The seven-member Cazenovia Board of Education has two seats up for election in May, and the board is asking interested community members to consider running. The announcement was made at the board’s March 18 regular meeting.
Due to cuts in state aid, increases in employee entitlement costs and a steady drop in enrollment, the Cazenovia Central School District’s preliminary 2013-14 budget includes a nearly 5 percent tax levy increase and the elimination of five or more staff positions in the middle and high schools. The proposed tax levy would increase the tax rate on a home of $200,000 taxable value by about $198 per year. The district’s recommendations were based on the need to fill a $450,000 shortfall in the school district budget.
The Cazenovia Town Board has taken another step toward protecting the health and integrity of Cazenovia Lake by agreeing last week to undertake a comprehensive lake watershed stormwater remediation project throughout the town in partnership with the Madison County Soil and Water Conservation District.
The town of Fenner has joined the ranks of an increasing number of municipalities around New York to formally oppose the state’s recent gun restriction law — and recently received support for its move from local Assemblyman Bill Magee. The Fenner Town Board approved Resolution No. 2, “Opposing the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Act of 2013” at its regular February meeting.
Issues raised, concerns alleviated at planning board hearing
The Cazenovia village meeting room was filled to seating capacity, filmed by two television news cameras and swirling with questions, responses, issues and information during the March 11 planning board public hearing on Empire Brewing Company’s requested zone change for its Route 13 property. Empire officials offered updated information and site plan changes at the meeting, while neighbors — and two attorneys — asked more specific questions and offered some objections to the project as currently planned.
After more than one year of work, discussions and public input, the Cazenovia Village Board last week approved a local law to allow downtown businesses to place certain items on the sidewalk in front of their shops between May 1 and Nov. 1. The law, which amends Chapter 141 of the village code, was unanimously approved by the village board at its March 4 meeting after holding a public hearing on the issue.
It was standing room only in the village meeting room last week during a public hearing on Empire Brewing Company’s petition for a zone change on its Route 13 land where it intends to build its new Farmstead Brewery. Nearly 50 attendees heard an overview of the project from owner David Katleski and his management and development team, and were able to ask questions of Katleski and offer comments and concerns on the project to the village board members. Numerous people spoke in favor of the brewery project, some expressed concerns with the brewery architecture and location and Empire officials said they had made some changes to the project plans in order to address certain neighbor concerns.
The use of “health appointment” excuses for tardiness by Cazenovia high school students dropped 43 percent during the fall 2012 semester, verifying the district’s fears that the “health late” excuse, as it is called, was being used to circumvent the code of conduct in order for students to be able to participate in extracurricular activities and not for “legal” tardiness. This was the message conveyed to the Cazenovia Board of Education at its Feb. 25 meeting in response to parental objection and ire that the new policy, which began in September, was unfair to students and even unnecessary as a rule.
Parents criticize school district for lack of adult supervision in dangerous area
As a group of 27 students and four chaperones from Cazenovia High School were six hours into their flight to Lima, Peru, on Feb. 13 for a winter recess trip, the school district received an email from the U.S. State Department that terrorist groups had threatened to kidnap Americans traveling in the exact locations the school group intended to visit. The ultimately revised trip itinerary led to hours of free “down time” for the students that one parent claimed resulted in a severe lack of supervision to the point of possible negligence and child endangerment, considering the terror threats in the region that caused the schedule changes.
Limestone Hunt Club, Lorenzo Driving Competition declare ‘great concern’
One of the Rippleton Road neighbors to the proposed Empire Farmstead Brewery project has issued an ultimatum to village officials that if they do not address and mitigate his concerns about the brewery project, he will not only instigate legal measures, but also will close all public access to the Cazenovia Preservation Foundation trails on his property. Officials of the Lorenzo Driving Competition and the Limestone Creek Hunt Club – which both have utilized those trials for their events for nearly 50 years – have emailed Cazenovia Mayor Kurt Wheeler expressing “great concern” over the impact to their organizations and annual events.
Board of directors holds annual meeting, discusses plans for 2013
The Stone Quarry Hill Art Park in Cazenovia had a banner year in membership, visitation and exhibits in 2012 and expects to continue the momentum into 2013, according to the SQHAP board of directors, which held its annual meeting on Feb. 26. Members of the board, as well as the park director, gave individual presentations on the state of the park in 2012 and the plans for 2013, and the board also released its 2012 annual report.
The Cazenovia Central School District’s projected budget deficit for the upcoming fiscal year is not as large as was previously expected, thanks to some teacher retirements and savings in utilities costs.
Change would allow alternate members on planning and zoning boards
The Nelson Town Board is preparing to amend its town law to allow for alternate members to be added to both the town planning board and zoning board of appeals. The change is being made to ensure a full complement of each board when in session if a member is absent.
A 250-gallon fuel oil tank broke open and spilled its contents at a residence just off the northeast corner of Tuscarora Lake in mid-January, causing a spill response from the state Department of Environmental Conservation.
Five members of the Cazenovia Police Department were recognized last week for their outstanding efforts to enforce DWI laws by the Madison County Stop DWI Programs. Cazenovia Police Sgt. Karen Zaleski, and officers Richard Bennett, Christopher Manion, Stephen White and George Millet were honored along with 14 other law enforcement officers from departments across the county at the 25th annual Law Enforcement Day Luncheon on Wednesday, Feb. 13, at a ceremony at New Beginnings Church in Wampsville.
Industries that utilize heavy trucks for transportation of goods, or “high impact vehicles” — such as those in the gas drilling, wind farming or mining businesses — must now acquire town approval before hauling over any town-owned roads in Cazenovia and either preemptively improve or, if damaged, repair, any roads they may traverse. The Cazenovia Town Board unanimously approved Local Law No. 1 of 2013, “A local law to enact a local road use and preservation law in the town of Cazenovia,” at its Feb. 11 meeting
Land annexation finalized, public hearing scheduled
Empire Brewing Company’s proposed farmstead brewery project on Route 13 took two more steps forward last week when the village board of trustees finalized the brewery’s land annexation request and scheduled a public hearing on a proposed zone change for the land.
New legal regulations, enforcement procedures and increased fines soon will take effect for anyone receiving a parking ticket in the village of Cazenovia. The village board, at its Feb. 4 meeting, unanimously approved the changes to the village code in an effort to not only clarify the somewhat muddy procedures relating to parking violations, but also as a way to recoup unpaid fines, increase revenue, increase incentives for violators to pay their fines and hopefully improve the current state of parking availability in the village.
The annual Wild Game Dinner at the Open Door Baptist Church in New Woodstock started off this past Saturday, Feb. 9, the way it has for the past 27 years: more than 200 people showed up bearing numerous homemade dishes made from wild game and the ladies of the church baked some 50 pies for dessert. The difference this year — about 15 minutes into the event an official from the Madison County Department of Health showed up and said serving such homemade dishes without a permit violated the county health code, and all the food had to be taken out of the building and put back in everyone’s vehicles in order to avoid prosecution for a public health hazard.
Character education assembly features The Hill Brothers
Students at Burton Street Elementary School laughed, sang and learned last week that “Good Character is Cool” during a character education assembly featuring the educational concert of the Hill Brothers.
The year 2012 was a good one during which many positive accomplishments were made by the Cazenovia village and town governments and school district, and the outlook for 2013, despite the typical issues and challenges faced every year, is just as optimistic. This was the message conveyed to about 75 local residents during the annual State of the Area meeting last week, held at the Cazenovia American Legion Post 88 and sponsored by the Greater Cazenovia Area Chamber of Commerce.
Issue of preservation versus functionality a concern
The Gothic Cottage on lower Albany Street may be a beautiful building full of local history, but as a town office its practicality leaves much to be desired. This is why, after nearly six years of study, consideration and discussions, the Cazenovia Town Board recently decided it will move forward on a total reconstruction of the building’s interior to make it a more functional and user-friendly workplace and public meeting area. The project, for which no cost estimates have yet been developed, would include exterior and surface repairs to the roof, walls and windows, as well as improved office and public meeting areas, records storage, air conditioning and heating, electrical capability and handicapped accessibility.
As part of its ongoing efforts to protect, encourage and enhance agricultural development and preservation in the town of Cazenovia, the Cazenovia Town Board has approved a draft Agricultural Protection Plan after more than one year of ongoing work.
The contentious issue of the formation of new sewer districts around Cazenovia Lake remained contentious last week during a public information meeting attended by more than 100 people at which voices were raised, tempers flared and vast amounts of information was given.
Nearly 200 people from towns and villages across Central New York descended on Cazenovia this past Saturday, Jan. 26, to meet, have books signed by and taste the recipes of Josh Kilmer-Purcell and his partner Brent Ridge, popularly known as “The Fabulous Beekman Boys” — authors, entrepreneurs, stars of a reality cooking show and winners of the latest season of television’s “The Amazing Race.”
The ending couldn’t have played out any more perfectly than it did Saturday night, Jan. 19, when Morrisville State College men’s ice hockey took SUNY Potsdam into overtime and posted a dramatic 5-4 State University of New York Athletic Conference victory. But what meant more than just the win on the ice was the game that was being played to raise awareness for autism, and ultimately gathered nearly $4,000 through ticket sales, raffles and other events.
Madison County Sheriff’s deputies are investigating a burglary of the New Woodstock Store, 2092 Main Street in New Woodstock, which occurred at 6 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 22.
There has been a slow, steady and excited buzz permeating Cazenovia in recent weeks that can all be boiled down to the fact that the nationally-known “Fabulous Beekman Boys” — bestselling authors, farmers, entrepreneurs and recent winners of television’s “The Amazing Race” — are coming to town on Saturday, Jan. 26. The two-hour event, sponsored by the Historic Cazenovia Business District committee of the chamber of commerce, will feature Josh Kilmer-Purcell and his partner Brent Ridge giving a special book signing of their “Beekman 1802 Heirloom Cookbook” and Kilmer-Purcell’s New York Times best-selling nonfiction book, “The Bucolic Plague: How two Manhattanites became gentleman farmers: An unconventional memoir,” from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26, at the Lincklaen House on Albany Street.
The village of Cazenovia recently received $30,000 in federal funding that will be used to enhance the safety of district students as they walk or ride bicycles to school. The Safe Routes to School Program grant, administered by the New York State Department of Transportation, will pay for new speed monitoring signs to be posted at four locations in the village and one new speed monitoring trailer that can be moved around the village, said Cazenovia Police Chief Michael Hayes. The trailer also will be used to conduct traffic studies.
The Empire Brewing Company is one step closer to building its proposed farmstead brewery complex in Cazenovia after the village board unanimously voted last week to approve annexation of nearly 22 acres of the company’s land into the village.
Proposed law would allow town to regulate high impact vehicles, such as those used in hydrofracking, wind farming
The Cazenovia Town Board is moving forward with regulations to protect town roads from possible damage by high impact trucks such as those used in the currently-contentious industries of gas mining (hydrofracking) and wind farming. The board unanimously approved at its Jan. 14 meeting a resolution that will allow it to move forward to enact Local Law No. 1 of 2013, “A local law to enact a local road use and preservation law in the town of Cazenovia.”
A Cazenovia man remains in critical condition in Upstate Medical Center after being struck by a pickup truck while he was skateboarding in the village of Morrisville on Monday, Jan. 14.
The past few weeks have been a transitional period at the Cazenovia Republican, as we said goodbye to previous editor Pierce Smith and the managing editor of Eagle Newspapers (the parent company of the Republican), Jen Wing, briefly took charge until I was able to come on board full time. I am pleased to tell everyone that last week I officially took over duties as editor of the Republican, and this is my first issue. I also wanted to take a moment to introduce myself to the community.
Madison County Sheriff’s deputies are investigating a burglary of the New Woodstock Store, 2092 Main Street in New Woodstock, which occurred at 6 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 22. According to the sheriff’s office, deputies discovered that an unknown person(s) broke a window to gain entry to the convenience store and stole a large amount of tobacco items and loose change with a total value of more than $2,600.
The Skaneateles village board approved critical impact for its current village hall at 46 East Genesee Street and other actions taken by the board at their Jan. 10 meeting.
The Skaneateles school district is moving forward with plans to make major improvements to the middle school and high school buildings during the next six years at a currently-projected price tag of $19.5 million.
The village of Skaneateles has started renovating the old fire station on Fennel Street which will become the new village hall.
Efforts of local business owners to have a more inviting streetscape in downtown Cazenovia by putting tables, chairs and other items on the sidewalk outside their stores took another step forward last week when a draft of proposed new regulations on the issue was read, and a public hearing held, before the Cazenovia Village Board’s Jan. 7 meeting. The “suggestions for amending the village code regarding the placement of items on the sidewalk” changed only slightly from the draft of possible guidelines presented by the board in November and briefly discussed in December, said Trustee Peggy Van Arnam, who has been the board’s point person on the issue.
The Economic Health and Heritage Study Committee presented its official report of findings and recommendations concerning the planning and zoning for the Village Edge South zone to the Cazenovia Village Board at a Jan. 7 public hearing. The result: The committee believes that major potential benefits for the community exist both aesthetically and economically in the development of VES, and it recommends that moving forward to amend the current planning and zoning regulations in place at VES are in the best interests of the public, said committee member and Mayor Kurt Wheeler.
New book looks at Lincoln’s possible medical conditions
With the huge success of Steven Spielberg’s recent movie, “Lincoln,” it is a great time for any historian to come out with a book on Abraham Lincoln and anything surrounding him or the American Civil War. Historian Glenna R. Schroeder-Lein has, however, recently come out with a fascinating study of the medical history of the Lincoln family that would arguably gain attention and praise no matter when it was released.
January calendar filled with offerings for kids, adults, families
With a new director and a new year, the Skaneateles Public Library is offering new events for the public to enjoy — and not just one or two. The library recently released an announcement, and posted on its website, a list of public events being offered for the month of January, which include not only story times for kids, but also an iPad training class, family movies, an author event and a new monthly movie group for adults.
Skaneateles restaurants Mirbeau, Rosalie’s Cucina included
The Finger Lakes region boasts 4 million food and wine tourists a year. With an awareness and appreciation of this local gourmet success, Central New York natives Karl Zinsmeister and his children, Kate Harvey and Noah Zinsmeister, have compiled a new storytelling cookbook to share the stories and secrets of this regional flavor — including some recipes from Skaneateles.
If you were planning to participate in Gazella's annual fun run on Tuesday (New Year's Day) they have changed to event to free indoor classes instead due to the inclement weather.
Victory Sports Management officials have hired one of the state’s best land use and environmental law firms to supplement its legal team as it moves forward in its 99.5-acre ‘Victory Campus’ development project off Route 20 in Skaneateles. The firm of Gilberti, Stinziano, Heinz and Smith will join the VSM team in 2013, Lance Wardell, VSM chief operating officer, confirmed this week.
During its first official meeting for the year 2013, the Skaneateles Town Board approved its annual resolution appointing certain town officers and employees, fixing wages and salaries and other matters.
The Skaneateles Board of Education has started discussing plans to make major improvements to the middle school and high school buildings during the next six years at what is expected to be a large price tag which will need to be approved by public bond sometime in 2013.
Skaneateles and its surrounding towns and villages are known to hold numerous treasures of historical significance, both local and national, but some historical societies are more well-known than others. One of the more obscure repositories in the Skaneateles area is in Moravia, where treasures relating to President Millard Fillmore and First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln are currently on display.
The Skaneateles Town Board and Skaneateles Recreation Charitable Trust have reached agreement to resolve their longstanding dispute over ownership of certain YMCA assets.
The rivalry between Skaneateles and Cazenovia both on and off the athletic field has been longstanding, with the argument over who are the “real” Lakers being a sore spot. But last week someone took the fight a little far when they vandalized the village water tower and spray-painted the letter “F” over the letter “L” to make Skaneateles “The Home of the Fakers.” What may seem like a simple fix to cover over the red spray paint used by the perpetrators actually will cost the village – and therefore the taxpayers – thousands of dollars.
The elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn., has raised concerns in towns and villages across America about the safety of their local school buildings and the children learning within them. Skaneateles is no different. Interim Superintendent Judy Pastel said Skaneateles administrators took actions in their district to improve school security immediately upon hearing of the Dec. 14 shootings in Connecticut, and also currently are reviewing the safety and emergency plans throughout the district.