News from the county seat

Public input sought for Old Erie Canal

How do we enhance the recreation, tourism and economic development potential of the Old Erie Canal? That is the question being posed by Madison County, the Department of State and partner communities at a public input meeting 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019.

Oneida City Hall Council Chambers meeting room (second floor), 109 N. Main St., Oneida

The meeting provides the opportunity for the public to provide information to Madison County and the study team about the corridor and share issues or ideas to help revitalize the Old Erie Canal and canal-side communities.

It is part of developing a new land- and water-use plan for the Old Erie Canal Corridor through the creation of a Local Waterfront Revitalization Program, a program administered by the state Department of State.

The Old Erie Canal Corridor follows the Old Erie Canal State Historic Park and includes several canal-side communities including DeWitt, town of Manlius, Sullivan, Lenox, Verona, Fayetteville, Chittenango, Canastota, Wampsville, the city of Oneida and Rome.

This is an open house-style meeting so the public is encouraged to drop in anytime during the meeting to learn about the project and share feedback.

The meeting will:

  • Provide overview of Old Erie Canal corridor and local waterfront revitalization program
  • Display maps of identified assets, amenities and resources within the Old Erie Canal Corridor for community feedback
  • Ask the public for input on potential opportunities and project ideas to improve the Old Erie Canal corridor

For more information, visit madisoncounty.ny.gov/2274/LWRP or contact Jamie Kowalczk, Madison County Planning Department, at (315) 366-2378 or Jamie.kowalczk@madisoncounty.ny.gov.

Sheriff’s Office deputies receive commendations

Pictured from left are Sheriff Todd Hood, Deputy Krystyna Rotella, Corporal Michael Currier, Undersheriff R.J. Lenhart and Capt. William Wilcox.

Two members of the Madison County Sheriff’s Office received commendations for work leading to the Madison County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Division obtaining state Division of Criminal Justice Services accreditation.

Deputy Krystyna Rotella received a divisional commendation for her assistance with obtaining DCJS accreditation. She tested policy and procedure, helped prepare others involved and worked directly with the assessment team that lead to receiving the distinction.

Corporal Michael Currier received a Sheriff’s Office commendation for being the accreditation manager for the Sheriff’s Office that led to receiving the DCJS accreditation. He coordinated the entire process, made sure all standards were in compliance and did so in less than a year. He not only worked to maintain compliance for the Correctional Division accreditation, but also learned the criminal requirements during that time. His management of this program led to first-assessment approval that is accomplished less than 20 percent of the time.

Together, they helped the MCSO become the 157th agency to receive accreditation in New York Sept. 5, 2019.
Accreditation is granted by the state Law Enforcement Accreditation Council for five years. To continue in the program, the agency must submit a new application near the end of their five-year period of accreditation. There are more than 500 law enforcement agencies in New York; only 157 are accredited.

Department of Solid Waste to host two document-shredding events

The Madison County Department of Solid Waste invites residents to attend their free fall document shredding events this October. There will be two shredding events, one held in the northern area of Madison County and then in the south.

Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019, from 8 to 11 a.m., Buyea Road residential station, 6666 Buyea Road, Lincoln

Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019, from 8 to 11 a.m., Parry’s, Hamilton, 100 Utica St., Hamilton (parking lot)

Residents may bring up to four filing boxes of personal and confidential documents to be shredded and recycled. Medical documents, bank information, tax records and other paperwork containing account numbers or private details are ideal for drop-off. Magazines, junk mail, phone books, photographs and business waste will not be accepted.

For more information on this or other events, visit madisoncountyrecycles.ny.gov or visit the Madison County Solid Waste and Recycling Facebook page.

Are you Prepared? Office of Emergency Management and Communications discusses National Preparedness Month

Are you ready if a disaster or emergency happened today? September is National Preparedness Month and the Office of Emergency Management and Communications wants to remind residents to be prepared, not scared.

With severe storms, flooding and power outages a real possibility no matter the time of year, there is no better time than the present for Madison County residents to make sure they are prepared in case of an emergency. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, residents need to be prepared to be self-reliant during an emergency for three days without utilities and electricity, water service, fuel, access to a supermarket or local services.

“In recent years we have seen an increase in frequency of natural disasters across the country,” said Ted Halpin, director of Madison County Office of Emergency Management and Communications. “Even here in Madison County we have been faced with severe flooding, tornadoes, and major snow storms. National Preparedness Month is an ideal time for all residents to revisit their emergency preparedness efforts.”

Try to keep in mind these four steps:

  1. Be informed about emergencies that could happen in your community, and identify sources of information in your community that will be helpful before, during and after an emergency.
  2. Make a plan for what to do in an emergency.
    • Don’t forget to get your children involved, and consider the needs of your pets.
  3. Build an emergency supply kit.
    • Be sure to include items like water, food and medicine to last you three to seven days.
    • Include cash and snap photos of important documents.
  4. Get involved.
    • Check in with your neighbors
    • Take classes in lifesaving skills
    • Register online to receive emergency alerts via NYAlert. Visit alert.ny.gov.

Another great resource is the Governor’s Citizen Preparedness Program. Madison County OEMC is hosting Citizen Preparedness Training at the Kallet Civic Center in Oneida at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019. The program provides participants information on how to prepare for, survive and recover from disasters. Attendees will receive a free backpack with disaster supplies from the state. In addition, the county will provide free smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, as well as free small emergency lanterns. People must pre-register at  dhses.ny.gov/aware-prepare/nysprepare/.

“Preparation can help mitigate the effects and stress caused by any disaster or emergency,” Halpin said. “Preparedness is a shared responsibility; it takes a whole community. Do your part to prepare and make a plan.”

For more formation on how to prepare, visit madisoncounty.ny.gov/em or ready.gov.

Courthouse renovation project receives preservation award

The courthouse renovation project has been awarded the 2019 Pat Earle Award by the Preservation Association of Central New York. The Pat Earle Award is given for a singular outstanding historic preservation project which benefits the community.

According to PACNY, Madison County was given this honor to recognize the dedication and passion for preservation of one of Central New York’s most historic and culturally significant resources.

“Madison County is honored to be the recipient of this year’s Pat Earle Award,” said Madison County Chairman John M. Becker. We appreciate PACNY recognizing the dedication of our staff, supervisors and construction crews to keep the history and craftsmanship of the Courthouse. This building is part of our history, and we wanted to create a building that the people of Madison County would be proud of. We believe we have done just that.”

In June 2019, Madison County completed an 18-month renovation of the 109-year-old courthouse. The finished product is a blend of the historic features that made the courthouse unique and modern upgrades to bring the building into the 21st century. Madison County worked closely with an engineer/architect to develop a design that meets the needs of the courts for the foreseeable future. The project included a 9,000-square-foot addition built onto the courthouse and a 20,000-square-foot renovation to the existing interior.

The layout now provides Americans with Disabilities Act-accessibility with upgrades such as two elevators, ramps in each courtroom and the replacement of all doorknobs. A new single-story ADA-accessible entrance to the courthouse and county office building of approximately 1,800-square-feet was newly constructed, as well.

During the planning process, the county communicated that historic characteristics be maintained wherever possible. Efforts were made to save and restore the original Italian marble floors, stained glass windows, original hand railings, woodwork and much more. The overall new design did not allow for everything to be saved, but when materials were unable to be utilized, efforts were made to mimic the original courthouse look such as wood trim, doorways, light fixtures and more.

“We were able to preserve the historic character of the building while upgrading it to today’s standards,” said Madison County Historian Matthew Urtz. “The Courthouse is now something wonderful for all to see and experience.”

Past recipients of the Pat Earle Award include Hotel Syracuse in 2016 and the Crescent Commons Project in Cortland in 2018. The award will be presented at a formal ceremony Oct. 23, 2019, at May Memorial Unitarian Universalist Society in Syracuse.

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