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Report ranking Medina as among most affordable for housing seems flawed

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 28 February 2017 at 5:14 pm

File photo by Tom Rivers: A report about housing affordability in Medina underrepresented the property taxes for the Medina community.

MEDINA – The Medina community enjoyed some nice publicity recently when it was listed among the top 10 of most affordable communities for housing in New York. (Click here to see “Medina ranked one of most affordable housing markets in NY.”)

The listing for Medina at No. 9 in New York might have puzzled many people in Medina, who pay the highest overall tax rate in the Finger Lakes. The tax rates in the village, town, county, school and library are about $58 per $1,000 of assessed property. (Click here to see “Medina community has highest combined tax rate in region.”

However, the report from SmartAsset took a holistic look at household affordability, considering closing costs, real estate taxes, homeowners’ insurance and mortgage rates.

SmartAsset lists the average property tax bill in Medina at $2,786. With a $58 tax rate that would mean the average house assessed in Medina is about $48,000 in order for SmartAsset’s numbers to add up for average property tax bill.

However, the average house value is $81,220 when you consider other SmartAsset claims about Medina.

SmartAsset says the property taxes account for 3.43 of the average home’s value. The site lists $2,786 as the average property tax bill. However, it would take a house at an average value of $81,220 for SmartAsset’s numbers to work out for a tax bill of $2,786 representing 3.43 percent of the housing value.

The numbers go awry with an $81,220 value because Medina’s tax rate is $58. At that tax rate the total tax bill would be $4,710, nearly $2,000 more than what SmartAsset listed, and a number that would push Medina well out of the top 10 for affordability.

If the report looked at houses outside the village but with a Medina zip code the numbers still don’t add up. In Ridgeway and Shelby outside the village it’s about $17 cheaper per $1,000 of assessed property.

However, even Ridgeway and Shelby tax rates of about $41 per $1,000 of assessed property would be too high for SmartAsset’s math. For the average $81,220 home value (determined by calculating SmartAsset’s numbers), the property tax bill outside the village would be $3,330, which is $544 more than what SmartAsset has listed for the property tax.

Conclusion: The report from SmartAsset about Medina’s housing affordability misses the mark.

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Medina promotes firefighter/paramedic to captain

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 28 February 2017 at 9:45 am

Provided photo by Owen Toale

MEDINA – Matt Jackson, left, is congratulated by Medina Fire Chief Tom Lupo after Jackson was promoted to captain of the Medina Fire Department during Monday’s Village Board meeting.

Lupo is presenting Jackson with his captain’s badge and collar brass.

Jackson has worked as a firefighter/paramedic for Medina the past 10 ½ years. He replaces Josh Wolck who recently transferred to the Lockport Fire Department.

“I wanted the opportunity to help mold and develop our team,” Jackson said.

He said he enjoys working with Chief Tom Lupo and Jonathan Higgins, the other captain.

The captains oversee a platoon of firefighters and and take leadership at EMS and fire calls. They also have additional administrative duties.

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Orleans EDA promotes 300-acre site in Medina as largest certified ‘shovel ready’ business park in WNY

Posted 27 February 2017 at 10:52 am

Provided photos: The Medina Business Park has contiguous lots from 5 to 125 acres.

Press Release, Orleans Economic Development Agency

MEDINA – Spanning both sides of Route 31A in Medina, the Medina Business Park encompasses over 300 acres and is now the largest NYS-Certified “Shovel-Ready” business park in Western New York and the Finger Lakes.

Conveniently located between Buffalo and Rochester, Orleans County’s Medina Business Park is also within 45 minutes of the Ontario, Canada border.

With contiguous sites available ranging from 5 to 125 acres, Medina has the available infrastructure and incentive packages to make it a sought-after location for foreign and domestic companies looking to expand into New York State.

The Medina Business Park is the hub of a thriving industrial, manufacturing and agribusiness corridor in Medina, which is well-known throughout the US and Canada for attracting international firms looking to expand their market share in a location with strategic access to the northeast corridor.

James Whipple, CEO Orleans Economic Development Agency said, “Our niche is midsized companies that are privately owned. They’re good to do business with, and when they come, they stay.”

This map shows the Medina Business Park, which runs on both sides of Route 31A.

Site selectors and business owners find Orleans EDA to be a proactive business development partner.

“We believe in customer service and commit the time, attention, and resources to developing businesses, regardless of size,” says Gabrielle Barone, VP of New Business Development. “A smaller business gets every bit as much attention here in Orleans County as large-scale attraction projects. That is who we are and how we do business.”

In November, Canada’s largest fruit and vegetable processor, Pride Pak opened its U.S. headquarters in Medina. Phase One of their operation is a 68,000 square-foot facility set on 13 acres in the Medina Business Park. With plans to add two additional fruit and vegetable processing plants over the next two years, Pride Pak will ultimately invest over $50 million in Medina.

Steven Karr, CEO of Pride Pak said, “I cannot emphasize enough the value of doing business in Orleans County and the Finger Lakes, where they are very welcoming to new business.”

Other Canadian companies with operations in Orleans County include Hinspergers Poly Industries, Freeze­Dry Foods, Brunner Inc, and Niagara Food Specialties.

BCA Ag Technologies and California’s Sierra Biological have also expanded their operations in to New York State in order to be part of Orleans County’s robust agribusiness community.

New York State Senator Robert G. Ortt said, “You don’t have to be in Rochester to attract a world-class headquarters. Companies are investing here in Medina, in Orleans County, in Upstate New York.”

Local and state incentives can be secured by eligible new businesses looking to develop in the business park, including Sales Tax Abatement, Mortgage Tax Abatement, Low-Cost Loan Money, and Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT). Incentives for new business in Orleans County also includes access to the Orleans Revolving Loan Fund, New York Power Authority Hydro Allocations and the New York State Linked Deposit Program.

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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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Medina ranked one of most affordable housing markets in NY

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 February 2017 at 9:40 am

File photo by Tom Rivers: Main Street in Medina is pictured in May 2015 with a banner, American flag and hanging basket.

Medina is among the top 10 in New York State for being the most affordable housing in New York.

SmartAsset looked at closing costs, taxes, insurance premiums, mortgage payments and median incomes in making its list of most affordable communities for housing. Medina is ranked ninth in New York.

The housing costs in Medina are all well below the state average including Medina’s average closing cost of $3,408, annual property tax of $2,786, annual homeowner’s insurance of $308, and average annual mortgage payment of $3,289.

SmartAsset determined affordability by adding those four costs as a percentage of the median household income.

The $41,538 median income in Medina is well below the state average and also is the third lowest of the 10 communities in NY with the most affordable housing. Hornell, which is ranked No. 3 as most affordable, has a median income $38,598, and Dunkirk, which is ranked No. 4, has a median income of $38,937.

SmartAsset ranked communities with populations of at least 5,000. The most affordable communities had the smallest proportion of median income devoted to total housing costs.

To see the report from SmartAsset, click here.

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BOCES students help Medina K-9 by fixing malfunctioning equipment

Posted 15 February 2017 at 11:56 am

Provided photo (from left) – Medina Sgt. Todd Draper and Kye the K-9 are pictured with James Trembley (Lockport), Brendan Schyve (Royalton Hartland) and Fessor Thomas (Lockport).

Press Release, Orleans/Niagara BOCES

MEDINA – Bill Leggett’s Electricity/Electronics students at the Orleans Career and Technical Education Center occasionally take on projects to help out those in the community.

Recently Medina K-9 Officer Todd Draper asked if the class could help him and his four legged partner, Kye. A device they use for narcotics odor recognition was malfunctioning.

“It was battery operated and in need of repair,” said Mr. Leggett.  “Several students worked on it and were able to fix it for Officers Draper and Kye.”

Kye, a Belgian Malinois, has been part of the Medina Police Department since 2012, working with Draper, who is the dog’s handler.

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Medina winter guard units off to a good start this season

Posted 12 February 2017 at 9:49 pm

Provided photos, Medina Marching Band

MEDINA – The Medina Mustang Band is hosting two winter guard units this season. Both started practicing in November and students had to audition for both.

The Varsity Guard consists of 20 students in grades 8 through 12. This year their show “Frame(d)” features choreography surrounding different parts of a frame that evolve into one large geometric shapes.

They first performed in competition on Jan. 28 at Orchard Park. In the Scholastic A class Medina took first place with a score of 60.93. They performed for the second time on Feb. 11 at Victor and came in first place with a score of 64.39.

The Cadet Guard consists of 24 students in grades 2 thru 9.  Their show is “There’s No Place I’d Rather Be” and portrays the idea of when you find the right person in life, there’s no place you’d rather be. The music is a woven composition of the original from the group “Clean Bandit” and the A’Cappella version by the “Pentatonixs”.

They performed for the first time on Jan. 28 at Orchard Park in the Cadet class and took second place with a score of 44.7. They also competed at Victor on Feb. 11 and came in second with a score of 49.2.

The next competition for both guards is Saturday, Feb. 25, at Gates. The WG Home show in Medina is Saturday, March 11, and gives the community an opportunity to see these students perform without having to travel far.

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Medina FFA will refurbish vintage tractor

Provided photo: Medina FFA members Ian Joseph, left, and Jack Hill are pictured with advisor Todd Eick and a 1947 Farmall A tractor. 

Posted 7 February 2017 at 1:46 pm

Press Release, Medina Central School

MEDINA – Members of the Medina’s FFA Chapter have a new project on their hands: refurbishing a 1947 Farmall A tractor.

Teacher Todd Eick issued a challenge to two of his students, Ian Joseph and Jack Hill.  “I told them if they could find a 1947 Farmall A tractor for sale or for $1,000 or less, our chapter would consider purchasing it. I thought it would be a good project for the students to work on.”

The Farmall A was built by International Harvester from 1939 to 1947 in Chicago, Illinois and Louisville, Kentucky. The frame, engine and drive train are offset to the left and the driver’s seat and controls are offset to the right to give the driver an unobstructed view of the ground and crop being cultivated.  “I think it is a very fitting tractor for our chapter and Medina,” said Ian Joseph.

The students had been itching to get a tractor to use in the village’s Memorial Day parade and immediately started working on finding a tractor. One day when Mr. Eick was driving through Albion his spotted his quarry. He told the students about it and Ian set about negotiating the price from its owner. Ian then worked up a business plan to present to the other members of FFA and they decided to purchase it.

“The tractor runs, but has some mechanical issues,” Eick said. “But I feel like it came together so fast for a reason.”

He said if the project goes well he would like to purchase two more tractors for the class.  “A lot of chapters like to take something in rough shape and fix it up and then donate one to the FFA to auction off for a fundraiser. Hopefully in five years we will be in a position to do this.”

“The students are determined to have it running by the time the parade comes,” Eick said. “It will probably take weeks to fix this one. It will not be instant gratification. But I can tell they have a real appreciation of this vehicle and they are excited about getting started on it.”

“We are really looking forward to refurbishing it,” Ian said.  “It will need some basic mechanics, engine work and the painting will need to be redone. We would like to get it show quality. We can’t wait to show it off at the parade.”

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Condemned house damaged by fire in Medina

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 4 February 2017 at 9:50 pm

MEDINA – Firefighters were dispatched to a condemned house this evening that had smoke spewing and fire shooting from some of the upper floor windows.

The house is located at 536 Bates Road, just south of Brunner and Ringer Avenue. Firefighters were dispatched to the scene at about 7:45 p.m.

Firefighters were inside the house but were called out due to safety concerns. Firefighters continued to work outside, trying to put the fire out.

Many firefighters were on scene, including crews from Medina, Shelby, Ridgeway, Albion and others.

Medina Fire Department’s ladder truck was brought to the scene.

One firefighter helps another to secure an air pack.

No additional information was available.

(Editor’s Note: The house address was initially reported by dispatch as 530 Bates Rd., but it is 536 Bates.)

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Medina announces winners in high school reading challenge

Posted 1 February 2017 at 9:25 pm

Provided photo: Pictured from left include Alwyn Cayea (Grade 8), Alissa Blount (Grade 10), Hannah Sones (Grade 11) and Tiffany Poynter (Grade 11).

Press Release, Medina Central School

MEDINA – When Medina High School Librarian Jennifer O’Toole issued a reading challenge to the students at the school, she was cautiously optimistic that some of the students would be willing to participate.

“I wanted to see them spend more time with a good book instead of being on their phones.”

The Reading Challenge runs for each marking period and is voluntary. Students were able to choose their own book fitting criteria designed by Mrs. O’Toole and the school’s English teachers, and then had to write a complete assessment when they completed it.

They then became eligible for winning one of the gift baskets that were generously donated by members of the community and if they read four books they were eligible for a grand prize drawing.

“We had a great response to the first round of our challenge,” says Mrs. O’Toole.  “Many students in grades 8-12 participated and we are hoping will continue to do so for our next period.  I want to say congratulations to winners: Alissa Blount, Alwyn Cayea, Tiffany Poynter and Hannah Sones.”

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