. Lyndonville’s election is from noon to 9 p.m. at the Village Hall.

In Medina, two incumbents are uncontested for re-election. Owen Toale and Todd Bensley are seeking two-year terms on the board. Polls will be open from noon to 9 p.m. at the Senior Citizens Center, 615 West Ave.

Toale is a retired publisher of the former Journal-Register in Medina. Bensley teaches AP government and participation in government in Medina, and also is the village historian.

There aren’t any positions up for election in Albion, and Holley holds its election in June.

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Lyndonville school project passes, 106-19

Photo by Tom Rivers: The entrance to L.A. Webber Middle-High School is pictured at Lyndonville Central School. A capital project for $10.7 million in improvements to the school district was approved by district residents today.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 13 February 2017 at 9:33 pm

LYNDONVILLE – District voters today passed a $10.7 million capital project, 106-19, allowing a series of improvements to go forward.

The “yes” votes accounted for 85 percent of the total.

State aid will pay for most of the costs, but Lyndonville will have to pay $4.5 million. The district already has that saved over 10 years in a capital reserve account. District Superintendent Jason Smith said there will be no added increase to local taxes because of the project.

The proposed project includes the following work at the school district:

• Cafeteria – Full renovation and air conditioning

• Auditorium – Adding projector, sound system, LED lights, and stage lighting (LED).

• Gymnasiums – Refinish floor, remove partition and add screen, backstop motors, backstop safety straps, paint, LED lights, and air conditioning and LED lights in JV gym.

• Classrooms that don’t have air conditioning will receive AC with /HVAC installation/repairs. Many classrooms would get new doors, ceiling repairs, and window treatments.

• Building-wide projects – Masonry work, replace skylights, intruder door security, replace public announcement system, replace old electric panels, generator upgrades, fire/safety system upgrades, exit sign work, and exterior LED lights.

• Bus Garage – New roof, door work, electric upgrades, emergency lights and generator, water main, and extend bus garage parking lot.

• School Parking Improvements – Separate school bus drop-off zone, separate parent drop-off zone, storm drainage improvements, stormwater management facility, sidewalks and curbs, parking lot pavement, striping and signage, and restoration and landscaping.

• Varsity Soccer Field Improvements – Widen soccer field to west, two 15’x30’ bleacher pads, 4’ chain link spectator fence, two pre-manufactured dugouts, and netting – south line.

• Varsity Baseball Field Improvements – Replace existing scoreboard, 4’ chain link spectator fence, 6’ chain link outfield fence, two pre-manufactured dugouts, two bleacher pads, and power to existing batting cage.

• Track Parking Area Improvements – Water system with backflow prevention and yard hydrants, sanitary service for future building, electric service (from bus garage), parking lot pavement, striping, signage and lighting, restoration and landscaping, high jump equipment, and pole vault equipment.

• Softball and Baseball Field Improvements – 4” under drain along first and third baselines, 4’ chain link outfield fence, two pre-manufactured dugouts, and softball backstop and fencing.

The work would be done in two phases. Design for the first phase will begin shortly with the goal of submitting the project to the New York State Education Department in spring 2017, the district stated.

The goal is to have Phase One out for bid and awarded by fall 2017 with roof construction happening near the end of 2017 and into early 2018.

Phase Two of the project would begin to be designed in March 2017 and plans will be submitted to SED at the beginning of 2018. Review for the second phase of the project will take longer than the first, so the construction would not begin until fall 2018 with completion in 2019, the district stated on its website.

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Lyndonville voters determine fate of $10.7 million capital project today

Photos by Tom Rivers: The parking lot and driveway in front of Lyndonville Central School is pictured on Saturday. A capital project would add parking spaces and a separate drop-off zone.

Staff Reports Posted 13 February 2017 at 10:31 am

Voting is from noon to 7 p.m. at school auditorium

LYNDONVILLE – School district residents today will go to the polls from noon to 7 p.m. to decide whether a $10.7 million capital project will go forward.

Voting is at the school in the Stroyan Auditorium. Voters must be a U.S. citizen, at least 18 years old, and a resident of the district for at least 30 days prior to the vote.

The $10.7 million project addresses maintenance and improvements on the L.A. Webber building, bus garage and surrounding grounds. The Lyndonville Board of Education unanimously voted for the capital project on Dec. 12. The project needs an OK from the community to move forward.

State aid will pay for most of the costs, but Lyndonville will have to pay $4.5 million. The district already has that saved over 10 years in a capital reserve account. District Superintendent Jason Smith said there will be no added increase to local taxes because of the project.

The proposed project includes the following work at the school district:

• Cafeteria – Full renovation and air conditioning

• Auditorium – Adding projector, sound system, LED lights, and stage lighting (LED).

The capital project also includes funds to widen the soccer field to west, add bleacher pads, a chain link spectator fence, dugouts and netting.

• Gymnasiums – Refinish floor, remove partition and add screen, backstop motors, backstop safety straps, paint, LED lights, and air conditioning and LED lights in JV gym.

• Classrooms that don’t have air conditioning will receive AC with /HVAC installation/repairs. Many classrooms would get new doors, ceiling repairs, and window treatments.

• Building-wide projects – Masonry work, replace skylights, intruder door security, replace public announcement system, replace old electric panels, generator upgrades, fire/safety system upgrades, exit sign work, and exterior LED lights.

• Bus Garage – New roof, door work, electric upgrades, emergency lights and generator, water main, and extend bus garage parking lot.

• School Parking Improvements – Separate school bus drop-off zone, separate parent drop-off zone, storm drainage improvements, stormwater management facility, sidewalks and curbs, parking lot pavement, striping and signage, and restoration and landscaping.

• Varsity Soccer Field Improvements – Widen soccer field to west, two 15’x30’ bleacher pads, 4’ chain link spectator fence, two pre-manufactured dugouts, and netting – south line.

• Varsity Baseball Field Improvements – Replace existing scoreboard, 4’ chain link spectator fence, 6’ chain link outfield fence, two pre-manufactured dugouts, two bleacher pads, and power to existing batting cage.

• Track Parking Area Improvements – Water system with backflow prevention and yard hydrants, sanitary service for future building, electric service (from bus garage), parking lot pavement, striping, signage and lighting, restoration and landscaping, high jump equipment, and pole vault equipment.

• Softball and Baseball Field Improvements – 4” under drain along first and third baselines, 4’ chain link outfield fence, two pre-manufactured dugouts, and softball backstop and fencing.

If the project passes today, the work would be done in two phases. Design for the first phase would begin shortly after the project approval by voters with the goal of submitting the project to the New York State Education Department in spring 2017, the district stated.

The goal is to have Phase One out for bid and awarded by fall 2017 with roof construction happening near the end of 2017 and into early 2018.

Phase Two of the project would begin to be designed in March 2017 and plans will be submitted to SED at the beginning of 2018. Review for the second phase of the project will take longer than the first, so the construction would not begin until fall 2018 with completion in 2019.

For more on the project, click here.

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Harold Scribner honored for 50 years of service as Lyndonville firefighter

Photos by Tom Rivers: Harold Scribner, second from left, is pictured with his sons, Bill (left), Guy (third from right) and grandson, Josh Ames, during the Lyndonville Fire Department’s annual fire installation banquet on Saturday at the Carlton Recreation Hall. Harold Scriber has honored for 50 years of service to the Lyndonville Fire Department. His son Bill recently retired from the Albion Police Department and now works for the VA in Batavia. Guy is an active member of the Ridgeway Volunteer Fire Company and Central Orleans Volunteer Ambulance in Albion, and Josh works as a professional firefighter for Newton Township in Ohio. Josh grew up in Lyndonville.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 5 February 2017 at 3:44 pm

LYNDONVILLE – Harold Scribner was honored Saturday with numerous proclamations and a ceremonial firefighter axe in appreciation for his 50 years of service to the Lyndonville Fire Department.

Scribner traces his passion for serving the community as a firefighter to when he was in Boy Scouts and learned First Aid.

“It’s something I’ve always enjoyed doing, knowing you’ve helped people,” Scribner said on Saturday.

I addition to serving the Lyndonville Fire Department, Scribner spent 17 years with Medina’s Rescue Squad and 10 years with COVA in Albion. He did that while working 36 years as a chemical operator for FMC in Middleport.

“I’ve enjoyed the camaraderie with the firemen,” he said. “I am friends with firefighters in fire companies from all over.”

Scribner is still very active with the Lyndonville Fire Department, going on about 200 calls a year. He is captain of the fire police.

“He’s rock steady,” said Scott Buffin, the Lyndonville fire chief in 2016. “He is a good guy who goes above the call of duty.”

Scribner received citations or proclamations on Saturday from Congressman Chris Collins, State Sen. Rob Ortt, Assemblyman Steve Hawley, the Orleans County Legislature, the Village of Lyndonville and the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York.

The following received awards during the fire installation banquet for their service in 2016, from left: Dave Hydock, Chief’s Award; Tyler Heidemann, Firefighter of the Year; and Ken Starr, President’s Award.

Other Lyndonville firefighters were also recognized with awards on Saturday.

Tyler Heidemann was named “Firefighter of the Year” by Scott Buffin, the fire chief in 2016. Heidemann, 23, has been an active firefighter for four years, eager to attend training to improve his skills.

“Hs is a quiet leader who always wants to learn more,” Buffin said. “He’s got the fire in the belly to be a firefighter.”

Dave Hydock received the Chief’s Award for leading a committee that worked on replacing a 30-year-old rescue truck with a new one. The new truck is expected to be ready next month. Hydock has volunteered for 37 years with the Lyndonville Fire Department.

Ken Starr received the President’s Award. He has been a member of the LFD for 33 years. He was praised “for taking care of all the little problems around the hall.”

The 2017 officers for the Lyndonville FD include:

• Line Officers – Chief Ben Bane, First Assistant Chief Steve Bane, Second Assistant Chief Lee Kistner, Fire Captain T.J. Heideman, EMS Captain Scott Buffin, Lieutenant Mike Heideman, Fire Police Captain Harold Scribner, and Chaplain Wes Bradley.

• Executive Officers – President Anna Schuner, Vice President Mike Tabor, Treasurer James Wells, Secretary Pam Durow, and WNY Delegate Morgan Gerety.

• Auxiliary Officers – President Teresa Carvalho, Vice President Nicole Kistner, Treasurer Anna Schuner, and Secretary Pam Durow.

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$4K grant from Lyndonville Foundation will with tutoring program at school

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 3 February 2017 at 8:13 pm

Provided photo: Don Colquhoun, vice president of the board of directors for Orleans County Adult Learning Services, accepts a $4,000 check from Lyndonville Area Foundation board members Jason Smith, left, and David Cook, right.

LYNDONVILLE – A $4,000 contribution from the Lyndonville Area Foundation will allow the Orleans County Adult Learning Services (OCALS) to expand its tutoring program for students and adults.

OCALS for the past two years has had tutors available for fifth-graders.

The $4,000 from the Foundation will pay for supplies and some supervision some tutors can work with first-graders, other students and adults from the community, said Don Colquhoun, vice president of the OCALS board.

The organization has tutors ready to serve the Lyndonville community. Colquhoun said students can be referred to the program by teachers or parents, and adults can make self-referrals.

Colquhoun said OCALS is working to expand tutoring and literacy services to other school districts as well.

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Shake on the Lake will return in 2017 – with Lyndonville students

Photo by Tom Rivers: Performers from Shake on the Lake perform Shakespeare last July 31 at the Orleans County Marine Park. The travelling troupe, based in Wyoming County, will be back in Orleans County this year, partnering with Lyndonville drama students.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 31 January 2017 at 10:21 am

Provided photo: Darren Wilson (center), president of Lyndonville Area Foundation, presents a donation from the Foundation to Lyndonville Central School Superintendent Jason Smith and Music Teacher Jennifer Trupo to sponsor “Shake on the Lake” this spring and summer, featuring Lyndonville students.  One performance will be at school on May 5 and then there will be two performances, August 8-9, at the Yates Community Library, and Yates Town Park, respectively, at 6 p.m.

LYNDONVILLE – A theater group that performs Shakespeare will be back in Orleans County this year, performing with students from Lyndonville.

The Lyndonville Area Foundation has provided funding for Shake on the Lake to team with local students in performing Shakespeare on May 5 at Lyndonville Central School, and then Aug. 8 at the Yates Community Free Library and Aug. 9 at the Yates Town Park.

Shake on the Lake will also do a two-week theater camp in late April/early May for Lyndonville students.

The Foundation is providing funding for the program and the school district will provide rehearsal space and use of equipment, said Jason Smith, the district superintendent.

Shake on the Lake started in 2011 with a goal to bring Shakespeare to rural Western New York. The group is based in Silver Lake, Wyoming County.

Last summer Shake on the Lake toured in five counties, including a July 31 performance at the Orleans County Marine Park at Point Breeze.

For more on Shake on the Lake, click here.

Hawley says he’s working on state legislation to keep turbines from military bases

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 23 January 2017 at 12:30 pm

File photo by Tom Rivers: This photo from Oct. 14, 2015 shows some of the 400-foot-high turbines in Sheldon, Wyoming County. Apex Clean Energy is proposing a project that would have about 70 turbines more than 600 feet high in the towns of Yates and Somerset.

In November, Congressman Chris Collins  (R-Clarence) announced he introduced legislation that would curb the installation of wind turbines in close proximity to military installations, such as the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station in Niagara Falls.

Now, State Assemblyman Steve Hawley, R-Batavia, said he is working on similar state legislation. Hawley on Friday said he and Assemblyman Michael Norris, R-Lockport, are working together to craft the legislation.

Collins in late November introduced the “Protection of Military Airfields from Wind Turbine Encroachment Act.” It would ensure that any new wind turbines located within a 40-mile radius of a military installation will be ineligible for renewable energy tax credits.

“Our military installations are crucial to the security of our nation,” Collins said on Nov. 29. “This legislation ensures that military installations like the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station can fully operate without potential interference from wind turbines, some of which can be as tall as 600 feet.”

Apex Clean Energy is proposing “Lighthouse Wind,” a project that would have about 70 turbines more than 600 feet high in the towns of Yates and Somerset. The company said the project wouldn’t have a negative impact on the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station.

Hawley said he also opposes the Article 10 process where a state-appointed siting board has the say in approving or rejecting large-scale wind energy projects.

“Article 10 has been a horrendous thing,” Hawley said.

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Otto the K-9 meets Lyndonville Scouts

Posted 15 January 2017 at 7:09 pm

011517_Otto2

Photos courtesy of Amy Barry

LYNDONVILLE – Otto, the new K-9 for the Orleans County Sheriff’s Department, met with the Adventure Scouts from Lyndonville on Tuesday. Otto was joined by Deputy Jeff Cole, the dog’s handler.

Deputy Cole and Otto demonstrated commands and how sensitive Otto’s nose is by finding a few hidden items. Deputy Cole also reviewed correct practices if one of the scouts were ever lost, how to approach a police dog and handler, and answered questions about their training.

Deputy Tom Marano joined Cole and Otto, and Marano answered questions about being a deputy and some of the different types of calls he answers while on duty.

The scouts are learning about different facets of their community including law enforcement, safety personnel and other important people they may come in contact with as they grow up.

Along with the visit from the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office, the scouts have made toys from upcycled T-shirts and treats for PAWS (People for Animal Welfare Society) in Albion and are working on a free community soup luncheon.

011517_Otto1

Otto, a German Shepherd from Holland, joined the Orleans Sheriff’s Department on Oct. 13. On Tuesday, he met scouts from Lyndonville.

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Yates town supervisor again declines pay for 2017, prepares for busy year

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 15 January 2017 at 1:40 pm
Jim Simon

Jim Simon

YATES – Town Supervisor Jim Simon is again declining any pay for his role in leading the Yates town government.

Simon took office on Jan. 1, 2016 after being elected in a write-in campaign against incumbent John Belson. Simon declined the $8,000 salary for the position in 2016 and is also refusing any pay this year. Simon also said no to $1,500 for his work as budget officer.

Simon, who works as dean of the GCC campus centers in Albion and Medina, sees a busy year in 2017.

The town expects to open construction bids in the spring for an extension of the town-wide water district. The project for Ward and Goodwin roads covers the last stretch of Yates without public waterlines.

The project will serve 12 residences east of the Village of Lyndonville. Ward and Goodwin are between Alps and Platten roads, and west of the Ashwood hamlet.

Simon said the project could cost $500,000 in “a worst-case scenario.” Yates has $100,000 set aside in a water district reserve. The town plans to borrow the remaining costs in a low-interest loan.

Simon was elected in November 2015 on a platform against the large wind turbines proposed by Apex Clean Energy. Apex continues to work on the application.

Simon has been picked to serve on the Renewables on the Ground Roundtable, which next meets in Albany on Jan. 27. That group includes representatives from government, energy companies, agriculture, environmental groups and other business leaders. The group was formed to make recommendations to the state which has set a goal of getting 50 percent of its electricity needs from renewable sources by 2030. Meeting that goal would likely require a rapid build-out of solar and wind power across New York.

Simon said he brings a voice that “home rule” should be preserved, that communities should have a say in their own land use.

“Shouldn’t a community decide for itself how to build a sustainable future?” Simon said on Thursday, following the Town Board’s annual organizational meeting.

Simon also has been picked to serve as chairman of the Western Orleans Comprehensive Plan Committee. That group includes representatives from the towns of Shelby, Ridgeway and Yates, as well as the villages of Lyndonville and Medina.

The group will next be meeting at 7 p.m. on Jan. 18 at the Shelby Town Hall. It is planning to send a survey to about 6,000 residents in western Orleans soon to get their opinions on land use, opportunities and concerns for the community.

The local governments will work to update zoning laws and maps for the community to guide desired development. The western Orleans comprehensive plan was last updated in 2001.

The Town Board approved several appointments during Thursday’s organizational meeting, including:

Webster, Schubel & Meier of Medina for legal services at $7,500 for the year; Dan Wolfe as fire and building code officer, and also as zoning enforcement officer; Patricia Laszewski as assessor; Lynne Johnson as town bookkeeper and water bookkeeper;

Dawn Metty as Zoning Board of Appeals and Planning Board clerk; Gary Daum as ZBA chairman; Don Melfi and Jim Taylor as ZBA members; Roger Wolfe as water district superintendent and cemetery superintendent; Wes Bradley as youth agency representative; Michelle Harling as registrar of vital statistics; Dawn Metty as deputy registrar;

John Donald as dog control officer; John Riggi as deputy town supervisor; Dawn Metty as town historian and deputy town clerk; David Hydock as deputy highway superintendent; Susanne Sanderson as court clerk; Eric Harling as court bailiff;

M & T Bank and the Bank of Castile as official depositories for the town;

The Daily News of Batavia as official newspaper to publish the town’s legal notices, and Lake Country Pennysaver in Albion and Orleans Hub in Albion to carry additional advertising.

The Town Board also set the following as salaries and wages for 2016:

Highway superintendent at $64,180; Town clerk, $43,286; Supervisor bookkeeper at $14,700; Water superintendent at $13,658; Town justice at $8,500 for the year; Cemetery superintendent, $5,330; Town Board members, four at $3,259.75 each; Water bookkeeper at $3,100; Deputy highway superintendent, $2,550; Historian, $600; and Town supervisor at $0.

The hourly rates include: Highway motor equipment operator, $24.00; Code enforcement and zoning officer, $21.96; Court clerk, $15.19; and deputy clerk, $11.75.

The mileage reimbursement for town officers and employees using their personal vehicles was set at 53.5 cents per mile.

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Lyndonville seeks nominations for ‘Educator of the Year’

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 8 January 2017 at 9:36 am

LYNDONVILLE – The school district for the first time will recognize an “Educator of the Year” at the end of the school year.

The district is accepting nominations from students, parents, former students, administrators, teaching colleagues and other members of the community until Feb. 10. (Nomination packets are available at the school district’s main office as well as on the district website www.lyndonvillecsd.org.)

Three finalists will be chosen from the pool of nominations.

The number of nominations a teacher receives has little to do with selecting a finalist. When nominating a teacher, it is important to highlight examples that illustrate the candidate’s dedication, knowledge, and skill as a teacher, as well as their ability to go above and beyond what is expected inside and outside of the classroom, the district stated.

Upon verification that the nominated teacher meets the required criteria, two additional letters of support will be needed to complete the nomination process. These should come from peer groups different than that of the nominator. Cover letters are included in this packet.

An impartial selection committee will choose the Educator of the Year. The committee will include the former Educator of the Year (after initial year), a high school student council member, an elementary leadership club member, a PTSA representative, one representative from each area (Elementary, Secondary, and K-12 Specialty Teacher), a Board of Education member, an administrator, and the superintendent.

The winner will be announced annually, at the regular meeting of the Board of Education in June. The Educator of the Year will receive a $1,000 district grant, as well as a plaque commemorating the achievement. The grant may be used for any educational initiative or project within the winner’s school, classroom, program, or department.

Eligibility requirements and criteria for Educator of the Year includes:

  • The nominee must be a current teacher within the Lyndonville school district.
  • The nominee must have completed 4 years of teaching at Lyndonville.
  • A nominee for Educator of the Year should be an exceptionally dedicated, knowledgeable, and skilled teacher who inspires students of all backgrounds and abilities to learn.
  • The nominee must have a strong sense of values, integrity and professional ethics.
  • The nominee must actively collaborate with colleagues, administration, parents and families.
  • The nominee must play an active role in the school community, and demonstrate innovative 21st century skills and continuing professional growth Have the respect and admiration of students, parents, and colleagues.

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