Editorial: Where is outrage over state shafting villages, towns with AIM funding?
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 February 2024 at 3:27 pm

Structural discrimination from state leads to high taxes locally, neglected infrastructure

Photo by Tom Rivers: The Village of Albion has low water pressure on the east side of the village and has put plastic bags on fire hydrants on East State Street so firefighters don’t use them. It’s part of an aging infrastructure showing lots of wear and tear.

Town and village leaders in Orleans County and across the state have failed to fight for a long overdue increase in state aid through the AIM program. They need to holler but can’t muster a whisper.

The state sets aside $715 million annually through Aid and Incentives to Municipalities (AIM). The cities get 90.5 percent of this money, with most small cities getting $100 to $150 per capita in aid.

The city of Salamanca, which is similar in size to both the villages of Medina and Albion, collects $928,131 in AIM funding or $156 per person for its 5,929 residents.

Medina, population 6,047, gets a lowly $45,523 in aid, while Albion with 5,637 residents, gets even less at $38,811. That is a meager per capita of less than $8 for Orleans County’s two largest villages.

It is infuriating to see the disparity of money given to small cities compared to similar-size villages that offer comparable services. But you don’t hear much griping from our local officials or our state representatives.

Orleans Hub calculations based on U.S. Census population statistics in 2020 and funding amounts from the NYS Division of the Budget.

I realize we are proud people who think we can manage our way out of what has turned into a crisis of high taxes and neglected infrastructure. But we need more revenue, outside of property taxes, especially for our villages.

Look at Medina facing a $1.7 million expense for a new ladder truck and an estimate of $6 million for an addition to its fire hall. Those projects will be a huge tax hit to a village that already has the highest tax rate in the Finger Lakes at $21.15 per $1,000 of assessed property.

The bond payment for the fire truck would be about $160,000 a year over 20 years. The fire hall will likely be even higher than that. And both payments are already on a strapped village where it feels the taxpayers are tapped out.

If only Medina was treated like a small city by the state with AIM. The village could easily handle those new bond payments and it’s high tax rate would be much lower.

The state started AIM in 2006 as a revenue-sharing program with cities, towns and villages. It gave the vast majority of the money to cities, which often have high poverty concentrations and greater demand for services.

The state should develop a metric that looks at poverty levels in communities, the tax burden on residents and the services offered by the municipalities. Right now, it doesn’t make much sense why there is such a disparity in the payments, and that includes among the cities where some get much more than others.

Of the $715 million in AIM, the cities get $647.1 million, while towns statewide receive $47.9 million, and villages share $19.7 million.

This money is a small chunk of what the state brings in sales tax each year and is intended to help municipalities pay for some of their critical services.

In Orleans County, the state takes in close to $25 million in sales tax with its 4 percent share, or half of the 8-cent tax on purchases.

Orleans County only gets $381,897 total in AIM funding. That is $108,371 for the four villages: Albion, $38,811; Holley, $17,786; Lyndonville, $6,251; and Medina, $45,523.

The 10 towns collectively receive $273,526, which includes Albion, $46,944; Barre, $12,486; Carlton, $13,680; Clarendon, $11,416; Gaines, $21,323; Kendall, $21,299; Murray, $44,677; Ridgeway, $46,273; Shelby, $45,007; and Yates, $10,421.

The AIM amounts haven’t increased in 15 years for anyone, even as the state budget has grown at a breakneck pace, from $132 billion in 2009-10, to $142 billion in 2013-14, to $229 billion in 2023-24, to the governor’s proposed budget for 2024-25 at $223 billion.

If state legislators and the governor don’t want to increase AIM significantly, they could first start by looking at the AIM payments to villages. Those payments could be multiplied by 10 and still be short of what small cities are getting.

A good start would be tripling the payments in the new budget. That would cost the state about another $40 million. If that happened, the Orleans County villages of Medina would get about $91,046 more, with Albion at another $77,622, Holley at $35,572 and Lyndonville at $12,502. That wouldn’t be a transformative difference, but it would help.

I would focus on the villages first because they have police protection which isn’t offered by the local towns. The village police save the state (and county Sheriff’s Office) from paying more for additional officers and deputies.

The state should develop a formula for how it gives out this money, much like it does for school districts where it factors in services, enrollment or population, community wealth and several other factors. With AIM, there is no rationale for why some get much more – or less – than others.

Our elected representatives in the state government have failed us in Orleans County with this issue. They don’t speak out about such a glaring disparity in state aid to our villages and towns, compared to small cities in the state.

State Sen. Rob Ortt and Assemblyman Steve Hawley have had news conferences in the past month seeking more state funding for school districts and with CHIPS money for road paving.

These two are both articulate and forceful speakers. They should take up the cause of the gross AIM disparity for the towns and villages. I’d like to see a press release with fiery rhetoric about that issue. They could stand outside the Medina fire hall, or by Albion’s off-limits fire hydrants.

The Albion village sign on Moore Street is in front of a fire hydrant that is bagged due to insufficient water pressure.

More state funding for the towns and villages would bring in new revenue to help knock down taxes and maintain services.

Orleans Hub has written about this issue many times in the past decade. There hasn’t been a sustained charge from our local team of officials – village, town, county and state – about how to press the state and rectify a situation where we are clearly getting shafted.

When others have faced discrimination, they have marched to help bring awareness to their plight. They have bandied together and not accepted second-class treatment.

Statewide a powerful display would be carrying a torch from one end of the state to the other, with mayors, DPW workers, police officers, clerks, firefighters and residents of villages and towns walking together, and then handing off the torch to the next town.

It should be delivered in the state capital with a massive rally of our small-town people, showing the Legislature and governor that there is work being done at all levels of government, not just cities. There are poor people and middle-class residents in towns and villages, too, who could use a break in their property taxes if more AIM came to their town or village. Our DPW could use updated plow trucks, rather than vehicles more than 20 years old.

Our firefighters would welcome dependable fire trucks that aren’t nearly 30 years old. They should be able to use fire hydrants that spew out a powerful stream of water, rather than a trickle.

I realize a statewide effort would be hard to coordinate. Orleans County could be the leader. I’d like to see Orleans municipalities and their elected officials, employees and residents have a march from one end of the county to the other, going 25 miles along Route 31, or 104 or the towpath.

I don’t understand the meekness with the issue. Our small towns and villages should follow the example of Rosa Parks, who refused to go to the back of the bus.

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Albion won’t seek about $2,000 in arrears from Ministry of Concern
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 February 2024 at 11:53 am

ALBION – The Albion Village Board won’t seek about $2,000 from the Genesee-Orleans Ministry of Concern in late payments for rent.

The board approved a higher rate for GOMOC to start on Oct. 1. The rent for the third floor space at the Albion Visitor’s Center went from $1,146.67 to $1,550.96 a month, which includes utilities.

Jami Allport, the GOMOC director, last week asked the board for a smaller rent increase, perhaps 2 or 4 percent. She said the 35 percent increase was too high and would likely force the agency to find another place.

The board in a 3-1 vote kept the rent at the $1,550.96 amount. However, the board agreed to not start the higher cost until March 1. The board won’t seek about $2,000 owed over the five months in the higher rate.

GOMOC never signed the lease at the higher rate so the board believed it could give them a break.

“I think that was beautiful of them and we really appreciate that,” Allport said today about the reprieve.

She said she and the board of directors are considering the lease at the higher rate. The village would like GOMOC to commit to a year with the lease, from March 1 to Feb. 28.

Allport said the agency has other options, and could put its office in another community in Genesee or Orleans counties.

“People have been contacting us,” she said. “We are looking at other options. We’re keeping our eyes open.”

She would prefer to stay in Albion. She said Orleans residents account for more than double the people from Genesee that are served by the agency.

“We’d like to stay in the Village of Albion but we don’t have to,” she said. “The need is great here.”

The Ministry of Concern uses 2,386 square feet on the third floor of the building at 121 North Main St. GOMOC was previously paying 48 cents a square foot. With the new rate at $1,550.96, the square footage is 65 cents a month.

That is below the $1.65 a foot paid by Assemblyman Steve Hawley for 860 square feet on the first floor ($1,416.77 total); $1.30 by the Orleans Economic Development Agency for 1,686 square feet on the second floor ($2,196.06 total); and the $1.40 a foot for Darlene Benton of Paradise Healing Arts, who uses 289 square feet for $405 a month.

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Purple Heart medal returned to family of WWII soldier
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 February 2024 at 10:44 am

Photo from Orleans County Sheriff’s Office

ROCHESTER – Orleans County Sheriff Chris Bourke speaks during a “Reuniting A Heart” ceremony in Rochester on Wednesday.

A Purple Heart that was awarded 1st Lieutenant Herbert W. Stanford was returned to his family. The medal had been in evidence storage in the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office. Investigator Kevin Colonna was doing routine evidence management when he saw the medal and then worked to identify who it belonged to and to get it back to his family.

Stanford was a P-47 fighter pilot who was shot down in France during World War II. He was killed in the plane crash. His medal was donated to a museum in Brockport and was stolen about 20 years ago by thieves.

Colonna teamed with Bill Scribner, a retired Albion police officer who now is the police chief for the VA Finger Lakes. The medal had a number on it and then were able to connect it to Stanford, a Brockport High School graduate.

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County forms technical rescue team with members from multiple fire departments

File photo by Tom Rivers: Albion firefighters, including Steven Papponetti in front and Fred Piano in back, try to locate a man who went into cold water after his dog in a former quarry in Murray on April 23, 2021. Firefighters from several local departments scoured the quarry waters for the man, who was found after drowning.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 February 2024 at 9:51 am

ALBION – The Orleans County Legislature has authorized the county’s director of emergency management to form a countywide technical rescue team.

Justin Niederhofer, emergency management director, said the team will include firefighters from multiple departments in the county who will be trained together and will practice on the different rescue equipment among departments.

Niederhofer said the new team will be trained for highly technical rescues, such as rope rescues, grain entrapment and water rescues.

The move to a countywide team is in response to a declining number of volunteers at many of the departments, Niederhofer said at Tuesday’s Legislature meeting.

Carlton, Clarendon, Medina, Murray and Shelby fire departments each have equipment for technical rescues. Firefighters from those departments, as well as other departments without that equipment, will have an opportunity to be trained to be on the technical rescue team.

Not all departments with rescue equipment have the same gear. The team will train on each department’s equipment to be familiar with the ropes, harnesses and other tools. Some departments also have grain rescue equipment which includes steel plates and an augur. The team members will also have wet suits for going into the water.

Niederhofer said firefighters deploy rope rescues when people are stuck down ravines and embankments.

The formation of the team will also increase the chances for grant funding for equipment and training, Niederhofer said.

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Albion churches work together for Lenten lunches on Wednesday
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 February 2024 at 9:04 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Dave Beach, pastor of the Gaines Carlton Community Church, shares a message on Wednesday during the first Lenten luncheon served at the First Baptist Church of Albion at 30 West Park St.

The Baptist church is hosting Lenten lunches from noon to about 1 p.m. on Wednesdays until March 20.

Churches take turns preparing the lunches with soup, sandwiches and cookies. They also have a different local pastor share a message each week.

The remaining schedule for the churches preparing the meals includes: February 28 – Albion Presbyterian & Gaines Congregational; March 6 – Eagle Harbor Methodist; March 13 – West Barre Church; and March 20 – Holy Family Parish.

About 50 people attended the luncheon on Wednesday.

The Medina Area Association of Churches also sponsors a series of ecumenical Lenten lunches, which started Feb. 15 at the First Presbyterian Church on Main Street. The lunches will take place each Thursday during Lent until March 21.

Lunches are free and includes soup and sandwiches, with singing and devotionals after lunch. Churches take turns preparing the meals and sharing a message.

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Elk Riders donate $1,400 to Wrestling Academy in Albion
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 February 2024 at 8:35 am

Fundraiser in memory of Tim Drake Jr. will support young wrestlers

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Mike Sanders, center, holds a $1,400 ceremonial check from the Elk Riders at the Albion Elks Lodge 1006 on Wednesday evening. Sanders is president of the Purple Eagle Wrestling Academy, which serves about 100 kids ages 4 to 12. They are based out of the former Apollo restaurant on Route 31 in Albion.

Sanders is joined by in front row from left, Tim and Kathy Drake, and Elk Riders President Mike Jenks and Vice President Mike Clemons, and other members of the group.

The money came from a garbage plate dinner on Jan. 12. The Elks served 116 dinners and many people also donated to a fund in memory of Tim Drake Jr., a star wrestler in high school at Albion. Drake passed away from cancer at age 22 on Jan. 2, 2021.

The Elks want to make the dinner an annual event and continue to give the proceeds to the Wrestling Academy.

Tim and Kathy Drake hold a picture of their son. Tim Jr. graduated from Albion High School in 2016. He wrestled and played football, and also was an avid motocross racer. He also loved to go hunting. Tim Jr. had a tattoo with the words: “Once you’ve wrestled, everything else in life is easy.”

His father said the sport of wrestling helped shape his son into a hard-worker. Tim Jr. was aware the sport could be expensive especially with wrestling shoes. He would give some of his best shoes to other wrestlers, his father said.

Mike Sanders outlines the programs offered by the Wrestling Academy. A group of volunteer coaches runs the program that meets five evenings a week during a four- to five-month season. The program is finishing up its fifth year.

The $1,400 will help the Wrestling Academy pay for some tournament fees and other expenses for some of the kids to be in the program, Sanders said.

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Medina village plans to expand income eligibility for senior citizen tax exemption
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 February 2024 at 3:57 pm

MEDINA – The Village Board is looking to follow the lead of the county and several other municipalities in expanding the income eligibility for senior citizens to qualify for a discount on their village taxes.

The board held a public hearing on the issue last week and plans to vote on increasing the income levels for the tax discount during the 7 p.m. meeting on Monday.

The County Legislature voted in November 2022 to increase the income levels for residents 65 and older to qualify for the tax break. The senior exemption previously was last changed in 2014.

The senior exemption previously gave 50 percent off property taxes for those 65 and older with an annual income at $15,500 or less and then dropped in 5 percent increments.

The new exemption levels offer 50 percent off at annual incomes of $19,000 or less. It then drops in 5 percent increments until bottoming out at 20 percent off between $23,800 and $24,699.99.

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GCC honored as a Fulbright top-producing institution
Posted 21 February 2024 at 10:31 am

Press Release, Genesee Community College

BATAVIA – Genesee Community College was honored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs for its distinction as one of the leading institutions with a significant representation of faculty and administrators chosen for the prestigious Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program.

Institutions like Genesee Community College, recognized as Fulbright Top Producing Institutions, actively promote global engagement and facilitate their campus community members in seizing international opportunities.

Heather Jones

The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international academic exchange program. Since 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided over 400,000 talented and accomplished students, scholars, teachers, artists, and professionals of all backgrounds with the opportunity to study, teach, and conduct research abroad. Fulbrighters exchange ideas, build people-to-people connections and work to address complex global challenges.

“This recognition underscores our unwavering dedication to fostering international opportunities for our faculty and administrators,” said Dr. James Sunser, president of GCC. “At Genesee Community College, we believe in the transformative power of global connections, and we are proud to support our campus community members in their pursuit of scholarly endeavors worldwide.”

Heather Jones, GCC professor of fine arts was selected for a Fulbright award for the 2023-2024 academic year. While collaborating with Professor Jose Luis Gonzalez-Cabrero and the Industrial Design Department at the University of San Luis Potosi, Professor Jones will be implementing an international cultural color study project with students from both Mexico and New York, which will culminate with a student art exhibit titled “Color Connection.”

She will be teaching a series of seminars on color theory in Mexico, that will be available online for her students taking classes at GCC. Students in Mexico and GCC will photograph one color in their daily lives and facilitate conversation online by sharing these images on the dedicated Color Connection social media pages.

The goal of the project is to take a deeper look at the expressive meaning of color in design, utilize the subject of color as a social bridge to break down cultural stigmas, and reinforce empathy and respect for cultural diversity. Photographs will be juried by the students and 100 plus photographs will be exhibited simultaneously at UASLP and in GCC’s Roz Steiner Gallery during March 2024. The exhibit will then be available to travel to other SUNY campus galleries.

Fulbright is a program of the U.S. Department of State, with funding provided by the U.S. government. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations and foundations around the world also provide direct and indirect support to the Program.

“Fulbright’s Top Producing Institutions represent the diversity of America’s higher education community,” said Lee Satterfield, assistant secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs. “Dedicated administrators support students and scholars at these institutions to fulfill their potential and rise to address tomorrow’s global challenges. We congratulate them, and all the Fulbrighters who are making an impact the world over.”

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Medina community unites to help neighbor after barn roof blows off in windstorm
Posted 21 February 2024 at 9:14 am

‘We feel very blessed to have the types of neighbors who show up when they are needed. They came together to help us at this trying time and asked for nothing in return.’

Provided photos: Ron Jackson is shown with his grandson Cole Jackson and daughter-in-law Jamie Jackson.

Press Release, Orleans/Niagara BOCES

MEDINA – Last month Ron and Debi Jackson’s family were devastated to watch their roof of their 40 by 90-foot barn off during a vicious windstorm that rocked the Medina area.

“It was just horrible,” said Ron, who is a welding teacher at Orleans/Niagara BOCES’ Orleans Career and Technical Education Center.  “We had our hay stored in there and there were metal pipes flying everywhere.”

The following day 18 inches of snow fell and then another 10 inches a day later.

“We were blessed that no one got hurt and some of my students, friends and neighbors came and helped us move the hay, remove some of the pipes and shovel off the snow floor so there was not more damage,” Jackson said.

“I really have to thank my friends, neighbors and students Jimmy Poler, Noah Poler, Jeremy Botting, Mike Gehl and his son Matthew who all were first on the scene,” Jackson said. “There was a lot of site work to prepare for the barn raising, we needed many hands and could not have been completed without the help from Dave Alt from Alt Farms, brother-in-law Dean Bancroft, son and daughter Josh and Mikayla Jackson, Jay Wozniak from Absolute Property Maintenance, Robert Schumacher, Elliot Vanderwalker, Amanda Baker and two of my students Hanna Zastro and Conner Dwyer. It meant so much to our family that they were there.”

They are also fortunate to live in an Amish community who consider the Jacksons not only neighbors, but friends. One of those neighbors, Marcus, stopped at their farm and told Ron that his church heard about his plight and they wanted to help.

“I was completely in awe of their generous offer to help us out by the community donating their time and raising a new roof,” Jackson said.

“We feel that it was something we wanted to do,” said community member Jonathan. “The Bible teaches us to ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’ and to ‘Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ’.”

More than 20 members of the Amish community came together the beginning of February to rebuild the barn roof starting at 8 a.m. and finishing the project before sundown.

“Thanks to our insurance company’s speedy response we were able to get the wood, metal and trusses paid for that we needed to get the project done,” Ron said about Porter Insurance. “We used an Amish business, Lake Shore Metal, for the materials and when the company that makes the trusses heard our plight, they pushed up production and got us the materials two weeks ahead of schedule. It is very touching to see how many people were willing to help us with this catastrophe. I am really blown away.”

The Jacksons says they were overwhelmed by the response of the volunteers who showed up on a cold winter day to help then out. Their neighbor Roger Yutzy who owns Fairview Fencing said he and the rest of the volunteers are not only there to help a neighbor, but are enjoying the camaraderie of working together.

“I think technology has made many people more isolated and disconnected from each other,” Yutzy said. “You would not believe how many times I am working with a customer and they tell me they don’t ever talk to their neighbors. I find that so sad. In stressful times we should be pulling together.”

To thank their volunteers Ron, Debi, Nate and Jamie Jackson made a spread of food for lunch: smoked brisket and pork, macaroni and cheese, cole slaw, baked beans and corn bread to share.  “Their acts of kindness and concern have made us so grateful for the connection we have with them,” Jackson said. “We feel very blessed to have the types of neighbors who show up when they are needed. They came together to help us at this trying time and asked for nothing in return. We are very fortunate to live in this community and to be able to count these people as friends.”

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RIT Dean’s List includes several from Orleans County
Staff Reports Posted 21 February 2024 at 8:26 am

ROCHESTER – The following students were named to the Dean’s List at Rochester Institute of Technology for the fall semester of the 2023-2024 academic year. Full-time degree-seeking undergraduate students are eligible for Dean’s List if their term GPA is greater than or equal to 3.400; they do not have any grades of “Incomplete”, “D” or “F”; and they have registered for, and completed, at least 12 credit hours.

  • Jacob Corser of Albion, who is in the mechanical engineering technology program.
  • Conner Hollenbeck of Albion, who is in the mechanical engineering technology program.
  • Nathanael Strong of Albion, who is in the packaging science program.
  • Reg Chuhi of Holley, who is in the computing and information technologies program.
  • Sierra Apicella of Holley, who is in the studio arts program.
  • Kyle Kuehne of Kent, who is in the software engineering program.
  • Sydney Wilson of Lyndonville, who is in the software engineering program.
  • Alanna Holman of Medina, who is in the human-centered computing program.
  • Isaac Becker of Waterport, who is in the robotics and manufacturing engineering technology program.
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County approves spending $900K to replace fuel farm
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 February 2024 at 8:01 am

File photo by Tom Rivers: The county will replace its fuel farm on West Academy Street in Albion, a facility constructed in 1993 and operating at 50 percent capacity due to deterioration.

ALBION – Orleans County legislators agreed on Tuesday to a $900,000 construction bid to replace the fuel farm on West Academy Street.

The site is used by the county fleet of vehicles, and other municipalities and not-for-profit agencies.

The fuel farm was built in 1993 but is currently at 50 percent capacity due to deterioration of various components of the system, legislators said.

The Legislature approved a bid from The Pump Doctor in Eden to demolish the current fueling system and install a new station at a cost not to exceed $900,000.

The fuel farm in 2022 was used for 161,700 gallons of unleaded gas and 95,720 gallons of diesel. County vehicles used 64,500 gallons of unleaded and 22,570 of diesel while other agencies used 97,200 gallons of unleaded and 73,150 gallons of diesel, according to a 2022 report on user data.

The county users include the DPW, Sheriff’s Office, Major Felony Crime Task Force, Animal Control, Emergency management Office, Public Health, Office for the Aging and Probation Department.

The outside agencies and other municipalities include Albion Central School, Town of Albion, Village of Albion, Community Action, Ministry of Concern, ARC, Mental Health Association, Mercy EMS, Soil & Water, RTS, Town of Carlton, Murray Joint Fire District, as well as being an emergency stop for various towns.

The users all pay the same price for the fuel. There is a fee that goes towards maintenance of the system, said Jack Welch, the county chief administrative officer.

It will take 12-16 weeks for the equipment to be fabricated and available for the delivery, he said.

“We hope the new system will be operational in August, prior to the start of the new school year,” Welch said.

Welch said the county did an analysis of the pros and cons of an in-house fuel farm vs. a WEX program where municipalities and not-for-profits can buy fuel at a retail store without taxes.

“When the analysis went beyond the dollars and cents and looked at the size of the vehicles, school buses, fire trucks and ten wheelers,” Welch said. “We discussed the idea of the WEX program with the owners of Crosby’s, our largest chain of gas stations. We also considered how the change could impact the retail customers of fuel stations in a positive or negative manner.”

County Legislator Fred Miller said the larger vehicles such as school buses don’t fit at some of the local gas stations, and he was concerned without the fuel farm there would be longer waits at the local gas stations with municipal vehicles filling up.

Editor’s Note: This article was updated from the original version to include more data and comments from county officials.

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County proclaims March as ‘Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month’
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 20 February 2024 at 10:27 pm

Photo by Tom Rivers

ALBION – The Orleans County Legislature has declared March as “Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month.” County Legislator Don Allport presents a proclamation to Arc GLOW CEO Martin Miskell.

Others pictured include, from left: Arc board members Marlene Hill, Ken Barchet (board assistant treasurer) and Joe Barchet, and Lisa Bors, public relations director.

The former Arc of Genesee Orleans and Arc of Livingston-Wyoming merged in 2021 following 18 months of planning to form the new Arc GLOW. This is the first four-county chapter of The Arc New York. This follows the merger in 2016 of the former Arc of Orleans and Genesee Arc.

In Orleans County, Arc GLOW has three homes for individuals with disabilities, operates Orleans Enterprises Work Center in Albion, day habilitation programs, Meals on Wheels/Nutrifare in Albion and Camp Rainbow in Ridgeway. Several programs and departments also share space with the finance department on Caroline Street in Albion, Arc GLOW officials said.

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Retiring jail lieutenant praised for 32-year career
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 20 February 2024 at 9:16 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Michael Christopher, center, accepts a special recognition award this afternoon from County Legislator Skip Draper, right, and Sheriff Chris Bourke.

Christopher is retiring after a career as a corrections officer at the county jail. Christopher started in 1992 as a part-time correction officer and became full-time in 1994. He worked his way up through the ranks and was promoted in 2011 to correction sergeant, in 2016 to sergeant first class, and in 2020 he achieved the rank of lieutenant.

Christopher has taken on multiple job assignments within the jail including Incarcerated Individual Disciplinary Coordinator, Classification Coordinator, Livescan Coordinator, Fire Safety Coordinator, and Municipal Police Training Council Certified Instructor. He also served on the Orleans County Safety Board for several years.

“I appreciate Orleans County for hiring me and having faith in me and moving me up in the ranks,” Christopher told county legislators. He is known among his co-workers as “Cadillac.”

Mike Christopher accepts the special recognition award from Legislator Skip Draper. Joining Christopher are his colleagues from left: Sgt. Dawn Basinait, Sheriff Chris Bourke, Jail Superintendent Scott Wilson and Sgt. Chris Shabazz.

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