by Mary Cooke
Town of Grand Island
Happy holidays, Grand Islanders!
It was an honor and privilege to attend breakfast and a tour of the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station this week. The presentation by 914th Airlift Wing Commander Col. Walter Gordon, 107th Airlift Wing Commander Col. John Higgins and Niagara Military Affairs Council Chairman John Cooper Sr. was most informative. The station is the largest employer in Niagara County and includes many Grand Islanders. With nearly 2,000 personnel assigned to the station, and a total economic impact of $143,243,852, it is easy to see how important this facility is to Western New York.
The Chamber of Commerce reminds you to "buy local" this holiday season. We have many Island merchants who will be happy to help you find the perfect gift!
With all of the recent snow, some winter weather-related reminders are in order:
•Please keep the sidewalks in front of your homes clear of snow and ice. We've taken several complaints at Town Hall about pedestrians being forced to walk in the street because the sidewalks are not cleaned up after a snowfall. It is especially dangerous when students are waiting in the street for the school bus on these dark mornings because a sidewalk is filled with snow. Please do your part to keep the Island sidewalks as safe as possible. If you are able, help an elderly or ill neighbor with the task of shoveling their sidewalk.
•Remember that there is no parking on roads between the hours of 2 and 7 a.m. from Nov. 1 until and including March 31. Avoid a ticket and help make it possible for the highway crews to keep your road in the best condition possible by keeping cars off the road.
•New York State Law prohibits placing or leaving snow, ice or other substances on any highway, which includes pavement, shoulders and ditches. It is particularly dangerous (and illegal) to plow or blow snow into the road, assuming that the highway plows will push it off. Whether you do it yourself or hire a snow plowing service, the snow from your property is best kept on your property.
•Garbage and recycling pick-up will not happen on Christmas and New Year's Day. The Wednesday pick-ups will move to Thursday, Thursday to Friday and Friday to Saturday. Please be considerate with your recycling bins by putting the heavier items on the top so papers and lightweight plastics do not blow all over the neighborhood on windy days.
If you are not one of the many Grand Island homeowners who have already registered for the STAR tax program, get it done now. The deadline is Dec. 31. You can do it online at www.tax.ny.gov or by calling the Tax Department at 518-457-2036. It takes only a few minutes and can mean several hundred dollars of savings on your school tax bill next fall.
Chamber President Eric Fiebelkorn and I had the pleasure of being interviewed on LCTV for the "Access to Government" program on Nov. 21. You can catch the show on Time Warner Cable, Channel 22, several times this month. LCTV welcomes announcements for your nonprofit group's events and will advertise them during their local programming. Send them to me at[email protected].
We have been notified by American Water Resources that they will be mailing information about water line maintenance to Grand Islanders sometime soon. The information in the letter states correctly that the homeowner is responsible for the water line to the house from the water shut-off box, typically located just inside the front property line. However, it is very rare for a homeowner to incur expenses to repair this section of a water line. The Town of Grand Island is responsible for the portion of the service line from the water main to the shut-off box.
I hope you all enjoy the holiday season and that 2014 gets off to a healthy and happy start. Please continue to let me know if you have an idea that will help Grand Island be a better place to live, work and play. I am easily reached at the office when you are visiting Town Hall, by phone at 716-773-9600, ext. 616, or by emailing [email protected].