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posticon Lansing Schools Will Reopen

News | Friday, August 14, 2020 | By Dan Veaner Print
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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo reminded school officials across the state Monday that today is the deadline for submitting a detailed reopening plan if they want their schools to be allowed to open for in-person classroom learning.He added that school districts must post their remote learning plan online as well as their plan for testing and tracing students and teachers. Schools must also have three to five public meetings prior to August 21 with parents - who will be allowed to participate remotely - as well as one meeting with teachers to go through their reopening plan.

Lansing School Superintendent Chris Pettograsso gave a rundown of plans to inform families about school reopening and how it will work at Monday's Board of Education meeting.  That was followed this week by 'community conversations' Tuesday and Thursday that she said would provide more detail for families of Lansing students.

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posticon Pool Contractors Settle Lawsuit With Lansing School District

News | Friday, August 14, 2020 | By Dan Veaner Print
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Lansing High School Pool

The Lansing Board of Education, accepted a legal settlement from pool contractors accused of making faulty repairs that kept the Lansing High School swimming pool closed for about a year and a half.  The case was mediated, rather than brought to court, with former Monroe County Supreme Court Judge Thomas Stander mediating the case.  The district filed the lawsuit in 2019, asking for damages including the $180,000 the district spent to fix the botched work, plus $138,000 in other damages.  The suit was settled in a Zoom meeting for $85,000 with the cost shared by the contractor and four sub-contractors.

The pool repairs were part of the school district's 2013 'Building Core' capital project.  The pool was closed to replace the pool shell, but soon after the repairs were completed new problems arose.  School employees identified tile failures in the pool shell in January of 2016. School Business Administrator Mary June King (now retired) reported to the Board of Education in November of 2017 that a forensic team of experts were evaluating the problem, and would recommend a solution.

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posticon Mall Subdivision Stuck On Stormwater

News | Friday, August 14, 2020 | By Dan Veaner Print
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Ithaca Mall

Representatives of the owners of the Shops At Ithaca Mall were back before the Village of Lansing Planning Board Monday to attempt to move their plan to subdivide the mall forward.  In a nutshell, the owners propose to sell anchor stores to the current tenants (or interested parties) to provide stability to the mall that can then be used to attract smaller tenants who don't want to locate in a mall where the anchor stores have less incentive to stay (and lose resulting foot traffic for all stores). But the discussion continued in a loop, largely revolving around stormwater management, that has not yielded any resolution since the project was proposed three years ago.

Target already owns its store and some of the surrounding parking lot and ring road.  Namdar Realty Group and Mason Asset Management, the two companies that and own and manage the mall, wants to create more subdivisions, keeping the central core to rent to smaller tenants as they do now. remains of the mall once the large stores are sold.  Only one of the parcels is outside the existing mall building,  a parcel behind the Clarion Inn that Namdar wants to sell to a hotel chain for a new extended-stay hotel.

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posticon Lansing School Tax Rate Set

News | Friday, August 14, 2020 | By Dan Veaner Print
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Lansing School Tax Rate

The Lansing Board of Education approved the current tax role Monday and authorized the $20,368,192 tax levy for the 2020-21 school year.  The tax rate for the upcoming school tax bill is $21.22 per $1,000 of assessed property value.  Lansing School Business Administrator Kate Heath said that a higher than anticipated district assessment will mean a slightly lower tax rate than was anticipated when the budget was passed.  For property taxpayers that will mean $23.23 more than last year on a $100,000 house, or $46.46 more on a $200,000 house, assuming your assessment has not changed.

"Our original projections in May where the projected tax levy of $20,368,192, and that was with projected assessed values at $960,000,000" she said. "That gave us a projected tax rate of $21.22 per thousand. So we got the actual, final assessed rolls with their final values today. Our assessed values were a little bit higher than anticipated at $964,661,000. And that adjusts our tax rate to $21.11574 per thousand. So the tax rate is a little bit less than we were anticipating."

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posticon Public Auction for Ithaca Waterfront Property Announced

News | Friday, August 14, 2020 | By New York State Governor's Office Print
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A public auction will be held on September 15, for state-owned land soon to be vacated by the Department of Transportation, located at 683 Third Street on Cayuga Lake Inlet in Ithaca, Tompkins County. Originally announced by the Governor Andrew M. Cuomo in May 2018, the move of the DOT maintenance facility from the waterfront to a new, 15-acre location adjacent to the Ithaca Tompkins International Airport will not only enhance agency operations, but will open up prime waterfront property for development in Ithaca.

The sale of the property also complements the recently completed $34.8 million expansion and modernization of Ithaca Tompkins International Airport, which features a larger terminal with new passenger terminal gates and boarding bridges, and enhanced security measures, all designed to ease travel and promote economic growth for the Southern Tier.

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posticon Planned Public Safety Response to Local Reported Gatherings

News | Friday, August 14, 2020 | By Dominick Recckio Print
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Tompkins County officials are sharing details on the planned public safety response to reported gatherings that violate New York State executive orders on mask-wearing, social distancing, and density.

The Tompkins County Sheriff's Office, in coordination with other agencies and public safety officials from local higher education institutions will respond to reports initially with an education-based approach. The Sheriff's Office will be the primary response agency throughout Tompkins County, including the city of Ithaca on all calls related to gatherings.

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posticon All Motor Vehicle Passengers 16 and Older Must Wear Seat Belts

News | Friday, August 14, 2020 | By New York State Governor's Office Print
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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed legislation (S.4336/A.6163) Tuesday requiring all passengers in motor vehicles over the age of 16 to wear a seat belt. Currently, passengers aged 16 and older are only required to wear a seat belt in the front passenger seat next to the driver.

"We've known for decades that seat belts save lives and with this measure we are further strengthening our laws and helping to prevent needless tragedies," Cuomo said. "It was under my father's leadership that New York became the first state in the country to pass a seat belt law, and the nation followed his lead. Now we are building upon this legacy and helping to create a safer and stronger Empire State for all."

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posticon Human Trafficking Referrals Rise in Amid Pandemic

News | Friday, August 14, 2020 | By New York State Governor's Office Print
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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced yesterday a new social media campaign to raise awareness of human trafficking and help dispel common misconceptions about the crime and its victims. Starting this month, the Interagency Task Force on Human Trafficking will begin sharing a series of graphics aimed at correcting these misconceptions along with information about how to report trafficking cases.

"There is a deeply troubling and prevailing misconception that human trafficking only happens in the shadows and in faraway nations, when in reality it's a heinous crime that often happens in plain sight and in our own communities," Cuomo said. "By raising awareness and dispelling the myths surrounding it, more New Yorkers will be able to recognize the signs of human trafficking and report it, to help put an end to this insidious violation of human rights."

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posticon Lifton Introduces Eviction Database Bill

News | Friday, August 14, 2020 | By Office of Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton Print
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Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton (D-125th AD) announced yesterday that she's introduced a bill in the Assembly to establish a searchable public database providing information about eviction proceedings in New York State.

"Tens of thousands of evictions occur every year in our state, but there is no easy, centralized way to access those records, and information is often scant at the municipal level, at any rate. Understanding trends in eviction rates -- where, why, and when evictions are happening -- may help us prevent some evictions by shedding useful light on this important issue and, ultimately, I hope, keep more people in their homes and businesses," said Lifton.

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posticon Reed - Mitrano Congressional Race Heats Up

News | Friday, August 14, 2020 | By -Staff Print
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Congressman Tom Reed defeated challenger Tracy Mitrano in the last NYS-23rd Congressional District election. While Mitrano won 74.52% of the votes in generally liberal Tompkins County, the 23rd district is largely conservative. Reed, who has represented the district in Washington since 2010, won 53.78%, with Mitrano's getting 43.99% of the votes. Mitrano never stopped campaigning, issuing weekly statements slamming Reed's positions and voting record. The Reed campaign was silent until a week and a half ago, when the gloves came off.

Reed Campaign spokesman Matt Coker sent a press release August 5th accusing Mitrano when his campaign accused Mitrano of "pocketing campaign funds."

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posticon County Continues Coordination with Cornell University

News | Friday, August 14, 2020 | By Samantha Hillson, Tompkins County Health Department Print
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The Tompkins County Health Department (TCHD) is in ongoing communication with Cornell University officials following recent announcements on their plans to reopen campus, and continues to maintain capacity for contact tracing investigations and ensuring successful quarantine and isolation.

In response to an increase in public inquiries related to the announcements, Tompkins County Public Health Director Frank Kruppa stated, "The nature of COVID-19 crisis is evolving, and it's important that we're patient and responsive as plans made by our community partners evolve. We continue to communicate closely with our partners at Cornell and Cornell Health to provide feedback on their plans and share guidance on how to best stop the spread of the disease in Tompkins County. The New York State travel advisory was an unexpected policy shift, requiring all of us to adapt quickly and focus on how we can effectively quarantine individuals coming from impacted states."

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posticon Travel Advisory Adds New States for Quarantine Rules

News | Friday, August 14, 2020 | By New York State Governor's Office Print
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Two additional states and Virgin Islands met the metrics Tuesday to qualify for the travel advisory requiring individuals who have traveled to New York from those areas, all of which have significant community spread, to quarantine for 14 days. The newly-added states are Hawaii and South Dakota.

Alaska, New Mexico, Ohio and Rhode Island have been removed. The quarantine applies to any person arriving from an area with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents over a 7-day rolling average or an area with a 10 percent or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average.

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posticon Reed Calls for Postmaster Operational Changes

News | Friday, August 14, 2020 | By Office of Congressman Tom Reed Print
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Congressman Tom Reed voiced concern Thursday over national reports and constituent outreach regarding delays in United States Postal Service (USPS) deliveries, substantial USPS operational changes, and staffing reductions. Reed called on Postmaster General Louis DeJoy to provide Congress and the public with specific details on:

  • What changes or pilot programs the USPS has enacted
  • What steps are being taken to ensure these changes do not delay the delivery of mail or the Post Office's capacity to perform essential services
  • How these new policies will impact customers and postal workers

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