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News stories tagged with "government"

State Says Towns Overpay For Snowplows

A new audit issued by the state comptroller's office has found that north country towns are paying tens of thousands of dollars too much for new snow plows. Alan Hevesi blamed the over-spending on a flawed bidding system used by local governments. The report found that several towns failed to buy their new trucks from the lowest bidder. Brian Mann has details.  Go to full article

Ottawa Adresses Urban-Rural Divide

When Ottawa was re-drawn to incorporate neighboring townships in 2001, the city that emerged was equivalent in size to all of New York's Clinton County. Roughly 90 percent of the new city's population resides in urban settings, while 90 percent of the land area remains rural. Centralization produced rural resentment that decisions were being made by a downtown bureaucracy which seemed culturally, and physically, remote. Responding to mounting frustrations, Ottawa Mayor Bob Chiarelli eventually called for a rural summit, which was held last week. Ottawa's City Council has followed up by earmarking two million dollars to fund summit-identified priorities. The two-day event wound up over the weekend. Lucy Martin filed this report.  Go to full article

Ottawa Brings Rural and Urban Together

In the late 90's, the Province of Ontario decided there were significant cost-savings to be found in municipal amalgamation. In 2001, the province ordered 11 historically-independent cities and townships to consolidate. They did, making an expanded City of Ottawa. The "forced marriage" has not gone smoothly.
While the majority of the new city's population lives in the urban core, almost 92 percent of the total area remains rural. A chorus of complaints has risen. Rural residents say they've lost services - and access to their representatives. Meanwhile, they now live with city-style rules and bureaucracy. Many of the old townships had carefully-guarded budget surpluses, while the new City of Ottawa has seen tax increases and chronic budget shortfalls. This week, Ottawa hosted a long-planned "Rural Summit" to bring urban and rural together. Lucy Martin reports.  Go to full article

Region Fights Barriers to Emergency Communications

New York State will pay a Massachusetts company $2 billion to build a statewide emergency communications system. The same company, Macom Incorporated, developed parts of the network in Louisiana that failed during Hurricane Katrina. State officials say New York's radio network will be built to withstand natural and manmade disasters. The project comes as North Country counties struggle to improve radio service for local emergency crews. As Brian Mann reports, the big hurdles are mountains, environmental regulations, and the lack of coordination between different agencies.  Go to full article
Great Sacandaga, a HRBRRD reservoir
Great Sacandaga, a HRBRRD reservoir

River Agency May Close Albany Office

The Hudson River Black River Regulating District may be forced to close its Albany office and cut staff. Regulating District officials say their office in Watertown will remain open. The state authority that controls north country dams and reservoirs faces a growing budget shortfall. Brian Mann reports.  Go to full article
Nobel laureate John Fenn
Nobel laureate John Fenn

Nobel Laureate: Money Hurting Science Ed.

A Nobel prize winner is on campus at Clarkson University today. John Fenn is a research professor at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. He was awarded the Nobel prize for chemistry in 2002 for a pioneering technique for weighing large biological molecules. Fenn's career spans more than fifty years. During that time, he's seen government funding of scientific research increase dramatically. He'll give a lecture at Clarkson about how the money has affected science education. David Sommerstein spoke with him yesterday.  Go to full article
St. Lawrence County's aging jail
St. Lawrence County's aging jail

Counties Bear Burden of Incarceration

The population in New York's county jails is rising fast, by almost 25% in the last five years. It comes at a time when state officials are pressuring counties to close aging facilities. The result is an explosion in new jail construction. In the North Country, the price tag will well exceed a hundred millions dollars. Warren and Washington counties have opened new jails in the past two years. St. Lawrence, Essex, Herkimer, and Clinton counties are in the planning stages. As David Sommerstein reports, the costs of building the new facilities and housing inmates will fall on local taxpayers.  Go to full article

T.I. Bridge Authority Praised for Strong Governance

State Comptroller Alan Hevesi yesterday gave a clean bill of health to the binational authority that operates the Thousand Islands Bridge and Boldt Castle. The positive audit comes as scandals have rocked other New York State authorities. Governor Pataki has promised to overhaul the system. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article
NYRA's Saratoga Springs track
NYRA's Saratoga Springs track

New York Racing Authority, ORDA Face Audits

Another of Governor Pataki's state authorities has come under fire for poor management and inappopriate spending. In an audit released yesterday, state comptroller Alan Hevesi slammed the New York Racing Association for wasting more than a million dollars. As Brian Mann reports, the comptroller's office has also begun an audit of the Olympic Regional Development Authority.  Go to full article
Protesters in front of the Peace Tower. Source: Indy Media-Ottawa.
Protesters in front of the Peace Tower. Source: Indy Media-Ottawa.

President Visits Ottawa

Prime Minister Paul Martin says Canada and the U-S will work together to improve security between the two countries. The P-M made the comments after meeting with President Bush yesterday. President Bush received a boisterous ovation at a state dinner in his honor last night in Gatineau, Quebec. He praised Canada as a loyal and close friend. At least 10 anti-Bush demonstrators were arrested during brief clashes with riot police in Ottawa yesterday. Scuffles broke out as dozens of police in riot gear and gas masks used shields to hold back protesters. The clashes marred a day of otherwise peaceful protests. Reporter Karen Kelly talked to people on the streets of Ottawa about the visit and their hopes for U.S.-Canada relations.  Go to full article

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