Granby residents narrowly pass proposed water district

By just three votes, residents living within the proposed Water Service Area 6A in Granby have chosen to move forward with  the endeavor, which will provide water service to hundreds of homes in the southern end of the town.
Votes were cast Thursday in a special referendum organized by the town and held solely for property owners within the proposed district. The count showed that 159 people voted in favor of the endeavor, while 156 opposed it.
Granby Town Supervisor Ed Williamson said he was pleased to see the matter passed by the voters, but understands that it was a close tally that is bound to leave many disappointed.
“I was very pleased that it passed, though I have a lot of sympathy for those who don’t want water and now have to pay for it,” Williamson said.
Town officials say grant funds could cover up to $750,000 of the estimated $2,859,000 project, but the town will have to borrow the difference with what will likely be a 38-year loan at an anticipated interest rate of 2.75 percent, which is subject to vary.
Williamson said because the project doesn’t create a contiguous district, it is now being called Water Service Area 6A.
Property owners within the service area, whether they are receiving water or not, can expect to pay roughly $490 per year toward the loan repayment as a separate line item on their annual property tax bills. Town officials say that figure is only approximate and subject to change, depending the actual project costs. That amount was estimated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Agency.
Homeowners who choose to hook into the water service will pay a quarterly water bill based on usage. Town officials estimate that the average usage for a family of four would cost about $313 per year, or $78.25 per quarter. Property owners would also need to pay the costs of hooking into the system.
Prior to the vote, Granby officials stressed that the town government stood to gain nothing financially by implementing the water service area.
“Some people think the town is pushing this because its going to make money, but everything that comes in on that line item goes directly toward the loan. It’s illegal for the town to make any money on this,” Town Clerk Janet Ingersoll said.
Williamson said the town will likely put the project out for bid in late March or early April 2015. He said he hopes it won’t take longer than a year or so beyond that time to complete.
“It took about two years for Water District 3 to be complete, but that was many times bigger than this. I’m hoping this can be completed within a year,” Williamson said.

Unofficial results: Eby tops Coleman in family court judge race

Oswego County voters have chosen James K. Eby (R,C,I) to fill the county’s new family court judge seat, according to unofficial results released by the Oswego County Board of Elections.

Eby garnered 16,254 votes (60.05 percent) in Tuesday’s election, topping opponent Lou Anne Rucynski Coleman (D,WF), who received 10,786 (39.85 percent).

None of the tallies released Tuesday include absentee ballots, which board of elections officials said they will begin counting on Nov. 12. Results will then be made official upon certification the first week of December.

Unofficial results: Katko wins U.S. House seat

John Katko (R,C,I) will be the next U.S. Representative for New York’s 24th Congressional District, ousting incumbent Dan Maffei (D,WF) at the polls Tuesday.

The Associated Press called the race in favor of Katko at 11:18 p.m. Tuesday

In Oswego County, Katko won over the electorate by almost a two-to-one margin, taking 10,832 votes (64 percent) over Maffei’s 6,057 (35.78 percent).

Results from the other counties in the district–Onondaga, Cayuga and Wayne–are not yet available.

Unofficial results: Granby chooses Phillips for highway superintendent

Early results show that Robert M. Phillips Jr., who ran on both the Democrat and Republican party lines for Granby Highway Superintendent, won Tuesday’s election over opponent Eric A. Clothier.

Phillips landed a total of 1,016 votes, or 64.43 percent, while Clothier received 558, or 35.38 percent, according to unofficial results released by the Oswego County Board of Elections.

Unofficial results: George Ritchie takes Hannibal town council seat

Town of Hannibal voters elected Republican and Conservative candidate George H. Ritchie to the town council with just over 53 percent of the vote Tuesday, according to unofficial results released by the Oswego County Board of Elections.

With 529 ballots cast in his named, Ritchie defeated challengers Christopher Soper, who received 314 votes (31.49 percent) and Gary D. Thompson Jr., who had 154 votes (15.45 percent).

 

Phoenix to use outside supplier for drinking water

Phoenix will be looking to an outside supplier to provide clean drinking water to its residents.

Village officials had been considering three possible courses of action to address the quality of Phoenix’s drinking water., after tests done by both the county and state health departments showed that the village’s two drinking water wells are susceptible to ground water infiltration.

A 2013 village drinking water report states that those conditions leave the wells at a “medium-high susceptibility rating for pesticides, metals and nitrates due to the unconfined aquifer.” The wells were also given a “high-risk rating for petroleum products, bacteria, protozoa, viruses, cations/anions, halogenated solvents and other industrial organics due to nearby land use activities.”

Through both news and social media, some residents have been publicly calling for village officials to take action on the matter. They describe their water as murky “like chocolate milk,” and emitting chemical odors.

After the 2013 drinking water report was released, village officials say they began working to eliminate the voids in the ground that allow surface water to reach the wells. However, that course of action hasn’t yielded strong enough results.

The Oswego County Health Department gave the village until the end of October to settle on a different course of action, which could have included putting in completely new wells, implementing a filtration system designed to treat surface water, or tying into a different public water supplier.

Village Administrator Jim Lynch said Wednesday that the village board has settled on using an outside water provider.

“We can’t say anything has been finalized, but at the last meeting the board decided to move forward in choosing to hook into a different public water source,” Lynch said. “We’re currently looking at a couple options.”

Those options include the city of Fulton’s water system or the Metropolitan Water Board’s (MWB) service.

Lynch said village officials will be exploring the costs and benefits of each service, but he believes MWB will end up being the more cost efficient choice.

“We plan to be talking with the city of Fulton about a connection to their water source, but it would probably be more cost effective to hook up to Metropolitan since we already have a connection for them here in the village,” Lynch said.

Should the village ultimately decide to go with MWB’s service, it could take a year-and-a-half or so to begin actually providing that water to village residents.

“Right now, as we reported to the health department, we would be looking at spring 2016 for the final hookup,” Lynch said.

That time would be needed to pursue grants and loans for the project, design a pump station, put the project out for bid and have it completed. Lynch said the most time-consuming aspect of that would be lining up the money.

“The majority of that time is getting funding. The village isn’t just going to fund the whole project. We need to get grants or line up zero- or low-interest loans. Getting all that in place takes a lot of time,” Lynch said.

Lynch said the cost to build the facilities needed to tie into MWB’s service is estimated at $516,000. The village would then pay $185,000 per year to MWB for annual operating costs, in addition to the wholesale price of the water it purchases. Phoenix residents would continue to pay their water bills to the village, he said.

Oswego County Public Health Director Jiancheng Huang said be feels Phoenix officials have selected a good course of action.

“I think they’ve moved toward the right direction,” Huang said. “As the county health department, we are happy to see they have moved things forward in this way.”

NBT Bank donates to Granby’s dredging efforts

The Lake Neatahwanta Reclamation Committee in Granby received a sizeable donation on Wednesday, Oct. 29 from the Fulton branch of NBT Bank. Branch Manager Melissa Fortier said the bank is proud of the work the committee will be doing. NBT Bank also loaned the committee the $100,000 it used to purchase its dredging barge to begin cleaning the lake while it awaits reimbursement from the state. Above, Fortier presents Ed Williamson, the committee’s chairman, with a $500 donation toward the cleanup effort.  Photo provided
The Lake Neatahwanta Reclamation Committee in Granby received a sizeable donation on Wednesday, Oct. 29 from the Fulton branch of NBT Bank. Branch Manager Melissa Fortier said the bank is proud of the work the committee will be doing. NBT Bank also loaned the committee the $100,000 it used to purchase its dredging barge to begin cleaning the lake while it awaits reimbursement from the state. Above, Fortier presents Ed Williamson, the committee’s chairman, with a $500 donation toward the cleanup effort.
Photo provided

June R. Holden

Holden, June OBJune R. Holden, 80, of Fulton, formerly of Hubbardsville, passed away on Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014 at Morningstar Care Center. She was born on June 9, 1934 in Hamilton, a daughter to the late Ernest and Fiona Clark Ramsdell. June was a longtime member of First United Church of Fulton. She enjoyed reading and writing. June helped with the writing of The History of Fulton. She was predeceased by her brother, Ernest “Bub” Ramsdell.

Surviving are her husband, Francis “Snuffy” Holden; four sons, Hank Holden of S.C., Hugh Holden of China, Eric (Sonia Page) Holden of Hannibal and Carl Holden of Oswego; five grandchildren, Dan, Jason, Aaron, Deanna and Andy; four great-grandchildren; as well several nieces and nephews.

Calling hours are Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. at Foster Funeral Home, 910 Fay St., Fulton. Funeral services are 10 a.m. Friday at First United Church of Fulton, 33 S. Third St., Fulton. Burial will be in Fairdale Rural Cemetery. In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to charity of choice in June’s memory.

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