Meeting Minutes Archive: October, 2006

Office of the Onondaga County Legislature

Court House, Room 407
401 Montgomery Street
Syracuse, New York 13202
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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION COMMITTEE MINUTES - October 16, 2006
JAMES A. CORBETT, CHAIRMAN

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Mr. Rhinehart, Mr. Farrell, Mr. Kraft, Mrs. Winslow, Mrs. Chaplin*

ALSO PRESENT:  see attached list

Chairman Corbett called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m.

A motion was made by Mr. Farrell, seconded by Mr. Rhinehart to waive the reading and approve the minutes of the previous committee meeting.  MOTION CARRIED.

1.      INFORMATIONAL:  Honeywell/DEC Consent Order - John McAuliffe

Mr. McAuliffe, Syracuse Program Director, Honeywell, addressed the committee.  He has responsibility for Onondaga Lake and the former Allied Signal property regarding the lake.  Milestones were announced last week regarding clean up of the lake.  A signing of consent decree between NYS and Honeywell was announced--a legal document that obligates Honeywell to complete the clean up of Onondaga Lake.  The plan for lake clean up issued in July last year by Federal EPA and State DEC.  There has been information in the newspaper the last couple of days.  He said that the plan has been developed on sound science, a thorough regulatory process, and community input:

Sound Science:  Honeywell employs over 100 experts; they have spent over 90,000-man hours studying and making recommendations on the lake.  DEC took the proposal, made it more conservative, and issued a proposed plan in 2004. 

Regulatory Process:  This is federal and state law.  EPA went through their process and what they issued last year was a record of decision following the regulatory process.

Community Involvement:  DEC issued their draft plan in 2004; went out for public comment period, had a series of public meetings for 5 months.  DEC incorporated those comments in their record of decision that was issued in July 2005.  There will be another public meeting held this Thursday by DEC at State Fairgrounds.  An informational session starts at 3:00 p.m.; at 7:00 p.m. there is formal presentation and opportunity for people to be heard; DEC will take statements.

Aspects of the lake clean up have started.  This year they have completed the LCP Plant remediation;  that plan was the primary source of mercury to Onondaga Lake and that cleanup is completed.  A ground water treatment plant will treat contaminated groundwater from the former Allied Signal properties.  Construction of a barrier wall has been started; it will run 1.5 miles along the shore of Onondaga Lake.  It will stop contaminated ground water from getting into the lake and send it to groundwater treatment plant.  There are a lot of barges on the lake; they are collecting soil samples so that they can do the design.  He hopes with the lake work that the county and Honeywell are doing; there will be a clean lake here and it will be a benefit from recreational and economic perspective in Central New York.

Chairman Corbett stated that the last 2 years the lake is freezing again and the fisheries have come back.  The majority of the clean up portion is just going to turn around.  It is a major step in what has been discussed of years; and he complemented everyone on the consensus of getting together and going forward.

*Ms. Chaplin arrived at the meeting.

Mr. Farrell said that there is a tremendous amount of community interest about what is going on; everyone is thankful that this is moving forward.  There are still people that don't realize this is actually happening. 

Mr. Kraft questioned dredging and covering; why those choices are made and if they are cost driven.  Mr. McAuliffe stated that there are 2 factors that drive the decision on wether the lake gets dredged:  level of contamination and habitat issues.  They are different technologies, but generally dredging is more expensive.  After there is dredging, there has to be capping.  There are some areas that will be capped and not dredged - deeper portions of the lake that will be thin-layer capped.  It is done to enhance the natural recovery of the lake.  There is natural sedimentation that has settled in the lake; those areas won't be dredged, just capped.

Mr. Corbett said that it is an older lake and there is a natural marl; a thick substance is there.  Mr. McAuliffe said that the newspaper did an article about the barrier wall being built.  The article indicted that the wall will take 2 acres of lake surface area in a 3,000 acre; which is less than 1/10th of 1%.  He clarified that they will be giving back that 2 acres of lake surface area somewhere else; it is not lost surface area forever. 

Mrs. Winslow asked how much of the information and comments from the Onondaga Nation were considered in the clean up of the lake.  She asked if there is a member of the Nation on the committee that determines how the lake was to be cleaned up.   Mr. McAuliffe stated that Honeywell has reached out to the Nation over the last couple of years and invited them to meet with Honeywell; they have offered verbally and in writing and the offer still stands.  The EPA and DEC have had meeting with the Nation.  Honeywell would like to establish a more meaningful dialogue with the Onondaga Nation.  He said the DEC has a public comment period for 5 months and received 100's of comments; he does not know if they received comments from the Nation or not, but any public comments received were incorporated into the plan.

2.   LAKE IMPROVEMENT:  a.  ACJ Update - Sue Miller

  • Midland:  - Construction - 63% of contract amount expended; 81% of concrete poured and placed;

               - All purchases of private properties needed for Phase III are complete

  • Sewer separation project - all sewers and laterals are in; are doing street and sidewalk restoration. Should be completed this month

  • Leaf bags are out - 35,000 leaf bags available for city residents only. Bags are located at all libraries and community centers.

The leaves can clog up catch basins.  The main concern is when they get in the sewers-take up a lot of volume; can lead to sewer overflows.  The leaves that get to Metro Treatment plant can cause upsets in the process and cause bypass of treatment.  People are using bags and are better about not putting leaves in the street.  The bags and leaves can be composted.  The County pays 30%, and US Corp of Engineers pays 70% for the bags.  The bag program is only in the city because the combined sewers are in the city.

Mr. Rhinehart asked about biosolids.  Mr. Elander said there is a contract with Wastestream Environmental; it was a 10-year contract and extended 2 years, expires next June.  RFP's were sent out; 3 new proposals were received and are being evaluated.  Mr. Rhinehart requested to see the RFP.

 

3.   WATER ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION:  Mr. Elander, Commissioner

Metro Syracuse WWTP - Phase II phosphorus:

  • Concentration limit of 0.12 mg/liter; most treatment plants in NYS have a limit of 1.0
  • ACJ requirement: by April 2007, based on 12 mos. rolling average, must have 0.12.
  • Highest they have had is 0.11 for 2 months
  • Have been as low as .08

Mr. Elander said that they made substantial changes to the plan in Jan., and have smoothed things out so that weather should have less effect than originally thought.  Did well through the summer with a lot of very hot weather and rain.  From a phosphorus standpoint, it means there are less nutrients available to grow algae in the lake; must have some for the fish habitat.  There isn't the decayed smell now.  The ammonia levels remain very low--below Phase III levels and contribute to a major improvement with the fisheries.

Mr. Farrell asked if it is anticipated that this will enable us to met ACJ long-term requirements.  Mr. Elander said that they are not meeting long-term ACJ requirements for phosphorus; they are for ammonia--are below the Phase III level.  The Phase III level for phosphorus is .02%; an additional 80% reduction.  It remains to be seen if it can be met or if economically practical to do it.  Phase III obligation is December 1, 2012.   Right now there are at about 50 lbs./per day; .02% would be about 10-15 lbs. per day.  The lake water quality model is to be ready beginning of 2008 to use.  Mr. Kraft asked if the DEC is giving any feedback that they might back off on the .02%.  Mr. Elander said that they have not to date. 

Mr. Farrell asked when the first meaningful results will come out of the lake model.  Mr. Elander said that they have no control over the USGS model; county model will be ready in winter 2008; thinks a cycle through a year of information would give more credibility.  Mr. Farrell asked if once phosphorus is resolved, are we are on track for meeting ACJ requirements.  Mr. Elander said the lake issues are ammonia, phosphorus and bacteria.

a.   A resolution approving improvements for the Metropolitan Syracuse Wastewater Treatment Plant of the County of Onondaga, New York

Mr. Elander clarified that the low lift pump station is at Metro and Harbor Brook pump station is at Metro.  The total cost is estimated to be $4.46 million; Commissioner's hearing was held--no one appeared to object, a public hearing is scheduled for Nov. 8th.  Regarding the financing, they are asking for $3.99 million; proposing that the difference, $500,000 engineering, will be paid out of 960 account.

Mr. Farrell said that he supports the project, but will be voting against this for reason previous stated on sole source standardization.

Mr. Kraft asked if EFC financing can be done.  Mr. Elander said that they will try, but EFC doesn't have the money that they used to; guessed that this would not be eligible. 

A motion was made by Mr. Rhinehart, seconded by Mrs. Winslow to approve this item.  AYES:  5 (Rhinehart, Winslow, Kraft, Chaplin, Corbett) NOES:  1 (Farrell).  MOTION CARRIED.

b.     A resolution authorizing the issuance of $3,990,000 bonds of the County of Onondaga, New York, to pay costs of certain improvements for the Metropolitan Syracuse Wastewater Treatment Plant in and for the County Sanitary District

A motion was made by Mr. Corbett, seconded by Mr. Rhinehart to approve this item.  AYES: 5 (Rhinehart, Winslow, Kraft, Chaplin, Corbett) NOES:  1 (Farrell).  MOTION CARRIED.

c.      Authorizing the standardization of the Calgon Phoenix Carbon Adsorption Odor Control System for certain wastewater collection or treatment projects

The legislature approved the Calgon Phoenix Carbon Adsorption system for odor control at Midland and Wetzel Road.  The resolution was specific to those 2 projects.  The resolution today asked for the same or similar systems for the Clinton and Harbor Brook RTFs.  Engineers were asked to evaluate; they provided another system--a new radio bed odor control system.  He distributed a comparison of systems (see attachment 1).

Chairman Corbett said that the product is standardized and anyone bidding is bidding on the same thing.

The following was discussed:

Carbon replacement:  All of the systems have 4 containers, in each one there is carbon.  In the Phoenix sytems there 15 tubes in each container; carbon can be regenerated with a PLC and can be reused.  The other systems have big vessels and have to physically pull it all out, run water through it, put it all back in, and the system is out 2 or 3 weeks while it dries and regenerates.  Only down 1/15th of one quarter with the Phoenix system.  The Phoenix system is more modular and easier for the staff.

Carbon bed fire:  carbon filters wherein heat builds up and there is spontaneous combustion.  If there is vessel with 30,000 lbs. of carbon in it, it has a much higher degree of heat building up and potential for fire vs. the individual cells.

Mr. Elander said that the engineers contacted a number of users of the Phoenix system 3 years ago.  They contacted them again to see if problems had developed; everyone said they were still very pleased with it

Mr. Farrell reviewed the advantages and disadvantages between Bay Product and Calgon Phoenix systems.  Mr. Elander responded to each one and stated that a problem is that the technology is so new, that anyone can say anything.  The engineer's responsibility is to make a recommendation on what is felt to be the best system.  For $600,000, given the lack of confidence in some things, and lack of track record, he doesn't think they should do it; it is too new.

A motion was made by Mrs. Winslow, seconded by Mrs. Chaplin to approve this item.  AYES:  5 (Rhinehart, Winslow, Kraft, Chaplin, Corbett) NOES:  0;  ABSTAINING:  1 (Farrell).  MOTION CARRIED.

4.      METROPOLITAN WATER BOARD:  David Fitch, Administrative Director

a.      Authorizing a public hearing to consider the Metropolitan Water Board's proposed improvement and construction of covered storage facilities at the Onondaga County Water District Eastern and Western reservoir sites

Mr. Fitch was at committee in July with a similar request and subsequently withdrew it because MWB wanted to review cost estimates. The Board received more information for the engineers.  The Board passed a resolution selecting the same plan with increased cost.  This public hearing is scheduled for Dec. 5th prior to session.  MWB will have to come back with 2 resolutions to find the improvements to be in the public interest and for bonding authorization.  He will bring the engineer and a power point presentation at that time.

Mr. Kraft asked if the legislature will be asked to vote on the project on Dec. 5th.  Mr. Fitch said that it hasn't been determined yet.  Mr. Kraft requested information before it comes to the committee in November.  Mr. Fitch agreed and said that a report, map, plan, required by county law, was provided in legislators boxes. 

Mr. Rhinehart asked if the county is under any order to cover the tanks.  Mr. Fitch said that EPA issued the Long Term 2 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule this year that requires public water suppliers that have open, finished water reservoirs to cover or provide subsequent treatment.  Right now they provide chlorination for disinfection, but it is not sufficient to meet the requirements that EPA has.  By April 2009 they have to be in compliance and cover or have a state-approved plan and schedule in place.  If they start in fall 2007, they won't be done until 2012; anxious to not lose any more time.  Mr. Rhinehart asked what happens if the legislature decides it is not in the best interest of the public.  Mr. Fitch said they would have to figure out how to deal with the federal regulations.  There are lawsuits that are challenging the rule.  Mr. Rhinehart felt this is more of a security issue than a water quality issue.  He asked if enclosed tanks are built for water, would there be savings on chlorine and contact time.  Mr. Fitch said that there would be ancillary benefits from covering the reservoir - would feed less chlorine and suspect they will reduce the potential for disinfection byproducts; remove exposure to sunlight and atmospheres there isn't dust and algae.

Mr. Fitch said that they have hired a consultant, Charlie Gabrial, who is pursuing sources of federal and state aid.  They are planning to visit Congressman Walsh; so far not a lot is available out there for this need; perhaps something will come through from Homeland Security.

Bonding was discussed.  Mr. Fitch said that county bonding is being proposed.  There is discussion as to whether OCWA may step up and offer to issue bonds.  If they do, they will need to own them - they can't issue debt and not own the tanks.  In the past for capital improvements with the county water district, they have used the county assessment base to pay for the improvements.  When that is done, the Authority gets the benefit of improvements, but don't have to raise their rates to pay for them because the cost went on the tax bill.  County leadership has said that they won't approve it if it is put on assessment base; want to charge to water rates so that only the users of the water will pay.  If that is done, OCWA would have to raise their rates to pay for it.  Mr. Kraft said that they have to serve the best interest of the whole community, find a way to make adjustment; maybe there needs to be zone 4.  Mr. Kraft said that some people have concerns with State authorities. 

Mr. Farrell asked if the power point presentation from the engineer can be provided to the committee today; he asked that any information be provided to the legislature at the earliest possible opportunity.

Mr. Farrell asked if the Water Board can issue revenue bonds; Mr. Fitch did not think so; their bonds are general obligation bonds.  Ms. Tarolli agreed. 

Mr. Farrell asked what issues does the City have regarding this.  Mr. Fitch stated that they have the same regulations as it relates to Woodland & Wescott Reservoirs.  Mr. Farrell asked if there is redundancy created because they have a separate water supply.  Mr. Fitch said they would be moving forward in the same manner.

There was discussion about the committee having an opportunity to go through the report prior to the public hearing.  Chairman Corbett said that OCWA's Bd. Meeting is 10/25--need to find out what happens at that meeting.  At this time this is just the call for a public hearing; can add this to the November committee agenda.

Mrs. Chaplin asked if as much emphasis being put the issue of security as it is improvements-feels this is a big security issue.  Mr. Fitch stated that security is part of it.

A motion was made by Mrs. Chaplin, seconded by Mr. Rhinehart to approve this item.  AYES:  4 (Corbett, Chaplin, Rhinehart, Winslow)  NOES:  0; ABSTANING:  2  (Kraft, Farrell).  MOTION CARRIED.

b.   Authorize a public hearing to consider recommendations of the MWB to amend currently effective schedule of rates to be charged for water and water service provided by Onon. Co. Water District

A motion was made by Mr. Farrell, seconded by Mrs. Winslow to approve this item.  Passed unanimously;  MOTION CARRIED.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:15 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,

DEBORAH L. MATURO, Clerk

Onondaga County Legislature

   
COUNTY FACILITIES COMMITTEE MINUTES
JAMES W. FARRELL, CHAIRMAN
October 19, 2006

MEMBERS PRESENT: Mr. Rhinehart, Mr. Kraft, Mr. Holmquist, Mr. Kinne

ABSENT: Mr. Laguzza

ALSO PRESENT:  see attached list (attachment 1)

Chairman Farrell called the meeting to order at 11:00 a.m.

A motion was made by Mr. Rhinehart, seconded by Mr. Holmquist to waive the reading and approve the minutes of the proceedings of the previous committee meeting.  MOTION CARRIED.

1.   PARKS - Mr. Robert Geraci, Commissioner

a.      Authorizing the Onondaga County Department of Parks and Recreation to apply for grant funds from the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation under the recreational trails program in the amount of $100,000 for the acquisition of equipment for the purpose of maintaining the Jordan Level Trail

Mr. Geraci said the equipment would be used as needed on the Jordan Level Trail (every three to four years would have to go in a brush back the sides of the trail) and could also be used on any trail in the Park system (verified that equipment can be used in other locations with State Parks).  Mr. Geraci said Parks and DOT would be coming to the Legislature in 2007 concerning the second phase of the West Shore Trail at Onondaga Lake Park (plan is to start construction in mid spring).  Mr. Geraci pointed out that a plant that grows incredibly fast borders most of this stretch; it will have to be cut back on a regular basis to provide visibility and security - Rotary Boom is the only piece of equipment that will take it down.  Proposing to buy the following equipment:

  •         Tractor with Rotary Boom - $73,000
  •         Tennant ATLV 4300 Litter Vac - $30,000
  •         24DT Interstate Trailer - $12,000
  •         John Deere Gator 6x4 - $10,000

Mr. Kraft asked how often this equipment would be used.  Mr. Geraci said more than several times a season for Onondaga Lake Park on the west side.  Mr. Eallonardo said the vacuum would be used in other areas at Onondaga Lake Park.  Mr. Geraci said it is a safety issue on both east and west trails for in-line skaters; have to keep trails clear; since 1997, have contracted with a private company to blow trail on a regular basis.

Mr. Farrell noted that the road in Onondaga Lake Park that is used by the in-line skaters is 20 feet wide; equipment is four feet wide.  Mr. Geraci said they wouldn't be able to eliminate contractor entirely, equipment would be used to supplement that work; West Shore Trail is ten feet wide and has more debris on the trail, more trees.  In answer to Mr. Farrell, Mr. Geraci said they pay the contractor about $5 to $6 thousand per year.

Mr. Rhinehart asked who would operate equipment.  Mr. Geraci replied one of their people, probably an MEO.  Mr. Rhinehart said he is a fan of outsourcing; if they invest in the equipment and don't have people with time to do it, would have to hire someone; dollars might be better spent contracting for it.  Mr. Geraci said there will be two and a half miles of new trail on the West Side Trail over Nine Mile Creek; haven't discussed affording of maintenance.  Mr. Geraci said they contract for things that are very defined on a regular basis such as the mowing of grass at the Zoo and the big field at Jamesville Beach Park.  Trail grooming happens on an infrequent basis, react on as needed basis.  Mr. Rhinehart said he is not looking to hire more staff to run the equipment.  Mr. Geraci said the equipment could be used right now to improve the cross-country ski trail at Highland Forest.

Mr. Farrell asked what the pool of money is.  Mr. Eallonardo said several million dollars, and it will all be given out.  Mr. Geraci said the grant is heavily competed for; may be moot in a few months; may find out they will not get grant.

Mr. Kraft asked if they considered all the options regarding equipment, what would get the most frequent use in the field.  Mr. Geraci said they know it will be needed when the West Shore Trail is built in 2007.  Mr. Eallonardo mentioned that some equipment is not eligible, such as backhoes and trucks.  Mr. Geraci said the grant is specifically for equipment that is needed to maintain trails.

Mr. Farrell said before approved, the Legislature has to know if they are buying something that has the greatest utility for the County.  Mr. Geraci said they have the opportunity to buy equipment that might be difficult for them to buy through the operating budget; they know they are going to use it.  Regarding the size of the trailer, Mr. Geraci said it won't limit them, could put any of their equipment on it.  Mr. Geraci said the Legislature would not be giving the authorization to spend this money (County share 20%) at this time; they would have to come back after grant is awarded for that authorization.

Mr. Farrell said they are asking Mr. Geraci to take a good hard look at the equipment, particularly the tractor with rotary boom; secondly, whether this could be better done in partnering with the private sector.  Mr. Farrell asked where they intend to take the $25,000 from (County share).  Mr. Geraci said he does not have it in his budget; if they are awarded the grant, the Legislature will have to decide whether or not to accept the grant and find the money somewhere.

Mr. Holmquist asked if they have an estimation of the life expectancy of the equipment based on the planned usage.  Mr. Geraci will get that information.

Mr. Farrell suggested they go forward with this, and give Mr. Geraci an opportunity to respond to questions and issues that were made.

Mr. Kraft asked if the tractor is usable without the rotary boom, and if so, for what uses.  Mr. Geraci will get the answer.

A motion was made by Mr. Kinne, seconded by Mr. Holmquist to approve this item.  A vote was taken on the motion; Ayes:  Mr. Kinne, Mr. Holmquist, Mr. Farrell; Noes:  Mr. Rhinehart; Abstained:  Mr. Kraft; MOTION CARRIED.

b.      Authorizing the Onondaga County Department of Parks and Recreation to apply for grant funds from the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation under the Recreational Trails Program in an amount not to exceed $100,000 for the purpose of constructing an extension of the Onondaga Lake East Shore Trail, from its current terminus southward across bloody brook to the butterfly garden

Mr. Geraci said this would be a $175,000 project with County share $75,000.  Mr. Geraci said, as with the equipment grant, there is no money in his budget for county share.  Mr. Geraci noted that in the Five Year Capital Plan concerning the entire east shore section of the lake trail that there is verbiage saying that they want to build that trail with all non-County money; this grant became available, and thought they would apply.

Mr. Farrell asked for the breakdown of money for the trail and the bridge.  Mr. Eallonardo said the bridge is about $56,000, and about $96,000 including foundations and site preparations; trail itself would be about $30,000; also money for engineering and contingency.  Mr. Eallonardo passed out information regarding cost breakdown (attachment 2).

Mr. Kinne asked about the bridge, Mr. Eallonardo said it would be a bridge that would accept an asphalt deck.  Mr. Kinne asked what the expectant lifespan of the bridge would be.  Mr. Eallonardo will get the answer.

Mr. Geraci agreed with Mr. Rhinehart that the money should come from their budget; added that they do not have the money.  Mr. Geraci said the grant was announced in the end of august; application has to be in within the next month; does not know if there will be one again next year.  They looked at the grant application, with maximum of $100,000; put together a plan for the smallest chunk of trail that could be built.

Mr. Farrell said from a personal perspective, he does not have an interest in spending any more than the minimum - does not want extra money spent on the bridge just to make it look pretty.

A motion was made by Mr. Kinne, seconded by Mr. Holmquist to approve this item.  A vote was taken; Ayes:  Mr. Kinne, Mr. Holmquist, Mr. Farrell; Noes:  Mr. Rhinehart; Abstained:  Mr. Kraft; MOTION CARRIED.

Mr. Geraci said this is a chance to offset some money that will have to be spent down the line; not the best way to do things, should have a plan in place; with grants they don't have the time.

c.      Beaver Lake House - Discussion

Mr. Geraci passed around pictures of the ranch house with a walkout basement. 

  •         Interns live in basement, upper floor rented by a couple
  •         Professional estimate a few years back suggested $675 rent per month; they charge $800
  •         Electric heated house; renter's electric bills are higher than rent for winter months

Mr. Geraci said presently the house is reasonably taken care of and is not unsafe; will be a need for expenditures in the future that he is not prepared to defend at this time.

Mr. Kraft asked if the renter's object to the interns housed in the basement; Mr. Geraci replied no, it was explained to them when rented; have no problems.

Mr. Farrell mentioned the liability issue of having tenants living there, and asked what insurance they carry.  Mr. Geraci said they are required to carry comprehensive general liability insurance, public liability, bodily injury liability and Fire insurance, covering the contents of the facility.  Mr. Farrell requested a copy of that policy and a certificate of insurance.

Mr. Kinne would like to know what is planned for the house down the road.  Mr. Geraci said it potentially has significant costs down the road - a new electric system, septic system, water system; doesn't know if he can reasonably recommend to them to spend a lot more money on it.

Mr. Kraft requested that this be put on the agenda a year from now on for an update.

d.      Discussion:  Status of Friends Agreements - no discussion

e.      Discussion:  Plans for each park - no discussion

f.      Discussion:  Interagency Marketing - no discussion

g.   Special Events Account Report - Mr. Tom Squires, Mr. Joe Winkworth

Mr. Squires distributed a report entitled Special Event Report for the Third Quarter 2006 (on file with Clerk).  Mr. Squires said this report will be prepared quarterly by Parks and then submitted to Comptroller's office for review before it is submitted to the Legislature.  Mr. Squires said the financial information of Special Events Account would help the Legislature make decisions and better understand the account.

Regarding the Unreserved Fund Balance, Mr. Squires said it is important to know that it is not just money sitting there with no idea of what they are going to do with it; pointed out right column that explains management commitments and designations for money regarding the various programs/events.

Mr. Farrell thanked Mr. Squires, Mr. Winkworth and Parks for taking a collaborative proactive role in creating the Special Event Report.  Mr. Farrell suggested having this on the agenda for the November meeting in order to give the committee members the opportunity to read it.

Mr. Geraci noted the amount of energy the Comptroller's office put into it; good to see a third party unbiased look at this.

Mr. Kraft asked if it is reasonable to assume that the Special Events Account is legal under NYS law.  Mr. Squires replied yes.  Mr. Squires said it is accounted for on FAMIS (County accounting system) and rolled into the General Fund.  Mr. Kraft said there are obviously draws on these accounts for expenditures to sustain the programs; asked if they have legislative approval by line.  Mr. Geraci said they did get legislative approval when the Legislature passed Special Events Account legislation in 1996 and reconfirmed it in subsequent resolutions; they can only spend money on the particular program without Legislative approval.  Mr. Kraft referred to employee wages for Lights on the Lake, and asked if the account is reimbursing Parks budget.  Mr. Geraci said yes.  Mr. Geraci said specific to Lights on the Lake, they use an employee leasing program because it is much more manageable than the 103 payroll, due to the short term nature of these employees; whenever a permanent employee earns overtime at an event, the money comes out of his operating budget and then is reimbursed by the Special Event Account.  The account is also paying a percentage of two regular employees - 25% of the salary of the Athletic Field Specialist who works at Hopkins Road and a grant position Senior Recreation Leader.

In answer to Mr. Farrell, Mr. Geraci said all the Friends agreements are now signed.

Mr. Farrell asked about the field at Alliance Stadium.  Mr. Geraci said the odds of doing anything at the facility this fall is nil due to the fact that it is already mid October.  There is an understanding between the SkyChiefs and the County that they should take the next several months to decide what they want to do, and do it right.  Parks will make whatever necessary repairs are needed on the Astroturf for 2007.

The meeting was adjourned at 12:10 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Joanna H. Robb, Deputy Clerk

 

HEALTH COMMITTEE MINUTES
KATHLEEN A. RAPP, CHAIR
OCTOBER 18, 2006

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Mr. Warner, Mrs. Baker, *Mr. Meyer, Ms. Mulroy, Mr. Laguzza, **Mrs. Winslow

ALSO PRESENT:  see attached list (Attachment 1)

Chair Rapp called the meeting to order at 9:10 a.m.

A motion was made by Mr. Warner, seconded by Mrs. Baker to waive reading of minutes and approve minutes as presented.  MOTION CARRIED.

1.   HEALTH:  Ms. Jean Smiley, Deputy Commissioner

a.   Create Forensic Scientist 1 (Biology), Grade 12 @ $45,494 - $50,363 effective November 11, 2006.

      Create Forensic Scientist 2 (Biology), Grade 13 @ $50,391 - $55,805 effective November 11, 2006.

     Create Forensic Scientist 3 (Biology), Grade 14 @ $55,731 - $61,738 effective November 11, 2006.

      Create Latent Print Examiner 1, Grade 11 @ $42,722 - $47,283 effective November 11, 2006.

     Create Latent Print Examiner 2, Grade 12 @ $45,494 - $50,363 effective November 11, 2006.

      Create Latent Print Examiner 3, Grade 13 @ $50,391 - $55,805 effective November 11, 2006.

Ms. Smiley discussed items 1a. and 1b. together.  Ms. Smiley said they recently had the opportunity to submit a grant to the New York State Department of Criminal Justice Services to enhance their DNA lab capacity; grant dollars were made available across the state to reduce some of the DNA backlog.  Ms. Smiley pointed out that the grant is for an 18-month period; will be targeting at least one hundred cases.  They are requesting to hire three staff people to be funded by the grant dollars, a Forensic Scientist, a Latent Print Examiner (would hire only one from each series; gives them the ability to hire into different slots depending on the experience of the candidate) and a Laboratory Technician (already on their roster).  The lab will also use grant money to validate new technologies, that will significantly reduce case processing time, and to institute a fast tracking system for those samples that don't require an extensive biological analysis.

A motion was made by Mrs. Baker, seconded by Mr. Warner to approve this item.  A vote was taken and passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

Mr. Warner asked for the total number of backlogged DNA cases.  Ms. Corrado replied around 219; good percentage are cases they have received in the last three to four months; also working on cold cases.  Mr. Warner asked how long a case takes.  Ms. Corrado said they are all different, the average turnaround is twelve to fifteen weeks; some can take a year and a half.  Mr. Warner asked about the backlog for latent print cases.  Ms. Smiley will supply the information to Mr. Warner.

Mr. Laguzza asked what percentage are cold cases; Ms. replied about 5%.  Ms. Smiley said they could have requested additional funding, but do not have the space for more DNA staff.

b.  Amending the 2006 County Budget to accept DNA Capacity Enhancement Grant Funds and authorizing the County Executive to execute agreements to implement this resolution ($261,849)

A motion was made by Mrs. Baker, seconded by Ms. Mulroy to approve this item.  A vote was taken and passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

 

c.  Authorizing establishment of a petty cash fund for the Onondaga County Health Department for the purpose of making and providing change ($1,000)

Ms. Smiley said the Health Department has had a petty cash fund and change funds for a long period of time; Comptroller recommended that they come to the Legislature and officially establish change funds for the Rabies Clinic, Flu Clinic, Immunization Clinic and Bureau of Special Children's Services.

*Mr. Meyer arrived at the meeting.

A motion was made by Ms. Mulroy, seconded by Mr. Laguzza to approve this item.  A vote was taken and passed unanimously;      MOTION CARRIED.

Mr. Warner asked about the County prescription plan and whether an employee can request a brand name rather than a generic as part of the contract; can the county demand that they use generic.  Dr. Morrow said it is her understanding that only the physician can decide if there is a need for the patient to have a brand name drug.  Ms. Mignano said she would get the information regarding contract obligations from Mr. Casey.

**Mrs. Winslow arrived at the meeting.

Mr. Warner mentioned that he heard some counties have considered raising the age that people can purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21 years of age.  Dr. Morrow said there has been some discussion about it; would be at the discretion of the counties.  Mr. Warner asked for more information regarding this issue.

2.  Discussion:  Point of Entry for Long Term Care - Ms. Roberta Sprague

Ms. Sprague said the Point of Entry is New York State's initial effort to restructure Long Term Care.  Ms. Sprague said our county is requesting to have it housed out of the Department of Long Term Care as the lead agency under the auspices of the Long Term Care Resource Center (designed in 1991 to help people navigate the Long Term Care system).  Ms. Sprague said the first phase is strictly information referral, education to the community; Ms. Lyon would be the coordinator using current staff and one additional staff person (clerical person to do statistical information who can also be part of the triage).  The County has been given $200,000 (the maximum amount in the grant).  Ms. Sprague said they are already doing much of what will be Phase 2 - going into the homes to do full assessments, and then enrolling them into a Medicaid program, if appropriate, or giving them information about how to hire privately.  The enhanced services that will be provided through this Point of Entry have to do with public education and Long Term Care insurance; some of the grant money will be used to set up a web page, to do advertising (will be working closely with Office of Aging) and to update their county phone system.

In answer to Mrs. Baker, Ms. Sprague said they had to meet milestones to receive the grant money.  Ms. Lyon said there are fifteen or more milestones based on performance (such as having an information and referral system in place); just received the proposed contract (resolution to accept funds on the Social Services agenda this month).

Mr. Laguzza asked about the phone system.  Ms. Sprague said that with Point of Entry, they want to meld more of the services with Office of the Aging - need to enhance the County phone system regarding connectivity between the two departments to transfer calls.  Mr. Laguzza asked if they are fully staffed to accommodate the goals and the influx of constituents' calls.  Ms. Sprague replied yes; this first year is the implementation phase; next year, they will realize what the impact will be regarding whether they will need to increase funding for staffing.

Mr. Warner asked if the long-range goal of the program is to keep people in their homes.  Ms. Sprague said that and also to get people the appropriate level of care.  Ms. Sprague said the state has not capped the dollar amount for a person to be able to get services at home except in two programs:  Long Term Home Health Care Program and Care at Home (a program designed for children).  Ms. Sprague said in the second phase, the state is looking at a Mega Waiver to meld current state planned services, such as the Personal Care Program, Consumer Directed Program, with the waivered services, such as the Long Term Home Health Care Program, Care at Home Program, and Traumatic Brain Injury.  Assessment would be done of needs; would get services off a menu that meets the needs.  Right now, if a person needed to go to Social Day Care and have Medicaid pay for that, they would have to meet the criteria for the Long Term Home Health Care Program and would be served through the Visiting Nurses in the Resource Center.  In the Mega Waiver concept, a person would not have to score a certain number of points to enrich his life by living with a family member and going out to day care.  There is nothing conclusive regarding the Mega Waiver design at present.

In answer to Mr. Warner, Ms. Sprague said with the Long Term Home Health Care Program, there is a cap of 75% of what it would be in a facility.  Mr. Warner asked about the Care at Home Program.  Ms. Sprague said it is a program for a person from birth to age eighteen who had a thirty day hospital stay and requires a skilled level of care; for the most part, they are people who would not qualify for Medicaid; rather than institutionalize, they are allowed to keep the child at home.

Mr. Meyer asked if this was a competitive grant.  Ms. Sprague said they did have to apply, but the state recommended that all counties be the Point of Entry.  Mr. Meyer asked how the $200,000 was arrived at.  Ms. Sprague said the state had different formulas, and Onondaga County got the highest amount.  Mr. Meyer requested information on how a person would qualify for Medicaid.  Ms. Sprague said that anyone can use Point of Entry; don't have to be on Medicaid; it is regardless of income.  Currently, Ms. Sprague said they get about 1,400 to 1,500 calls a year at the Resource Center.

Mr. Meyer asked for an explanation about scoring.  Ms. Sprague said it is done with multiple tools.  To get into a nursing home, they use what is called a patient review instrument; for certain home care programs, they use the DMS 1 (a nursing tool based on functional ability and mental status).  To score 60, which is the bottom line for the Long Term Home Health Care Program, a person might need help bathing, dressing and grooming.  Ms. Sprague said the Resource Center Community Nurses have four-year degrees and most have worked upwards of twenty years for the County, have experience in the home care arena.  A nurse and or Case Manger would do the in-home assessment, which will be part of Phase 2.  Ms. Sprague said the decision of what services go to the home are based on what the person needs to stay at home, what the family member can contribute; comes down to the own individual's ability to connect with people, to stay connected and to have support.  Ms. Sprague said the population in the Consumer Directed Program requires the most care at home; program was initially designed for the younger disabled who were still employed in the community or going to school who could not access a licensed agency or certified agency at the hours they needed to get up or go to bed.  The program has grown immensely over last five years; now have over 300 (for years hovered around 100).  In answer to Mr. Meyer, Ms. Sprague said the Expanded In-Home Services for the Elderly is similar to the Personal Care Program where a person would get house keeping services and some hands on care; it is designed for a person with income level above the Medicaid level (done on a sliding fee scale).

Ms. Mulroy asked about the possibility of having a Social Day Care program at Van Duyn.  Ms. Sprague said there was some talk about Day Care within Van Duyn when studies were done; has not seen the final report yet.  Ms. Sprague said there are several programs in the community; Long Term Home Health Care Program has contracts with the Salvation Army, St. Francis Day Care, and the Kirkpatrick Center; thus far, those agencies have been able to meet the needs of those people who come into the program.  Ms. Sprague said there is also Social Model Day Care (Senior Centers through the Office of Aging) and Medical Model Day Care (St. Camillus, Jewish Home, etc.); have not been any recent studies to see if there is a need for any more in the community.

Mrs. Rapp asked about PACE.  Ms. Sprague said it is a managed care program for the elderly; Resource Center is involved in making the decision of whether or not a person can go into the program; it is a capitated program, have funding coming from Medicaid and Medicare (approximately $4,800 to $5,000 a month).  Ms. Sprague said the program coordinates the whole service package for the person at home; also involved with housing run by Christopher Community.

Mr. Warner requested information regarding the Medicaid guidelines for qualifications for expanded home services through the Office of Aging.

Mrs. Baker said she hopes information is getting out to the community regarding Long Term Care insurance.  Ms. Sprague said the Office of the Aging has a person devoted to that, and with the grant funds, they will also be able to do some of that.  Mrs. Baker asked if the Resource Center web site would be hooked up to ongov.net; Ms. Sprague replied yes.

Mr. Warner asked who does the actual hands on care.  Ms. Sprague said for Medicaid clients, it comes through one of nine contract licensed agencies or through a certified home health agency, depending on the level of care the person needs; a person can go to any doctor they want as long as it is covered by Medicaid.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:50 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Johanna H. Robb

Deputy Clerk

SOCIAL SERVICES COMMITTEE MINUTES
October 18, 2006
CHAIRMAN ROBERT D. WARNER

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Mr. Rhinehart, Mr. DiBlasi, Mr. Holmquist, Mr. Laguzza, Mrs. Chaplin

MEMBERS ABSENT:  Mr. Stanczyk

ALSO PRESENT: see attached list

Chairman Warner called the meeting to order at 10:40 a.m.

A motion was made by Mrs. Chaplin, seconded by Mr. Laguzza, to waive the reading and approve the minutes of the proceedings of the previous committee minutes.  MOTION CARRIED.

1.  AGING & YOUTH: Chris Flynn, Interim Commissioner, JoAnne Spoto Decker, Project Director - Community Services

a.     Amending the 2006 County Budget to provide the Department of Aging and Youth - Office for the Aging with additional federal funds beyond the estimated dollars appropriated in the 2006 County Budget and authorizing the County Executive to enter into contracts to implement this resolution ($47,773)

  • Title VII and LTCOP are Long Term Care Programs with the funds going to the Ombudsman Program run by the InterReligious Council of Central New York
  • SNAP and NSIP are Nutrition Programs with funds going to the Meals On Wheels Program
  • Transportation will be used to start and coordinate a volunteer driver program for Meals on Wheels

Chairman Warner asked for clarification on the Ombudsman Program.  Ms. Flynn explained that the Ombudsman program investigates and advocates for residents in county long-term care facilities.  Chairman Warner asked if they were neutral, Mr. Flynn replied that was correct.

Mr. DiBlasi questioned if the $23,000 had to be used for volunteers; it might be more cost effective to hire a taxi company.  Ms. Flynn replied that most of the money goes for a software scheduling program.  All the drivers are volunteers and are not compensated for their fuel.  Very little of the money is spent on administration.  Mr. DiBlasi asked if the funds were being used in the most cost effective manner.  Ms. Flynn replied that they were.   The grants will be mini grants of about $2000 each.

Mr. Laguzza asked how the InterReligious Council became the lead agency of the Ombudsman Program.   Ms. Spoto Decker replied that they have been the lead agency for 10 years; they submitted a proposal and were commissioned to run the program.  Mr. Laguzza asked if the grant was obtained by the County or as a collaborative effort with the InterReligious Council.  Ms. Flynn stated originally the County applied for and received the grant.

Mr. Laguzza asked how the money for Meals On Wheels is disbursed.   Ms. Flynn stated that the money is divided between various Meals On Wheels programs based on their projected caseload.  Mr. Laguzza asked for a break down of the disbursements. 

A motion was made by Mr. Laguzza, seconded by Mrs. Chaplin, to approve this item.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

2.   SOCIAL SERVICES: David Sutkowy, DSS Commissioner, Roberta Sprague, Commissioner of Long Term Care, Jolie Lyon

a.  Amending the 2006 County Budget to accept and provide for additional funds in the Department of Social Services to support a point of entry (POE) for accessing Long Term Care Services and authorizing the County Executive to enter into contracts to implement this resolution ($200,000)

  • State Dept. of Health and State Dept. of Aging are allocating funds to implement a POE System
  • The funds will flow through DSS
  • DSS will contract with Long Term Care for this program
  • Point of Entry will provide one location for information and services

Ms. Sprague stated that the Long Term Care process could be very cumbersome in some counties.  In 1991 the Long Term Care Resource Center was formed; 10 DSS and 12 Long Term Care personnel staff the center.    They evaluate and recommend the best package of services for clients, working with licensed agencies.  If the client is a private pay person, or have other insurance, they would supply them with names and contact numbers of agencies providing the services they are looking for.  The POE System will be throughout the State of NY with each county having a POE.   In Onondaga County, Long Term Care, DSS and the Dept. of Youth and Aging will work together to provide a POE.  The Long Term Care Resource Center will be the lead agency.  The funds from this grant will be used mainly for technology and an additional clerk for reporting.  Furniture for the staff person, a phone system enhancement and some advertising will be purchased. 

A motion was made by Mr. Laguzza, seconded by Mr. Warner, to approve this item.

 

There was a discussion about the benefits of this program.  Mr. Warner asked that Ms. Sprague inform the committee of the youth program that will go along with this system.  Ms. Sprague stated there is an established Care At Home, Medicaid Program, for families with a youth aged birth to 18 whose families would not qualify for Medicaid except for having this child.   This program assist those parents who wish to have their child live in their home and community, rather than an outside source.  Ms. Sprague stated that the child, not the family, would qualify for Medicaid based on the child's needs and lack of income on their own.  Mr. Warner asked about the Mega Waiver.  Ms. Sprague stated the Mega Waiver is a new program the state is working on that should be available within 2 years.  It will combine the State Plan Services and the Waiver Programs.  Instead of having to apply for each specific program, the Mega Waiver would serve as application for all services and programs based on need.

Mr. DiBlasi asked if it would be mandatory for a private pay person to apply for services through the POE.  Ms. Sprague replied that it is not possible to mandate a private pay person to apply for services through the POE; hopefully people will see the benefit and take advantage of it over time. 

Ms. Lyon stated an Advisory Council appointed by the County Executive would be set up within the first year.  Mr. DiBlasi asked if this was through the State Charter.  Ms. Lyon stated that it was part of the grant proposal.  Mr. DiBlasi stated he would like to see the Legislature have a few positions on the Council and asked Mr. Warner's opinion.  Mr. Warner stated that he would keep that in mind.

Mr. Rhinehart questioned if the grants for this program were permanent.  Ms. Sprague stated they are subject to the State Budget.   Mr. Rhinehart noted, this is not a State Mandated Program and if the grants are not permanent, once we start this program we may end up looking for money to pay for it.  Ms. Sprague replied that we have been providing this service since 1991.  The County has to take care of all the Medicaid people who need services.  A screening process is necessary in order to determine if a person is eligible for Medicaid.  The POE will enhance what they are currently providing.   The $200,000 will be used for infrastructure and 1 additional employee.  If the grant money goes away, the $200,000 will continue to enhance what they are doing now.

Mr. Rhinehart asked if appointments had to be made with the POE.  Ms. Sprague replied it is a call in service; no appointments are needed. 

Mr. Laguzza stated that Onondaga County has been ahead of the curve.  This program was started in 1991; 15 years later the benefits are clear.  We need to move forward with the POE plan; it enchases the current program.  The program might help with Van Duyn's financial situation as well.

Mr. Warner asked how clients were able to locate help before 1991.  Ms. Sprague said that in the past they had to call various departments on different floors.  Since 1979 they have evolved to the current program, which mixes nurses and case management functions.

Mr. Sutkowy stated the POE System would provide a neutral contact source for people looking for services.  Ms. Sprague stated the impartial voice is the key.  There are a number of providers advertising.  If you call the provider, they have a service to sell you and direct you to their service.    The Resource Center provides callers with information on all the services available, allowing the client to make a choice.   With the POE the County will be doing advertising for service provisions and information referrals.  They will also be advertising long term care insurance; hoping to get people to apply before they need long term care; thereby avoiding going on Medicaid.

A vote was taken on the motion to approve.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:06 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Katherine Stadelmann, Assistant Clerk

Onondaga County Legislature

 

PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE MINUTES - October 19, 2006
MARTHA E. MULROY, CHAIR

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Mr. Ryan, Mr. Holmquist, Mr. Warner, Mr. Kinne, *Mr. Rhinehart, **Mr. DiBlasi

ALSO PRESENT:  see attached list

Chair Mulroy called the meeting to order at 9:05 a.m.

A motion was made by Mr. Warner, seconded by Mr. Holmquist to waive the reading and approve the minutes of the previous committee meeting.  MOTION CARRIED.

Chair Mulroy stated that the agenda would be taken out of order. Item 3 would be taken first, as it was discussed at length during the budget process.

3.   HISCOCK LEGAL AID:

a.   Amending the 2006 County Budget to accept a grant from the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services and authorizing the County Executive to enter into contracts to implement this resolution ($45,000)

A motion was made by Mr. Warner, seconded by Mr. Kinne to approve this item.  Passed unanimously; motion carried. 

1.   SHERIFF:  Roy Gratien

a.   Create Crime Analyst, Grade 8 @ $34,235 - $37,853 effective November 7, 2006

The position was included in District Attorney's grant that went through the legislature this month.  It is part of Operation Impact grant for 2006.  The person will be analyzing crime data, data entry, field intelligence officers, etc.  It is in Sheriff's budget--when the grant is gone, the position is gone.  Chair Mulroy asked the Law Dept. to make sure that language is included in the resolution.

Mr. Ryan referenced $380,000 in grant money coming through in Nov.; asked if the Div. of Criminal Justice hands out to all police agencies towards year end.  Mr. Gratien said not more than any other time of the year. 

*Mr. Rhinehart arrived at the meeting. 

Mr. Gratien said that some grants are repeat, annual recurring grants, i.e. Secure Our Schools (fed), Drug Enforce. Task Force--$22,000 is in the budget; are getting $55,000.  Mr. Ryan asked if approximately the same amount is received every year.  Mr. Gratien explained that the grant covers overtime; is case specific - if no cases, no overtime.  They try to anticipate the amount.  This year vehicle money was included.  Mr. Ryan said that if it is known the money will be received yearly and only putting in 20%; we are overtaxing the taxpayers. 

Discussion on the position - Mr. Gratien said that it will be up to the intelligence unit to solicit employees.  The State makes it a very short window.  No one is doing this now.  The Sheriff and the City are each getting a crime analyst with the grant.  The person will likely be in the PSB and will be a civilian.

Mr. Kinne asked for a breakdown of the grants received so far this year and for the last 2 years; when received and the amounts.

A motion was made by Mr. Warner, seconded by Mr. Kinne to approve this item.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED

b.   Amending the 2006 County Budget to authorize the Onondaga County Sheriff's Office to receive additional grant funds from the Division of Criminal Justice Services and authorizing the County Executive to enter into contracts to implement this resolution ($33,437)

The majority is for overtime and $15,000 for reimbursement for vehicle costs.  These are drug investigations; the overtime reimbursed are for deputies that work with the Task Force on specific investigation; typically require overtime; not a 9 - 5 business.  Any overtime incurred is reimbursable up to 90 hrs./quarter per officer.

A motion was made by Mr. Warner, seconded by Mr. Kinne.  Passed unanimously.  MOTION CARRIED.

c.   Amending the 2006 County Budget to authorize the Onondaga County Sheriff's Office to receive grant funds from the Division of Criminal Justice Services and authorizing the County Executive to enter into contracts to implement this resolution ($184,000)

This is money for future development of CNY Leads, which replaces CHAIRS.  Money was made available through Senator DeFrancisco's office. 

A motion was made by Mr. Kinne, seconded by Mr. Warner to approve this item.

This will pay for consultants. Mr. Rhinehart asked what happens when the grant runs out.  Mr. Gratien explained that he is hopeful that through the end of next year, we should be done with the project.  If more funds are needed it will have to come through county funds or will continue to pursue other grant opportunities.  Mr. Simmonds explained that the CHAIRS system in 25 years old, it not capable of doing some things; need to move to new technology.  The consultants will expand the wireless network to do the arrest portion, interface with SJS, that the State uses. 

Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

d.   Amending the 2006 County Budget to accept funds and authorizing the County Executive to enter into agreements to participate in the COPS Secure Our Schools Program ($138,258)

The county is a pass through from the federal government to provide funding for school districts in the county.  North Syracuse, OCS, Solvay and Jamesville Dewitt are participating - provides security improvements, i.e. card access, lighting, cameras, metal detectors, locks.  The Sheriff's office was invited to participate; all school districts in the county were solicited and these are the only 4 that responded. It requires a 50% match from the school district.  City Schools would have to go through Syracuse Police Department.

A motion was made by Mr. Warner, seconded by Mr. Rhinehart to approve this item.

Mr. Rhinehart questioned why some schools have Sheriff's and some have state troopers.  Mr. Gratien said in previous years there was funding for Cops in Schools, school resource officers and the Sheriff participated in the North Syracuse School Dist. The grant expired but the school now pays for it.  Sheriff's Dept. has explored other school districts, offered the same opportunities; some school districts do not want to pick up the costs.  Skaneateles and Jordan Elbridge use a state trooper.  Mr. Rhinehart asked if there is any interface between the agencies; Mr. Gratien said that there is regional training. 

A vote was taken on the motion; passed unanimously.  MOTION CARRIED.

2.      EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS:  John Balloni, Commissioner, Joanne Monroe

a.   Update - Current Projects

**Mr. DiBlasi arrived at the meeting.

Mr. Balloni provided a power point presentation (attachment no. 1).

Mr. Kinne asked if the $9 million includes the radios.  Mr. Balloni said the OCICS system is a separate system.  It does include the radios that operate the 800 MHz radios that operate the digital laptops in the cars. This is just a piece of CAD to send information to cars; ability to pull up maps, direct routing, hydrant locations, etc.  The radio issue is being worked on; will be here for informational or with entire project in the next month or two.

Mr. Rhinehart asked if all independent agencies have singed on to AVL (Automatic Vehicle Location).  Mr. Balloni said that they have been to the ambulance directors meetings; are working on the plan.  They agree in concept that if there is an emergency type call, they will go with the closest ambulance even if it costs them money.  It has not been formalized; he would like to have it before they go live.  It will create a hardship on 911 to figure out who is participating, but will be beneficial to the county.  It is part of the system, and the AVL will be there whether they use it or not.  Training is all in house.

Mr. Ryan asked how much is invested in a car.  Mr. Balloni said laptops, radios, mounting hardware, approx. $7,000.  To add the cost of a new radio system, estimated $3,000 more.  The vehicles today have video, ticket writing and transmitting, radar equipment, and lasers.  He estimated the total cost to be $60,000 - $70,000.

There was further discussion about the radios - there will be 2 radios in the cars, as there are now.

Mr. Rhinehart asked what surrounding counties do if their 911 center goes down.  Mr. Balloni said that a number of them have their own backup sites.  Sometimes they work together regionally.  Mr. Rhinehart asked if the 911 center and back up center will work if the phones are out.  Mr. Balloni said it is still possible that trunk lines could go down and could lose ability to call 911; it is more of a Verizon issue. Both centers can be run simultaneously in an emergency if needed.

b.   A local law authorizing the acquisition of certain property and a related communication tower and equipment shelter in the Town of Otisco and authorizing the lease back of certain portions of such tower and shelter

Mr. Balloni distributed a briefing paper (on file with clerk).  Last month he came to the committee with an increase for rent at the Dutch Hill site.  The committee asked about renting infrastructure and the options.  The consultants have been working on it and went to Dutch Hill site.  They checked into land near the site, but the owner was not interested in selling it.  They looked at other sites.

  • Found an existing tower at 1356 Barker St., Otisco.
  • Tower is very heavy duty and will meet or exceed all needs
  • The owner was asked if he wanted to sell and told the consultant the price was $60,000 at first blush; when approached formally, he said the price was $100,000.
  • The cost of building our own tower is $250,000 estimated.
  • Management & Budget finds this is still economical for the county
  • Including moving costs, there would be a 9.3 year pay off at existing rentals.
  • Expects that when putting new antennas on Dutch Hill, the rent will be increased (now $1,425/mo.)
  • Tower would be owned by the County; and could rent space - how many depends on height, type, etc.

Mr. Warner asked about the average rent per month that the County rents space to.  Mr. Gabriel said that it depends on the antenna being put on the tower, the height, size-average is from $300 to $1,000/mo.  He said their model does not take into consideration projected revenues based on future leases.  In terms of payback - based on zero balance and no rentals.  If there are rentals, expect to pay back in less than 5 years.  This is the alternative site to Dutch Hill. 

Mr. Balloni distributed a copy of the appraisal report (on file with Clerk).  The appraised value was $74,000.  The owner did not have a for sale sign; County went to him asking if he would sell.  Mr. Balloni said it is a win/win for the county and the current owner. 

Mr. Warner asked about lease rights - Mr. Balloni said it is common practice that they keep the revenue or buy the person out of that revenue.  In this case, it doesn't hurt us to maintain his antenna.  Mr. Balloni said he is keeping the antenna and those services that he has that maintain that antenna with a lease for 10 yrs.  There was discussion regarding the geographic area that supports the coverage and this would mimic Dutch Hill. 

Mr. Ryan said this is a capital expense, but will save taxpayers money down the road.

c.   Approving the classification of an unlisted action; declaring lead agency status; accepting the short environmental assessment form and declaring a negative declaration for the purchase and lease back of property and related improvements included in the Town of Otisco

A motion was made to move items 2b and 2c together; seconded by Mr. Warner.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

A motion was made by Mr. Warner, seconded by Mr. Holmquist to adjourn at 10:05 a.m.  MOTION CARRIED.

Respectfully submitted,

DEBORAH L. MATURO, Clerk

Onondaga County Legislature

 

WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE MINUTES
WILLIAM H. MEYER, CHAIRMAN
October 31, 2006

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Mr. Corbett, Mr. Kraft, Mr. Ryan, Mr. Farrell, Mrs. Baker, Mr. Warner, *Mr. Stanczyk

MEMBERS ABSENT:  Mrs. Rapp

ALSO PRESENT:  Chairman Sweetland, see attached list

A motion was made by Mr. Farrell, seconded by Mrs. Baker to waive the reading and approve the minutes of proceedings of the previous meeting.  MOTION CARRIED.

 

1.   WATER ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION:  Mr. Richard Elander, Commissioner

a.   A resolution approving improvements for the Metropolitan Syracuse Wastewater Treatment Plant of the County of Onondaga, NY

  • $4.46 million total cost
  • Asking to bonding $3.99 million
  • Engineering work will be taken out of the 960 pay as you go acct rather than borrow.
  • Will advertise as soon as approved, wish to bid and award over the winter

A motion was made by Mr. Farrell, seconded by Mrs. Baker, to approve this item.  ABSENT: 2 (Rapp, Stanczyk). Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

b.   A resolution authorizing the issuance of $3,990,000 bonds of the County of Onondaga, NY, to pay costs of certain improvements for the Metropolitan Syracuse Wastewater Treatment Plant in and for the County Sanitary District

A motion was made by Mr. Corbett, seconded by Mr. Farrell to approve this item.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

c.      Authorizing the standardization of the Calgon Phoenix Carbon Absorption Odor Control System for certain wastewater collection or treatment projects

  • 2003 resolution was passed for same equipment for Midland RTF and Wetzel Rd. WWTP under construction now
  • Design of Clinton RTF and 2 Harbor RTFs are under way - wish to standardize on that design
  • Engineers again asked to research if this was the appropriate equipment. A new type system now available, which wasn't 3 years ago. Capital cost is a little less, but has no track record. It is more difficult to regenerate and replace the carbon than in the Calgon Phoenix system.
  • Phoenix has proven record; several entities were contacted that have the Calgon Phoenix system, all still very happy with it.
  • Doesn't want to take a chance on odor control failing.
  • Supplier will maintain the same price until 2009; approximately $1 million.

Mr. Warner asked if it is the system being used a Hiawatha; it is not.  Hiawatha is a deep-bed system, tall tanks.  The Calgon Phoenix system requires much less space; it has number of containers of carbon.  At Metro it is a scrubbing system, more appropriate for wastewater treatment for a 24 hrs/day, 7 days/week basis.

A motion was made by Mr. Corbett, seconded by Mrs. Baker to approve this item.

Mr. Ryan asked if the carbon filters will be sole sourced.  Mr. Elander said that they are only made by Calgon Phoenix system.  They are not replaced very often; they are regenerated every year.  The carbon is cleaned with water.  It is much easier for staff to regenerate the carbon with a containerized system.  When it is time to replace the system, which may be 10 years, the container is shipped back, get new containers and plug them in.  Mr. Ryan expressed concern that when the containers are taken out, and there is nowhere else to get them, they could inflate the price dramatically.  Mr. Elander said that question came up with Midland and will provide the information to him prior to session; their response was in a manner that was satisfactory. 

Mr. Corbett asked if the installation will go to RFP; Mr. Elander said that it will--same price provided to all contractors; no variation in what will have to be bid. 

ABSENT:  2 (Rapp, Stanczyk); passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

 

2.   SHERIFF:  Chief William Peverly

a.   Create Crime Analyst, Gr. 8 @ $34,235 - $37,853 effective November 7, 2006

  • Part of DA's Operation Impact grant provided full salary & benefits for crime analyst in Sheriff's Dept.
  • No matching funds required
  • Grant period ends June 2007
  • Person will analyze data provided from Operation Impact and disseminate to agencies participating in program as needed
  • Once funds expire, position is abolished
  • Grant is for $45,000; it is a civilian position, total compensation package is about $34,235 (salary and benefits)

A motion was made by Mr. Warner, seconded by Mr. Corbett to approve this item.  ABSENT:  2 (Rapp, Stanczyk); passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

b.   Amending the 2006 County Budget to authorize the Onondaga County Sheriff's office to receive additional grant funds from the Division of Criminal Justice Services and authorizing the County Executive to enter into contracts ($33,437)

  • Participation in regional Drug Enforcement Task Force
  • Primarily for overtime for Sheriff
  • $10,000 to purchase or lease vehicles.
  • $5,000 for fuel and operational costs
  • Vehicle amount was determined by the State - will receive the maximum allowed.

A motion was made by Mrs. Baker, seconded by Mr. Warner to approve this item.

Mr. Ryan had requested a list of grants that were received for the last 3 years.  Chief Peverly said that the information was sent over and identified the last 5 years.  Monies are put in the budget as revenue; 2007 budget reflects monies expected to be received. 

ABSENT:  2 (Rapp, Stanczyk); passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

c.   Amending the 2006 County Budget to authorize the Onondaga County Sheriff's Office to receive grant funds from the Division of Criminal Justice Services and authorizing the County Executive to enter into contracts ($184,000)

A motion was made by Mr. Warner, seconded by Mrs. Baker to approve this item.

  • Allocated through Sen. DeFranciso to help underwrite cost of CNYLEADS
  • Majority of funding for consulting services
  • Approx. $34,000 for hardware and software

Parts of CNYLeads are running now; will continue to develop through the years.  Have had CHAIRS since mid '80s have which has aged.  CNYLEADS is new technology and will ultimate replace CHAIRS.  Currently, the 2 programs are interfacing.

Mr. Farrell asked for an overview on what the original timeframe, cost, revenue sources of CNYLEADS. Mr. Simmonds said he can provide it; this grant puts them at approx. $700,000 in funds to develop it.  The anticipated total cost was projected to be $1.2 million.  Another grant is being worked on with law enforcement for 2008.  Part of money is used to train staff to take over.  It needs to be done; will be state of the art.

*Mark Stanczyk arrived at the meeting.

 

Mr. Kraft asked about a $50 fee/vehicle.  Mr. Simmonds said that they found a way to get around it and pay the maintenance fees.  All towns and villages are participating now; some have not been trained yet. 

 

ABSENT:  1 (Rapp); passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

d.   Amending the 2006 County Budget to accept funds and authorizing the County Executive to enter into agreements to participate in the COPS Secure Our School Program ($138,258)

A motion was made by Mr. Ryan, seconded by Mr. Stanczyk to approve this item.

North Syracuse, Onondaga Central, Solvay and Jamesville School Districts submitted applications and matched 50%.

Mr. Farrell asked what was done to solicit involvement by other school districts, and are these prior participants.  Chief Peverly said that OCS is the second time around.  The superintendents had a committee; Sheriff's grant person went to the committee and gave the chair the information.  They disseminated the information to the school districts within the County.  The schools submitted applications through the Sheriff's Dept. and coordinated with Sheriff's grant person.  Mr. Farrell asked for information on the timeframe that the process was done in.

ABSENT:  1 (Rapp); passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

3.   HEALTH:  Ms. Jean Smiley, Dr. Kathleen Corrado

a.   Create Forensic Scientist 1 (Biology), Grade 12 @ $45,494 - $50,363 effective November 11, 2006

Create Forensic Scientist 2 (Biology), Grade 13 @ $50,391 - $55,805 effective November 11, 2006

Create Forensic Scientist 3 (Biology), Grade 14 @ $55,731 - $61,738 effective November 11, 2006

Create Latent Print Examiner 1, Grade 11 @ $42,722 - $47,283 effective November 11, 2006

Create Latent Print Examiner 2, Grade 12 @ $45,494 - $50,363 effective November 11, 2006

Create Latent Print Examiner 3, Grade 13 @ $50,391 - $55,805 effective November 11, 2006

Items 3a and 3b go together. 

  • Request to accept DNA Lab Enhancement Grant from State, 18 mos. grant, $261,849
  • State is looking to improve DNA capacities across the state
  • Asking to create the series of titles, have 1, 2, & 3 levels for each position; based on experience can bring people in at different levels.
  • 2 series created (can fill only 1 in a series), 3 positions total; one is a lab tech position, which is on roster but will use grant funding to fill it
  • $124,919 personnel, $57,245 fringe benefits; $69,600 equipment; $10,184 supplies
  • There is a provision that if grant funding goes away, then the position goes away

Mr. Ryan questioned how many counties are doing this throughout the State.  Dr. Corrado said this is being provided from the state; the federal government is focused on increase capacity and providing funding for mostly equipment and supplies.  There was conversation with the laboratories that indicated that personnel are needed in also.  The state has now provided funds for personnel.  Mr. Ryan asked if there is a measure to make sure that the state tax dollars were well invested.  Ms. Smiley said that as part of the grant, 100 cases are being targeted in terms of backlog.  Dr. Corrado said the idea is to address the issues of backlog in a number of different ways; the 100 is an additional amount for 1 person do.  They also hope to reduce the backlog with equipment and supplies.  The 100 are just for the DNA Analyst.  The State has suggested that they hope to continue funding every year.

Mr. Kraft said that a lot of positions have been created now; it provides flexibility to the department, but maybe the County can't afford to create the 3 levels consistently.  He asked for a one-page explanation that shows the positions and the levels they are at.  Ms. Smiley said a critical issue is to be able to hire quality people, and difficult to keep people because of the competition in this field.  Currently the State and Federal governments have gone from sworn officers, toward scientist.  It all takes time to build up a pool of candidates.  Even if someone has the experience, they can't just come in and start doing work.  They have to go through the proficiency testing related to a particular job title. 

Mr. Farrell asked for detail on how the numbers were derived--getting 12 mos. of service under a 18 mos. grant because the equipment has to be purchases and people hired; question if that is why there is lead time.

Mrs. Baker asked what the state's backlog average.  Dr. Corrado said that Onondaga has one of the lowest, if not the lowest in the state.

Mr. Warner questioned where counties go that don't have a lab; Dr. Corrado said mostly the State Police.  Our lab does outside work and charges on a fee for service basis.  The average cost for DNA is about $300/sample; a single case would have about 6 samples.  Mr. Warner asked if the there is potential to make this a profit.  Dr. Corrado said that the issue is that they would have to expand greatly; don't have enough staff now and the State can go to the State Police for free.  Some counties are willing to do this on a case-by-case basis because Onondaga County tends to get the results faster than the State Police.  She doesn't foresee a lot coming in to pay the county when they can go to state for free.  The DNA section works about 300 cases/year.  The county has done well with the DNA section; a number of high-profile cases have been solved.  Mr. Warner asked the total cost per year for DNA; Ms. Wilson stated that it is $484,000 gross for 2007, $318,000 local; does not include grants.  There are 9 in the state; NYC has 1, State Police have 1; and the other 7 are in other counties.

Mr. Farrell asked what the next step would be to increase the capacity.  Ms. Smiley said that they would have to have additional space and additional staff.  Mr. Farrell asked if there is any ability to run this on a multi-shift, 24/7, to increase capacity.  Dr. Corrado said they have looked into that; they could do it except are limited for equipment space, equipment right now runs overnight and is at capacity.  Dr. Corrado discussed backlog; have 70 cases right now in progress; and the tests take time.  Ms. Smiley said that with science and new cases coming in the door every day, it will never be 0.  Mr. Farrell asked if should expand beyond Onondaga and would we be better serving the people of Onondaga County. 

Mr. Warner asked who decides what cases are going to be accepted.  Dr. Corrado said that every case is accepted that law enforcement deems to be analyzed.  The laboratory prioritized which cases get worked on sooner based on severity of the crime, requests from investigators, or based on court dates.  They work very closely with police agencies. 

b.   Amending the 2006 County Budget to accept DNA Capacity Enhancement Grant Funds and authorizing the County Executive to execute agreements ($261,849)

A motion was made by Mrs. Baker to approve items 3a and 3b together, seconded by Mr. Warner; ABSENT:  1 (Rapp); passed unanimously.  MOTION CARRIED.

c.      Authorizing establishment of a petty cash fund for the Onondaga County Health Department for the purpose of making and providing change ($1,000)

A motion was made by Mr. Stanczyk, seconded by Mrs. Baker to approve this item.  AYES:  7 (Meyer, Corbett, Kraft, Baker, Warner, Ryan, Stanczyk)  NOES:  0; ABSENT:  1 (Rapp) OUT OF ROOM:  1 (FARRELL).  MOTION CARRIED.

4.   COUNTY CLERK:  Mrs. Ann Ciarpelli, County Clerk

a.   Mortgage Tax Apportionment

A motion was made by Mr. Stanczyk, seconded by Mr. Warner to approve this item.  AYES:  7 (Meyer, Corbett, Kraft, Baker, Warner, Ryan, Stanczyk)  NOES:  0; ABSENT:  1 (Rapp) OUT OF ROOM:  1 (FARRELL).  MOTION CARRIED.

5.   HISCOCK LEGAL AID:  Ms. Susan Horn

a.   Amending the 2006 County Budget to accept a grant from the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services and authorizing the County Executive to enter into contracts ($45,000)

A motion was made by Mr. Stanczyk, seconded by Mr. Ryan to approve this item.

  • Grant obtained through Sen. DeFrancisco to target domestic violence
  • Local match of $15,000
  • Grant runs from Oct. 1, 2006 - Sept. 30, 2007; 2006;if money not spent in 2006, it will be encumbered.

There was discussion about the $25,000 put back into the 2007 budget.  Ms. Horn stated that it includes the local match and additional funds to help with loss federal grant for domestic violence.

ABSENT:  1 (Rapp); Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

6.      EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS:  Mr. John Balloni, Commissioner

a.   A Local Law authorizing the acquisition of certain property and a related communications tower and equipment shelter in the Town of Otisco and authorizing the leaseback of certain portions of such tower and shelter

A motion was made by Mr. Ryan, seconded by Mrs. Baker to approve this item.

Ways & Means Committee asked Mr. Balloni to look into purchasing property vs. leasing

  • Consultant asked to check into availability of a tower or cost to build a new one--$250,000, and substation storage would be needed.
  • This tower will cost $100,00; will pay for itself in about 10 years; assuming there is no increase in rent; potential revenue.
  • Critical emergency communications infrastructure; own most of the other towers
  • Ready to pour a pad and deliver a $50,000 prefab shelter at Dutch Hill site; if going to buy this tower, it would save a lot of money and aggravation and it could be used at this site
  • Appraisal came back at $75,000;
  • Tower wasn't for sale, county approached owner

There was discussion about the ability of condemnation.  Mr. Balloni responded that they are not doing it because of public safety or a dire need; doing it because it is the more appropriate way to save money.  Mr. Farrell asked if this is different in terms of process, is the requirement different; should this be looked at the same way other things are.  If so, why should we spend more dollars now.  Mr. Balloni said that if they had a formal appraisal done by an independent property, it would cost more than the $25,000 difference between that and the price paying--delay and go through any other process.  Mr. Farrell believes there is a way to control of the land in advance so it doesn't delay the process.

Mr. Stanczyk asked the value of the lease back for 10 years without charge; and what is the portion being leased back.  Mr. Stevenson, consultant, said there is nothing on the tower leased at this time.  The owner has an antenna on the tower.  In the agreement he wants the ability to have the antenna at top of tower and a certain amount of floor space in an existing shelter.  He has no clients there at this time; he would have an option, but there is not much he will ever be able to put there.  The value depends own what is put there, might be $350 - $500/month.  This tower is well built and was designed for microwaves.  Have ability to get revenues if a customer came along, it could be a cell company, but it won't be in the next year, as he has checked into it.  The current landowner would not be able to contract with the cell company.  The leaseback is renewable.  After 10 years, if he wants to renew, he would have to negotiate with the county to continue the lease.

Vote was taken on the motion to approve:  AYES:  7 (Meyer, Corbett, Kraft, Farrell, Baker, Warner, Stanczyk);  NOES:  0;  ABSENT:  1 (Rapp)  OUT OF ROOM:  1 ( Ryan).  MOTION CARRIED.

7.   SOCIAL SERVICES:  David Sutkowy, Commissioner

a.   Amending the 2006 County Budget to accept and provide for additional funds in the Department of Social Services to support a point of entry (POE) for accessing Long Term Care Services and authorizing the County Executive to enter into contracts ($200,000)

A motion was made by Mr. Warner, seconded by Mrs. Baker to approve this item.

  • State Dept of Health, Office of Aging is interested in improving long term care systems across the state by creating Point of Entries in each county
  • POEs intended to be central point of organization that can provide information for long term care services
  • Allocating $200,000, DSS is the mandated recipient, but are a pass through in Onondaga County; money will go to Long Term Care and Resource Center
  • Have been operating the Long Term Care Resource Center since 1991, part of their function is to provide objective, nonpartial information
  • One clerk will be hired, $28,000, fringes $14,000, equipment $47,000, rent payable to Van Duyn $27,000

Currently there are 21 people and the Long Term Care Resource Center, right now 2 screeners and 1 clerical position, cases are assigned to caseworkers or a nurse, approximately 16 people, to do a home visit.  The difference between what is done currently and the POE will be more penetration, more referrals, marketing and education.  Right now the Resource Center is not advertising its availability.  Mr. Farrell said he would like a budget and outcomes.

There was discussion on what the $200,000 will be used for.  It is supplemental revenue.  Mr. Sutkowy said the majority of funding is for one-time purchases of equipment that will support the function of the expanded services, such as $40,000 on marketing.  Mrs. Baker said that this was discussed at Health Committee.  The state is saying every county has to a have a POE; it is a complex issue; the county is ahead of the game because we have already started with the Resource Center, which has been very successful.  A lot of people in this community don't know about it.  Education was a big part of this, as well as getting the equipment to allow more referrals.

Mr. Warner said that it is designed to help people move through the system more easily; to streamline it.  It was reviewed thoroughly at committee.

Chairman Meyer asked the Department of Long Term Care to provide more detailed information to the legislature prior to session.  Mr. Ryan asked that someone attend each caucus prior to session.

AYES:  5 (Meyer, Corbett, Kraft, Baker, Warner) NOSE:  0;  ABSTAINED:  3 (Ryan, Farrell, Stanczyk)  ABSENT:  1 (Rapp).  MOTION CARRIED.

8.   PARKS:

a.      Authorizing the Onondaga County Department of Parks and Recreation to apply for grant funds from the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation under the recreational trails program in the amount of $100,000 for the acquisition of equipment for the purpose of maintaining the Jordan Level Trail

A motion was made by Mr. Kraft, seconded by Mrs. Baker to approve this item.

  • 80% grant; county needs to come up with 20%; not being authorized today; just giving permission to apply for the grant

Mr. Ryan expressed concern that many departments get money heaped on from state and federal governments in the fall of every year.  It is discouraging that they have overtaxed us, taken the money, and now finding ways to spend it.  Mr. Geraci said that this is a golden opportunity to be able to get the equipment, get the work done on the trails, and have most of it come out of a grant with only 20% out of the Parks budget.  The equipment is needed.  He does not know how they will come up with the $25,000 yet.

Mr. Stanczyk asked if the two grants on the agenda are competing.  Mr. Geraci said they compete in the sense that there is only so much money to go around state wide, but are different categories.

Chair Sweetland asked about language in the resolution...upon approval directed to enter into and execute a project agreement with the state.  He quested if the committee is really approving this today.  Chairman Sweetland asked if this resolution authorizes the county executive that binds us.  Mr. Seitz replied that an agreement can be entered into, but cannot appropriate the money; would have to come back with a budget amendment.  Mr. Geraci said that the language used every time.

Mr. Farrell asked what the equipment is.  Mr. Geraci distributed a handout that explained the equipment (attachment no. 1).

*Mr. Stanczyk left the meeting.

Mr. Warner said that if everything had to be done here with local dollars and no grant, not much would get done at the legislature.  The grants come some through; and we need them.

ABSENT: 2 (Rapp, Stanczyk); passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

b.      Authorizing the Onondaga County Department of Parks and Recreation to apply for grant funds from the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation under the Recreational Trails Program in an amount not to exceed $100,000 for the purpose of constructing an extension of the Onondaga Lake East Shore Trail, from its current terminus southward across Bloody Brook to the Butterfly Garden

A motion was made by Mr. Kraft, seconded by Mr. Farrell to approve this item.  AYES:  7 (Meyer, Corbett, Kraft, Farrell, Baker, Warner, Ryan)  NOES:  0; ABSENT:  2 (Rapp, Stanczyk).  MOTION CARRIED.

9.   AGING AND YOUTH:

a.   Amending the 2006 County Budget to provide the Department of Aging and Youth - Office for the Aging with additional federal funds beyond the estimated dollars appropriated in the 2006 County Budget and authorizing the County Executive to enter into contracts ($47,773)

A motion was made by Mr. Warner, seconded by Mrs. Baker to approve this item.  AYES:  6 (Meyer, Corbett, Kraft, Baker, Warner, Ryan)  NOES:  0; OUT OF ROOM:  1 (Farrell)  ABSENT:  2 (Rapp, Stanczyk).  MOTION CARRIED.

11. WAYS AND MEANS MISCELLANEOUS:

a.      Authorizing the Division of Purchase to sell surplus pistols and related accouterments to Onondaga County Court Security Officers :  Mr. Donald Lawless, Director, Division of Purchase

Sheriff's Dept. has employed court security officers and have been issued Glock pistols, holsters, magazine holders, etc.  The concept was that when they became state employees on 10/16, the state was to reimburse the county for that equipment.  About 10 days ago, the State notified that the county that they were not going to do that, that they were going to provide uniform allowances to the individuals to purchase that equipment.  There is no mechanism in the Division of Purchase to sell surplus pistols except by authorization of this legislature.  Chairman Meyer asked if there are any liability issues; Mr. Lawless said none that  they no of.

Mr. Ryan is concerned about the level of training and asked if tasers were considered for these individuals.  Mr. Lawless said that he understands that these employees are required by the state as part of employment to buy this model pistol.  They already have them.  Chief Peverly said that they are peace offices and they do have pistol licenses.  The investment to the county is $571 per officer; they are looking to sell them for $550.

Mr. Warner asked if peace officers have to have pistol permit.  Chief Peverly said that they do, the state statue requires that they must be licensed.  A police officer does not, they carry it with their badge.

Mr. Ryan asked if it is necessary for them to have a pistol in there capacity.  Chief Peverly said that they are state employees and have to a 9MM Glock pistol.  Mr. Corbett said that they have gone through physical and weapons training to do this.  Chief Peverly said that the Sheriff's Dept. did the training; they were our employees and have requalified them.  The state is also going to requalify them within the next month.

ABSENT:  2 (Rapp, Stanczyk); passed unanimously.  MOTION CARRIED.

b.   Abolish Clerk 1, Gr. 11 @ $44,012 - $48,711 effective retroactive to October 10, 2006 (Sheriff)

Create Clerk 1, Grade 2 @ $22,963 - $25,329 effective retroactive to October 10, 2006 (Sheriff)

c.   Abolish Civil Engineer 3, Gr. 15 @ $63,138 - $69,962 effective retroactive to October 10, 2006 (Transportation)

Create Civil Engineer 3, Gr. 15 @ $61,289 - $67,912 effective retroactive to October 10, 2006 (Transportation)

Housekeeping items to correct 2 errors in the Oct. 10, 2006 budget resolution.

A motion was made by Mr. Kraft, seconded by Mr. Warner to approve items 11b & 11c.  ABSENT:  2 (Rapp, Stanczyk); passed unanimously;  MOTION CARRIED.

d.      Confirming appointment to the Onondaga County Soil and Water Conservation District Board (Mr. Rhinehart)

A motion was made by Mr. Corbett, seconded by Mr. Warner to approve this item.  ABSENT:  2 (Rapp, Stanczyk); Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

e.   A Local Law increasing the compensation of the Onondaga County Legislators

A motion was made by Mr. Kraft, seconded by Mr. Warner to approve this item.

Mr. Warner stated that this is long overdue, everyone is afraid of the impression it gives to raise salary, and we have gone 4 or 5 yeas without a raise.

Mr. Farrell said that the test is if we can we attract people with appropriate knowledge, experience and capabilities to do the job.  Feels that if we keep the salaries the same as they are today and no one is leaving, we continue to attract people.  He is opposed to the legislation.

Mr. Kraft said that this function is very demanding, referred to the time spent on the budget process.  This is the only raise in 5 years; there is never a good time; always a bad time.  This is 12.5% over 5 years, 2.5%/year; is considered reasonable to inflation and feels now is the time to move forward.

Mr. Warner said that if some people are opposed to the pay raise, Law Dept. should draft a resolution to have them refuse the pay in their check.  Mr. Warner asked if that could happen; Ms. Testut believes they could.

Chairman Sweetland said that at session there will be a companion resolution to change the policy of how salaries are set for elected officials; to move to a situation where it would be the policy of this legislature that electeds would increase 2% each year.  He doesn't know if this helps recruit people to be legislators, but last year out of 19 seats, only 8 were contested. 

Mr. Ryan said that it is difficult to get people here for the hours needed; people look to run and then see what is involved and are unable to take that much time away from work.  Salaries could be lowered to $10,000 and people would run for the positions, but may not be able to review a $1It is difficult, if put salaried down to $10,000 would get people to run, but not able to review  $1 billon budget.  He feels the increase is in line.

Vote was taken on the motion.  AYES:  5 (Corbett, Baker, Kraft, Ryan, Warner)  NOES:  2 (Meyer, Farrell); ABSENT:  2 (Rapp, Stanczyk).  MOTION CARRIED.

f.      Appointing Helen M. Kiggins as Republican Commissioner of Elections

g.      Appointing Edward J. Szczesniak as Democratic Commissioner of Elections

A motion was made by Chairman Meyer, seconded by Mr. Ryan to approve items 11f and 11g.  ABSENT:  2 (Rapp, Stanczyk); Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

h.   Board of Elections Management Plan Update:  Ms. Higgins, Mr. Szczesniak, Commissioners

Chairman Meyer said that they Board of Elections  presented a packet toe Ways & Means member regarding the $150,000 placed in contingency fund during the 2007 budget process.  No voting will be taking place today. 

Mr. Szczesniak said that they tried to provide what the committee is looking for and get some feedback.  They tried to spell out issues regarding additional personnel, training & consultants, overtime vs. comp time.

Chairman Meyer asked when Albany will provide guidelines on size of election districts and other issues.  Ms. Kiggins stated that the testing won't be done until the 1st of November; now hearing that certification may not happen until February (instead of December 19th).

Regarding other big issues, Mr. Szczesniak said that a big issue is the certification of what equipment will be on the table; it has been downsized from 11 to 5 that may get certification.  The ratio of how many voters per district will determine the number of machines they will need, which is supposed to be done by the end of November.  The State did not comply to replace lever machines as of Sept. 12th, and the Federal Gov. is prepared to take $50 million back.  The impact on Onondaga County will be $1.3 million. Allocated.  If not ready to go by Sept. 2007 with new voting systems, lever machines will no longer be allowed.  They were told they would have to use paper, emergency ballot paper.  It appears to be Feb. or March before voting machines will even be ordered.  It takes 6 mos. to get machines.

Mr. Kraft said that there are very strong opinions that electronic machines will be a problem.  Mr. Szczesniak said that the desirable and expected answer is DREs; optical scans do not meet the federal requirement of accessibility.  Mrs. Baker asked if other states chose optical scans.  Ms. Higgins said that other states do.  Her interpretation of HAVA is that DREs are definitely accessible; does not believe that optical scan is.  Mr. Szczesniak said that the Federal Elections Commission Standards Board's direction he has been that DREs are clearly an accessible system.  Mrs. Baker asked about accessibility vs. reliability.  Ms. Kiggins said they feel DREs are reliable.  They have been used in NYS for 15 years with no problems.

i.    Directing a Public Hearing to consider increasing the income limitation relative to partial exemption from real property taxes for persons 65 years of age and over

j.    Directing a Public Hearing to consider increasing the income limitation relative to partial exemption from real property taxes for persons with disabilities whose incomes are limited by reason of such disabilities

A motion was made by Chairman Meyer to approve item 11i and 11j together.  A motion was made by Chairman Meyer, seconded by Mr. Ryan to approve items 11f and 11g.  AYES:  7 (Meyer, Corbett, Baker, Farrell, Kraft, Ryan, Warner); ABSENT:  2 (Rapp, Stanczyk).  MOTION CARRIED.

k.      Discussion - Real Property Tax Exemptions for Veterans

Chairman Meyer stated he is working with Mrs. Carney on this; there are various options for veterans.  He will have more on this in the future.

Mr. Ryan asked for the total amount of money that is affected that the people with exemptions don't pay that someone else has to pick up.  Mrs. Carney said regarding senior citizens exemptions, it is hard to know how many people will qualify; the initial year increases the sliding scale by 10% for everybody.  Using the 10% increase, the maximum amount would be one $380,000.  There are 12,900 senior citizens, and 680 disability exemptions on the rolls.  Mr. Ryan asked for the total amount of dollars being disseminated for everyone else to pick up.  Mrs. Carney said prior to this new legislation is $3.8 million is just county.  Mr. Ryan asked how much per thousand and total amount of the veterans; Mrs. Carney will report back. 

l.    Accepting and Approving Contract between the County of Onondaga and the Deputy Sheriff's Benevolent Assoc. of Onondaga County, Inc. 2005 - 2007 - Mrs. Elaine Walter, Personnel Commissioner

A motion was made by Chairman Meyer, seconded by Mr. Corbett to approve this item.

There are 323 employees.

  • 2005 - $250 cash payment (bonus) not on schedule; and $500 on schedule payment;
  • 2006, 2007 - 3% adjustment each of the years
  • Correction officers start supervising some inmates, currently housed at Jamesville with DSBA overtime, parole violators and probation violators be supervised by correction officers.
  • Sheriff's discretion for new employees for assigned vehicles

Mr. Ryan said he has a problem with cars going home, investment of $60,000 - $70,000 within cars.  Has a problem with the Sheriff being the only one that can allow someone to take $60,000 entity of taxpayer money to use as they so choose.  Mrs. Walter said that they are trying to get to a point where there are fewer cars going home; this is a step in the right direction.

Mr. Kraft asked about cars going home; Mrs. Walter said it is 8 cars; this is not the top level; it is lieutenants an below.  Chief Peverly said just for DSBA it is 4 or 5 cars because the positions they have in the Custody Department are needed to do emergency responses to incidents.  They have had cars for years; it is a past practice and employee benefit; cannot just arbitrarily take cars away--it has to be done through negotiations, which they have been trying to do for years.  With the new contract, those that have cars are grandfathered in.  When their positions are replaced, it is no longer a benefit or condition of employment.  Also, people that have cars cannot use them for personal purposes.

Mr. Ryan asked if off-duty folks take a second job with their uniform, can they take the car with them.  Chief Peverly said that they can do that. 

AYES:  5 (Meyer, Corbett, Warner, Farrell, Baker)  NOES:  1 (Ryan)  ABSTAINING:  1 (Kraft)  ABSENT:  2 (Rapp, Stanczyk).  MOTION CARRIED.

m.      Authorizing an amendment to the salary schedule for Onondaga County employees holding DSBA titles on the 103 payroll

A motion was made by Mr. Corbett, seconded by Mrs. Baker to approve this item.  ABSENT:  2 (Rapp, Stanczyk); Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

n.   Accepting and Approving the Contract between the County of Onondaga and the Onondaga Sheriffs Captains Association

A motion was made by Mr. Corbett, seconded by Chairman Meyer to approve this item.  AYES:  5 (Meyer, Corbett, Farrell, Baker, Warner); NOES:  0  ABSTAINING:  2 (Ryan, Kraft);  ABSENT:  2 (Rapp, Stanczyk).  MOTION CARRIED.

o.       Confirming appointment to the Onondaga County Industrial Development Agency (Mr. Andrews)

A motion was made by Mr. Corbett, seconded by Mrs. Baker to approve this item.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

 

10. LAW DEPARTMENT:

      a.      Settlement of Claims

A motion was made by Mr. Corbett to go into executive session to discuss litigation strategy relating to the cases of: 

1. Leon Koons, as administrator of the Estate of Chelsea Koons, and as parent and natural guardian of Amanda Koons; and Rachel Koons, Plaintiff vs. City of Syracuse and County of Onondaga, defendants

2.  Veronica Casolare, plaintiff vs. County of Onondaga, Onondaga County Sheriff's Department and Kevin Walsh, Sgt. Benjamin O'Dell, Capt. Laurence Albanese, Capt. Thomas Galka, in their official and individual capacities, defendants.

Mr. Warner seconded the motion.  ABSENT:  2 (Rapp, Stanczyk); passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

A motion was made by Mr. Corbett, seconded by Mrs. Baker to exit executive session and enter regular session.  Mr. Corbett stated that no action was taken during executive session.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

The meeting was adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,

DEBORAH L. MATURO, Clerk

Onondaga County Legislature

 

 

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