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Orleans REDI projects total $17 million, with $9M sewer project in Kendall the biggest

Photos by Tom Rivers: The Town of Yates Park on Morrison Road has picnic tables, grills and a pavilion close to the shoreline. The state approved spending $2.5 million to expand the park and help protect it from flooding. This photo was taken this afternoon.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 23 October 2019 at 7:14 pm

Yates Town Park approved for $2.5 million in improvements, expansion

The $49 million announced by Gov. Cuomo today for 20 lakeshore projects in Orleans and Niagara counties includes $17 million in Orleans County.

The projects will improve public land and infrastructure, including roads, a new sewer system in Kendall and Hamlin, and an improved Yates Town Park.

The money announced today is part of the first round of funding under the Lake Ontario Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative. There is also $20 million available for homeowners and $30 million for businesses that will be allocated later.

Governor Cuomo launched the Lake Ontario Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative in May to increase the resilience of shoreline communities and bolster economic development in the region.

He said today it was necessary as part of “a new normal” with high lake levels. The governor wants projects that will protect important public land and infrastructure from future flooding.

The governor was at Fort Niagara in Youngstown to announce the funding for Niagara and Orleans. The state is paying 95 percent of the costs, with the local governments chipping in percent.

Those projects include:

Orleans County

Wastewater Infrastructure for Kendall and Hamlin, $9,053,000

This project will disconnect homes from the septic systems and connect them to a wastewater system. A privately owned facility (located at Troutburg in the Town of Kendall) will be turned over to the Town of Kendall, and approximately 125 residences in the towns of Hamlin and Kendall will be connected to the facility.

The project will solve the problems for lakeside residences with septic issues west of West Kendall Drive, including along Lomond Shore West, Edrose Shore, Knapp Shore, Thompson Drive, and near Lakeland Beach Road and Bald Eagle Drive in the Town of Kendall, plus residences near Beachwood Park Road in the Town of Hamlin. This project will connect these areas to a sanitary sewer and convey wastewater to a treatment facility.

Yates Town Park and Expansion in Yates, $2,531,000

The Yates Town Park is located off Morrison Road, northeast of the Village of Lyndonville.

The Town of Yates proposes to expand the town park with enhanced recreational and water access opportunities. This project seeks to further enhance the park’s environmental resiliency, protect and expand its natural and nature-based features, and increase public access to the area’s recreational resources.

Proposed mitigation measures in the project will consist of:

• Installing shoreline stabilization measures to protect the park shoreline and associated features

• Evaluating opportunities to enhance recreation and water access through a new kayak launch and playground

• Installing upgrades to the park’s amenities, including an upgraded parking lot area, enclosed pavilion and bathrooms, and a 10 foot wide nature trail

Lakeshore Road (Route 97) in Carlton, east of Point Breeze, $2,062,000

Lakeshore Road is eroding rapidly and creating a hazardous situation for the roadway infrastructure and the waterline adjacent to the road. This project seeks to address the erosion of the bluff, as well as the existing failed shoreline protection.

Proposed mitigation measures in the project will consist of:

• Protecting the toe of the bluff with shoreline stabilization measures

• Stabilizing the bluff through grading and fill (where possible)

• Vegetation along the embankment

The project assumes 1,500 foot long by 40 foot wide shore stabilization with fill and new vegetation for 10 to 20 foot of the width. During the engineering process, the project should also evaluate potential of shore protection measures.

Public Town Road Ends/Culverts in Kendall, $1,500,000

Culverts adjacent to Ed Rose Shore, Knapp Shore, and Thompson Drive are impacted by high water levels resulting in culvert ends being clogged with debris. This project will install a more resilient box culvert concept. A culvert located at Lakeland Beach Road needs fortification, and riprap will be placed at the outlet of the culvert to provide protection.

Proposed mitigation measures in the project will consist of:

• Replacing end of culverts with box design systems at four locations (Edrose, Knapp Shores, and Thompson Dr.)

• Upgrade stabilization measures at the Lakeland Beach Road end of culvert

Point Breeze Boat Launch in Carlton, $751,000

The docks and boating slips at the Orleans County Marine Park will see upgrades.

The 72-slip boat launch is owned by the county at the Orleans County Marine Park.

Proposed mitigation measures for the project consists of:

• Replacement of fixed elevation docks with floating docks and slips, inclusive of anchorage and posts to permit only vertical dock movement

• Modification and upgrades to impaired boat launches to increase resiliency

Lakeside Park Road East in Carlton, $385,000

The bluff  on which the eastern portion of Lakeside Park Road sits has been experiencing erosional impacts, creating a 30 to 40 foot drop that has become a hazardous condition for the road and public water line in the area. This project aims to stabilize the bluff  to protect these assets.

Proposed mitigation measures in the project will consist of:

• Protecting the toe of the bluff with shoreline stabilization; stabilizing the bluff with embankment vegetation

• Where space allows, the bluff will be graded back to a more stable slope

Lakeside Park Road West in Carlton, $235,000

The Town of Carlton Highway Department uses a payloader to carry pallets of sandbags across a washed out section of Lakeside Park Road West on June 2. A chunk of road washed out in May. Residents at three houses have to walk through the washed out road to reach their houses. The road will protected with riprap in one of the REDI projects.

The shoreline on which Lakeside Park Road sits has been experiencing flooding impacts from both Johnson Creek and Lake Ontario, including the loss of an access road/lane, land protecting homes, and public water lines. West of the intersection with Lakeside Road there is approximately 300 feet of public water line at risk of being exposed and compromised.

Proposed mitigation measures in the project will consist of:

• Constructing an access road to place protective materials along the shoreline

• Placement of riprap stone to protect the public water line during future high water level(s)

Thompson Drive turnaround to become beach access in Kendall, $131,000

A section of Thompson Drive at the western end of Kendall was eaten up by Lake Ontario in the spring 2017. This photo was taken on May 7, 2017.

The former Thompson Drive turnaround provides beach access to the Lake Ontario shoreline. There is an opportunity to turn the former turnaround into beach access, coupled with nature-based shoreline protection.

The proposed project would reduce shoreline erosion, protecting local infrastructure and maintaining access along the route.

Proposed mitigation measures in the project will consist of:

• Installing natural or nature-based shoreline protection addressing the erosion of the turnaround, which is nearing the shoreline edge

• Ensuring and enhancing access to the shoreline

Route 237 right-of-way in Kendall, $40,000

The shoreline/waterfront area along the Route 237 right-of-way is experiencing significant erosion as a result of high water levels, flooding, and wave intensity. A project is currently ongoing to install riprap along the waterfront to protect the eroding shoreline associated with the right-of-way, abutting the riprap of two neighboring private properties.

Proposed additional mitigation measures in the project will consist of:

• Construction of a berm to further stabilize the shoreline and protect the area from future flooding

• Filling the gap between existing shoreline protection features with additional shoreline protection

• A protective barrier to provide public safety, and limit access from hazardous conditions at the end of the Route 237 right-of-way

Installing markers on submerged structures in Orleans and Niagara, $50,000

In-lake structures throughout Niagara and Orleans counties, when underwater, may result in hazardous boating conditions. Installing temporary safety markers is a proactive approach to protect public safety.

This project will installation of safety markers on submerged structures (piers). The structures will be clearly marked by installing temporary warning buoys.

For more on the projects, including the $32 million for those in Niagara County, click here.

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Governor announces $49 million for Orleans, Niagara in Lake Ontario projects

Photos from Governor’s Office: Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks at Fort Niagara in Youngstown at about 11:15 this morning. He announced $49 million in projects in Niagara and Orleans counties.

Posted 23 October 2019 at 2:19 pm

Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the state is providing $49 million to advance 20 projects in Niagara and Orleans counties as part of the first round of funding under the Lake Ontario Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative.

Governor Cuomo launched REDI in May to increase the resilience of shoreline communities and bolster economic development in the region. Today’s announcement marks a major milestone in the REDI effort. Identified by the communities and evaluated by state agency experts, the projects address both immediate and long-term resiliency needs, enhance economic development, protect critical infrastructure, incorporate green, natural, or nature-based features, and will help sustainably rebuild and enhance communities along the Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River shorelines.

“The recent challenge of historic high water levels along the Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River shorelines calls for a swift and innovative response, and today I am announcing REDI projects in Niagara and Orleans counties that will create long-term sustainability for communities and businesses,” Governor Cuomo said. “I directed 11 state agencies to mobilize their expertise and assess a portfolio of community-driven actions that will sustainably protect and enhance the region’s infrastructure, habitats, and local economies. Working together, our Empire State experts and stakeholders came up with 20 projects in these counties that will help the region regain resiliency and economic vibrancy.”

Since record high water levels in 2017, New York State has committed more than $100 million to rebuild communities along the Lake Ontario shoreline that were devastated by flooding, only to again experience record high water levels and flooding in these same communities this year.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Orleans County Legislature Chairwoman Lynne Johnson speak at today’s announcement at Old Fort Niagara.

Five REDI regions, comprised of eight counties (Niagara and Orleans, Monroe, Wayne, Cayuga and Oswego, and Jefferson and St. Lawrence) were established to identify local priorities, at-risk infrastructure and other assets, and public safety concerns. The REDI Commission allocated $20 million for homeowner assistance, $30 million to improve the resiliency of businesses, and $15 million toward a regional dredging effort that will benefit each of the eight counties. The remaining balance, $235 million, has been allocated towards local and regional projects that advance and exemplify the REDI mission.

To identify projects, over the course of three months, REDI organized 25 stakeholder and community meetings and workshops with hundreds of local residents, convened more than 15 planning committee meetings, and directed New York State agency and engineering experts to expend thousands of hours to evaluate more than 500 projects proposed by communities. The projects comprise a range of at-risk assets, including shoreline stabilization, public health and safety, critical water and wastewater infrastructure, marinas and harbors, and land loss/value, among other priorities, with an emphasis on natural or nature-based features and green infrastructure.

For each project, multi-jurisdictional permit reviews, and any associated environmental reviews, will be needed prior to any final determination to proceed. To build resilience, reduce the risk of future property damage, and minimize habitat impacts, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has compiled general guidelines for coastal design and development projects. These guidelines include technical data, regulatory guidance, best practices, and available resources for development along the dynamic shorelines of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River. This comprehensive technical and permitting information to help expedite the permitting process is available on the REDI guidance webpage.

To further address the challenges posed by high water levels, in addition to the county-specific projects announced today, Governor Cuomo announced an eight-county $15 million Regional Dredging effort to sustainably maintain safe navigation channels to harbors and bays along Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. These channels are critical to the vitality of recreational and commercial boating, which generate millions of dollars annually in economic activity and support more than 1,000 jobs across the region.

The effort will address the required maintenance dredging of at least 17 harbor channels used primarily for recreational boating. Dredging sediments appropriate for benecial re-use may be employed in ecosystem restoration or erosion management projects, with likely benets to habitat, water quality, and beach nourishment.

The complete list of the 20 projects is available by clicking here. Highlighted REDI projects and estimated costs include:

Orleans County

• The $2,531,000 Yates Town Park and Expansion Project in the Town of Yates will provide shoreline remediation and expansion to include NYSEG land to create resilient wildlife refuge, increase areas of protected wetlands, and enhance public access to the Lake Ontario shoreline. It will also include shoreline protection treatments on the east and west borders of the park to mitigate effects of wave action/erosion on proposed wetlands.

• The $2,062,000 Lakeshore Road (Route 97) Project in the towns of Carlton and Kendall will seek to stabilize a bluff alongside Route 97 and improve shoreline protections for the road and buried water lines. This project includes consideration for a large-scale offshore shoal system to improve fish habitat and act as a wave break.

• The $628,000 Lakeside Park Road East and West projects will restore and protect this roadway to ensure access for residents and emergency responders. Shoreline stabilization measures will protect the road and buried utilities.

• The $751,000 Point Breeze Boat Launch Project in the Town of Carlton will help upgrade and increase the resiliency of this facility by replacing fixed elevation docks with floating docks and slips. These improvements will help maintain this facility, which supports local economic activity and access for recreational boating.

• The $131,000 Thompson Drive Project will address erosion of the turnaround, ensuring water access at the beach. This nature-based project will reduce erosion and protect local infrastructure while maintaining access along the route.

Niagara County

• The $15,707,000 Olcott Harbor Project in the Town of Newfane will encircle the lower harbor with a promenade and shoreline stabilization to secure public health and safety by providing flood protection for critical sanitary sewer infrastructure and residences in the hamlet of Olcott and Newfane.  This project will support economic development through aesthetic and water access improvements. Resilience measures, including elevated shoreline treatments, one along East Harbor and the other along the West Harbor, will together protect Pump Station #6, businesses, buildings, and residences in the eastern portion of the harbor, and the town’s critical sanitary sewer infrastructure, which benefits the entire area. In addition to the shoreline protection measures, the project would entail improvements to the existing pump station to mitigate erosion and other high water related damage. The project may also include raising the elevation of the east Federal Pier, which protects the harbor entrance.

• The $3,362,000 Sunset Island West Barrier Bar Project in the Town of Wilson will include paving, raising, or otherwise reinforcing paths that protect land that might provide shoreline protections between the path and water.

• The $2,103,000 Village of Youngstown Waterfront Project in the Town of Porter will provide protection to the waterfront to support economic development, recreation, and tourism. The project will raise existing shoreline stabilization measures and add floating docks and jetties to reduce wave action for boating activity and shoreline erosion.

• The $1,814,000 Olcott Beach Berm Project in the Town of Newfane will redesign the beach berm to create a long-term solution to stabilize the berm and provide a flood strategy behind the berm, such as added floodway roads and/or a pump system. It will protect the west side of Olcott from wave action, as well as a town parking lot and year-round businesses and homes in the low-lying area.

• The $87,000 YMCA Camp Kenan Project in the Town of Somerset will provide shoreline protection measures to help maintain public access to the camp. The camp is adjacent to the shoreline, which has experienced flooding and erosion due to high water levels and wave action. The nature-based shoreline stabilization measure will protect the camp, which serves as a seasonal home away from home for hundreds of campers each year.

Senator Robert G. Ortt said, “The residents, businesses, and localities along Lake Ontario’s shores continue to face crippling flood waters due to the dangerous and ill-advised implementation of Plan 2014. However, New York State has stepped up and taken the lead on assisting those who have suffered from the millions of dollars’ worth of flood damage, and I am proud to have voted for this flood relief assistance funding. This $49 million will go a long way to help those that have been impacted by the flooding get back onto their feet, rebuild lost property, and fortify preventative infrastructure measures.”

Assemblymember Michael J. Norris said, “For many decades, there has been a critical need and a lot of discussion about fortifying the Olcott Harbor with a new break water wall and addressing other infrastructure deficiencies along the Southern shore of Lake Ontario. Now, with today’s action by New York State of investing millions into key infrastructure and resiliency projects, which includes funding for the Olcott Harbor Project and other important points across Niagara and Orleans Counties, these communities will be ensured fortification and stability in these economic and tourism centers for decades to come. I commend Governor Cuomo for his partnership in securing this investment in rebuilding and revitalizing our shoreline infrastructure.  This is a perfect example of how government should work, with bipartisan efforts, to deliver for the hardworking taxpayers of the State of New York.”

Assemblymember Steve Hawley said, “I am pleased to see that the Lake Ontario Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative (REDI) is moving forward with a large financial commitment from the state to help homeowners, businesses and municipalities in Orleans County recover from last year’s historic flooding. We’ve all witnessed the devastation along the lake’s southern shore and the heartache it has caused for so many. But, I am confident that the REDI will accelerate the recovery process and help rebuild the shoreline through completion of this package of projects. I will continue working with state and local leaders to see that those impacted receive the help they need moving forward.”

Orleans County Legislature Chairwoman Lynne Johnson said, “Whether it’s devastating flooding or severe storms, Governor Cuomo has always answered our call responding to the needs of Orleans County. Today’s announcement will help our community build back stronger than ever and I thank the Governor for his continued support for our region.”

Town of Kendall Supervisor Tony Camaratta said, “I commend Governor Cuomo for being our advocate securing the funding that we will need to repair flood damage and to be better protected from future disasters. This investment will go far in improving our quality of life across the board, from making vulnerable areas safer to laying the foundation for economic growth.”

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Cuomo expected to announce $15 million for lakeshore projects in Orleans

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 23 October 2019 at 9:00 am

YOUNGSTOWN – Gov. Andrew Cuomo this morning will be at Fort Niagara in Youngstown where he is expected to announce funding to protect assets along the lakeshore in Orleans and Niagara counties.

Cuomo will be at the Port of Rochester this afternoon to announce funding for Lake Ontario projects in Monroe County.

The governor formed the Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative (REDI) Commission, which has been tasked with divvying up $300 million in funding for eight counties in the state.

The commission identified $30 million of projects in both Orleans and Niagara counties. The governor today is expected to announce which projects will be funded.

Lynne Johnson, Orleans County Legislature chairwoman, said on Tuesday night that she expects $15 million will be coming to Orleans County. She will be among the local officials at Fort Niagara this morning for the governor’s announcement.

The state is making money available to protect public resources, such as sewer plants, roads and parks. There will also be funding for economic assets, such as marinas and campgrounds.

Click here to see a previous article about the projects under consideration in Orleans County.

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Holley has new village logo, ideas to revitalize sites

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 October 2019 at 5:00 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

HOLLEY – The Village of Holley unveiled a new logo last week that will be displayed on signs, the village website and other promotional materials.

Holley developed the logo with assistance from Bergmann Associates. The logo encourages active exploration of Holley – “Walk It. Bike It. Boat It.”

The village received a $165,600 state brownfield grant last year to develop revitalization strategy for the downtown business district, and other parts of the community.

Brian Sorochty, mayor of Holley, said the project is a planning grant for the village, and a chance to promote assets with the trail system, canal and waterfalls.

“This is a chance to revision Holley,” he said.

As part of that revitalization effort, Bergmann and village officials displayed renderings of possible projects in Holley, and asked people last Thursday to place stickers on concepts they support.

The village has been without a grocery store since Save-A-Lot closed on Sept. 17, 2016. Many residents say the community needs a grocery store. Bergman presented two concepts – a vastly remodeled store building or one where the current building is knocked down for a new build as a town center.

Village officials want to show the concepts to developers, who may be more interested in the project once they see a more modern look for the building.

The store is in Holley’s Brownfield Opportunity Area, which provides tax incentives for investment.

Holley would also like to add amenities by its canal park, including a facility where people could rent kayaks and bicycles. The park could also have spaces reserved for food trucks.

Some downtown improvements could include streetscape amenities (benches, crosswalks, trash, trees, etc.), facade upgrades, more signage that directs people to businesses, public parking and attractions. Additional parking could also be added to the Public Square area.

The village will work with Bergmann to see which projects have a good chance for grant funding and private investment.

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Woman identified in fatal fire this morning in Yates

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 October 2019 at 12:02 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers: Firefighters respond to the scene of a fatal fire this morning on Route 18, east of Route 63.

YATES – The Orleans County Sheriff’s Office has identified the victim in this morning’s fatal fire in Yates. Minnie Holt, 80, was killed at about 5 a.m. in a fire at 11848 Roosevelt Highway (Route 18).

Firefighters and Sheriff’s deputies arrived on scene to find a house on fire in the rear and the inside full of thick black smoke.

Holt likely died from smoke inhalation. She was on the phone with an Orleans County public safety dispatcher as she tried to get out of the house. The Monroe County Medical Examiner’s Office is doing an autopsy.

About 50 firefighters responded to the call from Lyndonville, Carlton, Ridgeway, Shelby, Middleport and Medina.

Orleans County and state fire investigators are on scene to determine the cause of the fire. The road remains closed to traffic as of noon today.

The Town of Yates and Orleans County highway departments will help take down the house today.

First responders are shown at the scene at about 7:30 this morning.

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Woman, 80, dies in fire in Yates this morning

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 October 2019 at 8:57 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

YATES – A woman, 80, died this morning in a fire at her home on Route 18, Orleans County Undersheriff Chris Bourke said at the scene.

Firefighters and deputies were dispatched to the house at 4:54 a.m. The house was full of thick black smoke. The fire appears to have started in the rear of the house.

The woman likely died of smoke inhalation. She was on the phone with an Orleans County dispatcher, trying to get out of the house, when she likely passed away.

The woman’s name isn’t being released, pending family notifications.

Deputies arrived to the scene on Route 18, just west of Breeze and Foss roads, nine minutes after the 911 call. The doors were locked. One deputy injured his hand, breaking the glass on a  door to gain entry. That isn’t a serious injury, Bourke said.

About 50 firefighters responded to the call from Lyndonville, Carlton, Ridgeway, Shelby, Middleport and Medina.

Orleans County and state fire investigators are on scene to determine the cause of the fire. Dale Banker, the Emergency Management Office coordinator for the county, said he expects the Yates highway department will be on the scene later today to help tear down the house.

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Medina band earns 1st in last competition before championships

Posted 21 October 2019 at 9:14 am

Courtesy of Medina Marching Band

The Medina Mustang Marching Band traveled to Orchard Park on Saturday for the last competition before the championships. There were 14 bands from across Western New York and Pennsylvania that competed in six different classifications.

In SS1, Medina earned first place with a score of 87.85 followed by East Irondequoit in 2nd with 83.80 and Oswego in 3rd with 82.35.

Other 1st place winners were Leroy in SS3 with 71.3; Greece in LS3 with 79.60; Northwestern in SS2 with 79.55;  Orchard Park in LS2 with 83.75 and Jamestown in National with 89.0.

This week coming up before the Dome is busy with practices and a special Senior Recognition Night on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Medina High School. You can see a performance of the show. Each senior will be given recognition for their years of dedication to the band.

Championships at the Carrier Dome are Sunday, Oct. 27.  A total of 53 bands will perform in competition starting at 8 a.m. and finishing at 10 p.m.

The event is broken down into 3 shows with LS3 and LS2 classes performing from 8 a.m. to noon followed by a retreat and awards for that group. The SS2 and SS3 classes perform from 12:45 p.m. to 5 p.m. followed by retreat and awards for that group.

The SS1 and National classes perform from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. followed by retreat and awards.  Medina will perform at 7:15 p.m.

There is a new Dome policy for security purposes which prohibits backpacks and purses. Only clear plastic vinyl or PVC not exceeding 12″x6″x12″ are allowed.  A gallon size plastic bag is acceptable.

There is still room on the spectator bus to the Dome on Sunday. For more information, contact Jim Steele, band director, at 585-317-9389.

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250 attend candlelight walk in honor of Brooke Allen, Ricky Forder

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 20 October 2019 at 9:23 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

LYNDONVILLE – A mourner holds a candle outside Bill’s Sub Shop while a procession passes on Main Street at about 7:30 this evening.

About 250 people attended the candlelight walk in honor of Brooke Allen, 21, and Ricky Forder, 20, two recent Lyndonville graduates who were killed in a car accident on Oct. 10 on their way to work at Lake Ridge Fruit, an apple packing facility on Route 104 in Gaines.

The group walks down Main Street. They had an escort in a sheriff’s patrol car driven by Deputy John Doyle.

The walk began at the school on Housel Avenue and then proceeded to the baseball field on Lake Ave. Many brought their own candles and balloons.

“It ripples through the whole community,” one of the mourners said of the tragic deaths.

Amanda Howell, second from right in front, is Brooke’s mother. Howell thanked the community for its support since the car accident.

“I don’t have the words to express,” she said. “Thank you. Thank you.”

Brooke graduated from Lyndonville in 2016. Among her survivors is a 1-year-old son, River.

“She was one of the sweetest people you ever knew,” said her friend, Meghan Gapa, 28, of Lyndonville. “She could also be sassy and tell it like it is.”

Forder graduated from Lyndonville in 2018. He played on the school’s basketball and baseball teams. He enjoyed making his friends and family happy, going fishing and dancing to music.

This candle is outside Bill’s Sub Shop on Main Street.

Wes Bradley, a member of the Lyndonville Fire Department, helped direct traffic. He removed his hat and stood at attention out of respect when the mourners walked by.

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Kids get to ride fire trucks, spray water at Shelby open house

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 19 October 2019 at 10:01 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

SHELBY – Zach Petry, a Shelby firefighter, makes sure kids are buckled in before taking them on a ride in Shelby fire truck today during an open house at the Shelby Volunteer Fire Company.

Shelby firefighters also shared fire prevention tips, and served hot dogs.

Kara Zambito and her son Vinny, 1, spray water at targets. The fire company set up obstacles, games and activities to give people a feel for being a firefighter.

The Orleans County Sheriff’s Department also did a child ID program. A fire prevention trailer from Orleans County Emergency Services also was on-site for families to practice an escape plan in case of a fire.

Mercy Flight also stopped by with a helicopter and the Holley Fire Department brought its new ladder truck.

Lukin Szatkowski, 8, of Medina takes a turn with the hose with some guidance from Melinda Canham.

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4 more sites added to Medina Sandstone Hall of Fame

Photos by Tom Rivers: Medina Sandstone Hall of Fame Committee members Jim Hancock, left, and Don Colquhoun unveil the four new inductees into the Medina Sandstone Hall of Fame on Thursday afternoon. The Hall of Fame now has 29 inductees. It was established in 2013 and is located inside Medina City Hall. The plaques are made courtesy of Takeform in Medina.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 19 October 2019 at 10:09 am

Mansion in Erie, churches in Palmyra, Geneva and Rome, NY added to distinguished list

MEDINA – The Medina Sandstone Hall of Fame inducted a mansion in Erie, Pa. and three upstate churches into the shrine for spectacular sandstone structures.

Since the hall of Fame was established in 2013, the inductees now include 29 sites and 59 nominations.

Representatives from the four new Hall of Fame sites attended an induction program on Thursday afternoon at Medina City Hall, where the Hall of Fame is located in the main meeting room.

David Miller, president of the Sandstone Society, thanked the buildings’ owners for their care of the structures, which were all built before 1900. The group is sitting by a wall with photos of past Medina mayors.

Jim Hancock, David Miller and Don Colquhoun are all members of the Hall of Fame Committee. They travelled 700-800 miles to visit the sites.

“You have all lovingly taken care of these wonderful sandstone buildings,” Hancock said. “I can guarantee none of you were there when they were built.”

The new inductees have tackled ambitious restoration projects to keep the buildings going for years to come.

“We’re very proud of you for maintaining your buildings,” Hancock told them honorees.

The 2019 Hall of Fame Class includes (with the writeups from the Sandstone Society):

St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 149 Genesee St., Geneva, NY

Anchoring the south end of Geneva’s Genesee Park Historic District, the massive St. Peter’s Episcopal Church is a Medina sandstone, Gothic Revival style church designed by the prominent architect Richard Upjohn. This elegant stone church was constructed during 1868-1870 with funds raised locally by voluntary contribution.

The church features a steeply sloped gable roof, and a rose window above the Gothic-arched entrance which is framed with gray limestone trim. Twenty years later in 1878, Upjohn’s son, Richard M. Upjohn, designed a massive, four-story, square bell tower at the northwest corner of the church. The Gothic inspired bell tower features tall, arched louvers with stone trim; bold corner buttresses; a polygonal bastion on its northwest corner and an octagonal spire pierced by turrets.

In 1986, the parish began a restoration of the buildings to restore the original Gothic splendor of the church. Today the interior of the church survives virtually intact with carved trusses supporting the paneled ceiling; original pews arranged around a center aisle; and delicate stenciling.

Representatives from St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Geneva include Joseph Marino, the Rev. Jim Adams and Charles Bauder. Marino and Bauder are long-time members of the church.

Zion Episcopal Church, 120 East Main St., Palmyra

The Zion Episcopal Church congregation in Palmyra, Wayne County, was founded in 1804. The present church was built in 1872 by one of the leading East coast architects, Emyln T. Little. It was designed in the Late Gothic Revival style, an architectural movement popular in the Western world that began in the late 1740s in England.

It is built of Medina sandstone with limestone trim. It’s roof features polychrome slate shingles. The congregation is justifiably proud of the care that has been taken over the years to be true to the original design and structure of such a beautiful edifice.

Located on a prominent street corner in the heart of the historic village of Palmyra, the church was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1996. In 2009, it was included in the Palmyra Village Historic District, and draws many visitors to the local thriving community.

The Zion Episcopal Church in Palmyra was represented at the induction ceremony by church members, from left: Cindy Lehmkuhl, Elaine Bonafede and Diane Peters. Bonafede and Peters are members of the vestry. Lehmkuhl serves in the church’s archives committee with Bonafede.

St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church, 200 North James St., Rome

With a history of worship beginning in 1837, St. Peter’s Parish erected the present church and laid the cornerstone on May 21, 1895 and it was consecrated on Oct. 24, 1897. It is extremely rare for a new Catholic church to be consecrated on the date it is ready for services, giving St. Peter’s a most unique history.

Designed by the famed architect, Archimedes Russell of Syracuse, this church is a wonderful example of the use of Medina sandstone. The architectural style is Victorian Gothic. The exterior is Medina sandstone of the kind known as rock-face ashlar, laid with broken joints. The trimmings are of brown sandstone.

This beautiful church has stood the test of time for almost 125 years and will continue to be a beacon in the community for decades to come.

Representatives of St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church in Rome thanked the Hall of Fame Committee for the recognition. Father Sean O’Brien praised the church’s parishioners and a previous priest for a big restoration project at the church in 2005. Father O’Brien is joined by the church’s maintenance director, Mark LaGasse, and office manager, Sharon Hansen. Jim Hancock is at right.

Watson-Curtze Mansion (Thomas B. Hagen History Center), 356 West 6th St., Erie, Pa.

This massive, three and one-half story Medina sandstone mansion and it’s adjacent carriage house were built in 1891-1892 by Harrison Watson, the founder of the Watson roofing paper company.

Architects Green and Wicks of Buffalo designed a unique, 24-room, Richardsonian Romanesque home with ornate stone exterior, short corner towers, rounded conservatory and decorative porte cochere.

The home was sold to Frederick Curtze, a prominent banker and patron of the arts, in 1923. After his death in 1941, the mansion was donated to the Erie school district which established a museum and planetarium.

Later, merging with the Erie Historical Society, the mansion became a regional history museum and in 2014, a major repurposing and renovation of the buildings created the Thomas B. Hagen History Complex that the community enjoys today.

Surrounded by lovely “Millionaire’s Row” homes, the mansion was, and still is, the most impressive and beautiful on West 6th Street.

Since the Hall of Fame was established in 2013, 29 sites have been inducted and 59 have been nominated.

Other sites nominated in 2019, but not yet inducted, include: Eberhardt Mansion in Buffalo, Blessed Sacrament Roman Catholic Church in Buffalo, Trinity Episcopal Church in Buffalo, Old Stone Warehouse/Skalny Building in Rochester, St. Ann Catholic Church in Erie, Pa.; and St. Paul Catholic Church in Erie, Pa.

Jeff Sherry, museum educator at the Historical Society of Erie County, accepts the award for the Thomas B. Hagen History Center, a new member of the Medina Sandstone Hall of Fame. He is congratulated by Don Colquhoun of the Sandstone Society.

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