Benefit in Knowlesville on April 9 will support family of girl, 12, who died from brain tumor

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 22 March 2022 at 9:15 am

Photos by Ginny Kropf: Ruth Higgins of Medina holds a picture of her granddaughter Olivia, 12, who recently died from an inoperable brain tumor. The Abundant Harvest Methodist Church is holding a benefit for the family on April 9 at the Fellowship Hall in Knowlesville.

KNOWLESVILLE – A fundraising benefit at Abundant Harvest Fellowship will take place as planned for the family of Olivia Black, 12, who passed away March 21 with an inoperable brain tumor.

Olivia is the daughter of Ken Black and Donna Higgins Black of Niagara Falls and the granddaughter of Ruth Higgins of Medina and Daryl Higgins. She had been undergoing chemo and radiation treatments when the church began planning a benefit. Now the church wants to hold the benefit to help the family with medical expenses.

The fundraiser scheduled April 9 will feature a chicken and biscuit dinner, a Chinese auction, 50/50 raffle and other raffles and auctions for big ticket items. These include a shotgun, a party for 16 at 810 Axe Works in Medina and a four-hour fishing charter.

The chicken dinner will be available from 3 to 7 p.m. and will include chicken and biscuits, mashed potatoes, green beans, applesauce, beverage and choice of three desserts – homemade pies, éclair cake or cookies donated by Case-Nic.

Raffle tickets may be purchased any time that day and the drawings will begin at 6 p.m. It is not necessary to be present to win. Dinner tickets are $10 and may be purchased ahead of time. The Fellowship Hall is open on Fridays for anyone wishing to donate a basket, cash or food. Information is available by calling the Fellowship Hall at (585) 798-3173 or (585) 745-0747 or (585) 590-7710. Information is also available on the church’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/abundantharvestny.

During the day of the benefit, Jackie Chinn from Lizzie and Lyric in Medina will be onsite with her Lyncoln Bears and Buddies and accessories to help children build their own bear.

Higgins stressed that every penny taken in during the day will go to Olivia’s family. She said everything has been 100% donated, including the chicken. The Abundant Harvest pie ministry is donating the pies and paying for other food, while the church is donating all the paper products.

Pastor Garry McCaffery said he was happy the church could do this.

“It’s a way for our congregation to show its support for the family,” he said.

Olivia was diagnosed with the tumor on her brain stem in January.

“She wasn’t walking right and was having a tough time chewing,” said her grandmother.

During an interview last week, Higgins said the tumor progressed rapidly and affected Olivia’s ability to move, talk and swallow. She required 24-hour care, including transportation to and from the hospital for daily radiation treatments. She was at home under her mother’s care.

Olivia was a 6th-grader at St. John’s Lutheran School in North Tonawanda.

The committee planning the dinner includes Sylvia Armer, Linda Baker, Miranda Bennett, Teresa Wilkins and Wendy Scharlau. Anyone who wishes to help prepare in advance may join the volunteers at the fellowship hall on April 2.

The committee planning a benefit for the family of Olivia Black includes: standing from left, Sylvia Armer, Miranda Bennett and Linda Baker. Seated are pastor Garry McCaffery and Olivia’s grandmother Ruth Higgins.

New Ridgeway bridge on 104 gets praise for safety enhancements

Posted 26 January 2022 at 11:44 am

Press Release and photos from NYS Department of Transportation

RIDGEWAY – New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez today announced that the recently completed project to replace the State Route 104 Bridge over Oak Orchard Creek in Orleans County was honored as the American Public Works Association’s Project of the Year in the Genesee Valley Chapter’s “Structures less than $5 million” category.

The project was recognized for its critical community investment and safety enhancements for travelers.

“The safety of the traveling public and the vitality of our communities are always top priorities at the Department of Transportation and this award for the State Route 104 Bridge Replacement Project is a symbol of our commitment to those priorities,” said Commissioner Dominguez. “The project enhanced safety and helped ensure that a vitally important crossing in Orleans County will remain open for many years to come. I want to congratulate the NYSDOT staff, whose tireless work helped achieve this recognition and for their dedication to safety, service and excellence – values they demonstrate each and every day.”

In honoring the project, the APWA cited several factors, including:

  • Use of good construction management techniques by employing the Governor’s Drivers First Initiatives and prioritizing convenience for motorists.
  • Efforts to engage members of the community who utilize Oak Orchard Creek for recreational kayaking and canoeing.
  • Attention to the environment and wildlife immediately impacted by construction and the altered bridge footprint.
  • Commitment to sustainability and use of engineering components that help reduce deterioration and decrease the need for future maintenance.

The project installed a 125-foot, single-span bridge with minimal disruption to the traveling public. It was completed in September, on time and under budget. State Route 104 is a key vital connector used by the local agricultural and manufacturing industries to reach the Rochester area to the east and the Niagara community in the west.

Senator Robert G. Ortt said, “The State Route 104 Bridge project over Oak Orchard Creek in Orleans County should be applauded for its outstanding success and serve as a blueprint for future joint construction efforts between local and state governments. By working together, Orleans County and New York State were able to deliver a completed project that will benefit the residents of Orleans County and travelers passing through our Western New York region. I am proud that the American Public Works Association has decided to honor this incredible project and will give it the recognition it deserves.”

Assemblyman Stephen Hawley said, “Protecting the roadways traveled by families and commercial and emergency vehicles is one of our state government’s most important functions, so I was happy to see the work done to replace the Oak Orchard Creek bridge in Orleans County acknowledged by the American Public Works Association. It was a critical project that delivered an amazing end result for all who travel along Route 104 between Ridgeway and Gaines. My hat goes off to all involved both in planning the project and working on the ground to make it a reality.”

New bridge on 104 in Ridgeway honored as ‘project of the year’ by Public Works Association

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 26 January 2022 at 8:23 am

RIDGEWAY – The replacement of the Route 104 bridge in Ridgeway has been named “project of the year” by the Genesee chapter of the American Public Works Association.

The bridge won in the “Structures less than $5 million” category.

The section of Route 104 over Oak Orchard Creek was closed in late April so the bridge from 1954 could be replaced. The new bridge opened to traffic on Aug. 28, ahead of schedule.

Union Concrete and Construction Corp. of West Seneca was general contractor on the new multi-girder bridge. The project featured upgraded bridge shoulders and an improved hydraulic opening.

“The Department of Transportation did an outstanding job in replacing the Route 104 bridge in the Town of Ridgeway,” said Brian Napoli, town supervisor. “The construction crew was so diligent. They worked weekends and brought the project in early.”

The new bridge is a single span multi-girder bridge featuring two 12-foot-wide travel lanes and two 6-foot-wide shoulders.

The project was recognized by the Public Works Association for its critical community investment and safety enhancements for travelers.

“The new bridge is beautiful,” Napoli said. “Residents adapted to the inconvenience for the construction period and afterwards we heard nothing but compliments. We as a town were so happy with the results we passed a Resolution of Appreciation to the Rochester DOT office.”

Barn intact but storage shed destroyed in Ridgeway fire

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 January 2022 at 3:18 pm

RIDGEWAY – A storage shed was destroyed by a fire today on Mill Road, but the blaze did not spread and cause much damage to a barn on the property.

Firefighters were dispatched to 10422 Mill Rd. at about 11:15 a.m. for reports of a barn fire. A shed was on fire likely due to two space heaters inside a small confined space, said fire investigator Steve Cooley.

The shed was pushed away from the barn, which helped keep the fire from spreading.

Responding fire departments included Ridgeway, Medina, Lyndonville and Shelby as well as the State Police and Orleans County Emergency Management.

Icicles emerge in Culvert after plunging temps

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 4 January 2022 at 8:01 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

RIDGEWAY – The drop well below freezing has resulted in a crop of icicles hanging inside the Canal Culvert in Ridgeway.

The tunnel, the only spot where you can drive under the Erie Canal, is located on Culvert Road, north of Route 31.

There is still some water left in the canal after being mostly drained. Some of that water slowly leaks through the culvert and turns into large stalactites of ice.

The culvert has a sidewalk inside for those who want to get up close and explore.

Traffic passes through the tunnel and many of the drivers beep their horns to let cars on the other side know they are coming – or maybe just to enjoy a popular superstition.

Ridgeway elected officials take the oath of office

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 3 January 2022 at 7:43 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

RIDGEWAY – Hannah Hill takes the oath of office as Ridgeway town clerk this afternoon. Her husband Jeremy is standing next to her and Orleans County Clerk Nadine Hanlon administers the oath. Town Councilwoman Mary Woodruff is in back.

Hill was elected to the position in November. Karen Kaiser didn’t seek re-election.

Hill about six years ago was the second deputy town clerk under Barbara Klatt, and the water and code enforcement clerks. She then stayed at home to be with her young children.

John Olinger takes the oath as the Ridgeway highway superintendent. Town Supervisor Brian Napoli, left, and Councilman Jeff Toussaint observe in back.

Olinger was elected to a full four-year term in November. He was appointed highway superintendent on March 23, 2019, following the retirement of Mark Goheen. Olinger was first elected to a two-year term in November 2019. He has worked in the Highway Department since 2012, starting as a motor equipment operator.

Cliff Barber, left, and Jeff Toussaint take the oath as members of the Town Board. Barber is starting his first term on the board while Toussaint has been a town councilman for 25 years.

The Town Board also approved the following appointments during today’s organizational meeting:

  • Official depositories: Bank of Castile, Key Bank
  • Official newspaper: Daily News in Batavia
  • Budget officer and fair housing officer: Town Supervisor Brian Napoli
  • Law officer: Kathy Bogan for general legal work and for water districts 5 through 15; Webster, Schubel & Meier for water districts 3 & 4
  • Fire and building code officer: Jason Raduns
  • Dog control officer, registrar of vital statistics, planning/zoning board clerk: Town Clerk Hannah Hill
  • Zoning enforcement clerk, planning/zoning board clerk, and water billing clerk: Joelle Brown
  • Zoning Board of Appeals chairman: Larry Meyer; vice chairman: Raymond Wendling
  • Planning Board chairman: Thomas Fenton; vice chairman: Tim Elliot
  • Planning Board member: Thomas Kline
  • Assessor assistant: Julie Cecchini
  • Deputy of vital statistics, fixed asset officer: Laurie Kilburn
  • Historian: Catherine Cooper
  • Janitor/cleaner: White Glove Cleaning Services
  • Water superintendent and sewer superintendent: John Olinger
  • County Planning Board member: Thomas Fentor; alternate: Tim Elliot
  • Constables: Claude Grimes and James Wells
  • Glenwood Lake Commission: Gary Blackburn, James Watson and Barry Jones

Other appointments include:

  • Deputy Town Supervisor: Jeff Toussaint
  • Town Supervisor’s Bookkeeper: Millenium Roads
  • Deputy Town Clerk: Laurie Kilburn; Deputy Town Clerk (second): Joelle Brown
  • Highway clerk, part-time: Joelle Brown
  • Court Clerk: Stacey Silker

Ridgeway officials will meet in-person and offer option for public to call in by phone

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 December 2021 at 8:39 am

RIDGEWAY – The Town of Ridgeway will continue to hold in-person town meetings with masks required, and will also offer the option to call in via telecommunications.

Until further notice the public may call 585-798-0730 and dial 401 (PIN number 1234#) to connect to the meeting at the Town Hall. There will be no video, but anyone may listen and comment when appropriate.

Route 31 bridge near fairgrounds opens after being closed 6 months

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 12 November 2021 at 4:08 pm

Photo by Tom Rivers

KNOWLESVILLE – Traffic moves along Route 31 today near the bridge over the railroad tracks in Knowlesville near the Orleans County 4-H Fairgrounds. This photo was taken at about 2:45 p.m.

The bridge reopened today after being closed May 11 for what was expected to be a six-week project for bridge deck repairs, joint replacement and slab reconstruction.

But unexpected delays led to the bridge being closed for about six months. Once construction started, the bridge needed additional materials to ensure the project’s success, officials from the state Department of Transportation said back in July. Those materials needed to be manufactured.

Route 31 bridge in Knowlesville to reopen on Friday, Nov. 12

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 6 November 2021 at 8:44 am

KNOWLESVILLE – The Route 31 bridge in Knowlesville near the Orleans County 4-H Fairgrounds is scheduled to reopen at 3 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 12.

The bridge has been closed since May 11 for what was expected to be a six-week project for bridge deck repairs, joint replacement and slab reconstruction.

But unexpected delays led to the bridge being closed for about six months. Once construction started, the bridge needed additional materials to ensure the project’s success, officials from the state Department of Transportation said back in July. Those materials needed to be manufactured.

Paul Attoma, Engineer-In-Charge for the state Department of Transportation, on Friday notified local officials of the bridge’s reopening. The bridge is over the Fall Road Railroad.

Church continues 44-year tradition of making apple butter

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 5 October 2021 at 7:47 am

Bushels of apples turned into tasty treat in labor of love

Photos by Ginny Kropf: From left, Tracie Wilson, Amber Castrechino and Raychelle Clayton stir the apple butter during their three-hour shift at the Knowlesville Fellowship Hall.

KNOWLESVILLE – Making apple butter for the United Methodist Church of the Abundant Harvest, formerly known as the Knowlesville United Methodist Church, has been a tradition for more than 44 years and one which several dedicated church members are not about to let die.

Last weekend, a crew of volunteers, for whom the task is a labor of love, began the tedious job of making apple butter.

The first step is peeling the apples – eight bushels of them for this year’s one 35-gallon kettle of apple butter. Sylvia Armer was one of the eight volunteers who said they began peeling at 8 a.m. and didn’t finish until 4 p.m.

Tracie Wilson dumps apples into the kettle while Amber Castrechino stirs the mixture, which became apple butter after nearly two days of cooking. Making apple butter is a 44-year tradition for the former Knowlesville United Methodist Church, now Abundant Harvest. It will be sold Oct. 16 during the Apple Festival from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Then a fire is built and the kettle filled with 30 gallons of cider to start the process. It is brought to a boil, after adding some margarine to keep it from boiling over. Then it’s time to start adding apples by a pre-measured bag at a time.

Every year since they’ve been making apple butter, Haylett Farms has donated every apple, even when they cooked five kettles full and needed 40 bushel of apples. They use three varieties – MacIntosh, Cortland and 20 Ounce.

Making apple butter is a science and one which can’t be learned from a recipe book. The idea to first make apple butter came from members Roy and Sarah Walter, whose family lived in Pennsylvania, along with relatives of Dawn Seitzer-Parker.

Sarah said one year, “Let’s make some apple butter, and I’ll bring my family from Pennsylvania to help.”

Dawn, a daughter of the late Butch and Charlene Seitzer, began helping when she was a little girl, and now her son Joshua is the next generation to help, along with his dad Chuck Parker.

Dawn said her grandparents in Williamsport, Pa. went to a church that made 20 kettles a year.

The Knowlesville church used to make five, using two kettles owned by church members and others they borrowed. When they made the apple butter at their church, most of it was sold out of Bessie Pritchard’s garage. She was a hairdresser who lived just down the street from the church.

When the church bought the former Ridgeway Firemen’s Recreation Hall in 1998, they decided to have an Apple Festival, which evolved into a pie sale and craft vendors.

Dawn’s grandma had become the official taste tester for the apple butter, and as years went by, she began teaching Dawn how to judge when the apple butter was ready.

It takes nearly two days to cook the apples down, during which time it has to be stirred continuously so it doesn’t burn on the bottom. Volunteers, three at a time, take three-hour turns stirring the kettle. Dawn said her grandma told her early on not to depend upon a recipe.

“A recipe can’t teach you the correct way to make apple butter,” she said. “Some year the apples may be tarter and other years they might be sweeter. The weather also determines how much water is in the apples. If it is wet and damp, it takes longer to cook the apples down.”

“Some days we have been done at 1:30 on the second day and other years it might be 5:30,” Dawn said.

After the apples have cooked for nearly two days, a spoonful would be put on a plate and taken in to Dawn’s grandma, who would draw a spoon through it. If juice ran into the middle, it was not done. Her grandma called it “crying,” Dawn said.

Dawn Seitzer-Parker takes a break during preparations for the 45th year of making apple butter at the Knowlesville Fellowship Hall.

Then Dawn became the designated taster, and it is now her job to draw the spoon through the apple butter to see if it “cries.”

Dawn’s husband Chuck shared the importance of keeping the fire just right. Someone has to keep throwing logs on the fire, to make sure the apple mixture keeps boiling.

“It should be steaming all the time,” Chuck said. “That means the water is cooking out. But you have to be careful the fire doesn’t get too hot and burn the apples.”

Among the volunteers who stepped up to stir the pot in three-hour shifts were Tracie Wilson, Matthew and Raychelle Clayton, Amber Castrechino, the Seitzer-Parkers and sisters Pat and Rocky Andrews.

The apple butter this year was made in memory of Wilson’s daughter, who was killed in an accident last year.

This year’s Apple Festival is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 16 at the Knowlesville Fellowship Hall on Knowlesville Road. In addition to apple butter, there will be Kutter’s cheese, homemade pies from the Fellowship kitchen and 21 vendors.

Food available for purchase will be beef on weck, salt potatoes, macaroni salad, Waldorf salad and pie. Free coffee, tea and hot chocolate will be available.

In addition to the festival, the apple butter will be sold in the Downtown Browsery and in the Autumn Harvest Pie Shop, which is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. every Friday and Saturday.

Newly constructed Route 104 bridge opens on Saturday in Ridgeway

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 27 August 2021 at 2:41 pm

RIDGEWAY – A new bridge on Route 104 over the Oak Orchard Creek will open on Saturday, the state Department of Transportation announced today.

That section of Route 104 has been closed to traffic since late April. The previous bridge that was built in 1954 was removed and a new multi-girder bridge was put in its place.

This project features wider bridge openings, improved guide rails, upgraded shoulders and a sidewalk, the DOT said.

Union Concrete and Construction Corp. of West Seneca was the general contractor on the project. The $2.65 million bridge replacement is 80 percent funded by the federal government with the state paying the other 20 percent. The new bridge is expected to last 75 years.

At small Knowlesville cemetery, about quarter of burials were for children

Posted 16 August 2021 at 1:25 pm

Last recorded burials at site were in 1906

“Illuminating Orleans” – Vol. 1, No. 19

By Catherine Cooper, Orleans County Historian

This double-sided stone commemorates Anna Smith who died in 1859. She was 1 year old. The inscription reads ”Our little Anna.”

KNOWLESVILLE – Nestled at the rear of several homes in the hamlet of Knowlesville lies the Knowlesville Cemetery, unobtrusively gliding through time.

It is a small cemetery, about three-quarters of an acre, with some 300 recorded burials. The plot of land originally belonged to the Stevens family, and indeed, the oldest stone is that of Jesse Stevens, dated 1826. The last recorded burials were in 1906, those of Malissa Foote and Caroline Bristol.

Cemeteries honor families, each stone was deliberately purchased and inscribed to record the passing of a family member. The earliest stones at Knowlesville, from the 1820s and 1830s, are simple, upright slabs, with basic information – name, date of death, age.

Henry Sawyer died in 1854 at the age of 16. The inscription at the base of the stone reads: “Don’t worry, it’s all right, Henry.” We can imagine the dying boy bravely reassuring his parents, his words etched in their hearts.

They are made of fieldstone and would have been inscribed by a local mason. Later stones are more elaborate, with rounded or curved tops. They generally feature a religious image at the top, a symbol for mourning (willow tree) or the afterlife (finger pointing upwards). Name, birth and death date, or specific age at death are recorded in the center. There is frequently an inscription at the bottom, this was either sentimental or religious.

Of the three hundred souls buried at Knowlesville, almost a quarter are children. There was a noticeable spike in child mortality between 1840 and 1850. Some families lost more than one child: the Banister family lost John, aged 10 months in 1838; Sarah, aged 7 in 1840; Frances, aged 11, also in 1840; and Cynthia, aged 18, in 1841.

William Knowles (1790-1871, for whom Knowlesville was named in 1826 in recognition of his role in the inception and development of the village, is buried at the Knowlesville Cemetery. He was an early land purchaser, having moved to the area in 1815 from Berkshire County, Mass. in 1815.

William Knowles

He built an ashery in 1816. The Erie Canal went through his land. He organized the first shipment of wheat on the newly opened Canal and built a warehouse. The impact of the Canal on shipping costs and shipping times was obvious from the very beginning. Prior to the Canal, sending wheat to Albany would cost $100 and take a month. A shipment to New York on the Canal would take ten days and cost $5.

With the advent of the Canal, Oak Orchard ceased to be a hub of activity as trade moved to Knowlesville. Soon it was bustling, with stores, blacksmith shops, a cooperage, hotels, taverns and five doctors.

William Knowles funded the construction of the first school in the locality. He was a founding member of the Presbyterian Church. At first, services were held at his home. He funded half the cost for the construction of the first Presbyterian Church and was a Deacon and ruling member for over forty years. He did not have children of his own, but he and his wife took in and educated eight children.

The Orleans County Historical Association hosted a tour of this cemetery on August 8. The Association’s next cemetery tour will be at the Hillside Cemetery, 4065 Holley Byron Rd. in Holley on Sunday, August 22 at 6 p.m. This tour will be preceded by a 15-minute concert on the mortuary chapel’s reed organ, played by Scott Schmidt. There is no charge. A goodwill offering would be appreciated.

4-Hers plant fairy garden in memory of Gail Culver at Fairgrounds

Posted 6 August 2021 at 4:03 pm

Photos courtesy of Kristina Gabalski: Charlotte (left) and Makenzie McGrath pose in the Fairy Garden they created in memory of their “Aunt Gail.”

By Kristina Gabalski, 4-H Program Coordinator in Orleans County

KNOWLESVILLE – Something “magical” is now located just outside the classroom entrance to the Education Center on the Orleans County 4-H Fairgrounds.

Gail Culver

It is a fairy garden planted recently by Orleans County 4-Hers to honor the memory of Gail Culver, a long-time volunteer at Orleans County Cornell Cooperative Extension. Gail, a life-long resident of East Shelby, passed away in April of 2020.

Gail served Orleans County CCE for over 40 years in many ways – as a 4-H club leader, Master Gardener, member of the Fair Board and member of the Orleans CCE Board of Directors. She also worked at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County for many years.

Robyn Watts, her cousin, and Robyn’s grandchildren, including Makenzie, Jackson, and Charlotte McGrath – ages 13, 11 and 9, all of Medina, were always very close to Gail and wanted a way to keep her memory alive.

“She loved the fair,” Robyn Watts said. “She would bring my kids and then my grandkids. My children and grandchildren always called her ‘Aunt Gail.’ She was my children’s 4-H club leader and then started the Abundant Harvest 4-H Club with me.”

Watts explained that Gail had an extensive fairy garden outside the front of her own home.

“It had lights and houses and was built around a tree,” Watts said. “She loved fairy gardens. I think she found them to be magical.”

Back when Gail’s health began to fail, her son, Dan, asked Robyn’s grandchildren to help tend her home fairy garden. They cleaned it up and installed new lights, Watts said. After Gail’s death, her house was sold.

“The fairy garden was so important to her,” Watts said. “Her fairy garden accessories were given to Makenzie to do with what she wanted.”

It was decided a memorial garden for Gail on the fairgrounds she loved so much would be a wonderful way to make use of the materials. The idea was brought before the 4-H Family and Consumer Science Program Development Committee, of which Gail was also a former member, and was unanimously approved. The garden was planted just prior to the start of the 4-H Fair, which was held last week.

All the fairy garden accessories – houses, fairies, etc. – belonged to Gail Culver and used to be at her home garden in East Shelby.

“First, we put down weed-suppressing fabric, planted the plants and then placed mulch and fairy garden accessories (which belonged to Gail),” Makenzie McGrath explained.  “We didn’t really have a plan, we put items down as we went.”

Makenzie has many happy memories of participating in 4-H with her “Aunt Gail” who encouraged both Makenzie and her siblings and taught them so much.

“She was very active in 4-H,” Makenzie remembered. “She helped us with our own fairy gardens.”

Her younger sister, Charlotte, also helped with the fairy garden installation.

“My favorite thing in the garden is the big tree stump,” she said.  The big tree stump is a planter made especially for fairy gardens.

The 4-Hers had some help installing the garden from Orleans County CCE Master Gardener Deanna Poczciwinski of Barker. Poczciwinski provided some of the plants and guidance as well as help in getting everything planted and placed.

Robyn Watts said the family and members of the Abundant Harvest 4-H Club will work to maintain the garden. It currently includes succulents and evergreen shrubs along with annual flowering plants.

“We will work to replace the annuals with more perennials next year,” Watts said.

The Abundant Harvest 4-H Club will maintain the garden in the future.

Knowlesville lift bridge currently can’t go up due to mechanical issue

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 2 August 2021 at 1:44 pm

KNOWLESVILLE – The lift bridge in Knowlesville currently is inoperable due to a mechanical issue that has the bridge in the down position.

That means vessels can’t pass “until further notice,” the Canal Corp. advised boaters at about noon today.

The Canal Corp. said it will be providing updates about the situation through the “Notice to Mariners” notification program at www.canals.ny.gov.

UPDATE: The State Canal Corp. reported at 4:20 p.m. the bridge was repaired and back in operation.

Planning Board backs Albion business expansion, solar project in Kendall, new storage tank for Helena

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 23 July 2021 at 9:31 am

ALBION – The Orleans County Planning Board on Thursday evening voted in support of an Albion business expansion, a 5-megawatt solar project in Kendall, a new tank for Helena Agri-Enterprises, and two new ponds in Ridgeway.

• RS Automation expansion – In Albion, the County Planning Board recommended Albion officials approve the site plan for a 9,000-square-foot addition to RS Automation at 4015 Oak Orchard Rd. Rick Stacey, owner of the manufacturing company, said RS is growing at its Route 98 facility.

“We definitely need the space,” he told Planning Board members.

• Kendall solar project – In Kendall, the board recommended approval for a site plan and special use permit for a solar project at 1771 West Kendall Rd., which is south of the intersection of West Kendall and Carr roads.

DG New York CS LLC from Juno Beach, Fla., is developer of the project on land owned by Thomas Munzert. DG would use 34 acres of the site, with the solar panels on a single-axis tracking system. That will allow them to slowly rotate and follow the sun during the daylight.

The project was reviewed by the board in January, but it was up for review again when there was a change in the location of the access road and some of the panels.

There will be a 7-foot-high perimeter fence, and there will be 98 trees planted, spaced every 12 feet. Those trees include 25 Black Hills Spruce, 39 Norway Spruce, and 24 Scotch Pine.

The construction project will take 4 ½ months, company officials told the Planning Board.

• New storage tank for Helena Agri-Enterprises – The board recommended Ridgeway officials approve the site plan for a 73-foot diameter by 32-foot high tank storage for chemical bulk storage at 3956 Allis Rd.

Helena wants to add the storage tank for liquid fertilizer called urea ammonium. The non-flammable chemical is produced by combining urea, nitric acid and ammonia.

The product is in demand for farmers, especially in the spring planting season and also for “side dressing,” applying fertilizer between the rows of growing crops.

Helena will have a “double tank” or a tank within a tank to store the product, said John Ivison, branch manager of Helena’s location in Ridgeway.

• Two ponds in Ridgeway – The Planning Board recommended Ridgeway approve the site plans and issue permits for two ponds that would both be less than an acre in size.

Kirk Nice is proposing to construct a 40,000-square-foot pond to support farm irrigation at 3025 Knowlesville Rd.

Gregory Heitzenrater is proposing a 10,000-square-foot pond for recreational purposes at 2901 County Line Rd.