19 winterguard teams will compete in Medina on Saturday

Photo by Tom Rivers: Hinsdale performs a show called “Claustrophobia” at Medina on March 9, 2019. Medina will welcome many schools to perform on Saturday.

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 7 March 2023 at 7:42 am

MEDINA – The Medina Mustangs will host their annual home winterguard show on Saturday at Medina High School.

 Doors will open at 3 p.m., with the show beginning at 4 p.m. Admission is $8 per person, with children under 3 admitted free.

Nineteen guards are scheduled to compete in seven classes and exhibition.

First to take the floor in the Novice class will be the Ventures at 4 p.m.

 In the Cadet Class, Jamestown is scheduled at 4:07 p.m., followed by Batavia, Victor and Medina.

 The RA Class will begin at 4:37 p.m., featuring the Ventures, Corry, Gates-Chili, Marcus Whitman and Corning-Painted Post.

 Following an intermission from 5:20 to 6:10 p.m., the show will resume with Gates-Chili in A1 Class; and Victor, Lancaster, Orchard Park, Jamestown and Medina in Scholastic A Class.

The final performers are Gates-Chili in Independent A Class and Luminosa in the Senior Class.

A retreat and presentation of awards will take place at 7:40 p.m.

Medina business selling heart-shaped cookies, bracelets to support Arc

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 6 March 2023 at 6:42 pm

Case-Nic also doing basket raffle as fundraiser for agency

Photos by Ginny Kropf: (Left) From left, Mary Lou Tuohey and her sisters Laura McDonough and Amy Murray set up a window display at Case-Nic Cookies to promote a basket raffle in celebration of March as “Developmental Disabilities Month.” (Right) Nicole Tuohey, left, and her mom Mary Lou give feedback to Mary Lou’s sisters, Laura McDonough, left, in the window and Amy Murray who are helping set up a display at Case-Nic Cookies for a window basket raffle to benefit ARC Glow.

MEDINA – Case-Nic Cookies is again celebrating March as “Developmental Disabilities Month” by urging everyone to “have a heart.”

The business’s owner, Mary Lou Tuohey, wants to send a message that no one should be judged by their disabilities.

Nicole Tuohey holds a cookie which her mom’s shop, Case-Nic Cookies, is selling, along with bracelets Nicole made to benefit ARC Glow.

In support of Developmental Disabilities Month, Tuohey and her daughter Nicole are again promoting a window basket raffle to support Arc GLOW. Nicole, who was born with Triple X Syndrome, attended the Arc’s Rainbow Preschool from the age of 3 months to 5 years and currently attends Day Hab through Arc Glow.

Also in honor of the month, Case-Nic is selling heart-shaped cookies for $1 and Nicole has made bracelets, which also sell for $1. All proceeds go towards programs that assist individuals who are part of the Arc.

The window raffle will feature more than 50 items on which to take a chance, including 29 gift certificates from Medina merchants. There are also wine baskets, books, lottery tickets and Bills and Sabres memorabilia.

Mary Lou came up with the idea for a window raffle during Covid, when people couldn’t congregate. The baskets are all on display in Case-Nic’s window and a bucket is placed on a table near the doorway. When the store is closed, people can take a sheet listing all the baskets out of the bucket and purchase a sheet of tickets for $10. After indicating on the sheet how many tickets they want placed in each basket, they place their money in the envelop with the sheet and drop it into the mail slot.

The drawing will be on April 1.

Mary Lou has loaned her window out to several organizations for similar raffles since Covid, including OCALS, Beds for Brian and PAWS.

Mary Lou said the money Case-Nic Cookies has donated to the Arc GLOW enables the agency to purchase things they couldn’t otherwise afford with all the funding cuts they have received.

Mary Lou and Nicole, assisted by Mary Lou’s sisters Laura McDonough and Amy Murray, arranged the window on Saturday. When the store is closed, the bucket will be placed outside the door from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Medina sets tours for public to see fire hall on March 12, March 15

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 6 March 2023 at 9:07 am

Village officials seek to upgrade facility, put on new addition

Photo by Tom Rivers: Medina Fire Department officials say the current fire hall is too small for a bigger ladder truck. Currently there is only two inches of clearance from the top of the truck to get in and out of the truck bays.

MEDINA – The Medina Fire Department is inviting the community to tour the fire hall on Park Avenue to see how cramped the department is for space.

The department and the Village Board are eyeing an expansion next door with bigger truck bays to fit in bigger fire trucks.

There will be tours of the fire hall on Sunday, March 12, from 11 a.m. to noon, and then again from noon to 1 p.m. And then there will be tours offered on Wednesday, March 15, from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., and 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

“Due to the need for significant facility and equipment improvements and upgrades, the Village of Medina Fire Department is holding tours open to the public to make residents and business owners more aware of these conditions,” the department said in a news release. “Please choose one of the tours to see our deteriorating and outgrown apparatus bays as well as our aging and unsafe equipment.”

Firefighters and Village Board members will be present to answer questions. There is no need to sign up for a tour. “Just show up for the time that works best for you,” the department stated.

An engineering and design firm, Barton & Loguidice, has estimated an addition to te fire hall, plus repairs to the current building, would cost about $4.5 million.

The plan for the fire hall calls for an addition approximately 62 feet, 8 inches by 88 feet, 8 inches.

The addition would be on the current fire hall on the west side in an area that is currently a parking lot. That addition is needed to house a new ladder truck. That truck could be $1.5 million.

The village is looking to replace a ladder truck from 1996. That truck has a ladder that is 75 feet long. That truck barely has clearance in the garage. The ladder truck has a clearance of 10.4 feet but the space in the garage is 10 feet, 6 inches, Fire Chief Matt Jackson has said.

The new ladder trucks have a clearance of 13 feet. The design for the new hall addition would have bays that allow up to 14 feet.

With a new space for fire trucks, the ambulances could be moved to the current fire house. The space for the ambulances right now could be used for police cars or perhaps as a meeting area, Mayor Mike Sidari has said.

The Barton & Loguidice plan also calls for:

  • A new public entry, radio room/office, laundry room, EMS room, restrooms, Decon room, gear room, mechanical room, tool room, and apparatus bay with the existing apparatus bay being repurposed to house the village ambulances.
  • A mezzanine space will be located along the perimeter of the new apparatus bay with file storage and office space accessed from the existing building second floor hallway.
  • A new air and vapor barrier membrane and new exterior cladding system will be installed over the existing concrete masonry unit wall construction of the existing fire station, and the existing overhead sectional doors will be relocated and replaced allowing for adequate clearances around the ambulance apparatus bay.
  • The renewal of the building’s existing façade will result in creating a weather tight envelope while simultaneously allowing the cladding system of the addition to carry over creating a cohesive look to the updated facility.
  • The existing concrete slab in the existing ambulance apparatus bay will be replaced, including the installation of new trench drainage and epoxy floor finish.
  • The outdated emergency generator located south of the alley will be replaced and upgraded to accommodate the fire station and addition.

Medina winter guard competes in Lancaster with home show next on Saturday

The Medina varsity winter guard competed in Lancaster on Saturday and came in 4th in the Scholastic A division.

Posted 5 March 2023 at 3:59 pm

Photos and information courtesy of Medina Mustang Boosters

LANCASTER – The Lancaster school district hosted their winter guard show on Saturday with 14 guard units performed in competition.  This was Medina’s 4th competition.

In the Scholastic A class Medina came in 4th place with a score of 66.98. In that class Victor earned 1st with a score of 74.47, followed by Orchard Park in 2nd at 74.45 and Lancaster in 3rd with 72.77.

In the Cadet class Victor earned 1st place with 63.34 followed by Medina JV in 2nd with 58.39.

In RA class Gates earned 1st place with 66.92.

In the A1 class Greece came in 1st at 67.92. In the Senior class Luminosa was the only competitor at 80.98.

The next opportunity to see both of Medina’s guards perform is Saturday, March 11, at our home show. After that the guard travels to Jamestown on March 25 and the Championships on April 1 at Gates.

The JV winter guard was second in the Cadet division.

Julie Berry of Medina has 2 new books out with a party planned Tuesday at Author’s Note

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 3 March 2023 at 1:01 pm

Photo by Ginny Kropf: Medina native and award-winning New York Times author Julie Berry holds copies of her two latest books, “Burglars and Bluestockings,” the third in a trilogy, and “The Night Frolic,” a picture book with illustrations by Jaime Zollars. They will be introduced at a celebration at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the book store in Medina, 519 Main St., featuring a pajama story time, treats and signed prints by Zollars.

MEDINA – Medina native Julie Berry may not have started out to be a writer, but once she got started, she never looked back.

At 7 p.m. Tuesday at Author’s Note, the book store owned by Berry and her husband Phil, she will host a celebration to announce her two latest books, “Burglars and Bluestockings,” the third in a trilogy, and “A Night Frolic,” a book of illustrations by Jaime Zollars.

A daughter of Shirley and the late John Gardner, Julie graduated from Medina High School in 1991, then entered Rensselaer Polytechnical Institute to study chemistry. She earned a degree in technical communication, then went back to school and got her master’s degree in writing. She had met her husband Phil Berry at Rensselaer and after they were married, they lived in upstate New York and Massachusetts before moving to Los Angeles where Phil could pursue his career in the movie industry.

In 2020, Julie learned the former Book Shoppe in Medina was for sale, and fearing it would be closed, she and Phil made the decision to move back to Medina with their four children.

“I couldn’t bear to think there wouldn’t be a book store in my home town,” Julie said.

After extensive remodeling, which Phil did, they reopened the front half of the store on May 25, 2021, and celebrated reopening of the entire store on Sept. 25, 2021.

Julie shared how her writing career evolved.

“I always thought it would be wonderful to be a writer,” Julie said. “But I didn’t think it would be viable.”

Julie completed her master’s degree at Vermont College of Fine Arts in Montpelier, Vt. in January 2008. She was enrolled in a program designed to help people become writers. During 2 ½ years, she had written three books, the first of which she didn’t think was worthy of publication. By the time she graduated, she had secured an agent and sold her first book.

She had seen a picture of a haunted house and it sparked an idea, Julie said.

“It seemed like a house full of sadness,” she said.

It was called “Amaranth Enchantment,” and it did very well, the author said.

In 2019, Berry’s book “Lovely War” was named a New York Times bestseller.

“That was awesome,” she said.

Since then, many of her other titles have won awards and starred reviews from giants in the industry.

Berry said she likes to write picture books for little children, as well as titles for middle grades and books for teens. She likes fantasy, she said.

She is very excited about her new book “The Night Frolic,” which is mythologically-based and was just named Amazon’s “Best New Picture Book” for March.

“I think of it as a fantasia on bedtime,” she said. “It begins by asking, ‘Where do young the children go when they drift off to sleep,’ and follows those sleepy children on a magical journey through nighttime realms of wonder, where they meet the Night Tiger, the Night Walrus and an ensemble of talking creatures.”

The book has earned rave reviews from Kirkus Reviews, which calls it “a dream come true for readers seeking a new bedtime story”; Publisher’s Weekly, which says “Berry’s mesmerizing prose sounds like a saga from another world, and this vision of journey, adventure and happy clamor offers both antidote to and fodder for sleep’s dark mysteries”; and Booklist, calling it “downright magical, this picture book made for dreamers.”

Julie will read from the book during Tuesday night’s event, as well as excerpts from Burglars and Bluestockings.

Her trilogy began with “Wishes and Wellingtons” and “Crime and Carpetbags,” and with “Burglars and Bluestockings” tells the story of a young woman in a boarding school in the Victorian era who discovers a djinni in a sardine can. The books are a middle grade fantasy adventure novel suited for ages 8 and up.

Along with taking care of her family, participating with her husband in his swing dancing endeavors, pursuing her interest in software startup companies and running a book store, Julie said she still finds time to write.

“When you love something, you just get it done somehow,” she said.

Tuesday will be a fun night, she said. It is free and open to the public. Copies of her new books can be ordered online at or by calling the store at (585) 798-3642.

Medina students in grades 3-6 put STEAM to the test with creative challenges

Posted 1 March 2023 at 9:41 am

Provided photos: Jason Klein observes students in Mrs. Duhow’s 5th grade class with their tower challenge: Oscar Lopez, Avery Twitchell and Amber O’Kussick.

Press Release, Medina Central School

MEDINA – District Technology Integrator Jason Klein attended a professional development session called “Infusing STEAM into Today’s Instruction.” It inspired him and Julie Webber (Director of Curriculum and Instruction) to plan a day for Clifford Wise students of STEAM education.

Third-grader Jack Buondonno made this creation, Scarpkins, from recycled materials.

STEAM is an education approach to learning the uses of Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics for guiding student inquiry, communication, and critical thinking.

“We decided to go “Full STEAM Ahead” at Clifford Wise Intermediate School,” says Klein. “We started the day with a school-wide presentation from author, illustrator and maker, Brian Yanish, where he encouraged students to think outside the box and reuse recyclables in new and innovative ways.”

After a fun filled and enlightening presentation, students worked with their peers to compete in a variety of STEAM challenges that encouraged problem solving, critical thinking and teamwork.

“Brian Yanish’s presentation inspired the students and really got their creative juices flowing,” said Klein. “They used that momentum in their STEAM challenges. The students were enthusiastic and excited and couldn’t wait to share their creations and solutions with their peers, teachers and family. I heard one student say, ‘Time really does fly by when you are having fun.’”

The STEAM challenges were broken down by grade. Grade 3 had the Scrapkins: Junk Re-Thunk Challenge where they had to design and build a character using recycled materials.

Grade 4 took on the Amazing Architecture Challenge where they built a home for their rubber duck using 50 marshmallows and 50 toothpicks. Fifth grade was assigned the Newspaper Tower Challenge where they used the engineering design process to design and build a structure at least 30” tall to support a basketball for at least three seconds.

Lastly the sixth graders had the Slo-Mo Marble Challenge where they used the Engineering Design Process to design and build the slowest marble run out of recycled materials.

“I believe that the students got a lot of out of this day,” Klein said. “Our goal was to inspire and empower lifelong learners through hands-on STEAM education that fosters creativity, critical thinking, and a passion for innovation. We hope students, and even teachers, take away that STEAM is about creativity, trial, error and having fun. If students are not ‘successful’, that’s okay because it is part of the process.”

Julie Webber added, “This opportunity truly allowed students to embrace and love learning through exploration. Statements like ‘I don’t want to go home’ and ‘No… The buses are coming!’  were heard from the students. Even the teachers and staff enjoyed participating with the students. Learning is not just about memorizing facts, it’s about applying the knowledge that we learn. Students had a great opportunity to do this!”

Jason Klein and Brian Yanish pose are shown with students from Mrs. Scott’s third grade class: Cai Ree Lorenz, Alexis Sherman and Jordan Hammonds with their Scrapkins.

Kole McMullen and Santiago Velez in Mrs. Lemme’s 4th grade class plan out an architecture challenge.

Medina district hosting information night on Thursday for Pre-K

Posted 1 March 2023 at 9:20 am

Press Release, Medina Central School

MEDINA – The Medina School District will be hosting an information night on Thursday for families of incoming UPK (Universal Pre-Kindergarten) students.

The session will be from 5:30 to 6:45 p.m. at Oak Orchard Primary School, 335 West Oak Orchard St. Anyone wishing to attend or looking for more information is asked to sign up through this link.

The signup is also available on the school district website at under the District News on the front page. School Principal Jennifer Stearns says RSVPs are appreciated to help plan for a successful event.

To be eligible for UPK, children must be 4 years old by Dec. 1, 2023. To be eligible for kindergarten, children must be 5 years old by Dec. 1, 2023.

Doors will open at 5:15 p.m. and the event will begin promptly at 5:30 p.m. There will be a brief general session for adults in the auditorium, and then participants will visit scheduled locations throughout the building.

Please plan to arrive by 5:30 p.m. and stay for the duration, in order to receive all of the information prepared. Childcare will be provided for any children eligible to attend school in the 2023-24 school year.

Families interested in learning more about Medina’s UPK program are asked to complete the sign up, whether or not you are able to attend the information night. If you are unable to attend, information will be shared afterward on Oak Orchard Primary School’s website and sent to the email address provided on the sign up.

Timeline for UPK application, acceptance, registration and screening:

  • Thursday March 2: UPK Information Night 5:30 to 6:45 p.m. at Oak Orchard Primary
  • March 2 – April 2: UPK applications accepted at the Information Night, by calling the Oak Orchard Main Office, or through our website, starting on 3/2.
  • April 3: Families notified of acceptance into UPK Program or if program capacity is reached, that lottery is to be held.
  • Week of April 3: Lottery held, if needed, and registration packets mailed.
  • Week of May 1 – May 5: UPK Student Screening, applicants should bring all registration materials to the screening. A parent and the child are expected to attend the screening. Applicants will be contacted by phone to schedule their screening time.

Any questions can be directed to the Oak Orchard Main Office by calling 585-798-2700, option 3 and then 0, between 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Please be sure to register for the Information Night by clicking here.

Information for Kindergarten Registration to follow at a later date.

One more concert at Medina library’s Finally Fridays series

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 27 February 2023 at 10:19 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

MEDINA – The DSP Jazz Trio performs on Friday evening at Lee-Whedon Memorial Library in Medina. From left include Skip Taylor on the electronic drum set, Derek Reiss on trumpet and flugelhorn, and Pete Mark on trombone and vocals.

The jazz trio performed songs from the American Song Book and jazz standards. About 75 people attended the concert. That is about half of the usual crowd. Friday’s attendance was hindered by icy conditions outside.

The DSP Jazz Trio performs on Friday at Lee-Whedon. The group also is a frequent entertainer at the Bent’s Opera House in Medina.

There is one more concert in the nine-week Finally Fridays series with Step In Time playing Irish folk songs on March 3. The concert starts at 7 p.m. with doors opening at 6.

The Medina library has hosted the series since 2002 with the 2021 concerts cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The series receives funding from the New York State Council on the Arts in a program administered by the Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council.

Slate set for Medina village election with 2 candidates unopposed on March 21

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 February 2023 at 12:27 pm

MEDINA – Two candidates for two trustee positions will be unopposed on the ballot after turning in petitions signed by at least 100 eligible voters in the village.

Diana Baker and Jessica Marciano are both running under the Unity Party. Marciano is a current trustee. Owen Toale, the other trustee whose term expires March 31, isn’t seeking re-election to a two-year term.

In the Medina village elections the candidates run as independents without official backing from the major political parties.

Voting will be from noon to 9 p.m. at the Senior Center, 615 West Ave.

Medina expects 2025 for completion of pedestrian bridge on Maple Ridge

File photo by Tom Rivers: Village of Medina and Town of Shelby officials retained an engineering firm last week to work on the design of a new pedestrian bridge over Oak Orchard Creek on Maple Ridge Road. The project also includes sidewalks in that area.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 20 February 2023 at 10:11 am

MEDINA – The Medina Village Board and Shelby Town Board voted last week to hire an engineering firm to work on a pedestrian bridge over Oak Orchard Creek in a federally funded project.

The village in 2021 was awarded a $1,094,196 grant to construct the bridge and sidewalks as part of a multi-use path for pedestrians and bicycles.

The Barton & Loguidice firm will work on the design of the bridge, and will work to secure easements from utility companies and property owners.

Mayor Mike Sidari said the project should be complete in 2025. He appreciates that the state awarded the community a federal Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) grant in 2021 for the project.

The section of Maple Ridge Road by the creek has become busier with a housing development, several new businesses and also the GCC campus center. There are also about 200 available acres in the area being promoted for development by the EDA.

The pedestrian bridge and sidewalks on Maple Ridge have been sought by the village for several years but Medina didn’t receive grants for the project. The bridge is expected to be about 20 feet away from the road on the north side.

Medina winter guards compete in Batavia

Posted 19 February 2023 at 8:51 pm

The varsity winter guard from Medina competes Saturday in Batavia.

Photos and information courtesy of Medina Mustang Boosters

BATAVIA – Medina’s Winter Guard competed for the third time this season in Batavia on Saturday.

The Varsity Guard’s show is entitled “Mission: Graduate.” The group sends a message that no matter where life takes you or what path you choose, you will always meet challenges.

Medina competed against 4 other guards in the Scholastic A class and came in 5th place with 61.69.  Victor earned 1st place at 68.31; Orchard Park in 2nd with 67.49; Jamestown in 3rd with 65.58;  and Lancaster in 4th at 64.09.

The Junior Varsity guard competed the first time in Batavia. In that cadet class Victor earned 1st place with 58.54, followed by Medina in second at 55.16; Jamestown in third at 54.99 and Batavia in 4th at 50.87.

The JV winter guard finished second in the competition at Batavia.

The Medina JV show is entitled “Umbrella.” It has a message that from where they are standing the sun is shining all over the place and once you’ve learned to sing in the rain, you will be able to survive the passing storms.

Medina’s next competition is March 4 in Lancaster and followed by the home show in Medina on March 11.

Caravan of construction vehicles pay tribute to Art Hill

Photo by Tom Rivers: These construction vehicles head towards downtown Medina on Main Street at about 2:45 on Saturday, part of a funeral procession for Art Hill.

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 19 February 2023 at 12:05 pm

MEDINA – Family, friends and the community paid tribute on Saturday to a lifelong resident whose legacy will continue for ages.

Art Hill

Art Hill, 78, died Jan. 26 in Florida, after suffering a fall on Jan. 25.

Hundreds paid their respects and shared memories at the Ridgeway Fire Hall on Saturday, after which 12 trucks from the fleet of Art Hill Excavating formed a parade down Main Street in Medina, enroute to burial in Millville Cemetery.

In the parade were dump trucks, a slinger truck, mini excavator and several tractor trailers, with longtime employee Donny Grabowski driving the fleet’s No. 36, said Art’s daughter Jennifer Hill-Young.

“He was an amazing man,” Jennifer said. “My brother and I were so lucky to have him. He was a firm boss, and a true leader. He wanted to teach us and instilled his knowledge in everyone.”

Art loved sports and he loved to build. He died doing what he loved. He was building a dock for their jet skis at their winter home in Florida and had gone to lumberyard for materials. With his arms full, he tripped and fell, hitting his head on the pavement. He died the next day.

A son of the late Hugh and Frances Hill, Art was born and grew up in Knowlesville. He graduated from Medina High School in 1962 and went to work for Phinney Tool and Die. He became a partner in Ridge Sand and Gravel, then in 1977, decided to go on his own and founded Art Hill Excavating.

Art was known in the area for his love of cars, and raced at Lancaster Speedway. He owned various stock cars locally and throughout the Northeast. His community and his involvement in racing were some of his greatest joys.

As a businessman, he was loved and respected throughout Western New York. He loved to create and help others during his 60-year career, and earned a reputation as one of the best heavy equipment operators in the business.  Art was known for being fair, honest and doing the best job possible for every customer.

Shortly after starting his own business, Art asked Allan Kropf to fly him to New Jersey to pick up a dump truck he had bought. That started a lifelong acquaintance.

“There wasn’t a finer man than Art Hill,” Allan said. “To this day, whenever we met, we laughed about that trip. I always knew when I did business with Art, I was getting a fair deal.”

Art was a father figure to many of his employees, and Jennifer added they have brothers and a father/son working for the company, with all of whom Art shared his knowledge of construction.

Photo by Ginny Kropf: Three heavy trucks are part of a parade of 12 vehicles down Main Street in Medina, paying tribute to Medina native and businessman Art Hill, who died Jan. 26 in Florida, after suffering a fall.

Jennifer had worked for her dad for three years when he decided to “retire” and turn the business over to her, knowing she would run it with the same dedication and professionalism he did. She has now been president of the company for 12 years, but Art often called or stopped in, and was there when she needed help.

Art’s son Jerry , of whom he was also very proud, lives in Virginia and sells technologies to the federal government.

Later in life, Art married Marcia Hamilton and together they enjoyed cruising abroad, racing, cars, activities on the lake, traveling the country, movies and spending countless hours together.

His passing has left a huge void, but Art’s legacy will continue through Art Hill Excavating and its service to Western New York, Jennifer said.

In addition to his children Jennifer and Jerry, Art is survived by his wife Marcia, four grandchildren, two stepsons and several step-grandchildren.

Funeral arrangements were completed by Bogan and Tuttle Funeral Home.

Medina Village Board urges Ridgeway, County BOE to keep polling site in village

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 February 2023 at 7:43 am

MEDINA – The Orleans County Board of Elections is encouraging the Town of Ridgeway to consolidate its polling locations to one spot at the Ridgeway Volunteer Fire Company on Route 104.

The BOE urged the town to no longer use the Town Hall on West Avenue as a polling location. Moving it to the fire hall would save about $500 on the cost of elections inspectors for general elections, and about $1,250 on the cost for primaries, according to the BOE.

Currently the fire hall is used as the pilling site for districts 1, 3, 6 and 7, while the town hall is used for districts 2, 4 and 5. Ridgeway is the only town in Orleans County that doesn’t have a consolidated polling location.

The Board of Elections said the fire hall has more parking spaces and more privacy inside for voters.

But Mayor Mike Sidari said it is a longer drive for voters, especially for senior citizens on what can often be cold days in early November for elections.

“This would be a huge hindrance to our village residents,” Sidari said about consolidating all polling sites. “It’s going to be hard for our elderly.”

The Village Board agreed to send a letter to Brian Napoli, the Ridgeway town supervisor, rging Ridgeway not to move the Town Hall polling sites to the fire hall.

Sidari and the Village Board members said they appreciated Napoli sought their opinion before making a decision.

New outdoor basketball courts at Medina could cost $166K

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 16 February 2023 at 11:49 am

MEDINA – If the Village Board moves forward with new basketball courts at Butts Park, it could cost $166,703.

That is the low estimate from contractors who submitted quotes for the project. American Paving and Excavating, Inc. of Clarence Center has the low estimate so far for the project. Other contractors submitted bids for different pieces of the project. American paving was the only company that said it would take charge of the entire project.

The bid includes an area 94 feet by 115 feet and covers excavation, paving, striping, sealing and four basketball posts, backboards and nets.

Melissa Valley from the Medina Mustang Boosters is leading the effort to get new courts at Butts Park on South Main Street. Currently there aren’t outdoor courts in Medina.

The Village Board wants the new courts but isn’t willing to pay the full cost out of the village budget. The village hasn’t determined how much it can pay towards the project. The board is looking to use some of its federal American Rescue Plan Act funds towards the project.

Mayor Mike Sidari said he would like to see if grants could help with the new courts, and if the Mustang Boosters can help with fundraising.

The estimate from American Paving includes excavating an area 94 feet by 115 feet and going down 10 inches. The company would remove all sod, topsoil, dirt and clay and dispose of it offsite.

It would then install 8 inches of 2-inch crush run limestone and compact with a 7-ton vibratory roller. It would grade the stone to form a true and level surface, and then install a 2-inch course of type-3 dense binder. It would then put a 1-inch course of 1AC fine topping.

Valley encouraged the board to push forward with the project, which she said has been talked about for a few years now.

The two courts would by an 84-by-50 foot area. There would be 5 feet between the courts with a 5-foot perimeter runoff. There would be two hoops at each court, one at each end.

Medina’s $34 million school capital project passes, 269-43

Conceptual renderings from Medina Central School: This shows a proposed new media center in the Oak Orchard Primary School.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 14 February 2023 at 9:05 pm

MEDINA – Voters in the school district today approved a proposed $34,357,277 capital project by a 269-43 vote. That is 86.5 percent of the votes in favor of the project.

The project includes significant work at the three school buildings, plus the bus garage.

There won’t be any new taxes as part of the capital project. District officials said the cost will be covered through $29,895,213 from state building aid (87 percent of the total cost), $2,750,000 from capital reserve and $1,712,064 by retiring debt service payments, resulting in a “tax neutral” financing plan, district superintendent Dr. Mark Kruzynski said in a letter to the community.

After the vote totals were announced at about 8:15 p.m. in the district office, he thanked the community for supporting the project.

“This will improve the roads, the security, the traffic flow and our entire program,” he said.

The district will work to finalize design spefications to be sent to the state Department of Education for their approval. That is expected to take six to eight months. He expects the project will go out to bid around Thanksgiving. The work could be spread out over two to three years, Kruzynski said.

Here is a breakdown of the capital project:

Junior/Senior High School – $17,324,760

  • Reconstruct secure entrance vestibule
  • Reconstruct Main Office including lock-down security notification
  • New Choral Room (including new office and practice rooms)
  • New Band Room addition (including new offices, practice rooms, and storage)
  • New Music Storage Room with stage access
  • Replace stage curtains and add stage outlets
  • New STEAM Classroom
  • New Technology Computer Lab
  • New Technology Wood Shop addition (including exterior dust collector system)
  • New Greenhouse addition
  • New first-floor connector link to provide access to new classrooms
  • New first-floor classrooms at former District Office
  • New 8’ wide corridor including new single ADA-compliant toilet rooms
  • New first-floor boys’ and girls’ toilet rooms
  • New second-floor boys’ and girls’ toilet rooms
  • Reconstruct existing roadways and parking areas
  • New shared bus arrival/dismissal parking area for Jr/Sr High School and Intermediate School

Clifford H. Wise Intermediate – $9,769,533

  • Reconstruct secure entrance vestibule
  • Reconstruct Main Office including lock-down security notification
  • Reconstruct existing Pool (including pool tank, gutter, deck, mechanical equipment, and lighting)
  • Reglaze and reseal windows with failed seals
  • Reconstruct select mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems throughout the building, including generator replacement, panel board replacement, sanitary piping replacement, sump pump replacement and crawlspace drainage improvements
  • Reconstruct existing roadways and parking areas: reconstruct existing exit onto Gwinn Street and expanded parking and roadway configuration

Oak Orchard Primary School – $6,198,091

  • Reconstruct secure entrance vestibule
  • Reconstruct Main Office including lock-down security notification
  • New District Office in former Media Center
  • Reconstruct Girls’ Locker Room to provide ADA-compliant toilets adjacent to Cafeteria and Gymnasium
  • New Media Center
  • New Computer Lab
  • Reconstruct select mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems throughout the building, including panel board replacement, sanitary piping replacement and crawlspace drainage improvements
  • Reconstruct existing roadways and parking areas
  • New parking lot at relocated District Office
  • Bus loop paving restoration

Bus Garage – $1,064,893

  • Roof replacement
  • New staff parking area