United Way asks community to help Stuff-a-Bus for students in need

The United Way of Greater Oswego County’s annual Stuff-a-Bus campaign collection day has been scheduled for 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 14.

School buses will be at the following sites to accept donations of school supplies from pens and pencils to notebooks and backpacks:

• Kinney Drugs, 17 S. First St., Fulton
• Fulton Savings Bank parking lot, Route 57, Phoenix
• Walmart, state Route 3, Granby
• The Hannibal Village Market IGA, Route 3, Hannibal
• Walmart, Route 104, Oswego
• Walmart, Route 49, Central Square
• Fulton Savings Bank parking lot, Route 57, Phoenix
• Kinney Drugs, 3318 Main St., Mexico
• Kinney Drugs, 3873 Rome Road, Pulaski

The Stuff-A-Bus campaign helps provide area youth in need with the supplies required to begin the school year.

“As the result of last year’s Stuff-A-Bus campaign, we were able to serve approximately 1,600 families throughout Oswego County,” said Melanie Trexler, executive director of United Way of Greater Oswego County. “This year, with the support of caring businesses and community members, we are hoping to serve even more Oswego County students.”

School districts throughout the county, along with more than 20 business and organizations participate in the campaign. For more information, contact Melanie Trexler at the United Way at 593-1900 or Jo Ann Conzone at the Oswego City School District superintendent’s office at 341-2001.

County is close to receiving all 2013 back taxes

By Debra J. Groom

Oswego County is close to receiving all the money it was owed in back taxes on foreclosed properties for 2013.

Real Property Tax Director Debra Mullenax said the county was owed $2,120,388 on 199 parcels of foreclosed land and property in the county. A total of $1,991,403 of that has been brought in, she said.

Of those 199 parcels, 76 were bought back prior to the July 13 tax auction by the people who owned the properties. They paid $578,553 to the county in back taxes.

Ninety-nine properties were auctioned, bringing in $1,412,850. Three parcels totaling $21,829 in back taxes did not sell, Mullenax said.

“We’re a little short, but close,” Mullenax said of the amount recovered for the cover.

She added the county still could hit the $2.1 million amount when interest and other fees are received from taxpayers.

County Treasurer Fred Beardsley said one of the three properties that did not sell was landlocked, one had an environmental issue and one was too small.

He said neighbors of the landlocked property are being contacted to see if they are interested in the parcel.

County moves closer to demolishing jail

By Debra J. Groom

It’s taken longer than expected, but the Oswego County legislature is getting closer to demolishing the old county jail in Oswego.

The legislature’s Old Jail Committee on Wednesday approved spending another $12,000 to complete four more steps to the environmental testing at the property and buildings on East River Road.

The additional work to be done by GHD Environmental in Salina consists of:

• Testing of samples taken from the septic tank on the property and soil at the river bank;
• Testing around the location of the septic tank to see exactly where the tank and any pipes running from it are located;
• Completing a full environmental report; and
• Explaining the report to the legislature.

The original contract for GHD’s environmental testing was for $13,350.

Legislator and committee member Jacob Mulcahey didn’t want the county to spend more money on additional tests at the site. He said a “for sale” sign should be put on the property immediately.

Legislator and committee chair Morris Sorbello disagreed, stating testing should be completed so contractors bidding on the demolition will know exactly what to expect when doing their work at the site.

“We should have had a ‘for sale’ sign on this property for the last six months,” Mulcahey said. “Buyers buy ‘as is’ all the time. Can’t we tear the building down without these tests?”

Sorbello, legislator and committee member Linda Lockwood, and Oswego County Administrator Philip Church said it is in the county’s best interest to do the tests.

“I think bids will be higher if there are any unknowns (on the property),” Church said.

“If they (contractors) know it’s clean, they’ll give you a better price,” Lockwood said.

Church said it should be at least a month until requests for proposals from contractors will be issued.

The Old Jail Committee decided Wednesday to obtain bids for each part of the site work (abatement, demolition, salvage) so legislature members can see and compare the costs for each portion of the project.

County officials agreed last year that the old county jail, built in 1909, is dilapidated and must be torn down.

Sorbello said last year the building would be demolished in the spring, but testing and studies have taken longer than expected.

Testing to date has found asbestos in the building and the roof in addition to the old septic tank that must be filled in.

Testing also was done on the steel in the cells to see if it was high quality that could be scrapped and sold, but Sorbello said the steel was not high-quality.

The old jail is located on land across the street from the present Oswego County Correctional Facility, which opened in 1994 and houses the jail, sheriff’s office, family court, county court and the district attorney’s office.

The old jail is a large, three-story building with the jail structure in the rear. The middle section was used as the sheriff’s and deputies’ offices and booking room.

Also on the same site is a one-story building that houses a Department of Motor Vehicles office and the county’s records center. County Clerk Michael Backus, who is in charge of the DMV and records center, on Wednesday voiced concern to the Old Jail Committee about the old jail demolition process and how it would affect customers coming to the DMV or records center.

It was agreed that this issue is important and will be addressed soon.

Mayor, journalist Allerton dies at 93

Muriel Allerton, 93, former Fulton mayor and longtime community journalist, died Thursday

“She was an amazing person,” said current Mayor Ronald L. Woodward Sr., who served a two-year term as mayor in the 1980s. Allerton was his campaign manager.

When he finished his term in 1987, she successfully ran for mayor and served two terms. Woodward helped her with her campaign.

He recalled her as an intelligent leader who cared deeply about the community.

“She was always there to help the little guy and the disenfranchised,” Woodward recalled. “She was a very popular mayor. She came through some very tough times,” he said. “The city took a tremendous hit from state aid and there were a lot of layoffs.”

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Farmers’ market expands healthy food choices for seniors

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced more than $1.8 million to provide low-income senior New Yorkers with access to farmers’ markets across New York.

The funding will provide over 100,000 seniors with access to healthy food at 470 farmers’ markets through the Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program. New York State operates one of the largest such programs in the nation.

“The Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program is an important resource that provides New Yorkers with access to fresh, locally grown produce while also supporting the local economies and agricultural sector,” Cuomo said. “Through this program, we are connecting more than 100,000 low-income seniors across the state with affordable, healthy food options in their communities and providing a boost to local farmers bringing their products to market in every region of the state. I encourage all eligible New Yorkers to take advantage of this program and see what New York’s farmers have to offer.”

More than 100,000 booklets consisting of five $4.00 checks are being distributed, and can be used to purchase fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables from 950 farmers vending at 470 community farmers’ markets across the state.

Locally, the Fulton Farmers’ Market is held Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Canalview Park & Shop lot, South Second Street.

The New Haven Farmers’ Market is held Mondays at the town hall from 4 to 7 p.m.

The Oswego Farmers’ Market is held Thursdays from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. between Bridge and West Oneida streets.

The Phoenix Farmers’ Market is held Mondays from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Three Rivers Shopping Plaza, Route 57.

The Volney Farmers’ Market is held Tuesdays from 4 to 7 p.m. at the town hall, 1445 Co. Rt. 6, Fulton.

The program is administered by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, in cooperation with the New York State Office for the Aging, New York State Department of Health Commodity Supplemental Food Program, and Cornell Cooperative Extension. Checks can be used at participating farmers markets through Nov. 30, 2013.

Hilda R. Muscalino, local woman

Hilda R. Muscalino died Tuesday, July 23, 2013, at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Syracuse.

She was pre-deceased by her husband John F. Muscalino and is survived by her children, Nancy Hammond and her husband Larry; John O. Muscalino; Tom Muscalino and his wife Dorothy; and Fr. Dan Muscalino; grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren; nieces and nephews.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. today, July 27 at St. Francis Xavier Church, 1 W. Main St., Marcellus, with a private burial in Fulton.

There are no calling hours.

Donations may be made to the Loretto Foundation, 700 Brighton Avenue, Syracuse, NY 13205.

Foster Funeral Home in Fulton has care of her arrangements.

Edith Havens O’Toole, home health aide

Edith Havens O’Toole, 66, of Hannibal passed away July 20 at home.

She had graduated from Hannibal High School, moved to California and returned to the Hannibal area nearly five years ago.

She was a home health aide for many years and was a very loving and caring person.

She is survived by her husband, Steve O’Toole; son, Chris O’Toole; brothers, Rex and Lee; sister, Tammy; uncle, James Havens; dear friend, Judy Chillson; two grandchildren.

A gathering was held July 26 at the Hannibal American Legion.

Jennifer Beyrau: Loved animals and photography

Jennifer M. Beyrau, 42, of Volney, passed away July 21.

She  was born in Syracuse, a daughter to Kathleen Ling and the late Joseph Beyrau.

Jennifer loved her animals and photography. She was a member of Believer’s Chapel in Fulton.

In addition to her father, she was predeceased by her grandparents, Dorothy and Francis Lydon.

She is survived by lifelong companion, Kenneth F. Darling III of Volney; her son, Dakota R. Beyrau of Volney; her mother and stepfather, Kathleen and Frederick Ling of Fulton; a brother, James Beyrau of Lyons; a sister, Lisa (Shawn) Wadsworth of South Onondaga; aunt and uncle, Richard and Marcia Lydon of Skaneateles Falls; twin nieces, Abigail and Morgan Wadsworth; niece, Stephanie Cira; a nephew, Anthony Cira.

Funeral services were July 25 at Foster Funeral Home, Fulton. Burial was in Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Volney.

Calling hours were July 24 at the funeral home, 910 Fay St.

Friends may visit the guest book at fosterfuneralhome.com.

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