Category Archives: Fulton News

County to expand landfill

By Debra J. Groom

Oswego County should see the expansion of its landfill begin sometime next summer.

Director of Solid Waste Frank Visser said planning has been going on for some time on how and when to expand the Bristol Hill Landfill in the town of Volney. He said the county is planning to add another 5.3 acres to the site, which should last the county 10 years.

The cost — $3.5 million. It is one of the biggest factors officials are considering in looking at aspects of the 2015 county budget.

“It costs so much because there are several layers of polyethylene and clay liners that go into the landfill,” Visser said. These liners are built so nothing put into the landfill would ever leak into the ground or groundwater in the area.

Visser said drawings for the expansion are “99 percent complete.” The proposal then has to be reviewed and approved by the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

He said county officials hope to put the project out to bid by Feburary so a contractor can be selected by spring 2015.

“There is a very narrow construction season for this,” Visser said, notig the work cannot be done when it is wet. “We hope to do it next summer.”

The construction will take about three months, he said.

Visser said the landfill has been operated well and has been depositing solid waste on seven acres of land opened in 1996. “That’s phenomenal for a landfill,” he said.

The main reason so little solid waste is being dumped in the landfill is the county’s Energy Recovery Facility in Fulton. Nearly all household garbage is taken there to be burned instead of being dumped in the landfill.

Visser said most of what goes to the landfill is sludge, contaminated soil and construction and demolition debris —things that can’t be burned at the Energy Recovery Facility.

Visser said Oswego County residents are “average” recyclers. When asked what could be done to get people to recycle more, he said programs to increase recycling cost a lot of money to run.

Visser said the Bristol Hill Landfill opened in 1983with 17 acres. There have been five additions since then — the landfill now consists of 40 acres.

Seventeen of the 40 acres have been closed and 23 are still being used.

Visser said the landfill’s 2007 permit was modified to allow the county to expand higher than the 23 acres it is now using.

Fulton administrators present first budget draft

By Ashley M. Casey

Fulton City School District administrators presented the first draft of the 2014-15 school budget at the March 11 board of education meeting.

The budget is expected to increase by 2.66 percent to $66,992,685 from the 2013-14 total of $65,259,100. The first draft projects a 1 percent local tax levy increase.

Superintendent Bill Lynch said there is a $1,280,378 shortfall in revenue. Lynch said he is hoping local legislators can lobby for additional aid from New York state to bridge the gap, rather than increasing the tax levy.

Lynch said the district is aiming for a “status quo budget” to maintain current student programs and services and only increasing to cover costs.

“Our mission is educating our students and supporting our staff … and the lion’s share of the budget goes to support that,” Lynch said,

The board will review a second draft of the budget at the April 8 meeting.

Construction update

Director of Facilities, Operations and Transportation Jerry Seguin updated the board on the various renovations across the district.

As part of the 2012 capital project, the district is renovating several classrooms, information technology infrastructure, heating and air conditioning, and computer labs in Volney and Fairgrieve elementary schools.

Over the summer, the district will replace the roofs at Volney and G. Ray Bodley High School, as well as the Education Center’s stage curtains and lighting.

As for the recently approved 2014-15 capital project, Seguin said the district has submitted a proposal for the Lanigan Elementary School gym floor and lockset replacement projects. These repairs are expected to take place over the summer.

The Granby Elementary School roof is expected to be replaced during the summer of 2015.

Technology update

Director of Technology Stephanie Maturo reported on several advancements Fulton schools have made on the technology front. The district has spent $987,524.56 on technology this school year alone.

Maturo said one of the main achievements was increasing the number of interactive whiteboards in core area classrooms to 217. In 2011, the district had only 32 interactive white boards.

Maturo said she has ordered more mobile technology carts for the schools.

“We’re really trying to shift the idea from a computer lab being a static place that you go to something being integrated (in the classroom),” Maturo said.

She also said the district successfully used the SchoolMessenger phone and email alert system for the Feb. 27 early dismissal.

“Even though some of the parents received (the alert) multiple times, dismissal went a lot more smoothly with less calls in to the buildings,” said Executive Director of Instruction and Assessment Betsy Conners.

The district has seen a huge uptick in activity on its two wireless networks. An average of 759 mobile-ready devices (such as laptops, tablets and smartphones) access the networks per week, and 2,680 such devices are in use this year. In 2011, only about 1,600 devices used the network.

Maturo said the district’s technology goals for the next school year are to install wireless networks at Fairgrieve and Volney, update software, prepare the network for computer-based assessments and introduce Schoology, a learning management system to improve “flipped” classroom-based learning.

Other business

  • As part of Music in Our Schools Month, musicians from Carrie Foster’s fifth-grade band performed “A Little Bit of Swing” for the board.
    Music teacher Debra Farden said 1,100 Fulton students will be performing at various music events in March.
    Volney principal Lisa Garofalo then led the fifth-graders in singing “Happy Birthday” to Farden and Foster, as they both recently celebrated birthdays.
  • Longtime board member Rosemary Occhino-Pilawa announced her resignation from the board, effective March 31. She cited her planned move from Fulton as the reason for her resignation. Occhino-Pilawa began serving in 2009.
  • The next regular school board meeting will be at 7:30 p.m. March 25 at Fairgrieve Elementary School.

Snow emergency declared in Fulton

The City of Fulton has declared a SNOW EMERGENCY effective at 3 p.m. (March 12).

Snow and gusting winds along with a forecast of significant snowfall this evening have created very hazardous driving conditions. Motorists are advised against any unnecessary travel. Vehicles will be towed if they become stuck or if they present a hazard.

Public Works crews are aggressively working to clear streets. Due to the SNOW EMERGENCY, cars should not be parked on the roadway. This will assist Public Works crews in clearing the snowfall which began to accumulate earlier this afternoon.

Pedestrians should stay off the roadways if sidewalks become impassable as road surfaces are treacherous.

The following areas may be used by residents for SNOW EMERGENCY PARKING – those areas include Indian Point Landing (North First Street, off of Route 481 at the north city line)A and Bullhead Point (Route 3 West between the War Memorial and YMCA)

Arts Center Artist of the Month

The Arts in the heART Gallery has selected Sharon Vita to be March’s artist of the month.

This talented artist has many different facets of her work. She is a well established artist out of Onondaga County who has sold many pieces of her work, and has explored and expanded her ability to work with many different media.

Some of her work on display at the gallery at 47 S. First St., Fulton consists of oils, acrylics, water colors, mixed media and collage. She has a lot of variety to offer with her selected pieces on display.

Her subjects include landscapes, still life, abstract and realism to name a few.  This artist and many more are available for viewing at the gallery, which is open Tuesday through Saturday.

Drumming workshop March 15 at CNY Arts Center

CNY Arts Center will host a drumming workshop with Diane Jones from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 15 at the CNY Arts Center, 357 State St., Fulton.

The is open to all ages and students are invited to bring any hand percussion instrument they have, along with a healthy dose of enthusiasm.

As part of the same collaboration, CNY Arts Center recently hosted choreographer Cheryl Wilkins-Mitchell with a dance workshop for young area dancers as part of Vision of Sound produced by Society for New Music.

The organization promotes continued growth in the music community by commissioning new works. Vision of Sound brings composer and choreographer together to present a new work in music and dance performed for the public in late March.

“We are honored to host Diane Jones and to have had Cheryl Wilkins-Mitchell share this wonderful opportunity with us,” said Nancy Fox, arts center executive director.

“The drumming workshop looks to be a lot of fun and a departure from our regular classes,” she said. “We hope everyone will seize the chance for an afternoon of drumming fun!”

Jones is a percussionist with SU Brazilian Ensemble Samba Laranja and loves writing for and collaborating with performers.

With commissions and performances by Mélomanie, The Relâche Ensemble, The Da Capo Chamber Players, and Flautet, her music reflects her rich, eclectic influences and her love of line and rhythm.  In 2011, her Choro Samba Laranja was included on the SAMMY award-winning CD, Native Orange.

Jones was the live weekend host on WCNY-FM, Central New York’s Classical Radio Station and is past president of the Society for New Music.

She has had her music featured on Fresh Ink, the weekly new music broadcast produced by the Society.

A recipient of the Billy Joel Fellowship, a fellowship with the Chamber Music Institute at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, and awarded the prestigious Grace F. and Theodore Berger Award from the University of Delaware, Jones is also a member of  Pi Kappa Lambda, the music honor society.

Active as a performer as well as a composer, Jones regularly performs with Samba Laranja and the Central New York Flute Choir.  She has played flute and piccolo in regional orchestras, and was one half of the flute duo, Flutes of Fancy.

Jones also has also studied with outstanding composers Daniel S. Godfrey, Nicolas Scherzinger, and Jennifer Margaret Barker. To learn more about Diane visit www.petdragonmusic.com.

The workshop will be held at the Arts Center located in State St. Methodist Church at 357 State St., through the Park Street entrance.

A modest fee will be charged and pre-registration is encouraged. For more information visit www.CNYArtsCenter.com or call 592-3373.

Bodley seniors recognized for athletic performances

By Rob Tetro

Seniors participating in winter sports at G. Ray Bodley High in Fulton recently received recognition for their performances.

They are:

Boys’ Basketball

Austin Haskins

Mark Pollock

Jeremy Langdon

Seth Britton

Girls’ Bowling

Mikayla Guernsey

Danielle Rupert

Boys’ Bowling

Brandon Wallon

Wrestling

James Bailey

Travis Kemp

Boys’ Indoor Track

Connor Aldasch

Mike Holcomb

Merrick Kilpatrick

Kirby Labeef

Jim Martin

Augusto Mendes Siega

Girls’ Indoor Track

Fabiane Fernandes

Laura Hamdan

Erin Hayden

Laura Hamdan

Erin Hayden

Hockey

Eric Forderkonz

Matt Billion

Seth Delisle

Brandon Ladd

Swimming

Breanna Baker

Ross Gardner

Anna Guernsey

Alyssa Harley

Lacey Reich

Jacob Strauss