Volunteers clear path for Museums


Staff Reporter

CORTLANDVILLE — Shirley Randolph looked around at more than a dozen volunteers hard at work cleaning up the property that will soon be home to the Brockway Truck Museum and marveled.
“It’s wonderful, all we did was put the word out that we were doing this, and all these people showed up,” said Randolph, who is president of the Brockway Truck Show. “No one called them or anything, they’re just true volunteers.”
By midday, the cleanup of the former A.B. Brown complex on Route 11, which went from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., had attracted 14 volunteers, including members of Tractors of Yesteryear (TOYS), a handful of Homer High School students and a number of community members who just wanted to lend a hand.
“We saw it advertised in the paper, we’ve always liked the truck show downtown, so we thought we’d come out and lend a hand,” said Craig Handelmann, who was working alongside his son Chris, a seventh-grader at Homer Junior High School.
Handelmann said he is a truck lover and looking forward to the museum once it’s completed.
“Brockway’s just a great truck with a great history here,” he said, referring to the Cortland factory that built the trucks until 1977.
Saturday’s cleanup focused on clearing out the perimeter of the 5.6-acre complex, removing brush and overgrowth along with trash from a lot that had long been neglected.
“The outside’s just been left alone for too long, it needs a lot of work,” said Tom Kile, a member of the Brockway Museum board of directors. “We’re just cleaning up the brush and all the trash, doing everything we can before we start the remodeling.”
Plans call for transforming the complex into a 39,000-square-foot museum that will house not only Brockway trucks, but also military artifacts from Ken Eaton’s Homeville Museum collection, antique fire trucks owned by Mahlon Irish, antique clocks and tractors from Tractors of Yesteryear.
According to Randolph, the goal is to have the Brockway portion of the museum up and ready by next August, in time for the 2007 Brockway Truck Show.
“We’re still applying for grants and that can be a lengthy process,” said Randolph, noting that a fundraising campaign will begin Sept. 1. “Hopefully we’ll get the money together and we can get the museum started by the next truck show.”
Myrtice King and her husband, Stanley, who drove from Syracuse to help with the cleanup, are anxious to see the museum become a reality.
“We’re very excited about this up in Syracuse,” said Myrtice King, who, with her husband, is a member of the Central New York Chapter of the American Truck Historical Society. “We don’t personally have a Brockway but my husband likes them a lot, and we think this will be great for this area.”
Julie Nowak and Tyler Burhans, both seniors at Homer High School, were two of four students of history teacher Joe Cortese, who’s involved with the museum through the Homeville collection, lending a hand.
“Mr. Cortese brought it up in homeroom and asked for volunteers, so I came to help out the community a little,” said Nowak, who was collecting garbage, including ancient looking Pepsi cans behind the A.B. Brown building.
“I’m finishing up my five hours of community service so I can graduate, and this is a good way to do it,” said Burhans, referring to a service requirement at Homer High School. “I think this is gonna be a cool place when it opens, a lot of good history.”
Dave Parke, a member of Tractors of Yesteryear, drove his 1958 International Harvester tractor from his home in South Cortland to help as much as he could with the cleanup.
“I’m getting a little old to be doing too much with cutting down trees, but I thought I could help out a little with the tractor, pushing brush and trash around,” said Parke, who is 82. “Really it’s a great day to drive a tractor, I had a great ride out here.”
Walt Carmon, also a member of the board of directors who was collecting scrap metal from around the site, including a rusted forklift, was not surprised by the many volunteers Saturday.
“I’ve heard nothing but positive enthusiasm,” Carmon said. “I’ve never heard anything negative said about this, and I think it’s gonna be a great asset to this town.”




To read this article and more, pick up today's Cortland Standard
Click here to subscribe


School district voters head to polls on Tuesday to decide on budgets

From staff reports
Voters in area school districts will decide the fate of budgets, elect school board members and consider various propositions on Tuesday. The following is a summary of the ballots and polling locations in eight local districts.
Voters in the Cincinnatus Central School District will be deciding on a $10.4 million budget for the 2006-07 school year.
The proposed budget is 8.5 percent, or $814,000 higher than the $9.6 million budget for 2005-06. The $2.6 million tax levy increases 9.8 percent or $233,175 over the current $2.3 million levy. The ballot will include a proposition on the purchase of four new 65-passenger buses, which will cost $289,000.
Transportation aid will cover 90 percent of the cost of the buses, leaving the district responsible for $28,900. Two school board members are running unopposed, Peter Bush and William Gallerani. Polls are open from noon to 8 p.m. at the school on Cincinnatus Road.
Cortland school district voters will vote on a $36.1 million 2006-07 budget that increases spending 5.1 percent over the current budget of $33.4 million. The proposed tax levy, at $13 million, would be a 7.7 percent increase over the current $12.1 million levy.
Voters will also fill three vacant seats on the Board of Education. The ballot will include a proposition to spend no more than $309,000 to purchase four school buses.
Four candidates are running:
l Loretta “Lori” Card, of 20 Squires St., a teacher of toddlers at Here We Grow day care center on Homer Avenue;
l Bonni Hodges, of 203 Groton Ave., a SUNY Cortland health professor;
l Lisa Hoeschele, of 53 Prospect Terrace, a fundraising professional at Syracuse University; and
l Paul Marshall, store manager at Tops Market on Route 281 in Cortlandville.
Polls are open from noon to 9 p.m. All Cortland residents will vote at the Kaufman Center on Valley View Drive; Virgil, Dryden and Harford residents will vote at the Virgil Elementary School on Church Street; and Cortlandville residents will vote at the Cortlandville Town Hall on Terrace Road.
A $7.8 million proposed budget will be on the table for voters in the DeRuyter Central School District. The proposed 2006-07 budget represents an increase in spending of $500,000, or 5.6 percent over the 2005-06 budget. The proposed tax levy would increase by 6.6 percent, from $2,501,674 in 2005-06, to $2,666,545 in 2006-07.
Two other propositions will also be on the ballot, a $35,000 summer class program that would provide summer school options for kindergarten through third graders, and a proposition that would provide the district with two new school buses at a cost of $155,000. School Board member Delbert Newton is running unopposed for re-election.
Residents can vote from noon to 9 p.m. in the school foyer on Railroad Street.
The $28.7 million proposed budget for the Dryden district increases spending 7.4 percent above the current $26.7 million budget. The amount of money raised by taxes in the 2006-07 budget would be $12.9 million, a 9.6 percent increase over the current $11.8 million tax levy. Voters will also decide on a proposition for no more than $275,701 to purchase buses and other transportation vehicles. Another proposition to be voted on would allow the district to spend up to $30,000 from its capital reserve fund to renovate two rooms for science labs at the high school.
Also, three Board of Education seats will be filled, one of which is an unexpired seat left vacant by the resignation of John Curatolo.
Jeff Bradley, who was appointed to Curatolo’s seat in January, will run again, as will incumbents Brad Rauch and Brian June. The person receiving the fewest votes will fill the unexpired seat. Residents can vote from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the Dryden High School auditorium. The high school is on Route 38.
The proposed $14.6 million budget for 2006-07 being voted on in Groton represents a 6.1 percent increase over the current budget of $13.8 million. The proposed tax levy of $4.2 million would be a 3.9 percent increase, or $160,000 more than the current levy.
Voters will also fill two Board of Education positions. Board President Nancy Thane, board member Miriam Zubal and newcomer Michael Lockwood are running for two open spots.  The ballot will include a proposition to allow the district to purchase four buses with a price tag of $190,371. Polls are open noon to 9 p.m. in the district offices on Peru Road.
Voters in the Homer school district will have four propositions to decide on when they go to the polls Tuesday.
The first proposition is on the $33.3 million budget. The budget increases spending $2.1 million from the 2005-2006 budget, a 6.8 percent increase. The tax levy will increase $711,520 from $12.2 million to $12.9 million, an increase of 5.8 percent.
The second proposition will allow the district to purchase five school buses and one passenger van for $503,000 over a five-year period. Voters will also decide if the district can set up a $1 million capital reserve fund for future capital projects in the district. The length of the fund would be 15 years. The fourth proposition will ask voters to increase funding to the Phillips Free Library from $25,000 a year for nine years to $50,000 a year.
Four candidates are running for three school board seats: Dave Quinlan, 50, who resides on Grove Street, Homer; Mary Beth Mathey, 59, who lives on South Main Street, Homer; Scott Ochs, 48, who lives at 4489 Cosmos Hill Road, Homer; and Kim Sharpe, 42, who lives on Haights Gulf Road, Truxton. 
The vote will take place from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. in Room 58 in the lower level at the high school on South West Road.
In Marathon, voters will go to the polls to decide on the budget and a school bus purchase. The $13.8 million 2006-07 budget will increase spending by 5.8 percent and the tax levy will go up $190,711, from $3.6 million to $3.8 million, a 5.8 percent increase.
Marathon voters will also decide if administrators can buy five 66-passenger school buses at a cost of $391,025, all of which is paid by state aid. Incumbent James Dann and newcomer Terrie Atwood are running for two school board seats.
The vote will be held in the auditorium at the Marathon Central School on East Main Street. Polls are open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
McGraw voters will vote on a $9 million budget that will increase spending by 6.2 percent. The proposed tax levy of nearly $2.5 million would be an increase of 5.8 percent over the current levy of $2.3 million.
Also on the ballot will be four propositions, including two involving vehicle purchases.
One proposition will call for spending no more than $35,000 to purchase a Suburban-type school bus, while another will call for no more than $76,708 for an emergency vehicle.
A third proposition asks for permission to withdraw up to $99,000 from the capital reserve account to replace a drainage pipe and plumbing system in the elementary school.
Also, a proposition to increase the tax levied for the Lamont Memorial Free Library from $5,000 to $20,000 will be on the table.
There are four board seats up for grabs, three seats with three-year terms, and a fourth with a one-year term.
The candidate receiving the fourth most votes will fill the one-year vacancy.
Six candidates are running:
l Jim Buckley, 37, of 13 Elm St. , McGraw;
l Colin Cummins, 53, of 3151 Underwood Hill Road, Solon;
l Lois Horner, 56, of 4778 Maybury Road, Solon;
l Anthony “Tony” Opera, 50, of 4583 Syrian Hill Road, Solon;
l Melissa Ponticello, 38, of 22 W. Academy St., McGraw, and;
l Michelle Stauber, 30, of 20 O.K. St., McGraw.
Polls will be open in the high school lobby on West Academy Street from noon until 9 p.m.



To read this article and more, pick up today's Cortland Standard
Click here to subscribe