Dalton Major of Clarendon lives his dream as career firefighter at Batavia

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 29 December 2022 at 4:54 pm

Photos courtesy of Marc Major: Dalton Major trains during a recruit academy for the City of Batavia. He started full-time as a career firefighter with Batavia in July.

CLARENDON – Dalton Major, 23, is living his dream as a full-time firefighter. In July he started with the City of Batavia Fire Department.

He has responded to fires, emergency medical calls, car accidents and even ducklings trapped in the sewer. During the blizzard, he helped organize supplies that were delivered to people in need.

“There is no routine call,” Major said. “You have to be ready for everything.”

Major practically grew up in the Clarendon fire hall, following his dad Marc to calls. As a young boy, Dalton would wait at the fire hall in a meeting room with other children of firefighters. That room had toys, games and a TV.

As he got older, Dalton wanted to be part of the trainings.

“I just loved to be up there,” Dalton said.

Dalton’s mother Joanne also was an EMT with Clarendon from 2007 to 2014. Marc is now the fire chief of the volunteer fire company.

In recent years Dalton has joined his father on EMS, fire and other emergency calls. Dalton is a lieutenant with the Clarendon Volunteer Fire Company.

This summer he fulfilled a longtime goal of being hired to work as a firefighter when he joined the City of Batavia Fire Department.

Dalton said the Batavia department, staffed with professionals in a small city, is a perfect spot for him.

“It’s the best fit for me,” he said. “That place is really like a family.”

Dalton in the past decade has steadily been working towards his dream of being a professional firefighter.

Dalton was part of a First Responders Youth Program that gave kids in the Holley school district some exposure to firefighting. That group still meets Monday evenings at Clarendon and is run by Bob Freida and other firefighters. Marc Major, Pete Hendrickson and Joe Morlino also served as advisors in the program.

Dalton speaks at age 14 in Montour Falls for a County Coordinators Conference. Dalton shared about the First Responders Youth Program in Holley, Clarendon and Fancher-Hulberton-Murray.

It was intended to introduce kids to firefighting with the hope some of them would join a volunteer or career fire department as adults.

When Dalton was 14 he spoke at a state-wide County Coordinators Conference in Montour Falls. He talked about the benefits of the First Responders Youth Program in Holley, Clarendon and Fancher-Hulberton-Murray. The program for grades 7 to 12 is backed by the Holley Central School District and is an official school activity.

Clarendon Fire Chief Marc Major and his son Dalton Major celebrate Dalton’s graduation from the state fire academy.

The students gain some hands-on learning, but aren’t allowed to go to a live fire. They instead become familiar with fire trucks, equipment and training.

Some of the students in the youth group are local volunteer firefighters, including Zach Dann and Nate Smith with the Murray Joint Fire District. Others have gone into public service professions including Cassie Dean who is a security dispatcher at the Rochester airport, Delilah Doerr who is a home health aide, and Mike Snell, a member of the military who is par tof a crash rescue team.

At Holley, Dalton played soccer and basketball while being an active member of the youth program that met at the Clarendon fire hall.

After he graduated form Holley, Dalton then went to Onondaga Community College to completed his degree in fire protection safety and technology. He earned certifications in Firefghter 1, Firefighter 2, haz-mat awareness and haz-mat operations. He also has his national certifications to be a fire officer and fire instructor.

Dalton also was able to bunk in the Liverpool Fire Department fire house, staying there for two years in exchange for responding to calls.

“It’s a big city department,” Major said. “I got very lucky with Liverpool. I gained a lot of experience and met some really good people.”

Dalton graduated from Onondaga in May 2020 the height of the Covid pandemic. He worked about 10 months with Monroe Ambulance as an EMT, while also working part-time for an electrician in Brockport. He then worked as a utility worker for RG & E.

But he didn’t want to give up on the dream of a full-time job as firefighter. The firefighter Civil Service Exam was offered in Batavia. Dalton aced the test and then went to the state fire training academy in Montour Falls for 15 weeks, graduating in July.

He is grateful for a career where he said he can make a difference for many in the community, sometimes it’s a matter of life and death, other times it’s providing a listening ear and some comfort.

“It’s the best job ever,” he said. “You’re going to make someone’s bad day better. The main reason the fire department was created was to make things better for other people.”

Major said no fire or EMS call is shrugged off. If there is a call for a fire alarm, there could be a fire. An EMS call, even if it seems minor, is a very big issue for the person in pain.

“We treat everything as an emergency,” he said. “You have to be ready for everything.”

Dalton Major lived at the Liverpool Fire Department near Syracuse for about two years as part of a bunk-in program while a student at Onondaga Community College.

Firefighters keep fire at demolished barn from spreading in Clarendon

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 December 2022 at 6:48 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

CLARENDON – Firefighters responded to a fire at 16714 Hinds Rd. this evening after report of a structure fire. The owner of the property knocked down a barn this summer and was attempting a controlled burn, firefighters said.

But the fire got bigger than expected and firefighters were called to keep it from spreading to any of the nearby structures.

Clarendon and Murray firefighters were dispatched to the scene at 5:11 p.m. They used the Holley ladder truck to direct water down on the fire.

“Nothing of value was damaged,” said Bob Freida, president of the Clarendon Fire Company.

Clarendon Town Board approves contract Monroe Ambulance

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 16 November 2022 at 1:47 pm

CLARENDON – The Town Board approved a one-year contract on Tuesday evening with Monroe Ambulance for EMS services in the town.

Clarendon will pay Monroe $18,800 in the one-year contract that starts Jan. 1.

Clarendon is the third town to approve a contract with Monroe in Orleans County, joining Barre and Albion. The Gaines Town Board on Tuesday tabled the Monroe proposal so Gaines officials could consider a proposal from Mercy Flight EMS.

Clarendon and the other eastern Orleans towns – Murray and Kendall – are already in Monroe’s primary service area. But those towns haven’t been paying a stipend to Monroe for its services.

As part of a new contract, Monroe is agreeing to station an ambulance in both Holley and Albion. Right now Monroe doesn’t base in ambulance in Orleans County.

Monroe is seeking $200,000 from the seven towns in eastern and central Orleans in a contract for 2023, with a commitment to base two ambulances in the county.

No serious injuries with dump truck-car accident in Clarendon

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 14 June 2022 at 11:35 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

CLARENDON – A dump truck rolled over on Route 237 just after the Powerline Road intersection this morning at about 9:10.

The driver of the dump truck for PDS Construction in Hamlin was northbound and attempted to avoid a black Elantra, police said. (Most of the stone had been cleaned up from the road when this photo was taken.)

The dump truck struck the car and the truck tipped over, spilling about 20 tons of stone. The truck was hauling the stone from a Hanson plant in Clarendon to a solar project under construction on Redman Road.

Neither driver was seriously injured, a state trooper said at the scene. Both drivers were transported by ambulance to Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, police said. Neither vehicle had a passenger.

Nick Callahan of Callahan Towing, left, looks for where to attach a tow hook. Callahan was assisted with a bigger tow truck from Dan’s Tire & Auto Service Center of Batavia.

This Elantra was badly damaged from the collision with a dump truck.

Clarendon Fire Company honors dedicated members, installs officers

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 10 April 2022 at 8:45 pm

Provided photo

CLARENDON – The Clarendon Volunteer Fire Company held its annual awards and installation dinner on Saturday night.

Pictured form left include new Fire Chief Marc Major who started Jan. 1; Jon R. DeYoung, appreciation award for nine years on board (now deputy chief); Mary Kay Jenks, president’s award for exceptional service to president Bob Freida; outgoing chief Jim DeYoung presented with engraved ax for two years of service as chief; Kerry McCormack, chief’s award of excellence; Josh Henneman, board of directors’ award; Jonathon Salber, 15 years of service and life member; and Mark Lambert, 15 years of service and life member. Robert Margis, not pictured, also was recognized for 30 years of service as a Clarendon firefighter.

The Clarendon Volunteer Fire Company responded to 426 calls in 2021 – 326 of those were EMS calls.

The 2022 officers were sworn into office by Orleans County Emergency Management Director Dale Banker.

The 2022 Clarendon Fire Company Civil Officers:

  • President: Robert Freida
  • Vice President: Joe Morlino
  • Board of Directors: Donnie Mosier, Kerry McCormack, Earl Jenks, Robert Margis and Jim DeYoung
  • Treasurer: Karl Biedlingmaier
  • Secretary: Josh Henneman

2022 Clarendon Line Officers:

  • Chief: Marc Major
  • Deputy Chief: Jon DeYoung Jr.
  • Assistant Chief: Don Mosier
  • Captains: Joe Morlino and Josh Henneman
  • Lieutenants: Jim DeYoung, Bill Gergely Jr. and Dalton Major
  • EMS Captain: Kerry McCormack
  • Safety Officer: Bob Margis
  • Fire Police Lieutenant: Mark Lambert

Clarendon hears concern from residents over rising assessments

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 24 March 2022 at 1:44 pm

Town officials say higher assessments don’t necessarily mean higher tax bills

Photos by Tom Rivers: Town Supervisor Richard Moy met with about 100 residents on Wednesday evening to discuss the reassessments that just went out in the mail. The average assessment increased 25 percent from the values three years ago.

CLARENDON – About 100 residents packed the Town Hall on Wednesday evening to share their concerns that much higher assessments will result in bigger tax bills and drive some residents out of their homes.

Town officials acknowledged the real estate market is “crazy” with homes selling for tens of thousands of dollars above their assessed values. In Clarendon, there have been 146 sales over the past three years.

There are about 1,000 properties in the town. Clarendon does a reassessment every three years and 2022 is the cycle for reassessing the properties. Eight of the 10 towns in Orleans are doing reassessments this year.

In Clarendon, the average assessment increased 25 percent, Town Assessor Robert Criddle told the crowd at town hall.

Clarendon Town Assessor Robert Criddle meets with about 100 residents to discuss the new assessments for about 1,000 properties in Clarendon. Criddle said property owners can meet with him and a Board of Assessment Review if they believe the assessments are too high.

Criddle noted that the median price for homes in Orleans County is up 68.5 percent in four years, jumping from $81,000 in 2017 to $136,500 in 2021, according to data from the Greater Rochester Association of Realtors.

In Clarendon’s 14470 zip code, the median sale price went up 10.7 percent in 2021, Criddle said, using data from the Association of Realtors.

“The market has changed,” he said. “Right now the assessments are well below market value.”

The higher assessments won’t necessarily mean a bigger tax bill for residents, said Town Supervisor Richard Moy.

“We didn’t raise your taxes,” Moy told the crowd. “We raised your assessments.”

Richard Moy discusses how the tax base affects the tax rate. A higher overall town assessed value should result in a lower tax rate.

A larger tax base should drive down the tax rate. But that didn’t ease the concerns of many of the residents who attended the meeting on Wednesday.

Residents said they fear much higher tax bills and that will strain their budgets that are already hit with rising gas prices and inflation.

Town Assessor Robert Criddle said the real estate market is “crazy” right now but assessments need to reflect the current market values.

One resident said his assessment increased from $58,000 to $90,000 despite no improvements on the house.

“I’d be lucky to get 40 (thousand) for the place,” he said.

Criddle said those who don’t think their assessment accurately reflects market value can call assessor’s office at (585) 638-6371, ext. 103. They can question the value and can go through a grievance process. He encouraged them to do some research on comparable sales.

He acknowledged the shock with some the prices houses are going for – way above their assessed values.

“I’ve been doing this for 30 years,” Criddle said about his career as assessor. “The market has been crazy. There’s no question about it.”

Paul Nicosia gets praise for 32 years of service to Clarendon

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 December 2021 at 5:42 pm

Photos courtesy of Melissa Ierlan

CLARENDON – Paul Nicosia, right, is congratulated by his son Craig on Tuesday at the Clarendon Town Board meeting.

Nicosia is retiring after 32 years as a town official. He started in 1989 on the Town Plannign Board and Board of Assessment Review before being elected to the Town Board about 25 years ago.

Town Supervisor Richard Moy reads a declaration acknowledging Nicosia for his years of service. Pictured from left include Town Board members Marc Major, Paul Nicosia, Town Clerk Susan Colby, Town Supervisor Richard Moy and board members Allen Robinson and Bruce Hovey.

“Paul R. Nicosia has given dedicated service to the Town of Clarendon since 1989, serving on the Town Planning Board, Board of Assessment Reviews and the Town Board for 33 years with respect, dependability and honesty, making decisions resulting in the best benefit for the entire community and never individual gain: always fair-minded and caring,” the declaration states.

“Paul believes that public water for the residents is an important commodity and has helped the town through 13 water districts and the start of #14!”

“It is with regret that we see Paul leave the Town Board.”

3 charged after 2-county chase ended with a crash in Clarendon on Wednesday night

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 2 December 2021 at 9:50 pm

Three people were charged after a high-speed chase on Wednesday. From left include Jason Schmeer, Zachary Hursh and Alexander Scheg.

CLARENDON – A high-speed chase that started in Genesee County ended with a crash on Route 237 near Glidden Road on Wednesday night in Clarendon.

According to a police report issued by the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, Conservation Officer F. Fuerch was investigating a conservation violation in the area of Horseshoe Lake Road and Sanders Road in the town of Stafford. When the officer attempted to make contact with the suspect’s vehicle by activation of her emergency lights, the vehicle failed to comply and took off, initiating the motor vehicle pursuit.

Genesee County Sheriff’s deputies in the area joined the chase and successfully deployed a tire deflation device, known as a spike strip, in the area of Route 127 and 33 in the town of Stafford. The vehicle continue to flee at a high rate of speed, failing to yield to emergency vehicles pursuing it. The Orleans County Sheriff’s Office was notified, based upon the direction of travel, and the pursuit continued into Orleans County.

The suspect vehicle failed to negotiate a left turn onto Glidden Road in the town of Clarendon, going off the north shoulder of the road, striking a street sign and utility pole. The vehicle became inoperable and the driver and front seat passenger fled on foot. The rear seat passenger was taken into custody at the vehicle and was identified as Jason R. Schmeer, 41, of Rochester.

Responding Genesee County Sheriff’s deputies, state troopers, Orleans County Sheriff’s deputies, Albion police and Batavia police with their K9 partner set up a perimeter. ENCON officer Fuerch deployed her K9 partner, leading to the apprehension of the passenger, identified as Alexander Scheg, 27, of Byron, in a heavily wooded area.

Meanwhile, a resident in the area heard the sirens, and called a neighbor ask her if she had heard all the commotion. The neighbor decided to go her garage and when she opened the door, she heard moaning. A deputy was in her driveway and discovered the driver in the back of the resident’s pickup truck, apparently injured from the crash.

The driver, identified as Zachary Hursh, 37, of Rochester, was taken into custody.

Following the investigation, it was determined the vehicle they were operating, a 2017 Honda Civic, was reported stolen out of the city of Rochester. A search of the vehicle revealed drug paraphernalia and cocaine.

All three suspects were arraigned in the town of Stafford court by Honorable Judge R. Penepent. Hursh was charged with criminal possession of stolen property in the third degree, unlawfully fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle, criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree, obstructing governmental administration in the second degree and reckless driving and various other vehicle and traffic violations.

Scheg was charged with criminal possession of stolen property in the third degree, criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree and obstructing governmental administration in the second degree.

Schmeer was charged with criminal possession of stolen property in the third degree and criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree.

Both Hursh and Shmeer were remanded to Genesee County Jail, based on having two or more previous felony convictions. Scheg was released on the arraigned charges and held in Genesee County jail on an active city of Batavia warrant.

The Genesee County Sheriff’s office and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation were assisted in the investigation by members of the Orleans County Sheriff’s office, Albion Police Department, New York state police and Batavia Police Department.

AT&T touts expanded wireless network with new tower in Clarendon

Staff Reports Posted 3 November 2021 at 9:33 am

CLARENDON – AT&T customers and FirstNet subscribers in Orleans County got a boost in wireless connectivity with a new cell site in Clarendon to enhance the area’s mobile broadband coverage, AT&T said in a news release.

The new tower will help give residents and first responders faster, more reliable wireless service.

This new cell site boosts coverage, capacity and service around Route 237 corridor between Clarendon, Byron in next door Genesee County, the hamlet of Honest Hill, Byron, the hamlets of North Bergen & Pumpkin Hill and Routes 14, 19A and 6.

These enhancements also bring Band 14 spectrum to the area. Band 14 is nationwide, high-quality spectrum set aside by the government specifically for FirstNet, AT&T said.

“We look at Band 14 as public safety’s VIP lane. In an emergency, this band – or lane – can be cleared and locked just for FirstNet subscribers,” AT&T said in the news release. “When not in use by FirstNet subscribers, AT&T customers can enjoy Band 14’s added coverage and capacity.”

OC Historical Association brought Sunday tour to Hillside Cemetery

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 23 August 2021 at 2:44 pm

Provided photos

CLARENDON – Melissa Ierlan, Clarendon town historian, leads a tour of Hillside Cemetery in Clarendon and Holley on Sunday evening.

It was part of a series of Sunday evening tours this month organized by the Orleans County Historical Association.

The Historical Association planned five programs on Sundays in August. They all start at 6 p.m. The series ends this Sunday with a presentation by Bill Lattin, retired Orleans County historian. He will present “Telling Tales Out of School” from his book, “Trivial Tales.” This program will be at the Gaines Basin School, 3286 Gaines Basin Rd. in Albion.

The tour on Sunday in Clarendon included a look inside the chapel at the Hillside Cemetery which has received significant preservation work in recent years with work on the roof, repointing and repairs to the windows.

The time inside the chapel included music played by organist Scott Schmidt, who shared old and familiar tunes.

Crew works to fix water main break on 31A in Clarendon

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 9 August 2021 at 9:45 pm

Photo by Tom Rivers

CLARENDON – Village of Holley employees including Matt Campbell (in the excavator) are working late tonight to fix a water main break on Route 31A in the Town of Clarendon.

This is the primary 12-inch waterline from the Monroe County Water Authority that feeds the town’s water districts.

There is currently widespread low water pressure because the water needed to be shut off near the leak at about 7:45 p.m. This spot is between Thomas Estates and Akeley Manor on Route 31A, just west of Hall Road and Countyline Road.

This photo was taken at about 9 p.m. The workers were waiting for National Grid to show up and give the OK for the crew to dig down and find the leak, and “cut it and clamp it” on the watermain. That would be a repair to the waterline.

Campbell is Holley’s superintendent of water and electric. He is shown in the excavator scooping water out of the spot where they will be working. The crew is hopeful the water main will be fixed tonight.

Clarendon hears pros and cons of allowing marijuana dispensaries to set up shop

Photos by Tom Rivers: Nyla Gaylard of Clarendon urges the Clarendon Town Board to opt in and allow marijuana dispensaries to be located in town. She is speaking during a public hearing on Tuesday. Town Board members in the photo include Town Supervisor Richard Moy, left, and Allen Robinson.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 July 2021 at 3:44 pm

CLARENDON – The Town Board heard from residents on Tuesday in support of allowing marijuana dispensaries to set up shop in Clarendon and those opposed to it.

The state is giving municipalities until Dec. 31 to decide whether they will opt out of allowing marijuana dispensaries, where people could purchase adult-use cannabis products. The municipalities also need to decide by the end of the year if they will opt out of allowing onsite consumption at businesses such as a smoking lounge.

Nyla Gaylord urged the Clarendon Town Board to allow the dispensaries. There are already sites in Rochester where people can purchase marijuana legally for medical reasons, she said, and those sites tend to be nondescript or “innocuous” buildings with little impact on the community.

Clarendon Town Supervisor Richard Moy said similar-size towns as Clarendon in other states have collected $10,000 or more per month in revenue.

“We can’t escape the reality that marijuana is here to stay,” Gaylord said during a public hearing. “I would much rather see marijuana sold legally rather illegally by someone with an array of other drugs.”

The towns and villages can’t overstep the state and ban recreational use of marijuana. But the towns and villages can prohibit dispensaries and smoking lounges.

That disappointed residents Dick Conklin and Richard Williams, who don’t want to see marijuana use encouraged through legalization. They said they worry drivers will be “stoned” and put others at risk on the road.

“We’re talking about people who use it to get loaded,” Conklin said.

Richard Moy, the Clarendon town supervisor, said he expects other nearby towns and villages will allow the dispensaries. If it’s not available in Clarendon, Moy said he expects local residents will go to the dispensaries nearby and then use the marijuana in Clarendon.

“They could buy it in Brockport or Albion and bring it back here, but those towns get the revenue,” Moy said.

If the municipal board for a village or town decides to opt out, residents could still push a permissive referendum, with the matter going on the ballot.

Municipalities could also decide to opt out, and later decide to “opt in” and allow the dispensaries and lounges.

Chris Caufield urged Clarendon to hold off on opting in, and see how other towns and villages handle dispensaries, and see the impact in tax revenue.

The state has approved a 13-percent excise tax on marijuana with a breakdown that includes 9 cents for each taxable sale to the state, 3 cents to the municipality that has the dispensary, and 1 cent to the county.

Municipalities that opt out wouldn’t be eligible for the 3-cent share of the 13-percent sales tax.

Gaylord and Moy both said Clarendon would likely receive significant tax revenue if there were marijuana dispensaries in town.

Moy said the Town of Basalt in Oregon receives between $10,000 and $15,000 per month in marijuana tax revenue, while Garibaldi in Oregon receives between $8,000 and $10,000 per month.

The municipalities could also adopt zoning and limit the locations for dispensaries, including establishing certain distances from schools, churches and other houses of worship.

2 from Clarendon earn Eagle Scout rank

Photos courtesy of Melissa Ierlan: (Left) Eagle Scout Jacob Crandall helps his brother Jeremy Crandall put on his Eagle Scout neckerchief. (Right) Eagle Scout Dalton Thurley helps Cody Tanis put on his Eagle Scout neckerchief.

Posted 21 July 2021 at 9:50 am

Article courtesy of Melissa Ierlan

CLARENDON – Two Boy Scouts from Clarendon were celebrated on Monday during their Eagle Scout ceremony at the Disciples First Methodist Church.

Jeremy Crandall and Cody Tanis were joined by their family and friends as well as other scouts and scout leaders. Crandall for his Eagle Scout project led an effort to build a first responders’ monument in Clarendon’s Hillside Cemetery. Tanis led a project to scrape and paint the one-room schoolhouse at the Clarendon Historical Society.

Scoutmaster Jak Kohmann delivered a speech in which he stated the less than 4 percent of people who enter scouting attain the rank of Eagle Scout.

Scout committee member Ron Boyd read the Eagle Scout Challenge that described the following:

  • The foremost responsibility of an Eagle Scout is to live with honor
  • The second obligation of an Eagle Scout is loyalty
  • The third obligation of an Eagle Scout is to be courageous
  • The fourth obligation of an Eagle Scout is to be cheerful

Another critical responsibility of an Eagle Scout is service

Pictured from left include Jak Kohmann, Ron Boyd, John Crandall and Chris Nothnagle. They were recognized with the Camp Dittmer Heron Award. Paul Niggli, not pictured, also was included in the honor.

Ron Boyd also presented plaques to John Crandall, Chris Nothnagle and Paul Niggli in memory of his son Austin James Boyd who was born October 18, 1990 and died suddenly October 28, 2009 in a car accident. Austin was an Eagle Scout and Assistant Scoutmaster for Troop 59 of Clarendon, Lodge Chief of Ashokwahta Lodge #339 BSA, student at Monroe Community College and a 2009 graduate of Holley Central School District.

The Camp Dittmer Heron Award plaque was awarded to these men for grounds clearing and expanding the Brownsea program area 2010-2019, and their dedication and commitment to the Camp Dittmer year-round camping program and the youth of the council.

Pictured from left include Jak Kohmann, Cody Tanis, Jeremy Crandall, Jennifer Lemcke, Lisa Crandall and John Crandall.

Cody Tanis and Jeremy Crandall presented pins to their parents and also pins to people who they consider mentors.  After the ceremony there was pizza and refreshments as well as a cake.

Clarendon highway chief fears ‘total disaster’ coming from dead ash trees

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 July 2021 at 7:59 am

CLARENDON – Tracy Chalker, the Clarendon town highway superintendent, has already had to spring into action four times recently with highway workers to remove fallen ash trees from Clarendon roadways.

The ash trees in town have been decimated by the emerald ash borer, which have caused widespread destruction to ash trees throughout the country.

“It will be a total disaster in four, five years with ash trees coming down,” Chalker told the Clarendon Tow Board on Tuesday.

Town Councilman Allen Robinson said the state and county should consider a pre-emptive plan to take down trees off the right-of-way that are in danger of falling into roads and taking down wires.

“There’s a lot of dead trees,” Robinson said. “There will be a lot of trees that will be flopping in the roads.”

Town Supervisor Richard Moy said he has been taking an informal inventory of the ash trees, and they are in big numbers around town.

“There are so many of them,” he said.

Chalker and the highway workers were praised by Town Councilman Marc Major for their speedy response in removing the trees. Major is also a volunteer firefighter and he said the highway workers are quickly on scene when a tree comes down in the road.

United Methodist congregations in Albion, Clarendon celebrate merger

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 11 July 2021 at 2:54 pm

Church will meet at Clarendon location and be known as Disciples First United Methodist

Photos by Tom Rivers

CLARENDON – Randy Moore pulls the cover off the new sign for a merged church – Disciples First United Methodist Church, which brings together the Disciples UM Church and the Albion First UM Church.

Moore, a member of the board of trustees for Disciples, was joined by Leslee Lockwood of the Albion congregation in unveiling the sign at about 11:30 a.m. after the first service of the newly merged church.

Leslee Lockwood and Randy Moore cut the ribbon on the new sign for the church on Route 237, south of the Village of Holley.

The two congregations have been sharing a pastor for nine years. The pastor previously would travel to Albion and then to Clarendon for services until the Albion members started attending the Clarendon site about 18 months ago.

The two congregations each voted on April 25 to formally merge. Today was the first service for the merged group.

Linda Glantz is the church’s pastor. During her sermon today she spoke about Lego toy blocks, which are simple plastic bricks but can be used to build elaborate structures.

“They have a basic design, but the magic is in the way they fit together,” she said. “They are designed to be connected.”

Glantz said the new church is stronger with both congregations together. Disciples First UMC will have a focus on three core values of faith, family and friends.

“God created us for community,” she said. “Like Legos we are designed to fit together.”

James Shaw, a Boy Scout in Troop 59, served as a acolyte this morning and lit one of the candles at the altar. The church has been a longtime sponsor of a Boy Scout troop.

Vonda Fossitt, the district superintendent and former pastor of Albion First UMC, speaks during the service today with lay leaders from each congregation – Christine Shade of Disciples and Rachel Marasco of Albion First. Fossitt said Disciples First United Methodist Church “is duly organized for the glory of God, the proclamation of the gospel, and the service of humanity.”

In addition to unveiling the new sign, the church planted a maple tree on the lawn.

Richard Moy (left), Clarendon town supervisor, joined in the celebration today and helped plant the tree. Terry Wilbert of the Albion First UMC is back in center and Randy Moore, right, guides the tree into the ground. Moore, 45, has attended the church since he was 9.

Marcy LaPenna served bowls of ice cream while other church members prepared popcorn, hot dogs and other food for a picnic for about 75 people.