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April 20, 2018 Issue  
Lansing, New York  
Volume 14, Issue 15

posticon Town Still Hopes To Accept Comp Plan in May

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Lansing Comprehensive Plan

Lansing Town Board members struggled Wednesday to incorporate public concerns into a final draft of the Comprehensive Plan revision that would not spark further review, and, thus, a delay that would remove the Town from consideration for a half million dollar grant that would pay for significant improvements to Myers Park.  The Board was presented with a number of proposed changes by Councilman Joe Wetmore, who said that he wanted to find ways to incorporate a number of public concerns in a way that would not trigger another County review of the plan.

Wetmore's changes were challenged by Planning Board Chairman Tom Ellis.  Ellis said Wetmore lied in last November's campaign when he accused the Planning Board of crafting their draft of the plan behind closed doors, when, in fact, the work was done in more than 23 public meetings.  He accused Wetmore sneaking in his own edits in 'the back door' without public input.

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posticon Lansing School Budget Tops $30M

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Lansing Central School District

Last week the Lansing Board of Education voted to approve a $30,067,200 budget for the 2018-19 school year.  That brings the district budget above $30 million for the first time, a 3.14% rise from last year's budget.  But School Superintendent Chris Pettograsso said that growth in the tax assessment, including new growth from new building developments, is offsetting losses from decreasing PILOT (Payment In Lieu Of Taxes) agreements.

"Despite the decrease in the power plant, our growth is keeping up with our budget rollover," she said. "We knew that decrease was coming this year, but based on our growth, even though the levy is going up this year the levy is covering it."

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posticon Three Village Parks To Be Named

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Village Community Park

Village of Lansing voters will have an opportunity to name three parks next week.  After voting for two open Board of Trustees seats, they will also get to vote on how to name the parks, including a major new park near Warren Road.  Village Trustees approved the ballot Monday for next Tuesday's election

"We have three parks that we have an opportunity to name," Mayor Donald Hartill said Monday.  "We have the big park, which is the new one on Northwoods Drive.  There's another one that we rebuilt across from Dankert Park, and there's a pocket park on Craft Road and Leif's Way.  This is a way of naming these parks for people who have benefited the Village in one way or another."

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posticon Lansing Superintendent Explains School Safety Funding

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Lansing School Safety

Lansing school officials held a brainstorming session with about 30 community members, faculty, staff, and school board members to talk about safety.  School Superintendent Chris Pettograsso gave the Board Of Education a rundown of various available aid for improving school safety, and said that safety measures implemented in the past five years have included locking the school facilities, maintaining the HVAC and air quality.

"People forget about those," Pettograsso commented. "You think about safety as cameras and security, but it's much more than that.  A lot of the things we said were going to happen in 2014 have yet to happen.  We were allotted $680,000 in Smart Bond Money in 2014.  We have two phases.  The first phase was submitted almost nine months ago now.  It finally got to the review phase.  In it is our VOIP phone system, and some replacement boards.  We're hopeful that that will be approved as soon as possible so we can get them in the summer."

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posticon Lee Rayburn Leaves Morning News Watch

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Lee Rayburn

Lee Rayburn, host of WHCU's Morning Newswatch, tweeted Wednesday that his job has been eliminated.  His post was characteristically upbeat and gracious, with great praise for his colleagues at Cayuga Radio Group, and humble appreciation for the community and his opportunity to serve it.  He also posted on Facebook, where, less than 24 hours later 168 people had reacted, and 152 replied, mourning his loss to the community.  At Wednesday's Lansing Town Board meeting Tompkins County Legislator Mike Sigler paid tribute to Rayburn.

"It's really a huge loss.  I want to thank him personally for all the work he's done for the last six years," Sigler said. "He has everything on from Frank Towner at the Y to the Hangar Theatre, and all the local news.  I feel that's a giant loss to the community.  I really appreciate his work."

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posticon LUMC Dedicates A New Wing and Renovation

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Bishop Mark J. WebbBishop Mark J. Webb gave the sermon

The Lansing United Methodist Church (LUMC) was filled with celebration Thursday as the congregation and Reverend Alison Schmied were joined by Bishop Mark J. Webb, District Superintendent Reverend Jeff McDowell, and five pastors who previously led the church from 1969 to 2016.  They gathered to dedicate a new building addition and renovation that adds five new classrooms, a nursery, administrative offices, and expanded youth rooms, an expanded adult classroom, upgrades to the kitchen and fellowship hall, and a wealth of other improvements.  The new wing adds 3,000 square feet of ADA compliant classroom and administrative space.

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