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October 16, 2020 Issue  
Lansing, New York  
Volume 16, Issue 41

posticon $404,170 Grant To Bring Broadband to Lansing Power Plant Site

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ARC Grant Internet Lansing

Tompkins County Area Development announced Wednesday that it has been awarded a $404,170 Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) grant to bring a 17-mile long fiber broadband trunk extension from Ithaca to the future location of a  data center in Lansing.  The Internet trunk line is a crucial element in converting the now-closed coal-fired power plant in the north-west of the Town into a state of the art 100 MW cloud data center, and may bring high speed Internet to under-served areas in Lansing.

"As we have seen during this pandemic, access to the Internet is critically important. Businesses, first responders, healthcare institutions, schools, and, of course, residents, need a more reliable, high speed, lifeline to the rest of the world,” said Tompkins County Area Development President Heather McDaniel, CEcD. "Safety and economic prosperity are increasingly dependent upon this resource, which has been lacking in much of Tompkins County. Tompkins County Area Development is excited to announce it has received a $404,170 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission to support a 17-mile extension of fiber optic cable from Ithaca along the east side of Cayuga Lake to the former Cayuga Coal Plant. "This ‘middle mile’ fiber will ultimately enable the delivery of high-speed internet service that has been sorely needed by residents and businesses in Tompkins County."

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posticon How a State Wildlife Area in North-west Lansing Might Happen

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v16i41 Bell Station - Natural Area, State Park, or Solar
Bell Station

Last week Finger Lakes Land Trust Executive Director Andrew Zepp met with the Town of Lansing Conservation Advisory Council to discuss how a proposal for a 100 to 200 megawatt solar facility would impact a possible state park on what is now the NYSEG-owned Bell Station property -- about 490 acres with the largest undeveloped shoreline on Cayuga Lake, amounting to 3,500 feet -- in the north-west of the Town.  Zepp said that if the Cayuga Solar project (with sPower developing the project) takes a couple of hundred acres of Bell Station land for a solar array, there wouldn't be enough land for a state forest -- the only way the Town could receive tax payments from New York State.  But he said he wants to explore whether the Town would still want tax payments from the State if it can negotiate a lucrative benefit package with the solar developers.

"About half of the Bell Station property is wooded, shoreline and bluff; and about half is leased corn and soybeans, maybe some hay," Zepp said. "I have had conversations with several folks in Lansing. One is what does the community feel about this? But two... typically larger solar farms have a significant host benefit compensation package. And there's a fundamental question is if the Town supported a solar farm that included the field phones, would it feel differently about the necessity of having Payment In Lieu Of Taxes (PILOT) on the shoreline, which would now be difficult if not impossible, if you don't have the couple of hundred acres that the solar folks want."

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posticon Health Department Announces First COVID-19 Death in Tompkins County

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tc healthdept600

(Ithaca, NY – October 12, 2020) – The Tompkins County Health Department received notification of a confirmed COVID-19 death, the first of a Tompkins County resident. The individual was admitted to Cayuga Medical Center on October 6th, and passed away from complications related to the disease on October 12th. The individual was an elderly hospitalized patient. To maintain medical privacy, the Health Department will not be releasing additional information at this time.

“Our deepest sympathy goes out to the family affected by this loss. This passing is a difficult reminder that COVID-19 is still having serious impacts on our community,” stated Frank Kruppa, Tompkins County Public Health Director. “I urge everyone to pay careful attention to what we can all do to stop the spread. While our ability to manage the disease in Tompkins County has increased, we’re tragically reminded that COVID-19 disproportionately impacts older adults, those who are immune-compromised and those with underlying health conditions.”

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posticon Residents Asking for Industrial Solar Mitigations

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Industrial Solar in Lansing

Solar energy has long been an issue in Lansing, first with residential solar panels, then in 2018 the 5MW Nexamp community solar project was proposed.  After around a year of deliberation the Town Board passed a local Solar and Wind law last July.  Almost immediately after the law was passed two industrial solar projects were proposed that together could account for as much as 360 megawatts of solar energy.

But those projects need land... lots of land, and while Lansing supports solar projects for the most part, some residents are worried about the impact of large solar projects that are constructed near their homes.  One of those residents is Tompkins County Legislator Mike Sigler (Lansing), who said Tuesday that he is starting a campaign and petition to mitigate the impacts of these huge projects on residential properties in Lansing.

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posticon Plastic Bag Ban Begins Next Monday

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plasticbags

The Bag Waste Reduction Law, often referred to as a plastic bag ban, prohibits the distribution of plastic carryout bags by anyone required to collect New York State sales tax. More information about the law can be found at the NYS DEC website.

A local law is also in effect that applies a $.05 fee to all paper bags provided to customers of retail establishments in Tompkins County. This incentivizes the repeated use of durable, reusable bags. The fee does not apply to recipients of SNAP and WIC. Part of the revenue from the paper bag fee is used towards distributing reusable bags to lower income residents.

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posticon New York 23rd in Political Engagement

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Source: WalletHub


New York ranked squarely in the middle of politically engaged states in a new Wallethub analysis, ranking 23rd of the 50 states. The state ranked 47th lowest in percent of registered voters in 2016 presidential election, 40th in the percent of the electorate who voted in 2018 midterm elections, and 43rd in the percent of the electorate who voted in 2016 presidential election. But New York ranked number one in total political contributions per adult population.

The analysis found that blue states are more politically engaged than red states with an average ranking of 18.2 for blue states, and 30.37 for red, where a lower number indicates more political engagement.

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posticon Lansing Hosts Special Mobile Food Pantry Event

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Mobile Food pantry in Lansing

With restrictions due to COVID-19 limiting what organizations can do, TC3 was not able to host a mobile food pantry event for the Food Bank of the Southern Tier (FBST) this month.  FBST reached out and the Lansing Food Pantry stepped up to make the event happen.

"We are very lucky we have the parking lot to make this a success," says Lansing Food Pantry Director Toni Adams.  "We have 18 volunteers as well the FBST people.  We’re all little nervous about hosting this, however, everyone feels excited and very confident we can make this work."

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