Category Archives: Other News

Sunoco plant to begin malting barley on site

State grants $700K toward $9M project
By Matthew Reitz

Part of the beer making process will return to the former Miller Brewing Company campus in Volney next year, driven by a $700,000 New York State Regional Economic Development Grant awarded to Sunoco.
Sunoco was awarded the $700,000 grant as part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s $1.5 billion Upstate Revitalization Initiative. The REDC grant will be used to help fund a new $9.1 million barley malting facility that officials say will become an integral part of New York’s growing craft beer industry.
“This REDC grant helps make the construction of our malting facility a reality and expands its potential,” said Sunoco Ethanol General Manager Tim Hardy.  “We are grateful for this grant, for the unflagging support of our local legislators, and for the central New York economic development team, whose tireless advocacy for economic development in the region is responsible for this and other success stories.”
The malting facility will be constructed adjacent to the Sunoco Ethanol Plant, and will help to further revitalize the former Miller Brewing Company campus that was closed in 1994.
Construction is set to begin in the next 90 days, and will employ 150 to 200 contractors. Sunoco expects the facility to be up and running by fall 2016, and will create five to eight permanent full-time positions by the time the malting facility is fully operational in 2017.
Company officials said engineering for the project is already underway, and they plan to repurpose an unused, existing warehouse into a truck receiving and loading center, raw grain storage and cleaning components, malting equipment, and malt bagging and storage capacity.
Malting was not previously done at the site under the Miller Brewing Company, so all new equipment will need to be brought in to perform the malting process.
New York’s current malting capacity is unable to meet the growing demand of New York farm and craft breweries, and the new Volney facility expects to purchase malting barley grown on about 3,000 acres in the state, according to company officials.
The facility will be able to produce approximately 2,000 total tons of high-quality malt annually, which would make it the largest malting facility in the eastern United States.
The state Farm Brewery Law was passed in 2012 in an effort to support New York’s breweries and wineries, increase demand for locally grown farm products and expand industry-related economic development and tourism.
The law requires those holding a farm brewery license to purchase 60 percent of their ingredients for beer from suppliers within New York state in 2018, with a 90 percent requirement by 2024.  State officials expect the measure to lead to increased demand for locally grown farm products as well as expanded economic development and tourism in the state.
“Our state’s craft beer industry is flourishing, and it’s projects like this new barley malting facility that capitalize on its potential for even further growth,” State Senator Patty Ritchie, R-Oswegatchie, who co-authored the 2012 Farm Brewery Law in an effort to stimulate growth of the state’s brewing economy, said. “I’m pleased funds were awarded to make this project possible, and look forward to it creating much-needed jobs here in central New York and boosting the farming industry that is so important to our region.”
Sunoco Communications Manager Jeff Shields said the law encourages the company and brewers to use as much state-grown barley as possible, but the company was still working on sourcing some of the barley that will be processed at the facility.
“You can’t just make beer out of barley, you need malted barley,” Shields said, adding that nobody else has the ability to process barley on the same scale as the Volney facility.
Assemblyman Will Barclay said Sunoco has demonstrated its commitment to the community by repeatedly investing in its facility, and this $9 million project shows that the Farm Brewery Law is having an impact on the local economy.
“We have seen the work Sunoco Ethanol has done with the plant, and I am confident they will create a production facility that will grow the state’s brewing industries and our local community while expanding their own business and creating jobs,” Barclay said.

State awards funds to improve Phoenix wastewater infrastructure

By Matthew Reitz

As part of a $440 million state investment in water quality announced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday, the Village of Phoenix will receive up to $6 million in state aid to make improvements to wastewater infrastructure and improve water quality in the Oswego River
The Village of Phoenix has for years been plagued with water quality issues resulting from aging infrastructure and drinking water wells that are susceptible to ground water infiltration. The village will now receive a $1,593,750 grant and a $4,781,250 loan, for a total of $6,375,000 in aid, to help pay for much needed sanitary sewer improvements.
Mayor Ryan Wood said the grant was one of several the village had pursued, and they were still evaluating exactly what the funds could be used for.
The village is also in the process of transitioning from drinking water wells to tying in to the Metropolitan Water Board. That move is expected to be completed sometime next year, and should alleviate concerns about the quality of drinking water in the village.
Wood said the village was not awarded the $600,000 grant it applied for to help pay for that project.
The village has been experiencing ground water infiltration problems within the sewer system, and has found some areas where rainwater is entering sanitary sewer lines, according to Wood. He said some work has already been done to improve the village’s wastewater infrastructure, including a recent $1 million project.
“We’ve already done some of the projects, because we couldn’t wait for any grant money,” Wood said. “We tried to wait as long as we could, but sooner or later you have to do the project.”
According to information provided by the governor’s office, the funds will help pay for inflow and infiltration corrections, upgrades to pump stations, and modifications and upgrades at the sewage treatment plant to improve water quality in the Oswego River.
Village officials hope some of the grant money can be used to help pay for the previously completed projects, but it’s not yet clear if that is possible.
The projects the village has already completed have not made them compliant with the Department of Environmental Conservation, Wood said, but it has relieved some of the issues.
“We’re on the right path with the DEC,” Wood said. “We’re still working on that.”
Wood said the village is currently in the eighth month of a 12-month hydro analysis study that will further identify problems within the wastewater infrastructure. Once the study is complete, the village will be able to move forward with plans to alleviate the issue after identifying specific areas in the system that need to be addressed.
“We’re looking at everything,” Wood said. “We’re looking at all the savings that we can to make sure we’re compliant and doing the best for the village.”
Along with the village’s funding, Cuomo announced $75 million in grants to support 45 drinking water and wastewater infrastructure improvement projects throughout the state. In addition to grants, interest-free and low-interest loans will be provided to communities to further reduce costs. The state Water Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2015 was established as part of the 2015-2016 state budget and provides $200 million in grants to municipalities over three years.
The governor’s office said the $75 million in grants are expected to be supplemented with more than $362 million in interest-free and low-interest loans, allowing for a more fiscally sustainable investment for communities.
The $440 million will aim to further improve New York’s water quality and infrastructure, and the projects chosen are expected to save local taxpayers more than $284 million through a 59 percent reduction in municipal costs.
Funding will be administered by the Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC), and the Departments of Health and Environmental Conservation.

Town board sets public hearings on zoning change, fracking ban in Hannibal

By Matthew Reitz

This week, the Hannibal Town Board said it will establish a committee to review the town’s zoning laws, and scheduled two public hearings in January to gather public input on zoning laws and a potential ban on hydraulic fracturing.
Code Enforcement Officer Wayne Newton suggested town officials look into making several changes to zoning laws, including adding a section to cover solar photovoltaic systems, and changing some wording that pertains to mining and foundations for manufactured homes.
“I’ve been looking at our zoning laws, and I see a few things that we probably ought to look at,” Newton said. “There are some definitions I feel we need, and some word and number changes.”
Town Supervisor Ron Greenleaf instructed Newton to set up a committee to review the zoning laws and make recommendations to the board. Greenleaf said he would like to see a five-person committee comprised of Newton, a planning board member, a town board member, and two members of the public.
Last month, Newton told the board about an issue in the town’s zoning laws that does not line up with New York state standards. Newton said he recently learned that mobile homes, whether in a park or on a private lot, must have a concrete pad or concrete pier foundation. He said the town’s current zoning laws allow for gravel pads, which do not meet state building code. Photoshoppo.com – photoshop online.
The words “or a compact gravel base” need to be removed from a portion of the town’s zoning laws, according to Newton. A public hearing is set for 7:45 p.m. on Jan. 20 to discuss the issue, immediately following a 7:30 p.m. public hearing on a hydraulic fracturing ban.
Town to close on WSA4
Greenleaf said the town has a tentative closing date for the recently completed Water Service Area 4, which is now functional. Greenleaf said closing for long-term repayment was set for Jan. 12, and the early closing will save the town about $2,000 in interest costs.
“It’s not a lot,” Greenleaf said of the $2,000 in savings, “but it’s better than paying it all.”
No Increase in Rental Fees for Community Room
A potential increase in the cost to rent town facilities had been discussed at recent meetings, but the board voted against making changes to the fees on Wednesday. Greenleaf said he spoke with Village of Hannibal Mayor Fred Kent, and the two did not feel any changes needed to be made. Greenleaf said Kent agreed to help close the building up when necessary, which would keep the town from having to hire someone to do so.
Highway department gets
time clock, new plow
Outgoing board member George Ritchie, who was recently elected Hannibal’s Supervisor of Highways, presented the board with quotes to purchase a time clock for the highway department. The board approved the purchase of a time clock that will cost a little less than $300, which Ritchie said would make payroll easier and keep better track of employees.
The board also approved the purchase of an $8,500 plow blade at the request of outgoing Highway Superintendent Dan Mahaney.

Fulton Mills residents help warm the needy

Residents and staff at Fulton Mills Apartments have been busy collecting and preparing all sorts of winter attire for the needy this year. In the first two weeks of a month-long winter clothing drive, the residents had gathered over 100 articles of clothing, including a variety of hates, gloves, scarves, socks and underwear. Pictured going through some of the donated items are, from left, Fulton Mills Assistant Program Manager Sharayah Jones, resident Lana Eddy, Fulton Mills Residents Association VP Helen Allen, President Chris Fitzgerald and Secretary-Treasurer Sandy Hughes. When the collection period ends next week, all of the items will be handed over to the Salvation Army, according to Jones, who spearheaded the initiative.
Residents and staff at Fulton Mills Apartments have been busy collecting and preparing all sorts of winter attire for the needy this year. In the first two weeks of a month-long winter clothing drive, the residents had gathered over 100 articles of clothing, including a variety of hates, gloves, scarves, socks and underwear. Pictured going through some of the donated items are, from left, Fulton Mills Assistant Program Manager Sharayah Jones, resident Lana Eddy, Fulton Mills Residents Association VP Helen Allen, President Chris Fitzgerald and Secretary-Treasurer Sandy Hughes. When the collection period ends next week, all of the items will be handed over to the Salvation Army, according to Jones, who spearheaded the initiative.

Colin Hogan photo

Sunoco plant to begin malting barley on site

State awards $700K toward $9M project

By Matthew Reitz
Part of the beer making process will return to the former Miller Brewing Company campus in Volney next year, driven by a $700,000 New York State Regional Economic Development Grant awarded to Sunoco.
Sunoco was awarded the $700,000 grant as part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s $1.5 billion Upstate Revitalization Initiative. The REDC grant will be used to help fund a new $9.1 million barley malting facility that officials say will become an integral part of New York’s growing craft beer industry.
“This REDC grant helps make the construction of our malting facility a reality and expands its potential,” said Sunoco Ethanol General Manager Tim Hardy.  “We are grateful for this grant, for the unflagging support of our local legislators, and for the central New York economic development team, whose tireless advocacy for economic development in the region is responsible for this and other success stories.”
The malting facility will be constructed adjacent to the Sunoco Ethanol Plant, and will help to further revitalize the former Miller Brewing Company campus that was closed in 1994.
Construction is set to begin in the next 90 days, and will employ 150 to 200 contractors. Sunoco expects the facility to be up and running by fall 2016, and will create five to eight permanent full-time positions by the time the malting facility is fully operational in 2017.
Company officials said engineering for the project is already underway, and they plan to repurpose an unused, existing warehouse into a truck receiving and loading center, raw grain storage and cleaning components, malting equipment, and malt bagging and storage capacity.
Malting was not previously done at the site under the Miller Brewing Company, so all new equipment will need to be brought in to perform the malting process.
New York’s current malting capacity is unable to meet the growing demand of New York farm and craft breweries, and the new Volney facility expects to purchase malting barley grown on about 3,000 acres in the state, according to company officials.
The facility will be able to produce approximately 2,000 total tons of high-quality malt annually, which would make it the largest malting facility in the eastern United States. Vinyl siding installation.
The state Farm Brewery Law was passed in 2012 in an effort to support New York’s breweries and wineries, increase demand for locally grown farm products and expand industry-related economic development and tourism.
The law requires those holding a farm brewery license to purchase 60 percent of their ingredients for beer from suppliers within New York state in 2018, with a 90 percent requirement by 2024.  State officials expect the measure to lead to increased demand for locally grown farm products as well as expanded economic development and tourism in the state.
“Our state’s craft beer industry is flourishing, and it’s projects like this new barley malting facility that capitalize on its potential for even further growth,” State Senator Patty Ritchie, R-Oswegatchie, who co-authored the 2012 Farm Brewery Law in an effort to stimulate growth of the state’s brewing economy, said. “I’m pleased funds were awarded to make this project possible, and look forward to it creating much-needed jobs here in central New York and boosting the farming industry that is so important to our region.”
Sunoco Communications Manager Jeff Shields said the law encourages the company and brewers to use as much state-grown barley as possible, but the company was still working on sourcing some of the barley that will be processed at the facility.
“You can’t just make beer out of barley, you need malted barley,” Shields said, adding that nobody else has the ability to process barley on the same scale as the Volney facility.
Assemblyman Will Barclay said Sunoco has demonstrated its commitment to the community by repeatedly investing in its facility, and this $9 million project shows that the Farm Brewery Law is having an impact on the local economy.
“We have seen the work Sunoco Ethanol has done with the plant, and I am confident they will create a production facility that will grow the state’s brewing industries and our local community while expanding their own business and creating jobs,” Barclay said.

Fulton thanks outgoing councilors

Knopp
Knopp
RaponiHS
Raponi
By Matthew Reitz

In its final meeting of the year, the Fulton Common Council and Mayor Ron Woodward Sr. paid tribute to Second Ward Councilor Daniel Knopp and Third Ward Councilor Ryan Raponi, who both will be replaced next month after choosing not to seek re-election this year.
First Ward Councilor Tom Kenyon began the praise by saying he was “going to miss Danny (Knopp),” whom he said had done a tremendous job for the city. Woodward capped off the remarks by recognizing Knopp’s time and service to the city, and reminiscing about the time they spent working together. He said it was a pleasure working with Knopp, whom he said helped steer the city in some of the toughest times he’s ever seen.
“I’d like to congratulate Danny (Knopp) on his retirement, and I’d like to thank him,” Woodward said. “It’s been very tough. It’s not over yet, but I have hope that we’re starting to see some changes—I appreciate all that you’ve done.”
Woodward said he’s known Knopp, former president of the Common Council, since he was a teenager, and recalled that Knopp even dated his daughter at one point when the two were younger.
“You see these people when they’re kids, and then you see them grow up and become an integral part of the community,” Woodward said.
Fourth Ward Councilor Jim Myers congratulated Knopp on his departure and thanked Raponi for his time on the board as well. Fifth Ward Councilor Norman “Jay” Foster said he’d miss Knopp’s presence on the board, and wished him the best in future endeavors.
“I’ll miss you here at the table with your wisdom and your guidance,” Foster said. “It’s always been really good having you aboard with us.”
Council President Larry Macner also wished Knopp the best of luck, and thanked him for everything he has done for the city of Fulton over the years.
“It’s been a pleasure to work with you,” Macner said.
Knopp thanked all the members of the council for “putting up with” and listening to him over the years, and making him a part of the discussion. Knopp said he hoped he was able to help the other councilors as much as they had helped him over the years, and specifically thanked Woodward.
“Mayor, thanks for all the time you’ve given me—the questions, the answers, the help and guidance,” Knopp said. “I think you do a wonderful job for the city, and I wish you all the luck.”
Raponi was unable to attend the meeting.
Bonds issued for
capital projects
The council unanimously approved a resolution authorizing the issuance of over $800,000 in bonds to pay the cost of various capital projects in and for the city, including the acquisition of several police vehicles and an extension of the water and sewer lines on South Fifth Street at the former Nestle site.
City/Clerk Chamberlain Dan O’Brien said the city will purchase four 2016 Ford Police Interceptor Sedans, one of which will be unmarked, at a maximum cost of $130,000. About $200,000 will go toward demolition and asbestos abatement for various city properties, including the air monitoring needed as part of the asbestos removal at the former Nestle site, and another $315,000 will be used to purchase two 10-wheel dump trucks.
The water and sewer lines at the former Nestle site on South Fifth Street will be extended to help make the property more attractive to prospective buyers in the future, according to city officials. The city already has the materials needed for the water line extension, and will do the work at a cost of approximately $35,000. The sewer line will have to be contracted out, and the engineering and construction will cost approximately $135,000, according to O’Brien.
Property sales
City officials authorized the sale of two properties that were acquired through tax foreclosure. The property at 401 West Fourth Street will be sold for $33,500, and the former Broadway Cleaners, located at 114-116 West Broadway, will be sold for $35,900, according to Woodward.
Other news
The council authorized Woodward to sign a court security agreement with the police department to have the city’s officers act as court security. The agreement will cost the city no more than $108,000 for the year.
A resolution was passed granting the city’s fire department permission to apply for funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program, which would help replace the department’s oldest reserve pumper currently in service. Federal funds would cover 95 percent of the costs if the grant is awarded.