Category Archives: Other News

Burke’s warehouse roof collapses under snow

 

Under the weight of snow, the roof of Burke’s Home Center’s warehouse, pictured above both inside and outside, collapsed earlier this week.
Under the weight of snow, the roof of Burke’s Home Center’s warehouse, pictured here both inside and outside, collapsed earlier this week.

By Matthew Reitz

The roof of the Burke’s Home Center warehouse in Fulton collapsed earlier this week, but fortunately there were no injuries in the incident, according to store officials.
The building houses lumber, plywood and insulation behind the store at 65 North Second Street in Fulton.
According to owner Chuck Handley, the back half of the 25-year-old building gave way under the weight of the snow.
The walls and foundation of the building are still intact, but new trusses and a new metal roof will be needed to restore the structure. Handley said the building is insured. Burke's3
Employees planned to begin pulling out the contents of the building Thursday morning, according to Handley. The business will continue to operate as normal.
“We’re in pretty good shape up there,” Handley said, “anything we can’t do out of Fulton, we can deliver from Oswego.”
Handley said that a mid-April repair is likely.

Council makes changes to food truck permits following lively hearing

VendorHearning2
Councilors hear input on changes to the city’s policy for food truck vendors during an hour-and-a-half long public hearing Tuesday.

 

 

By Colin ­Hogan

VendorHearing1
Dingles Ice Cream truck owner Paul Cooper was one of many people to address the Common Council Thursday during a public hearing on mobile vendor permits.

Some new changes to the city’s peddling and soliciting law had residents and city officials in a lively debate this week during an hour-and-a-half-long public hearing on the matter.
City officials had been discussing changes to the stipulations within food truck merchants’ permits after some local business owners complained last fall that the vendors pay only a yearly fee to the city and reap taxpayer-funded benefits.
Under the new policy, the mobile merchants will have to pay $250 more per year, now $1,000 up from $750, to operate in the city. Eligible hours of operation have expanded from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., though the time of year they’re allowed to operate under the permit was reduced to a nine-month span. If a vendor wants to work at an event outside of that span, he or she must pay an additional fee for a one-time special use permit. Vendors will also need to provide the Common Council with a comprehensive list of the items they serve.
Crystal English, owner of the Shannon’s Hot Dogs food truck which has operated at Bullhead Point for decades, said she thought a fee increase and some other policy changes were fair. However, she was displeased that the council began pursuing the changes to appease her complaining competitors.
One speaker, Brian Sweeney, showing support for English and other mobile vendors, said he didn’t feel it was fair for businesses who may be struggling to use the Common Council “as a weapon” against their competition.
Speaking on behalf of property-based merchants, Lakeview Lanes owner Mike Tryniski said, whether or not a fee increase is implemented, city officials need to do more to ensure fairness between tax-paying businesses and the mobile vendors with whom they compete.
“The world is based on buying property, building a business — a building — and opening your doors. And for that right, we pay taxes to the city that go to all the services that help the whole community,” he said.
Tryniski said businessmen like himself willingly pay those taxes, but find it unfair that they are going to support his food truck competitors, who operate on city property and, thus, have taxpayer resources covering a portion of their overhead. He also spoke out against the daily hours those vendors are allowed to keep.
“I pay for my own snow plowing. I pay for my own garbage. I pay for my own lawns to be mowed. I pay for upkeep on my parking lot. All of that is out of our pocket at the bowling center,” Tryniski said. “They don’t have those same costs, and they’re allowed to be there for unlimited hours. If it was just lunch, that would be fine, and that’s what you originally said would be the case. But now it’s turned into evenings, weekends, and they’re competing against businesses that pay a lot of money in taxes.”
Mayor Ron Woodward Sr. noted that, regardless of whether a vendor is operating at a place like Bullhead Point, the city would be plowing that parking lot and keeping up with the grounds, anyway.
Some attending the hearing agreed that there is an injustice to one merchant’s tax dollars being used to support its competitor. But many also felt that, because those vendor permits and locations are up for grabs to anyone, the system is already fair — a point raised by Councilor Tom Kenyon during Tryniski’s statements.
Tryniski felt that, rather than the fee, there should be a tax structure in place, or some other alternative, to ensure that mobile vendors pay a fair share for the city-funded services they receive.
One sentiment made by several speakers, including former Fulton Mayor Daryl Hayden, was that customers will visit the merchant of their choice, regardless of whether it is a property-based business or a mobile vendor, because they like the product being offered.
“If you have good food, they will come there. If you have a good product, they will come there. It doesn’t matter if they stay open 50 hours,” Hayden said.
Another point made by several both in attendance and on the council is that the vendors, particularly those at Bullhead Point, help draw visitors to Lake Neatahwanta.
The changes were ultimately approved by the council in a 5-1 vote, with Councilor Ryan Raponi as the lone dissenter. Raponi’s “nay” vote hinged on one item in the new policy — a grandfather clause that allows vendors to keep their place if they return to do business in the city for a certain number of years. He called the clause “favoritism” and said it even could be considered “unethical.”
Raponi felt the clause limits the city’s ability to cultivate competition among vendors. He said that, as someone who has been elected to represent that taxpayer’s interest, he believed the council should remove that item to allow for competitive bidding for those permits in the future.
“I know that we could make more money on those locations. We’re always blaming our revenue problems on the state or the county, saying ‘it’s not our fault,'” Raponi said. “But these little things that we can control (add up.)”

Grand effort reunites Fulton woman with her lost dog

Watson, a black chow chow from Fulton, was recently reunited with her owner after spending 12 days in the cold.
Watson, a black chow chow from Fulton, was recently reunited with her owner after spending 12 days in the cold.

By Nicole Shue

Watson, a black chow chow, was recently reunited with her family after missing for 12 days in freezing temperatures.
The dog went missing on Feb. 10 from its home on Whitcomb Road in Fulton. Watson’s owner had adopted the dog a few weeks prior from the Chow Chow Rescue of CNY.  As he was opening his front door to get his mail, Watson escaped.
The owner’s daughter, Cindy Stone, founder of the volunteer rescue group), began a search for the dog that lasted nearly two weeks.
With below-zero temperatures, the thought that Watson may not come home crossed Stone’s mind, but she remained positive. In January, she rescued a chow chow from Oneida Lake with a snowmobile.
Stone’s brother- and sister-in-law checked the live animal trap they had set for Watson every day, and a call was also sent out through a Pet Amber Alert messaging system, but there was still no sign of it.
Stone’s family also set up two trail cameras, meant for deer, on the Oswego River where there were sightings of her. However, with the continual snowfall, the cameras weren’t much help, Stone said.
“The neighbors where Watson was believed to be hiding out were phenomenal in letting us set up our trap and cameras on their property,” said Stone.
Through following her tracks, Stone knew that Watson was crossing the Oswego River and staying on the ice.
Stone called her friend Amy, who lives in Georgia, for her help. Amy, Watson’s breeder, flew to New York to help Stone in her efforts to find Watson.
Finally, on Feb. 22, they were able to rescue Watson. It was 20 degrees and sunny that day. Stone spotted Watson under a boathouse on the Oswego River just north of Aspen Cove. She was pacing in and out of the boathouse, nervous and scared. It took 20 minutes to trudge through the snow to get to the dog, Stone said.
Amy threw hot dogs to Watson to entice her to come out of the boathouse on her own. With Watson not cooperating, Amy then tried to loop a lead around the dog’s neck, but missed. Luckily it still caught Watson by the foot, and Amy pulled her to safety.
“Once she came out of the boathouse she was licking Amy’s face,” said Stone. “I was so excited and relived to see her. We were all happy she was a black dog on white snow.”
After being out in the elements for 12 days, Watson had only two little patches of frostbite on her top lip. Her left front paw had a cut from either a bite or stepping on a nail, Stone said. She had lost eight pounds, but was otherwise healthy.
For the time being, Watson is living at Stone’s home in Brewerton with her other chow chows. Watson, she describes, is “as sweet as pie,” adjusting well, and enjoys the company of other dogs.
The Chow Chow Rescue of CNY is a volunteer rescue group that is dedicated to finding homes for purebred chow chows. The rescue is run through the support of volunteers and foster homes. At any given time, the rescue has 35 to 50 dogs waiting for their forever homes.

Residents ask Granby board to help stop mine expansion

By Ryan Franklin

Residents from county Route 85 asked Granby’s town board for help protesting a proposed expansion of the gravel mine and assistance paying for well testing during Wednesday’s meeting.

Lynn Lyons and Christine Bassett of county Route 85 told the town board a letter they had previously asked the board the send to the Department of Environmental Conservation regarding the mine’s expansion did not accurately address their concerns, specifically about what is happening and could happen to their water wells.

“There’s been nothing done to address what will happen downstream, to all of us,” Bassett said.

Lyons and Bassett asked the town to more adamantly protest the mine’s expansion rather than just reiterate to the DEC that the requirements of the permit must be met.

“We would like for them to back us to the DEC,” Lyons said. “We shouldn’t be having to do this.”

Town supervisor Ed Williamson told the pair that there was little the town could do since the permit had already been granted and the DEC was given lead agency status such a long time ago, before the current board administration.

“The DEC has a contract. You’re fighting with the state of New York. It’s a very difficult thing to fight a contract,” Williamson said after the meeting.

Williamson said that he had spoken to the DEC on several occasions about the wells and made sure that they knew the town wanted them to pay restitutions if anything happened to the wells.

“I have addressed the fact that we did not want any wells, and that if it did happen, they’d have to take care of it,” Williamson said.

Lyons and Bassett said that their wells and those of many others on county Route 85 have already been affected by the mine moving below the water table, and the proposed 14-acre expansion would only make things worse.

“Our wells are showing great distress. Our filters are black every two weeks,” Bassett said. “We’ve been there 35 years and haven’t seen anything like this.”

The pair asked that the town pay to have the wells of residents throughout county Route 85 tested, in addition to their request that the town further oppose the expansion.

Williamson said that county legislator Morris Sorbello had told him the county was looking into finding a grant to pay for testing, but was unsure if Granby could pay for any potential difference.

“That would be up to the county. The county does the testing of all wells, both dug and drilled, when they’re requested. We don’t have it in our budget,” Williamson said.

Williamson said he is constantly talking to county and DEC officials and will continue to ask them to address the most recent concerns of residents along county Route 85.

 

Council holding public hearing on food truck issue

By Colin Hogan

After hearing complaints from local business owners last fall, the Fulton Common Council will hold a public hearing on Feb. 24 on modifications to the city’s food truck vendor permit stipulations.

The issue arose in October after business owners along state Route 3 on the west side of the river called it “unfair” that they pay what they call some of “the highest taxes in the state,” while thriving food truck vendors set up in Bullhead Point pay a smaller once-yearly fee to the city.

“With lower cost structures for those businesses, they can charge less and they’re going to have more customers,” Lakeview Lanes owner Mike Tryniski told the council in October. “It doesn’t seem like a fair balance between the businesses and the vendors.”

Following a special meeting Wednesday, in which the public hearing was scheduled, Common Council President Larry Macner said the council agrees that raising vendors’ fees and other permit modifications are in order, but that would be the extent of how the council intervenes in the affairs of these businesses.

“It comes down to competition and free enterprise — who’s got the best product at the best price,” Macner said.

During earlier deliberations on the subject, Councilor Jim Myers, who chairs the Codes Committee, noted that if the fees were to be assessed in the same way as property taxes, the city would be collecting even less from its food truck vendors than it already does.

“The average price (of a food truck on eBay) is like $10,000. If that was considered real property, and they had to pay taxes at our tax rates, they’d be paying $196.62 instead of $750,” Myers said.

Macner said Wednesday that fees would be rising from $750 per year to $1,000.

“The biggest change here will the fee increase, because there hadn’t been one in several years,” he said.

When discussing the matter last fall, Crystal English – owner of the Shannon’s Hot Dogs food truck, which has been regularly parked at Bullhead Point for 30 years – said she would be willing to see that figure increase “a reasonable amount,” such as $300 or so, but felt it would be unfair for a business like hers to be held up to the same taxing standard as a property-based business.

“We’re mobile. We’re on wheels. At the end of the day, we pack up and leave. There’s no comparison to be made there,” she said.

Currently the city has permits issued to three vendors at Bullhead Point, two at Indian Point and one downtown.

The public hearing will take place at the start of the Common Council’s Feb. 24 meeting at 7 p.m.

Jeremiah M. Jones

Jeremiah M. Jones, 2; of Oswego died Sunday, Feb. 8, at Strong Memorial Hospital, Rochester, N.Y. Jeremiah was always very playful and loved the outside. He enjoyed riding his bike and he was a great little brother. Jeremiah is survived by his mother Amanda Jones; siblings Jazmine, Kiara and Jaden; maternal grandfather Adam Babcock; paternal grandmother Marcherie William Smith; several aunts, uncles and cousins. He was predeceased by his father Marchane Green in 2014; maternal grandmother Kathryn Martin; and maternal great-grandmother Patricia Jones.  Committal service with burial was be held Friday at St. Peter’s Cemetery, Oswego. The Sugar & Scanlon Funeral Home, 147 W. 4th St. S., Oswego has care of the arrangements.

 

Bernice E. “Bunny” Ordway

Ordway OBBernice E. “Bunny” Ordway, 77, of Fulton passed away Monday, Feb. 9, at Oswego Hospital.  She was born in Massachusetts and had lived in the Fulton area for more than 50 years. Bunny had worked for more than 30 years at Andrew Michaud Nursing Home in Fulton. She was a wonderful woman and cherished her family.  She was predeceased by husband, Ronald; daughter, Donna J. Barnes; and sisters, Joyce Huntress, Phyllis Fanning and Ruth Greco. Bunny’s memory will be cherished forever by her children, Leann (John) Schadt, Ronald L. Ordway II and Patrick (Claudia) Ordway; son-in-law, James K. Barnes; siblings, Shirley Jones, Eleanor Childs and Henry Craig; several grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews and cousins. Calling hours were Tuesday, Feb. 10, at Foster Funeral Home, 910 Fay St., Fulton, 13069.

 

George Horace Stone, Jr.

Stone OBGeorge H. Stone, Jr., 74, of Fulton, passed away on Saturday, Feb. 7, at Upstate University Hospital after an extended illness. He was born on May 20, 1940 in Boylston, a son to the late George and Nellie Dennie Stone, Sr. George retired from Huhtamaki after 45 years. He was a hardworking, independent, do it yourself individual who was a loving and devoted family man. Along with his parents he was predeceased by three siblings, Francis Stone, Bill Stone and Myrtle Smith and granddaughter, Stella Stone.

George will be greatly missed and forever loved by his wife of 37 years, Dawn Stone; five children, Virginia (Kevin Leonard) Stone of Auburn, Patricia (Randy) Platt of Oswego, Steven (Andrea) Stone of Phoenix, Timothy (Trisha) Stone of Hannibal and Tammie (Charles) Carroll of Fulton; 13 grandchildren, Tonia, Saun, Andy, Danny, Jamie, Zoey, Sam, Ceceila, Kyle, Hailey, Bryce, Ryan and Mya; eight great-grandchildren; beloved dog, Roxi as well as several nieces and nephews.

A funeral service was held Thursday at Foster Funeral Home, Fulton. Spring burial will be in St. Peter’s Cemetery, Oswego.