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Gouverneur tribune-press. (Gouverneur, N.Y.) 1990-current, October 12, 2006, Image 1

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0076 •READING ROOM 56 CHURCH ST GOUVERNEUR, NY. Public hearing Tuesday on GCS $12.48 million capital building project 126 No. 2 - Gouvemeur, NY 60 cents Thursday, October 12, 2006 Laura Slate honored with VFW Good Citizen Award by Robin Jarboe A big crowd of family and friends gathered Saturday night to honor former Gouvemeur Village Mayor Laura Slate with the 2006 Good Citizen award. Mrs. Slate was selected for the award by VFW #6338 members after her nomination earlier this fall. Master of ceremonies and VFW Trustee Cecil Steele stated \the event is held each year to . celebrate and show our appreciation for another good citizen of the community.\ Dignitaries who attended included Wayne County Council Commander Richard Krause, NYS Jr. Vice Commander Jack ITaight, American Legion #65 Commander Donald Matice, DADS Post #80 Treasurer Charles Reynolds, County Legislator Bill Lacy, and the new Republican County Chairwoman Janet Kelly. Everyone laughed when it was brought to their attention that the Republican Chairwoman Kelly was sitting right next to the Democratic Honoree Slate. The list of past recipients was read by Mr. Steele and he asked any of them in attendance to stand. Acknowledged for their past award of the same were Nelta Wood, Betty Liscum, Judy Peck, and Nancy Cappellino'. Also present was the daughter, Stella (Hunkins) Garitz, of the first Good Citizen recipient Ernest Hunkins. Letters were read from Senator James Wright, Bonnie Knowlton, Betty and Bill Whitbeck (Laura's cousins from Minnesota), and Gouvemeur Mayor Dorothy Vorce on their being unable to attend the recognition, yet extended their congratulations to Laura. Laura's eldest son, Ron, was her guest speaker who emphasized his mom's hesitance on accepting the award, \because she thought there were many other people more deserving.\ But, reflecting on her history with the community she is one of many deserving to be called a Good Citizen. Ron told the story of her being invited to Fort Drum as mayor to review the marching troops of 5,000 soldiers. When all the mayors were seated in the reviewing stand, the general announced for all mayors to join him on the platform. As the troops started to march, the clouds rolled in and then a huge black cloud appeared. It poured throughout the exercise, and everyone was soaked by the time it ended. Since Laura was the only woman mayor in attendance, the Honored with the 57 H1 Good Citizen award from VFW Post #6338 is former Gouvemeur Mayor Laura Slate shown seated with her husband, K. Daniel, and seated with them are Jr. Vice Marlene Webster and Ladies Auxiliary President Robin Jarboe., Standing left to right are Commander Michael Webster, Dept. of NY Jr. Vice Commander Jack Haight, Jr., Wayne County Council Commander Richard Krause, and Quartermaster Cecil Steele. More photos on Page 2. general commented she was a good trooper and to consider herself one of the boys. Ron and the entire Slate family are proud of the lady from Talcville, born to Isaiah and Mae Liscum Serviss. They consider her \a strong woman with a love of life and the strength to pursue it. For even through her recent illness she sets her goals and strives to achieve them. Commander Michael Webster presented the Good Citizen plaque to Laura along with a New York Assembly Citation from Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava on Laura being designated \an outstanding citizen of the community of Gouvemeur in New York.\ Ladies Auxiliary to VFW #6338 President Robin Jarboe presented Laura with an American Flag. Other gifts were also given to the honoree, from those who could not attend, including a fall mum arrangement from Trustee Joe House. Laura gave heartfelt thanks to the VFW, Cecil, and the committee for bestowing the award on her and said \I'll cherish it forever.\ She recognized with much appreciation to the Ladies Auxiliary for their preparation of the dinner, Robin Jarboe, and for all the group does in its cancer donations. Her admiration also went out to Julie Card who wrote a letter on Laura's behalf, Nelta and John Halford, her son Ron, and her \family for standing behind me 100% in my endeavors and 110% this past year with my cancer treatments.\ \I'm thankful and flattered for this evening by all who attended, my friends, classmates, and others, and those who support me through prayers, cards, etc.\ Laura read a poem of encouragement to everyone. Department of New York Jr. Vice Commander Jack Haight from Canandaigua was guest speaker on behalf of VFW State Commander Don Doell who was unable to attend. He said, \we have gathered to salute one among us who has gone the extra mile in doing all those things that we do to serve our fellow citizens and our community.\ \You don't buy recognition like that, you don't go out and campaign for such, and you don't win it through good looks or fancy speeches. You get it the old- fashioned way, through hard work, and that is why the honor of good citizen of the year means so much.\ \Congratulations to Laura for doing so much so well for our citizens. She is the one who has honored us, our families, and our community.\ Laura Slate was applauded for doing her civic duty and being one of those who takes time to give back to her local community. By Dick Sterling Gouvemeur Central School District residents will have an opportunity to discuss a proposed building project that is designed to improve safety related issues, and repair damaged roofs ait every school in the district. A public hearing concerning the building plan is slated for Tuesday, October 17, in the High School auditorium. A public referendum on the project will be held on Tuesday, October 24. In August, district officials detailed a proposed $12.48 million capital project that, according to Superintendent of Schools Christine LaRose, \will address many safety concerns in the buildings.\ The plan also calls for the replacement of nearly every roof in the district, an item with a price tag of nearly $4 million all by itself. The Board of Education approved the proposed plan later that month. Work could begin as soon as next summer. The cost to district taxpayers, according to District Business Manager William Bodah, would be minimal. The New York State Education Department has determined an aid ratio of 96.7 percent, meaning the district would only be required to pump in 3.3 percent, or about $400,000. That amount is expected to be nearly wiped out by excel aid to the district. Mr. Bodah reported in September that Excel Aid to the district would cover the entire local share at each of the school buildings. The only money that will have to come from taxpayers will be the local share of the work done at the bus garage, which does not qualify for Excel Aid. The projected total of the local share of the nearly $12.5 million project will be only $32,613. The capital project should have little, if any, impact on the tax rate. Mr. Bodah said the construction want list, which was prepared with the help of a detailed condition survey report, which was prepared by the engineering firm Bernier and Carr and Associates, Watertown, in 2005, is long and detailed to make sure everything that needs to get done is included. \During Project 2000 (the last district capital project) we were left holding over $300,000 and everything on our list was completed. That money had to be returned to debt service. So I think it's important that we include enough on our list. You can't spend more money than district voters authorize, and you really can't go back and ask for more, and, most importantly, you can't fix anything that isn't in the original plan.\ \We will be making needed repairs to buildings constructed in the 1950s, buildings constructed in 1936. Floors in the upper floors of the Middle School date back to 1916. We certainly can't hope to repair 90-year-old floors. The state is throwing out money to bring buildings up to snuff, we certainly should be willing to get our share and address some concerns we have,\ said Mr. Bodah. District officials seem united that the multi-million-dollar project's primary concern is to address health and safety issues in the district's four school buildings and the bus garage. In addition, repairs and improvements at the athletic fields, including bleacher replacement and the resurfacing of the running track, is being proposed. \Many of these improvements are to make sure that we have safe buildings for our students,\ said Ms. LaRose. The bulk of the construction project addresses roof repair at the Middle-Senior High School Building, all three elementary schools and the bus garage. The total amount planned for roof replacement will total in the neighborhood of $4 million. The total of all requested repairs at the Five buildings and the athletic fields is $8,408,500. In addition, the district is allowed for escalation (for price trends that are higher than when the report was prepared), contingency and incidentals. Incidentals, which total $2,497,325, include costs for legal expenses, administrative, A/E fees and insurance. The total cost for the entire project is $12,486,623. Project 2000, which carried a price tag of about $10 million, was the last major capital building project at the district. Highlights of that project included a new media center and major interior construction in the Middle School/Administrative wing, as well as various other improvements. A new paved bus drop off area was also constructed behind the high school. Mr. Bodah explained that the capital projects are something that the district should always look ahead to. \The aid ratio is very good. The State Education Department likes to have buildings in good shape. In addition, these projects, which pay union scale, gives area construction workers and companies steady employment. It's really great for the area economy.\ He reiterated that the multi- million dollar project would have little, if any, impact on tax bills. \If the state's offering an aid ration rate of 96.7 percent, and Excel Aid further reduces the burdon, I think we should take advantage of it,\ said Mr. Bodah. \•\•OAV..- . Quarry Lanes brings S500K NYC man buys 40-unit complex at SLC tax sale Oh those autumn chores!!! Drake Goodale, who turns 2 in January, was busy recently helping his grandparents, Jim and Shirley Dollinger, who live on Grove Street, in Gouvemeur, get ready for Halloween. Jim said that the unintentional pumpkin patch in his back yard was a result of nature and the guts from last year's jack-o-lantern carvings of Drake's big brother, Dylan. The boys are the sons of Kylie Goodale, Philadelphia. \After throwing those seeds in the backyard, I never paid attention to them again. Now I have 16 pumpkins in my yard,\ said Jim. Maybe we should present him with an Orange Thumb Awardl (Photo by Grandma Dollinger) By Dick Sterling Speculation on just how much someone was willing to pay for the 40-unit Quarry Lanes apartment complex, located at 154 Hailesboro Street,- Gouvemeur, came to an end on Saturday when a New York City private investigator, who has been buying properties in St. Lawrence County since he was a Clarkson College senior, out-bid all other interested parties at the St. Lawrence County tax sale in Ogdensburg. The winning bid was $500,000. Peter L. Hoffman, who works from an office on New York City's East 57 th Street, said on Tuesday that the final price for Quarry Lanes, \still makes my stomach a little upset when I think about it,\ was about twice what he expected to pay for the complex. But he is positive that by the time he's finished updating the properties people will enjoy living there. \I firmly believe that I've got something good to start with,\ said Mr. Hoffman, 46, a 1983 graduate of Clarkson, \I treat this as a business. I will bend over backwards for my tenants. When they say jump, I jump.\ There were three bidders interested in the property. The first dropped out at about $160,000. \I really expected to spend between $200,000 and $300,000 for it, but the other bidder kept going up, all the way to $490,000. I guess $500,000 was the magic number and he stopped bidding,\ said Mr. Hoffman, who also owns properties in the Canton and Potsdam areas. \I ask for a fair price for my apartments. I believe I give people a nice place to live, and if they need anything, I see that they're satisfied. Like I said, it's just good business.\ Some of Mr. Hoffman's properties, including photos of Quarry Lanes, can be found on his website, www.yournyhome.com , He-said that he rented an apartment in Potsdam when he was a junior at Clarkson, and then purchased it in his senior year. \That was my first.\ Mr, Hoffman said that renovations would begin soon, one building at a time. His property manager is Andrew J. Reed, of Norwood. But he added that he will be advertising for a local site manager and plans on hiring local contractors to complete the work. He hopes to be finished with the renovations in about 90 days. \We'll be ready soon, just as soon as we can.\ \I've budgeted about $200,000 for the renovations, that figures to $5,000 per apartment. Some, of course, are worse than others. I'd say that four out of five apartments are in really good shape.\ He added that future plans may include free wireless Internet service for his tenants, possibly a swimming pool, a new sign, and, if things go well, he may add on to the complex. \I've got seven acres to work with. It's a really nice location.\ Mr. Hoffman also said that he would be looking for a new name for the complex. \We certainly need to change the name. Maybe someone with a suggestion could e- mail it to me through my website, We need to change the image.\ He added that e-mails are welcome, but requested no phone calls, Continued on page 2

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