Ward “Bud” Shortslef, Jr.

Shortslef OBWard “Bud” Shortslef, Jr., 92, of Sterling, passed away Thursday at St. Luke Health Services in Oswego. He was born in Oswego, a son to the late Ward and Amanda (Walrath) Shortslef and was a life resident of Sterling. Ward was a graduate of Hannibal schools. He retired from Sealright in Fulton and had returned to work as a laborer at Ontario Orchards. Ward was a member of the Bluegrass Association and enjoyed farming and bluegrass music. He was predeceased by a son, Dale Shortslef; three brothers, Arthur, Menzo and Robert Shortslef and by a sister-in-law, Anna May Shortslef. He is survived by a son, Gary Shortslef on Manlius; five grandchildren, Crystal Hatten of Sterling, Dawn Delacruz of Fulton, Andrea Shortslef of Oswego, James Shortslef of Hannibal and Kristy Pritchard of Sterling; 11 great-grandchildren; two sisters, Evelyn (Eugene) Pritchard of Sterling and Theresa (Michael) Naklick of Fla.; two brothers, Neil (Hope) Shortslef of Sterling and Harold (Louise) Shortslef of Fulton as well as several nieces and nephews. Graveside services will be held in the spring at Springbrook Cemetery, Sterling. Calling are  4 to  7 p.m. Monday at Foster Funeral Home, 837 Cayuga Street, Hannibal.

Dorothy R. Blake

Dorothy R. Blake, 86, of South Hannibal, passed away Friday at Auburn Community Hospital. She was born in Jacksonville and lived most of her life in South Hannibal.  She was the widow of Robert D. Blake, who died in 2001. Dorothy was predeceased by a grandson, Scott W. Blake, Jr., who died in January 2012.

Surviving are five daughters, Linda DeMott of Phoenix, Robbin Griffin and Penny Everson both of Fulton, Becky Hatch of Ocala, Fla., and Karen Abitz of Dubuque, Iowa; four sons, Randy Blake of Lysander, Robert Blake, Jr. and L. Ray Blake both of Cato and Scott Blake of Wilmington, N.C.; a brother, George (Louise) Phelps of Beauville, N.C.; 28 grandchildren; 24 great-grandchildren; one great-great-granddaughter as well as several nieces and nephews.

There are no calling hours. Graveside services will be held in the spring at Jacksonville Cemetery. Contributions may be made to the American Diabetes Association, Syracuse, NY Office, 6390 Fly Rd., 2nd Floor, East Syracuse, NY 13057.  Foster Funeral Home, Hannibal has care of arrangements.

Dorothy M. Durfey

Durfey OBDorothy M. Durfey, 82, of Fulton died Friday December 12, 2014 in Michaud Residential Heath Services, Fulton. Mrs. Durfey was born in Oswego the daughter of the late William and Gertrude (Deno) Manwaring. Mrs. Durfey was a salesperson in the appliance department at Montgomery Wards, in Fulton. She was a member of the Fulton Woman’s Club. Mrs. Durfey is survived by her husband of 64 years Jack Durfey of Fulton, and children Richard (Elizabeth) Durfey of Oswego, Debora (William) Chapman of Ogdensburg, Patricia (John) Kulie of Windfield, Illinois, Barbara (Donald) Clonch of Hannibal, her siblings William (Barbara) Manwaring of Oswego, Barbara Fragale of Oswego, Nancy (Joe) Caza of Fulton, Diane (Adrian) Richardson of Oswego, she has 7 grandchildren Sean, Kimberly, Allison, Katielynn, Patrick, Paige, Douglas, and 8 great grandchildren. Funeral services will be conducted Thursday 11 a.m. in the Sugar Funeral Home, Fulton.  Spring burial will be in Peck Cemetery. Calling hours will be Wednesday from 4 to 6 p.m. at the funeral home 224 W. 2nd. St. Fulton

Barbara Jean Blount

Blount OBBarbara Jean Blount, 74, of Fulton, went to Heaven on Saturday. Barbara was born in Fulton, a daughter to the late Arlene and Joe Hayden and lived most of her life in Fulton. She graduated from Fulton High School in 1958. Barbara had worked at Nestle’s, was a salesperson with Montgomery Ward, a gym teacher and bus driver with Faith Heritage School and worked in the seafood department at Tops Supermarket before becoming the Assistant Seafood Manager at Wegmans in Clay and then relocating to their Dewitt location, where she retired in 2001. Upon her retirement, Barbara and her husband, Charles, spent the winter months in Lakeland, Fla. She was a member of the Fulton Alliance Church where she had been involved with the Pioneer Girls. She enjoyed sewing, quilting, beading and making crafts. Barbara is survived by her husband of 56 years, Charles R. Blount of Fulton; four children, Kathy (David) Green, Linda (Wayne) Atkinson, Ken (Cheryl) Blount and Alice (David) Lamb; siblings, Carol (John) Weaver, Joe (Judy) Hayden Jr.,  John Hayden and Richard (Sue) Hayden; 15 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren as well as several nieces and nephews. Memorial services are 6 p.m. Wednesday, December 17, 2014 at the Fulton Alliance Church, 1044 State Route 48, Fulton. Foster Funeral Home, Fulton has care of arrangements. For floral offerings, the family has requested dish gardens to be sent to the church for her memorial service.

Philip A. Manitta

Manitta OBPhilip A. Manitta, 89, of Fulton, died Saturday in The Grand at Chittenango. Mr. Manitta was born in Skaneateles the son of the late Salvatore and Angelina (Vasco) Manitta, and later moved to Fulton in 1937. Mr. Manitta co-owned and operated Manitta Bros. Grocery Store in Fulton. He served in the United States Army as a sergeant during World War II, from 1949 until 1954. Mr. Manitta is survived by his wife of 57 years Columbia “Chickie” Manitta, and daughters Phyllis (Dave) Hutchinson of Pa., and Annette (Martin) Bargabos of Canastota, and siblings Dominic “Doc” (Gloria) Manitta of Fulton, Lucille Runeare of Fulton, Emily (Joe) St. Phillips of Fulton, Mary (Joe) Jonientz of Liverpool, three granddaughters Rachel, Celia, and Ella, and several nieces and nephews. In addition he was predeceased by his sisters Josephine Borek, and Anna Koczan. Funeral services will be Thursday at 9:30 a.m. in Holy Trinity Church, Fulton. Spring burial will be in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Fulton. There will be no calling hours. The arrangements are in the care of the Sugar Funeral Home, 224 W. 2nd St., Fulton. In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to the Alzheimer Association.

All Saints kids celebrate Advent

All Saints Church Sunday School recently constructed Advent wreaths to use during the four weeks of Advent leading up to Christmas. A candle is lighted each Sunday of Advent and the last one on Christmas. Shown working on their arranging skills are primary class students Devin Johnson (left), Lily Wise (right) and Lily Johnson (foreground) with teacher Mary LaBeef. Photo provided
All Saints Church Sunday School recently constructed Advent wreaths to use during the four weeks of Advent leading up to Christmas. A candle is lighted each Sunday of Advent and the last one on Christmas. Shown working on their arranging skills are primary class students Devin Johnson (left), Lily Wise (right) and Lily Johnson (foreground) with teacher Mary LaBeef.
Photo provided

 

 

No tax increase in 2015 Fulton budget

By Colin Hogan

Fulton officials revealed the city’s $15.7 million proposed 2015 budget Tuesday which, in spite of an increase in spending, holds the line on property taxes.

City spending for 2015 would total $15,710,583, according to the proposed budget — up $114,395 from this year’s $15,596,188 in appropriations. General fund revenues would total $9,324,102 — up $140,669 from $9,183,433 in 2014 — with $6,464,816 to be raised from the property tax levy, which city officials say would be achieved at the same tax rate as 2014 of $19.662 per $1,000 of assessed value.

Mayor Ron Woodward Sr. said the biggest factor in establishing a balanced budget has been reducing personnel. In all, he said the city will be spending over $200,000 less than it did this year on personnel.

“Most of our way of balancing the budget was in personnel,” Woodward said. “We had some retirements that we didn’t fill, or where the person has come back to work part time.”

For example, after public works commissioner Dan O’Brien was appointed to replace retiring city clerk/chamberlain Jim Laboda, the city chose not to seek a new public works commissioner, and instead promoted one of the department’s supervisors to lead it. That eliminated one position in the public works department without any layoffs.

The city is also saving money on personnel by re-hiring some of the full time employees who are retiring this year, such as the personnel director, deputy clerk and dog warden, as part-timers. Woodward said this cuts the costs of those positions roughly in half, with less being paid in salaries and insurance, and without the expense of retirement contributions.

“In New York state if a person retires, they can come back and work on a part time basis as long as they don’t earn more than $30,000 a year. Of course, when these people retire, they’ve got a lot of years in and are making a higher wage. If you bring them back on a part time basis to fill the full time positions, you pay half the salary, you’re not paying retirement,  you’re not paying as much insurance and, because the salary is less, the amount of Social Security the city has to match is less.”

Employee benefits and retirements continue to be a growing burden in the budget. Next year, the city will spend $3,119,687 in medical insurance costs — an increase of $265,932 from this year. That comes alongside a $317,119 increase in fire and police retirement costs, from $1,230,597 to $1,474,134, and an increase of $84,384 in other state retirement contributions, from $243,102 to $299,737.

Last year, Fulton spent 9.68 percent of its budget on employee retirement costs. In 2015, that will grow to 11.29 percent, the budget shows.

Should the budget be adopted as is, spending on the fire department would decrease about 3.5 percent, from $3,017,868 to $2,913,451. The police budget would also shrink from $3,194,850 to $3,144,095, or 1.4 percent. Woodward said both departments are operating with less personnel, but noted that scenario can often increase the amount of overtime being paid.

City water appropriations would total $1,403,437, down $4,621 from 2014. Meanwhile, revenues are expected to reach $1,290,280, down $43,000 from 2014, leaving a difference $113,157 to be paid out of fund balances.

Sewer expenses would total $1,898,590, down $66,572 from this year, while revenues are expected to total $1,807,190, up $93,400 from this year, leaving $91,400 to be paid out of fund balances.

Davis-Standard, Universal Metal Works expansions to bring new jobs

By Colin Hogan

Plastics and rubber manufacturer Davis-Standard will be expanding its operations in Fulton — a change expected to bring some new jobs to the economically struggling city.

According to a release posted on the company’s website, Davis-Standard will be relocating “manufacturing operations from Bridgewater, New Jersey to Fulton, New York,” where it currently has a facility on North First Street.

To accommodate the new operations, Davis-Standard will be leasing space from the adjacent Universal Metal Works facility, which is also in the process of expanding.

On Monday, the City of Fulton Planning Commission granted UMW site plan approval to undergo a 20,000-square-foot addition on the south end of its 33,000-square-foot facility. Documents filed with the city show that about half of that space would be used by UMW to streamline its spray painting, assembly and manufacturing process, while the other half would be leased to Davis-Standard for the relocation of its blown film operations.

“They had a very good site plan. We deferred to Brace (Tallents, of Fulton’s code enforcement office) and he said it was a very thorough plan and couldn’t find any problem with it,” said Dennis Merlino of the planning commission.

Merlino said the planning commission has been working closely with Universal Metal Works President John Sharkey III and Vice President John Sharkey IV on the plans for the project, which is now expected to move forward promptly. On Nov. 10, the Sharkeys told the planning commission that they already have a lease and deposit from Davis-Standard, and that they would like to have the expansion completed by July 2015.

According to the special use permit application filed with the city, between five and 10 new jobs would be created locally by Davis-Standard moving its New Jersey operations to Fulton. Merlino said the planning commission has been told that future job growth is likely, as well.

“I, personally, am thrilled that they are expanding in Fulton. I think this is just the kind of thing Fulton needs most right now,” Merlino said.

Mayor Ron Woodward Sr. said the expansions are a good sign that businesses are still interested in operating in Fulton.

“I’m very excited about it. This shows there are still people interested in Fulton,” Woodward said, “and it’s going to create some jobs and bring some jobs here, which is what we need.”

Calls to leadership at both UMW and Davis-Standard’s Fulton facility were unreturned as of press time Thursday, but in the news release, Davis-Standard Vice President of Global Operations Allen Lee said the relocation will help the company’s manufacturing operations become more efficient.

“Having the largest, most focused global manufacturing footprint in the industry will ensure that we continue to deliver our brand of world-class products and support to our customers around the world,” Lee stated.

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