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SUBMITTED by Mark L. DeCracker, Peppermint Cottage and President of the Lyons Chamber of Commerce (4-Jan-2010)

The Village of Lyons has a chance to do the right thing if they accept to take over ownership of the H.G. Hotchkiss Building. It is truly an asset to have such a gem in Lyons, New York. H. G. Hotchkiss used the Erie Canal waterway to turn his business into one of most unique along the Erie Canal corridor. Hotchkiss Peppermint was once known around the world and will be again when the building is restored.

We must preserve the past so we can share our heritage with future generations:
"You must know where you have been before you will know where you are going".

History has taught us many lessons both good and bad. It is important to remember our roots and where we came from. Why is it that we pass important traditions down through our families for many generations? It is because we don’t want those traditions and memories forgotten. It is the same reason we save our photos, old movies, and videos to hold on to have a glimpse into the past. The Hotchkiss Building will give us a glimpse into the past--the year 1885--when it is completed. Not only will the citizens of Lyons learn about the history of Peppermint, the world will also.

Visitors learn the history of Hotchkiss Peppermint Oil at Stop #7 (H.G. Hotchkiss Bldg.) of the "15 Miles" program

Over this past summer I witnessed people from all over the world come and tour the H.G. Hotchkiss Building. On July 14th 550 from the Erie Canal Trek rode into Lyons and at least a third of the bikers took a tour of the Hotchkiss Building that day. There was even a gentleman from China who brought his own peppermint to share with us.

Erie Canal Trek bikers continue their ride from the "Peppermint Office" at the Hotchkiss Building

 Bicycle rider brings Chinese peppermint oil to the H.G. Hotchkiss Building

We have had guests from the Peppermint Cottage take a tour. When they get back they often say to us “now we know why you call this the Peppermint Cottage”. Everyone I talked to who toured H.G. Hotchkiss loved it. What do these guests in our community do? Not only do they spend time learning about our past they spend money in our restaurants, buy food and liquors, and they stay over night. Every time a visitor spends money in our community those sales tax dollars come back to our community and Wayne County. It is said that in a vacation planned around history, the vacationer spends an average of $700 and while on a general vacation that same vacationer spends only around $350.

In Summer 2009 I had the chance to take a tour of The Erie Canal Discovery Center in Lockport, New York. The Discovery Center is almost the same square footage as H.G. Hotchkiss Building. The Discovery Center is all about the history of the Erie Canal on the Niagara frontier. Before I was done I had spent over an hour learning about the five locks of Lockport, the deep cut, and that Layette toured the Erie Canal when it opened in 1825. You might remember Layette fighting in the Revolutionary War but did you know he traveled on the Erie Canal? Now you do.

There are many more stories like these ready to be told at the H.G Hotchkiss Building. Did you know that the Discovery Center has over 25,000 visitors a year? Also that the area 4th graders visit that building to learn their local history? When the Hotchkiss Building is completed I am sure there will be a small fee just as the Discovery Center has. What do you think these fees go towards? They go towards operation and maintenance.

This summer I also had a chance to visit the Camillus General Store and the Nine Mile Creek Aqueduct. Through the dedicated efforts of Camillus, New York activist Dave Beebe and the Town of Camillus, they have restored an historic aqueduct. Yes, this great stone aqueduct has been restored complete with a wood trunk. You can now take a boat over the aqueduct just as you once could when the Erie Canal was open before 1918.

That is why we preserve the past—so we have a better future. We are all walking the same towpath; sometimes we need to look over our shoulder and look who walked before us and remember them.


Visitors waiting their turn for a tour of the Peppermint Office

Peppermint Patty and some Erie Canal trail riders inside the Hotchkiss Building

Learning history of the Essential Oil Industry from Peppermint Patty of the Lyons Heritage Society

Smelling fresh peppermint grown in a garden behind the Hotchkiss Building in Lyons

"Winston's Dream" mural by James Zeger in Dobbins Park, adjacent to the Hotchkiss Building

Happy cyclists greeted by a friendly docent at the H.G. Hotchkiss Peppermint Office

Erie Canal adventurers stop for lunch at Embee's Café after first visiting the historic Hotchkiss Bldg.


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54 Comments to "Preserving the Past Will Help Pay for the Future"

  1. Anonymous Said,

    I agree that Hotchkiss is a part of Lyons history and is a gem that could be preserved. What I disagree with is GOVERNMENT using TAX DOLLARS to fund projects like this. If the Heritage Society and Chamber of Commerce want to restore Hotchkiss, or take it over and maintain it, then go ahead. No problems. The purpose of the existence of village government is to provide essential services to the taxpayers. Fire, Police, Water, Sewer, Roads, Schools, Library: Those are essential services. The village wants to ASSUME Hotchkiss, guarantee it's bills for 20 years, and sublease it to the Heritage Society. Has anyone seen the grants? The Caveats? The proposed agreements? What has the Heritage Society given to the village to PROVE they can afford this for 20 years without the village taxpayers having to subsidize it?

    Why don't the village officials and promoters of Hotchkiss understand the the opposition is against USING TAXDOLLARS and VILLAGE ENTITY to save Hotchkiss. You can USE PRIVATE Money if you wish, use your own money. Collect donations. I am not against saving Hotchkiss, I'm against it being thrust upon the taxpayers.

    Andrew DeWolf

    Posted on Tue Jan 05, 08:32:00 AM EST

  2. Anonymous Said,

    The writer of this article takes one day out of the year and a planned event for the express purpose of sight seeing the canal trail and makes it out like this is and will be a typical day in the Village of Lyons. One person on the tour is from china and now it is people from all over the world are coming to visit the Hotchkiss building. Photos taken on one day makes it look like Lyons is just bustling and businesses are thriving from tourism. How often will the Hotchkiss building be open? How much will the Heritage Society charge for admission? Why can't the people who want this so bad be up front with the cost involved instead of trying to paint a picture of prosperity and riches for Lyons if they do this. How can anybody with a clear conscience justify putting a million dollars of tax payer money into this building. How many jobs will it create? How many businesses will it attract to Lyons? can you even quantify how much in tourism dollars will be spent? How much of the Village of Lyons tax payer's money will end up being used? Does the writer of this article realize part of the heritage we will be passing on to our children as well as future generations is not just from our past but from what we do in the present? So let me see we will pass on to our children and future generations the Hotchkiss building and oh by the way we have done our part to pass on trillions of dollars in debt (that they will have to pay) if we really want to get back to our roots lets go way back to our beginning and learn about what the founders of our country would think about passing on debt to future generations. In case the writer of this article hasn't been paying attention there are some taxes coming down "the tow path" and in fact some have already arrived. Increase in DMV fees, increase in hunting licenses are a couple of the newest but this is just the tip of the "canal boat" that is coming. How do you think the federal government is going to pay for all the spending they have done and will continue to do? How do you think the state is going to continue to close their budget gap and not cut services (or tax payer grants)? The answer is increase TAXES!!! I can tell the writer of this article has a passion for his past time and interest of restoring the old Erie canal and I would say he would probably would even invest money as well as his time to accomplish what he wants to do. He should instead of expecting the tax payers to pay for this adventure, start a campaign for like minded individuals to also contribute money. I am sure if the county wants to dispose of this property they could turn it over to the heritage society (that should make the heritage society happy) and they could return the tax payer grant money to the state, wouldn't that be a novel idea!!! YOU CAN HAVE THE HOTCHKISS BUILDING, HAVE A GREAT TIME, ENJOY IT, FEEL GOOD ABOUT IT JUST NOT WITH TAX PAYER'S MONEY!!!!

    A Concerned Taxpayer of Lyons

    Posted on Tue Jan 05, 12:01:00 PM EST

  3. Anonymous Said,

    I keep hearing about taxes, can you please explain how tax dollars will be used? how much will our taxes go up in lyons? And where are you getting your information?

    Posted on Tue Jan 05, 12:06:00 PM EST

  4. Anonymous Said,

    The information has been obtained in a variety of ways. Initially the information was obtained verbally during village meetings from Mayor Kleisle and Attorney Rick Wunder at the November meetings. Since then, the village has attempted to go into information lockdown and have friendly outside people create spin...froth... propoganda. Go to the village offices and ask to see the estimated operational costs to run Hotchkiss. Ask to see the financial affidavits that Heritage has given the village to show them they are viable and can afford to take on this project for 20 years. Ask to see a copy of the grants and reveal the caveats of accepting the grants. As of 12:45Pm today the village clerk says this information is NOT AVAILABLE/NOT PRESENT in the village offices. The clerk states that to her knowledge, none of the village trustees have seen any of this information because it has not passed through her office. The village clerk is the official keeper of the records by law, plus the records access officer. You as the public have a right to review any of these records that the village uses to make thier decisions BEFORE they ask your comments on thier proposals.

    According to a Freedom of Information Law request from 12/9/09, the minimum estimated cost per year will be in the neighborhood of $4500-5000 to maintain Hotchkiss. The tax base is the total number of businesses/residents paying taxes. The tax levy is the total cost passed onto taxpayers. The taxbase has shrunk in the last 10 years with the loss of private land to municipalities and government, the loss of Parker Hannifan, School Specialty, etc. The Mayor says we can still obtain $$ via taxes from those properties, however the assessment on those has dropped. PLUS, the community has lost the income from those businesses in other ways...ripple effect. According to the NYS Office of Real Property Services, TAX EXEMPTIONS in the Town of LYONS was $158.9 Million dollars in 2008, up $10 Million from 2007. Those of us left end up paying the bill. How much, I honestly cannot tell you at this time.

    Everything else posted on here so far in favor of this has NOT shown HOW they will seriously promote economic activity. They attempt to portray tourism as causing a significant impact here. How about creating REAL jobs and businesses? Saving our history while spending our village into oblivion will not help save us. The promoters need to put up thier own money, not the taxpayers.

    Andrew DeWolf

    Posted on Tue Jan 05, 01:37:00 PM EST

  5. Anonymous Said,

    actually school specialty has been purchased and the name has been changed on the front. the smaller of the parker hanifin has been purchased and will continue operating as it has in the past.

    If the hotchkiss is being given to the village and is being thoroughly restored, what maintenance is there to do?

    Have you contacted the Lyons Heritage Society and taken the time to talk to them?

    even using your figures above of 4500 to 5000 a year, which i am not sure where they come from... what...a dollar per resident a year?

    I haven't seen one shred of evidence from you to show that it won't promote activity... do you think the corning museum adds anything to that town's coffers?

    what are your plans for improving Lyons or do you just say no to everything that comes along... you think lyons taxes are bad, move to newark - please

    Posted on Tue Jan 05, 04:04:00 PM EST

  6. Anonymous Said,

    I can't add anything to the discussion regarding taxes, but I can say that I did visit the H.G. Hotchkiss Building this past year and really enjoyed my visit. I was also impressed by the murals in your town, and feel that the combination of murals and historic museums/sites make Lyons unique and I would expect the combination should bring tourists to the town.
    I hope there is some way to save the H.G. Hotchkiss Building, and I applaud everyone's concern with it's future and the future of Lyons.

    You have a wonderful town - worth caring about.

    Nancy Maliwesky
    Syracuse, NY

    Posted on Tue Jan 05, 04:22:00 PM EST

  7. Anonymous Said,

    Questioning and asking for information is good and necessary for any project in a community. That's what the meeting January 7th 7:00 pm at the village hall is all about. Please attend. Most, if not all,of these questions will be addressed.No one wants to pay more taxes, but sometimes it is inevitable for community enhancement and preservation.

    Posted on Tue Jan 05, 04:37:00 PM EST

  8. Anonymous Said,

    I do not see how this will signifiactly bring jobs or money enough to justify the town taking over this building. This a example of government increasing with little return. I know why someone with a bed and breakfast would like it. The rest of the tax payers will get very little out of it. Lyons will never be a destination except for welfare checks!! Passing debt to our next generation for something unnecessary is truely shameful.

    Posted on Tue Jan 05, 04:48:00 PM EST

  9. Hugh Pratt, President of the Erie Canal Drama Theatre Said,

    Dear Mark: I want to support your efforts to restore the H.G. Hotchkiss Building. As someone involved in legacy tourism for a number of years I think this building has a great story to tell and an important one. Legacy tourism is the biggest money maker in the world and people will travel for many miles to see and learn the history of America. Legacy tourism sites like this can bring in millions to the community over the years and they are worth every dime put in to restore them. It is an investment into the future and everything I know or read about tourism today suggest that it is the thing to be doing now, investing in it, for the future of your community. Tourism is our future and a good one too, I believe.

    Posted on Tue Jan 05, 07:44:00 PM EST

  10. Anonymous Said,

    With attitudes like #8, Lyons will never stand a chance. Isn't doing SOMETHING better than doing NOTHING? Think about this, the building sitting there vacant is costing you tax dollars! At least put those dollars to work.

    Posted on Tue Jan 05, 08:13:00 PM EST

  11. Anonymous Said,

    I argue this publication has like minded liberal attitudes. If the whole town of lyons were aware of this issue those that support would be in the minority. This is not the time to keep expanding government and the money needs it imposes on its citzens. People are struggling to make their taxes now to keep increasing the load of citzens is true bad government. Start a private organization of those interested and that will benefit from having this property. Tourism will not pay for the needs of this business or bring enough tourist to the area ever.

    Yes, sometimes it is better to do nothing than to keep spending. Lyons elite stimulus plan same as Obamas plan?

    Posted on Tue Jan 05, 08:36:00 PM EST

  12. Unknown Said,

    As technology weaves us all together, it is our history and location that makes us unique. The Hotchkiss Peppermint legacy needs to be preserved. Dawn Jordan

    Posted on Tue Jan 05, 08:54:00 PM EST

  13. Anonymous Said,

    Do nothing? Wow... that pretty weak! I'm not one to know the details of Lyons political system of moral standing, But what I do is the people interested in making something of this County Seat. Helping to improve your surroundings isn't easy! Satisfaction in improving your Communities Standing or at least participating in that growth of substance beyond the basic childish "I don't care" standard.. lasting respect for your Home should seem pretty important! Oh right most of us think two feet past our front lawns doesn't constitute being Home so screw the Village..Town..County...No! No that's not the reality. To those who want to give up? Please WAKE up!!

    Posted on Tue Jan 05, 09:13:00 PM EST

  14. Anonymous Said,

    Sheesh! What has this got to do with Obama's plan? Sounds like we have an angry Republican Right Wing Bee buzzing in our ears who is dying to make this a partisan issue! This money was allocated several years ago before all of the economic mess we are in came about. If it isn't used by Lyons, maybe Seneca Falls or Geneva or Newark or Macedon or Palmyra will use the money instead - how stupid would that be for us to let this money be used by another community? It's still the same money you keep saying we are going to have to payback. Are you going to try and stop all grants? How about the grants you want for training emergency workers? You want that to go to another community as well? Doesn't it make sense to use it in our own community? Stop throwing our chances away - if you are miffed at the tax rate then why did you buy a home here? You knew the tax rate before you bought your home - if you have had it with the taxes, MOVE!

    Posted on Tue Jan 05, 09:34:00 PM EST

  15. Anonymous Said,

    As I said we have a bunch of liberals that have not felt the hardships of losing a job. Grants are tax money what ever level and the true problem with government. This is the type of thing that I hate about government. Using taxes for none neccessary things. Look at the state budget same problems. I do not know what you are talking about with ambulance workers(volunteers?) but, I would rather see state or local money going to help after school programs for the youth in our town that hang out in the streets. As I said it sounds like you have a great crew here to start a private organization to preserve this building. Do not use our taxes in the future for this building. Passing on these obligations to our next generation is an unkind debt. MOVE thats not nice, as a tax payer I am tired of the elite of the town hijacking public money to enhance their own agendas!!!

    Posted on Tue Jan 05, 10:18:00 PM EST

  16. Anonymous Said,

    Truly absurd!

    Posted on Tue Jan 05, 10:35:00 PM EST

  17. Anonymous Said,

    #14 i have been waiting for someone to come up with if you don't like it move! but not only that you give us a two for one you have to make the first derogatory remark about being a right wing republican. i beleive what # 11 was saying is, he doesn't think the hotchkiss plan will work any better then the stimulus plan has. that is not making it partisan it is giving an opinion my making a comparison. my question is for those who are in favor of spending this much tax payer money, when does it stop? and yes i would like to see the whole political system of tax payer grants stop.

    Posted on Tue Jan 05, 11:21:00 PM EST

  18. Anonymous Said,

    The attitude of "if we don't spend it someone else will" has helped to bankrupt our state. this money is not in a locked box unspent it may have been allocated but they still have to come up with it and if the state has billions of dollars shortfall in the state budget then they don't have it. tax payer grants are the crack cocaine of our local municipalities and school districts. it is not a question of should the building be saved it is a question of should tax payer money be used. i say no, it should be private money and if this project is as important as some say then the money should be raised. one final thought, the building is not vacant and it is owned by the county. the county applied for the grants 5 or years ago and have owned it for almost 20 years. why now doesn't the county want the building?

    Posted on Tue Jan 05, 11:49:00 PM EST

  19. Anonymous Said,

    Taxpayer revolt is coming, but the Hotchkis Factory may be a Star for the Village. While the County continues to SCREW Lyons, the free money to resurrect the building could be a blessing. The downtown has been revitalized by private money and the fixed up buildings pay taxes, the Theater is an example, the Witt building another and of course the bank is a great asset. Instead of creating a division why not attack the County for their outright theft of the Village. The time could be well spent hammering the county for money for services that the Village has to supply.
    The real tax savings could be cosolidating the town and Village, eliminating the Lyons Schools and sending the kids to Newark and Clyde, eliminating the Police Dept. and depending on the County. That just cut your taxes in Half!
    The free money to fix the Hotchkiss could be a real plus, cheap taxes would revitalize Lyons fast. Grab the moment you so called conservatives fight for a cause that really saves money. Look at the big picture and fight for real tax savings, attend the county meetings and be heard. Did you know very few show up for the Conty Meetings, why not concentrate your demands on the county. Why also has the County not been a partner in this building, I know why, they do not give a darn about Lyons, just their own area.

    Posted on Wed Jan 06, 01:05:00 AM EST

  20. Anonymous Said,

    Tax payer revolt is Right On! I do think the Hotchkis Saving is good for Lyons, the other points are very good.

    Posted on Wed Jan 06, 01:22:00 AM EST

  21. Anonymous Said,

    I personally think the Hotchkiss building is a great asset for Lyons. Unfortunately it looks like this has become quite a political discussion.

    If the "business-as-usual" obstructionists put as much energy into positive action as they put into their "sour grapes", something might get done for a change.

    Posted on Wed Jan 06, 11:37:00 AM EST

  22. Anonymous Said,

    I have faith that the Lyons Heritage Society will be able to cover the costs of operating the building; the taxpayers of Lyons will not be out anything. As for the grants, they are in place, designated for this sort of historic preservation. If Lyons turns them down the money will just be passed along to another community. I think we were very lucky to be given this opportunity. It would be a mistake to toss it away.

    Posted on Wed Jan 06, 01:23:00 PM EST

  23. Anonymous Said,

    "If you don't like it MOVE"????-- how very childish!!! That's what we need, more empty houses in Lyons. Also, for the taxpayers who think the taxes on this building may add up to only a few dollars-- well, it never stops there. There are other tax increases that may be coming your way. The village is considering an increase in the Veterans Exemption- property taxes. I have the highest respect for our veterans and have many ex-military family members. The exemption would result in approximately $880,000 taxable assessment being removed from the tax rolls to the exempt roll. -- who do you think will pick up that loss in taxes??? There are some taxes worth paying- there are some that are not. If I have to chose between a building and US veterans, I'll chose vets every time.

    Posted on Wed Jan 06, 02:47:00 PM EST

  24. Anonymous Said,

    #21 it becomes political because people want to fund this project with tax payer money and there are those who think it should be done with private money. the business as usual crowd as you use the term would be those who think that you can just keep spending and taxing for every body's wants and wish lists with out consequences. guess what, the state is broke and it is going to get worse. that is not sour grapes, it is just a fact. by the way sour grapes would be not saying anything beforehand and waiting until after a decision was made to complain.

    Posted on Wed Jan 06, 02:59:00 PM EST

  25. Anonymous Said,

    Boy, you "it's the taxpayers money" group sure don't like it when others have differing opinions from yours. Remember, it's our tax money, too, and we have a voice on how it is spent as well.

    Posted on Wed Jan 06, 05:47:00 PM EST

  26. Anonymous Said,

    Correct me if I am wrong but we have far more empty storefronts and commercial buildings than we do houses - you have any suggestions on how to fill up them up? How about something positive from you to help our current situation? Instead of trying to rob all of us of any chances we might have, I'd be interested in hearing what your solution would be to keep businesses going here and our taxes lower when everyone wants more from public services? I think we would all agree that the more businesses we can get here, the less YOU will have to pay in the future. Who do you think is going to make up the difference in taxes for public services if we don't keep our businesses open? The Lyons homeowners will.

    Posted on Wed Jan 06, 06:42:00 PM EST

  27. Anonymous Said,

    #25 i have not seen one post by the "it's the taxpayers money" group that would lead anyone to believe they are mad they are not the ones making it personal or putting labels on people, such as why don't you move, angry republican right wing, obstructionist. all i have seen are opinions, facts and legitimate questions.

    Posted on Wed Jan 06, 11:04:00 PM EST

  28. Anonymous Said,

    Take a look at # 11 - they threw the first "label" utilizing the term "liberal attitudes". I think # 26 has a valid point - why not answer that set of questions? that would give all of us something to think about.

    Posted on Thu Jan 07, 07:58:00 AM EST

  29. Anonymous Said,

    I don't notice your family business(liquor store)shying away from a dollar that comes through the welfare system, in regards to your previous comments about Lyons being the destination of welfare recipients #8

    Posted on Thu Jan 07, 10:22:00 AM EST

  30. Anonymous Said,

    I don't live in Lyons, but I do come to many of the events there, and spend some of my dollars.

    How can you call yourself the "Peppermint Village", if you don't care enough to save the Hotchkiss bldg?

    Guess I'll have to spend my money elsewhere instead of visiting Peppermint Days.

    Posted on Thu Jan 07, 10:55:00 AM EST

  31. Francis Beyea Said,

    Well, Mark,

    Apparently you've discovered that even people who prefer to doze in a sleepy little town of their personal comfort, really DO have a measurable blood pressure & pulse! You go, Mark! God has given you an imagination and vision. You're using it. And, don't you just love the "Anonymous" bit--someone who cares, but not tough to express it as a PERSONAL stand! Good grief.

    If I had a couple of million dollars to my personal name, I'd gladly give it to you to complete the vision you have for that immediate parcel.

    (I also now see "Peppermint Patty," whom I knew as Pat Scully, HS Cheerleader. I'm glad she's still "cheering" for Lyons!)

    Posted on Thu Jan 07, 11:45:00 AM EST

  32. John Zornow Said,

    I attended the 1/7 hearing in Lyons, and was impressed by how well it was run. Three minutes means three minutes and the Lyons Mayor enforced it. (Can the Newark Village Board borrow that timer?)
    The Mayor set the tone by explaining why the hearing was being conducted and all sides had ample opportunity to voice their views.

    Posted on Sat Jan 09, 01:24:00 PM EST

  33. Anonymous Said,

    #32, did you mean the timer that the mayor tried to use to give one speaker extra minutes to talk about her side, but did not offer same to the other side? I attended the meeting as well, the opposition was well prepared. The opposition had thier facts, and those facts were never contested! I heard alot of emotional sentiment by the pro crowd, but no hard numbers. I do leave a question for both sides of this issue: How can an anonymous donor enter into a contract with a village anonymously to guarantee funding for 25-50 years which was the life of the grants?????

    Why the last minute salvation?
    And humor me, but why did the village board try to stop all audiovisual taping?

    Posted on Sun Jan 10, 08:31:00 AM EST

  34. Anonymous Said,

    #31 Francis you hit on the head it is his vision. Mark is a person that has a business that would benefit from a incresed tourism. Nothing wrong with that but, do not think it is just charity. The problem is it is everyones money being used and it can not prove its own worth or fiscal sense. Just because it seems to be a positive thing to do when you look on the underside maybe it is detrimental to society and the folks living in it. I do not believe it will have a economic trickle down affect. I think it is unsound spending in a bad economy.

    We need to change governments to fund necessary things well. Such as schools who have our future and need a lot of work to make work. End pork grants. Make government smaller.
    I believe saving this building is a worthy cause but, should be done by bonding private money and people with the same vision togethor to get this done. Taxes taken from people that are having a hard time at it is irresponsible and arrogant.

    Posted on Sun Jan 10, 09:26:00 AM EST

  35. Anonymous Said,

    #29, let me clear something up...#8 was not my post, and I said nothing about welfare checks. My mother and step-father own the Liquor Store in Lyons, but if you think that the people who spend the most money there get it from public assistance, perhaps you should actually go into the store once or twice. My mother will tell you where the most money comes from, and I can guarantee it's not from the $5 here, $6 there spent by welfare recipients. I'd love for you to go have a chat with her about her business benifiting from "welfare" money. Good luck with that conversation.
    Kirsta DeWolf,

    Posted on Sun Jan 10, 01:32:00 PM EST

  36. Videomark Said,

    " Without history we are nothing, we are a floating leaf on the water. The Ruins of Rome are as important as our Local History and save we must." Ann Hotchkiss 1/7/2010

    Posted on Sun Jan 10, 02:29:00 PM EST

  37. Anonymous Said,

    The avoidance of taxes is the only intellectual pursuit that still carries any reward.
    John Maynard Keynes (1883 - 1946)

    Posted on Sun Jan 10, 05:18:00 PM EST

  38. Anonymous Said,

    You ask why the village board tried to stop the videotaping.....another question....what was it's purpose other than to disrupt the proceedings. It realloy didn't matter...they allowed it so it's a moot point

    Posted on Mon Jan 11, 01:49:00 PM EST

  39. Anonymous Said,

    This is the type of spending governor Patterson is right to look into(grant money) for projects like the bridge to no where in Alaska. Check out this weeks Chuck Wells column Digging Wells in the Wayne County Times his opinion sums up a lot of the the interesting talk here about this building.

    Posted on Mon Jan 11, 05:04:00 PM EST

  40. Anonymous Said,

    Videotaping of Village Board meetings was first prohibited by the Cinelli administration because he and his crew were catching a lot of heat and being on camera always turns up the intensity. It was still on the books because nobody had challenged it so, being shy people, the board wanted to keep things as informal as possible. Yes, it should be legal and yes, it is rude.
    Larry Ann Evans explained that having the building under municipal ownership opens the possibility of obtaining grants not available to non-profit groups, which raises the question of whether or not public funds should be used for historic preservation. ABSOLUTELY! How much do you suppose the Europeans spend to maintain their antique structures? But the Lyons Village Board has nothing to do with that question; it can only be resolved in Albany and Washington.
    Lastly it was wrong of Roger to insult Steve, Andy et al with his wad of bills. Steve sincerely cares about the less fortunate among us. I hope we can let such petty acts be forgotten.

    Posted on Mon Jan 11, 05:14:00 PM EST

  41. Anonymous Said,

    Chuck Wells should stick to his insurance business and stop being a mouthpiece for the Waaayne Times.

    Posted on Mon Jan 11, 05:33:00 PM EST

  42. Anonymous Said,

    unfotunatly our town is well represented in the Wayne Times every week! We need real ideas to attract jobs. Plight of upstate New York is population leaving expecially our young as a state we have taxed and miss spent ourselves into this situation.

    Posted on Mon Jan 11, 09:22:00 PM EST

  43. Anonymous Said,

    #29 I do not understand why you feel my business is an issue here, but since you seem to, please feel free to stop by my store any time Monday - Saturday and we can discuss it, but make sure you identify yourself since you didn't bother to sign your name

    Wendy Patnaude
    Owner/ Lyons Liquor Store

    Posted on Mon Jan 11, 09:25:00 PM EST

  44. Videomark Said,

    Why preserving history is an economic boast for a community.

    ALBION -- A group that formed about a year ago to promote Albion's downtown is discovering if it plans and promotes events about local history, the public will come, and come in droves.


    Posted on Tue Jan 12, 08:03:00 AM EST

  45. Anonymous Said,

    #40, Regarding the videotaping issue: turn on public access once a month and you'll see the Canandaigua City Council meeting broadcast on TV. It's okay to allow the news media into the courtroom: I have a former colleague who just sat through the Frank Garcia murder trial in Rochester with cameras present. Frankly, if there's nothing to hide, there should be no objection. On December 15, 2009, Terry VanStean proclaimed that the Lyons Village Board is the most transparent form of government there is, doing everything in public and not behind closed doors. http://www.villageoflyons.com/minutes.htm

    Since everything's out in the open, I guess it shouldn't matter if it's also on tape.

    K DeWolf

    Posted on Wed Jan 13, 08:58:00 PM EST

  46. Terry VanStean Said,

    You are absolutely right....tape away. Maybe I'll even bring my camera. Just so we get the complete story for a change.

    Posted on Thu Jan 14, 09:18:00 PM EST

  47. Anonymous Said,

    Some day town meetings will be web casted with a message board for debate in real time. This will change town politics and increase awarness of issues. Probable good for democracy! This issue that had such a tremendous reaction boils down to do you spend money to make money or do you keep money in the peoples pocket to trickle out naturally. Stimulus or cut taxes? or will it pay for itself?

    Posted on Thu Jan 14, 10:25:00 PM EST

  48. Anonymous Said,

    I am reading a lot of discussion about grants, and utilizing them, etc.

    Let me give you my take on grants and grant money.

    Every time I receive a paycheck, I see a large contribution going to both the federal and state governments. Also, every single time I buy ANYTHING in this state, I see a surcharge that goes to the state and county. At the end of the year......they keep the vast majority of this money. I am only one taxpayer, but when you add us all up.....it's quite a bit of money.

    I believe grants are a way of these tax dollars that have already been collected, to be redirected back to help my local community do things that are essential for us. I do agree that the process needs reform because there are millions of dollars wasted on pork barrel spending and wasteful projects.

    However, since this is the system we now work under, I think it behooves us to take advantage of all our opportunities to bring these funds into our community.

    By Mr. DeWolf's line of reasoning, we should return the 900K + funds for the Hotchkiss, and in that same vain, the 500K for the Elmer Street infrastructure, and the 1.4M for the West Water Street Bridge, etc. A grant is a grant (oh, by the way....the COUNTY secured the Hotchkiss grants, but I don't see any criticism of them?????? why is that?). You can't advocate that one is OK and another isn't. They are all the same thing. We can turn those all in and add those mandated upgrades that we must do to the taxpayers of Lyons. I'm sure an additional 2 or 3 million in taxes won't bother anyone. These grants are bringing money, jobs, and business to our community. Every improvement we make enhances our position in a competitive world where we are competing for businesses and jobs. Our community is trying to enhance our tax base and improve. We do need the help.

    If the system needs to change, lobby your state and federal representatives, don't harass your local representatives for taking advantage of the system that exists, for the betterment of our community......that makes no sense.

    Lastly, after reading these, it is easy to sit and criticize, much more difficult to engage and start proactively help find solutions.

    Remember, you are either part of the problem, or part of the solution.

    Posted on Fri Jan 15, 11:43:00 AM EST

  49. Anonymous Said,

    Sounds like if someone doesnt' like the state or federal government handing out grants, then i strongly urge them to contact our state officials, that is where the change will happen.

    I am glad that the village goes after the grants, our taxes would be horrific otherwise. When the village applied for and received a grant for utility vehicles or water mains, why weren't they protesting that? can this village afford to pay for almost 500,000.00 in new water lines without the grant? No... sounds like a couple of people have grabbed onto this bldg instead of seeking reform by taking it to their legislative body where the grants are doled out.

    I thank the village for procuring any and all grants and by saving the fellow tax payers even more money.

    a village resident

    Posted on Fri Jan 15, 04:34:00 PM EST

  50. Anonymous Said,

    Grants which are public collected funds to help communities are fine. Public taxes should go towards necessary projects like water lines which truly benefits all not just business owners thinking of increasing their revenue for free. All grants should have a well researched SWOT that truly benfits the community in jobs or help with the tax base eventually.

    Grants going for nice ideas that will cost in the long run the already burdened tax payers for little benefit to the community are wrong. This building creates another brick and morter around the towns neck for years to come.
    Being negative about a project can turn out to be a positive. Being part of the solution or part of the problem is exactly what I am saying who knows. Just things are not that simple unless you watch hallmark movies/Disney programs.
    I understand taking the money but, think it is sickening that the same year we think of laying teacher off across the state we save a historical building while we morgage our future. Just one of many foolish use of tax money! ask patterson

    Posted on Fri Jan 15, 08:49:00 PM EST

  51. Anonymous Said,

    how long are you going to bang this drum?
    the village held a forum, the majority of residents were in favor of it. A citizen has made a deal that she/he will pick up any costs that for whatever reason, the LHS cannot cover. It was announced at the meeting for ALL OF THE PUBLIC to hear. Accept it and move on. case closed.

    Posted on Sat Jan 16, 12:16:00 PM EST

  52. Anonymous Said,

    There were apparently alot of deals made... Of course not in writing! A ranking official to receive grants to restore private property? A mayor calling in special favors? Everything done in a rush outside the public eye and the public is fine with that? Interesting....

    Posted on Mon Jan 18, 03:19:00 PM EST

  53. Anonymous Said,

    of course we have been told to move on. As things are pushed quickly ahead! MARK my words this property will never bring anything but higher taxes for the residents of lyons down the road!!! We always have to be positive!! never question? Lyons stimulus bill!!!

    Posted on Mon Jan 18, 07:09:00 PM EST

  54. Seth C. Burgess Said,

    I finally pulled up the link to the story about the Albion Main Street Alliance (posted in Comment #44 above)--sounds very similar to what is going on in Lyons at the hands of the Lyons Main Street Program and its partner organizations.

    Posted on Fri Jan 29, 02:34:00 PM EST


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