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posticon Cayuga Power Plant to Become Data Center

News | Friday, May 17, 2019 | By Dan Veaner Print
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Cayuga Power Plant

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's May 9th announcement that coal-fired power plants would be banned in New York State by the end of 2020 may have seemed like the death knell for Lansing's Cayuga Power Plant.  But while the company intends to get out of the power producing business, it wants to become a consumer of over 100 megawatts by transforming the power plant building into a 'cloud' data center. Town Supervisor Ed LaVigne told the Lansing Town Board Wednesday that Heorot Power Vice President of Development Jerry Goodenough has told him that he is willing to sign a statement saying the company will no longer seek to repower the plant with natural gas.  Instead the company plans to transition both its Cayuga and Somerset plants into data centers, with a $100 million capital investment in the Lansing site.

"As diverse as we are in this county, I think a lot of the circles cross on this issue," LaVigne said. "I asked Jerry specifically, 'Will you sign an agreement that you will not re-fire the plant with natural gas?'  He said yes.  They're taking natural gas right off the table.  So there is no longer an issue of trucking, the pipes -- goodbye!  I asked them that specifically because that will take a lot of the angst out of it.  It's a new chapter, a new book, a new story, a new success.  They're going to reinvent themselves."

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posticon Mall Senior Housing Stalled Again

News | Friday, May 17, 2019 | By Dan Veaner Print
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Lansing Meadows Development RenderingRendering showing what Lansing Meadows would look like driving down Oakcrest Road

The Lansing Meadows senior housing project looked like it may be headed for more delays Monday, when Planning Board members heard a presentation for an amendment to the PDA (Planned Development Area) that could raise the number of units from 20 to 30.  Arrowhead Venture's Eric Goetzmann requested that the board deem the amendment a 'minor change' that would allow him to begin construction on the larger number of units right away.  A 'major change' would require further review that would certainly delay construction, but Planning Board members were not convinced the change is 'minor'.  The last-minute change is one of a string of nine major changes to a PDA that would bring housing for tenants 55 and older as a condition of being allowed to build the BJ's Wholesale Club building about nine years ago.

"I think everybody sitting here would love to see this done, including the developer," said Planning Board chairwoman Lisa Schleelein. "But it's been a long time coming.  I spent some time going over the minutes over the last ten years, and in that ten year period we're on our second attorney, our fourth code officer, I lost count of the number of planning board members, but about eight have come and gone.  Out of the 160 meetings we have held in that time this issue has come before us 57 times."

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posticon School Vote Next Tuesday

News | Friday, May 17, 2019 | By Dan Veaner Print
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Laqnsing Central School District Vote

Lansing Central School District voters will go to the polls Tuesday (May 21) to decide on whether to accept the proposed $30,794,650 budget, to also decide on the purchase of student transport vehicles, and elect three Board Of Education members.  School Superintendent Chris Pettograsso began with a summary of school facts and goals, followed by a budget presentation by School Business Administrator Kate Heath.  Proposition #1 is the budget proposal, which Heath says is estimated to have less than one percent impact on the tax rate.

"The proposed budget is a 2.42% increase over last year," Heath said. "We are under the tax cap at 2.48%.  We could have gone up to 2.94%.  The estimated tax rate increase is a 0.84%, so less than a percent increase for your tax rate.  That won't be finalized until this summer, when final assessment rolls come out.

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posticon Village Considers Cluster Development

News | Friday, May 17, 2019 | By Dan Veaner Print
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Beer Development Village of Lansing Project

Steven, David, and Beverly Beer were hoping that the third time would be the charm Monday, when they informally presented a new proposal for a development on remaining Miller property south of Millcroft Road in the Village of Lansing.  Rather than asking for a PDA (Planned Development Area, a kind of zoning that makes special rules for a particular project) that they wanted for their previous proposals, their new proposal proposes 84 units allowed for the property under the current zoning.  In this preliminary meeting they asked the Planning Board to consider allowing them to use a 'clustering' provision of the zoning ordinance that would allow for more intimate neighborhoods while guaranteeing that 20% of the property would remain 'forever wild' in addition to the 6% of the developed portion of the property they plan to develop as common space for the residents.

"There is the opportunity for the total of 84 units to be developed here in a straightforward, plain vanilla subdivision by right," said the Beers' attorney Randall Marcus. "The option exists for the developer to come in and carve up the property into those lots.  That's certainly something that could be done, however the Beers would like to take advantage of the clustering option for a variety of reasons. It's our perspective that those reasons all redound to the benefit of the village."

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posticon How Lansing Meadows Has Changed

News | Friday, May 17, 2019 | By Dan Veaner Print
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Lansing Meadows

Lansing Meadows has undergone at least nine major design changes over the past nine years.  It began as a 12-cottage development for seniors 55 and older, with wetlands, walking paths, and a bird sanctuary.  Building the housing was a condition of the PDA (Planned Development Area) the Village of Lansing granted the developer in order to build BJ's. 

Over the years it morphed from cottages to apartments buildings to a three-story apartment building, and back to cottages, then duplexes with 20 apartments were approved last year.  Now the developer wants 30 units in ten triplexes.  Here is a look at some of the changes.
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posticon Underage Drinking Crackdown Results Released

News | Friday, May 17, 2019 | By New York State Governor's Office Print
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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced yesterday the results of joint efforts by state agencies to crack down on underage drinking throughout the state during the month of April. The New York State Liquor Authority and the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, along with local law enforcement agencies, conducted statewide sweeps of locations holding liquor licenses, including bars, restaurants, liquor stores and grocery stores, looking for fake IDs and retailers who sell alcohol to minors. Out of 851 businesses visited for compliance checks, 186 were found to be selling to underage agents.

"Underage drinking and fake IDs are not only illegal but can lead to reckless decisions with lifelong consequences," Cuomo said. "We will continue to take action to hold businesses accountable for illegal sales as well as those who use fake IDs. We have zero tolerance for these offenses in New York."

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posticon Lifton Introduces Ranked Choice Voting Bill

News | Friday, May 17, 2019 | By Office of Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton Print
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Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton (D-125) announced yesterday that she's introduced a bill in the State Assembly that would allow 'ranked choice' voting to be conducted on a trial basis for county and local elections, including school boards, in the 2022 and 2023 election years. It's a local option and subject to a vote of the residents of that municipality.

"Ranked choice voting is a method that is currently used in many U.S. cities, as well as the State of Maine, and the results seem positive, with, reportedly, more people voting and reduced negative election rhetoric," said Lifton. "New York State, despite recent improvements, still has the ninth lowest voter turnout rate in the country, and as we explore ways to reverse this trend, it's important that we be open to innovative reforms, like ranked choice voting, that have the potential to strengthen our democracy."

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posticon Sweeping Protections For Student Loan Borrowers Enacted

News | Friday, May 17, 2019 | By New York State Governor's Office Print
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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie today announced that the FY 2020 Enacted Budget includes legislation that will provide sweeping new protections for student loan borrowers. The protections require companies servicing student loans held by New Yorkers to obtain a state license and meet standards consistent with the laws and regulations governing other significant lending products, such as mortgages. This is the latest step in Cuomo's historic commitment to protecting the approximately 2.8 million student loan borrowers in New York State.

"For too long student loan servicers have gone unchecked and unregulated, and the growing student loan debt crisis threatens New York's future economic viability," Cuomo said. "As Washington continues to strip away important consumer protections at every turn, legislation in this year's enacted budget will protect student borrowers from predatory practices that could derail their dreams and harm their futures."

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posticon Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act Becomes Law

News | Friday, May 17, 2019 | By New York State Governor's Office Print
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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed the Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act (S.1077/ A.3974) Tuesday, a bill that codifies more meaningful sentence reductions for domestic abuse survivors in the criminal justice system and a key initiative in the Governor's 2019 Women's Justice Agenda. Current law allows judges to administer indeterminate sentences for domestic violence survivors who have committed a crime only in relation to their abuser under certain circumstances. The Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act will build upon this law by adding offenses committed due to coercion by an abuser, as well as offenses committed against or at the behest of an abuser who does not share a household or family with the survivor—preventing further victimization of individuals who have endured domestic and sexual violence at the hands of their abusers.

"The vast majority of incarcerated women have experienced physical or sexual violence in their lifetime, and too often these women wind up in prison in the first place because they're protecting themselves from an abuser," Cuomo said. "By signing this critical piece of our 2019 women's justice agenda, we can help ensure the criminal justice system takes into account that reality and empowers vulnerable New Yorkers rather than just putting them behind bars."

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posticon Legislation To Increase Funding For Diabetes Research Introduced

News | Friday, May 17, 2019 | By Office of Congressman Tom Reed Print
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Washington, DC - Reps. Tom Reed (R-NY) and Diana DeGette (D-CO) the co-chairs of the Congressional Diabetes Caucus, have introduced bipartisan legislation to continue funding a key federal diabetes research program for an additional five years, and increase its annual funding from $150 million to $200 million a year.

The legislation would reauthorize and increase funding for the Special Diabetes Program for Type 1 Diabetes, a decades-old federal program that’s currently providing researchers at the National Institutes of Health $150 million a year to study Type 1 diabetes.

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posticon 2.76 Megawatt Solar Project To Serve Anheuser-Busch

News | Friday, May 17, 2019 | By - Print
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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced Wednesday that the completion of a 2.76 megawatt solar project in Central New York. Located in the Town of Van Buren, Anheuser-Busch's Baldwinsville brewery is the sole off-taker of the commercial solar project, which complements "Central New York Rising," the region's comprehensive strategy to generate robust economic growth and community development, and supports Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's nation-leading Green New Deal which calls for 70 percent of the state's electricity to come from renewable sources by 2030 and 6,000 megawatts of solar by 2025.

"New York is making nation-leading investments in renewable energy resources that support our rapidly growing clean energy economy and provide businesses and residents with cleaner, more cost-effective energy," Cuomo said. "This project exemplifies our efforts to support solar projects across the state that deliver meaningful environmental benefits, while spurring economic growth that will serve New Yorkers for generations to come."

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