Archives for August 2017

Seniors Are Getting Lock Boxes To Protect Their Medications

Seniors are getting educated about securing their medications under lock and key. Karen Johnson knows more.

At a special meeting in Massena seniors are being advised to secure their prescription and over-the-counter drugs and make sure they’re all accounted for. At the meeting seniors left with lock boxes that can be used to safely store medications. The lock boxes are being provided through a partnership among the Massena Neighborhood Center, Massena Police Department, Massena Drug Free Coalition and TRIAD. Emily LaShomb, director of the Messena Neighborhood Group says while working in health care she would hear many stories of seniors having their prescriptions stolen, often by family members. She says this preventative method to physically secure and lock away drugs is a first step toward curbing this other type of addiction. Other officials say to remember there’s a stigma that drugs are being used by somebody living under a bridge. That’s not the case. It can be anybody. Drugs don’t discriminate. I’m Karen Johnson

Malone to outsource management of new village wastewater plant

Malone will be outsourcing management of the new village wastewater plant. The Development Authority of the North Country will bring in contractors and engineers to handle improvements to the plant and keep an eye out for ways to cut costs and improve efficency, plus handle day-to-day operations. A five-year contract between the authority and Malone would begin in October. It’ll cost the village roughly $110,000 per year. Final details of the contract haven’t been worked out yet.

Malone Chamber looking for vendors for sidewalk sale

The Malone Chamber of Commerce is getting ready for the annual sidewalk sale. Store owners and vendors will be setting up booths along Main Street on Sept 16 from 9 until 2. The chamber meanwhile is looking for people who want to set up booths…the cost is $10 for Chamber members, $20 for everyone else. You will have to bring a table, chairs and a tent. There will also be a concert featuring the Barrell Proof Band at Arsenal Green park.

Malone’s Teachers and Union Members Have A New Contract

The Malone School district and teacher’s union agree on a new five year contract. Karen Johnson has more details.

The agreement includes pay increases and improved health insurance options for Malone Federation of Teachers members. Approval was reached by the Malone Central Board of Education as the two parties finished negotiations on their latest collective bargaining agreement. The five-year agreement recently approved by the Board of Education promises annual pay raises and longevity perks to members of Malone Central’s largest union. The union has also approved the structural agreement.The union represents school nurses, librarians, counselors, psychologists, and occupational and physical therapists in addition to teachers. Union members will receive a 3 percent pay increase for each of the five years of the contract, with the exception of the second year, when they will receive a 3.25 percent increase in pay. I’m Karen Johnson.

North Country Counts In Upcoming Elections

The New York State Republican Committee Chairman says the North Country is very important in upcoming political races. Karen Johnson has details.

Edward Cox says the north country counts and adds that the GOP is putting boots on the ground to help secure Republican wins locally and higher up the ticket. In town recently Cox says we’re going to pay attention to the north country, and that’s why I’m here in Watertown. Cox held a regional meeting in the city as part of his statewide tour to discuss the upcoming elections with GOP stakeholders ahead of this year’s local elections as well as the 2018 midterms. Over the past few months, a number of Democrats have come out to enter the ring for the 21st Congressional District seat held by U.S. Rep. Elise M. Stefanik, R-Willsboro. So far, five Democrats, one other Republican and one Libertarian are running for the seat, with most of them saying Stefanik is vulnerable as a result of her role in the GOP’s attempts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. But Cox says the congresswoman will more than likely keep her spot in Congress for a third term. I’m Karen Johnson.

Woman ID’d in fatal crash in Potsdam

A 20-year-old Maryland woman has died after a crash on Route 11 in Potsdam over the weekend. Samantha Allen’s car was hit head-on when another driver attempted to pass a slower moving car in the southbound lanes. Allen was wearing a seatbelt and emergency crews had to use the jaws of life to get her out of the car. The other driver was ejected and remains in critical condition at Canton-Potsdam hospital.

Improving The Water System In Bellmont

Improving the water system in Bellmont. Karen Johnson has details.

The town of Bellmont has replaced a deteriorated chlorination shed that had been cited by the state Department of Health as one of several major problems in the Brainardsville water system that needed to be corrected. The other problems cited by the Health Department after an annual inspection have either been taken care of or are being addressed, according to town Supervisor Bruce Russell. Russell had told the Town Board earlier last week that the dilapidated chlorination shed had been torn down and replaced by a new 8-by-14-foot building at a cost of roughly $6,700. Additional work on the building, including the installation of insulation and inside wall sheeting, is still to be completed. The cost of the additional work is estimated to be $2,000.
The condition of the chlorination shed had been cited in a report on the annual inspection of the water system performed by the Health Department in October. I’m Karen Johnson.

Clinton County traps test positive for West Nile Virus

Mosquitoes in the North Country are testing positive for West Nile Virus. Traps in Clinton County have turned up the disease, but so far there haven’t been any human cases diagnosed. Health officials say based on the very wet spring and summer we’ve had so far this year, they’re expecting a lot of mosquitoes as the summer winds down. And the threat won’t be over until we have our first hard frost. The health department wants everyone to empty any standing water on your property—like making sure your gutters are clear—and take extra precautions if you’re going to be out at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active, including wearing long sleeves and pants and putting on repellant that includes DEET.

Library Donation Box Coming Soon To Your Tax Return

Library donation box on your tax return? It’s coming soon. Karen Johnson has details.

A bill that would allow New Yorkers to donate to local libraries through their annual tax returns has been signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo. The bill, introduced by Sen. Patricia Ritchie, established a new library fund that residents can voluntarily donate money to when filling out their tax forms. The measure allows for increased funding for libraries without raising taxes. Taxpayers already have the option to make donations to other causes on their tax returns. In a statement Ritchie says Across our state, countless people rely on their libraries for books, community events, job searching resources and so much more and through this new law, we are giving patrons an easy way to give back to their libraries and provide them with the boost they need to strengthen the important services they provide. North Country Library System Director Stephen Bolton says the new law could mean a steady new stream of revenue for small libraries in the north country. I’m Karen Johnson.

Reviewing Spending In Potsdam

The Potsdam Village Board is looking at ways to reduce spending. Karen Johnson takes a look.

The Board has met with the Financial Restructuring Board for Local Governments, a New York state service for municipalities looking to reduce their spending. Gregory Thompson, the village administrator say the first meeting was very positive. This meeting, held at the beginning of August, was the first step in a comprehensive review to help the village improve its financial stability.The village first looked into receiving a comprehensive review last summer. The Financial Restructuring Board provides free, non-binding advice to eligible municipalities. They can also provide up to $5 million in grants and loans, if a municipality agrees to follow its suggestions, according to its website. To be eligible, a municipality must be approved by the Financial Restructuring Board, or have a full value property tax rate above the average of 75 percent of municipalities. The full value property tax rate is based on the rate of property taxes compared to the value of taxable property on the municipality. The higher it is, the higher the tax burden.
Any municipality with a full value property tax of over 7.2772 is automatically eligible for review from the Financial Restructuring Board. Potsdam’s full value property tax is listed as 14.8123. I’m Karen Johnson.