By Colin Hogan
The property at the heart of so much sentiment, and controversy, in Fulton will be put before a judge to possibly finalize foreclosure next month.
The site of the former Nestle plant on the corner of Fourth and Fay streets, which closed in 2003 as the nation’s oldest chocolate factory, is currently in foreclosure, and must be settled before the matter goes before a New York State Supreme Court judge on Feb. 19.
“Right now, we’re in the process of tax foreclosure. The last day to settle that before it goes to the (state) Supreme Court is February 19,” Mayor Ron Woodward Sr. said. “Then, if we take it, we’ll be able to take some action on that site.”
Recently, the dilapidated site has become particularly burdensome to the city, not just as an eye sore, but financially as well. Not only has the city been unable to collect taxes on the property — it also has to pony up the site’s school and county tax obligations.
“The way it works is that the county does tax foreclosures for all the towns and villages, but not the two cities. From a financial standpoint, how that hurts us is if someone doesn’t pay their taxes, we not only don’t get their money, we have to pay the delinquent’s school and county taxes, as well,” said Woodward.
Woodward said grocery store chain ALDI Inc. is still interested in using part of the site, approximately two acres of the 38-acre complex, to establish a store. The first order of business, though, would be removing the remaining asbestos and demolishing the site’s structures.
When the state Financial Restructuring Board for Local Governments handed down recommendations on Fulton’s fiscal stress last July, it said up to $250,000 may be available to help the city with costs associated with demolishing and clearing the Nestle site for a new business. In order for the city to take any action on those steps, though, it first has to acquire the property.
“If we take it, then we have to figure out if we can get the money from the state. The restructuring board won’t make money available until we own it, because they won’t do that sort of thing if the owner is a private individual. (The restructuring board) was very interested in seeing that site developed,” Woodward said.
However, Woodward believes the city would still most likely have to pay out-of-pocket for some of the demolition costs, saying the restructuring board’s grant “would go a long way to help, but won’t cover everything.”
Nonetheless, the mayor said some form of action will be taken on the dormant site next month.
“I can say that in February, something will move forward with this building,” Woodward said.
The site is currently owned by Carbonstead LLC of Phoenix. Attempts to reach Carbonstead and its owner, Edward Palmer, for comment were unsuccessful.
By Ryan Franklin
Granby’s town board announced last week that Syracuse Sand & Gravel is seeking permission to expand one of its gravel mines from the state Department of Environmental Conservation.
A letter to the town from the DEC said that the company had requested a renewal and modification for its permit on the Johnny Cake Road and state Route 3 mine. The modification would allow for an increase in size from 55 to 73.8 acres.
The proposal would also increase the size of the two ponds to be left over when mining is completed to 41.6 and 16.6 acres, according to Peter Constantakes of the DEC.
The ponds would be left over after environmental reclamation of the sites, where Syracuse Sand & Gravel would be responsible for replanting trees and returning the land to its previous state when mining activities were finished.
The letter also notified the town board that the DEC requested to be the lead agency for monitoring the site’s environmental impacts under the State Environmental Quality Review Act. Granby Town Supervisor Ed Williamson said this was what the board had requested and was best for the town.
“If we took lead agency we’d probably take two years getting the answers they already have there and probably $100,000 in costs for us to do it,” Williamson said.
The permit modification is still pending approval by the DEC, and the letter was a notification that the request had been made. Williamson said that he hoped the permit would include the same stipulations on the other town mines and that the DEC would enforce them.
“I’m still going to put into the letter that I send to them the things we’d like to see done,” Williamson said. “I don’t want them to start before 8 a.m. in the morning, I want them to finish by 5 p.m. at night, I don’t want them to work weekends, holidays, because of the inconvenience to the people.”
Williamson also noted that Syracuse Sand & Gravel had requested an ingress/egress permit on state Route 3, which would prohibit gravel trucks from traveling on town roads and keep the town from having to repair them.
The next step for the permit’s approval is a pending environmental review. If deemed acceptable and completed, a public comment period will begin and the application will be published in the local newspaper, according to the DEC.
Efforts to reach Syracuse Sand & Gravel were unsuccessful by press time.
Ellen M. Hawthorne, 95, of Fulton, passed away on Monday, December 29 after a brief illness. She was born on October 1, 1919 in the town of Granby, the daughter of Eva (Loveland) and Vernon Fuller. Ellen retired after years of working at the Nestle Credit Union Office. She was a communicant of the Church of the Holy Trinity in Fulton and member of Catholic Daughters of the Americas #833; the Golden Agers and Fulton Women’s Club. Ellen was predeceased by her husband, Millard “Mike” Hawthorne in 1962; son, Bruce Hawthorne; granddaughter, Elizabeth Hawthorne; sister, Marie Halstead and brothers, Howard, Leo and Henry Fuller.
Ellen is survived by a daughter, Joyce Cook of Volney; sons, Dennis (Cindy) Hawthorne Sr. and David (Lisa) Hawthorne all of Fulton and Mark (Charlene) Hawthorne of Rhome, Texas; 11 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; sister, Beulah “Bea” Welch of Florida; two nephews; nine nieces; many grandnieces and grandnephews and sister-in-law, Loretta Fuller of Fulton.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Monday, January 5 at the Church of the Holy Trinity, corner of Rochester and South Third streets, Fulton, with burial at Jacksonville Cemetery in Lysander. Calling hours were Sunday, January 4 at Foster Funeral Home, 910 Fay Street, Fulton. Ellen’s wish was to have donations in lieu of flowers made to the Elizabeth Hawthorne Scholarship Fund at the YMCA Pre-School, 715 West Broadway, Fulton, NY 13069.
Marco Kaldi passed away unexpectedly on December 21 at his home in Bradenton, Fla. He was 52 years old. Marco was born in Paris, France and spent his young life in Milan, Italy. He came back to the U.S. when he was five and lived in New York City where he attended the United Nations School. He spent his high school years in the Boston area and joined the Navy upon graduation. He was stationed in Barbers Pointe, HI, where he was awarded a Humanitarian Service Medal. He attended Navy EOD School (Explosive Ordnance Detection) in Indian Head, MD and Airborne Training in Fort Benning, GA. His dreams of becoming a Navy Seal were dashed when he suffered severe injuries from a 50-foot fall while mountain climbing. He was medically discharged from the Navy. He spent many years working for EOD companies all over the world clearing the way for the military in places such as Iraq and Afghanistan, especially during the time that the US was at war with these countries.
It was while he was stationed at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan that he found the opportunity to exercise the kindness in his heart when a fellow worker from Zimbabwe spoke of his paralyzed eight-year-old son. The worker was trying to save enough money to buy a powered wheelchair for his son. Marco contacted Hoveround Corporation, headquartered near where he lived in Sarasota, Fla. The owner and CEO of Hoveround was touched by the story and responded with the donation of a $9,000 powered, all-terrain wheelchair, shipping the chair to Zimbabwe – the first ever sent there. Marco even assisted with finding a freight carrier who would ship the chair from Sarasota to Zimbabwe and Marco’s company agreed to pay the $1,000 shipping charge.
He was the quintessential Mr. Fix-It, once owning a tile and marble store in Honolulu. He worked on the construction of the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Maui and built houses on Oahu. He was always ready to lend a hand. He was a loving father, a compassionate husband and a devoted friend. He was a “giver.” The common theme expressed by his friends and family is “he would give you the shirt off his back.” His kindness and his sensitive nature will be missed by all those who loved him.
Marco is survived by his wife, Charlotte; his daughter, Serena of Honolulu, HI; his mother, Leita Bevacqua Kaldi Davis of Bradenton, Fla., his father, Mirko Mandich and sister, Silvia Mandich, both of Venice, Italy; his brother, Jude of Miami; his grandmother, Ruth Aluzzi of Fulton and several beloved aunts, uncles and cousins in the Fulton/Syracuse area; and a niece and nephew in Venice, Italy.
A memorial service will be held at the Sarasota (FL) Military Cemetery on January 14, 2015. Arrangements for a memorial service in the Syracuse area are still being planned.
Stanley R. Ottman, 89; of Phoenix died Friday at St. Joseph’s Hospital, Syracuse. He was born in Minetto, N.Y., to the late Roscoe and Anna (Savery) Ottman. He remained a lifetime resident of the area living in Oswego, Baldwinsville and Phoenix, N.Y. Mr. Ottman served in the Merchant Marine. He was past employed at A&P, Tops, Price Chopper, and Walmart in the management departments before retiring at 80 years old. Mr. Ottman was a member of the Lion’s Club, and the American Legion. He was a Volunteer Ambulance Driver for Baldwinsville Ambulance Corp. Mr. Ottman was predeceased by his children, Robert and Judith Ottman. He is survived by his wife of 69 years Josephine Ottman of Phoenix, eight children, Jo Ann Ottman of LaFayette, N.Y.; James Ottman of Oswego, N.Y.; Carol (William) Mosley of Tenn., Mary Jo (Daniel) McCarthy of N.M., Debra (Robert) Martin of Tenn., Stanley (Lisa) Ottman of North Syracuse, N.Y.; Mark (Ginny) Ottman of N.J.; Matthew (Diane) Ottman of N.M.; sister Adrienne DeGroff of Oswego, N.Y.; 11 grandchildren, 6 great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. Funeral Services were held Tuesday at the Sugar & Scanlon Funeral Home, 147 W. 4th St. S., Oswego with Rev. John Carter officiating. Burial is in St. Paul’s Cemetery, Oswego. Donations may be made to Food Bank of CNY, 7066 Interstate Island Road, Syracuse, N.Y. 13209; www.foodbankcny.org
By the Fulton Police Department
The City of Fulton has issued a travel advisory effective at 2 p.m. today (January 5, 2014). 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 travel advisory, 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 parking – those areas include Indian Point Landing (North First Street, off of Route 481 at the north city line), Bullhead Point (Route 3 West between the War Memorial and YMCA), and across from the former DPW Garage (Seward Street and North Fifth Street).
By Colin Hogan
After only a couple months in the water, Fulton’s dredging efforts removed more than 20,000 cubic yards of silt from Lake Neatahwanta in 2014.
The city began dredging its portion of the 750-acre lake, which it shares with the Town of Granby, in late September after awarding the project to Illinois-based Groh Dredging and Marine Construction.
Local officials believe that by dredging silt from the lake, which has been closed to swimming and other recreational activities for years due to a high concentration of blue-green algae, they can restore the flow of the freshwater springs that feed it and help mitigate the algae’s growth.
In the two months of dredging Groh did during the fall, workers removed more than 20,000 cubic yards of silt, which comprised nearly two of the six outlined grids the city plans to clear, according to Mayor Ron Woodward Sr.
“The pretty much completed the first two grids we mapped out,” Woodward said. “We’re permitted to clear out six of them. They’re about 300-by-300-feet each.”
Woodward said that high levels of nitrogen and phosphorous in the silt have also been contributing factors in the algae’s growth. He said the 20,000 square feet of silt that has already been removed was tested and showed high concentrations of both chemicals, and samples from the water where the dredging occurred are now showing the chemicals in lower concentrations.
“That leads me, at least, to believe that what we are doing is lowering the nitrogen and phosphorus,” Woodward said.
As of November 30, Groh had completed the work it was contracted to do. Now, the Lake Neatahwanta Revitalization Corporation — which administers Fulton’s portion of the project — will have to put the dredging out for bid again to begin the next phase in 2015.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation prohibits dredging in the lake during fish spawning season, which it defines as April 1 through July 15. Woodward said Fulton will probably put the next phase of the project out for bid in late June in hopes of starting right after the end of spawning season.
Fulton and Granby have each received $200,000 in state funds for their dredging efforts, as well as numerous donations from the community. The city’s “One Yard at a Time for $12.89” campaign, in which residents are asked to contribute a minimum donation of $12.89 — the cost to dredge one cubic yard — has proven to be a successful fundraiser for the endeavor.
“We’re getting there. We’re always getting donations in. We get a lot of small ones, and they all help. More than that, though, they show the level of public interest,” Woodward said.
Woodward expects that, with the dredging currently done for the season, donations will be coming in slower, but he still believes people are interested in contributing to the next round.
“Of course this time of year (donations) will slow down. It seems to be best when you can actually see the dredge out there working,” Woodward said. “We had a tremendous amount of sight-seers down there (during the fall) watching them work. I spoke with a lot of them and they all seemed very happy to see something being done.”