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New Oswego County Law Will Provide Gradual Tax Exemption For Home Improvements

OSWEGO – Oswego County homeowners can apply to receive a gradual tax exemption for capital improvements to their homes under a new local law approved by the Oswego County Legislature March 12.

The law exempts residential buildings from increased taxes and special ad valorem levies for capital improvements valued at $5,000 or more for a period of eight years.

The law has been submitted to the Secretary of State and will take effect after it has been filed by that office.

“Local Law Number 1 of 2015 law provides a partial property tax exemption for a period of eight years for 1- and 2-family residential buildings that are reconstructed, altered, or improved under certain conditions,” said County Legislator David Holst, District 4, Amboy, chairman of the Legislature’s Government, Courts and Consumer Affairs Committee.

The exemption is limited to $80,000 in increased assessed value, based on the increased market value due to reconstruction or improvement projects.  The exemption is calculated at 100 percent the first year and gradually declines to 12.5 percent the eighth year.

“We want to encourage home owners to invest in improvements to their property, and this measure will help offset the higher property taxes that result from increased assessed value,” said Legislator Holst. “Unfortunately, due to New York State’s structure of government, property owners in New York State pay for most government programs and services through their property taxes. The tax burden on the homeowner increases when the assessed value of their property is increased, and hopefully, this short-term relief will encourage property owners to move ahead with any necessary or desirable improvements that they may have been considering.”

To be eligible, the property must be used as a residential building for one or two families.

The value of the construction project must exceed $5,000 and must not include ordinary repairs and maintenance.

The greater portion of the building, measured by the square footage, must be at least five years old.

The exemption only applies to property that is owned by a private individual or individuals.

If the title is transferred to someone other than the heirs or distributes of the owner, the exemption will cease.

The exemption does not apply to newly constructed homes.

The Oswego County Legislature’s Government, Courts and Consumer Affairs Committee has been researching the proposed law for several months, assisted by Real Property Tax Director Debra Mullenax.

In addition to Legislator Holst, committee members include John Martino, vice chairman, District 6, Central Square; Daniel Farfaglia, District 24, Fulton; Richard Kline, District 12, Pennellville; Roy Reehil, District 5, Constantia; Amy Tresidder, District 16, Oswego; and Terry Wilbur, District 21, Hannibal.

To receive an exemption, a homeowner must apply to their local assessor using a form designated by the Commissioner of the Department of Taxation and Finance.

Additional information is posted on the Oswego County Real Property Tax website at http://oswegocounty.com/rpts.shtml

A list of local assessors is also posted on the website.

The Oswego County Real Property Tax Office is located in the Legislative Office Building, 46 E. Bridge St., Oswego, phone 315-349-8315.

10th Annual Oswego County Workforce Development Youth Career Summit

OSWEGO — The Workforce Development Board of Oswego County, a branch of the SUNY Oswego Office of Business and Community Relations, hosted its 10th Annual Youth Career Summit recently in Lanigan Hall at the college, with 450 Oswego County eighth grade students in attendance.

Cornell Cooperative Extension staff member Linda Brosch (center), 4-H Youth Development Team coordinator and coach of the TaskMasters team of middle-school students working on robotics projects and participating in competitions, provides information to students attending the Youth Career Summit on March 18 on the second floor of Lanigan Hall. Organized by the Workforce Development Board at SUNY Oswego, the event attracted 450 eighth-graders from five school districts in Oswego County.

Cornell Cooperative Extension staff member Linda Brosch (center), 4-H Youth Development Team coordinator and coach of the TaskMasters team of middle-school students working on robotics projects and participating in competitions, provides information to students attending the Youth Career Summit on March 18 on the second floor of Lanigan Hall. Organized by the Workforce Development Board at SUNY Oswego, the event attracted 450 eighth-graders from five school districts in Oswego County.

The students from Altmar-Parish-Williamstown, Hannibal, Mexico, Oswego and Pulaski school districts attended this free event to learn about career choices in our county from local business professionals.

Presenters included CiTi, NAYGN from Entergy FitzPatrick, Black Creek Animal Clinic, New York State Police, Oswego town and Oswego city fire departments and Broadwell Hospitality Group.

Tammy Elowsky, Workforce Development Board staffer to the Youth Career Summit Committee, said, “The Youth Career Summit is an effort to promote career exploration in our eighth-grade students to help them think about what they would like to do once they get into high school to start preparing for the journey beyond. The event not only provides information on different careers available in Oswego County, but it also provides information on opportunities for youths to build their resumes for job seeking and college applications.”

Students learned about the programs available while in high school that promote leadership, career and college readiness via a fun scavenger hunt.

Exhibitors included Cornell Cooperative Extension, American Red Cross, Oswego City-County Youth Bureau, Oswego County Personnel, SUNY Oswego, CNYAHEC, Oswego County Opportunities and US Armed Forces. The event gave youths the opportunity to network with community employers, program administrators and peers throughout the program, as well.

The day included a morning snack and lunch for the students. Each walked away with information in hand regarding the programs available, as well as information on careers in Oswego County, including the education required and approximate salary ranges in each one.  Students who completed the scavenger hunt were also entered in a drawing to win a free iPad Mini given away that day, provided by Oswego County Federal Credit Union.

Sponsors of the day included Novelis, Excelon, Pathfinder Bank, Eastern Shore Insurance, Oswego County Federal Credit Union, Fulton Savings Bank, and State Farm Insurance.

Planning for next year begins in April.  Businesses interested in participating should contact Elowsky, assistant director in the Office of Business and Community Relations at tammy.elowsky@oswego.edu for more information.

The Pet Of The Week – Suki

OSWEGO, NY – Have you ever seen a cat quite so handsome as Suki?

He is not even a year old yet and a big strong boy with beautiful markings (not chunky – just BIG).

Suki

Suki

He LOVES the other cats in his foster home, absolutely loves them and is playful and loving with them.

He loves to steal plastic bracelets and hair ties . . . his foster mom finds them everywhere.

But here’s the thing about Suki.

He was skittish when he was first found at about 12 weeks, half-starved and covered in fleas.

After some time with his foster family, he became very attached and loving.

Then he had his neuter surgery and for some reason it was like he lost his confidence around people.

For a couple of days he was very unbalanced.

He came around health wise, but his skittishness came back with a vengeance. (We do wish there was a better word than “skittish, which we hate.)

Luckily for Suki, his foster family has been totally patient with this turn of events.

He will now let his foster mom pet him and he sleeps at her feet usually, but occasionally comes up to her head to wake her  up to get pets.

He follows her around and sometimes lets her pick him up.

So ever so slowly he is getting better.

He obviously is capable of affection toward people, but it would take a very special someone with HUGE patience to give him the new quiet (no dogs—he hates dogs) home that he needs to learn to be confident again.

Please contact our office at 207-1070 or email ochscontact@hotmail.com for information on adopting Suki.

Are you that special person?

The Oswego County Humane Society provides spay/neuter services and assistance, fostering and adoption of animals in urgent need, humane education programs, and information and referrals to animal lovers throughout Oswego County.

Located at 110 W. Second St., Oswego, NY.

Phone: (315) 207-1070.

Email: ochscontact@hotmail.com

Website: www.oswegohumane.org

Because People and Pets Are Good for Each Other!

County Rabies Clinics Get Under Way

SCRIBA, NY – The county DPW garage in Scriba went to the dogs Wednesday – with a few felines thrown in for good measure. It was the Oswego County Health Department’s first rabies clinic of season.

Shila, a two-year-old Siberian Husky gets her shot Wednesday evening.

Shila, a two-year-old Siberian Husky gets her shot Wednesday evening.

County health officials said they’d like to see a lot of people take advantage of the rabies clinics.

Rabies is still out there, they warn.

Some people arrived clinging to a couple of dogs’ leashes with one hand and carrying a cat in a pet carrier with the other.

The first clinic of the year is usually well-attended; Scriba is rather centrally located so people from surrounding towns attend.

Pets started receiving their shots around 5:30, a half hour before the clinic’s posted start time. By 7, the rush was over and a few more dogs and cats were vaccinated in the last hour of the clinic.

Pet owners were supposed to bring their pet’s last rabies certificate to the clinic.

“The rabies virus continues to be active across Oswego County,” said Jiancheng Huang, Oswego County Public Health Director. “We haven’t had a human case, but we still need to be protected. It is still out there.”

Rabies can infect any mammal, including dogs, cats, livestock, wildlife and humans, he said.

The vast majority of rabies cases reported each year occur with wild animals such as raccoons, skunks, bats and foxes, Huang said, adding that is why immunizing pets is an effective way to reduce the risk of human exposures to rabies.

New York State law requires that all cats, dogs and pet ferrets be vaccinated against rabies.

The first rabies vaccine should be given at three months of age. A second vaccination is required within one year of the first and every three years thereafter.

In order for pets to receive the three-year booster shot, owners need to show that the pet was previously vaccinated and should bring their pet’s last rabies vaccination certificate to the clinic.

Dogs and cats that haven’t received a rabies shot, or that didn’t have shot records, received a rabies shot that is good for one year.

“If we protect our pets, we are also protecting ourselves,” Huang explained. “That’s the whole point of these clinics.”

Pet owners made a $7 donation (sometimes more) for each pet they brought to help cover the cost of the vaccination; but no one was turned away.

It’s the first time since the 1994 that the suggested fee has been increased, Huang told Oswego County Today.

“But really, we’re not trying to make money here. It’s all about the service. The fee is just a suggestion; we hope the residents will help us be able to protect them.”

There were several barks, howls, and cat calls echoing off the concrete floor and hard walls of the garage. However, there were very few yelps of pain as the vaccination was administered.

“All the animals have been very good tonight. (Despite a computer glitch), things are going well. This is a good service for the community,” Huang said. “Getting your pet vaccinated is the best way to stop the spread of rabies – and protect your pets.”

It helps, if somewhere down the road, a dog or cat gets in a fight with another animal, authorities will  be able to know the vaccinations were up to date, he explained.

The health director praised the effort of the health department workers.

“They live in the community. They work in the community. And, they’re giving back to their community,” he told Oswego County Today. “They are community minded. They go above and beyond to help other people.”

Other clinics will be held at these locations during the spring, summer and fall:

• Pulaski: May 6, 6 to 8 p.m., County Highway Garage, 957 Centerville Road.
• West Monroe: June 3, 6 to 8 p.m., Town Highway Garage, 46 County Route 11.
• Parish: July 8, 6 to 8 p.m., County Highway Garage, 24 Dill Pickle Alley.
• Volney: Aug. 5, 6 to 8 p.m., Bristol Hill Landfill, state Route 3.
• Location to be announced: Sept. 9, 6 to 8 p.m.
• Pulaski:  Oct. 7, 6 to 8 p.m., County Highway Garage, 957 Centerville Road.
• Scriba: Nov. 4, 6 to 8 p.m., County Highway Garage, 31 Schaad Drive.

Any person or pet coming in contact with a suspicious-acting animal should be reported to the county health department. If you suffer a bite or scratch from a suspicious-acting animal, wash the area of contact immediately with soap and water.

If your pet has been in contact with a wild animal or strange-acting animal avoid touching your pet with bare skin. Handle your pet only after you have put on gloves, health officials recommend.

Take care to protect your eyes, nose and mouth and any break (wound) in your skin from contact with any saliva.

Your pet should be isolated from other animals and people for several hours.

Dispose of the gloves used to handle the pet; put them in a plastic bag.

Wash your hand thoroughly with soap and water.

Contact the Oswego County Health Department.

County health officials also recommend that you call your veterinarian.

Your pet must receive a rabies booster shot within five days of the possible exposure, even if your pet has already been vaccinated.

Unvaccinated pets exposed to a known or suspected rabid animal must be quarantined for six months or humanely destroyed.

People usually get exposed to the rabies virus when an infected animal bites them.

However, exposure may also occur if scratched by an infected animal, or if saliva enters an open cut, the nose, the mouth or eyes.

Many pet owners have been exposed to the rabies virus by handling their pets after an attack and getting the saliva of the rabid animal on their hands.

Oswego County residents who have questions or need more information about rabies prevention should call the health department, weekdays at 349-3564 or 1-800-596-3200, ext. 3564.

In an emergency during evenings, weekends, or holidays, call the health department’s answering service at 341-0086.

Weather Notebook For March 27, 2015

Weather Notebook For March 27, 2015

According to Fulton’s weather observer, the area received 0.17-inch of precipitation on March 26.

The monthly total is 1.41 inches.

The total for the year is 8.03 inches.

Fulton received 0.3-inch of snow on March 26.

Total snowfall for the month is 16.2 inches.

For the winter the total stands at 203.9 inches.

Cloudy and cold with flurries possible tonight. Low near 15.

Continued cloudy with an early flurry followed by some afternoon sun on Saturday. High around 25.

Mostly cloudy with a few flurries likely today. High in the mid 30s.

Oswego Police, Fire Departments Welcome New Officers

Mayor Tom Gillen swears in new OPD sergeant Lorie Burger. Her daughter, Emma holds the bible. Looking on are the sergeant’s husband, Chuck, at right, and OPD Chief Tory DeCaire.

Mayor Tom Gillen swears in new OPD sergeant Lorie Burger. Her daughter, Emma holds the bible. Looking on are the sergeant’s husband, Chuck, at right, and OPD Chief Tory DeCaire.

OSWEGO, NY – The Oswego City Fire Department increased its ranks by four and announced two promotions Wednesday afternoon.

Avery Misztal holds the bible for his father, Zac, as Mayor Tom Gillen administers the oath

Avery Misztal holds the bible for his father, Zac, as Mayor Tom Gillen administers the oath

During the same ceremony, the Oswego City Police Department welcomed six new officers. They also announced five promotions.

Mayor Tom Gillen welcomed everyone to the standing-room-only ceremony in the Council Chambers at City Hall.

“It’s a pleasure, a real honor, for me to perform this ceremony. It’s quite an event and it’s good to see the community turn out like this,” he said. “This is the lifeblood of our community. We talk about housing, streets and plows and potholes … but without these people here, this city wouldn’t be what it is. We owe them our respect and appreciation.”

Sworn in as firefighters were: Kevin Davis, Jordan Patrick, Anthony Sterio and Matthew Alton.

Peter Coffey was promoted to the rank of deputy chief.

Anthony Sterio joins the ranks of the Oswego Fire Department as his parents, Mytris and Mike, look on. Mayor Tom Gillen administers the oath. In back is OPD Chief Tory DeCaire.

Anthony Sterio joins the ranks of the Oswego Fire Department as his parents, Mytris and Mike, look on. Mayor Tom Gillen administers the oath. In back is OPD Chief Tory DeCaire.

Jon Chawgo was promoted to the rank of assistant chief.

The police department also welcomed some new officers.

Sworn in as police officers were: Matthew Zaccaria, Jaime Nielsen, Trevor Williams, Justin Grasso, Lysa Dolin and Tom Grover.

John Chodubski, Lorie Burger and Tom Rupert were promoted to the rank of sergeant.

Zac Misztal and Chris Pooler were promoted to the rank of lieutenant.

The bible used in the ceremony has been at City Hall since 1848, the mayor said, adding, “It has sworn in an awful lot of people.”

Peter Coffey is promoted to the rank of OFD deputy chief by Mayor Tom Gillen. He is accompanied by his stepdaughter, Shannon Farden. In back is OPD Chief Tory DeCaire.

Peter Coffey is promoted to the rank of OFD deputy chief by Mayor Tom Gillen. He is accompanied by his stepdaughter, Shannon Farden. In back is OPD Chief Tory DeCaire.

 

Rudy’s Opening Heralds The Arrival Of Spring

OSWEGO TOWN, NY – Many of the first customers at Rudy’s on Wednesday sported winter jackets and hats instead of shorts and T-shirts.

Despite the arrival of Spring last week, winter refuses to relinquish its grip on the area.

Kiersten Clancy, Mariah Pitcher and Corby Rowe place the first order of the 2015 season.

Kiersten Clancy, Mariah Pitcher and Corby Rowe place the first order of the 2015 season.

However, local residents know that Spring really returns as soon as the historic little restaurant nestled on the shore of Lake Ontario at The Loop throws open its doors.

Originally, Rudy’s was planning to open March 11 but the snow and cold was just too overwhelming at the time so things were postponed.

About a dozen cars lined up in front of the eatery shortly before its scheduled 10 a.m. opening. Within the next few minutes, nearly a dozen patrons had been served.Kiersten Clancy, Mariah Pitcher and Corby Rowe walked in right at 10 a.m.

“It’s the first time we’ve been first,” Kiersten said. “Usually there are a lot of people already here. This is our first time walking in first.”

“We’ve been waiting a long time for this,” Mariah said. “We like to come here a lot during the summer.”

The cooks work to get another order ready.

The cooks work to get another order ready.

Usually, they enjoy sitting by the water. However, Wednesday, they opted to eat inside for a change.

After the initial rush, there was a brief lull until the lunch crowd braved the chilly weather.

Lines at the counter were three deep at times. The lines didn’t last long as patrons, hungry to shake off the winter doldrums with some summer fare, placed their orders of French fries, fish, Texas hots and other items as the counter staff shouted the orders back to the cooks, who unfailingly memorized the orders and cooked each to perfection within minutes.

Almost everyone ate their meals inside. Some carried their food in cardboard trays out to their vehicles.

Nobody dined at one of the picnic tables overlooking the frozen waves on Lake Ontario. Signs were posted all around warning patrons to stay off the ice.

Another order pops up on the counter ready to be delivered to a hungry guest.

Another order pops up on the counter ready to be delivered to a hungry guest.

Urban legend holds that if a “tardy” high school student returns with some Rudy’s fare for their teachers, they won’t be marked absent. However, no high schoolers were observed this year.

Rudy’s was opened in 1946 by Marie and Rudy Gadziala. It began as an open-air stand, later expanding and adding indoor seating.

Rudy’s second cousin, Brad Livesey with his wife, Carol (Jason’s parents), bought the restaurant when Gadziala died in 1976.

Brad and Carol began working at Rudy’s in 1960; Brad died in July of 2005.

Jason credits the success of the business to its staff and many loyal customers.

For more information, visit http://rudyshot.com/ or visit them on Facebook.

Weather Notebook For March 26, 2015

Weather Notebook For March 26, 2015

According to Fulton’s weather observer, the area received 0.13-inch of precipitation on March 25.

OK, so maybe it wasn't the best day to sit outside and eat by the lake. But the good news is Rudy's is open; can summer be far behind?

OK, so maybe it wasn’t the best day to sit outside and eat by the lake. But the good news is Rudy’s is open; can summer be far behind?

The monthly total is 1.24 inches.

The total for the year is 7.86 inches.

Fulton received no snow on March 25.

Total snowfall for the month is 15.9 inches.

For the winter the total stands at 203.6 inches.

Cloudy with wet snow tapering off to flurries tonight. Low near 30.

Continued cloudy with snow showers possible on Friday. High near 35.

Increasing clouds and rain by mid-day with snow later today. High near 40.

Weather Notebook For March 25, 2015

Weather Notebook For March 25, 2015

According to Fulton’s weather observer, the area received no precipitation on March 24.

The monthly total is 1.11 inches.

The total for the year is 7.73 inches.

Fulton received no snow on March 24.

Total snowfall for the month is 15.9 inches.

For the winter the total stands at 203.6 inches.

Continued cloudy with a bit of drizzle possible tonight. Low near 40.

Cloudy with rain likely on Thursday. High near 45.

Increasing clouds and a chance of rain later today. High in the mid 40s.

Fire Crews Battle Blaze on Oswego’s East Side

Oswego Fire Department Tackles Structure Fire on East Bridge Street
The Oswego Fire Department was dispatched to a reported kitchen fire at 5:09 today (March 24) at 151 E. Bridge St., near East Ninth Street.
Firefighters battle a blaze at 151 E. Bridge St. Tuesday.

Firefighters battle a blaze at 151 E. Bridge St. Tuesday. (OPD Photo)

Fire crews arrived minutes later and reported heavy smoke showing from the second story, and an active fire in the rear of the two-family house.

Two people were home at the time of the fire, and were able to exit uninjured.
Firefighters quickly knocked down the main body of fire in the kitchen area, and went to work overhauling several hot spots.
According to Fire Chief Jeff McCrobie, “Considerable fire damage is evident in the kitchen area, and the rest of the upstairs apartment sustained heavy smoke and water damage.”
Crews had to cut holes in the roof of the structure to access some hidden pockets of fire.
The lower apartment sustained smoke and water damage during the blaze.
Chief McCrobie said, “There was no evidence of working smoke alarms in the upstairs apartment, and the occupants were very lucky to get out safely.  If this fire had happened in the middle of the night, things could have been much worse.”
Two people at home at the time of the fire were able to get out unharmed. The cause appears to be accidental, fire officials said. (OPD photo

Two people at home at the time of the fire were able to get out unharmed. The cause appears to be accidental, fire officials said. (OPD photo)

According to fire officials on the scene, the fire appears to be accidental, started in the kitchen, and is under investigation.

No injuries were reported, and all Oswego Fire Department crews were back in service by 9 p.m.
The Oswego Fire Department was assisted at the scene by the Oswego County Fire Coordinator’s Office, the Oswego Police Department, National Grid, the Oswego County Mobile Cascade Unit. and Menter Ambulance.
The Oswego Town Volunteer Fire Department also assisted in covering alarms in the city while crews were busy at the fire.
The Oswego Fire Department wants to remind residents to check their homes for working smoke alarms.  Smoke alarms should be installed inside of every bedroom, outside of every sleeping area, and on every level of the home, including the basement.
Those in need of smoke alarms can call the Oswego Fire Department at (315) 343-2161.  Firefighters will visit your home and install smoke alarms free of charge.
ORIGINAL ARTICLE BELOW

OSWEGO, NY – Oswego Fire Department crews responded to a structure fire at 151 E. Bridge St., near Garafolo’s.

The fire was reported around 5:09 p.m. today (March 24)

No injuries were reported.

Check back later for more details.

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