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School board approves 2014-15 budget, prepares for election

The Cazenovia Board of Education last week voted unanimously to adopt a $26,495,954 budget proposal for 2014-15 that increases spending 0.29 percent and carries a property tax increase of $168,237, or 1.01 percent.

Celebrate Earth Day and Arbor Day by volunteering in the community

Here in Central New York, April brings days of spring rain, sprinkled with a few glimpses of the summer sun. The changing weather reminds us that Earth is a beautiful place, and we need to be doing everything we can to keep it that way. This year, Earth Day is April 22, and Arbor Day is April 25. While these commemorations bring us together to revitalize our community after a long, bitter winter, they are also important reminders of the conditions and vulnerability of the world around us. There is a critical need for ongoing education, action, and change when it comes to our environment. This year’s Earth Day theme is “Green Cities.” By improving conditions in our cities, we can improve conditions for future generations around the world.

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B’ville resident announces plans to run for sheriff

On March 1, the Onondaga County Republican Party chose DeWitt Police Chief Gene Conway as its designated candidate for county sheriff in the November elections. Subsequently, Conway’s Republican opponent, John Balloni, chief deputy to Sheriff Kevin Walsh, decided not to challenge him in a primary. But it looks like there may still be a primary after all. Baldwinsville resident and Republican John “Jack” Garafalo announced last week that he, too, will seek to run for sheriff. Garafalo, a retired Pennsylvania state drug agent

Review process for proposed Village Edge South hotel and conference center underway

Public hearing for subdivision request scheduled for May 12

A local businessman’s preliminary proposal to build an 80-bedroom hotel and conference center across from the Town and Country Plaza in the Village Edge South area on Route 20 has begun winding its way through the village planning process, and the first public hearing on the project — a subdivision request to carve out six acres of the VES area for the hotel — has been scheduled by the village planning board for 7:30 p.m. Monday, May 12.

Village, town sign boat launch, boat patrol inter-municipal agreements

Boat launch opens this weekend with new inspection policy

The public boat launch at Lakeside Park will open for the season on Saturday, April 26, and this year the village will institute a new inspection policy for boats entering and exiting Cazenovia Lake as a way to improve the fight against invasive species.

Village trustees vote to spend $588,000 on Balsam St., Third St. and Hiawatha Trail

After approving a State Environmental Quality Review of the upcoming drainage projects at their April 14 meeting, the Liverpool Village Board of Trustees unanimously awarded a $587,747 bid to Joseph J. Lane Construction Inc., for work to be done on Balsam and Third streets and Hiawatha Trail. Trustee Jim Rosier, the board’s liaison to the Department of Public Works, urged Mayor Gary White to make sure that Lane Construction coordinates its effort with DPW Superintendent Bill Asmus.

Manlius Village Board: still too early to determine tax rate

Although the village of Manlius’ tentative 2014-15 budget calls for no increase in taxes, the village board is waiting until its next meeting, on April 22, to make the final decision for its spending plan.

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Spafford faces tough decisions on future of buildings

The Spafford town leaders are in the process of dealing with both short term and long term decisions regarding its building needs. In addition to dealing with a roof replacement and minor repairs to the town hall, the Town Board board must make a tough decision about the future of the highway department garage.

Cazenovia village, town agree to cohabitate courts in village municipal building

Residents who have been confused over when and where village and town courts convene — whether in the Gothic Cottage or the Village Municipal Building — have much less to remember now that the Cazenovia village and town boards have approved an inter-municipal agreement for the two courts to share one space. Under the agreement, both courts will now meet in the village courtroom, located in the village municipal building at 90 Albany St.

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Planning board approves Cazenovia College athletic field fence

After nearly two years of meetings, discussions, proposals, counter-proposals, disagreements and even litigation, the Cazenovia Village Planning Board last week approved the request of Cazenovia College to build a six-foot-high, 1,420-linear-foot perimeter fence around its Schneeweiss Athletic Complex in the heart of the village.

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East Syracuse voters elect to abolish police department

Village will enter into a shared services agreement with DeWitt Jan. 1

After a year of heated board meetings and high tax rates, East Syracuse residents voted 333 to 199 in favor of abolishing the East Syracuse Police Department on April 16.

Skaneateles officials optimistic about release of Stauffer Chemical site

Skaneateles town officials are optimistic that the former Stauffer Chemical Company property will be released for development this year.

Fenner schedules 2014 Clean Up Days

The annual Fenner “Clean Up Days” have been scheduled for noon to 4 p.m. Friday, May 9, and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 10, the town board announced at its April 10 regular monthly meeting. This year four dumpsters will be available at the Fenner Town Garage on Nelson Road.

Compassion and awareness are the first steps in understanding autism

Last month, I read an article in The New York Times entitled “Reaching My Autistic Son Through Disney,” by Ron Suskind (nytimes.com/2014/03/09/magazine/reaching-my-autistic-son-through-disney.html?_r=0). As the title suggests, the article chronicles Suskind’s experience with his son, Owen, a lover of Disney movies who was diagnosed with autism. At the time of his diagnosis, Owen, 3 years old, was non-verbal. But through memorizing the dialogue and inflections from the various Disney characters in the movies he loved, over the course of a number of years, he created his own language that he used for communicating and connecting with others. As a parent of a child with special needs, I found his story to be moving and very inspirational. The article is an excerpt from Suskind’s book that was released this month called “Life, Animated.” The timing seemed particularly apt since April is Autism Awareness Month in New York.

Nelson establishes historic structures survey and registry

The Nelson Town Board last week approved a resolution to establish a historic resources survey and registry, the purpose of which is to not only help recognize and preserve historic properties, sites and areas in the town but will also allow designated properties to receive certain code exemptions during renovations and repairs.

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