Legislature approves investment policy change

By Debra J. Groom

The Oswego County Legislature OKed a measure Thursday that will allow the county treasurer to get a better interest rate when he invests county money.

Treasurer Fred Beardsley said the county already has an investment policy. But the governor recently signed a law that allows a change in how county invetments are made, so the Legislature on Thursday approved a new investment policy.

Beardsley said banks were losing money when there were large investments made at the banks. This is because the bank had to put up collaterol of its own money on large deposits.

For example, he said if the county invested $100,000, the bank has to put up the $100,000 plus an amount for hte interest.

“With interest rates so low, the banks are losing money on this,” Beardsley said. “So many banks are refusing to take these investments.”

The change OKed by the governor allows the county to invest the money, which then goes to a holding company and then is divvied out to banks in smaller increments.

For example, Beardsley said if the county invests $1 million, the money goes to the holding company and then is given to different banks in $250,000 increments, called insured cash sweeps.

“It provides us with a higher interest rate and the banks will take the investments,” Beardsley said.

He said the county has had trouble making much money on its investments since interest rates have plummeted.

He said interest rates now are about 0.05 of a percent to about 0.15 of a percent.

“Our income on inteerst used to be about $1 million a year,” he said. “This year, we’ll be lucky to see $75,000.”

The legislature also approved a measure to transfer cemetery accounts in the custody of the county treasurer to the cemetery owners.

Beardsley said when he became treasurer, he checked all the bank accounts and found two accounts that were more than 40 years old. They were from cemeteries founded back in the 1880s.

“The cemeteries went defunct at one time and the money was transferred over to us,” Beardsley said.

He researched the cemeteries and found both — one in Richland and one in Pennellville — still are being kept up. So the money in the accounts will be given to those in charge of upkeep at the cemeteries to help with the maintenance.

The total being transferred is about $900.

The legislature also approved:

• Supporting a statewide indigent defense legal system. County Administrator Philip Church said having the state run the system to provide lawyers to low-income defendants  would save the county about $1.5 million.

• Supporting an alternative to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed tax freeze that would lead to the state taking over mandated programs such as Medicaid, indigent defense and special education preschool.

Harborfest kicks off ‘Friends of Festival’

March kicks off the annual “Friends of the Festival” Campaign for Oswego Harborfest.

Each year, Harborfest friends support the festival through donations.

These donations are a part of what helps to keep Harborfest admission-free.

Along with sponsors, Friends of the Festival supports programming, entertainment, children’s activities, staging tents, and more.

Become a “Friend of the Festival” today.

Harborfest 2014 is slated for July 24-27.

“Friends of the Festival” forms are available at oswegoharborfest.com or at the Harborfest offices in the McCrobie Building, 41 Lake St.

For more information, call 343-6858.

Palermo begins dog count April 1

The town of Palermo Dog Control is conducting a Dog Enumeration (dog count) beginning April 1.

All dog four months and older are required by state law and town law to be licensed in the township.

Any owners who have dog(s) that are not licensed will be issued a ticket.

The fines for unlicensed dogs are as follows: $25 for the first, $50 for the second and $100 for the third and subsequent offenses.

The cost of a licenses are: $6 for spayed or neutered; and $13 for unspayed and unneutered.

New York state allows the town to collect a $5 fee during an enumeration at the time of licensing, which will be collected starting April 1.

A current rabies certificate is required in order to obtain a license.

The first Rabies Clinic will be held in Scriba at the County Highway Garage from 6 to 8 p.m. March 26.

Anyone with questions on licensing should call the Palermo Town Clerk at 593-2333 ext. 227 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

To obtain a license, bring or send a current rabies certificate with cash or check to Town Clerk, 53 County Route 35, Fulton, NY 13069.

The clerk’s office hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

County readies for autism walk

The Oswego County Autism Task Force is sponsoring its eighth Annual Family Fun Walk for Autism Saturday, May 3.

The family–friendly event will take place at Leighton Elementary School and Wilber Field and Track in Oswego, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Participants will join an organized 3-mile walk on Wilber Track, let the kids of all ages enjoy a variety of activities provided by local agencies and learn more about autism and resources available in Oswego County.

There also will be inflatables, face painting, crafts and a bubble area for all to enjoy throughout the afternoon.

This fun-filled day is a fundraiser for the Autism Task Force and will assist the organization with its mission to provide information and engage in social activities that relate to enhancing the lives of those touched by Autism Spectrum Disorder in Oswego County.

For more information, call Theresa Familo at 598-7672. This is event is free and open to the public.

Sign up now for farm workshop

A workshop titled “So you’ve bought a farm… now what?” is being offered by Cooperative Extension of Oswego County.

The focus is to educate new landowners and farmers interested in transitioning or adding to their current business. This program is designed to help these farmers make use of their land resources in a manner that fits their personal and business goals.

Those attending will hear topics such as understanding the  purchase of farm machinery, estimating farm machinery costs, alternatives for acquiring farm machinery, raising liverstock,  the production of fruit and vegetables and greenhouse operations.

The workshop will run March 27, April 10 and April 24 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Mexico Library. Cost of the workshop will be $15 per person per session.  Anyone interested must pre-register no later than the morning of March 27. For more information, call 963-7286.

St. Joseph’s Imaging joins cancer partnership

Carolyn Handville, program coordinator for Oswego County Opportunities’ Cancer Services Program Partnership, said  St. Joseph’s Imaging Associates, PLLC in Oswego is the newest member of the partnership and joins the Cancer Services Program’s network of more than 20 health care offices in Oswego County.

St. Joseph’s Imaging Associates has opened in a brand new, full service health care building at 300 State Route 104 E.

The facility is equipped with urgent care, a blood draw lab, an imaging practice as well as general care. With the combination of compassion, expertise, and commitment, the highly skilled staff St. Joseph’s Imaging Associates is dedicated to providing outstanding service to physicians and patients.

“We are proud to count St. Joseph’s Imaging Associates among our network of health care providers,” said Handville. “St. Joseph’s Imaging Associates provides our community with outstanding patient care and quality imaging. Exams available through St. Joseph’s include: CT scanning, mammograms, bone density, X-rays and ultrasound.

To schedule an exam, call 452-2004.

OCO’s Cancer Services Program provides free cancer screenings including clinical breast exams, mammograms, pap/pelvic exams, and colon cancer screenings to uninsured women ages 40 to 64, uninsured men ages 50 to 64, and uninsured or underinsured women under 40 years of age who are at risk of, or have had a clinically significant finding for, breast cancer.

For more information, or to schedule an appointment, contact the Cancer Services Program at 592-0830.

April 1 deadline to sign up for conservation program for teens

Submitted by SUNY Oswego

SUNY Oswego’s Rice Creek Field Station is offering a new education program for teens.

Conservation Field Studies will focus on environmental stewardship along with team building.

The deadline to apply while being considered for a scholarship to the new program is April 1.

The program runs from Aug. 12 to 14 and is designed for teens who wish to take part in a summer program but who have aged out of the field station’s Exploring Nature program. It is open to rising ninth-graders to just graduated teens.

Participants in Conservation Field Studies will investigate the interdependence of Rice Creek’s ecosystems through field studies and projects. They will examine the importance of stewardship through habitat study, animal habits and real-life applications.

Registration is $75 with a discount for Rice Creek Associates members.

Information and scholarship and registration materials can be found at oswego.edu/conservationstudies.

Sheriffs’ Association seeks members

The New York State Sheriffs’ Association Institute will begin its annual Honorary Membership drive in Oswego County within the next few days, Sheriff Reuel Todd said.

The New York State Sheriffs’ Association Institute was established in 1979. It is a nonprofit corporation, tax-exempt organization — contributions  are tax deductible.

While the sheriff’s office is a unit of county government, many of the concerns of sheriffs and other law enforcement agencies are best addressed on a statewide level. The Sheriffs’ Institute provides centralized training programs and services for all sheriffs’ offices, where those programs and services would be unavailable or impractical on a single county basis.

The flagship program of the Sheriffs’ Institute is the Sheriffs’ Summer Camp for economically challenged children. The camp, in its 37th year of operation, is located on Keuka Lake and 840 children from across New York state attend each summer.

The Sheriffs’ Institute pays the entire cost of the camp stay and transportation. Most children attending wouldn’t otherwise have an opportunity for vacation travel or a summer camp experience.

The Sheriffs’ Camp program combines summer recreation with activities designed to teach an understanding of, and respect for, our laws and the men and women who enforce them. The strong camper-to-counselor ratio allows for individual attention with an emphasis on the development of self esteem.

“In these difficult economic times we cannot forget our youth who will not have the opportunity for a summer camp experience or a summer vacation,” Todd said.

“By becoming an honorary member you are supporting the Sheriffs’ Summer Camp for economically disadvantaged children.”

In addition, the Sheriffs’ Institute operates a scholarship program to provide one scholarship to each of New York State’s Community College’s Criminal Justice Programs. This program is designed to help attract the best and the brightest to the criminal justice vocation.

For more information, visit our website, sheriffsinstitute.org or simply google “Sheriffs’ Institute kids” and it will be your first option.

Financial support for many of the Sheriffs’ Institute programs comes from Honorary Membership dues. Anyone interested in supporting the efforts of the state Sheriffs’ Association Institute by becoming an Honorary Member should contact the sheriff if they do not receive an invitation in the mail, or visit the website at sheriffsinstitute.org to download an application.

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