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Waterville, New York

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April 22, 2015 Front Page Headlines

Cooking Up A Winner
Tracy Leone admits she was worried when the judges asked for another taste. “I wasn’t sure if they found something they didn’t like and were trying to figure it out, or what they were thinking. We didn’t see them ask for seconds from anyone else,’’ said Leone, who is the business administrator for the Waterville Central School District. One word from a judge cleared up the mystery. “He went, ‘Wow,’’’ Leone said. First-time Junior Iron Chefs from Waterville High School took first place at a regional competition in Oneonta earlier this month. Their falafel recipe won first place over the seven other schools in their category, which included three culinary schools. Waterville’s junior chefs - Aiden Yager, Paige Neff, John-Michael Oaksford and Indy Neidhart - had to follow strict time, ingredient and preparation rules. Mike Latreille, owner of Michael’s Restaurant, worked with the students to perfect the recipe. The restaurant also sponsored students to participate in the competition. Students also worked with Leone and Tiffany McConn, WCS’s Farm to School coordinator, to develop a recipe that incorporated local and commodity items. Their recipe includes 20 items, excluding herbs or seasonings, of which 11 are listed as local foods and three are listed as commodity foods. Additionally the falafel meets all the federal national school lunch requirements and can be replicated to fit in a school lunch menu. BOCES provided equipment and technical support to students. Competitors at the event made soups, lasagna, stews, burritos and desserts. For the Complete Article, Click Here to Subscribe!

Fire Destroys Barn, Milkhouse
Donna Green put her oats on the stove in water to soak for oatmeal. She planned to have breakfast last Tuesday morning following the morning milking at the farm she and her husband Pete operate on Green Road. Pete Green had left to drive home one of the men who work on the farm. Donna was alone when her phone rang. On the call, Tom Simchik of Oneida-Madison Milk Producers Co-op told her the Co-op’s driver, Robert Brown, saw something not right when he was just there to pick up the milk. “Tom said, he thinks your barn is on fire,’’ Donna Green said. She ran outside and into the barn, where the farm’s 100 cows and calves were settling in after the morning’s activities. In the connecting milkhouse, she saw flames coming out of the vacuum pump and setting fire to the hay in the loft above. Green ran back to the house and called 911, explaining her barn was on fire and she was alone and needed help immediately. By then flames were advancing toward the barn with the cows inside. Her first thought was to get the cows out and to safety. Green said she and Pete, whose family began the farm in the late 1800s, have never bought a cow, instead breeding their own through generations of milkers. Green opened the barn’s back door and began pushing cows toward the door. For the Complete Article, Click Here to Subscribe!

A More Challenging Mudfest

Willly Wonka and the Chocolate Factory await participants near the end of the course in the third annual Daniel Barden Highland Mudfest. But as course designer Dan Williams promises, people will find the end, and some of the beginning and middle, of the course less than a sweet walk in the woods. “Oh yea,’’ said Williams of the obstacles placed along MKJ Farm in Deansboro, “it’s not going to be easy.’’ Never has been. But still, hundreds have come, and are expected again Saturday, to challenge themselves, have fun and raise money in the memory of Daniel Barden. Daniel, 7, was one of the first graders killed in December 2012 in a school shooting in Newtown, Conn. His family lives next door to Williams’ sister, Karin, and her family. The course runs through the hills and woods on the farm similar to the first two years. The 5-miler and 5K share a start and finish. This year, the finish area has been redesigned to allow people better viewing to cheer the participants to the end. Mudders will come down the hill near Hughes Road and have a series of obstacles concluding the event, including carrying wood and a rope climb. For the Complete Article, Click Here to Subscribe!

Village Budget Decreases
The 2015-16 Village of Waterville budget decreases $37,000 from this year’s. The new budget of $959,505 goes into effect June 1. The village will also use $127,595 of its fund balance, a decrease of about $43,000 from what was used this year. Revenue from the county sales tax is up $5,000, but the fire contract revenue drops by $12,800. Overall, revenue is expected to increase $4,000. For expenses, the clerk/treasurer salary increases $3,000. Expenses for the Waterville Fire Department, such as equipment, drops by about $23,500. The village did fund street maintenance equipment for $6,500 after not funding it this year, although $36,000 was reduced for the skid steer expenses. Street paving will have another $29,000 and garage grounds was funded for $10,000, while not being funded this year. Salaries for refuse and garbage increase by $10,000, which is the amount tipping fee costs was reduced. A public hearing last week on the budget saw one resident attend.

WCS Tax Hike At 2.5%
The Waterville Board of Education settled on a 2.5 percent tax increase for next school year’s budget. Board members last week put the final touches to the budget, which comes in at $16.72 million. While some little-used items were eliminated or reduced, the board also put funds in for the specific goal of adding to educational enhancement. How to produce a budget fair to all took up much of the board’s one-hour discussion. “At a 2 percent hike how do we grow program,’’ said board member Russell Stewart. “But we also have to be responsible to taxpayers. I don’t know how to do both.’’ Under the state’s tax cap formula, Waterville’s budget could increase taxes by slightly over 4 percent. Board members never seriously considered that type of increase, but kept the range from 2 to 3 percent. The tax increase, plus using reserves from specific accounts and unallocated savings, all combined to eliminate the expected gap between expenses and revenues next year. This year, for the second year in a row, Waterville will run a budget deficit. For the 2015-16 budget, the board made $121,000 in reductions. “To take that money and use it to grow our program, that would be something,’’ Stewart said. Going from a 2 percent to a 2.5 percent tax hike added $22,000 to the budget. For the Complete Article, Click Here to Subscribe!


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The Waterville Times
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