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Springwater Town Board Accepts Propsed New Local Laws
May 21, 2013
Springwater Town Board Considers Two New Local Laws
The Springwater Town Board met Monday evening and after observing a moment of silence for the missing children in Moore, OK, took up the evening's agenda.
Town attorney, Jim Campbell, was present and passed around drafts of two new local laws. Local Law 4 of 2013 is a rewritten version of the 2012 Hydro-fracturing Moratorium. After reading all fourteen pages, it appears to strengthen our request for another moratorium based on the desire to protect the natural resources, farm land, natural aquifers and resources, while the Planning Board prepares a master plan for the town.
The Town Board acknowledged receipt of both proposed local laws. This proposed legislation will be reviewed by the County Planning Board and then returned to the Town Board with any recommendations or suggested corrections. It will then be reviewed by the board members on June 3, and a Public Hearing will be announced.
Local Law 5 of 2013 known as the Unsafe Building or Structure Law is based on a similar law enacted by the Town of Conesus. The purpose of this legislation as outlined in the draft:
Unsafe buildings, structures and/or property conditions pose a threat to life and property in the Town of Springwater Buildings, structures and/or property conditions may become unsafe by reason of damage by fire, the elements, vandalism, abandonment, age, or general deterioration. Vacant buildings not properly secured also serve as attractive nuisances for children, who may be injured therein, as well as potential points of congregation for vagrants and transients..."
A property is defined as any structure having a roof supported by columns, piers or walls including tents, hutch wagons, trailers, mobile homes, dining cars, camp cars or other structures on wheels, and intended for commerce, shelter, housing or enclosure of persons, animals, or chattel.
Once a property is cited under this law, the owner would have 30 days to remediate the problems before facing more serious consequences.
This proposed legislation will also be reviewed by the County Planning Board and further discussed at the next town board meeting. A public hearing will also be announced possibly at the same time of Local Law 4.
Supervisor Babbitt-Henry reported that work has begun on enlarging Judge Haywood's office space and improving the security of the court as designated by New York State and Homeland Security regulations. The work should be completed in the next 7 days and is fully covered with funds obtained through a Court Improvement grant. Some changes will be noticeable to frequent visitors at the Town Hall, but many will not. For those who have struggled with the bathroom door in the Town Hall or the lock that mysteriously makes you a hostage of that room, you will be delighted to know that a new door and lock system is part of the approved renovation work.
Supervisor Babbitt-Henry also reported to the Town Board that this writer will begin covering the court cases on the second Thursday of each month, beginning in June. Information will be available on the town website under NEWS and also in this paper if space permits.
Home Invasion Charges Waived to the Grand Jury
May 20, 2013
The defendants in the home invasion case that occurred in Websters Crossing on May 11, 2013, after consultation with the DA's office and their attorneys, opted to have their charges heard before the Grand Jury. What this means is if the Grand Jury hands up an indictment, the case will go before a County Court judge. If the Grand Jury does not indict and returns the charges as misdemeanors, then these two, Allen Fick and Kyle Witthoft, will once again appear in the Springwater Town Court. We will keep you posted and update you accordingly.
Tonight is the Town Board meeting and all residents are reminded that they can attend these meetings at any time. The meetings start at 7:00 p.m., the building is handicapped accessible, and there is plenty of off-street parking. I will update you on the results of the meeting later this evening.
Please consider getting out to the WCCS complex tomorrow to vote on the 2014 School Budget and elect two candidates to the School Board. It is important to support the school by exercising your right to vote. Polls open at 10:00 a.m. and close at 8:00 p.m. Follow the signs to the LGI - voting takes only a few minutes.
Springwater Bids Farewell to Native Son
May 18, 2013
Nearly 200 people gathered today to bid farewell to former Springwater resident, Keith V. Clayson, former Chief Deputy of the Livingston County Sheriff's Office. Clayson was born and raised in Springwater where his father, Fred, served as Town Highway Superintendent and his mother, Abbey Mae, served as the elected Tax Collector. Clayson was one of five children; both parents, a brother, Ward, and sister, Frances Clayson Hamilton, predeceased him. Clayson died at his retirement home in Davenport, FL, on April 20, 2013, only a week after being diagnosed with cancer.
Clayson's family owned a farm and Keith loved farming. After serving in WWII from 1945-1946, he came home to farm, fell in love with Veronica Ray whose family home was directly across the road on School Street from the local school that now serves as the Kern~Robinson Post 905 Springwater American Legion from which his memorial service was held. Clayson was a life member of the Springwater American Legion and was instrumental in helping other legion members acquire the old school for its Post home.
Clayson married Veronica "Roni" Ray on April 30, 1948 at the Springwater United Methodist Church. They had one child, Kathleen. In 1958 he joined the LCSO as a Road Patrol Deputy and rose through the ranks to Chief Deputy before he retired from full-time work in 1983. He continued to work special events such as the annual Hemlock Fair, sports events at Wayland-Cohocton School, and for many years walked the parade route on Memorial Day on stilts dressed as Uncle Sam much to the delight of the children.
The Reverend Regina Shaw, pastor of Websters Crossing UMC, officiated at the joint Legion and Sheriff's Office service, with members from the Sheriff's Office road patrol, past and present, as well as retired and active members of the Command Staff present. An honor guard from the Sheriff's Office and also from Post 402 in Wayland attended. A firing squad from Post 402 offered a 21-gun salute. Taps were provided by Post 402. Undersheriff James "Jim" Szczeniak represented Sheriff York who was attending the 2013 Seniorama in York.
A special mention of Kathleen Clayson Weed and her husband, George Weed, who died enroute to NY in a tragic accident on May 10, 2013 in PA, was made. Members of the immediate family present included Clayso's grandchildren Bryan Weed and his wife, Janet, and their sons, Keith and Jaxon from Lake Peekskill, NY, and Tricia Weed and her friend, Specialist Sames, of Doyletown, PA; Burt and Martha Clayson Thompson from FL, and their son, Dean Thompson; Elizabeth "Libby" Clayson Colegrove, widow of Leo Colegrove, and her children and extended family, and members of Ward Clayson's family from Bath, NY. Ralph Hamilton, nephew of Keith, provided music for the service.
Gladys Weed and her daughter Virginia Link, and several members of their extended families also attended the service. The sun was bright after breaking through the cloudy skies, and the food was plentiful due to the efforts of Pat Willsea, President of the Ladies Auxiliary Unit of Post 905, and a few members of her group, contributions from the Ladies Auxiliary Unit of Conesus Post 1779, and the many friends and relatives who brought in delicious dessert items. The Sheriff's Unions and Benevolent group contributed toward the food for the luncheon that followed the service.
Keith Clayson genuinely loved this town, its people, its rich history and its agrarian roots. He was not a big man, but he made a big difference in the lives of young people who were growing up when he lived here. So many people at the services today commented on how he was "a father figure" and "Hero" to them when they were youngsters. He genuinely believed in keeping kids on the straight and narrow and out of trouble, and he felt it was important to be available to any citizen who needed his professional services or advice. I am certain he smiled on all of us today.
Earthquake Felt in Springwater
May 17, 2013
An earthquake originating 49 miles outside of Ottawa Canada was felt in our area around 9:45 AM. Sources say the tremblor measured between 4.4 and 5.0 and was felt as far east as Vermont and as far south as Dansville. People reported some items fell from shelves, but at this time there are no reports of major damage. Obviously the closer you are to the epicenter, the more likely chance of damage, but assessments are just beginning. There are no injuries reported. The last earthquake in our area that was felt by many occurred on August 25, 2011. It originated in Virgina. (Updates will follow)
The sun is out and it will be another warm day in Springwater. The farmers are spraying fields and the smell tends to be strongest when the humidity rises. The sky is bright blue with wispy cirrus clouds and contrails from high-flying jets forming patterns across the valley.
A reminder that Tuesday May 21, is a busy day for our community. It is time to vote on the WCCS School Budget, elect new members of the school board, and agree or disagree with the propositions. Voting is in the LGI at WCCS (follow the signs) from 10 - 8 PM. Also, the Springwater American Legion meets at 7:00 PM at Post 905 and the Mt. Vernon/Evergreen Cemetery Association meets at the Town Hall at 7:00 PM that evenning.
There is a real possibility that Memorial Day as we know it may not happen this year. It is certainly not from lack of trying but getting people rallied around the idea of acting as firing squad members from Post 905, visiting cemeteries, and participating in a parade at such a late date has not come together yet. We need help -- veterans even if you are not members of our Post 905 family, please consider helping us. Traditionally we visit cemeteries in the morning and have the parade at Noon. If you can help call Commander Rick Tripp, Jr., at 402-3561 ASAP.
If you know of veterans who are willing to assist us -- from your church or family, pass on this information. Desperate times call for desperate measures and because Post 905 lost its Commander and had to elect a new one, we are far behind in getting Memorial Day organized. Memorial Day traditionaly honors those service men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms, but has evolved to honor all of our deceased veterans. We flag our veterans grave sites, hang flags in town and on the main roads in Websters Crossing. Help is needed to accomplish these tasks, so if you have young people who want to make a difference and help their town, let them know we can find something for them to do. It does not take up much time, but it does make a big difference.
Have a great day!
Suspects Arraigned in Home Invasion
May 15, 2013
Two of the three alleged home invasion suspects were formally arraigned on multiple felony counts this afternoon in front of Springwater Town Justice Don Haywood, and remanded to custody in the Livingston County Jail... The third suspect is currently in the Monroe County Jail on a warrant for an unrelated charge and will be formally arraigned in the future.
The two people who were arraigned and remanded to the Livingston County lock up are Kyle Witthoft 21, of Gang Mills, and .Allen Fick 36, of Rochester. The third suspect will be identified upon his arraignment.
Sources report that one suspect has a relative living in the Springwater area, but that person has not been charged.
The stolen vehicle, a blue Dakota truck, has not been recovered and only some of the victim's personal property has been located. The Sheriff's Office and State Police are continuing their investigation. The 70-year old victim was not injured during the robbery, but was quite shaken by the incident..
The Town Supervisor, Debbie Babbitt-Henry, was in her office when the arraignment began and generously provided pictures to go with this information.
I will be in court for the Preliminary Hearing next week and hope to provide photos of all three defendants at that time.