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Dec. 27, 2010
Dear Editor,
    I feel that the majority of the Wayne County Board of Supervisors who voted against moving forward with renovation work on the Hotchkiss Essential Oil building in Lyons have acted unconscionably and taken a cavalier attitude toward history, preservation and tourism.  The Hotchkiss building has been deemed important enough to be on the National Register of Historic Places.  It is also rare enough in representing one of only three remaining 19th-century industries on the Erie Canal still in existence which qualified it for a "Saving America's Treasures" grant.  By preserving the building for future generations the County would be sending the message that we care about our collective past and its place in history for achieving international status for its peppermint oil.
    Our agricultural heritage is something in which we can take great pride.  Both agricultural tourism and historic tourism are on the rise.  With the renovations completed the Village of Lyons would take over ownership.  The Lyons Heritage Society has agreed to cover operating expenses so as not to be a burden on local taxpayers.  Tourists from throughout New York State and beyond our borders travel via Erie Canal, bicycle or car to explore this segment of our history as well as other local attractions and businesses.  It is a win-win situation for the people of Lyons, Wayne County and beyond to preserve such an important piece of our canal-related and agricultural history.
    Supervisors, please reconsider your vote and use the remaining grant money before it expires.  The money was allocated four or more years ago, before the recession, and could still do a lot of good in stabilizing the building for future use.
Anne M. Salerno


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61 Comments to "A Plead to the Wayne County Board of Supervisors"

  1. Anonymous Said,

    Board of supervisors please please do not change your mind. To spend 100's of thousands of dollars on this old building is wasteful anytime but especially during these hard times. I know they say it is grant money but grant money is still taxpayers money. My suggestion is to sign the building over to the Heritage society and wish them well. The Society would say no because they are all talk and no action they want others to pay for there dreams. Please do not tell me this building will bring in 1000's of tourist, give me a break. Stick to your guns and do the fiscally respondsible thing. Thank you

    Posted on Wed Dec 29, 05:04:00 PM EST

  2. Videomark Said,

    Having just come from Colquitt, GA where I was a presenter for "Mural Mania" at the Global Mural conference. This city of 2,000 people gets 50,000 visitors a year to see http://www.swampgravy.com/ and the murals of Colquitt GA. Chemainus, BC http://www.chemainus.com/arts/murals/index.htm has 400,000 visitors annually to see their murals. The murals are about history and people want to know about their history and their roots. Chemainus is known around the world as the "Little Town that did it." Coliquitt is featured in the GA travel guide as a place to model heritage tourist after. The heritage tourist spends 40 percent more in the communities they visit then communities without history. Where do tourist spend their money they spend it in restaurants, lodging and gifts. Part of the sale tax will be returned to your Village for many year to come. Perhaps Lyons has a chance to become that "Little Town that did it on the Erie Canal."

    Posted on Wed Dec 29, 05:38:00 PM EST

  3. Anonymous Said,

    Both sides of the story are correct in their own way, however, what people fail to see is that if the "grant" money isn't used here, it will be used elsewhere. The grant monies ARE in fact, tax payer dollars, so as a taxpayer, why would you want to give the grant away for someone else to use. Your money is being spent either way.

    If the grant monies are not used on the Hotchkiss building, they will no doubt, be given to another area to be spent, as that is what those funds are earmarked for. So as a Lyons resident and taxpayer, I would be delighted for the monies to be used here.

    Posted on Wed Dec 29, 06:59:00 PM EST

  4. Anonymous Said,

    So as I understand your argument it is better we waste taxpayer money then someone else. Many people feel that way but I am sorry I am not one of them. I prefer not to be part of the problem which is wasteful spending. Don't go to the dark side. At the very least if we go after grants lets do something that will actually make a difference in the average Lyons resident and taxpayer.

    Posted on Wed Dec 29, 07:27:00 PM EST

  5. Anonymous Said,

    I'm a County resident, but not from Lyons. I visit quite often, especially the Hotchkiss bldg.
    Lyons was awarded the grants for obvious reasons - they had a great project. Stop arguing and get going. Too much time has been wasted already.

    Posted on Wed Dec 29, 07:27:00 PM EST

  6. Floresplm Said,

    It is vitally important to save buildings with historical value. It promotes the community culturally and economically not only now, but for future generations. Alberto Acosta, Curator & CEO, International Museum Institute of New York.

    Posted on Wed Dec 29, 07:57:00 PM EST

  7. JollyRoger.Straub Said,

    For those of you who think Grant Funds are a waste, it's the way the system works at present. If you don't like it, change the system. In the meantime, use the money, it's not going to save you anything to refuse it, since someone else will get it anyway.

    Posted on Wed Dec 29, 08:07:00 PM EST

  8. Anonymous Said,

    For those of you who don't like what the supervisors did, its the way the system works at presents. If you don't like it, change it. In thhe meantime accept it. We think alot alike.

    Posted on Wed Dec 29, 08:27:00 PM EST

  9. Scott Bailey, village of Lyons resident Said,

    I am constantly amazed at the continuing inability of the Wayne County Supervisors to do the work that they were elected to do. If they had done what they said they were going to do four years ago when they received the grants then none of this would have happened. Why did Wayne County apply for the grants if they really had no intention of acting upon them? And now because they have drug their feet and want to get out, it will cost even more money? Will this money be coming out of the 700,000 budget for furniture for their new offices?

    So they lose a 200k grant, the remaining grants which are at least three times that amount can still be used on the building to stave off any further deteriorating of the building. Wayne County accepted the gift of the building from Anne Hotchkiss and has done very little with the building for whatever reason. Why accept the building if they were just going to let it fall into ruin? Wayne County does not keep up on all of their building maintenance, just look at two buildings on the Church Street that front the village park, the old Park Bakery bldg and the old Arseneau House located on the other side of the courthouse. Both buildings have not had any preventive maintenance done in quite a long time and yet the village has to put up with neglected buildings and abandoned looking buildings.

    Rather the money is used for the Hotchkiss bldg or not, the money will be spent in restoring and revitalizing yet another historic structure, very possibly out of Wayne County. The money will NOT be going back into the general fund. So its time that the Supervisors of Wayne County man up and do their job that they were elected to do which includes follow through on grants for the Hotchkiss bldg. It’s the right thing to do.

    I am also curious as to why people who feel so strongly either for or against would not put their name on their rebuttals?

    Posted on Wed Dec 29, 09:56:00 PM EST

  10. Anonymous Said,

    The only way you can build a town is through excellent schools and a community that supports it. With more data avaliable about schools. Parents like myself will move where we think my children will get a leap ahead in a world economy, as anything is posible slip into poverty. It take some money for good schools but, support and a vested no excuses community about education is paramount. Of course Money for those that make it work
    Example we are moving it work, a this attracts talent. We are thinking of moving to Williamson because a data shows a good school but, still that nice small town feel. Everthing else comes for a town.
    Hotchkoss building? Please I would not cross the street. Of course if their is a grant as much as I disagree with it, should be used as it is the system and is a positive. We should not forget our history.

    Posted on Wed Dec 29, 10:27:00 PM EST

  11. Sarah Taft Said,

    Um apparently many didn't read that ALL OF TAXPAYERS would have to contribute to this. Did everyone miss that the Board of Supervisors would have to come up with funds? so it isn't just grant money like all you think. Personally I think it's a waste of money and if Lyons people want it then YOU come up with the money and don't ask the rest of us.
    The Supervisors did exactly what MOST of their constituents wanted of them. Lyons it is not all of our problem to preserve YOUR past and for you to expect all taxpayers to is absurd.

    Posted on Thu Dec 30, 08:44:00 AM EST

  12. Eric Lewis Said,

    For those citizens of Wayne County who do not live in Lyons and are opposed to the use of federal or state grants to preserve our history, I have a simple question for you to ponder. Macedon and Palmyra are attractive small towns with museums and wonderful canal parks that serve as cultural and recreational attractions for their communities and beyond. My question is this: Where did they receive the funding to revitalize their communities? The answer is simple, state and federal grants. Where was your 'righteous' indignation when these communities were collecting money to improve their standards of living? Where were the comments about their "crappy buildings" (see Times of Wayne County) and "wastes of time and money"? The double standards are amazing here..the Board of Supervisors should be ashamed for promoting some communities, while trashing others. Let's not allow them to bulldoze our shared heritage.

    Posted on Thu Dec 30, 09:44:00 AM EST

  13. scott bailey Said,

    Grants come from the federal government and from local governments. Grants have been around for decades and allow communities and town to accomplish many tasks that maybe they wouldn't otherwise be able to do so. The Village of Lyons recently received a grant from the federal government to replace water lines. Where were all of the outraged people in Wayne county? your federal taxes went for that grant...yet no word, no letters to the editor.

    Sarah stated that the Board of Supervisors will have to come up with funds. Yes they will... the county board of supervisors will have to come up with $106,000 because they are opting to get out of the grants when they are more than halfway through the process of the grant. If they proceed with the grants then they won't have to come up with the $106,000.00

    So maybe it’s the Board of Supervisor who should be ashamed for accepting a building they had no plans to take care of... For applying for grants and then backing out. Is that what you consider good business practice?

    Posted on Thu Dec 30, 10:36:00 AM EST

  14. Anonymous Said,

    Grants have been around for decades and that is one reason we as a government are in the horrible financial position we are in. So I congratulate the supervisors for saying no to wasteful spending. Being a resident of Lyons it shocks me (but it shouldn't I guess) a small core group is so worried about this old building when the Local Community Center is fighting to stay open. How about we think of the youth and seniors who use the center and make that our priority. Just my opionion.

    Posted on Thu Dec 30, 11:25:00 AM EST

  15. Anonymous Said,

    i seriously doubt that grants are the cause of the financial situation that this country now faces. Apparently you must think that the $106,000.00 that the county will have to spend for backing out is a good use of money? That is money that will have to come from somewhere because of their lack to move forward on something that that even initiated!

    Also as a resident of Lyons, the community center should have stayed in the old myron taylor home and you wouldn't have the problem that the community center is now facing.

    Posted on Thu Dec 30, 12:05:00 PM EST

  16. Anonymous Said,

    As a resident of Lyons, I AM concerned about the future of our youth and the Community Center.
    ( that's another topic for another time) It is precisely because of this that I worry that our children will have no history to be proud of if this falls through. I guess I am part of that "small core group", and I am proud to say it.

    Posted on Thu Dec 30, 12:20:00 PM EST

  17. Anonymous Said,

    Mindlessness is always harmful to persons and communities. The Hotchkiss Essential Oils historic site is not an item of negotiations, but instead a rare and important remaining structure of 19th century industry and Erie Canal history. The Board should be discussing plans of preservation and be thankful such structures are still there.
    The Register of National Historic Places is not a trivial designation, but recognition of our very heritage. I think the Town Board should begin serving the community, not their ignorance…
    John R. Groves

    Posted on Thu Dec 30, 12:54:00 PM EST

  18. Anonymous Said,

    um...last time i looked lyons was still part of wayne county. we pay for projects all over the county too....plus we subsidize all the other towns with the tax exempt county property we pay for. I helped pay for a revitalized park in Sodus Point. Also, this is Wayne county history..not just lyons. over 100 farmers all over the county raised peppermint to support this industry.

    Posted on Thu Dec 30, 01:38:00 PM EST

  19. Anonymous Said,

    Sara, I can't decide who you remind me of more, the buffoon editor of the Times of Wayne County, or the idiot Jon Fontaine of Marion. All three of you are narrow minded.

    Posted on Thu Dec 30, 02:15:00 PM EST

  20. Sarah Taft Said,

    Oh anon what part of NY IS BROKE do you not understand? THIS stupid projects are the reason we are BROKE. Not narrow minded a REALIST. We spend way too much money and time in the past when our FUTURE is in ruins before it even gets here.

    Oh and anon try to have a little GUTS and post your real name and try getting a clue.

    Posted on Thu Dec 30, 02:31:00 PM EST

  21. Tricia Noel Said,

    You are mistaken if you think the Board of Supervisors has not used the grant to protect taxpayers, or to do what "their constituents wanted of them." They do not deserve congratulations. They agreed to use the grant money to renovate the building, then chose not to do so. The money will go elsewhere; therefore, they "saving tax dollars" argument does not hold water. I have worked in museums and historical sites my entire adult life, and you would be surprised to see how many tourists go out of their way to visit these types of sites. Just because some of you consider it a waste of time and money, and wouldn't cross the street to visit it, doesn't mean that the rest of us share your disdain for history and culture. Something tells me that the non-Lyons people commenting on this thread would have no problem with tax dollars being spent in THEIR villages and towns!

    Posted on Thu Dec 30, 03:42:00 PM EST

  22. Anonymous Said,

    I drive by that building on an average of 5 times a day now if I see someone at that building once during the week it would be lucky. So you who think it is a great project lets do fund raising or donations to help pay for the county costs. Do this and I will be the first to wish you luck. Lets face it after this project will be fixing and saving the Park Bakery, then a trail along the canal, then a port in Lyons. Sarah run for office you have my vote

    Posted on Thu Dec 30, 04:09:00 PM EST

  23. Anonymous Said,

    To anonymous #22: Why would anyone be there now? The building is empty. The occupants cleared out for the promised renovations. The fact that no one hangs around an empty building during the day is hardly a good defense for not doing the renovations. Why are you so down on Lyons?

    Posted on Thu Dec 30, 04:19:00 PM EST

  24. Anonymous Said,

    #22 is a member of the "let's not do anything and see how fast we can re-build our local economy" group. Let's not reinvest in our community and see how low our taxes suddenly become!

    Posted on Thu Dec 30, 04:28:00 PM EST

  25. Anonymous Said,

    I am speaking of the past 15 year period at least. I love Lyons but unlike you I think the history of Lyons comes from the people that help establish it and have been part of its growth not an old building. But lets not talk about the people lets talk about old buidling.If I am not mistaken the Hotchkiss building is not the original place where peppermint was processed. Plus take a good look at the building it badly needs painting but all you people who love it haven't cared enough to maintain it over the years because your solution to everything seems to be taxpayers foot the bill. You don't have to agree with my opinion just like I don't have to agree with yours but I do have the right to an opinion. Don't I?

    Posted on Thu Dec 30, 04:36:00 PM EST

  26. Anonymous Said,

    Without saving those "old buildings" all you end up with are a bunch of parking lots and empty spaces. The people you talk about won't stick around because there will be nothing to stay for - no history, no culture, no heritage.

    Posted on Thu Dec 30, 04:44:00 PM EST

  27. scott bailey Said,

    Anonymous #25...the reason that the building looks like it does is because it has been in the "care" of Wayne county. No private citizen can just pick up a paint brush and start painting or repairing county, state or federal buildings. Wayne County does employ several maintenance people who care for other county buildings. Maybe your question should be directed to the county on why they have chosen to accept responsibility for the building and then let it fall in disrepair. The county is responsible for maintenance and upkeep on all of their buildings. I have spoken to Brian Manktelow concerning other county owned buildings and the responsibility of the maintenance for ALL county buildings rather used for storage or offices falls squarely on the shoulders for the county.

    Posted on Thu Dec 30, 06:50:00 PM EST

  28. Sarah Taft Said,

    Anon #26 in case you haven't noticed people aren't sticking around anyways. Wayne County lost 2500 people since last census.

    Gee wonder why that is? Maybe because we have the highest taxes or because of stupid decisions from the PAST!!

    Posted on Thu Dec 30, 06:52:00 PM EST

  29. Anonymous Said,

    Sara- Too bad 2501 people have not left Wayne County, with you being #2501

    Posted on Thu Dec 30, 07:24:00 PM EST

  30. Sarah Taft Said,

    29 why so insulting? Maybe if you are going to criticize people you should at least get their name right. SARAH!!

    It's easy to be a coward on line bet you'd pee your pants before opening your mouth in person.

    Posted on Thu Dec 30, 07:30:00 PM EST

  31. Anonymous Said,

    Lets all be civil here. This animosity is not going to help us save the building. I totally understand your feelings, # 29, but if we are more courteous here, no one will be upset...

    Posted on Thu Dec 30, 08:41:00 PM EST

  32. Anonymous Said,

    Maybe the best thing the county could do is give up ownership. Any takers?

    Posted on Thu Dec 30, 09:06:00 PM EST

  33. Anonymous Said,

    Someone thought this building was important enough to put it on the National Register. Just because some people don't care for history or value what the past can teach us, doesn't mean this is a "stupid project." The fact is, a museum would create some jobs, and people would come into Lyons to visit and most likely spend some money at local shops and restaurants. I would hardly call that stupid.

    Posted on Thu Dec 30, 10:10:00 PM EST

  34. S Millick Said,

    Another irony is, this project fits well with all the other exciting things happening in Lyons: the Main St program, promotion of the beautiful Ohmann Theatre, new community events. This is a structure with a unique past, and is part of the county's heritage, that should be preserved for reasons already cited by others here. All these together both improve quality of life for residents, and give reasons for others to visit, and return. I live in Macedon, and have come to Lyons as a destination many times in the past year either to attend events, or just walk around the area, spending money with local shops every time. This project should be recognized as part of the other efforts which are improving Lyons as well as the county.

    Posted on Fri Dec 31, 06:45:00 PM EST

  35. Anonymous Said,

    better example of how things should work is right there in Macedon where private individuals took it upon themselves to restore and reopen the theatre there. Just think weren't held hostage to grant deadlines, votes by politicians or expect taxpayers to pay the bill. Congrats to that couple and I wish them well. Everyone have a happy and safe New Year's Eve

    Posted on Fri Dec 31, 07:29:00 PM EST

  36. Peppermint Patty Said,

    Thanks S. Millick! It's nice to hear from our Western WC neighbors who appreciate what we are trying to do here in Lyons.

    To answer No. 32, we did just that! Last January, the County agreed to restore the building and then turn it over to the Village of Lyons. We are still hoping that will happen. We have done everything the County has asked us to do in order to save the building with its awarded grants. Patty Alena

    Posted on Sat Jan 01, 08:14:00 PM EST

  37. Seth C. Burgess Said,

    The Hotchkiss Building is such a great place. For any who haven't been there for a tour, I highly recommend checking out this video tour from August 2009:


    Posted on Sat Jan 01, 11:32:00 PM EST

  38. Anonymous Said,

    I am a little confused is the Hotchkiss building a great place to go see or is it place in need of a million dollar face lift? Peppermint Patty why not take ownership of the building now as is. Then make repairs by donations, fundraising, or volunteers. I might even help I am not against the building just against spending 100's of thousands of taxpayers dollars. Supervisors stick to your guns.

    Posted on Sun Jan 02, 01:28:00 AM EST

  39. Anonymous Said,

    #38 - really like your commitment..."I might even help..." This is exactly the reason why grants were sought out for this building...there are only so many willing, active and productive volunteers to go around. When was the last time you picked up a shovel, broom, paint brush or garbage bag to help make Lyons and the Canal look better? How much time will you spend helping the rest of us that have spent countless hours trying our best to make Lyons look better? How much money have you personally donated to help those that are trying to make a difference? Easy to say "I might even help..." - the proof is when you show up and do something productive.

    Posted on Sun Jan 02, 10:25:00 AM EST

  40. Anonymous Said,

    It is always the same people that show up to volunteer. Generally speaking, those that never give of their time or money are the ones that sit back and complain. You never see those that complain at any of the volunteer events nor do they ever have anything nice to say about the efforts of others. It would be nice if you offered to help every once in a while.

    Posted on Sun Jan 02, 10:33:00 AM EST

  41. Anonymous Said,

    Complaining about people who complain. Don't you just have to smile.

    Posted on Sun Jan 02, 11:13:00 AM EST

  42. Peppermint Patty Said,

    TEll me No. 38, would you go across the street if Santa Claus offered you some money? Or would you let Santa Claus go to another community and give that money to them, since you refused?? When the County Planner applied for grants for this building because she thought it was worthy, it WON, YES, WON the money!! It is taxpayers' money and can't be used anywhere else right now only on that building!! So just toss it away!! Let me ask you, have you ever taken a tour of the building to how worthy it is?? Do you know the history and how it relates to you and your family?? And, answering your first question, it is both!! The warehouse areas are unfit to show to the public and the building needs stabilizing and new plumbing, heating, handicap acess., etc. to make it into to a wonderful tourist/history preservation attraction, a very important part of Wayne County history. Do you have any idea how much money came into Lyons this past summer, just because of this building and the Canal??? Why not take ownership?? We made an agreement with the County to take ownership, once it is restored with grant money it WON!! Then it would be turned over to the village and us, Lyons Heritage Society to run. Come take a tour, I will personally give one to you!! AND, since you volunteered to help, donate money and become part of a fundraiser, I will call on you!! Peppermint Patty

    Posted on Sun Jan 02, 04:01:00 PM EST

  43. Anonymous Said,

    Gas prices going up again + lack of GOOD health insurance for many + pensions+ lack of cost of living wages increases + education mills cranking out bad educations with great loans. Makes the argument that capitilism is good for a society for awhile but, in the end it ends in two classes and not the middle. The money and social mobility stagnate. Leaving common folk hurt by the only thing they can control taxes.
    Grants are not the problem it is our whole society. We are angry as we realize the american dream was hijacked by human greed. At least those making fortunes have a little more in their pockets this year to invest.

    Posted on Sun Jan 02, 05:09:00 PM EST

  44. Sarah Taft Said,

    Gimme a break Peppermint Patty if there was so much money brought in by this then why do you need grants?

    The Board of Supervisors did exactly the right thing by getting out and NOT putting taxpayers on the hook for something MOST will never use.

    Again if LYONS wants it then let LYONS pay for it. NY is BROKE the few jobs this will bring will not help the MAJORITY of Wayne County residents. Why should ALL of residents pay for something that only LYONS wants?

    Posted on Sun Jan 02, 06:37:00 PM EST

  45. Seth C. Burgess Said,

    Let's agree that Lyons, NY is in Wayne County. Historical preservation across all Wayne County villages will absolutely benefit all residents of Wayne County in the future. Absolutely. It's crazy to entertain any doubt on that point.

    So let's not get that mixed up with the issue at hand--a grant promised to a certain historic structure that our administrators have failed to pay attention to.

    Posted on Sun Jan 02, 10:03:00 PM EST

  46. Sarah Taft Said,

    Your opinion Seth that it will benefit all of us. If we don't use it where's the benefit? It is foolish to think that this building will save Lyons when there is so much wrong there, I know I have family that lives there.

    Here is Sodus we just took over Camp Beechwood, VOLUNTEERS have stepped up to get done what needs to be done why can't that be done with this?

    Posted on Mon Jan 03, 06:15:00 AM EST

  47. Anonymous Said,

    Are you and your family blind, Sarah? Can you not see the changes that have been made in Lyons over the past several years? Those changes WERE made by VOLUNTEERS!!!! No one is saying that the Hotchkiss Building alone is going to save us! It is a piece, one piece, of a sum total of things to help build a better business and tourism environment. How could you have missed all of the positive press about Lyons in the local papers over the past several years? There have been articles about the Canal clean-ups and plantings, waterfront boater improvements, the festivals, the new businesses that have opened, the Bronze Medal won by the Lyons Central School District and lower crime statistics. We didn't get that press by doing nothing - hard work went into that. How much did you family contribute to that effort?

    Posted on Mon Jan 03, 12:55:00 PM EST

  48. Sarah Taft Said,

    Um excuse me anon as a rule I don't usually answer people who are so freaking rude especially when they have no guts to sign their name. I DO NOT LIVE IN LYONS so why would I contribute anything to it why would I even care about it. Tell me do you care about other towns and come in help them? I've read the press about Lyons good for it.

    Good for everyone's hard work now apply it to the Hotchkiss building and quit whining about the lack of grant money.

    Posted on Mon Jan 03, 02:11:00 PM EST

  49. scott bailey Said,

    Sarah... you wrote that while you don't live here, you have family that lives here, you might want to read over what you write.

    Do you understand that Lyons isn’t the only community that receives grants

    The Finger Lakes Regional Planning Council in conjunction with the Village of Palmyra just received a grant in the amount of $54,500 to prepare a guidebook to explore issues, obstacles and revitalization opportunities… will this grant be taken to task by you as well?

    How about the grant that was given for the Sodus lighthouse…were you outraged by that as well or do you live in Sodus? What community do you live in Sarah? Were you outraged that Lyons received a grant a year or two ago to replace water lines in Lyons? Or maybe its just an axe to grind about the Hotchkiss building…or maybe the grants that the county received for the building… were you there to voice your opposition? Just because you don’t live here doesn’t mean that the grants that were sought after by the county are not worthy. Those in Lyons will fight for what is important to them, just like every other community in this county.

    We have enough negativism here in Wayne county….maybe if we all worked for the good for communities and just not those that we live in. What is good for Sodus is good for Wayne county…what is good for Palmyra is good for Wayne County…and what is good for Lyons, Newark and Clyde is also good for Wayne county… any revenue that is generated and added to the coffers in Wayne County is for the good of Wayne County.

    Scott Bailey/ village of lyons

    Posted on Mon Jan 03, 05:49:00 PM EST

  50. Anonymous Said,

    How I read Sarah's post is that it concerns her when you want county tax money. Right?

    Posted on Mon Jan 03, 07:09:00 PM EST

  51. scott bailey Said,

    Then Sarah needs to address her issues to Wayne County Board of Supervisors. If the board stops all grants, you can bet that the amount that the money that the county will have to spend will be a lot more than $106,000.00 because they want to back out. If they continue on with the remaining three grants their out of pocket expenses will be less than half of the $106,000.00. You tell me what makes more sense? the issue is with the Board of Supervisors...not with the people of Lyons... Like i said, contact the Wayne county Board of Supervisors or read any of the articles that have been in the press... the county will be over a barrel and will be a lot more costly if they don't continue with the grants.

    Posted on Mon Jan 03, 07:36:00 PM EST

  52. Sarah Taft Said,

    Well Scott I don't have a problem with grants that are used for water lines or public Safety and the like. Not all grants are created equal. I do not approve of spending money on NON ESSENTIAL things which is what the Hotchkiss building is the majority of Wayne County doesn't care about it.
    In case you hadn't noticed Scott our economy is in the tank we need REAL solutions to help our future and this building isn't one of them.
    Sorry if you don't like my answer but personally it's just a waste of public money and frankly wasting money is what got us in this position we are in as a whole. oh and for the record I don't approve of the Palmyra thing either.

    Posted on Tue Jan 04, 06:01:00 AM EST

  53. Anonymous Said,

    I agree with Sarah on the fact that non- essentials are not what public money should be for. I am also unconvinced about the need for saving this building. Grants should have more studies to see if it would create a reasonable return on the tax payers money down the road.

    What is next I heard Trombino's is closing!!! Grant for historic eatery.
    I agree with one other post. It is good schools that bring families.

    Posted on Tue Jan 04, 04:30:00 PM EST

  54. Kirsta DeWolf Said,

    The Hotchkiss Building is probably a valuable asset to the Lyons community: people on both sides of this question - to restore or not to restore - probably make good points. Those against restoration on the public dime don't like the use of taxpayer dollars to make million dollar renovations to an old storefront-turned-museum that doesn't even have posted hours. Consider also the loss of nearly 2500 people in Wayne County's population over the last 10 years as companies have closed, and caused the local economy to go south. Those in favor of restoration believe that the heritage of the building and its unequivocal importance to life in Wayne County more than makes up for any potential cost to our 91,000 residents.

    OK, I think I have the argument down.

    I have nothing against history, particularly Lyons’ history. I do believe, however, that endeavors costing a million dollars (grant money or not) should not be undertaken lightly, wantonly, or without serious and thoughtful consideration. There have been continuous, very passionate pleas on behalf of saving this building from ruin and decay.

    Passionate pleas don’t pay the rent: time for some common sense.

    First of all, grant money isn't free. The money you steal from Peter is the same money used to pay Paul: it just comes from more "Peters".

    Secondly, if this endeavor is so beneficial to the residents of Wayne County and so important to its history, then there should be no problem with the passionate and ardent supporters plunking down their own money and taking over the Hotchkiss Building as a private museum; rather like the foundation that runs the Guggenheim and the artists and philanthropists who started The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City did.

    Finally, the thought of increasing tourism in Lyons by creating wholesome, Capra-esque community with the restoration of this charming building is a very nice thought. The height of peppermint production in Lyons, though, was temporary (as was, incidentally, the commercial use of the Erie Canal.) The story of peppermint, Lyons’ temporary and former renown, and a romantic hankering for the “good old days” by a few has created a frenzied atmosphere that absolutely demands preservation of every root and twig, (and cedar shingle) reminder of those days, with no room for dissent of any kind!

    Those of us who would like to strike a balance between sentiment and realism, and would like our tax money to be spent responsibly on necessary services like law enforcement and maintenance of our infrastructure, have been dismissed, scorned, ridiculed and belittled. Instead of useful discussion, the conversation has deteriorated to name-calling and mockery. But, there are other ways to approach a problem. There are also other possible solutions, without treating the Board of Supervisors like a den of vipers. For those absolutely determined to save this building, brainstorming some ideas, presenting alternatives to the Supervisors, working together – yes, even with those who disagree with you – may earn you and your endeavor more supporters and financial backing than the current bitter climate ever would.

    Posted on Tue Jan 04, 10:57:00 PM EST

  55. Jerry Ashley Said,

    53 - I hope you have supported, and will continue to support, Trombino's and all of our local businesses.

    Posted on Wed Jan 05, 09:04:00 PM EST

  56. Seth C. Burgess Said,

    Kirsta DeWolf--your comment has now been published (see #54). The automatic spam detection erroneously marked your message. I apologize on behalf of WayneCountyLife.com and thank you for your thoughtful response.

    Posted on Wed Jan 05, 10:12:00 PM EST

  57. scott bailey Said,


    I am in agreement with you on many levels with what you wrote, though you may find that surprising. But there are a couple points of interest that I think that everyone seems to be missing on that are of vital importance. I am not writing this to say neither be for it or be against it the Hotchkiss restoration. I am writing this for the cold hard facts that if the Board of Supervisors backs away from this project that it will cost the county taxpayers plenty.

    Of course grant money is not free. A portion of our state and federal dollars goes into grant programs ranging from historical preservation to bridge projects, school projects, and water municipalities even something as obscure as salmon enhancement projects on the west coast. Whether its right or wrong is not for me to say, it’s just a fact.

    Approximately five years ago the Board of Supervisors directed Sharon Lilla to find and apply for grants for the restoration of the Hotchkiss Bldg. Ms. Lilla found and submitted application for the grants under the direction of the Board of Supervisors and in the end received four federal and state funded grants for the restoration. All grants are written with specific instructions on how the money is to be spent; there are also penalties if the grants are not followed OR if the grants stopped midway through the process.

    The state and federal governments don’t just hand out money and say, spend it how you see fit. The details of the grants must be followed exactly or the grant will be null and void and the party who received the grant will be left hold the bag so to speak and required to pay any and all fee and penalties resulting from not following through on the grant.

    By allowing the first grant to expire, the county, as of right now, will owe approximately $106,000.00 for the architects, drawings and misc. fees. If the remaining grants expire the amount will rise. When questioning a supervisor, he was unsure of that exact total but knew it would be higher than the $106,000.00. If the grants are continued to resume, the amount the county will have to pay out of their pocket will be about $50,000.00. Still no small sum, but hopefully this will enlighten the Board of Supervisors that when they agree to seek out and apply for grants in the future that they do so knowing full well that the grants must be used in a timely manner. If the project is completely terminated, who knows how much the county will have to pay.

    Lyons peppermint history was not a passing fancy that lasted a couple of years. From 1843 until 1982, Lyons was the home of the Hotchkiss Essential Oils Company…that is roughly 139 years, not including the 8 years that the new owners of the company stayed in Lyons before moving it back to their headquarters in Indiana. The Erie Canal, which opened in 1825, remained in use for about 80 years until the railroads took over for moving goods and people. I looked up on the Finger Lake Alliance website and they report over 2.7 billion in tourism dollars is dropped in the Finger Lakes region annually.

    Maybe the Board of Supervisors will be more careful in what it asks for.

    Posted on Thu Jan 06, 11:45:00 PM EST

  58. Anonymous Said,

    Couple points will start with a question. Why are you bringing data from the Fingerlakes Alliance website? First I don't believe Wayne County is in the Fingerlakes area. To check I went to the website and looked under counties and funny thing Wayne County isn't listed. Not to mention that there is no fingerlake in our county.

    Posted on Fri Jan 07, 08:36:00 AM EST

  59. Anonymous Said,

    Seneca Lake (one of the Finger Lakes) is 10 miles south. I would certainly call that "in the area". Lyons is connected to Seneca Lake by a canal and maybe boaters will use it to visit Lyons. The point is if the Finger Lakes are drawing that kind of money, then, by nature of our proximity, there is potential for Lyons to tap into it. The whole Canal is experiencing a renewed interest - look to our east to Fairport as one good example. I say noting ventured, nothing gained.

    Posted on Fri Jan 07, 11:16:00 PM EST

  60. Anonymous Said,

    oops! I meant "look to our WEST to Fairport"! My mistake!

    Posted on Fri Jan 07, 11:27:00 PM EST

  61. Seth C. Burgess Said,

    Wayne County is in fact part of the Finger Lakes Region, as determined by New York State Tourism. There's a map available for any interested in checking (map).

    Also, the Finger Lakes Alliance website also confirms Wayne County as part of the Finger Lakes Region (interactive map). The reason you don't see Wayne listed in the county listing is because our own county tourism department decided not to pay to be a member of the Finger Lakes Alliance organization (deemed not enough bang for the taxpayer's buck...).

    Posted on Sat Jan 08, 12:00:00 AM EST


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