Fulton Mills residents help warm the needy

Residents and staff at Fulton Mills Apartments have been busy collecting and preparing all sorts of winter attire for the needy this year. In the first two weeks of a month-long winter clothing drive, the residents had gathered over 100 articles of clothing, including a variety of hates, gloves, scarves, socks and underwear. Pictured going through some of the donated items are, from left, Fulton Mills Assistant Program Manager Sharayah Jones, resident Lana Eddy, Fulton Mills Residents Association VP Helen Allen, President Chris Fitzgerald and Secretary-Treasurer Sandy Hughes. When the collection period ends next week, all of the items will be handed over to the Salvation Army, according to Jones, who spearheaded the initiative.
Residents and staff at Fulton Mills Apartments have been busy collecting and preparing all sorts of winter attire for the needy this year. In the first two weeks of a month-long winter clothing drive, the residents had gathered over 100 articles of clothing, including a variety of hates, gloves, scarves, socks and underwear. Pictured going through some of the donated items are, from left, Fulton Mills Assistant Program Manager Sharayah Jones, resident Lana Eddy, Fulton Mills Residents Association VP Helen Allen, President Chris Fitzgerald and Secretary-Treasurer Sandy Hughes. When the collection period ends next week, all of the items will be handed over to the Salvation Army, according to Jones, who spearheaded the initiative.

Colin Hogan photo

Anthony J. Corsoniti Sr.

corsoniti 001Anthony J. Corsoniti Sr., 101, of Fulton died Monday, Dec. 14, 2015 in Oswego.
He was born in Fulton, the son of the late Anthony and Rosa Corsoniti.  Mr. Corsoniti was a muck farmer at his farm the Corsoniti Farm’s and he was the owner and operator of Brother’s Service, a gas station in Fulton. He served in the United States Army, and was a member of the Italian American Club and the Elks. Mr. Corsoniti was predeceased by his wife Mildred Corsoniti. He is survived by his children Rose (James) Miner of Fulton, Anthony (Gloria) Corsoniti Jr. of Camden, Joseph (Roselyn) Corsoniti of Fulton; his sisters Rose Tenery of Fla., Mary Latino of Fulton; grandchildren Kathleen (Dave) Hartpense, Sandra Davis, Gretchen, Lindsey, Susan, Bonnie, Christian; his great-grandchildren Scott and Rebecca Britton, and Shelby Rowe; and great-great-grandson Jakson Rowe. In addition to his parents he was predeceased by his siblings Nancy, Florence, Joe, Nunzi, Catherine, Elizabeth, Nicholine and Frank. Graveside services will be held Monday at noon at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Fulton. The arrangements are in the care of the Sugar Funeral Home Inc., Fulton.

Sunoco plant to begin malting barley on site

State awards $700K toward $9M project

By Matthew Reitz
Part of the beer making process will return to the former Miller Brewing Company campus in Volney next year, driven by a $700,000 New York State Regional Economic Development Grant awarded to Sunoco.
Sunoco was awarded the $700,000 grant as part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s $1.5 billion Upstate Revitalization Initiative. The REDC grant will be used to help fund a new $9.1 million barley malting facility that officials say will become an integral part of New York’s growing craft beer industry.
“This REDC grant helps make the construction of our malting facility a reality and expands its potential,” said Sunoco Ethanol General Manager Tim Hardy.  “We are grateful for this grant, for the unflagging support of our local legislators, and for the central New York economic development team, whose tireless advocacy for economic development in the region is responsible for this and other success stories.”
The malting facility will be constructed adjacent to the Sunoco Ethanol Plant, and will help to further revitalize the former Miller Brewing Company campus that was closed in 1994.
Construction is set to begin in the next 90 days, and will employ 150 to 200 contractors. Sunoco expects the facility to be up and running by fall 2016, and will create five to eight permanent full-time positions by the time the malting facility is fully operational in 2017.
Company officials said engineering for the project is already underway, and they plan to repurpose an unused, existing warehouse into a truck receiving and loading center, raw grain storage and cleaning components, malting equipment, and malt bagging and storage capacity.
Malting was not previously done at the site under the Miller Brewing Company, so all new equipment will need to be brought in to perform the malting process.
New York’s current malting capacity is unable to meet the growing demand of New York farm and craft breweries, and the new Volney facility expects to purchase malting barley grown on about 3,000 acres in the state, according to company officials.
The facility will be able to produce approximately 2,000 total tons of high-quality malt annually, which would make it the largest malting facility in the eastern United States. Vinyl siding installation.
The state Farm Brewery Law was passed in 2012 in an effort to support New York’s breweries and wineries, increase demand for locally grown farm products and expand industry-related economic development and tourism.
The law requires those holding a farm brewery license to purchase 60 percent of their ingredients for beer from suppliers within New York state in 2018, with a 90 percent requirement by 2024.  State officials expect the measure to lead to increased demand for locally grown farm products as well as expanded economic development and tourism in the state.
“Our state’s craft beer industry is flourishing, and it’s projects like this new barley malting facility that capitalize on its potential for even further growth,” State Senator Patty Ritchie, R-Oswegatchie, who co-authored the 2012 Farm Brewery Law in an effort to stimulate growth of the state’s brewing economy, said. “I’m pleased funds were awarded to make this project possible, and look forward to it creating much-needed jobs here in central New York and boosting the farming industry that is so important to our region.”
Sunoco Communications Manager Jeff Shields said the law encourages the company and brewers to use as much state-grown barley as possible, but the company was still working on sourcing some of the barley that will be processed at the facility.
“You can’t just make beer out of barley, you need malted barley,” Shields said, adding that nobody else has the ability to process barley on the same scale as the Volney facility.
Assemblyman Will Barclay said Sunoco has demonstrated its commitment to the community by repeatedly investing in its facility, and this $9 million project shows that the Farm Brewery Law is having an impact on the local economy.
“We have seen the work Sunoco Ethanol has done with the plant, and I am confident they will create a production facility that will grow the state’s brewing industries and our local community while expanding their own business and creating jobs,” Barclay said.

Fulton thanks outgoing councilors

Knopp
Knopp
RaponiHS
Raponi
By Matthew Reitz

In its final meeting of the year, the Fulton Common Council and Mayor Ron Woodward Sr. paid tribute to Second Ward Councilor Daniel Knopp and Third Ward Councilor Ryan Raponi, who both will be replaced next month after choosing not to seek re-election this year.
First Ward Councilor Tom Kenyon began the praise by saying he was “going to miss Danny (Knopp),” whom he said had done a tremendous job for the city. Woodward capped off the remarks by recognizing Knopp’s time and service to the city, and reminiscing about the time they spent working together. He said it was a pleasure working with Knopp, whom he said helped steer the city in some of the toughest times he’s ever seen.
“I’d like to congratulate Danny (Knopp) on his retirement, and I’d like to thank him,” Woodward said. “It’s been very tough. It’s not over yet, but I have hope that we’re starting to see some changes—I appreciate all that you’ve done.”
Woodward said he’s known Knopp, former president of the Common Council, since he was a teenager, and recalled that Knopp even dated his daughter at one point when the two were younger.
“You see these people when they’re kids, and then you see them grow up and become an integral part of the community,” Woodward said.
Fourth Ward Councilor Jim Myers congratulated Knopp on his departure and thanked Raponi for his time on the board as well. Fifth Ward Councilor Norman “Jay” Foster said he’d miss Knopp’s presence on the board, and wished him the best in future endeavors.
“I’ll miss you here at the table with your wisdom and your guidance,” Foster said. “It’s always been really good having you aboard with us.”
Council President Larry Macner also wished Knopp the best of luck, and thanked him for everything he has done for the city of Fulton over the years.
“It’s been a pleasure to work with you,” Macner said.
Knopp thanked all the members of the council for “putting up with” and listening to him over the years, and making him a part of the discussion. Knopp said he hoped he was able to help the other councilors as much as they had helped him over the years, and specifically thanked Woodward.
“Mayor, thanks for all the time you’ve given me—the questions, the answers, the help and guidance,” Knopp said. “I think you do a wonderful job for the city, and I wish you all the luck.”
Raponi was unable to attend the meeting.
Bonds issued for
capital projects
The council unanimously approved a resolution authorizing the issuance of over $800,000 in bonds to pay the cost of various capital projects in and for the city, including the acquisition of several police vehicles and an extension of the water and sewer lines on South Fifth Street at the former Nestle site.
City/Clerk Chamberlain Dan O’Brien said the city will purchase four 2016 Ford Police Interceptor Sedans, one of which will be unmarked, at a maximum cost of $130,000. About $200,000 will go toward demolition and asbestos abatement for various city properties, including the air monitoring needed as part of the asbestos removal at the former Nestle site, and another $315,000 will be used to purchase two 10-wheel dump trucks.
The water and sewer lines at the former Nestle site on South Fifth Street will be extended to help make the property more attractive to prospective buyers in the future, according to city officials. The city already has the materials needed for the water line extension, and will do the work at a cost of approximately $35,000. The sewer line will have to be contracted out, and the engineering and construction will cost approximately $135,000, according to O’Brien.
Property sales
City officials authorized the sale of two properties that were acquired through tax foreclosure. The property at 401 West Fourth Street will be sold for $33,500, and the former Broadway Cleaners, located at 114-116 West Broadway, will be sold for $35,900, according to Woodward.
Other news
The council authorized Woodward to sign a court security agreement with the police department to have the city’s officers act as court security. The agreement will cost the city no more than $108,000 for the year.
A resolution was passed granting the city’s fire department permission to apply for funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program, which would help replace the department’s oldest reserve pumper currently in service. Federal funds would cover 95 percent of the costs if the grant is awarded.

Fulton, Granby announce plans for third year of dredging

The dredge owned and operated by the Lake Neatahwanta Revitalization Committee in Granby, pictured here from above, pulls sediment out of the lake over the summer. Volunteers who helped operate the machine this year included Lance Knapp, Ed St. Onge, Ray Hughes, Jason Lake, Aaron Arduini, Jim and Hank Latino, Jack Arnold, Mark Giovannetti, Mark Knapp and Fred St. Onge. Aerial photo by Fred St. Onge
The dredge owned and operated by the Lake Neatahwanta Revitalization Committee in Granby, pictured here from above, pulls sediment out of the lake over the summer. Volunteers who helped operate the machine this year included Lance Knapp, Ed St. Onge, Ray Hughes, Jason Lake, Aaron Arduini, Jim and Hank Latino, Jack Arnold, Mark Giovannetti, Mark Knapp and Fred St. Onge.
Aerial photo by Fred St. Onge
By Matthew Reitz

The dredging campaigns on both sides of Lake Neatahwanta have ceased operations for the year, but planning is already underway for a third year of dredging, according to local officials.
Fulton Mayor Ron Woodward, Sr. said the second year of dredging in the city—administered by The Lake Neatahwanta Revitalization Corporation—finished earlier this fall, but the Revitalization Corporation and the Lake Neatahwanta Reclamation Committee, which operates the dredging in Granby, are already making plans to continue the cleanup efforts next year.
“We plan on dredging again. We’re going to keep dredging until they let us open up that beach,” Woodward said of Stevenson Beach, which was closed in July 1988 after the Oswego County Health Department discovered high levels of fecal coliform of bacteria.
The opening of Stevenson Beach is a major goal Woodward said he’d like to see accomplished next year.
“That doesn’t mean we’re going to stop addressing the issues on the lake, because we’re not, but that’s the first goal,” Woodward said.
A collaborative effort between both groups could be in the works to help remove the sediment lining the shores near Stevenson Beach. Granby’s committee has offered to help Fulton’s by performing the cleanup on the northeast shore of the lake where the beach is located.
“We can get most of that beach area cleaned,” Ed Williamson, who chairs Granby’s committee, said. “It doesn’t make any difference to us where we pump from. The whole thing needs to be done.”
Williamson said Granby’s committee took on the project so the lake could again “be an asset to the city of Fulton, as well as the town of Granby and the surrounding area,” and he hopes the committee can help get the beach area cleaned up.
“It’ll be a tourism asset,  (and boost) sales tax. That kind of stuff,” Williamson said of the lake. “Plus, it’ll give the people a place to go and enjoy life like we did when I was a young kid.”
According to Woodward, the dredge used by Groh Dredging and Marine Construction, the contractor used by Fulton’s committee up to this point, would leave the water in the area too deep for a beach. However, the dredge being used by Granby’s committee is able to create the proper depth. Woodward said there had been plans to clean the area by hand, but Williamson’s offer to use the committee’s dredge would help speed up the process.
The Revitalization Corporation, using Groh as a contractor, removed 10,000 cubic yards of sediment in 2015, about half as much as the 20,000 cubic yards cleared during the 2014 campaign. Woodward said the decrease was expected due to funding constraints. He said the organization spent all the money allocated for this year, and “the plan is to continue (dredging) as long as we can fund it.”
As for future funding, both organizations will receive a $100,000 grant to continue the cleanup in 2016, according to Woodward and Williamson. Woodward said donations from the community have gone a long way, but the project would be near impossible without the help of State Sen. Patty Ritchie, who has secured hundreds of thousands of dollars in state funds for the endeavor over the last couple years.
“There’s funding for next year, but beyond that I can’t tell you,” Woodward said. “We have no idea what our budget, or the state budget, or anybody’s budget will look like.”
Rather than hire a contractor like Fulton, Granby’s committee opted to purchase the dredging equipment and conduct the work with volunteers. Williamson said there are about 15 people trained to use the equipment so far, but there are plans to train even more in 2016.
Granby’s committee did not spend the entire $100,000 grant it received in 2015, according to Williamson, but he expects the unspent money will carry over to 2016. He said the committee didn’t receive its contract until after Aug. 1, and there was “no way” it could have spent all the money before October when the dredging operation wrapped up for the season.
“I’m assuming we will just keep extending that out until we use the $300,000 (total),” Williamson said.
Williamson has reached out to the state Department of Environmental Conservation asking for permission to begin dredging in May next year, rather than the current July start date, but said he has not yet received a response. The DEC typically does not allow dredging until July in an attempt to avoid disrupting spawning fish. Williamson said if he doesn’t hear back from the DEC, the cleanup efforts will resume on July 18, and the committee plans to have two shifts operating next year.
“There will be a day crew and afternoon crew,” Williamson said. “They’ll work until dark on the lake.”
Progress on the lake hasn’t moved particularly quickly thus far, but it is making a visible difference, according to Woodward and Williamson.
Williamson said the operation in Granby has opened up several natural springs that feed into the lake, and the clean water coming in is helping improve the water quality.
Woodward simply said “everything you take out of there is going to improve that water quality vastly.”
In addition to the high levels of bacteria that closed the lake decades ago, blue-green algae has flourished over the years due to high temperatures and shallow water. The blue-green algae presents its own threat, as it can create what the DEC calls “harmful algae blooms,” which can produce toxins that are harmful to humans and animals, and cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, breathing difficulties, and skin and throat irritation. The algae blooms also create unpleasant appearances and odors, and cause ecological problems, such as reduced oxygen levels that make it difficult for wildlife to thrive, according to the DEC.
Officials say built-up sediment is what caused the lake to become shallower and hotter which, when combined with high phosphorus levels, helped the bacteria and algae prosper.

Presidential run proving challenging for Fulton man

Webbershot2By Colin Hogan

While he was unable to raise the money needed to get on the ballot in certain states, Fulton’s Dave Webber, currently a candidate for President of the United States, is not giving up.
Webber, who registered with the Federal Elections Commission on Oct. 5 as a presidential candidate in the 2016 election, faced filing deadlines to appear on the ballot in four different states last month, but said Monday that weak fundraising and a lack of exposure in larger media circles kept him from hitting those goals. However, he still has a chance to appear as a write-in candidate in states where he’s not on the ballot.
Many know the 64-year-old Fulton man through his roles as vice president of the Fulton Little League and a highly-active American Red Cross volunteer. Upon announcing his candidacy in October, Webber, a former bank manager, said his career outside politics and Washington, D.C. are what make him a better choice than most others.
“I’m looking for people who believe that Washington needs to be changed and that someone like me, who is not a politician, can do it,” Webber said. “I’m not rich, just live comfortably in retirement… I worked my way through college (at Syracuse University) to help pay for most of it. I’m truly a person who is of the people, by the people and for the people, who has the intelligence and management experience to do this.”
Webber’s reasons for running center around a desire to see major changes in Washington. On Monday, he expressed disgust with the higher-profile candidates and President Barack Obama, saying the electorate continues to be left with no good option.
Among the issues he’d like to see addressed more by the current administration and discussed more as campaign topics are the nation’s continued struggles with veterans services, particularly the estimated 50,000 homeless veterans living in the country today, and a specific plan — not just rhetoric — on how the government will address the threat of the Islamic State.
A self-described “Main-Street-America guy,” Webber hopes to find financial support in his campaign through either a wealthy backer who believes in his message, small grassroots contributions or, ideally, both.
Along with his campaign Web site — which was recently moved to davewebberforamerica.weebly.com — Webber has launched fundraising efforts through GoFundMe.com, and is active on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.
“I’m convinced that if people start hearing what I have to say, I will get the money and support I need. It’s just tough getting a foot in the proverbial door,” Webber said. “I want to keep moving forward, though, and I’m willing to go as far as the American people will take me.”

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