Category Archives: Featured Stories

Fulton’s East Side pool will be closed this summer

By Ashley M. Casey

Fultonians will have to find a new place to cool off this summer — the East Side pool will be closed.

The City of Fulton’s Parks and Recreation Superintendent Barry Ostrander said the pool, located at Rowlee Beach Park on South 12th Street, is in “extreme disrepair.”

“Extensive repairs are needed to keep it open. It’s reached a limit where we can no longer do in-house repairs,” Ostrander said.

In August 2013, the city applied for New York state’s “highly competitive” Empire Environmental Protection Fund grant to cover half the pool’s repair costs, but was rejected, Ostrander said.

“One of the primary reasons we didn’t get it was the study we supplied … was outdated,” Ostrander said.

In 2005, the engineering study suggested repairs to the pool, its filtration system and bath house totaling $227,000.

“(The city) decided not to go through with repairs at that time,” Ostrander said.

At its Feb. 18 meeting, the Common Council tabled a resolution proposing an engineering study of the pool’s needs by Barton & Loguidice.

“The thought process was three councilmen said they were not willing to bond (the project),” said Mayor Ronald L. Woodward Sr. “I think we should have the study. Then we could apply for grants. But I understand they’re concerned about the budget — and they should be.”

Woodward said First Ward Councilor Tom Kenyon, Third Ward Councilor Ryan Raponi and Fourth Ward Councilor Jim Myers were the three councilors who opposed bonding the pool project.

“I’m only opposed to it at this time because I didn’t see the need to spend $4,600 on a study for something that we can’t afford to fix anyway,” Myers said.

Both Ostrander and Myers said the city may look into a grant that could cover a portion of the engineering study’s cost.

Either way, the pool will still be closed this summer.

Ostrander said if the city were to apply for a grant to cover the study, “that would be another year removed from (possibly receiving) a big grant for the pool.”

Kenyon said the War Memorial gymnasium floor was well-used and so he supported a similar engineering study for that, but the pool is another matter.

“When I was a kid, I was told ‘no’ sometimes. If we have to be without a pool for a year, so be it,” Kenyon said. He also advocated saving “every penny we can” to fix the city’s roads after a rough winter.

“I’d wait until the state (Financial Restructuring Board) comes in to see what they do,” he added.

At the Feb. 25 school board meeting, Fulton City School District Superintendent Bill Lynch said Second Ward Councilor and Common Council President Dan Knopp had called him to ask if Granby Elementary’s pool would be available for community use this summer.

Lynch said many BOCES special education classes use the Granby pool during the summer, so he could not give Knopp an answer about the pool’s availability.

“We have a lot of issues … if there was available time,” Lynch told the board, citing staff and supervision as two key issues.

“We’re already offering more special ed at Granby this year because of (renovations) at Volney and (asbestos) abatement at Lanigan,” Lynch said. “That’s a heavy load for Granby to be shouldering.”

Lynch said the district could not offer transportation for community members to use the pool either.

The Granby pool already offers limited community use in the early morning and for an hour in the afternoon.

School board member Christine Plath, a former Mexico teacher, expressed concern about the idea of opening Granby to the city.

“It was a disaster when Mexico had a community pool,” she said.

Ol’ Man Winter still with us in Oswego County

By Debra J. Groom

Well, another 15.8 inches of white stuff fell in Fulton from Monday through Wednesday.

But believe it or not, the city still is about average when it comes to snowfall for a season, said Paul Cardinali, local weather observer.

“The problem Wednesday was the blowing snow,” he said. “It was a white out.”

The season total for Fulton as of Wednesday is 140.9 inches, Cardinali said. The average for this time of year is 132 inches.

The city of Oswego also saw the snow pile up earlier this week.

Weather observer William Gregway said the Port City received 14 inches from Monday through Wednesday, bringing its seasonal total to 131.6 inches.

The average for this time of year in Oswego is 150 inches.

On Wednesday, Oswego Mayor Thomas Gillen issued a travel advisory in his city to allow Department of Public Works crews the chance to remove snow from roadways. The travel advisory was lifted at 10 a.m. Thursday Feb. 27.

Gregway said it wasn’t so much the amount of snow Oswego saw on Wednesday, but the winds gusting at 30 mph or more, making visibility nonexistent at times.

“It wasn’t constant, though. It would come and go,” Gregway said.

Eight of the county’s nine school districts closed again Wednesday — only Pulaski opened.

Between the snow and frigid cold from the season’s earlier Polar Vortex, most of the school districts have maxed out on their snow days. Only Pulaski has one more snow day to use.

Free fishing programs scheduled for Oswego County

Local author Spider Rybaak announces he’ll conduct his popular, free kids fishing classes again this year.

All bait and tackle will be provided free of charge. Dates and locations are listed below.

For more information, call Spider at 633-1245.

Classes held at Lake Neatahwanta, May’s Point and the Oneida Lake Fish Hatchery will be in partnership with Mike McGrath & Associates Carp Angling Services and will include instructions on carp fishing.

May 10:  Oneida Lake Hatchery, NYS Rte. 49, Constantia; 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

May 17:  Lake Neatahwanta, State Route  3, Fulton; 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

June 14:  Lake Neatahwanta, State Route 3, Fulton; 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.;

June 28:  Oneida Lake Hatchery, State Rte. 49, Constantia; 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

July 12:  Lake Neatahwanta, State Route  3, Fulton; 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

July 19: May’s Point Fishing Access Site, Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge, State Route 89; 11 a.m. -1 p.m.

Aug. 9:  Lake Neatahwanta, State Route 3, Fulton; 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Sept. 6: Lake Neatahwanta, State Route  3, Fulton; 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Oct. 18:  Lake Neatahwanta, State Route 3, Fulton; 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Novelis wins environmental award

Novelis, the world leader in aluminum rolling and recycling with a plant in Oswego, was honored Tuesday by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a winner of its Climate Leadership Award for exemplary leadership in reducing carbon pollution and addressing climate change.

Only 15 companies won the honor.

Novelis was honored in the Excellence in Greenhouse Gas Management (Goal Achievement Award) category for publicly reporting and verifying corporate greenhouse gas inventories and achieving aggressive greenhouse emissions reduction goals.

In addition, Novelis was recognized for demonstrating leadership in managing and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in internal operations and throughout the supply chain, as well as integrating climate resilience into its operating strategies.

Since 2007, the company has reduced its overall greenhouse gas intensity by nearly 12 percent across its U.S. locations, and globally, plans to cut its greenhouse gas contamination in half from 2007 to 2020.

“Novelis has made great strides in reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” said Janet McCabe, acting assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation.

“Their commitment to reducing carbon pollution demonstrates that efforts to address climate change are repaid by saving money and energy, while supporting more livable and resilient communities, and a healthier, better protected environment.”

At all Novelis locations, the company has made gains in reducing its greenhouse gases through optimizing its re-melt processes and sharing best practices on the efficient use of lighting and compressed air.

Not only is the company committed to reducing its greenhouse gases, it has also made a commitment to increase the recycled content in its products to 80 percent by 2020, among other goals.

“The EPA’s Climate Leadership Award is recognition that we are making real progress in our sustainability commitment, which we believe will be key to Novelis’ long-term competitiveness,” noted John Gardner, vice president and chief sustainability officer for Novelis.

“We are radically transforming our company to achieve our aggressive sustainability goals and are focused on the work that remains to reduce our carbon footprint, increase our recycled content and operate ethically and responsibly worldwide,” Gardner said.

Closings and cancellations

Be sure to check back here periodically for updates:

** Fulton, Pulaski, Mexico, Hannibal and Sandy Creek schools dismissed early Thursday, Feb. 27.

** All after school and evening activities for the Oswego City School District for Thursday Feb. 27 have been canceled.
** Pulaski has no after school or evening activities. The Family Fun Night at Lura Sharp Elementary has been postponed until March 20 due to the weather.
** Mexico will have no after school activities.
** Hannibal has canceled all after-school activities.

Travel advisory issued in Oswego

As of 1 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 26, a travel advisory has been issued for the city of Oswego.

Mayor Thomas Gillen said the advisory is issued due to the heavy snow accumulation and white-out conditions.

The advisory means there should be no unnecessary travel on city streets. There also is no parking on city streets between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m. Motorists are asked not to park on city streets, during non-parking ban hours, to assist Department of Public Works crews in snow removal.

The travel advisory is in effect until further notice, Gillen said.