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posticon Planning Board Questions Subsidized Housing Project

News | Friday, September 15, 2017 | By Dan Veaner Print
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Lansing Trails Apartments

Planning Board members said Monday they do not think a proposed partially subsidized housing development is good for the Town of Lansing.  What would have been a pro-forma vote on appointing the Planning Board 'lead agency' for reviewing the 'Lansing Trails Apartments' project proposed by Cornerstone Group turned into an impassioned discussion over fears of increased taxes and local crime.  While many board members expressed reservations, Planning Board Chairman Tom Ellis was adamantly opposed to the project that could bring 128 rental units, most of them subsidized, to Lansing.

"I think this is bad for the Town," Ellis said.  "I think it's a bad investment.  I think it's a bad 'kickoff' use of that land.  I'm having trouble finding something possible about this.  Is this really the 'kickoff' project we want there, given that we know some local history about some of the other projects in the county?  I'm struggling with (the Planning Board) being the lead agency for the Town.  I think it's a bad proposal."

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posticon Planning Board Takes First Look at New Mine Shaft

News | Friday, September 15, 2017 | By Dan Veaner Print
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Cargill Mine ShaftThe current Cargill mine surface facility includes three shafts that lead down to the mine. One is mostly inactive, while the other two are used to transport people and equipment to the mine, and to extract the salt from the mine to the surface, where it is stored in enormous piles, then trucked to customers or transported by train. A new mine shaft will have a very different look, being enclosed in farm-like buildings that blend with the rural landscape.

The Lansing Town Planning Board was given an introductory presentation on the Cargill Mine Shaft #4 project Monday, and discussed the Board's jurisdiction of the project.  Now that the mine has received the 'OK ' from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), the project must be reviewed and approved by Lansing's Planning and Town Boards.

"I want to try to keep the focus on the need for the shaft," said Mine Manager Shawn Wilczynski.  "Regardless of all the rhetoric over the past couple of years, the main need for this shaft is for the safety and health of the employees of Cargill.  The 200 employees that work there, and particularly the folks that it takes 45 or 50 minutes one way to get to work, and the health and safety of those employees, as far as binging in air pressure and ventilation, and also the ability to get into and out of the mine in a much more timely fashion than they can right now."

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posticon TST BOCES Capital Project Still Uncertain

News | Friday, September 15, 2017 | By Dan Veaner Print
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TST BOCES

Lansing's TST (Tompkins Seneca Tioga) BOCES Board of Education member Pat Pryor reported Monday that an $8 million capital project may still be on hold.  Pryor said that if a grant application is not successful before the end of this year, construction may be pushed back an additional year.  Lansing School Superintendent Chris Pettograsso said that getting the grant is a main contingency imposed by the Ithaca School District when it agreed to funding the project.

"The situation with the capital project is still quite complicated," Pryor said.  "We still don't know for sure when we're going to be able to start on that, even if everything goes smoothly from here.  We have applied for a grant in addition to the capital project.  The grant has to go through its own approval project.  We are hoping to hear something about that grant before the holidays."

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posticon United Airlines Brings Jet Service to Ithaca

News | Friday, September 15, 2017 | By Marcia E. Lynch Print
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Beginning this October, United Airlines will serve the Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport (ITH) with Embraer 145 jet aircraft (ERJ 145) as part of a service upgrade program. These 50-seat jets will replace the existing 37-seat turboprop planes to accommodate increased passenger demand at ITH. With the introduction of the ERJ 145s, ITH will now have an all-jet service to each of its three hubs.

“We are very excited that when United Airlines commences its jet service this fall, all of our air service at Ithaca will be with jets, providing a better experience for our customers,” stated Mike Hall, Director of Ithaca Tomkins Regional Airport.

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posticon Stein to Step Down from County Legislature

News | Friday, September 15, 2017 | By Kathy Zahler Print
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peterstein120County Legislator Peter Stein announced Tuesday that he will step down from the Tompkins County Legislature effective Friday, September 22.

“My wife and I had planned a move from District 11 to District 10, which is why I chose not to run for office in November,” Stein explained. “However, circumstances have led to our move’s happening earlier than expected. Because I will no longer reside in District 11, I can no longer represent the people of that district, whom it has been an honor and a privilege to serve for nearly a decade. I wish only the best to our county’s hardworking staff and to my successor as County Legislator for District 11, Shawna Black.”

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posticon Legislature Accepts Two Federal Airport Grants

News | Friday, September 15, 2017 | By Marcia E. Lynch Print
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The Legislature, in special session, authorized acceptance of two grants from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and approved the award of contracts for the projects funded by those grants. All four resolutions were approved without dissent (Legislators Carol Chock and Peter Stein were excused).

Passenger Boarding Bridge:
An FAA grant in the amount of $870,763 was accepted to fund 90% of the cost of installation of a Passenger Boarding Bridge at the Airport. Another 5% ($45,375) will be funded by the New York State Department of Transportation (DOT), and the remaining 5% local share ultimately from Airport passenger facility charges. Acquisition of the additional Passenger Boarding Bridge is needed, since all airlines serving the Airport now provide exclusively jet service.

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posticon Lifton Opposes Uncertified Charter School Teachers

News | Friday, September 15, 2017 | By Office of Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton Print
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Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton (D/WFP-125AD, Tompkins/Cortland) announced that she has written a letter to the SUNY Charter Schools Institute calling for the rejection of a new teacher certification proposal that would allow charter schools to hire uncertified teachers and to set up their own programs to certify those teachers with as little as 30 hours of classroom experience. By creating an alternative pathway for teacher certification, the proposal will result in an inferior workforce of teachers who won't be qualified to give New York's children the superior education they deserve, Lifton said.

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posticon Reed, Degette Request Immediate Reauthorization Of Diabetes Program

News | Friday, September 15, 2017 | By Office of Congressman Tom Reed Print
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Washington, DC – Congressional Diabetes Caucus Co-Chairs Tom Reed (R-NY) and Diana DeGette (D-CO) led several colleagues in sending a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi urging the immediate reauthorization of the Special Diabetes Program.

Set to expire on September 30th, the SDP provides federal funding for diabetes research and prevention and management programs for high-risk populations. It enjoys broad, bipartisan support.

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