Many questions will have to be answered next year, following a proposal to close facilities that cater to mental health issues, in Binghamton, Elmira & the north country.  State Senator Tom Libous of Binghamton comments:


(Libous 12-18-13)


Libous said that if necessary, he has legislation, co-sponsored by Cliff Crouch in the Assembly, to call for a freeze on the closing of mental health facilities until 2015, if these questions can not be adequately answered.


State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli announced that state payments to vendors, municipalities, school districts and others are now available at openbooknewyork.com.  The website is updated daily to include approximately 10,000 new payments the Comptroller’s office processes each business day.  Nearly 50,000 state contracts and amendments can also be searched, along with major spending areas for state agencies. DiNapoli said that additional updates are expected this spring.


Binghamton City Police responded to a robbery at the Dollar General on Clinton Street shortly after noon today.  Binghamton police initial reports said that no weapon was displayed, this suspect was described as a  white or light-skinned black male, 5 foot 7, wearing a black coat and dark hooded sweatshirt with a purple scarf over his face. Binghamton police are currently investigating 9 robberies, 4 other cases are open in Johnson City, Chenango and Fenton in the last few weeks.


Voters in the Deposit school district voted on 3 propositions for a 2.7 Million dollar Capital Project.  The project calls for a new security booth at the elementary school, a new track and football field, baseball and hockey facilities, and renovations to an art room at the middle and high school.  All 3 propositions were approved by an almost 2 to 1 margin for the project itself, for land acquisition and for the establishment of a capital reserve fund.


Governor Cuomo is supporting the minority position of his own tax commission for providing a property tax credit to renters, with most of the breaks earmarked for New York City tenants. Cuomo’s commission supported his goal of reducing property taxes upstate and in the New York City suburbs, where residents pay some of the nation’s highest taxes. Cuomo said that he would also push for a future tax credit for renters statewide.


Norse Energy filed a lawsuit in state Supreme Court in Albany late Tuesday, the court papers challenge whether referring the review to the state Health Commissioner Dr. Nirav Shah was permissible under state law, or was it a politically motivated delay.  The lawsuit seeks to force the DEC into finalizing its 5 ½ year review on the High-volume Hydraulic fracturing process to extract natural gas.


Details have been released regarding the projects that are getting funded through the Regional Council awards announced last week by Governor Cuomo.  In Delaware County,  $1,3 million dollars will go for the Town of Margaretville to construct of a new hotel at the site of the already existing Margaretville Motel.  Also, $850,000 will go for the County IDA to acquire and renovate a former water bottling plant for the purpose of developing a manufacturing facility to attract new private sector investment and job creation.


The New York Power Authority board of trustees approved the authority’s 2014 budget that continues to invest in its 16 power plants and transmission facilities, and in its energy efficiency projects at local and state government facilities statewide.  The 2014 operating plan includes a budget of 379.3 million and an energy services budget of 222.3 million.  For more information go to nypa.gov.


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