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Medina approves $800K agreement with firm for work on sewer plant

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 12 December 2018 at 4:59 pm

MEDINA – The Village Board has approved a $799,200 contract with the Wendel firm for construction management, design work and bidding services for an upcoming construction project at the wastewater treatment plant.

The board on Monday approved the contract, which is part of an estimated $5.4 million project at the sewer plant.

The village last month was awarded a state grant for $1,331,545 for the project through the Clean Water Infrastructure Act of 2017.

Medina’s sewer plant upgrades will include a new Rotating Biological Contractor (RBC) and aeration and blowers; grit classifier replacement; pretreatment system (micro screens) replacement; gravity thickener building improvements; HVAC improvements in the main control room; and miscellaneous sewer line improvements.

Wendel will design the project components, prepare contract documents, submit design packages, submit drawings and updated reports to the state Department of Environmental Conservation, prepare final bid documents, conduct a pre-bid meeting, respond to prospective bidder questions, conduct the bid opening, review and tabulate buds, conduct pre-award meetings with apparent low bidders and prepare recommendation of award letters.

Those pre-construction services total $399,750.

The construction services total $399,450 and include issuing notice of award to contractors, reviewing contractors’ bonds and insurances, preparing contracts, issuing notices to proceed letters, conducting pre-construction meetings, conducting monthly progress and coordination meetings at the sewer plant, have staff on site to monitor construction, provide consultation during construction and issue necessary interpretations and clarifications of contract.

Other services include reviewing and responding to technical questions from contractors and the village, review contractor progress payment requests, support construction coordination between village and contractors, engineer in charge with visit site to ensure phases of construction are in compliance, conduct interim and final inspection of construction, prepare a certificate of project completion for the village, work with village and the village’s financial advisors for documentation and technical assistance to support loan and grant requirements through the NYS Environmental Facilities Corporation.

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Medina votes to seek $250,000 grant for skate park upgrades

Photo by Tom Rivers: Jeremy Brandenburg, 24, of Medina goes up a ramp and does a 180-degree turn during the Skate Jam on Sept. 15 at Butts Park.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 12 December 2018 at 1:32 pm

MEDINA – The Village Board is seeking a grant for up to $250,000 through the Tony Hawk Foundation and Ralph C. Wilson Foundation.

The Medina Skate Society will write the application and do the fundraising for the local match for the grant, said Alex Feig, who is leading the effort to upgrade the skate park at Butts Park. (The Orleans Renaissance Group, a non-profit organization, has agreed to accept any donations for the skate park.)

He told the Village Board on Monday that $22,000 has already been pledged for the project from a local business owner who requests anonymity.

Feig, 32, said other fundraisers and donations, as well as grants can meet the local match. The grant through the Hawk and Wilson foundations requires a local contribution of at least $50,000. Medina’s grant, if approved would range from $50,000 to $250,000, depending on the local contributions Feig said the community would have a year to raise the local share from when the grant is announced.

Feig has highlighted deficiencies at the current skate park, which is used by skateboarders and scooters. Feig said the skate park has aging equipment and cracks in the asphalt surface. He wants to reduce the size of the skate park, and put in a concrete surface and obstacles.

Feig was the lead organizer of a Skate Jam on Sept. 15. He used the event as an opportunity to survey skate park users and highlight the need to upgrade the site. The skate park was built on a former tennis court and has 20-year-old ramps, ledges and quarter pipes. The asphalt is prone to deterioration.

He told the Village Board an improved skate park would appeal to people who aren’t tied to traditional sports. He said it would also draw people to the community.

Tony Hawk is one of the most famous skateboarders in the world, and Ralph Wilson is the late founder and owner of the Buffalo Bills. Feig said the two foundations are embracing skate parks to promote recreation.

“It may well be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Feig said about the grant funding. “An impressive new skate park will increase the quality of life for residents of all ages while attracting new visitors to our community.”

If Medina is successful with the grant application, Feig said the Medina Skate Society will lead public meetings to see what features the community would like at the park.

The current skate park is 13,200 square feet, about twice the size of other skate parks in Western New York. Feig would like to see a skate park with a surface of 4,000 to 10,000 square feet. He would like public seating, new landscaping, and a stormwater management system in the new design.

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Medina may add banners to recognize Hometown Heroes in military

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 11 December 2018 at 9:46 am

Photos courtesy of Mary Woodruff: The late Willis Burr Woodruff, a former Medina resident, is honored on one of the banners in Alfred and Almond in Allegany County.

MEDINA – The Medina community next year may have portraits of veterans lining streets as a celebration of Hometown Heroes who served in the military.

Mary Woodruff, a Ridgeway Town Board member, is pushing for the displays. Her father-in-law is honored on a banner in Almond and Alfred, an Allegany County community that unveiled banners of soldiers this spring.

The late Willis Burr Woodruff served in World War II. He later ran the local Agway plants in Knowlesville and Batavia. He grew up at Alfred Station.

His family paid $200 to have him be recognized on one of the banners in Alfred and Almond, one of about 100 veterans who are highlighted.

Mary Woodruff said the banners are a powerful display. She wants to have a similar program in Medina.

“There are so many unsung heroes,” she said. “It’s something I want to see to honor veterans.”

She discussed the project with the Medina Village Board on Monday. Woodruff said she is willing to coordinate the effort. She would like assistance from the Village Clerk’s Office and the town clerks in Shelby and Ridgeway for people to fill out forms and pay to have a banner, which would include the hardware to have the banners be attached to a utility pole. The Village Board could create a Hometown Heroes account for the funds, she said.

The Medina Department of Public Works and the highway workers from Shelby and Ridgeway also would likely be needed to help hang the banners just before Memorial Day and then have them removed after Veterans Day in November, Woodruff said.

The Medina banners wouldn’t be on Main Street in the downtown business district. Woodruff said she would like to start with Park Avenue, a popular parade route, and also Pearl Street by the former Armory, North and South Main Street (away from the downtown), Orient Street by the VFW, and West and East Center streets.

Medina Mayor Michael Sidari said the Medina DPW could use help from the Ridgeway and Shelby highway workers if the project moves forward. He wants to check with National Grid to see if the company would allow banners on its poles.

Woodruff said she will finalize more details for the program, including a cost for the banners and how the money will be handled. She said she would present the project next month to Medina, Shelby and Ridgeway officials and look for their official support.

She would like it to honor veterans, current and past. She said the first year could start small with perhaps 25 banners and then grow.

“I think it will be pretty popular,” she told the Medina Village Board.

Three sons of Willis Burr Woodruff are shown with his banner. The sons include, from left: Roger, David and Paul Woodruff.

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MAAC starts sorting gifts for annual Christmas giveaway

Photos by Ginny Kropf: Volunteers at the First Methodist Church of Medina sort hats, gloves, scarves and socks which will go to every family who receives Christmas boxes from MAAC.

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 11 December 2018 at 7:43 am

Medina firefighters Aaron MacKenzie and Tim Miller deliver filled red barrels to the First Methodist Church on Monday.

MEDINA – It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at the First Methodist Church of Medina, where on Monday volunteers began sorting toys and gifts for MAAC’s annual Christmas giveaway.

This year, 75 families will receive toys, gifts and free Christmas dinner, thanks to the generosity of the Medina community.

Each year in early November, Medina firefighters distribute nearly two dozen red barrels to local businesses, churches and organizations, where they are filled with donations.

On Monday, those firefighters returned to collect the barrels and deliver them to the First Methodist Church, where up to 25 volunteers will work for the next three days to sort and pack holiday boxes.

Each family who applied and was approved will receive gifts, hats, mittens, scarves, socks and Christmas dinner, said Sherry Tuohey, who took over coordinating the project from Sue Metzo, after four years as a volunteer.

In addition to a ham, potatoes, vegetable, stuffing and dessert, other food items will also be included.

Eligible families who live in the Medina School District applied before Thanksgiving at Calvary Tabernacle and St. Peter’s Lutheran Church.

MAAC also accepts monetary donations, which are used to buy meat.

Holiday boxes will be delivered to applicants’ homes by Medina firefighters between 9 a.m. and noon on Saturday.

Sherry Tuohey, left, and Sue Metzo, organizers of MAAC’s Red Barrel program wait for Medina firefighters to bring back the red barrels to the First Methodist Church in Medina, where donations will be sorted.

Chris Horgan, left, and Hal Goodwin assemble boxes at the First Methodist Church of Medina, which will be filled with food and gifts for needy families.

Pastor Chad Wirth of Faith Covenant Fellowship in Medina delivers a red barrel full of donations to the First Methodist Church in Medina on Monday, where volunteers began packing holiday boxes.

Sherry Tuohey, coordinator of MAAC’s Red Barrel Campaign, accepts a check from Don Marchner on behalf of Jr. Wilson’s Sportsmen’s Club. The money will be used to buy hams and other food for Christmas dinner for needy families.

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Man recovering from stabbing Sunday in Medina

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 10 December 2018 at 9:31 pm

MEDINA — A man is expected to recover after being stabbed in the abdomen at about 8:30 p.m. in Medina, Captain Matt Jackson of the Medina Fire Department told Village Board members this evening.

Medina firefighters were able to treat the man on scene. He was then taken to the Erie County Medical Center.

“The individual will be fine,” Police Chief Chad Kenward told the board.

Medina police are investigating the incident. No arrests have been made. Kenward said police are seeking more cooperation from the victim.

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130 wreaths will be placed on veterans’ graves in Medina on Saturday

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 10 December 2018 at 2:54 pm

File photo by Tom Rivers: Wreaths are shown on veterans’ graves at Boxwood Cemetery in Medina last January.

MEDINA – Boxwood Cemetery will be part of Wreaths Across America on Saturday for the sixth time, and this year will include 130 wreaths, double the previous high.

There will be a ceremony at noon on Saturday at the cemetery on Route 63, north of the village. Assemblyman Steve Hawley will join local veterans in the presentation.

Community members and volunteers are welcome to the ceremony and then to help place wreaths on veterans’ graves, said Kathy Blackburn, the organizer and president of the Boxwood Cemetery Commission.

She thanked the community members and several local organizations for buying the wreaths at $15 each. The American Legion, VFW, Junior Wilson Sportsmen’s Club and Sacred Heart Club all bought wreaths which will be displayed throughout the winter.

Blackburn has organized the event since 2013, and it debuted with seven with colorful red ribbons.

“We started with seven and it has just kept growing,” Blackburn said.

For more on National Wreaths Across America Day, click here.

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Group raises $1,100 for at-risk children with exercise challenge at YMCA

Photos by Ginny Kropf: Will King, a personal trainer and owner of Studio Fit on Main Street in Medina, joins the action at a fundraiser called Burpees 4 Gifts he organized Saturday at the YMCA in Medina to benefit underprivileged children.

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 9 December 2018 at 9:01 pm

Rita Zambito of Medina, front, joined a handful of exercise buffs Saturday at the YMCA to do burpees for money to provide Christmas for underprivileged children. At rear are Mike Zambito, Teresa Wilkins, and Lindsay Eaton.

MEDINA – A personal trainer in Medina found a unique way to turn muscles into money to help at-risk and underprivileged children have a happy Christmas.

On Saturday morning at the YMCA, Will King, who recently opened Studio Fit on Main Street, sponsored a fundraiser called Burpees 4 Gifts, in which he challenged anyone to come and do burpees for 30 minutes.

For those who aren’t familiar with a burpee, it is an exercise used in strength training which combines a squat, push-up and thrust (or jump-up).

King wanted to do something to help those less fortunate and chose to donate to New Directions Family Services in Lockport, an agency which helps at-risk and foster children in Orleans, Niagara, Monroe and Genesee counties. He formerly worked there and knows the need which exists, he said.

When King approached the YMCA, director Gred Reed offered to let King have use of a fitness room for the event, in which those participating got sponsors and then did burpees for 30 minutes.

One of those was Sandra Baxter of Albion, who thought the event was pretty exciting.

“I like to exercise and have done it for years, so I joined Studio Fit as soon as he opened,” Baxter said. “And I enjoy doing things to help others.”

Participants jumped and moved to a variety of holiday tunes, including “Jingle Bell Rock” and “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas,” taking an occasional break to catch their breath before starting a new round.

Several, including Kelly Moriarty and Vanessa King did 60 burpees before taking a short rest.

Among a dozen supporters who participated in Burpees 4 Gifts Saturday morning at the YMCA are, from left, Mike Zambito, Megan King, Rita Zambito, Teresa Wilkins (partly hidden), Kelly Moriarty, Lindsay Eaton, Vanessa King, David King, Fredericka King and Sandra Baxter.

At the end of the 30 minutes, the group had completed a combined 2,753 burpees and raised $1,100 in donations.

The object of the event wasn’t to be a fitness challenge, but a way to do something enjoyable for a good cause.

Rita Zambito, owner of Zambito Realty, trains with King and wanted to show her support, she said.

Anyone may still make a donation to the cause by sending or bringing a check for New Directions Family Services to Will King at his studio, 525 Main St., upstairs, from 5 a.m. to noon and 2 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

“Since I had such a great turnout and support from local businesses and the community, I have plans to do this fundraiser again as an annual event,” King said.

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DEC report recommends cleanup at former Bernzomatic in Medina

Staff Reports Posted 6 December 2018 at 7:15 am

This aerial map shows the former Bernzomatic facility on the east side of Medina.

MEDINA – A report about contamination at the former Bernzomatic site in Medina recommends cleanup of the property.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation is reviewing the Remedial Investigation Report for the former Bernzomatic. The report was submitted by Irwin Industrial Tool Company, c/o Newell Brands Inc., which used to operate a manufacturing plant at the site.

The report lists the presence of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in surface soils; metals and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in groundwater; Tetrachloroethylene (PCE) in sub-slab vapor; and metals in sediment.

The DEC said the data indicates that past manufacturing operations at the site appear to have resulted in the release of VOCs, metals, and PAHs. All impacts are contained on-site with the greatest concentrations found in the former machining area, according to the DEC.

The DEC will complete its review, make any necessary revisions and, if appropriate, approve the investigation report, the agency said.

Irwin Industrial Tool may then develop a cleanup plan, called a “Remedial Work Plan.” This plan describes how contamination will be addressed, with the DEC and the state Department of Health overseeing the work. The DEC will present the draft cleanup plan to the public for its review and comment during a 45-day comment period.

The DEC will keep the public informed throughout the investigation and cleanup of the site, the agency said.

The site is located at 1 Bernzomatic Drive in the Village of Medina. The property includes two connected buildings, approximately 160,000 square feet in size, paved parking lots, and a man-made pond on the southwest corner of the site.

The western building consisted of assembly, packaging, and warehouse/storage. The eastern building was used for machining, parts washing, and materials storage. Industrial use at the site began in approximately 1915 and included canneries, food processing, machining and manufacturing. The site was recently purchased and the proposed reuse is for warehousing and manufacturing.

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Medina’s A Capella Select Choir continues tradition of singing at Senior Center

Photos by Ginny Kropf: Jeremy Rath, who took over this year as director of Medina High School’s A Capella Choir, introduces himself and the Select Choir to the Senior Center of Western Orleans, where they performed after lunch today.

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 3 December 2018 at 9:11 pm

Lynn Creasey, president of Senior Citizens of Western Orleans, reads a comical version of ’Twas the Night Before Christmas to seniors at their annual Christmas luncheon today.

MEDINA – A visit by Medina High School’s A Capella Select Choir has been a holiday tradition at the Senior Center of Western Orleans for many years.

That tradition was repeated today during the Senior Center’s annual Christmas luncheon.

There was a new face in the crowd this year, however, a new director for the choir.

After 34 years as its leader, Medina High School graduate Lisa La Machia Roessler has retired.

The group’s new director is Jeremy Rath of Brockport, a former music teacher at Kendall Central School.

Rath said he met Roessler several times at county music functions, and when she suggested he apply for her job, he did.

“I am honored, scared and intimidated to follow in her footsteps,” Rath said. “It is such a treat to make music with these great musicians.”

The 25 members of the A Capella Select Choir make up about one-fourth of the award-winning A Capella Choir, Rath said.

The seniors’ Christmas celebration began with a comical reading of ’Twas the Night Before Christmas by Senior Center president Lynn Creasey, followed by lunch.

Director Jeremy Rath accompanies Medina’s A Capella Choir in singing Christmas songs at the Senior Center of Western Orleans. Their visit to the Senior Center has been a Christmas tradition for many years.

The choir arrived by bus and sang a variety of holiday tunes, including traditional carols, special arrangements, such as Biddy Bum, So This is Christmas, Carol of the Bells and a medley from “Charlie Brown’s Christmas.”

Ray Paull of Medina has been a member of A Capella going on three years and has been in the Select Choir each year, he said.

“I’ve come here to the Senior Center every year, and I really enjoy it,” he said.

In a new twist this year, after their performance, the choir took copies of sheet music to the seniors and sang with them.

The entire A Capella Choir will be featured in its annual Christmas concert at 7 p.m. Sunday at St. Mary’s Catholic Church.

Alissa Blount turns the pages for director Jeremy Rath, as he plays a lively number at the Senior Center of Western Orleans.

After entertaining the seniors today at the Senior Center of Western Orleans, members of the A Capella Select Choir went into the audience and sang with the crowd.

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Santa has lots of fans at Medina library

Posted 30 November 2018 at 11:30 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

MEDINA – Santa Claus visited the Lee-Whedon Memorial Library in Medina on Friday evening for a pajama storytime. There were about 75 kids in attendance, who shared their Christmas wish list with Santa.

The library has hosted the Santa pajama storytime event for the past 36 years.

Jenna Snook, 5, of Albion shares a picture she colored for Santa.

Santa leads the group in some singing and exercises.

Zachary Smith, 4, of Medina was picked to hold one of Santa’s white gloves.

Santa reads ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.

Iszabella Eaton, 4, of Medina shares a wish list with Santa.

Santa asks the kids to leave out chocolate chip cookies and a glass of milk on Christmas Eve.

Suzanne McAllister, the children’s librarian, passes out some Santa Dust for the kids to take home.

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