New pizza place coming to Valvoline building

Pictured is the former Valvoline Express building on S. Second Street in Fulton. The vacant facility is now being renovated into a pizza shop. Matthew Reitz photo
Pictured is the former Valvoline Express building on S. Second Street in Fulton. The vacant facility is now being renovated into a pizza shop.
Matthew Reitz photo

By Matthew Reitz

The former Valvoline Express building on S. Second Street in Fulton will soon be looking a lot different.
Pathfinder Bank, the owner of the property, has hired Rowlee Construction to repurpose the vacant property into a pizza shop, which will also feature a drive-up Pathfinder ATM kiosk on the site.
Dennis Merlino of the Fulton Planning Commission said the project has been “completely approved” by the commission.
“They answered all questions and addressed parking, landscaping, and signage (concerns),” Merlino said. “They want it to be an attractive, appealing property to enhance the look and feel of Fulton.”
Taber Rowlee, of Rowlee Construction, said the project is underway and will take approximately three months to complete.
Rowlee said the construction has “started on the inside with infills and structural modifications.” The project will “dress-up the building as it sits there now,” according to Rowlee.
Plans include stonework on the exterior wall base and the addition of a façade on top of the building to give it curb appeal.
The project will also be “adding new landscaping” and cleaning up the area, according to Rowlee.
Rowlee mentioned that a “national chain” would be moving into the building, but added that he was “not at liberty to say more.”

$24 million Pathfinder Courts renovation to begin this summer

Fulton Housing Authority Executive Director David Fontecchio points out the senior housing complex at Fulton Pathfinder Courts campus, which is slated for a series of renovations beginning this summer. Colin Hogan photo
Fulton Housing Authority Executive Director David Fontecchio points out the senior housing complex at Fulton Pathfinder Courts campus, which is slated for a series of renovations beginning this summer.
Colin Hogan photo

By Colin Hogan
A $24 million endeavor to upgrade the Pathfinder Courts apartment facilities, which will do away with their public housing status but will keep them in the low-income rental range, is now slated to move forward this summer.
The apartments, which were established as state-sponsored public housing in late 1960s and early ’70s under the Fulton Housing Authority (FHA), currently include a 50-unit senior housing complex and 60 family housing units. When they were first established, FHA’s operating expenses were, in part, funded by state subsidies for public housing authorities. In the late 1990s, though, the state discontinued those subsidies, leaving FHA to operate solely on its rental income.
FHA officials say, over the years, this has left them with no meaningful funding opportunities to make capital improvements to the aging properties. As they now approach the end of those facilities’ 50-year mortgages, the housing authority will turn the properties over to a new not-for-profit entity, consisting of the same staff and administration who currently run the properties, which will operate the facilities under a low-income housing model.
“At this point, with all that needs to be done, we decided that we had to privatize,” said FHA Executive Director David Fontecchio.
Fontecchio said this will change how tenants’ rents are determined. Currently, tenants pay no more than 33.3 percent of their income toward rent, which includes utilities. On average, the housing authority collects about $342 per unit each month under that arrangement. As a low-income housing facility under the new not-for-profit agency, rates will be established individually based on U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) low-income rent guidelines, he said.
Among the many improvements planned to the facilities is incorporating some handicap-accessible units, which the properties currently do not have. Fontecchio said, because apartments meeting those specifications require more space, the total unit count will be reduced. He said the buildings are currently filled to about 60 percent capacity, so having fewer units in the end won’t affect any of the tenants.
The project will also include upgrades to the buildings’ façades, and the removal of asbestos-based materials throughout the facilities.
Other improvements include repairing hazardous sidewalks, fixing drainage issues, providing outdoor lighting that meets safety guidelines, a new security system, upgraded fire alarm systems, improve electrical service to buildings, new roofs and siding, better insulation, updated kitchens and bathrooms, new furnaces and water heaters, added carpeting and an upgraded playground.
“We’re basically going to make them like new housing — as new as new can be when working with an existing footprint,” said Bruce Levine of 3d Development Group, a Buffalo-based development firm that specializes in public housing, which has been coordinating the endeavor since it first came up a couple years ago.
Levine said the total construction cost is expected to be over $16 million. When adding in the cost of relocating residents for the construction period, asbestos removal, legal and bank fees, and other miscellaneous costs associated with the endeavor, Fontecchio estimated a total of $24 million. In spite of the steep price tag, though, Fontecchio said Pathfinder Courts will probably only end up borrowing about $1.5 million of that.
The biggest portions of money for the project will come from the federal government and the state’s Public Housing Modernization Program, Fontecchio said, with several other funding sources supplementing it, as well.
Levine said, when all is said and done, he expects he’ll have lined up seven different sources of funds.
“New York state is kicking in a considerable amount of money through various pots of money it has — Public Housing Modernization, Homes for Working Families, public housing tax credits, we’re even getting money from the Department of Justice settlement with the big banks,” Levine said. “So we’re getting money from all sorts of different sources.”
Both Fontecchio and Levine are hoping to have all the funding arrangements finalized by the beginning of May. Residents in buildings that are to be worked on would then be relocated to other apartments on the campus during construction. Fontecchio estimated that residents could expect to be in their temporary locations for about six months before being moved back into their finished buildings.
In all, Levine estimated a construction period of 24-28 months.
Fontecchio said he has requested that Levine’s contractor use Oswego County-based subcontractors for the project in order to pump the money being used into the local economy.
As public housing, the Pathfinder Courts buildings were exempt from local taxes. Under the new arrangement, they will continue to operate without a local tax obligation through a Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) agreement with the city. That agreement will also apply to the other local taxing agencies — Fulton City School District and Oswego County — according to Fulton City Clerk/Chamberlain Dan O’Brien. O’Brien noted, however, that Pathfinder Courts has always paid, and will continue to pay local taxes on its land.
When asked of the possibility of the new agency opting to charge market rates for the apartments in the future, rather than a low-income model, Fontecchio said an agreement is in place with the federal government that would ensure these apartments stay at low-income rates for at least the next 30 years.

Lenora M. Gustavson

Lenora M. Gustavson, 71, formerly of Liverpool and Lacona, passed away March 15 at her daughter’s home. She was born May 11, 1943 in Lacona, N.Y., the daughter of the late Wilbur and Nina White VanGieson. She was educated in Sandy Creek School. She retired from Crouse Hospital housekeeping department and the Byrne Dairy store in Liverpool. She was married to Richard E. Gustavson who died in 2008.
She is survived by her children, Laurie (Keith) Ludlow of Fulton, Joseph (Diane) Salisbury and Burton Samphier of Henderson;13 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren; two sisters, Billie Kay Stowell of S.C., and Mina Whitmore of Watertown. She was predeceased by two sisters, Mary Snyder and Hannah Murray, and an infant son, Jeffrey.
Funeral services will be held Saturday March 21, 2015 at 3 p.m. ay the Summerville Funeral Home 1997 Harwood Dr., Sandy Creek. Calling hours Saturday 1 to 3 p.m. prior to the service. Spring burial will be in Depauville Cemetery. Memorial contributions can be made to Hospice of Central New York P.O. Box 69 Syracuse, N.Y. 13208 or American Cancer Society P.O. Box 7 East Syracuse, N.Y. 13057.

Claudia J. Ferlito

Claudia J. Ferlito 3 001Claudia J. Ferlito, 68, of Fulton, N.Y., passed away at University Hospital, Syracuse, after a long illness.
Born in Syracuse, on March 27, 1946 to her late parents, Olive M. (Tidwell) Sprague and Harrison W. Sprague, Sr., Claudia was a homemaker. She loved to knit and to do gardening, spending time outside and fishing. She loved to help people, her dogs Susie and Brandy, were loved. Country music and dancing were enjoyed by her. Baking for her family and friends was an important part of her life. Claudia’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren were held deeply in that special place in her heart.
She was predeceased by her two brothers, Bob and Bill Sprague; a sister, Betty Reed.
Surviving are her husband, Robert W. Ferlito of Pennellville; her son, Louis A. Massey, Jr. of Antwerp; her daughter, Claudette J. Alvez and her companion, Michael Ward, both of Gouverneur; a dear nephew, Raymond Sprague of Pennellville; her sister, Carol Y. Hollenbeck of Mexico; 10 grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; several nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Calling hours are on Saturday March 21 from noon until 2 p.m., and then from 4 until 6 p.m. in the Allanson-Glanville-Tappan Funeral Home, 431 Main St., Phoenix, NY 13135. The funeral service will be the next day, Sunday, at 2 p.m. in the funeral home with the Rev. Jeff Hodge officiating. Spring burial in Pennellville Cemetery, County Rt. 54, Pennellville, NY 13132
Contributions in Claudia’s memory may be made to American Caner Society, P.O. Box 7, East Syracuse, NY 13057.

Harold Alfred Burgess

Burgess, HaroldBorn in North Adams, Mass., to Charles and Alice Burgess, Harold graduated from Drury High School. After graduation, he served in the National Guard while working for J.C. Penney Co. In 1943, during WWII, Harold enlisted in the U.S. Army and served in the China-Burma-India Theatre where he attained the rank of Sergeant in the Air Corps, 1712 Signal Service Battalion. Harold was a retail manager with J.C. Penney’s, Sears, Bradlees, Easy Bargain, Ames and K.B.C. which required him to relocate throughout the Northeast. From North Adams, Mass.; to Maine; Connecticut; Pittsfield, Mass.; Fulton; Oswego; Ogdensburg, N.Y.; Maryland; Malone, N.Y. and then back to Fulton. In 1989 after 43 years in retail management, Harold retired from K.B.C. He then moved to Fruitland Park, Fla., where he enjoyed many years of retirement. In 2004, Harold and his wife, Lois, moved back to Fulton.
Harold was predeceased by a brother, Robert Burgess, who died in 1976. He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Lois E. (Shaw Fisk) Burgess of Fulton; daughter, Rebecca (Joseph) Monteleone of North Fort Myers, Fla.; son, Reginald (Lisa) Burgess of Pittsfield, Mass.; stepson, Douglas (Susan) Fisk of Hannibal, N.Y.; three stepdaughters, Diane (Tim) Henry of Worthington, Mass., Donna (William) Tucker of Oswego, N.Y., Dena (Gary) Cameron of New Hill, N.C.; 12 grandsons, William (Christine) White of Granville, Mass., Scott (Erin) Tucker of Gaffney, S.C., Michael (Kelly) Tucker of Oswego, N.Y., Ryan Tucker of Boiling Springs, S.C., Hudson (Nicole) Burgess of Brookline, N.H., Eric Cameron of New Hill, N.C., Kevin (Natasha) Fisk of Hannibal, N.Y., Jed, Tyler, Steven, Larry and Alex Henry of Worthington, Mass.; three granddaughters, Jenna (Payton) Craddock of Garner, N.C., Kelly Fisk of Fulton, N.Y., and Marcedes Henry of Middlefield, Mass.; one great-grandson, Dillon White of Granville, Mass.; five great-granddaughters, twins, Molly and Sara Tucker of Oswego, N.Y., twins, Amelia and Addyson Tucker of Gaffney, S.C., and Audrina Fisk of Fulton, as well as one niece and two nephews in Massachusetts.
There are no calling hours.  A celebration of his life will be held at a later date. Contributions in memory of Mr. Burgess may be made to the Food Bank of CNY, 7066 Interstate Island Rd., Syracuse, NY 13209 or the Salvation Army, 62 South First St., Fulton, NY 13069. Foster Funeral Home, Fulton, has care of arrangements.

John C. Dreiling

Dreiling, JohnJohn C. Dreiling, 41 of Fulton passed away Monday at Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse. Born in Spain, John had lived in the Fulton area since 2006. He was the current assistant manager at Advanced Auto Parts and was working at U-Haul, both on Erie Boulevard, Syracuse. John cherished the time he spent with his grandson. John will be greatly missed and forever loved by his wife, Candace; his children, Charles (Samantha Makley) Briggs Jr., Tyler Parry and Mark Parry; his father, Charles; his mother, Chris; his sisters, Liz and Monica; his grandson, Nicholas; nieces and nephews. Calling hours will be 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, March 14, at Foster Funeral Home, 910 Fay St., Fulton. There are no funeral services.

Ruth Welch Palmer

Ruth Welch Palmer, 88, of Fulton, died Sunday, March 8, 2015. A native of Granby, she was a life resident of Fulton. Mrs. Palmer was a member of First United Church of Christ in Fulton, Elizabeth Chapter 105 Order of the Eastern Star, Fulton and Ilderim Temple 50 Daughter of the Nile, Syracuse. She was predeceased by her husband, Lawrence “Tom” Palmer, who died in 1987 and five siblings. Surviving are her children, Ernest (Sandra) Loveland and Lesa (Michael) Lawrence all of Fulton; six grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews. Calling hours and a funeral service were Thursday, March 12 at Foster Funeral Home, 910 Fay St., Fulton. Burial will be in Jacksonville Cemetery, Lysander.

Juanita J. Kandt Prior

???????Juanita J. Kandt Prior, of Hannibal passed away, Tuesday, March 3. She resided with her daughter and son-in-law in Middleport, Ohio. Juanita was born in Oswego Town, a daughter to the late Henry C. and Amanda Yeara Kandt. She retired from Andrew Michaud Nursing Home where she had worked as a nursing assistant. She enjoyed crocheting, cooking, scrapbooking, camping and listening to country-western music. She also enjoyed watching Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, Judge Judy, The Food Network and Country Western videos. Juanita was predeceased by her husband of 58 years, Harold L. Prior, who passed away July 30, 2011; seven sisters, a brother and an infant sister and brother. She is survived by her children Brian (Mary) Prior of Fulton and Sharon (David) Smith of Middleport, Ohio; a brother, David (Eileen) Kandt of Odenton, Md.; three grandchildren, Naomi McKenzie of Columbus, Ohio, Steven (Jessica Durham) Smith of Middleport, Ohio and Joshua (Candice) Prior of Lancaster, Ohio; eight great-grandchildren; several nieces and nephews. A calling hour will be 12 noon to 1 p.m. Saturday at with a 1 p.m. service to immediately follow at Foster Funeral Home, 837, Cayuga St., Hannibal. Burial in the spring will be at Fairdale Rural Cemetery.

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