Archives for April 2014

Massena Budget Approved

On a 3 – 1 vote, the Massena Village Board of Trustees adopted a 2014-2015 budget that calls for a 4.75-percent tax increase. The final tax rate, at 100-percent equalization, is $14.99 per $1,000 of assessed value. This means the owner of a property assessed at $50,000 will be billed $749.50 and the owner of a $100,000 property will have to pay $1,499.

Donah accepts plea deal gets another year

Trevor J. Donah accepted a plea on yesterday that means he won’t stand trial for rape in May. Instead, the former state trooper admitted guilt to one misdemeanor count of unlawful imprisonment and was given a year in Clinton County Jail — concurrent to the two-year sentence pronounced last week for misdemeanor convictions in an earlier domestic-abuse case.

Wead Library Funding Approved By Voters

Voters yesterday, approved the $695,704 Wead Library operating budget for the upcoming fiscal year by an overwhelming margin.
89 voters came out in the rain and of those 89, 82 voted in favor, three were left blank and four voted against the plan.
The budget for the library was increased from $537,911 to $543,304, meaning a 1 percent increase in the tax levy.
That means a property owner who paid $41.54 annually for library services based on an approximate $50,000 assessment last year would pay about 42 cents more for a total of $41.96 in library taxes under the new plan.
The 1 percent increase will show up as its own line item on school tax bills this fall.

Burke Petition Under Fire

The state Board of Elections struck more than 170 signatures from the petitions of Stephen W. Burke Tuesday.
Here’s Ed Histed…

Burke is running on the Democratic ticket for the seat in New York’s 21st Congressional District, trying to force a primary election with Aaron G. Woolf from Elizabethtown.
Burke says he thinks that party leaders chose Woolf, who only registered in February in Essex County because he could bring more money to the table. Woolf is a co-owner of an organic grocery store in Brooklyn.
Initially, Burke reported more than 1,300 signatures on his petitions. A recount however, reduced that number to 1.291.
Burke has a hearing with the state Supreme Court in Albany County today, and he claims that the challenges to his ballot petitions, based on different types of ink used in signatures and irregularities in the numbers, are an attempt by Democratic Party leaders to remove him from the race.

Malone Clinic Gets Another Stay Of Execution

Another last stand for the Malone Veterans Affairs Clinic…
Ed Histed has the story…

((The clinic was to have shut down tomorrow [WEDNESDAY], but it has been granted yet another lease on life… the fourth extension since its original closure date last August.
The clinic is set now to close at the end of May. Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Bill Owens continues to fight to keep it open long term.
The extensions, according to some, are due to a lack of authorization from Washington to shut it down. Those fighting for it to remain open say that even if it were to remain open on a part-time basis, for just a couple days a week, that would be helpful.
The clinic was originally scheduled to close in August, but was granted an extension until February.
Close to its February closing date, it received another extension until March 31.
The March date was then extended to the end of April. It is now set to close at the end of May.
If the Malone clinic closes, local veterans will have to travel to Massena, Saranac Lake or Plattsburgh to receive treatment.
The Malone clinic has been open since 1999, and is considered the third most expensive clinic in the nation. The average cost of care per veteran nationwide is $4,000 per year. Here at the Malone clinic, that figure is $11,000.))

Moorers Elementary Reopened After Asbestos Scare

Moorers Elementary School was reopened today after extensive air quality testing was conducted over the past days for asbestos. On Friday the school was closed as a precaution when asbestos was found in a rubble pile a short distance from the school from a collapsed building.
The school’s air quality was given the all clear and it is hoped the rubble pile will be contained this week. Meanwhile city and state officials continue to keep an eye on the situation.

Double Wide Fire Guts Double-Wide in Keeseville

Firefighters and investigators were at a mobile-home fire in Keeseville Tuesday morning. Firefighters from Keeseville, Peru and South Plattsburgh, with its air truck, were dispatched at 9:08 a.m. to a fire at a doublewide trailer 2091 Route 22. At around 10 a.m., a call went out for fire investigators. The home was gutted. Firefighters said a single man lived at the home and he got out safely.

OSHA Cracking Down On Dairy Farmers

Big Brother is soon coming down on the farm…
Ed Histed explains…

((Farmers learned during a webinar that was held Friday, that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration… OSHA, will start random, unannounced inspections in July at dairy farms all across upstate New York.
When those inspections start, farmers will be liable for fines if hazardous conditions are found by OSHA inspectors, and they are very concerned about it. They should be…
OSHA, in 2012 started a similar inspection program for dairy farms in Wisconsin and the fines are adding up for farmers there.
Here in New York State, OSHA statistics from 2012 show that 1,346 fines were issued to businesses across the region, with fines averaging about $2,500. The highest was about $7,000.
OSHA inspectors plan to focus on things such as a failure to implement barriers at manure lagoons, to maintain protective equipment on tractors and skid-steer loaders and to provide training programs to safeguard employees from being harmed by machinery and chemicals.
During visits, inspectors also will ask whether accidents involving cattle and machinery have occurred.
Some farmers asked whether they would have a chance to correct violations before they are fined, but they were told that OSHA fines are usually assessed by inspectors during visits.
OSHA has not yet decided how many random inspections will be conducted in upstate New York this year
The webinar was co-sponsored by Farm Credit East, the Northeast Producers Association, the New York Farm Bureau, Cornell University’s Pro-Dairy program and the New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health.))

Homework club for SRF Schools

St. Regis Falls Central School students may soon be able to participate in a homework club, something that would be new to the school.

the SRF Principal said sixth- through 12th-grade teachers were interested in starting a “peer mentoring program,” or homework club, that would meet from 3 to 4:30 p.m. during the school week. The idea behind the club would be to help students who are struggling to do their homework assignments. SRF board vice president Thomas O’Bryan agreed with the idea of the club.

Chateaugay Budget Approved

The Chateaugay Village Board has approved next year’s budget and kept it below the state mandated tax cap.
Ed Histed has the details…

((The board voted to approve an $846,000 spending plan for next fiscal year, that will increase village taxes by 19 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value, but still stay below the state’s 2 percent spending cap.
The tax rate in the new budget is $5.98 per $1,000. Last year it was $5.79.
Here’s what it boils down to for you…
For a property assessed at $50,000, the village tax is an estimated $299. A property assessed at $100,000 will cost you $598.
The tax levy increased by 2.6 percent from last year, and the total budget is about $18,000 more than last year.
The tax levy squeaked in at just $27 under the level necessary to stay below the state’s 2 percent tax cap.))