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Barn in Carlton consumed by flames

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 20 May 2018 at 10:45 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

CARLTON – Firefighters look over the scene where a small barn was quickly devoured by flames on Route 18 tonight.

The barn was on the north side of the road between Harris Road and Church Street on the western side of Calrton. Firefighters were dispatched to the scene at 9:11 p.m. but the building was down to the ground when firefighters arrived.

Orleans County fire investigators and the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office is at the scene trying to determine a cause. No other information is available.

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Bailey’s Septic has a new owner after 40 years in same family

Photos by Tom Rivers: A plumbing and septic pumping business are now working close together. Tony Sanders owns Albion Bower’s Plumbing & Heating, and his stepfather, Jim Arnold, is the new owner of Bailey’s Septic. Pictured from left include Tony Sanders, Jim Arnold, and Brian Bartlett, former owner of Bailey’s.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 1 May 2018 at 12:55 pm

CARLTON – Brian Bartlett says he will miss a business dealing with something most people don’t give much thought to – unless their toilet stops flushing.

Bartlett last month sold Bailey’s Septic to Jim Arnold. The business was started by Bartlett’s grandfather, Paul Bailey, who originally had the business focused on drilling wells. As more public waterlines were installed in the county, replacing wells, Bailey shifted to pumping septic systems.

Bartlett, 62, has been part of the operation for 50 years, since he was a kid. Bailey’s started pumping septics in 1977 and that became the focus of the business. For a few years Bailey’s also rented out porta-potties.

Tony Sanders, the owner of Albion Bower’s Plumbing and Heating, often reached out to Bailey’s for a pump truck. Sanders had inquired in recently if Bartlett would be open to selling the business. The time wasn’t right until this spring for Bartlett.

Sanders knew the right person to take over the business. His stepfather, Jim Arnold, was in Oklahoma, working a demanding job for FedEx. Arnold and Sanders’ mother, Angel, wanted to return to the Albion area to be closer to family, including Tony’s three kids.

They moved back on April 1, with Arnold running Bailey’s the past three weeks.

“Family is why we came back,” said Arnold, a Middleport native. “The business is a bonus.”

Arnold was working at St. Gobain in Albion when he was offered a buyout in 2009. He started a new career in Oklahoma.

The transition back to Albion happened quickly, with the Arnolds selling their home within a week on the market and starting in the septic pumping business right away.

“God has blessed us,” Arnold said. “It has been so smooth.”

Arnold spent a week with Bartlett, visiting customers and pumping septic systems. The sewage is the trucked to the Albion sewer plant on Densmore Road.

“People will call me crazy but I’m enjoying it,” Arnold said about the new career. “It’s gratifying to see peoples’ faces when they can flush their toilet again. It’s the little things. I really enjoy serving the community.”

The two businesses will eventually operate out of the same building on Route 98 in Carlton, across from the former Harbor Pointe golf course. Bartlett used that site for the two vacuum trucks.

Sanders praised Bartlett for building up the septic pumping business. Most of the clients have their septic systems pumped every three to four years.

Sanders uses a site behind Crosby’s in Albion as the base for his plumbing operation. He wants to move it to the Carlton site where there is more room.

“The two businesses will work hand in hand,” Sanders said. “It’s a good marriage.”

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Local officials consider ways to best capitalize on Lake Ontario waterfront

Photos by Tom Rivers: Ellen Parker, a planner with Wendel, discusses a waterfront plan for the towns of Carlton, Yates and Kendall. The three towns are working to update a plan from 1998. About 40 community members met on Wednesday evening at the Carlton Rec Hall.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 12 April 2018 at 11:00 am

Revised plan also looks at Lyndonville’s big pond, dam

Orleans County legislator Ken DeRoller of Kendall has been a proponent of the waterfront development plans. In addition to the plan for the three towns along Lake Ontario, the county will soon be working on a waterfront development plan for the canal communities. The Village of Medina is also doing a waterfront development plan.

CARLTON – Local officials want to improve fishing and recreational access along Lake Ontario and its tributaries.

That was one strong theme in a discussion about an update of a waterfront development plan for the towns of Kendall, Carlton and Yates. The three towns adopted a plan in 1998, and now they are making updates, which this time will include Patterson Pond and the dam at Lyndonville.

The three towns have 24 miles of shoreline. Once the plan is updated and adopted, likely next year, it will put the three towns and the Village of Lyndonville in a better position for state grants for projects, said Ellen Parker, a planner with Wendel, a firm hired as a consultant on the project.

The state provided the Orleans County with a $40,000 grant to revise the Local Waterfront Revitalization Program.

Fishing is the county’s top tourism draw, netting about $9 million in economic activity a year. There may be opportunities to grow that by increasing fishing access along tributaries, including Johnson Creek in Lyndonville. Residents also suggested a boat launch between Golden Hill State Park in Barker and Point Breeze. Officials may want to consider a launch at the Yates Town Park on Morrison Road, which is between Golden Hill and Point Breeze.

Tony Cammarata, the Kendall town supervisor, also wants the plan to focus on publicly owned land that could be used to boost recreational activities. Not only is there the Lake Ontario State Parkway, which runs about 12 miles in Orleans, but there are other pockets of public land sitting vacant.

Wendy Salvati points to the Johnson Creek area in Lyndonville during a discussion about waterfront assets in the area.

Wendy Salvati, a consultant on the plan, cited the example on the land at the Shadigee in Yates. It’s right by the lake, but it’s just a grassy spot. She said adding benches and picnic tables would be a simple way to make the site better used by the public.

“This is a community-driven project,” she told about 40 people at the meeting in Carlton. “This is about your communities and how this works for you.”

Tony Cammarata, the Kendall town supervisor, would like the plan to focus on making publicly owned land by the lake more accessible to residents.

Officials from the three towns, and Lyndonville are working with consultants on the project and the county’s Department of Planning and Development. They have visited numerous sites in the three towns, making an inventory of assets.

Lyndonville wasn’t in the 1998 plan, but will be in the new one. Wes Bradley, a Yates town councilman, said the community wants to make better use of Patterson Pond and the dam. He would like the pond to be dredged and then promoted for use by kayakers, paddle boats and canoeists. There should be docks put in.

“If it was clear and open, there would be a lot of recreational use,” he said. “It would make this area a destination.”

For many years, there was a false understanding that the pond was owned by the village, Bradley said. It’s actually owned by the school district. That was determined two years ago, he said.

He would still like to see the other local government leaders work to have the pond dredged. The village owns the dam and that area needs a lot of work to improve the structural integrity and access for fishermen.

Jim Bensley (right), the county’s director of the Department of Planning and Development, discusses the waterfront in Orleans with John Riggi, a Yates town councilman.

Carlton Town Councilman Dana Woolston suggested have public bathrooms and a place for fishermen to eat on Park Avenue Extension near the Oak Orchard River and Waterport Dam. That area is very popular in the fall for salmon fishing. However, there aren’t many amenities there for the visiting anglers.

Frank Panczyszyn, a member of the Oak Orchard Neighborhood Association, would like to see a bridge put back in at The Bridges and he would like to see the small span be a covered bridge. That would be a tourist draw and also serve a useful purpose, he said.

Jim Shoemaker, a former Carlton town councilman, said the best ideas and plans may all be for naught due to flooding along the lake from high water levels. Many marinas, boat launches and businesses didn’t open or had to curtail their operations due to the flooding last year. The lake is up again this year.

“If high water happens again this year then we have an out-of-control situation,” he said.

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Waterfront development planning meeting set for this evening in Carlton

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 11 April 2018 at 10:15 am

CARLTON – There will be a meeting at 6:30 p.m. this evening at the Carlton Rec Hall on Route 98 to discuss a waterfront development plans for the towns of Kendall, Carlton and Yates.

The three towns are working together, with assistance from the Orleans County Department of Planning and Development, to update the waterfront plan. Additionally, the Village of Lyndonville has opted to participate in the program.

The pubic s welcome to attend the meeting and offer their input on what they feel is important for the future of the waterfront area, and to help the Project Planning Team identify important issues and opportunities in this area.

The meeting is expected to last until 8 p.m. The Rec Hall’s address is 1813 Oak Orchard Rd. Doors will open at 6 p.m. to allow the public time to review maps of existing conditions for the area.

A Local Waterfront Revitalization Program (LWRP) is an extension of the New York State Coastal Management Program. Having a local program enables waterfront communities to evaluate land use and waterfront resources and develop a comprehensive strategy to effectively manage and protect these resources, said Jim Bensley, director of the county’s Department of Planning and Development.

By applying a local focus on land use management and the maintenance, improvement and enhancement of important resources and features in the waterfront area, an LWRP strengthens the state’s program and provides the participating communities with a roadmap to guide growth and recognize opportunities, Bensley said.

It also provides more local control over decisions made along its waterfront. The goal is to develop a local program that properly manages land use and future development along the waterfront and effectively protects important coastal resources, he said.

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106k Chinook, 21k steelhead delivered to Oak Orchard

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 5 April 2018 at 3:50 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

POINT BREEZE – The fishing community at Point Breeze welcomed more than 100,000 fish today. The Department of Environmental Conservation delivered Steelhead and Chinook salmon from the Altmar Hatchery.

The top photo shows volunteers working with the DEC to release 106,500 Chinook salmon into pens by Ernst’s Lake Breeze Marina.

There also were 21,000 steelhead released into the Oak Orchard River at the Bridges near Captain’s Cove and Narby’s Superette and Tackle.

The 106,500 Chinook salmon were released into pens, where they will spend the next 3 to 3 ½ weeks. The extra time in the pens will allow the fish to double in size and also imprint on the Oak Orchard, making it far more likely they will return to the Oak Orchard when they are mature in about 3 to 4 years.

Right now the fish are only about 2 inches long. When they are mature, they should be 25 to 30 pounds – or bigger.

The team of charter boat captains and other Point Breeze stakeholders started the pen-rearing project in 1998. Bob Songin, center, led the effort. He passed the leaderships reins about three years ago but continues to help with the pen rearing.

Since the pen rearing, charter boat captains say they noticed a big change with more fish in the Oak Orchard and in Lake Ontario near Orleans County.

“It’s made a huge difference,” said Mike Lavender, a charter boat captain locally for 25 years. “The return rate has definitely increased.”

Daniel Wik, left, and Mike Lavander, owner of Intimidator Sportfishing, move one of the pens to a different dock. The fish will be fed often while in the pens. The pens keep the fish safe from predators while the Chinook grow in the next month.

Volunteers assist the DEC in releasing the fish this afternoon.

Mary Duckworth offered to help with the fish stocking today. She and her husband enjoy fishing and they wanted to provide some assistance.

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Carlton highway garage damaged in accident

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 26 March 2018 at 6:32 pm

Employee drove dump truck into garage with box in upright position

Photo  by Tom Rivers

CARLTON – One of the bays in the Carlton highway garage was damaged today when an employee made a mistake and drove into the space with the box of a dump truck in the upright position.

That took out about six rows of cement blocks above the door, the steel-beam header and also damaged the door, Highway Superintendent Kurt Van Wycke said.

“The big thing is no one got hurt,” he said.

The employee is a long-time motor equipment operator for the town. Van Wycke said the employee is a hard worker and asset to the highway department.

The employee had the box in the upright position to wash out salt from the winter plowing season. The employee then went to put the truck back in the garage but forgot to lower the box.

“He is a veteran employee who was just thinking about the next thing to do,” Van Wycke said.

The open space has been boarded up and the insurance company will be on site on Wednesday. Van Wycke said the damage will be repaired.

The dump truck only has some cosmetic damage and still works just fine, he said.

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Meeting on April 11 will focus on waterfront development plan for Carlton, Kendall and Yates

Posted 26 March 2018 at 4:23 pm

Press Release, Orleans County Department of Planning and Development

CARLTON – As part of the ongoing effort to effectively plan for the waterfront, the Towns of Kendall, Carlton and Yates are undertaking the amendment of a Local Waterfront Revitalization Program. Additionally, the Village of Lyndonville has opted to participate in the program.

To introduce this project to the public, residents of the forenamed municipalities along with other interested parties are invited to attend a public information meeting. Those in attendance at this meeting are encouraged to offer their input on what they feel is important for the future of the waterfront area, and to help the Project Planning Team identify important issues and opportunities in this area.

The Public Information Meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, April 11, 2018 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Carlton Fire Recreation Hall, 1813 Oak Orchard Road. Doors will open a half hour early to allow the public time to review maps of existing conditions for the area. Comments will be accepted electronically for those who cannot attend by clicking here.

A Local Waterfront Revitalization Program (LWRP) is an extension of the New York State Coastal Management Program. Having a local program enables waterfront communities to evaluate land use and waterfront resources and develop a comprehensive strategy to effectively manage and protect these resources.

By applying a local focus on land use management and the maintenance, improvement and enhancement of important resources and features in the waterfront area, an LWRP strengthens the State’s program and provides the participating communities with a roadmap to guide growth and recognize opportunities. It also provides more local control over decisions made along its waterfront. The goal is to develop a local program that properly manages land use and future development along the waterfront and effectively protects important coastal resources.

The Orleans County Department of Planning and Development was awarded a grant from New York State for the amendment of the LWRP. The County entered into a contract for the provision of professional services with Wendel and WWS Planning in April 2017 to assist with this project. Wendel and WWS Planning have been working with a community-based steering group – the Waterfront Advisory Committee – to collect and review information on existing waterfront conditions, including land use and community character, economic development, public access and recreation, flooding and erosion, historic preservation, scenic resources, environmental resources and water quality. To complement this information, the Waterfront Advisory Committee is asking local citizens to assist in identifying important issues, opportunities, desires and concerns to help establish a clear vision for the waterfront.

The information gathered at the Public Information Meeting will be useful for revising the State’s coastal management policies to better reflect issues and opportunities of local importance. This information will also help to determine where projects could be undertaken for improving the use and enjoyment of the waterfront.

As the LWRP project progresses, progress reports and draft materials will be made available to the public for review and additional input. Ultimately, the governing Board of each participating community must take action to adopt the amended LWRP; therefore, public involvement is critical to ensure that this project can result in a waterfront program that protects and improves the waterfront.

For additional information on these meetings or the LWRP project, contact Wendy Salvati, WWS Planning, (716) 870-2724 or the Director of Orleans County Department of Planning and Development, Jim Bensley, (585) 589-3189.

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After 40 years with Ricci family, Carlton golf course will have a new owner

Photo by Tom Rivers: Andy Young, right, is acquiring Ricci Meadows from Dan and Sarah Ricci, the owners since 1992. Mr. Ricci’s father, Peter, bought the golf course in 1978.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 26 March 2018 at 1:39 pm

CARLTON – A business that has been owned by the Ricci family for 40 years is in the process of being sold.

Dan and Sarah Ricci are selling Ricci Meadows to Andy Young, who used to run a roofing company in Albion. Young retired from the roof work in 2015. He has been eager to get involved in another business.

Dan and Sarah Ricci said they appreciate the many friends they have made through the years with the business. They are pictured today on the 18-hole golf course on Route 98.

He was considering farming. In fact, he was eyeing the golf course on Route 98 for farmland. But he said the Riccis worked very hard on the property since they became the owners in 1978.

“I see decades of hard work out there,” Young said the golf course today.

He was joined today in the clubhouse by Dan and Sarah Ricci. Dan’s father Peter bought the business in 1978 as a 9-hole course. Dan became the owner in 1992.

The Riccis expanded the course to 18 holes in 1986 and added a clubhouse, maintenance shop and numerous other improvements over the years.

They serve dinners and alcohol in the clubhouse, as well as selling Quick Draw lottery tickets.

Young will change the name of the golf course to Carlton Meadows.

“It has a nice ring to it,” Mr. Ricci said.

“And it lets people know where it is,” Young said.

Mrs. Ricci intends to stay on this year helping to run the clubhouse. Mr. Ricci also will be available to help Young with the transition.

Young has already purchased new mowers and tractors, and will have 20 new golf carts available for the upcoming season.

Mr. Ricci said he is pleased the site will remain a golf course. It opened as a 9-hole course in 1953.

Photos courtesy of Dan Ricci: Dan Ricci, center, is pictured with his father Peter and Dan’s son Pete in this photo from 1978, the first year the family owned the golf course.

“It’s a fun business,” Mr. Ricci said. “I hope Andy has as much fun as we did.”

Before joining his father at the golf course, Mr. Ricci sold tires and worked on cars at Ricci Tire. He did that for 10 years. Many of the customers in that business were grumpy because there were problems with their car. Some had been in accidents.

But at the golf course, people are in a good mood. Occasionally, he would find discarded golf clubs on the course when people reacted to a bad shot. But a bad shot is often followed up with a good shot, and those shots can improve a mood.

“People come here for a fun time,” he said.

Young has his first day today as operator of the site. He also had his first golfers of the year today with temperatures in the mid-40s and the sun shining.

The site has customers throughout the year. Snowmobilers stop by during the winter, and the clubhouse also is used for dinners, receptions and parties.

Mrs. Ricci planned much of the landscaping and gardening on the property over the years, picking different types of trees and also putting in many planted beds.

She said she met so many friendly people through the years at Ricci Meadows.

“This has been our life,” Dan said.

“We’ve made so many friends,” Sarah said.

This photo from 2016 also shows three generations of Riccis in the clubhouse: Charlie, Dan’s grandson; Pete, Dan’s son, and Dan.

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Bridge in Carlton on Route 18 will close temporarily for maintenance

Posted 13 March 2018 at 4:15 pm

File photo: The bridge on Route 18 over Oak Orchard Creek is shown in this photo from October 2015.

Press Release, NYS Department of Transportation

The New York State Department of Transportation announced it will close the two-lane bridge over Oak Orchard Creek along Route 18 in the Town of Carlton beginning Monday, March 19. The closure is anticipated to last two to four weeks.

Work on the bridge will consist of repairing concrete, replacing a joint header, and installing a new layer of concrete on the bridge deck to maintain a smooth riding surface.

The Lake Ontario State Parkway between Route 98 and Lakeside Beach State Park will re-open temporarily to accommodate traffic as a detour during the bridge repairs. Commercial vehicles will use the same detour.

Repairs to the Route 18 bridge over Oak Orchard Creek are being made well ahead of the busy summer tourism season. The bridge is currently posted at 28 tons.

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Comptroller critical of Carlton for managing town finances

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 2 March 2018 at 12:10 pm

Photo by Tom Rivers: A Carlton town sign notes the community is the “Ultimate Fishing Town.” The town received a $25,000 grant for winning that contest. The state comptroller said expenses from that $25,000 award weren’t audited and presented to the Town Board for approval.

CARLTON – An audit from the State Comptroller’s Office is critical of Carlton Town Supervisor Gayle Ashbery for her handling of the town’s finances.

The comptroller says Ashbery did not ensure accounting records were accurate and did not have deposit receipts in a timely manner.

“We found that 93 percent of receipts reviewed totaling $1.47 million were deposited, on average, 35 days after receipt,” according to the audit. (Click here to see the report.)

The town’s annual budget is $2.5 million. A five-member Town Board governs the town and is led by Ashbery, the town supervisor.

“We appreciate the issues raised by the NYS Comptroller in its audit,” Ashbery wrote to the comptroller’s office on Feb. 7. “It has helped us recognize areas where we can improve. We believe we have addressed many of them and we will continue to address other issues that small municipalities likes ours face.”

The comptroller’s office reviewed town finances from Jan. 1, 2015 to Oct. 2, 2017.

• Some of the specific concerns identified by the comptroller include a $25,000 award from the World Fishing Network after Point Breeze won the Ultimate Fish Town contest.

The comptroller said the town supervisor did not properly account for and report cash receipts and disbursements relating to the $25,000.

The Supervisor deposited the money in its own separate bank account and made 34 disbursements totaling $19,619 from the account during the period September 1, 2013 through August 31, 2017, the comptroller said.

However, the supervisor did not have the bookkeeping firm record the receipt or disbursements in the town’s accounting records and did not report the activity to the Town Board.

The comptroller reviewed the bank statements and cancelled check images, and discussed the payments with town officials and found the payments were appropriate, although they weren’t audited or approved by the board.

• The comptroller also highlighted a 2015 mortgage tax payment of $18,733 from Orleans County that was not deposited or recorded in Town records until April 2016. That resulted in the revenue being recorded in the wrong fiscal year for which it was intended.

“Had the Supervisor been performing an appropriate review of the monthly financial reports and budget to actual comparisons, it would have been apparent the Town had not received its mortgage tax payment as budgeted,” the audit states.

• The Supervisor also misplaced two checks totaling $2,015 from the town justices, who remitted the April 2016 collections of fines and fees to the Supervisor on May 2, 2016. The justices had to reissue the checks several months later because the town supervisor never deposited the original checks.

• The comptroller also faulted the town supervisor for not submitting an annual accounting to the Town Board for fiscal years 2015 and 2016, and not providing the public accountant hired to audit the books and records with adequate information. “As a result, the 2015 and 2016 annual audits have not been performed.”

• The comptroller recommended Carlton maintain complete and accurate accounting records and deposit all money in a timely manner. The town supervisor also needs to submit annual financial reports to the Town Board and cooperate with the public accountant hired to audit the books and records.

In her response to the Comptroller’s Office on Feb. 7, Ashbery acknowledged the audit is “highly critical of the fiscal oversight” for the audit period from Jan. 1, 2015 to Oct. 2, 2017.

“We also understand that we are a small municipality where elected officials are part-time,” she wrote. “We have made changes during this audit period by engaging professional services that will supplement our ability to be available to meet our fiscal responsibilities and to ensure that accounting records are accurate and complete.”

Ashbery also said the town is depositing receipts in a timely manner and has engaged a CPA firm to audit the town books.

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