Cycling the Erie Canal Bike Tour

Bicycle tour departingJuly 13-20, 2014
Buffalo to Albany

Have you noticed the all bicycles passing through Montezuma, Port Bryon, and Weedsport in previous Julys? Why not join them this year?

Riding the Canal TrailJoin people of all ages and from all over the country on July 13-20, 2014 for the 16th annual 8-day, 400-mile, Cycling the Erie Canal bike tour across New York State along the scenic and historic Erie Canal, named a National Heritage Corridor. Enjoy great scenery, interesting history, and unparalleled cycling. You’ll experience the canal and enjoy canal historians’ stories about the people, places and things that made life along the Erie Canal so unique in its day and so important to the history of New York State and the country.

The tour is scheduled to pass through Cayuga County on the morning of Wednesday, July 16. Ride along, or come wave from the trail side!

Find registration and everything you need to know online at: www.ptny.org/canaltour/
Reduced registration price if you register by Sunday, June 1. Continue reading

Stakeholder Community Meeting for FEMA’s Risk MAP Finger Lakes, May 13 in Auburn

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) are hosting a community meeting here in Cayuga County to discuss and gather information about flood risks, floodplain management activities, and flood mitigation projects in our communities.

Risk MAP Discovery Community Meeting for Cayuga County
2:30 PM, Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Natural Resource Center, 7413 County House Road, Auburn, NY

If you know something about flooding in your community that FEMA does not know, we need to hear from you at this meeting.

This community meeting is part of a Risk MAP project to revise and update FEMA‘s activities for flood preparedness in the Finger Lakes Watershed. Risk MAP stands for “Risk Mapping, Assessment, and Planning” and is a nationwide FEMA initiative that includes a number of watershed-wide projects like this one. The area that FEMA is calling the Finger Lakes Watershed encompasses all of the land that eventually drains into the Seneca River, including the watersheds of individual lakes from Canandaigua Lake in the west to Onondaga Lake in the east. In Cayuga County, the watershed covers the great majority of the county, excepting only the Town of Sterling, portions of the Towns of Victory and Ira, and a small part of the Town of Summerhill.

One of the goals of this Risk MAP project is to create new digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) based on more up-to-date and accurate information of floodplains, flood flows, and flood risks in the watershed. FIRMs are used in the National Flood Insurance Program to determine which properties must have flood insurance and what insurance rates those properties will pay. FIRMs are also used as a tool for property owners and local officials to understand and prepare for flood risks in their communities. Cayuga County’s FIRMs were updated in 2007, but many of the FIRMs in the Finger Lakes have not been updated since the 1970s.

Another goal of this Risk MAP project is to identify other activities the FEMA can take on to reinforce the flood resiliency of communities in the Finger Lakes watershed. These other activities might include mitigation projects or support for planning, communication, and outreach.

Learn more about FEMA‘s Risk MAP program online at www.fema.gov/rm-main.

The purpose of this community meeting is “Discovery,” that is, gathering information from individuals, communities, agencies, and organizations about flood risks, floodplain management, and mitigation projects. Particularly important will be identifying locations where the current FIRM is inaccurate or does not take into account the latest information. For example, a bridge replacement project might have improved flow and reduced flooding upstream of the bridge, but that has not been reflected in the FIRM‘s flood hazard zones. These may be areas where FEMA can conduct a detailed flood insurance study to update its predictions of flood hazard.

Before this Discovery meeting, FEMA and the DEC held a series of Pre-Discovery meetings online in March and also mailed out questionnaires to all of the Towns, Villages and Cities in the watershed. Meeting minutes and presentations from the Pre-Discovery meetings are available online at www.rampp-team.com/ny.htm#watershed_fingerlakes/seneca.

If you plan on attending the Risk MAP Discovery Community Meeting, please confirm by email to seneca@bergmannpc.com.

If you have any questions, please contact the DEC‘s Bureau of Flood Protection & Dam Safety at (518) 402-8185.

Online Survey for update of NYS Historic Preservation

The New York State Division for Historic Preservation is updating the state’s historic preservation plan. The previous plan was a five-year action plan for 2009-2013. Now is the time for a new action plan to provide a blueprint for strengthening and expanding preservation efforts across the Empire State.

The State Division for Historic Preservation is looking broadly for public input. Please help shape the plan by completing this brief survey:
https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/NYSPreservationSurvey

If you have questions or want more information about the plan update and the survey, contact Amy Facca of the state historic preservation office by phone at (518) 237-8643 ext. 3109 or by email.

Robert Freeman, open government expert, to speak at Cayuga Community College tonight

Robert Freeman is coming to Cayuga Community College on Wednesday evening, December 11, to lead a discussion and forum on how the state Freedom of Information Law and Open Meetings Law keep our government open and effective.

When: 7 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Where: Irene Bisgrove Theatre, Cayuga Community College in Auburn
Free and open to the public!
Event flyer

Announcement in the Citizen

Understanding the laws around freedom of information and open meetings are essential for local boards and for citizens alike. The rules, and the principles, of open government apply to Town and Village Boards, school boards, planning boards, and any other public body.

Mr. Freeman is both an expert—he helped write New York State’s open government laws and is the executive director of the NYS Committee on Open Government—and an engaging speaker. This will be a great opportunity to learn more about open government in New York State.

Transmission Lines Public Statement Hearings to be held by the PSC on Dec 9 and Dec 10

Earlier this year NYSEG and National Grid filed an application to the New York State Public Services Commission (PSC) to construct and operate 14.5 miles of electric transmission line in existing and expanded right-of-ways in the City of Auburn, Town of Throop and Town of Brutus (Cayuga County), and the Town and Village of Elbridge (Onondaga County).  The transmission line would run from a substation in Auburn to a substation in Elbridge.  The proposal requires that NYSEG and National Grid widen the right-of-ways by acquiring property rights outside the current right-of-ways.

The PSC is holding two upcoming opportunities to learn about the proposal and to submit comments:

Date:         Monday, December 9, 2013
Times:       Viewing of Maps: 5:00 PM
Informational Forum: 6:00 PM
Public Statement Hearing: 7:00 PM
Location:  Cayuga County Office Building
Legislative Chambers, 6th Floor
160 Genesee Street
Auburn, NY 13021
(Enter from rear doors in parking lot, then take elevator to 6th floor)

Date:         Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Times:       Viewing of Maps: 5:00 PM
Informational Forum: 6:00 PM
Public Statement Hearing: 7:00 PM
Location:  Jordan-Elbridge Community Center
1 Route 31
Jordan, NY 13080

For more information, view the December 2, 2013 press release and visit the New York State Public Services Commission project website, case number 13-T-0235.

Public Hearing on Comprehensive Plan for Brutus and Weedsport

Weedsport_Sign_crop1The comprehensive plan is a valuable tool for local planning. The plan itself is a document that outlines goals for the future of your community and recommends actions to achieve those goals. The goals and recommended actions are based on an inventory and analysis of existing conditions as well as input from you and members of your community.

Nearly all of the Towns and Villages in Cayuga County have a comprehensive plan of some kind, and several have recently been working on updating their plans. The Cayuga County planning department has been working with the Town of Brutus and the Village of Weedsport over the past year and a half on a joint comprehensive plan for their shared community.

Join the Brutus-Weedsport Comprehensive Plan Committee for a public hearing on the draft comprehensive plan. If Brutus and Weedsport are your community, come to give your comments and share your ideas. If you are from another nearby community, come to see how a comprehensive plan gets made.

Town of Brutus and Village of Weedsport Comprehensive Plan
Public Hearing on Draft Comprehensive Plan
6 pm, Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Weedsport High School Cafeteria

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