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posticon "Pissed Off Supervisor" Accuses County of Interference

News | Friday, April 21, 2017 | By Dan Veaner Print
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edlavigne goingitalone20170419Lansing Town Supervisor Ed LaVigne gave an impassioned speech Wednesday on the power plant tax impact and his view on the County interfering in Lansing's welfare. "You've got one pissed off supervisor on your hands now", he said.
Read County Legislator Martha Robertson (who chairs the EEDTF) response by clicking here. "Tompkins County is committed to all our residents and all our towns, villages, and school districts," she says.
LaVigne says Lansing is going it alone in the wake of power plant devaluation

Lansing Town Supervisor Ed LaVigne gave an impassioned speech Wednesday on the impact of a new reduction of assessed value in the new Cayuga Power Plant PILOT (Payment In Lieu Of Taxes) agreement, recently negotiated between plant officials and the Tompkins County IDA (Industrial Development Agency).  LaVigne told the Town Board that the negotiated plant value, most recently at $60 million has been reduced to $35 million.  LaVigne said it will decrease to $25 million next year, then to $20 million in the third year, and added that there is no certainty that it will maintain its $20 million value beyond that time.  LaVigne said that the reality of the plant closing will impact Lansing property taxpayers.

"All those people who wanted to have a dead power plant, you've got it," he said.  "If that's the case, good luck with your taxes, because you know what?  Five years ago that power plant was $150 million dollars.  What other community can keep the level of our schools and our town and take a whack like that?  So Michael (Lansing Planning Consultant Michael Long) and I went to the PSC, and you've got one pissed off supervisor on your hands now."

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posticon Legislator Robertson Responds to Lansing Concerns

News | Friday, April 21, 2017 | By Martha Robertson Print
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Tompkins County is committed to all our residents and all our towns, villages, and school districts. We completely understand the disruption from the downturn in tax base caused by forces outside our control – that is, changes in the global energy market – and support New York State's proposal to assist communities impacted by this kind of disruption. In fact, I've already talked with staff in the offices of Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton and Senator Pam Helming about this and will be setting up a conference call. That program needs to be set in motion.

In the meantime there are important local efforts in place and in the works: Some years ago the IDA created a tax abatement program to spur development of the Lansing Town Center area. It has not been used yet but it is available. The IDA will provide extra incentives for development using renewable energy, as we did for Lansing's Computing Center in support of its heat pump system and solar panels.

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posticon Village of Lansing Election Overview

News | Friday, April 21, 2017 | By Dan Veaner Print
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The polls open at noon Tuesday, April 25th at the Village of Lansing Office.  Voting remains open until 9pm
Most years the Village of Lansing elections have been uncontroversial, with Community Party candidates running uncontested and going on to do the business of the Village.  This year a disagreement about rezoning a plot of land on Bomax Road set off the nearby neighborhood (see article links below) sparked the formation of the Village of Lansing Preservation Party, which got enough signatures to get its three candidates on the ballot.

All six candidates graciously agreed to talk to the Lansing Star, each answering more or less the same ten questions.  Click on a candidate's picture to read the interviews to read about how their answers on important Village issues differ (Trustee interviews were published last week.  All six are now available by clicking the pictures below).

Community Party Preservation Party
ve hartill300 Lisa Bonniwell
Ronny HardawayPat O'Rourke Greg EellsJohn LaVine

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posticon Village Election - Bonniwell for Mayor

News | Friday, April 21, 2017 | By Dan Veaner Print
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Lisa Bonniwell

Lisa Bonniwell is running for Village of Lansing Mayor.  An Ithaca native, Bonniwell and her husband Timothy have lived in the Village of Lansing for seven years.  Their children are 20 an 19 years old.  She runs her family's land developer business, which, among others, includes the Lansing Trails and Janivar Road neighborhoods in the Village, where the Bonniwells make their home.  She and her mother Janet Jonson, both with real estate licenses, also own a real estate company and apartments n Tompkins County.  This is her first run for public office.


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posticon Village Election - Hartill for Mayor

News | Friday, April 21, 2017 | By Dan Veaner Print
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Donald Hartill

Donald Hartill is running for his 11th term as Mayor of the Village of Lansing.  He is a Professor Emeritus of physics at Cornell University, still working at least half time on a research program, substitute teaching, and is an emeritus member of the Scientific Policy Committee for the CERN Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, Switzerland.  He and his wife Marion have lived in the Village of Lansing since 1968.  He has been Mayor for 20 years, ten terms.  Prior to becoming Mayor he served as a trustee for eight years. 

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posticon Lansing Town Sewer - It's Back!

News | Friday, April 21, 2017 | By Dan Veaner Print
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Lansing Sewer

The Lansing Town Board Wednesday approved a Memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Villages of Lansing and Cayuga Heights that will bring sewer infrastructure as far north as Asbury Road.  The memorandum basically agrees that Town Sewer District #1 will transport its effluent to the Cayuga Heights Sewer treatment plant via Village of Lansing sewer pipes.  Lansing Supervisor Ed LaVigne said the non-binding agreement is an 'agreement to agree on agreeing to agree' on services that will initially allow a new sewer on North Triphammer Road to service two new developments and the RINK/the FIELD.  But LaVigne says that only people or businesses that want sewer will pay for it, and it should have no impact on homeowners who don't want to hook up.

"If a pipe goes by your house there will be no increase of assessed value," he said.  "I got that directly from (Tompkins County Assessment Office Director) Jay Franklin.  So your taxes will not go up because of increased assessed value if you have a sewer pipe by your house.  If you have access to sewer, you would basically buy into it."

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posticon Mall Senior Housing Agreement May Mean Summer Construction

News | Friday, April 21, 2017 | By Dan Veaner Print
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The Village of Lansing Board of Trustees Monday voted to set a public hearing time on a proposed amendment to the Lansing Meadows PDA (Planned Development Area). The amendment represents a compromise between the Trustees and the Village Planning Board that, if passed May 1st, will mean that senior housing at the Ithaca Mall will finally become a reality after six years of delays.

"I sat in on the Planning Board meeting a week ago," Mayor Donald hartill told the Trustees. "We now have a consensus so we can go forward. "

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posticon Cuomo Announces $112.2 Million In Transportation Enhancement Funding

News | Friday, April 21, 2017 | By NYS Governor's Office Print
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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo Wednesday announced $112.2 million in funding has been awarded to 81 projects that support bicycle and pedestrian enhancements and improve air quality across New York. Funding supports projects that include multi-use bicycle and pedestrian facilities, new accessible sidewalks that adhere to regulations under the Americans with Disabilities Act, improved access to public transportation, and enhanced roadway safety.

"This funding is critical to enhancing our infrastructure and paving the way for both pedestrian and bicycle travel," Governor Cuomo said. "By improving roadway safety and increasing access to healthy transportation alternatives, we are providing both residents and visitors a chance to experience the state's natural beauty like never before, while supporting a cleaner, greener New York for generations to come."

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posticon County Legislature Highlights

News | Friday, April 21, 2017 | By Marcia E. Lynch Print
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Legislature Takes Comment on Proposed Tobacco Law
The Legislature held a public hearing on a proposed Local Law that would raise the legal age for tobacco sale and purchase in Tompkins County. The proposed law mirrors existing public health law, but raises the legal age for sale and purchase from 18 to 21. The proposed law notes that the County has substantial interest in reducing the number of all individuals of all ages who use cigarettes and other tobacco products, and a particular interest in protecting adolescents from tobacco dependence and the illnesses and premature death associated with tobacco use.

Thirteen people addressed the Legislature at the more than 45-minute hearing, while about half of the speakers urged passage of the law, others asked that more research be conducted, or expressed concern that the measure, despite good intentions may not produce the desired result, Some expressed concern about infringing upon the rights of choice of 18-to-20-year-olds, whom society considers at the age of adulthood; others said that data shows that typical tobacco use among teens starts much earlier, at around age 13, and suggested prohibition on use, or on the social factors that lead to youth smoking, might be more effective.

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posticon Auditors Halt $21.3 Million In Suspicious Tax Refunds

News | Friday, April 21, 2017 | By New York State Comptroller's Office Print
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State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced Monday his office stopped $21.3 million in questionable or fraudulent personal income tax refunds from being paid so far in 2017.

DiNapoli's office paid out 4.6 million state refunds totaling $4.4 billion to date. Another 471,000 refunds totaling $466 million are expected to be paid in the coming days. "My auditors are committed to safeguarding the funds of honest New Yorkers," DiNapoli said. "We'll stay one step ahead of the schemes used by tax cheats, and look to ensure only legitimate refunds are paid."

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