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Lyndonville looks to buy 300 laptops next school year for students in grades 7-12

Photo by Tom Rivers: Dr. Aaron Slack, junior-senior high school principal at Lyndonville, holds a Chromebook laptop at a Board of Education meeting this evening. He gave a presentation about Phase 4 of the school district’s Smart Schools initiative which would include buying 300 of the laptops for students in grades 7 through 12 next school year.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 14 January 2019 at 10:37 pm

LYNDONVILLE – The school district wants to make laptops available for all students in grades 7 through 12 next school year, using state funds through the Smart Schools initiative.

Lyndonville was approved for $733,151 in Smart Schools funding in 2014. The 300 new Google Chromebooks would be part of Phase 4 of the Smart Schools in Lyndonville and would cost about $90,000.

Lyndonville held a public hearing about the proposal on Monday evening. The plan needs to get final approval from the State Education Department.

Lyndonville has already worked to upgrade its server and network through earlier phases of the Smart Schools.

The district has used some of the laptops in classes, but students haven’t been assigned their own computer to take home. That will change in September, as part of Phase 4.

Some teachers are using the computers in class, and students can do assignments and take tests on the laptops.

Dr. Aaron Slack, junior-senior high school principal at Lyndonville, has been working on the Phase 4 proposal with the computers. He said using the Chromebooks will help students transition to college, where many students are expected to complete homework and write papers and submit them electronically to their professors.

Slack said the district now has a strong enough network and wireless Internet access to handle students and teachers using the Chromebooks.

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Lyndonville student creates artwork for book cover to honor vets from community

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 13 January 2019 at 8:53 am

Provided photos

LYNDONVILLE – Lyndonville veterans and members of the American Legion, Joseph Hausler (left) and Steve Goodrich (right), are pictured with Gvani Rodriguez, an eighth grade student at Lyndonville who created the artwork to be used as a book for the American Legion in Lyndonville.

The American Legion in Lyndonville reached out to the school’s Art Department to have a student create a cover for a book the Legion is making that holds documentation for any service member that resided in Lyndonville throughout history.

Gvani used an image of the iconic shoe tree to represent Lyndonville as well as to show the roots of all the servicemen and women who have come through the town.

Joseph Hausler presents Gvani with a certificate. There will be another presentation to honor the Gvani and his artwork on Jan. 24 at the Lyndonville Presbyterian Church.

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Yates submits action plan to state comptroller after critical audit

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 9 January 2019 at 8:35 am

YATES – The Yates Town Board approved a corrective action plan last month and sent it to the Office of the State Comptroller after a critical audit in October.

The comptroller’s audit said there isn’t missing money or misappropriated funds in Yates. However, the comptroller said Yates hasn’t kept adequate financial records or provided adequate oversight to the town bookkeeper.

The town spends about $1.3 million each year. The report covered Jan. 1, 2016 to July 17, 2018. (Click here to see the audit.)

The Office of Comptroller said the town’s fund balance had a deficit of $86,345 as of December 31, 2016 and should have been better monitored. The Office of the Comptroller issued the following recommendations:

• Ensure that financial records are complete, accurate and up-to-date.

• Provide effective oversight of the bookkeeper.

• Provide the Town Board adequate, comprehensive and up-to-date monthly financial reports.

• Address the financial problems affecting the general town-wide fund when adopting the 2019 budget.

Town Supervisor James Simon said in an Oct. 5 letter to the Office of the State Comptroller that he and the town had already implemented some of the recommendations. Simon, for example, now does an expanded Supervisor’s Monthly Report. Yates has also eliminated the bookkeeper position in favor of a professional services contract with Millennium Roads LLC in Lyndonville. It has approved a fund balance policy to address the general town-wide fund.

“As a relatively new town supervisor, I appreciate the recommendations,” Simon wrote to the Office of the State Comptroller on Oct. 5. “I understand that the audit did not find any hint of misappropriated or missing funds, and that the town’s overall financial condition is sound. I recognize the importance of providing more comprehensive financial management, of ensuring better oversight of the bookkeeping function, and of developing a viable fund balance policy.”

The Town Board on Dec. 27 approved a corrective action plan and submitted it to the Office of the Comptroller.

The plan of action includes additional monthly reports about the town’s financial records that include revenue/expense control and balance sheets (assets, liabilities, reserves and fund balance) reports. (This has already been implemented by the town.)

The town worked with Millennium Roads to utilize accounting software so Yates isn’t maintaining two cash ledgers. That was implemented last month.

The comptroller said the town needs to ensure bank reconciliations for all amounts are performed timely and properly. Simon said Millennium will provide summaries of the bank reconciliation for all accounts and will review for accuracy and to resolve any discrepancies. That is to be implemented by Jan. 31.

The town supervisor’s monthly reports now include all money received and disbursed, cash balances and detailed year-to-date budget-to-actual comparisons of revenues and expenditures for each fund, according to the corrective action plan.

The Town Board on Dec. 13 also passed a new fund balance policy in coordination with the Office of the State Comptroller. The town said it will take about three years to build up the fund balance. That time is needed so Yates can stay under the state tax cap, town officials wrote in the corrective action plan.

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Lyndonville Foundation makes final payment towards school auditorium

Provided photo: The Lyndonville Area Foundation presented its final payment today towards the Stroyan Auditorium. Pictured from left include: Darren D. Wilson, president of the Lyndonville Area Foundation; Douglas Hedges, Foundation treasurer; and Jason Smith, superintendent of Lyndonville Central School District.

Staff Reports Posted 4 January 2019 at 6:34 pm

Organization paid $361K over 20 years for Foundation’s biggest commitment in its history

LYNDONVILLE – This morning the Lyndonville Area Foundation was proud to present its final payment on Lyndonville Central School’s Stroyan Auditorium.

This payment represents a 20-year capstone on an agreement begun in 1998 by then-school superintendent, the late Richard Pucher, and the Lyndonville Area Foundation.

The agreement reached at that time called for 20 consecutive annual payments to the school district by the Foundation representing the public portion cost of the auditorium’s construction. The public portion would have been the amount taxpayers of the school district were responsible for if the Lyndonville Area Foundation had chosen not to cover this cost.

“At that time, the Foundation had recently benefitted from a substantial bequest by the estate of the late Mabel Stroyan, a life-long Lyndonville resident,” said Darren D. Wilson, the Foundation’s current president, “It was her bequest that enabled the Foundation to fund the public portion of this project – a cost that eventually exceeded $361,000.”

The commitment to the auditorium is the largest contribution since the Foundation started in 1967.

“As the mission of the Foundation is to provide for cultural, educational and civic projects within Lyndonville and the Town of Yates, the Stroyan Auditorium was a perfect fit,” said Doug Hedges,  the Foundation’s treasurer.

Hedges and Wilson praised the “enormous generosity, gifting and legacy to the Foundation by individuals such as the late Mable Stroyan that make this all possible.”

Now that the 20-year commitment has been met for the auditorium, the Foundation has more flexibility for funding other initiatives in the community.

“While this final payment is a milestone for us, it also eases the Foundation’s annual obligations to allow for the possible consideration towards even more projects in the future,” Wilson said.

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Lyndonville seeks nominations for Educator of the Year

Posted 3 January 2019 at 11:41 am

Press Release, Lyndonville Central School

LYNDONVILLE – The Lyndonville Central School District is currently accepting applications for the 3rd Annual Educator of the Year Award, to be named in June 2019.

Parents, students, and community members are eligible to nominate a Lyndonville educator for this special honor. Applications need to be submitted by February 8, 2019.

The Educator of the Year will also receive a $1,000 grant to be used for special programming in his or her department or grade level.

John Bailey, an elementary music teacher, was the first recipient of the award in 2017, and second grade teacher Shannon Arlington was last year’s honoree.

Nominees for the award must have completed at least four years of teaching at Lyndonville.

Nominees should also:

• Be an exceptionally dedicated, knowledgeable, and skilled teacher;

• Inspire students of all backgrounds and abilities to learn;

• Have a strong sense of values, integrity and professional ethics;

• Actively collaborate with colleagues, administration, parents and families;

• Demonstrate innovative 21st century skills and continuing professional growth;

• Have the respect and admiration of students, parents, and colleagues;

• Play an active role in the school community

Applications can be found by clicking here.

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Lyndonville working to address erosion problems by dam

Photos by Tom Rivers: The Village of Lyndonville has a fence on the north side of the Lyndonville because water is eroding the soil.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 3 January 2019 at 9:13 am

LYNDONVILLE – The village is working to replace two flood gates by the Lyndonville dam to keep water flowing through Johnson Creek.

The gates are corroded and water is backing up, washing out soil on the north side of the dam. The village has a section of land by the north wall fenced off due to the erosion.

The Village Board is working with engineer Paul Chatfield of the MRB Group on the project. The board last month on MRB’s recommendation approved a bid CPE Service System Solutions for two new flood gates.

The board has to approve an upcoming bid for installation of the gates. The entire project could be about $175,000, Mayor John Belson said.

The  village has approved two new flood gates for a the dam in a repair project that should keep the water from washing out soil by the north wall of the dam.

The village has been approved for $100,000 from state Sen. Robert Ortt through the State and Municipal Facilities Capital Funding Program or SAM. The money will come through the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York.

The Lyndonville Area Foundation has also approved $65,000 toward the project.

The village will cover any remaining cost over $165,000.

Once the new gates are received by Lyndonville, the village will need to declare the repair an emergency to allow 30 days to make the repair, the mayor said.

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Lyndonville celebrates ground-breaking for school capitol project

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 2 January 2019 at 3:19 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

LYNDONVILLE – Ted Lewis, president of the Lyndonville Board of Education, uses a sledgehammer to break into a wall above the elementary school library. The district is creating two new classrooms above the library as part of a $10.7 million capital project.

The district had a ground-breaking celebration this morning for the project. The project was approved by voters, 106-19, on Feb. 13, 2017.

Lyndonville has already completed two components of the project, with a section of a new roof put on in 2017 and new LED lights put in the gym.

Ritajane Isaacson, left, is president of the High School Student Council and Hannah Marker, right, is the president of the Elementary School Student Council. They pull back the carpet that will be replaced as part of an upgrade to the library. The space will be remade with two classrooms above the library, which was formerly used by the middle school but was most recently the elementary school library.

In back are Board of Education member Harold Suhr, BOE President Ted Lewis, and Jason Smith, superintendent of the school district.

In addition to the two new classrooms, there will be mechanical, electrical and plumbing upgrades. Other work to be done includes:

• Air-conditioning in 95 percent of the school campus

• A revamped and upgraded kitchen, serving and dining area

• An improved parking lot with safety upgrades and more efficient pickup and dropoff procedures, with the parking lot to be expanded behind the school.

• Major improvements to the locker rooms

The work is expected to be complete in 10 months.

Hannah Marker gets some help from Jason Smith in swinging the sledgehammer at a wall to be knocked out as part of the capital project.

Ted Lewis, the BOE president, speaks to a group during the groundbreaking celebration.

Jason Smith, the district superintendent, thanks school staff for helping get the project to the construction stage. He also praised SEI Design Group for its design work and Campus Construction for its upcoming work overseeing the construction project until November.

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Lyndonville begins Christmas tree takedown from village park

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 2 January 2019 at 2:11 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

LYNDONVILLE – Sheri Dent, left, and Linda Fisk take ornaments off a Christmas tree this morning that was decorated at Veterans Park for Fisk’s granddaughter, the late Christina Ashton.

It is one of 75 trees that was decorated for Lyndonville’s sixth annual display of trees. The number has grown each year since Lyndonville started it in 2013 with 26 trees.

Fisk has decorated a tree for her late granddaughter the past three years.

“Christina loved Christmas and Christmas trees,” Fisk said. “I don’t want to forget her and I don’t want other people to forget about her.”

Dent also decorated a tree for her parents, the late Howard and Gloria Dix. Her father was a long-time mechanic across the street at Crosby-Whipple. He also enjoyed canning. She decorated the tree with canning lids, and Hot Wheels cars and trucks.

Her mother loved sewing and Dent put thimbles on the tree in her mother’s honor.

Paul and Paulette Daigler remove ornaments and lights from their tree. Their daughter Kelly Mana and her husband Tony also sponsored the tree.

The families and organizations pay $30 for a tree and then decorate it. Some of the trees were vandalized, including Daigler’s.

Mr. Daigler said it was discouraging to have some of the ornaments taken, including a Santa hat.

The family isn’t sure if they will have a tree again next year at the park, although Mr. Daigler said he is leaning towards being back. The family has had a tree at the community display the past two years.

“We just thought it was a nice thing to do,” he said.

The participants have until Sunday to remove the lights and ornaments from the trees.

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Lyndonville will have ground-breaking today for school capitol project

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 2 January 2019 at 8:16 am

File photo by Tom Rivers: A capitol project will add parking spaces and a separate drop-off zone to the parking lot and driveway at Lyndonville Central School.

LYNDONVILLE – The school district will have a ground-breaking ceremony this morning for a $10.7 million capitol project.

District voters on Feb. 13, 2017 gave their approval for the project, 106-19, to allow a series of improvements to go forward.

State aid will pay for most of the costs. The district already has the local share in a capitol reserve account so local taxes won’t be raised because of the project.

The projects involved include roof work, new air-conditioning (currently only 1/3 of school has AC), interior renovations (including removing a wall and adding two classrooms), lighting improvements, and site work that will add parking spaces and improve traffic flow. It will also add a clearly designated drop-off spot for parents taking their children to school.

The athletic fields will also be improved with drainage, new dugouts, fencing and electric service.

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Lyndonville Lions Club picks holiday home decorating winners

Staff Reports Posted 24 December 2018 at 7:43 am

Photos courtesy of Lyndonville Lions Club

LYNDONVILLE – The Lyndonville Lions Club has picked its annual “Spirit of Christmas” winners who decorated their homes for the holidays.

The top photo shows Michael Barnum’s home on Maple Avenue.

Other winners include:

Shirleen and Danny Woodward, Garland Street

Beth Thompson, South Main Street

Jim and Mickey Scharlau, Millers Road

Jim and Karen Hydock, Roosevelt Highway

The Seaman family, North Lyndonville Road

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