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Too close to call — Wilna candidates will wait for absentee count

pCARTHAGE — The four-way race for the town of Wilna council seats may be too close to call. The unofficial result’s after voting on Nov. 5 had the incumbent Democrat Patrick W. Britton, 65, of Route 3, in the lead with 302 votes — 30.63% of the votes cast. Following closely were Republicans, Shari A. Gerber, 56, of State Route 3, Natural Bridge, with 290 votes, 29.41% and Donna Martel, 55, of County Route 42, 288 votes, 29.21%./pp“It was close,” said Mr. Britton, who has been on the town board since 2015. “We will see what happens. I would be happy to continue on four more years.”/ppHe said if he does retain his seat, the hopes to carry on with ongoing projects to create parks in the hamlets of Natural Bridge and Herrings./pp“I’d like to see more business in the Carthage area,” he said. “James River looks promising. The new restaurant by the river is going to be beautiful. I hope the area supports it — it’ll be quite a nice venue.” /ppThe former paper mill on West End Avenue was bought by Petawatt to be utilized for bitcoin production and hydroponic farming. Next to Turning Point Park off State Street, Scott C. and Shannon J. Sauer are renovating the former Abbass Building into a destination restaurant./pp“I want to work with taxpayers keep tax stable,” said Mr. Britton./ppHe expressed concern as to what will happen to the buildings on West Street when Carthage Area Hospital constructs its new main campus off Cole Road./pp“I don’t want it to become an eyesore,” he said, noting he would also like to have the former Ames Department store utilized and get help from Jefferson County with abandoned — zombie homes. “These properties can be a big cost without county helping with the clean up.”/ppMs. Gerber also has a wait-and-see attitude but is seeking to “get some fresh blood” on the board./pp“We need something more positive moving forward,” she said. “We need to be positive to attract more people and more businesses here. West Carthage booming — we need that here. We need to make people happy and get them here.”/ppMrs. Martel feels she put forth a good effort./pp“I stepped out, tried, did my best,” she said./ppIf she prevails after the final count, she looks use her background as finance director/clerk to several town supervisors better monitor the town budget./pp“They have a negative fund balance — that’s like us having a negative checking account balance,” she explained. “I’d like to have that turned around to be more secure for the future./ppI’d like to bring more economic growth to increase the tax base.”/ppA little over 10% of the vote went to write-in candidates. Incumbent Daniel C. Nevills, 70, of Route 3, Natural Bridge, campaigned as a write-in candidate./p


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