Roy Morgan, long-time member of Enterprise Fire Department, Phoenix

Morgan
Morgan

Roy C. “Uncle Roy” Morgan, 80, of Elm Street, Phoenix, passed away Monday after a long battle with several cancers.

He was born to the late Freda (Smith) and Wesleyan Morgan on June 17, 1933 in Phoenix, NY.
A graduate of Phoenix High School, class of 1951, he was an Army veteran during the
Korean Conflict, serving in Germany.

Uncle Roy was a 56-year member of the Enterprise Fire Co., and was honored as
a firefighter of the year. He also was very involved with other fire company related
organizations in the area.

Roy was predeceased by his twin brother, Ralph A. Morgan on Dec. 28, 2010; and a sister,
Arlene M. Knowlton on Mar. 24, 2008.

Surviving are his loving wife of 57 years, Ona S. (Wooding) Morgan; his two daughters,
Cherie J. (Merton) Shaw, and Valerie (Jay) Czyz; four grandchildren, Sara and Jason
Czyz and Scott and Karen Harris; one great-grandson, Alexzander Harris; one sister,
Nellie Chamberlain; a sister-in-law, Madalyn Morgan; a brother-in-law, Erwin Knowlton;
several nieces, nephews and cousins.

Services were Thursday at the Allanson-Glanville-Tappan Funeral Home,
Phoenix, with the Rev. Douglas Chamberlain officiating.

Burial was in Phoenix Rural Cemetery with firefighter honors. Calling hours were Wednesday.

Contributions may be made in memory of Roy to: Enterprise Fire Co., 469 Main St., Phoenix, NY
13135, or to the Special Needs Playground Program, 25 Lock St., Phoenix, NY  13135

Barclay discusses referendum on casino gambling

Often issues arise in the state legislature where there are meritorious arguments on either side of the legislation.  This holds true for the state-wide referendum championed by Governor Cuomo that, if passed, would change our State Constitution to allow, among other things, the siting of four commercial casinos in Upstate New York.  Opponents of the measure argue that an expansion of casino gambling should not be part of any state economic development plan and that any expansion will also increase crime and gambling addiction.  Proponents of the expansion, including the Governor, claim that gambling is already all around us and they question why New York should miss out on the development of an industry that is attracting tourism and visitors to other states such as Nevada and New Jersey.

Currently, the New York Constitution prohibits all forms of gambling in the state other than pari-mutuel betting on horse races, bingo and lottery.  However, because of creative interpretations of the law and federal legislation, namely the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, we have three Indian run casinos in New York and a number of privately run facilities that operate video lottery gaming.  Further, gambling has expanded rapidly throughout the United States. Twenty three states have commercial casinos.  Casinos also exist north of the border in the provinces of Ontario and Quebec.

In order to amend the State Constitution to allow the expansion of commercial gambling in New York, legislation to do so has to be passed by two successive legislatures and then put to a statewide referendum.  The state legislature passed legislation to do so in 2012 and this year.  The decision will now be in front of the public in November. Voters will decide in a referendum.

If this referendum was simply about legalizing certain gambling in New York State, the argument for or against the referendum would be clear.  However, the gambling legislation gets into much more detail.  In effort to resolve various disputes between the state and certain Indian tribes, the legislation, if approved by referendum, would only allow the development of casinos in certain areas of upstate New York.  In essence, zones are created where the expansion of gambling would not be allowed so as not to compete with the already existing Indian owned casinos.  Onondaga, Oswego and Jefferson Counties all fall within exclusivity zones so any expansion of gambling could not take place within these counties’ borders due to reached agreements.

In addition, the gambling legislation sets out the taxes the state shall receive from each of the new casinos.  All taxes and fees assessed would be paid into the commercial gaming revenue fund.  The moneys of the fund would be distributed so that 80% of the revenues would be appropriated for elementary and secondary education, 10% of the revenues would be appropriated equally between the host municipality and the host county, and the final 10% of the revenues would be appropriated among the other counties in the region where the casino is located for the purpose of real property relief and education assistance.

During the last two legislative sessions, I voted against the gambling legislation and plan on voting against the referendum when it comes to a vote in November.  In general, I do not believe we should be using gambling as an economic development tool.  In addition, for the region I represent, the expansion of gambling will provide limited benefit and, in return, our area  would still be subject to the negative impacts that come with increased gambling.  However, if you believe gambling is here to stay, it is already all around, and that the state needs to settle its issues with various Indian tribes in the state, you should consider supporting the referendum.

If you have any questions or comments on this or any other state issue, or if you would like to be added to my mailing list or receive my newsletter, please contact my office.  My office can be reached by mail at 200 North Second Street, Fulton, New York 13069, by e-mail at barclaw@assembly.state.ny.us or by calling (315) 598-5185.  You can also friend me, Assemblyman Barclay, on Facebook.

 

 

State finds Fulton in moderate fiscal stress

By Ashley M. Casey

The depletion of Fulton’s available fund balance has brought the city under moderate fiscal stress, according to a new audit from the New York state comptroller.

According to a release from Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, the city’s fund balance fell to $136,068 at the end of 2012, down 84 percent from $841,747 in 2010.

Mayor Ronald L. Woodward Sr. attributed the fiscal stress to the poor economy, rising employee costs and declining property values.

“We’re doing our best,” Woodward said.

In an effort to cut costs, the city of Fulton has reduced its workforce by 10 percent in the last three years. Fulton has also reduced aid to the local library and ended ambulance contracts. These measures have saved the city about $800,000 since 2010.

“We’re not squandering money,” Woodward said. “We don’t even have a full-time attorney.” The mayor said he has been prosecuting most of the claims in code court himself.

“There’s only so much you can cut and still plow the roads,” the mayor added.

Fulton has applied to the state’s Financial Restructuring Board for Local Governments to aid in the process of solving the city’s financial woes. The FRB will closely review the city’s finances and make recommendations for generating revenue and cutting costs. The board may also be able to make grants or loans of up to $5 million through the Local Government Performance and Efficiency Program.

City officials have reviewed the comptroller’s audit and have agreed to take corrective action. The full report is available at osc.state.ny.us/localgov/audits/cities/2013/fulton.pdf.

 

Oswego lawyer keynote speaker at women’s conference

Kimberly A. Steele, managing attorney of The Steele Law Firm, was one of the keynote speakers at the The Business of Women’s 10th Annual Conference in Watertown Nov. 20 held by the Watertown Small Business Development Center.

Steele talked on “How to Protect Your Business and Yourself.”

“This conference also its participants excellent networking opportunities and to hear first-hand the experiences and lessons learned by all of us in the course of business,” she said.

For informatin about The Steele Law Firm, call 216-4721 or visit the website at thesteelelawfirm.com.

Community Thanksgiving Dinner seeks donations, volunteer help

Financial donations and volunteer help are needed for this year’s Community Thanksgiving Dinner from noon to 2 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 28 at First United Church of Fulton at 33 South Third Street in Fulton.

The free sit-down dinner is open to everyone, and features a complete Thanksgiving Dinner and an opportunity for good food and fellowship.

Checks can be sent to the First United Church of Fulton, 33 S. Third St., Fulton, 13069. Interested volunteers may call Dinner Chairperson Carol Dexter at  592-5162.

An organizing committee consisting of representatives of several Fulton churches and the Salvation Army is busy planning the eighth annual dinner. “It has become such a community effort and wonderful holiday tradition,” Dexter said. “Over 200 meals were served last year.”

Farfaglia to give another presentation on his muck farming book

Jim Farfaglia will give another presentation on his book about local muck farms at 3 p.m. Sunday Nov. 24 at the Fulton Public Library.

Farfaglia recently released a book about the history of muck farms in Oswego County. He will present a slideshow and read excerpts from his book. Farfaglia recently presented the program to a capacity crowd and decided to schedule a second one.

“The response from the public was overwhelming,” Farfaglia explained, “and I believe this is because there is a lot of interest in muck farming here in Central New York. Many people know muck farm families and some have worked on their farms over the years. I enjoy doing this program because it gives me a chance to talk about this unique type of farming and to offer some of the rich stories farmers shared with me.”

Farfaglia interviewed about 35 muck farmers, their family members, neighbors, workers and agricultural specialists and used the interviews, along with photographs and maps, to create the book.

During the Nov. 24 program, Farfaglia will share highlights from the book, call on those in the audience with muck farming ties to offer their memories, and answer questions about his research and creation of the book.

Copies of the book will be available to buy. Refreshments will be served. Call the Fulton Library at 592-5159 or Farfaglia at sjimf903@twcny.rr.com for more information.

Phillips receives ‘above and beyond’ award

Diane Phillips, customer service representative, commercial and municipal lines, for Eastern Shore Associates Insurance (ESA), Fulton, recently earned the agency’s 2013 “Above and Beyond” award, it was announced by Martha Murray, agency president. Phillips works at ESA’s Fulton office.

“Diane’s hard work and professionalism have made her an asset to both our clients and to our team, “ Murray said. “She is most deserving of this award.

“The Above and Beyond program is designed to recognize the individual who goes above and beyond their normal job duties to exceed the needs of fellow employees, our customers and our agency.”

Phillips has worked at ESA since 2004. She resides in Fulton with her domestic partner and has three children, one stepdaughter and two grandchildren.

“It’s a wonderful honor to be recognized by your peers for doing the best you can every day,” Phillips said. ”I really love the family atmosphere working here.”

Headquartered in Fulton, Eastern Shore Associates is a Trusted Choice® agency and ESOP (employee stock owned) company.

ESA offers a full range of business and personal insurance, including property, liability, automobile, boat, farm, recreational vehicle, workers compensation, and bonds. In addition, they offer financial planning and risk management services through strategic alliances.

“Our agency roots date back to 1846,” said Murray. “And we have more than 100 years of continuous representation with some of our insurance companies. 2013 is our 27th year as Eastern Shore Associates Insurance.

Eastern Shore Associates Insurance, www.esainsurance.com, has offices in Fulton, Pulaski, Phoenix, Camden, Waterloo, Rochester, N. Syracuse and Walworth. The Fulton office can be reached at 598-6000.

Volney board hears update on water districts

By Scott Allardice

The Volney town board Nov. 13 heard an update on the progress of several water districts in the town.

Bob Guminiak, an engineer with the firm C2AE, reported the MacDougall 6/45 water district work is nearly done.

“By the 1st of December everything should be done,” Guminiak said. The contractor has installed all the pipe, fire hydrants, made all the connections to existing water mains and completed work on virtually all the water service lines for customers.

Restoration of the ground in the project area will probably have to wait until spring, but before winter “all disturbed areas will be mulched with hay,” he said.

The new water mains are being pressure tested and chlorinated, in preparation for seeking health department approval for the system.

Once the system is approved, customers can begin hooking up to the water system. While homeowners are responsible for the costs of their hookup to the system, “The homeowners don’t have to buy the meters, the project is paying for them,” Guiminiak said.

Guminiak also reported on the progress of the proposed Airport Water District Extension #2. The project recently received approval from the state comptroller, but suffered a setback when the project’s projected interest rate jumped from 2.75 percent to 3.75 percent.

“That was unusual,” Guminiak said. He said the higher interest rate raises the project’s proposed costs for customers above earlier estimates. The funding proposal has been adjusted, with the federal government pledging more grant money.

“They’re anticipating it (the interest rate) will go down in January,” Guminiak said. “If it drops a quarter of a point we’re good.” If the rate fails to drop or goes up, the project may have to go back to the public for approval.

Another proposed water project, the Sherman Road – County Route 57 South Water District Extension #1, was also discussed.

The project would serve eight parcels that were left out an earlier water district because the homeowners at the time were opposed to the project.

Now the current homeowners are anxious to join the existing 70 users in the water district. “They call all the time,” Supervisor Dennis Lockwood said.

Guminiak worked a plan to add the new users into the exiting district at a cost of $478 annually for five years. After the five years, the new users would pay “the exact same rates as the people in the existing district,” Guminiak said.

The additional customers in the district could actually help reduce the $374 annual cost during the last 33 years of the project’s loan repayment.

In other business:

1) The board discussed whether the town should continue selling licenses for the state Department of Environmental Conservation. Hunting, fishing and trapping license sales are sold by the town using a computer supplied by the DEC. After Dec. 1, the DEC will reclaim its computer and town clerk Barbara Mac Ewen was unsure if the sales could continue using her computer or if the town would have to purchase additional equipment.

“Do I really want to keep selling licenses for a 3 percent return,” Mac Ewen said, citing the town’s share of the license revenue. “But we need to keep doing it for the convenience of the people,” she added.

Councilor Kevin Kio asked about the town’s revenues and “if it’s cost effective” for the town to continue to provide the service. “We’ll have to look at it,’ he said.

Since the exact revenues, costs and costs to continue service were unknown during the meeting, Lockwood said, “It’s an issue we’ve got to look into.”

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