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Shelby

Neighbors, firefighters rescue cow that fell through ice

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 March 2017 at 3:06 pm

Photo by Tom Rivers

SHELBY – A beef farmer’s neighbors and Shelby firefighters rescued a steer that had fallen through the ice today just after noon.

The top photo shows Shelby firefighter John Miller II holding a pet rescue mask on the steer so the animal could get oxygen. The Shelby Volunteer Fire Company has the mask for dogs and cats, but it worked for the steer and helped the animal with its recovery.

The steer is owned by Jack Farrell of Dunlop Road. He was thankful the animal was able to be pulled out of the water. The steer is 7 months old and about 900 pounds. Farrell said the steer was holding its head up and bellowing, good signs it would be OK. The steer hadn’t been able to get on its feet after getting pulled out of the water.

Photos courtesy of Russ Peters

Firefighters put a shelter of hay bales around the animal and the other steer gathered around it.

“It might take a couple hours before it can get back on its feet,” said Jason Watts, a Shelby firefighter.

Russ Peters, pastor of the Alabama Full Gospel Church, was driving on Dunlop Road just after noon when he saw the steer’s head sticking out of a pond. Peters pulled over and called his wife. Another neighbor, Connie Murray, also came over. Firefighters were dispatched to the scene at 12:11 with the message a cow had fallen through the ice.

Peters, Murray and another neighbor, Justin Gray, found Jack Farrell and they tried to get the steer out. Peters went in the water which was up to his waist. He put a rope around the steer’s neck and they were going to use a tractor to pull the animal out, except the tractor was out of gas. Murray ran to her house and got some gas. While she did that, Peters knocked some of the ice loose, creating a channel for the cow to get out.

Photos by Tom Rivers

The tractor, once it had gas, was used to pull out the steer, which by then was no longer breathing.

Shelby firefighters arrived on the scene and then helped revive the steer, giving it oxygen through a pet rescue mask and thumping on its back to get out fluids.

The steer bellowed and showed signs of life. But he wasn’t ready to get up. Firefighters put a warm blanket on him, and made a shelter with hay bales.

Farrell was optimistic the steer would be OK. He thanked his neighbors and the firefighters.

“It’s a good deal,” he said.

The rescued steer sits on the ground and recovers after its ordeal in the cold pond water. Jack Farrell, owner of the farm, expects the steer will recover and get back on its feet.

Firefighters don’t recommend people go on thin ice to make a rescue.

Peters said he knew the animal meant a lot of Farrell, and the pastor didn’t want to watch it die.

“It is my honor to help,”  Peters wrote in a message to the Orleans Hub. “I thank God for helping me to act despite my fear!”

(Updated at 4:58 p.m.: Shelby firefighters say the steer died at about 4 p.m. The animal may have had hypothermia or fluid in its lungs.)

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Shelby looks to rezone gateway on 63 to Medina

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 24 February 2017 at 8:50 am

Courtesy Orleans County Department of Planning and Development: This zoning map shows the 25 properties that Shelby seeks to change from the hamlet zoning district to general business.

ALBION – The Town of Shelby has the Orleans County Planning Board’s support to rezone the hamlet zoning district on Route 63, at the triangle and at neighboring properties leading into the Village of Medina.

Shelby wants to rezone the land to general business, which will allow more commerical uses for the properties.

“This is the gateway coming in on 63 into Medina,” Kirk Myhill, the Planning Board chairman in Shelby, told the County Planning Board members at Thursday’s board meeting. “Hopefully by rezoning this we may be able to entice more businesses to come in.”

The 25 properties to be rezoned are on the triangle and adjacent properties on South Gravel Road (Route 63), West Avenue Extension, and a portion of Maples Ridge Road. The area represents 17.43 acres and is contiguous to an existing general business district.

The Orleans County Planning Board unanimously backed the zoning revision on Thursday, recommending that Shelby make the change.

• In another referral, the County Panning Board supported the Town of Murray’s request for a six-month moratorium on applications for commercial solar energy projects.

The moratorium doesn’t apply to residential projects. Ron Vendetti, the Murray code enforcement officer, said there have been four recent residential projects. He hasn’t heard any concerns from the community with those projects.

The moratorium on larger commercial projects will give the town time to draft an ordinance that includes setbacks, visual mitigation, decommissioning and other issues.

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Frontier believes it has resolved concerns with quarry by refuge

Photos by Tom Rivers: Shelby residents attended a meeting Monday at Town Hall to hear a presentation from Frontier Stone about its proposed quarry on Fletcher Chapel Road.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 31 January 2017 at 12:47 pm

‘We went from this being no harm to being a great asset to the refuge over time.’ – Kevin Brown, attorney for Frontier

Sam Gowan, president Alpha Geoscience, discusses the hydrogeology at the proposed quarry site and the impact of dewatering on the refuge and neighbors’ wells.

SHELBY – Frontier Stone had a team of scientists and attorneys at the Shelby Town Board meeting on Monday, presenting how the company has worked for years on a plan to address environmental impacts of the project that touches the northern boundary of the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge.

Frontier’s studies and plans show the project will not have a negative impact on groundwater, wildlife at the refuge, or companies in nanotechnology at the STAMP site on the other side of the refuge in Alabama.

The proposed quarry would be built in four phases over 75 years, with the first phase to be 11.6 acres in the first 8 to 10 years.

When phase one is complete, that area will be turned into a reservoir, with water to be released to help the refuge during drought or other low water periods, said Kevin Brown, an attorney for Frontier.

The company hydrogeologist has a plan that turns the quarry into an asset for the refuge by supplementing water to the site, Brown said.

“We went from this being no harm (to the refuge) to this being a great asset to the refuge over time,” Brown told the Shelby Town Board during a presentation on Monday. “This could actually be what the refuge needs with climate change.”

He noted the drought last summer, and the potential for more weather extremes with climate change. The quarry, by helping the refuge with water in the future, could make the 11,000-acre site more resilient, Brown told the Shelby Town Board.

Frontier plans to pump 554,000 gallons of water daily to quarry the stone.

Sam Gowan, president Alpha Geoscience, has worked with Frontier since 2008 on the project in Shelby. Gowan said the site is planned to eventually have two reservoirs and can alternate discharges to the refuge, providing needed water.

“2016 was a real eye-opener for where we’re heading with drought conditions,” he said.

The quarry could discharge into the refuge, “which would be a great asset” during droughts or low water flows, he said.

Jason Kappel, senior geologist for Continental Placer, said a swath of the Lockport formation runs through Shelby, but the proposed quarry site is thick, 115 to 120 feet of the stone, and it’s close to the surface.

Frontier’s team went through its plan for mitigating noise, dust, and other impacts on the neighborhood and refuge.

The company will have seismographs to measure ground vibrations from blasting near the quarry and the STAMP site.

The DEC reviewed the company’s plans and found there were no issues to be resolved with blasting, noise, dust, STAMP, Job Corps, dewatering and surface water discharges, or wildlife, including short-eared owls and northern harriers.

The DEC hasn’t issued a final permit yet for the project. Frontier also needs to get a permit from the town, but first needs to get the final OK from the state DEC.

The company also needs the zoning to be changed for the area along Fletcher Chapel Road to allow an industrial use in a residential-agricultural area.

Town officials asked Frontier what happens to the site after its projected 75 years of quarrying. The company’s plans show two lakes or reservoirs that would be 35.2 acres and 156.1 acres. Who would pau to pump water from the reservoirs to the refuge at that point, Town Supervisor Skip Draper asked.

Brown, the Frontier attorney, said that hasn’t been determined.

“This is something we haven’t fully resolved,” Brown told the town officials. “We can resolve it.”

Draper said he doesn’t want it to fall on the town or the refuge to be the caretaker of the quarry when the stone is exhausted from the site.

“We really need a mechanism for pumping water from the site after 75 years,” Dan Spitzer, an attorney for Shelby, told Frontier.

Brown said the project has been in development for about 15 years with Frontier stepping up to resolve concerns raised by the DEC and community.

The company is planning 30-foot high berms to shield some of the dust and noise. Frontier also will pay to have Fletcher Chapel Road upgraded to accommodate the truck traffic from the site.

Town Supervisor Skip Draper, right, and Dan Spitzer, an attorney for the town, listen to a presentation on Monday from Frontier about its proposed quarry in Shelby.

The company expects 30 truck trips per hour, with 15 coming and going during the 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. operational hours from Monday through Friday and 6 a.m. to noon on Saturday. Most of the truck traffic would come from Route 63 and Oak Orchard Ridge Road.

Frontier was asked why it wants to have a quarry by the refuge. Jason Kappel, senior geologist for Continental Placer, said a swath of the Lockport dolomite formation runs through Shelby, but the proposed quarry site on land owned by Chester Zelazny is thick with 115 to 120 feet of the stone. It’s also close to the surface. Other spots in the town don’t have such a thick swath of the stone, and it’s often farther down below ground, Kappel said, calling the stone on Zelazny’s land “a sweet spot.”

Frontier plans to quarry 350,000 tons of a stone a year from the site, but that number will depend on the market demand, Kappel said.

Brown, the Frontier attorney, said the quarry will fill a need in Western New York, providing high-quality aggregate.

Spitzer, the town attorney, asked Brown if the company would prepare an overall climate change impact study, because Brown emphasized the project would be an asset to the refuge. Spitzer wondered if the overall impact on the environment, including truck hauling, was considered in terms of climate change.

Brown said such a study isn’t required by the DEC. He would see if Frontier’s owner, David Mahar, is interested in spending the money for such a study.

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Shelby town supervisor says overlay district proposal may be ‘too restrictive’

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 12 October 2016 at 9:23 am
File photo by Tom Rivers: Shelby Town Supervisor Skip Draper leads a public hearing on Sept. 7 about a proposed overlay district near the wildlife refuge that would ban a quarry and many other uses viewed by town officials as incompatible with the wildlife refuge. Shelby Town Clerk Darlene Rich is at left and attorney Dan Spitzer is at right.

File photo by Tom Rivers: Shelby Town Supervisor Skip Draper leads a public hearing on Sept. 7 about a proposed overlay district near the wildlife refuge that would ban a quarry and many other uses viewed by town officials as incompatible with the wildlife refuge. Shelby Town Clerk Darlene Rich is at left and attorney Dan Spitzer is at right.

SHELBY – Town Supervisor Skip Draper said the Town Board “will take a deeper look” at a proposed overlay district that borders the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge.

The Town Board held a public hearing on the district on Sept. 7 and many residents objected to the district’s ban on uses the town viewed as incompatible with the refuge.

The proposed overlay district would establish a 3,000-foot buffer north of the refuge and ban quarries, junk yards, kennels, airports, motor vehicle repair shops, outdoor commercial recreation areas and telecommunication facilities.

The Town Board proposed the overlay district after Frontier Stone LLC cleared a hurdle with the state Department of Environmental Conservation for a quarry. Frontier wants to use 215 acres of land on Fletcher Chapel Road owned by the Zelazny family for a proposed quarry that would be established in four phases, over 75 years, with 11.6 acres mined in the first 11 years.

David Mahar, president of Frontier, and the Zelazny family say the overlay district is discriminatory, targeting the quarry and other businesses.

Many farmers and other landowners, representing more than two thirds of the property in a proposed Wildlife Refuge Protection District, filed a protest petition last month with the Town of Shelby, saying the proposed law would restrict their ability to use their property.

Residents had until Oct. 1 to submit written comments about the proposed district. Draper said on Tuesday evening that the Town Board will review those comments and decide the next steps.

“It may be too restrictive,” Draper said about the proposal that would affect 3,821 acres in town.

In other action during Tuesday’s board meeting:

• The board set a public hearing for 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 7 at the Town Hall to override the tax cap. The tax cap in 2017 allows for no more than a 0.68 percent tax increase in Shelby. (The Town Board can override the tax cap.)

The Town Board and town department heads are working on the budget.

“It’s absolutely too early to say (if the town will need to override the cap),” Draper said.

But to have the option, the town needs to have a public hearing about the tax cap.

• The board usually meets the second Tuesday each month, but in November will meet the first Monday on Nov. 7 due to the election falling on the second Tuesday, Nov. 8.

• The board will have budget workshops at 6 p.m. on Oct. 17, Oct. 19, and Oct. 20 and it set 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 10 as the budget hearing.

• The board will have a special meeting at 6 p.m. on Oct. 18 to award the bid for Water District No. 12.

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Community continues to support Knights-Kaderli Memorial Fund

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 2 October 2016 at 8:43 am

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Photos by Tom Rivers

EAST SHELBY – About 200 people walked or ran a 5-kilometer course for the 28th annual event on Saturday to benefit the Knights-Kaderli Memorial Fund. Kelly Schrader Hurrell of Medina, fourth from left, was joined by many friends at the walk.

Hurrell was diagnosed with breast cancer in March. She works for the Job Development Agency for the county. Hurrell’s friends wore pink tie-dyed shirts with a pink ribbon. There were at least 30 people wearing those shirts on Saturday, in a nice surprise for Hurrell.

“We just want to support her while she fights cancer,” said Patty Carpenter, one of her friends since elementary school.

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Anita Weese of Medina, left, and Mary Nemcik of Middleport pick out a Knights-Kaderli shirt inside the East Shelby Fire Hall, which has hosted the event since it started. Karen Curtin, left, volunteered along with Mary (Kaderli) Zelazny and Curtin’s daughter Kalie Curtin.

Zelazny is one of the leaders of the Knights-Kaderli Memorial Fund. It provides about $50,000 annually to Orleans County residents and their families battling cancer. Knights-Kaderli helps about 50 families a year pay for out-of-pocket expenses, co-pays, transportation and other bills. A recipient must be undergoing a cancer treatment and must be an Orleans County resident. “The money all stays local,” Zelazny said.

Knights-Kaderli also tries to connect people with local advocates who have faced cancer. Darlene Rich, a breast cancer survivor, has volunteered as an advocate for the past five-six years. She provides a listening ear and tells people cancer can be beaten.

“Early detection is the key,” she said. “When yu have cancer there is hope.”

100116_kkstart

Runners are lined up ready for the start of the race. The were also about 100 gift baskets for a raffle inside the fire hall. The event Saturday typically raises about $20,000 for Knights-Kaderli. A golf tournament in memory of David Millis of Albion also nets about $15,000, while a wine-tasting organized by the Zinkievich family in November raises $10,000.

100116_kkmacpack

About 50 people formed “The Mac Pack” and walked or ran in memory of Elaine McPherson of Medina who passed away from cancer on Sept. 27. She had been a long-time participant of the Knights-Kaderli annual walk. This photo shows people gathered for prayer before the start of the walk/run.

One of the Mac Pack members includes Tom Dujenski. He will give a talk on Monday to discuss his 500-mile walk along el Camino de Santiago (“The Way of St. James”). Dujenski walked in honor of Paul and Elaine McPherson to benefit the Knights-Kaderli Memorial Fund. His presentation will be 4 p.m. at Holy Family Parish, 100 Eagle St.

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Stacey Knights Pellicano welcomes the walkers and runners. After a drizzly morning, the rain stopped just before the race and walk at 11 a.m.

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Carolina Ochoa, left, and Sue Sloper volunteered at the table where people could buy sweatshirts. Sloper was named after her grandmother, Sue Kaderli.

100116_kkwalk

Runners and walkers head down East Shelby Road at the start of Saturday’s annual Knights-Kaderli run/walk.

For more on the Knights-Kaderli fund, click here.

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Man rebuilds life after being seriously injured when hit by a car a year ago

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 28 September 2016 at 3:22 pm

Benefit for Chris Caldwell set for Sunday at Ridgeway Fire Hall

Photos by Tom Rivers: Chris Caldwell does a push-up on Tuesday. He works hard in physical therapy and doing daily exercises to regain strength and mobility. His left leg was amputated from just above the knee.

Photos by Tom Rivers: Chris Caldwell does a push-up on Tuesday. He works hard in physical therapy and doing daily exercises to regain strength and mobility. His left leg was amputated from just above the knee.

ALBION – Chris Caldwell greets people with a smile and a firm handshake. He is upbeat despite a painful path to recovery after being critically injured about a year ago.

Caldwell was hit by a car on Harrison Road in Shelby on Sept. 7, 2015. The vehicle may have been going 45 miles per hour. Caldwell, 38, was hit from behind while walking on the road. His head hit the windshield and his body went flying.

First responders weren’t optimistic he would survive after he was struck that day. He was flown by Mercy Flight to Erie County Medical Center, where doctors also were grim in predicting Caldwell’s future.

His left leg was shattered and became infected. Doctors tried to save the leg but were forced to amputate it from below the knee on Sept. 25.

Caldwell, who had worked a decade as a heavy equipment operator for C.P. Ward in Rochester, was clinging for his life. He suffered a traumatic brain injury. His ribs on the left side were all broken. He had a collapsed lung. His left arm was also shattered, and he suffered other injuries, including fractured vertebrae.

His mother remembers seeing him the first time at ECMC, looking lifeless with tubes and bandages, and a worry permeating his hospital room.

She knelt by her son and told him to keep fighting, to stay alive for his two sons: Christopher, now 13; and Jackson, 9.

Caldwell’s eyes flickered open at his mother’s words. She prayed for him then, asking God for healing and for strength for the family in the days ahead.

Chris Caldwell is pictured with his mother, Ida Caldwell. She said it is a miracle her son survived and has recovered as much as he has.

Chris Caldwell is pictured with his mother, Ida Caldwell. She said it is a miracle her son survived and has recovered as much as he has.

Caldwell has rebounded, although he has a ways to go. He left the hospital on Dec.17, about 3 ½ months after the accident. He attends physical therapy three times a week in Brockport. He does daily stretches and exercises.

He remembers when he couldn’t hold a glass of water with his left hand. Now he can do push-ups.

“He’s so motivated to make progress,” said his mother, who works as a program coordinator for the advocacy program at The Arc of Orleans.

Caldwell fell twice on Monday. He was frustrated and he said it’s hard to get back up when he falls.

“It’s easier to walk standing up,” he said with a smile.

His recovery has been slowed by the brain injury. The blow to the head damaged the area of the brain that controls mobility. Caldwell is learning to walk all over again, with only one leg this time.

Caldwell grew up in Albion. He was living in his own home in Shelby when he was hit by Danielle Conrad, who was driving drunk on Sept. 7. She was sentenced in April to 1 1/3 to 4 years in state prison for vehicular assault.

In April, Caldwell suffered sepsis, a potentially life-threatening infection.

In February he was denied Social Security short-term disability benefits because officials there believed he could recover in time to be working within a year, his mother said.

She is hopeful her son will continue to make progress. She is thankful for his recovery so far.

“God has carried us,” Ida Caldwell said. “He answered our prayers. He got us through it.”

Caldwell’s friends and family have planned a fund-raiser for this Sunday from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. at the Ridgeway Volunteer Fire Company, 11392 Ridge Rd., Medina.

There will be a basket raffle, silent auction, music and food. The benefit will go towards Caldwell’s continued medical care.

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Medina seeks state grant for sidewalks on Maple Ridge

Photo by Tom Rivers: This section of Maple Ridge Road near Oak Orchard Creek doesn’t have sidewalks despite being a busy area with restaurants, manufacturing plants, GCC and a residential area.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 28 September 2016 at 7:25 am

MEDINA – Village officials are putting together an application for state funding to add sidewalks on Maple Ridge Road.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Aug. 17 announced $98.7 million in state funds is available to support bicycle, pedestrian, multi-use path and transportation-related programs as well as projects that reduce congestion and help to meet the requirements of the Clean Air Act.

Medina wants some of those funds to make a busy thoroughfare safer for pedestrians. There are sidewalks near the Route 63 intersection on Maple Ridge Road, but most of the road lacks sidewalks from Bates Road to the former Ames plaza.

Mayor Michael Sidari notices many people walking along Maple Ridge Road or using motorized wheelchairs. He said the sidewalks would improve safety for many local residents.

The village is working with Labella Associates in Rochester to put together a grant application. Sidari said initial cost estimates are about $1.3 million to extend sidewalks from Bates Road to the Ames plaza. That includes a pedestrian bridge over the Oak Orchard Creek by the Mariachi De Oro restaurant.

Sidari said Maple Ridge has become busier with GCC, manufacturing plants, chain stores and a residential community. The Orleans Economic Development Agency also is working to develop a hotel on Maple Ridge next to the new Pride Pak vegetable processing plant.

The Medina Village Board last week approved a pre-application for the state grant. Sidari said the state is expected to provide feedback on the pre-application, and the village will then submit a final application by Oct. 21. If Medina is approved, it will need to provide a 20 percent local share for the project, which Sidari said could be provided with in-kind services from the Department of Public Works.

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Warrior House receives $1,000 from Metro 10 race in Albion

Posted 25 September 2016 at 8:52 pm

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Provided photo

SHELBY – Organizers of the Metro 10 race presented a $1,000 donation to the Warrior House of WNY on Saturday. That site in West Shelby provides a hunting retreat for wounded veterans.

About 300 participated in the 5- and 10-mile races on Aug. 20 in Albion, where runners pick a team, either Rochester or Buffalo. Rochester has won the first two Metro 10 events. (Next year’s event will be Aug. 19, with the race starting and ending at Bullard Park.)

The photo shows race organizer Thom Jennings, left in center, with former US Marine Corporal Ed Spence of Operation Injured Soldier.

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Many residents praise Shelby for pushing to protect refuge with overlay district

Photo by Tom Rivers: Wendi Pencille, leader of the Citizens for Shelby Preservation, thanks the Shelby Town Board for proposing the Wildlife Refuge Protection District, which would restrict mining, junk yards and other uses that town sees as a threat to the refuge.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 8 September 2016 at 10:12 am

SHELBY – While many speakers said a proposed overlay district to protect the wildlife refuge is a government overreach and attack on local property rights, the Town Board was praised by other community members for seeking to protect the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge.

Wendi Pencille, leader of the Citizens for Shelby Preservation, said the state Department of Environmental Conservation let the community down by not demanding more environmental scrutiny of a proposed 215-acre quarry project on Fletcher Chapel Road.

The Town Board proposed the overlay district about a week after a DEC administrative law judge said on July 27 the quarry didn’t have any issues that needed adjudication or a deeper review.

“We’re very glad the town has decided to do the work the DEC has not done,” Pencille said during a public hearing on Wednesday attended by about 150 people.

Town Hall was crowded for Wednesday's public hearing about an proposed overlay district to restrict quarries and other land uses near the wildlife refuge.

Town Hall was crowded for Wednesday’s public hearing about a proposed overlay district to restrict quarries and other land uses near the wildlife refuge.

Several landowners objected to the overlay district, which includes 3,821 acres within a 3,000-foot buffer north of the refuge. The town has proposed an overlay district that restricts mining, blasting, junk yards, kennels, airports, motor vehicle repair shops, outdoor commercial recreation areas and telecommunication facilities.

Pencille said the State Environmental Quality Review Act is a “fraud.” The Shelby citizens group formed 10 years ago and Pencille said the members have been following the DEC and the SEQR process with the review of the stone quarry.

“It failed to protect one of the most sensitive environmental habitats in the State of New York, a habitat it was designed to protect,” Pencille said.

She said the Local Law could be amended to address some of the issues raised by residents during Wednesday’s public hearing, while keeping the restrictions against the quarry.

Frontier Stone is proposing for a quarry in a residential-agriculture district. It would need the Town Board to change the zoning to industrial to allow for the project.

Several residents urged the town to fight for the refuge. Lorraine Davis of Bigford Road said the quarry would hurt the air and water quality of the immediate area, and disrupt a peaceful neighborhood.

Brian McCarty supports a town proposal to restrict mining near the wildlife refuge.

Brian McCarty supports a town proposal to restrict mining near the wildlife refuge.

“The buffer zone is an excellent idea,” said Brian McCarty, a Dunlap Road resident. He worries if the quarry goes through, other mining companies will look to establish operations near environmentally sensitive areas.

“They will use this as a model to go on every nature preserve and wildlife refuge,” McCarty said. His father lives in Lockport where he said LaFarge has a quarry on Hinman Road that has disrupted a quiet residential area. He urged community members to talk to residents near that quarry.

Local resident Gail Miller also supported the overlay district, saying it’s not unusual for towns to put restrictions on property. “The DEC has failed its responsibility,” she said.

Al Capurso, a Gaines resident, said the refuge deserves the added protection. He urged the town to try to keep the quarry out.

“Money talks and nature walks,” Capurso said.

Dale Root said environmental concerns about a quarry near the refuge have been addressed and the project should go forward.

Dale Root said environmental concerns about a quarry near the refuge have been addressed and the project should go forward.

Another resident, local farmer Dale Root, said Frontier Stone is not putting the refuge in danger.

“There is no evidence showing there will be wildlife destruction,” Root said. “The experts show there will be no problems with the proposal so why can’t it go forward?”

Bill Keppler urged the board to try to preserve the rural character of the community. The open spaces are an asset, drawing people to the community, he said.

Marguerite Sherman, a Medina village trustee, also voiced her support for the overlay district and restrictions on uses near the refuge.

However, another resident, Dick Keppler, said the refuge “is big enough.” Keppler said the town should not “trample on other peoples’ rights” to target restricting the quarry.

Town Supervisor Skip Draper said residents are welcome to comment on the overlay district until Oct. 1. They can submit their concerns to the Town Hall on Salt Works Road.

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Shelby landowners file protest petition over proposed Wildlife Refuge Overlay District

Photos by Tom Rivers: Jim Zelazny speaks against Shelby’s proposed Wildlife Refuge Protection District Law, saying the law would severely restrict property rights on nearly 4,000 acres north of the wildlife refuge. The proposed law would ban a quarry that has been in development for about a decade on the Zelazny family land.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 8 September 2016 at 7:50 am

SHELBY – Landowners representing two thirds of the property in a proposed Wildlife Refuge Protection District have filed a protest petition with the Town of Shelby, saying the proposed law would restrict their ability to use their property.

The Shelby Town Board is looking to establish a “Wildlife Refuge Protection Overlay District” that would ban mining and other uses the town doesn’t think are compatible near the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge, such as junk yards, kennels, airports, motor vehicle repair shops, outdoor commercial recreation areas and telecommunication facilities.

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The proposed overlay district would provide a 3,000-foot buffer north of the refuge. (Map created by Orleans County Planning Department.)

Eddie Zelazny of Harrison Road was among several speakers during a hearing on Wednesday to oppose overlay district, which is Local Law No. 2 for 2016. Frontier Stone LLC wants to use 215 acres of Zelazny land in a proposed quarry that would be established in four phases, over 75 years, with 11.6 acres mined in the first 11 years.

Zelazny said the Town Board “is deliberately targeting other private property owners near our land to get my family to abandon this project. That is discriminating.”

Several farmers spoke against the overlay restrictions during the public hearing and also signed the protest petition. Alana Keppler of SK Herefords said the cattle operation relies on telecommunications for maintaining records while they are in the field. She said SK strives to stay up to date with rapidly-changing technology. The ban on telecommunications facilities could be a detriment to SK Herefords in the future, she said.

Todd Roberts, a farmer in Shelby, speaks against the proposed overlay district. He said he shouldn’t be punished as a property owner for having land near the refuge. Roberts said farmers are good stewards of the land.

Todd Roberts, a farmer in Shelby, speaks against the proposed overlay district. He said he shouldn’t be punished as a property owner for having land near the refuge. Roberts said farmers are good stewards of the land.

Another farmer, Todd Roberts, also signed the petition and spoke against the overlay district, seeing it as an attack on property rights.

“I feel like I’m being punished just because I have land near a wildlife refuge,” Roberts told the Town Board.

The overlay district would cover 3,821 acres. Landowners representing 2,500 of the acres in the overlay district, 67 percent of the total, signed the protest petition, which was filed with the town on Wednesday.

That exceeds a 20 percent threshold of acreage in the proposed district, which forces a super-majority vote, requiring at least 4 of the 5 Town Board members to vote for the law for it to pass.

“The Petitioners protest and oppose the Wildlife Refuge Protection District Law because the limitations and constraints that are contained therein would result in significant hardship to them as property owners, including those property owners whose property would be in the proposed Refuge Protection Overlay District,” the petition states.

The restrictions in the proposed law “go well beyond what is needed to protect the health, safety and welfare of property owners and the general community, and simply are not consistent with the wishes voiced by landowners in the Town of Shelby,” according to the petition.

Pete Zeliff said the the overlay district includes many restrictions that would limit property rights and potential projects that would be good for the community.

Pete Zeliff said the the overlay district includes many restrictions that would limit property rights and potential projects that would be good for the community.

Pete Zeliff said the Shelby proposal would thwart any efforts to develop bed and breakfasts, campgrounds, kennels and other potential projects that would benefit the town. He said he is in the early stages of developing a campground for Boy Scouts on his land near the refuge.

He runs the Warrior House, a hunting retreat site for wounded veterans, at his property on Salt Works Road in West Shelby. He doesn’t want that effort to be hurt by the restrictions in the town’s proposed overlay district.

Several residents spoke in favor of the law during Wednesday’s public hearing attended by about 150 people. The Town Board was praised to pushing for the restrictions after the state Department of Environmental Conservation ruled on July 27 that Frontier had satisfied the agency in its review and no “substantive or significant” environmental issues remained to be adjudicated with the project.

The DEC determined in its review that proposed quarry “would have no impact of any significance on the Refuge,” according to the petition filed on Wednesday.

David Mahar, president of Frontier, said Frontier, in a decade of working on the project, has taken steps to protect and enhance the refuge by developing a water management plan that will “get water to the refuge marshes whenever they need it.”

Frontier also has worked with the Genesee County Economic Development Center to ensure the quarry would not have a negative impact on the STAMP site on the southern side of the refuge, he said.

David Mahar, president of Frontier Stone LLC, said Frontier has worked for a decade with consultants and the DEC to ensure a proposed quarry would be a benefit to the refuge and community. Mahar spoke during Wednesday's public hearing at Shelby Town Hall.

David Mahar, president of Frontier Stone LLC, said Frontier has worked for a decade with consultants and the DEC to ensure a proposed quarry would be a benefit to the refuge and community. Mahar spoke during Wednesday’s public hearing at Shelby Town Hall.

Mahar said the company’s project has been rigorously reviewed by the DEC, which examined impacts from blasting, dust and additional traffic on the refuge, the environment, local roads and water resources.

“This operation was designed to benefit the community and the refuge, not harm them,” he said.

Mahar said he has been a faithful attendee of Shelby town meetings for a decade, trying to help town officials understand the quarry project. But he said Shelby town officials have declined to sit down with him to learn the science behind the quarry and how it would help the refuge and community.

The Local Law proposal “not only threatens our ability to be of assistance to the refuge and a positive contributor to this community, it threatens free enterprise –­ mine, the Zelazny’s and all their good neighbors,” Mahar said. “And it hinders economic development.”

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