Friday, November 21, 2008

Holidays in the Hamlet 2008

Please join the Sidney Center Improvement Group in welcoming the holiday season with our "Holidays in the Hamlet" festivities! We encourage everyone, adults and children alike to come enjoy the many events that are have planned for the evening. Gifts, special guest appearances, tree lighting, and a parade are among the festivities to take place. See you there!!

Schedule of Events -- Friday, December 5th, 2008

Sidney Center Library (new location)
>Events: The Sidney Center Library has moved into a new location and will be holding their Open House for the community to enjoy the new facility! Gather at the library for a special visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus - who will be bringing gifts for all that are nice!

From the Sidney Center Library to the corner next to the firehouse
>Events: Santa will arrive at the Library on his special fire truck sleigh - at which point the children can join him in a parade down Main Street to participate in the tree lighting ceremony! We will sing in the holiday season with carols and light the beautifully decorated tree as the centerpiece of the Holidays in the Hamlet.

Sidney Center Fire Hall
>Events: Following the tree lighting - we will move to the fire hall for even more festivities! Children will have the chance to sit on Santa's lap and tell him what they want for Christmas. The children may also get a free picture with Santa provided by the Sidney Center Improvement Group! Also, more fun will take place in the fire hall such as:
-And more!

We hope to see you at this years Holidays in the Hamlet!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

*PRESS RELEASE* Stream Assessment Project


Trained Volunteers Assess Stream Beds On Saturday, Sept 13 at 8 am at the Sidney Center Firehall

Sidney Center, NY, September 8, 2008 – The Sidney Center Improvement Group (SCIG) continue their efforts in restoring the streams following the devastation of the 2006 floods.

With the assistance of the National Parks Service, local volunteers trained by the Izaak Walton League will assess the stream beds of Carr’s Creek and Willow Brook as well as some tributaries. The assessment will take place on September 13th at 8am initially meeting at the Sidney Center Fire Hall.

“The National Parks Service has been instrumental in providing us crucial materials and GPS devices that will truly help us assess the condition of the stream bed and banks,” says Joe Lally, president of SCIG. “This assessment is strictly to identify problem areas and solve them without any penalty or financial burden on the landowner. We urge our neighbors to take part in this important community project.”

Volunteers will collect data for this project which will be used to apply for grants to rectify problems associated with excessive flooding and poor water quality. In addition to the Parks Service and the Izaak Walton League, the Sidney High School will participate in the project as well.

For more information, please visit our website:

Contact: Joe Lally

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Saturday, September 6th - 9am-4pm --> Water Quality Training @ Sidney Center Firehall

Sunday, September 7th - 1pm-5pm --> Watershed Stream Assessment Training @ Maywood Depot

Saturday, September 13th - All Day --> Carr's Creek Watershed Stream Assessment

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Carr’s Creek Watershed Project Planning Continues…

The Sidney Center Improvement Group in conjunction with Wink Hasting from the National Parks Service facilitated another planning meeting for the Carr’s Creek Watershed Project. The project will include stream assessment and water quality monitoring of Carr’s Creek as well as Willow Brook and several other unnamed tributaries all located in Sidney Center and the Town of Sidney. The project is moving forward with the assessment to take place in mid-September.

The project is a big leap forward in restoring and preserving the integrity of the streambeds as well as the quality of the water, which has been compromised due to many existing issues made worse by the 2006 floods. With many outside organizations already on board with the project – such as the Izaak Walton League (, the Sidney High School Flood Forecasting & Hydrologic Monitoring Program, and other local organizations - the project is sure to produce worthwhile results for the community. The success of this effort also depends on the cooperation and support of landowners and residents of the areas in which the streams affect.

The S.C.I.G. encourages anyone interested in helping with this effort to please call, email, or attend one of our planning meetings. The next planning meeting is scheduled for July 22 @ 6:30 PM in the Sidney Center Firehall.

*Important Dates:
>Training for Stream Assessment & Water Quality Monitoring (open to anyone interested in assisting in the Watershed Project) – Saturday/Sunday, September 6/7 – Time TBD
>Street Assessment of Carr’s Creek, Willow Brook and unnamed tributaries – Saturday/Sunday, September 13-14 – Time TBD.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Where Did All These Flower Barrels Come From!?

"In April of 2006 a community workshop was held in Sidney Center with the help of the Catskill Center for Conservation & Development with hopes of improving the quality of life in the hamlet. With their assistance, we applied for a Micro Main Street Grant. Through the generous support of Senator John Bonasic, we received funding for the barrels and the flowers in the Spring of 2006. There are 36 barrels in all - 34 along Main Street and 2 at the Maywood Depot. My personal philosophy at that time was that with small steps of visible progress, larger things could happen here in the hamlet. Now in 2008, with the enthusiastic help of our community, I feel that potential has a real chance of being realized. This year we received a very generous donation from Steve Ross to help with purchasing the flowers - the Sidney Center Improvement group would like to extend their sincere appreciation to Steve and thanks him for supporting our cause!"
--Submitted by Jessica Farrell - Beautification Committee, S.C.I.G.--

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Taking A Chance…And Succeeding!

By Michael Sellitti
I think we all have to take a chance at some point. Sometimes it’s a risky chance; sometimes it’s a no-brainer. Either way, I think chance is very important part of life – allowing for the opportunity to think critically by weighing the pros and cons of taking said chance.

However, I’m sure many people don’t consider the possibilities of taking a chance prior to doing so. For some – luck is on their side and we can’t argue with luck because we all wish for it and when it does come we embrace every bit of it. For other’s it’s not so easy – it’s back to reality and hoping for that next opportunity. Hope being the key word – it’s what carries us on regardless of the outcome because it’s hope that got us there in the first place, and intuition that gave us that extra nudge to follow through. Hope and intuition is what I believe to be the perfect recipe for succeeding at taking a chance – even when you lose. So, when it doesn’t always work out as planned, we hope for the next time to take a chance, and maybe then, things will fall in our favor.

The reason I decided to analyze this notion of chance is because I saw many people take one, or two, or even three or more chances at the Sidney Center Improvement Group’s “Take A Chance” raffle. I saw many people who had chance on their side – I saw many more that didn’t. Unfortunately someone’s gotta win, someone’s gotta lose…the raffle that is. But believe it or not, everyone came out victorious at this raffle, in a different sort of way. This community event had significant importance whether everyone in attendance realized it or not. By participating in this raffle, everyone was contributing to a greater cause, which in my book puts them in the category of victor.

The Sidney Center Improvement Group, Inc. – a non-profit community activist group of concerned residents for the betterment of the Sidney Center hamlet and surrounding area – sponsored this event with hopes of raising funds, which in turn will help the group raise awareness and promote change for improving the quality of life in this area. The chances taken by those that attended will ultimately better the chances of the S.C.I.G. making a true difference in the long run.

I was amazed at the talent and professionalism represented in the items at the raffle. All events sponsored by the S.C.I.G. always put a clear emphasis on localism – directly involving the community and supporting local merchants. This was perfectly showcased at this auction with many donations from artisans and small businesses. Some of the items included hand-made crafts, woodwork, and stonework, as well as hand-painted glass-wear and skillfully knit hats, socks, and towels. There were also many impressive donations by local businesses of general necessities that the average homeowner would find useful. The tables were littered with great chances and all for such a great value and ultimately a great cause.

There are some who should be commended for the success of this event. The S.C.I.G. organizers: Jessica Farrell, Terry Leonard, Geri Mott, Lucille Dewey, Ann Birdsall, & Lois Murry, all did a superb job of promoting, setting up and carrying out the event. I must also give special thanks and acknowledgement to the Sidney Center Firemen who hosted a delicious chicken BBQ – which definitely improved attendance. With that said, the great support and coordination that went into this event and the number of attendee’s and ticket sales as a result, the raffle was without a doubt a great success. I hope to see the same enthusiasm and willingness to take a chance at future Sidney Center events!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Water Quality & Watershed Updates!

The Sidney Center Improvement Group, Inc. (SCIG) hosted a town hall style meeting for the residents of Sidney Center to hear possible solutions for the hamlet's ever-present water quality issue. Several parties were in attendance to educate the general public and field any questions or concerns.

Shelly Johnson of the Delaware County Planning Board, who is also working with the SCIG on zoning matters for the hamlet, introduced the presenters of the evening – Lamont Engineering. Lamont Engineering, a civil and environmental engineering firm, recently completed a project in the town of Hamden and in the process wrote a "Guide to Developing a Municipal Wastewater Project," which could be applied to the similar situation in the hamlet of Sidney Center. Judy Pangman of Lamont Engineering presented the necessary steps to take in order to establish a feasible wastewater system. Henry Lamont, also of Lamont Engineering, explained the different types of water systems that could be implemented after the initial steps are taken. Both Pangman and Lamont reiterated the cooperation and patience needed by residents and planners alike to make this type of project successful.

Another notable in attendance was Terry Deuel of the Environmental Facilities Corporation, which provides low-cost financing and technical assistance to communities like Sidney Center, embarking on environmental projects. Deuel offered his expertise by posing important technical questions, which translated into funding necessities – funding of course being the greatest obstacle facing any small municipality attempting this sort of project. However, Assemblyman of the 127th District, Pete Lopez was also in attendance to show his support for solving the hamlet's water quality issues and quelling any fears of failure should the community decide to commence in a wastewater system project. Lopez assured everyone at the meeting that it takes much time and dedication but "it can be done."

This was only one of many meetings of this kind, which will occur in the coming months and years. The insight gained from the meeting was the recipe for success that involves the motivation and commitment by residents, concerned citizens, project planners, politicians, and the SCIG. When these issues are resolved, the quality of life for the residents and the habitat will be dramatically heightened – making Sidney Center a more pleasurable place to live and visit.

The Sidney Center Improvement Group, Inc. is a non-profit community activist group for the restoration and preservation of the Sidney Center area and hamlet. The SCIG encourages anyone who would like to be involved with this cause to please attend one of these meetings. For more information please visit our website:, or email us at:, or call SCIG Chairman, Joe Lally at 607.369.5705


The Sidney Center Improvement Group, Inc. (SCIG) held a planning meeting to address the Carr's Creek Watershed. The meeting was open to the public and many Sidney Center residents came out to take part in the restoration project.

Carr's Creek, which is a tributary of the Susquehanna River, has been one of the main focuses of the SCIG - specifically to increase awareness of the problems that have existed along the stream and made worse after the 2006 floods.

The meeting was presided over by Wink Hastings of the National Park Service who facilitated by fielding questions and listing suggestions on how to work towards a successful stream assessment in the coming months. A proper stream assessment with cooperation by the landowners, which the stream affects, was the top priority at the meeting. Also, determining water quality issues and problem areas were discussed in detail. Volunteers will be a large part of the success of this project and affiliating with other environmental agencies, educational research, and community groups were suggested. The SCIG and concerned citizens of Sidney Center are working to promote this project throughout the summer with hopes of having the stream assessment completed by the fall.

The SCIG Chairman, Joe Lally, closed out the meeting stating, "What we really need to focus on here is the impact this project could have in the future - indeed for the Carr's Creek Watershed and its habitat, but also for our children and the younger generation who may be influenced in such a way that when they're walking and see a piece of trash on the ground, they'll think to pick it up."

The next Watershed Planning Meeting will be held on May 27th at 7:00pm in the Sidney Center Fire Hall. The SCIG encourages anyone who would like to be involved with this project to please attend one of these meetings. For more information please email or call Joe Lally at 607.369.5705.

The Sidney Center Improvement Group, Inc. is a non-profit community activist group for the restoration and preservation of the Sidney Center area and hamlet. Web address:

About S.C.I.G.

Sidney Center, New York, United States
The Sidney Center Improvement Group (SCIG) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, grass roots organization based in Sidney Center, NY. The small Hamlet of Sidney Center - like many upstate NY towns, villages, and hamlets, has had it’s fair share of challenges over the years. However, thanks to a group of dedicated residents who gathered for a visioning meeting in 2006, SCIG is now a thriving community group who's sole purpose is increasing the quality of life for all who live in Sidney Center and for future generations.

S.C.I.G. Article Archive