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posticon Mine Conducting Seismic Testing in Lake

News | Friday, August 23, 2019 | By Dan Veaner Print
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Lansing Cargill Salt Mine

Five protestors paddled near Cargill Salt Mine in kayaks and a pontoon boat on Cayuga Lake Tuesday to demonstrate against the mine and a seismic testing vessel that has been operating since August 8th.  But mine officials said that the testing is a standard procedure.

"As part of Cargill’s standard salt mining operations, every few years we commission a third party expert to conduct a seismic study on portions of Cayuga lake," said Mine Manager Shawn Wilczynski. "The study uses sound waves to map the subsurface geology. It’s common practice in mining to verify geology above and around mining operations. We anticipate the study to be completed by the end of the week."

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posticon Village Ponders Allowing Crossbows in Deer Population Management Program

News | Friday, August 23, 2019 | By Dan Veaner Print
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Deer

In 2010 Village of Lansing Mayor Donald Hartill said that about 40 deer were killed in auto collisions in the Village the previous year.  Monday he said there have been none.  That is one of the impacts of the Village's deer population control hunt, which is entering its 13th year.  But Cornell University Department of Natural Resources Dr. Bernd Blossey, who runs the hunt for the Village of Lansing, Cornell University, and a few other local municipalities, says there is still work to be done to reduce the local herd to sustainable levels.  But Cornell University Department of Natural Resources' Dr. Bernd Blossey, who manages the Village of Lansing program said there is more to do.

"If you didn't do this as a maintenance job every single year, you would be going back to where you were in a couple of years," Blossey said. "That's the experience whenever people have tried to stop the programs.  When we look at the ability of plants and forest trees to grow, it has improved, but it is far from where you would like it to be.  Without protection you're not going to get an oak to grow here.  People report they are seeing plants in their yards that they haven't seen.  Ash is growing better.  That's fine, but it's nowhere near where you should be."

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posticon Sewage Release from Cayuga Heights Treatment Plant

News | Friday, August 23, 2019 | By Tompkins County Health Department Print
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The Tompkins County Health Department (TCHD) was informed that a release from the Cayuga Heights Wastewater Treatment Plant at 951 East Shore Drive was discovered late Wednesday night. The discharge was stopped by approximately 3:30 a.m. this morning. It is estimated that approximately 1000 gallons of supernatant was released from the sludge digestors at the plant. Supernatant is the liquid over the settled solids in the digestors.

The liquid was observed in the roadway ditch flowing south before entering a culvert. The Village of Cayuga Heights is working with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) on cleanup of the ditch. Cayuga Heights reported that the NYSDEC saw no evidence of a plume where the culvert entered Cayuga Lake.

The Tompkins County Health Department wants members of the public who could be drinking untreated water or who swim in the lake to be aware of the discharge.

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posticon Village Solars Gets Community Building Waver

News | Friday, August 23, 2019 | By Dan Veaner Print
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Village Solars

Developers Steve and Rocco Lucente were set to build an apartment building plus a community center in the current construction season.  Along with Steve's father they had a Planned Development Area (PDA) that included two different projects.  Steve and Rocco developed Village Solars on a portion of the property, and Steve's father had his own apartment development on the other portion.  The community building was sized for the Village Solars tenants' use.  But in March of 2018 Steve's father died.  That opened an opportunity for Village Solars to acquire that property from the estate and his step-mother and merge it into their project.  That would raise the potential population of their project, which prompted them to envision a larger community building that would be more than adequate to support the additional renters.  So they asked the Town for a waiver that would allow them to postpone building the community center for a year while the complicated estate is unraveled so their offer on the property could be considered.  They were forced to defend the request at Wednesday's Town Board meeting.

"It may look disorganized to some people," Steve Lucente said. "But join us at some of these meetings and see the complexity of what's going on.  The market has already decided. We are number one.  We've turned the entire Northeast (portion of Lansing) upside down. We've made history.  We're providing affordable housing that is spectacular."

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posticon County Legislature Highlights

News | Friday, August 23, 2019 | By Marcia E. Lynch Print
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Public Safety Building Conditions Assessment Approved
The Legislature authorized the County to move ahead with a Conditions and Program Needs Assessment of the Tompkins County Public Safety Building, by unanimous vote authorizing the County to contract with LaBella Associates and allocate $74,000 from the Contingent Fund to support the study, services to be billed per hour at a cost not to exceed the $74,000 amount.

The study will evaluate architectural, structural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, life safety, and security and control systems; investigate feasibility for carbon mitigation; assess the facility's below-grade sanitary sewer piping; and review and identify any suspect regulated building materials. Public Safety Committee Chair Rich John noted that the idea is to look at the building's present condition and seek to determine a direction on whether existing facilities should be upgraded or whether to construct a new building.

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posticon NYSERDA Launches Phase Two of Home Energy Ratings Pilot

News | Friday, August 23, 2019 | By NYSERDA Print
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The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) announced Wednesday the launch of the second phase of its multi-year Home Energy Rating Pilot (Pilot) initially launched in February. Tompkins County is among three communities where Pearl Home Certification will be available. NYSERDA is seeking applications from licensed home inspectors to deliver home energy ratings during pre-purchase inspections to support homebuyer remodeling of a newly purchased one- to four-family home.

Alicia Barton, President and CEO, NYSERDA, “Reducing energy use in homes provides a foundation for greater statewide energy savings and advances us another step towards meeting Governor Cuomo’s energy efficiency target by 2025. Piloting home energy ratings with home inspectors offers New York homebuyers access to a useful and informative tool that will identify energy efficient needs, features and upgrade opportunities to inform future remodeling decisions that will help them lower energy costs and increase the comfort of their homes.”

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posticon Legislation Increases Protections For Crime Victims

News | Friday, August 23, 2019 | By New York State Governor's Office Print
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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed legislation Wdnesday allowing victims of domestic violence to seek damages against individuals who fail to obey or enforce an order of protection (S.1868/A.5614); expanding the eligibility for victim compensation to victims of unlawful surveillance crimes who did not suffer a physical injury (S.6167/A.7079); and expanding the definition of 'child victim' to include children who witness a crime to ensure those children are eligible for victim compensation and assistance (S.6353/A.7051).

"New York was one of the first states to provide compensation to crime victims and these new measures will create even greater protections for those who have suffered horrific traumas but who were not physically injured themselves," Cuomo said. "By expanding the eligibility for victim compensation, we are ensuring even more crime victims are reimbursed for expenses incurred while fighting their abusers and have the assistance needed to support their recovery."

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posticon Improved Access for Seniors in Proposed Legislation

News | Friday, August 23, 2019 | By Office of NYS Senator Pam Helming Print
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Senator Pam Helming announced Monday that she has introduced legislation to modernize the Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage (EPIC) Program's application system. The EPIC Program is a New York State program that provides seniors with co-payment assistance and Medicare Part D covered prescription drug costs. Specifically, this legislation (S.6646) authorizes and directs the Commissioner of Health to establish an electronic online system for registration into the EPIC Program.

Currently, to apply for the EPIC Program, a beneficiary or their agent must submit a completed application via fax or postal mail. This creates a challenge for individuals who do not have access to a fax machine or who would prefer to file online and be able to confirm receipt of their application. This legislation allows participants to continue to apply through these means, but also provides the option for an online application. Helming collaborated with Brian Doyle, President & CEO of CareValue, Inc., (CareValue) of Canandaigua, NY to author this legislation. Doyle is a leading authority on senior citizen insurance access and management. CareValue has been a strong supporter of innovation and has been making great strides in modernizing this industry.

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posticon NYS Marriage License Fees For Active Duty Members Waived

News | Friday, August 23, 2019 | By New York State Governor's Office Print
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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed legislation (S.3756/A.55) Tuesday waiving the state fee for marriage licenses for active duty members of the U.S. armed forces or their spouses. The bill also gives local governments freedom to waive the fees they charge for marriage certificates for active duty service members or spouses.

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posticon 20 NYS Municipalities Close To Exceeding Tax Limits

News | Friday, August 23, 2019 | By New York State Comptroller's Office Print
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The number of cities, counties and villages in New York that are close to reaching their Constitutional Tax Limit (CTL) has more than doubled since 2012, according to a report released Tuesday by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.  The CTL is the maximum amount of real property tax a local government can raise in a single year. In 2012, only seven municipalities had used 80 percent or more of their CTL. By 2018, that number had risen to 20, with ten municipalities exhausting more than 90 percent of their CTL. When CTL is exceeded, the State Comptroller is required to withhold state aid in the amount of the excess.

"These 20 local governments are in a challenging financial position and have no room for error," said DiNapoli. "The municipalities in danger of exceeding their Constitutional Tax Limit must be vigilant about their short- and long-term budgeting. It is critical they take steps to improve their position."

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