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June 16, 2017 Issue  
Lansing, New York  
Volume 13, Issue 24

posticon Broad Support in Tompkins County for Repowering and Renewables

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A poll of Tompkins County residents shows broad and firm support across all demographic groups for the repowering of the Cayuga Operating Company coal plant to natural gas and renewable energy sources. The positive poll results follow the May 31st announcement that Cayuga Operating Company plans to construct one of New York's largest solar farms at its existing site.

Residents surveyed were asked for their reaction to the following statement: "The Cayuga Operating Company is considering a plan to convert its power plant in Lansing from coal to natural gas without a public subsidy and also build a large solar farm on the property."

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posticon No New Issue This Week

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We're off this week, but will be back next week with all the news from home!

Here's an opportunity to check the Star Search and Archives pages to find past articles, and current articles you may have missed.

Thanks for your continued support.  We hope that you continue to enjoy reading the Lansing Star!
 
Sincerely,
 
The Lansing Star Online Family and Staff

posticon Local Municipalities Struggle To Consolidate Services

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Lansing Schools Near Cayuga Lake

With Albany leaning on local governments to consolidate services, and even, in some cases to consolidate villages with their surrounding towns, the Town and Village of Lansing and Lansing School District are among several municipalities in Tompkins County that are struggling to comply.  County Administrator Joe Mareane has been meeting with supervisors and mayors from governments within Tompkins County to work out a plan for sharing services that will satisfy Albany.  But some local officials are finding the process difficult.

"I am finding it very frustrating," said Mayor Donald Hartill at a recent Village of Lansing trustees meeting.  "I'm going along because I have to, but it certainly isn't a positive experience.  At the first meeting I argued to just tell the (state) government to go stuff it.  That didn't go over very well.  It's this continual relentless trying to manage from the top.  It doesn't work too well."

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posticon Lansing Bicentennial Minute

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Lansing Bicentennial Minute There is a house in North Lansing that once held the first telephone exchange. The telephone service was established in 1902 by Rudolphus Miller and was known as the Farmer and Village Telephone Company. It was discontinued when Bell Telephone bought Miller out. The telephone operators ran the exchange from the second floor of the house.
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posticon Lansing School Tax Stabilization Reserve Bills Introduced

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NYS Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton and Senator Pam Helming introduced bills Wednesday that would allow the Lansing School District to create a Tax Stabilization Reserve Fund. In the face of draconian revenue loss from the devaluation of the Cayuga Power Plant a Tax Stabilization Reserve Fund to gradually save money now to avoid large tax rate hikes later. A year and a half ago Lansing Schools Business Administrator Mary June King proposed creating the reserve as one of many measures school officials were considering to try to stabilize school taxes. But there was a catch: the district could only establish the reserve if the state legislature enacted it into law.

"Our intention is for our advocacy group to get involved in working with our state legislators to get them -- it's got to be a legislative action -- to give us special dispensation to create a reserve relative to this power plant," King explained to the Board Of Education at a January of 2016 meeting.

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posticon Gallagher Wins State Pole Vault Title

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State ChampsLansing senior Emily Gallagher (#1) became State Pole Vault Champion and junior Miya Kuramoto (#2) came in second in the NYSPHSAA championship meet last weekend

The NYSPHSAA State Track and Field Championships were held at Union Endicott High School on June 9-10.  Lansing sent eight athletes to compete against the best in the state.

Senior Emily Gallagher and junior Miya Kuramoto entered the competition ranked among the top seeds in the state, with Gallagher returning to the outdoor state meet as defending division 2 champion.  Both athletes competed in pole vault and placed in the indoor state meet in March and had their eyes on top podium finishes at Union Endicott.  In the end, the teammates were the only two left standing in the public school competition as they each cleared 12'3", Kuramoto doing so after a pole breaking during an earlier attempt.  Gallagher then went on secure the overall pole vault championship title and set a new section IV and school record with a vault of 12'10".  Gallagher won both the NYSPHSAA and Federation title with the vault.  Kuramoto was second in NYSPHSAA Division 2 and third in Federation placing.

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posticon Red Bridge To Reopen in August

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Red Bridge

Red Bridge is expected to reopen by late summer.  The little one-lane bridge on Salmon Creek Road in Ludlowville has been closed for more than a year, with construction activity paused because funding had to be spread over two budget years.  Last December Tompkins County authorized a bid for painting the 97 year old bridge, and the work is expected to begin next month.  Tompkins County Legislator (Lansing) Mike Sigler reports it should be open by the end of summer.

"The county heard from the bridge painting contractor and he is planning on starting Salmon Creek Bridge painting by July 10th, 2017," Sigler said.  "If that’s the case, they should be complete by the end of the month allowing us to add the deck and new railing; having the Bridge back open by the end of August."

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posticon Town Considers Trailways Capital Reserve

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Lansing Center Trail

The Lansing Town Board is considering a new capital reserve fund that would be used to maintain and expand the trail system.  Once established, money would be put into the fund as projects are developed. 

"The funds could be used for acquiring land for these connected trails," said Councilwoman Katrina Binkewicz.  "Perhaps a commuter greenway trail between here and the Village as a high priority.  A trail between the town center and the schools, which would improve safety."

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posticon Swanson Honored For 12 Years of School Service

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Glenn Swanson

Lansing Board Of Education member and Glenn Swanson was honored for his 12 years of service Monday at his last board meeting.  Swanson has been instrumental in development and flow through of capital projects, and served several years as Board President.  Current School Board President Christine Iacobucci presented Swanson with some joke gifts, and gave a heartfelt tribute to him.

"Glenn, we've been through a lot together," Iacobucci said.  "We've had our ups and our downs.  What people don't realize is that Glenn has been an incredible board member and colleague and friend.  He invited me, as his Vice President, to go to a training session in Rochester, where we broke bread with each other.  He was very influential "Light Up The Night', a cross country event.  He invited my children to spaghetti dinners at his house.  On a personal level he came all the way out to Cortland Tompkins Community College and gave a lecture to my students from Brazil.  He and (former school board member) Tom Robinson took my students on tour at the Borg-Warner plant."

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posticon Five Lansing Teachers Receive Tenure

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Lansing Teachers Receive TenureLeft to right: School Superintendant Chris Pettograsso, Jeremy Richardson (Technology), Kim Gryko (Special Education), Melissa Pope (Physical Education, Marissa Winiarski (Music). Not pictured: Amy Steffie (Teaching Assistant)

The Lansing Board of Education approved tenure for five Lansing teachers Monday.  Lansing Elementary School teachers Melissa Pope, Marissa Winiarski, and teaching assistant Amy Steffie received tenure along with high school teachers Jeremy Richardson and Kim Gryko.

"Every year I have the honor to recommend tenure to the Board," said Lansing School Superintendent Chris Pettograsso.  "Honestly, it is the most important thing we can do for our district, to continue our tradition of excellence.  As you're seeing in the news there are so many awards and honors for Lansing right now.  It all really comes down to our community and our students and our employees."

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posticon State Incentive For Clean Business Development

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PACE Financing

It's a typical dilemma.  Should you spend money on an energy system that you may not pay off before selling your property?  Or something cosmetic that will boost the resale value?  Tompkins County and the City of Ithaca have signed on to a program that makes it more economical to go green without being saddled with loan repayment when you sell.  The concept is Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE).  New York's PACE Program is administered by Energize NY.

"In our community where there are so many transient people cycling through, they could do the upgrade on their house and then pay for it while they're there and enjoying the benefits, but the cost of that upgrade would stay with the house for the new owner to get the benefit as well," says Tompkins County Department Of Planning And Sustainability Deputy Commissioner Of Planning Katherine Borgella.  "It's an idea that caught on nationally. Tompkins County was the first to join north of Ulster.  The City of Ithaca joined shortly after that."

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