Meeting Minutes Archive: September, 2007

Office of the Onondaga County Legislature

Court House, Room 407
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Syracuse, New York 13202
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COUNTY FACILITIES COMMITTEE MINUTES

JAMES W. FARRELL, CHAIRMAN

SEPTEMBER 6, 2007

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Mr. Kraft, 1Mr. Laguzza, 2Mr. Holmquist, 3Mr. Kinne, 4Mr. Jordan

MEMBERS ABSENT:  Mr. Lesniak

ALSO PRESENT:  see attached list (Attachment 1)

Chairman Farrell called the meeting to order at 11:04 a.m.

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

1.   TRANSPORTATION:  Mr. Mark Lynch, Commissioner

a.   Authorizing the County Executive to enter an agreement with the State of New York for snow and ice control on state highways ($1,495,608 estimate for 07-08 season)

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

Mr. Lynch said they plow 213 miles of State roads; initial amount is for $1,495,608, subject to adjustment based on severity factor, done on an annual basis, covers their costs and is a fair and equitable contract.  Chairman Farrell asked if there are any changes other than amount to prior years' contracts; Mr. Lynch said "no".

A vote was taken on this item and passed unanimously; MOTION PASSED.

Mr. Kinne asked Mr. Lynch to talk to the State about the condition of the brush and culverts on West Seneca Turnpike between the city line and Broad Road; Mr. Lynch said they would do that.

Chairman Farrell asked about the paving for the year.  Costs are running higher than they planned, estimated $180,000 in the spring, has been creeping up, just did an analysis for the 2008 budget and they are up to $190,000.  Chairman Farrell asked how many lane miles would not be done this year.  Mr. Coley said less than 5%, will finish the cold mix but will be just under by 2 miles of hot mix.  Chairman Farrell asked if they would be able to do those if they had additional funds.  Mr. Lynch said one project may have to be held because of other factors, will make the Legislator for that district aware of it.  Mr. Kraft asked about the bridgework.  Have two contracted bridges, one on Pompey Center Road that they expect to open mid October and one on Jamesville Road that they plan to open the first of December; Completed one on West Dead Creek with County forces and are closing another on Otisco Valley Road today for work.  Chairman Farrell asked how they are doing with the environmental audit. Mr. Lynch said they have picked a consultant, are in the process of entering into an agreement with them, are finalizing agreement with EPA, hope to have the actual audit done towards the middle to end of October.

2.   PARKS:  Mr. Robert Geraci, Ms. Kate Skahen, Mr. Jon Cooley

Mr. Laguzza asked for the major league baseball specifications needed for our stadium to comply.  Chairman Farrell asked to have Mr. Laguzza supplied with the complete bid package.

Chairman Farrell took the agenda out of order.

f.    Audit Review - Ms. Kate Skahen

Ms. Skahen passed out a list of items that the comptrollers identified as being most significant (on file with Clerk) and reviewed the status.

  • Eliminated a number of records that are redundant, eliminated internal ledgers and are now replying on FAMIS as their system of records.
  • Now on tack with funds submitted to State and Federal governments for reimbursement, only have $55,000 of the $500,000 still outstanding and they have submitted that to the State for reimbursement.  Chairman Farrell asked for confirmation that these submissions would be full reimbursement for expenditures already made; Ms. Skahen said "yes".  Chairman Farrell asked if there is any concern about future grants being accepted because they failed to do this in a timely manner, has there been any formal feedback from state and federal.  Ms. Skahen replied no, most of these were Capital projects that roll over year after year, have had no feedback.  Mr. Geraci said this is an internal issue, with Ms. Skahen now on board, it has been streamlined.  Ms. Skahen said they have developed a check list for grants based on what the Health Department uses and have assigned one person to handle the grants from cradle to grave.  Mr. Squires said with the Parks Department the closeout process with projects is a little more cumbersome than the run of the mill grants with the State; that is part of what occurred.
  • Now on top of the issue of Capital projects with deficit balances and some revenue streams not collected, designated one person to handle all Capital projects, working closely with the Comptrollers office to make sure they are up to speed.  Chairman Farrell asked if all the old ones are closed up; Mr. Squires said they have done that countywide.
  • Have come to the Legislature in the past six or seven months to address by local law all the fees they are charging.  Ms. Skahen said they have an internal spreadsheet used to track all the fees and charges and will be checking that, also have made the superintendents aware that any change has to me made via local law through the Legislature.  Chairman Farrell suggested tacking on the spreadsheet to the Special Events report on a quarterly basis.  Mr. Geraci said they don't have the flexibility and latitude from a marketing standpoint to offer lower prices during low visitation times, now is a four month process between administration and legislative sides to get something done, sometimes things crop up; suggested that a resolution could be created, with Ms. Tarolli's help, to give them that latitude for marketing promotions (probably about 1-3 a year).  Chairman Farrell said he would like to make sure this is working right first; after a short period of time, see if it is appropriate.  Mr. Laguzza said he likes to see aggressiveness concerning marketing, could come to the Legislature in April, they already know that November is a low attendance month at the Zoo.  Chairman Farrell said the same typical things come up periodically; a lot of strategies can be built in a year ahead.  Mr. Geraci suggested that they come up with a proposal to talk about at the next meeting; Chairman Farrell agreed.
  • Regarding safeguards and control over fuel at their facilities, they have replaced a number of fuel meters throughout the system to accurately track the gas being used and being deposited by the fuel vendors, added security at their fuel sites via locks that only one person has the key to, have a standard tracking spreadsheet at all their sites to keep track of the fuel deposited and used, invited Comptroller's out to Onondaga Lake Park (largest) to make sure they agreed that they made the corrective action needed.  Mr. Squires said they would show up unannounced from time to time and ask to see the records.  Ms. Skahen said from a safety prospective, they will have inspectors come out to inspect the tanks quarterly.  In answer to Mr. Laguzza, Ms. Skahen said there is a County contract that they use for fuel; Ms. Hann said the price fluctuates.  Mr. Laguzza asked to have information brought to them in gallons as well as dollars.  Chairman Farrell asked about Highland Forest and Beaver Lake.  Ms. Skahen said they have added security measures at Highland Forest; fuel is now being properly recorded at Beaver Lake.  Mr. Kinne mentioned systems that have readable cards that record everything in order to pump gas, asked why they don't use this.  Ms. Hann said that Parks has requested that for the past couple of years, it hasn't been allowed by Budget because there was not a cost benefit justification for it; now that they have the new system, doesn't seem to be any discrepancies.  Mr. Geraci said it would have been around $30,000 for Onondaga Lake Park, right now they are absolutely rigorous in terms of making sure the tracking sheets are filled out; to the best of his knowledge, they have been accurate.  In answer to Mr. Jordan, Mr. Geraci said the key to the pump is in the compound at Onondaga Lake Park; have to go into it to get it, during the day in the summer any person who drives a park vehicle has access to that key.  Ms. Skahen said it is self reporting, they ask for a lot of information including a signature of the person filling up, county vehicle number, mileage, beginning and ending reading of gallons; it is reviewed and calculated every day.  They have a fuel gauge that is separate from the meter, would not pick up a difference of less than five gallons, variance has not be more than five gallons since they have been using the revised logs since last fall.  Mr. Kinne asked if there are cameras; Mr. Geraci replied no, but is a highly visible place with staff always going in and out; Superintendents at Beaver Lake and Highland forest are the only ones who have a key.  Mr. Kraft asked how they would know if the new meter at Onondaga Lake Park was faulty; Ms. Skahen said they are also taking readings with the fuel gauge and they are supplementing with dipping at the other two locations.  In answer to Mr. Laguzza, Ms. Skahen said they do not do visual checks on vehicle odometers, and reviewing of reports takes bout four hours a week.  Mr. Laguzza said if they are not doing odometer checks, it blows the theory that there is not an opportunity for someone to take advantage of the system.  Mr. Geraci said there are separate mileage sheets in every vehicle, are checking that way also.
  • All vehicles are now using mileage logs, are submitted on a monthly basis to a central person at the Parks; have also created an inventory sheet for uniforms at all parks showing what has been issued, returned and what is on hand.
  • Had issue of one person getting comp time who shouldn't have, in process of introducing the new KRONOS system (will be on line by end of October), should catch that type of thing in the future.
  • Have met the recommendation that the Special Events Account report needs to be improved by submitting quarterly reports and having discussions here in committee.
  • Since time of audit, they have entered into written agreements with all the Friends organizations that lay out rules, responsibilities, arrangements etc., will be bringing consolidated budgets to the committee in a few weeks for their two largest Friends groups, created a new sub 4object code to separately track revenue that they get from the Friends groups (not mixed in with other revenue streams), have been coming to the Legislature with resolutions to accept donations from the Friends groups.

Chairman Farrell referred to the second page, 4th item of the audit report (passed out at the August meeting), mentioned the fees for vendors at the Balloon Fest and that Ms. Tarolli was asked to review the interpretation of those fees.  Ms. Tarolli said it is more like a fee for services, compensation for services being rendered, it is not something that we set by local law as we do admission fees to local parks.

Chairman Farrell referred to Page 5 of the report where it mentions installing a surveillance camera at Highland Forest fuel station.  Ms. Hann said it was requested in the Budget and was cut.  Chairman Farrell requested information on the cost of the surveillance camera and what they anticipate it would do.  Chairman Farrell asked about No. 44 on page 7.  Ms. Skahen said this has to do with the amusement vendor in charge of the rides for Balloon Fest, this year they did receive an accounting.  Chairman Farrell asked that the Comptroller's office review it.

Mr. Jordan said they were not trying to point fingers or make accusations, it is simply to make sure that these things are properly accounted for, our goal is to save the taxpayers from spending any more than they have to.

1 Mr. Laguzza left the meeting.

d.      Special Events Account Report:  Ms. Kate Skahen

Ms. Skahen noted that last month the committee asked to see the prior years' Actuals, passed out a sheet that includes 2005 and 2006 Actuals (on file with Clerk); this will be included as a regular item in subsequent quarterly reports.  Ms. Skahen also provided a sheet entitled Special Events, Outstanding Encumbrances at 6/30/07 and at 8/31/07 (on file with Clerk), noted that the committee asked for a review of the encumbrances and to have them itemized.  Ms. Skahen said she thought the concern was how the encumbered amounts affect the fund balance, are there things encumbered that could be liquidated, are they for expenses already billed for future things they anticipate spending.  A lot of the older ones are contracts; date initiated reflects the first year they used the vendor, but they may renew year after year; the amounts on those are current.  Chairman Farrell asked if they have an obligation to expend the funds for the item concerning Onondaga Employee Leasing Services for Lights on the Lake; Ms. Skahen replied "no".  Mr. Farrell said if there is no obligation to pay that company if the service is not used, it should not be listed as encumbered but as reserved.  Ms. Skahen said in order to pay them, they have to have an amount set up to pay them against, an encumbrance of what they think the expenses will be.  Chairman Farrell challenged the definition of encumbrance, doesn't believe it is an encumbrance; this is a service or product we have not received and have no obligation to order; this and others like it should be reserved and not encumbered.  Mr. Squires said encumber is the legal word they use to formally reserve those funds.  Chairman Farrell said they needed to separate the two - what we know we are going to owe should be encumbered and what we don't have any obligation to spend should be reserved.  Ms. Skahen said they could refine the lists to reflect that; they could break it out into things that are encumbered that they think they will order in the future and things they have already ordered that they will be obligated to pay when received.   Mr. Kraft said he sees encumbrance as a firm obligation, something they are committed to no matter what, not for something anticipated or something depending upon later decisions.  Mr. Geraci said they are following Onondaga County purchasing procedures; Special Events Account is no different than their operating budget.  Ms. Hann said they use to pre-encumber, it is her understanding that they stopped doing that because the time was short and it wasted a lot of staff time pre encumbering and then doing the same process again; most of these encumbrances are things we are obligated to pay.  Chairman Farrell said this report is to give the committee understanding from a business perspective, suggested putting asterisks next to those that are truly encumbered.  Ms. Skahen said they also have a budget that is part of the report.

Mr. Kinne said what he wants to know is exactly what he has in front of him; noted that the County audit department is audited by someone else, seems want to make more work for them.  Chairman Farrell said the intention of this was to create, enhance and encourage the entrepreneurial spirit within Parks and to look at it from a business perspective, use the data in a manner that is done in a business like way to have a better understanding.

2 Mr. Holmquist left the meeting.

Mr. Geraci said except for Onondaga Leasing, everything is for purchase requisitions for things ordered.  Mr. Kraft asked if they are committed to pay if event is cancelled.  Mr. Cooley said it depends on the contract - sometimes 100% sometimes 50%.  Mr. Kraft said he wants to know what their outstanding obligations are.

3 Mr. Kinne left the meeting.

BASS Tour Summary:  Mr. Jon Cooley, Mr. David Holder

Mr. Cooley distributed an informational sheet (on file with clerk). 

  • 2007 Estimated Budget - $102,000; will actually spend about $85,000
  • Sponsorship money - $6,765
  • Economic impact - $2.4 million
  • Promotional value - TV value based on 35 minutes airtime - $419,250
  • Economic and promotional value collectively approaches the $3 million range when rolled together the ROT investment of $77,000.

Chairman Farrell asked about the plus $11,603 sales/ROT tax.  Mr. Holder said the economic impact of $2.4 million is the full value of the event, $11,603 sales/Rot tax is part of that; when a person stays in one of our hotels, they pay a sales tax and a room tax (13%).

Mr. Cooley said they originally budgeted $102,000 because they had a chance to get the Women's Tour, projected expenses are about $85,000 right now.  Chairman Farrell requested information regarding the balance remaining in the ROT accounts for the program.

Mr. Holder said the fishing events broaden the base of our product mix, have to be aggressive when going after the events; when an event looks at an area, they look for packages available and will get them from other areas.  Mr. Cooley said in terms of promotion and economic impact of this event, they have two new proposals with about $300,000 of economic impact.  ROT allocation was $60,000 for the BASS Tour, had to spend about $45,000 to $50,000; if he could, he would take the $10,000 balance and invest it in the last two proposals that came in requiring bid requisitions; doesn't have the latitude to do it because the dollars were allocated purely for the Bass program.  Mr. Kraft said he appreciates the efforts to bring the events to our community, but is not happy with us spending money to do that.

Chairman Farrell requested that they think about putting this program in the Special Events Account.  Mr. Geraci said revenues for programs in Special Events either meet or exceed the expenses, Bass tour is for the overall good of the community, there is no net return to Parks.  Mr. Laguzza said if it is an investment for the good of the community, it has to be taken out of tax dollars, either ROT or otherwise; other communities would take the BASS program in a flash, other communities are vying for these.

Mr. Holder said this is a small piece of the bigger picture, there are plenty of other events out there looking for locations, and locations are battling across the board to grab those events.  Chairman Farrell said they all recognize that we are in a highly competitive environment, and in order to be successful, we have to spend money; have to look at the best way to do this in the future, there are sources of funds other than tax dollars; applauds what has been done here, all of this is about how to improve upon it.

Update on Balloon Festival:

Mr. Cooley passed out an information sheet (on file with clerk).  Event was solid, driven by good weather, expect the account to be in the black, had a record gate.  Sponsorship is a three party agreement, involving Onondaga County, Citadel and Balloon Fest, Inc.  Sponsorship money is paid directly to Balloon Fest, Inc.  The Special Event account for Balloon Fest shows one element of the total budget, the Onondaga County portion, Balloon Fest Inc. also has a $50,000 budget and Citadel did about $40,000 worth of entertainment and promotions.  There was additional sponsorship money coming in from a system wide agreement with Coca-Cola; payment is made once at end of the year.  The Paradise companies manage food concessions, rights involve a $15,000 payment, they broker companies that will be at the event, there is preference given to resident vendors, not-for-profit and profit in the Jamesville community can get into the program at bargain basement prices (part of a contract with Jamesville).  Beer sales via an Onondaga County contract with the Jamesville Volunteer Fire Department.  Mr. Cooley expects to have $20,000 in the Balloon Fest Special Account available to roll into next year's event.  Mr. Winkworth mentioned the $12,423 Reserved for Encumbrance, said when those expenses start coming in they will go against that reserve, encumbrances are going to be liquidated and become expenses; fund balance should wind up around $40,000.

Mr. Kraft asked about Balloon Fest, Inc.  Mr. Cooley said it is a not-for-profit group of balloonist and folks who like the sport and help them run the event.  Citadel has a contract for $55,000 and they pay the Balloon Fest, Inc. $35,000, the balance is kept by Citadel to book the stage, entertainment and a portion of the entertainment cost.  Onondaga County doesn't receive any direct dollars from Citadel Communications.

Chairman Farrell asked what the total County revenue for the Balloon Fest is this year.  Mr. Cooley said the gate was $73,000, and with amusement near $90,000.  Mr. Cooley said by early September they had spent $70,228.82; if event is going to be in the black $17,000, we need to revenue share half to that; should end up with expenditures about $78,000 and revenue about $86,000 on the Parks end.

4 Mr. Jordan left the meeting.

Discussion:  Interagency Marketing:

  • Worked with CVB and lots of  
  • Worked with CVB and lots of agencies on Onondaga Lake water promotions
  • County Highway Department installed new signage from Route 81 access into Onondaga Lake Park
  • Involved with SU Pulse Program
  • Get Moving CNY promotion
  • Harvest Festival - promoting low fat diets in terms of milk products

The meeting was adjourned at 12:50 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Johanna H. Robb

Deputy Clerk

* * *

PLANNING AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE MINUTES
JAMES M RHINEHART, CHAIRMAN
SEPTEMBER 10, 2007

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Mr. Stanczyk, Mrs. Rapp, Mr. DiBlasi, Mr. Jordan, Mrs. Chaplin

MEMBERS ABSENT:  Mr. Meyer

ALSO PRESENT:   see attached list (Attachment 1)

Chairman Rhinehart called the meeting to order at 11:07 a.m.

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

1.     SOCPA:  Ms. Karen Kitney, Director

a.     Approving the inclusion of viable agricultural land within certified agricultural districts pursuant to Section 303-B of the New York State Agriculture and Markets Law - Article 25 AA

Ms. Kitney advised that New York State created a process where farmers could apply to be in any agricultural district once a year if they missed their eight-year renewal.  This year, they had a number of parcels in Agricultural District 2 (Skaneateles and Marcellus) and in District 3 (Towns of Camillus, Cicero, Lysander and Van Buren).  A public hearing was held at the Legislature, SEQR forms have been completed and this is the final step before they submit to the State.

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

Mr. Rhinehart asked what reasons they would use to deny something like this.  Ms. Kitney replied important county development or  an infrastructure policy or project; as far as she knows, it has never been an issue.  Ms. Kitney said 40% of our county is agricultural land and this protects the industry to a minor degree.

Mr. Jordan asked if all the properties are current existing farms.  Ms. Harrison said two are horse farms (Skaneateles and Cicero), the owner of another property is looking at putting in a winery (already has grapes on a piece of the property), three properties in Lysander are used for vegetable production or are used to buffer their vegetable land from the river (also provides access for irrigation) and the last is in the Town of Van Buren.

A vote was taken and passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

2.        ONCENTER:  Mr. David Marnell, President

a.     2nd Quarter Report

Mr. Marnell distributed the Oncenter Complex Quarterly Report, 2nd Quarter 2007 (on file with Clerk).

  • Information Technology:
  • Purchased 9 laptop computers, allows Sales and Food and Beverage staffs to go into the different venues and conduct business under their wireless environment, also allows the Sales staff to conduct business when they are traveling
  • Installed a new Barracuda Spam Filter
  • Upgraded to the ESP 2000 software (Sales and Marketing contract and booking software)
  • Syracuse Bullz:  Inaugural game scheduled for November; Bullz are doing a great job canvassing the area for sponsorships
  • SU Ladies' and Men's Hockey:  in final stages of negotiating with SU.
  • Hotel Update:  looking for mid November for actual groundbreaking
  •  Pinckney Hugo:  updating their marketing plan
  • Capital Improvement Plan:  has met with representatives of the County Budget Department and Eric Schuster to prioritize the anticipated 20 million dollar project that will occur during the 2008-2009 calendar year
  • Inner Circle Award:  received award for the ninth year in a row as one of the top-rated Convention Centers in the U.S.
  • Crunch:  season game dates have been selected and confirmed, 15 in 2007 and 25 during spring 2008.

Mr. Marnell referred to the financial portion of the report and noted that revenue is up about $26,000 over 2006, expenses are up about $92,000, which is 1.8 percent and Other Income is up approximately 50% over last year ($74,000).

Mr. Marnell provided a preliminary cost estimate detail for the proposed renovations of the Convention Center, War Memorial & Civic Center Theatre Complex that was requested by Mr. Meyer (on file with Clerk).  Mr. Marnell also provided information regarding Other Income from January thru June 2007 that was requested by Mr. Stanczyk (on file with Clerk).  Mr. Stanczyk asked for a comparison of 2007 with 2006.

3.     HOTEL - Mr. Anthony Rivizzigno, County Attorney

a.     Authorizing the acquisition of certain property from the City of Syracuse; approving the classification of an unlisted action; accepting the Short Environmental Assessment Form and declaring a negative declaration for purposes of the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA)

Mr. Rivizzigno said the City of Syracuse owns an 18 ft. strip of land on the southern boarder of Harrison Street adjacent to the lot where the hotel is going to be built; the city has agreed to abandon that piece of property and give it to the County.  Transfer of property, at no cost, is scheduled to be on the City Council agenda for the September 19, 2007 meeting, this item would be on the October 2, 2007 Legislature Session agenda.  Mr. Rivizzigno said the closing of the bonds would probably be the second week of October, groundbreaking is expected in late October or early November.

Mr. Rhinehart asked if there is any infrastructure on that property such as National Grid lines, gas lines.  Mr. Rivizzigno replied "no".  Mr. Rhinehart asked if they have been out promoting room sales and conventions.  Ms. Baker said they have been in direct contact with Michael Smith, Director of Sales for the Westin Hotel, have bid on conventions as well as room rates; Westin is looking at an April 2009 opening with a 90 day cushion, won't block the rooms until 90 days out.  Ms. Baker said they get calls every day from groups that want to come here.  Ms. Baker said getting the Inner Circle award for nine years in a row is an incredible feat (voted on by the people who attend the conventions).

In answer to Mrs. Rapp, Mr. Rivizzigno said there is $1,350,000 in the developer's operating budget for marketing.  Ms. Baker said they are coordinating with the CVB to make sure that they are all marketing this in the best way possible.  Mr. Rhinehart asked if there is any interaction with Syracuse University.  Ms. Baker said they have a great relationship with the University, will be hosting the 2008 Green Building Conference; they will be the first newly built hotel in the U.S. that will be green certified; with their marketing plan, that is a niche they want to get themselves in.  Mr. Marnell said they have a consortium with Sheraton Syracuse University, the Marx, and Genesee Grande, meet monthly to work cooperatively in bringing conventions in during the hiatus while the hotel is being built.

Mr. Rhinehart asked if the hotel developer's financial package is in place.  Mr. Rivizzigno said it is just about in place, should be done any day.

Mr. Jordan asked if people seem inclined to bring convention business to Central New York.  Ms. Baker said if they lose a bid, ninety percent of the time it is because they want a convention under one roof, they try to do things that are creative, shuttling to make it attractive in the interim.  Clients look at location (they like the Central location of Syracuse in the state), what they can do around here, look at rates; sales staff is working with local people who have connections to a conference to make it more personal.

Mr. Rivizzigno referred to the Destiny construction, noted that there is 250 miles of steel going into the ground (average 200-300 feet below ground), that is what the foundation will be based upon.  Solar panels have been installed on the lights at the new parking lots, the lights generate their own electricity and excess of electricity is coming back to the grid.  Ms. Rivizzigno said the shuttle buses are running from the new parking lots and go underneath Hiawatha Blvd.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:47 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Johanna H. Robb

Deputy Clerk

* * * 

PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE MINUTES - September 6, 2007
VICE CHAIRMAN ROBERT D. WARNER

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Mr. Kilmartin, Mr. DiBlasi, Mr. Kinne

MEMBERS ABSENT:  Mr. Lesniak, Mr. Ryan, Mr. Holmquist

ALSO PRESENT:  see attached list

Vice Chairman Warner called the meeting to order at 9:05 a.m.  A motion was made by Mr. Kilmartin, seconded by Mr. Warner to waive the reading and approve the minutes of proceedings of the previous committee.  CARRIED.

1.   SHERIFF:  Chief Peverly

      a.   Transfer from Maint., Util. & Rent Acct. 413 to Furn., Furnishings & Equip. Acct. 215 ($13,843)

The Dept. of Correction provides food service, but the 2 departments share the cost of operation.  There were no funds in 215 account, so the transfer is needed.  The old chiller caught fire and melted down at the end of June.  The cause was not known; the instrument was only about 6 years old, so the company is sending technicians in to take it back to their facility to see if they can determine the cause of the fire--will consider making an adjustment after a determination is made.

2.   CORRECTION:  Commissioner Tim Cowin

      a.   Transfer from Maint., Util. & Rent Acct. 413 to Furn., Furnishings & Equip. Acct. 215 ($14,000)

Commissioner Cowin stated that this item is for the same purpose as item 1a.

A motion was made by Mr. Kinne, seconded by Mr. Warner to approve items 1a and 2a.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

      b.   Amend '07 Budget to authorize the Sheriff's Office to receive grant funds from the Div. of Criminal Justice Svcs. and authorize the Co. Exec. to enter into contracts to implement this res.($10,500)

This is for financial assistance for the Sheriff's participation in the Regional Drug Enforcement Task Force.  Funds are made available from DCJS to assist to underwrite some of the costs for vehicle purposes; lease or purchase a vehicle, or for maintenance.   Mr. Kinne asked if the person needs a special vehicle.  Chief Peverly said that they do; there are times that they lease a vehicle for short-term investigations; they are conducting undercover drug investigations.  There are special investigations that occur with joint task forces, out of area, conduct investigations with members of other agencies, don't want to risk exposing officers to the dangers associated with this element-vehicle, clothing, appearances are changed around.  Some of the cars used during the undercover investigations are not maintained through the county facilities, because they are undercover vehicles and they go to private vendors.  This grant is just for vehicle funds. 

Mr. Warner asked if any of this is part of the forfeiture program.  Chief Peverly said some may be asset seizure funds that DCJS recovers and is reallocated to the County through this mechanism. 

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

Mr. Kilmartin asked if the department has ever entertained a one-time purchase of a vehicle to have it in inventory that could be used on occasion as needed.  Chief Peverly, said that a variety of mechanisms are used.  On occasion there are vehicles seized during investigations that are not just turned over to the Sheriff's Dept.  They have to be purchased; the funds from this grant can be used to purchase those vehicles.  It is usually done to replace a vehicle in the fleet. 

Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

3.   HILLBROOK:  Ms. Mary Winter, Probation Dept. Commissioner

      a.   Authorize Co. Exec. to Enter into a Contract with Oswego Co. to Provide Secure Detention Svcs.

Onondaga County has always taken kids in from other counties when there is space.  Now there is a newly renovated facility and they are utilizing some alternatives to detention; it is felt that space can be guaranteed to a couple of counties and increase revenue.  Oswego County contracts with Monroe County for 2 beds, but want to now contract with Onondaga County.  The County would get reimbursed on a daily rate for the beds; it is $300/day.  There won't be any additional personnel needed.  The contract will be for 2 guaranteed beds for Oswego County.  Mr. Kilmartin asked if it is guaranteed payment even if Oswego is not using the beds.  Ms. Winter explained that the contract with Monroe Co. has reconciliation at the end of they year and if the beds aren't used, then 80% is owed.  She will work with the Law Dept. to see if that is the practice with other counties.  All contiguous counties have been contacted to see if they are interested in renting beds.

Mr. Kinne asked how many beds are there and what the average occupancy is.  Ms. Winter said that there are 32 beds; half of the facility was closed for renovation at a time and they didn't go over 16.  Yesterday there were 8-10 filled.  There is no control of intake.  There are alternative to detention program, so there is some control on the other end.  Once they kids are in, the courts can be approached.  If someone does not present a high risk, they can ask that they be released to the Multi Systemic Program--family based intervention.  Mr. Kinne asked why there is a 32-bed facility.  Ms. Winter said that was what was planned for with the renovations; and could end up with that amount.  Also they have to deal with the boy to girl ratio.  There are 4 units of 8 each.  If there were 10 boys and 2 girls, 3 units would have to be open.  Mr. Kinne asked what the staff does if there are only 8 kids and there are 32 beds.  Mr. Patrick Baine said that there are 103, temporary employees, that are called in on an as-needed basis.  They have basically the same training as the permanent employees.  Ms. Winter said if 3 units are open, they still have to be covered 24/7.  Mr. Kinne thought that 2 years ago the facility was crowded; Ms. Winter said that 10 years ago there were 50 kids at one point.

Mr. Kilmartin said that the family court system is working hard to use the alternative plans wherever appropriate to reduce the number of kids assigned to Hillbrook.  Ms. Winter agreed.  Violent kids belong in detention; but literature states that going to detention is not a good thing-if they are sent away and grouped together, then they get worse.  They want to make sure that kids don't belong in detention don't go to detention.  A lot of work has been done to that effort-according to the law on detention, it is reserved for those that pose a high risk to recidivate or they don't appear in court.

Mr. Kinne questioned having 32 beds.  Ms. Winter explained that 32 was decided on when the decision was made to renovate.  At that same time they were doing detention reform.  She would like to fill some of the detention facility up with some of the other counties.  This is the first step in doing that.  

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

The meeting was adjourned at 9:20 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,

DEBORAH L. MATURO, Clerk

Onondaga County Legislature

* * *

SOCIAL SERVICES COMMITTEE MINUTES - SEPTEMBER 7, 2007
CHAIRMAN ROBERT D. WARNER

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Mr. Stanczyk, Mr. Holmquist, Mr. DiBlasi

MEMBERS ABSENT:  Mr. Lesniak, Mr. Laguzza, Mrs. Chaplin

ALSO PRESENT: see attached list

Chairman Warner called the meeting to order at 9:08 a.m.  A motion by Mr. Stanczyk, seconded by Chairman Warner to waive the reading and approve the minutes of the proceedings for the previous committee.  MOTION CARRIED.

1.   AGING & YOUTH:  Ms. Lisa Farewell

      a.   Amend '07 Budget to provide the Dept. of Aging &a Youth-Office for Aging with additional State funds beyond the estimated dollars appropriated in '07 Co. Budget for the State Transportation Prog. and HIICAP Prog. and authorize Co. Exec. to enter into contracts to implement this resolution ($61,079)

A program and financial information sheet was distributed to members prior to committee (attachment 1).

Transportation Program:  Will provide rides for elderly to take them to the grocery store, doctor appointments, etc. 

Health Insurance Information Counseling and Assistance Program (HIICAP):  funds will increase information and access to Medicare Part D, Extra Help, Social Security, Medicare Part B, Supplemental Medicare Insurance Policies.  Mr. Stanczyk asked what the existing budget is for HIICAP; Ms. Spoto Decker said it is $15,000; are adding another $15,000.  The transportation budget is $0; it is new; the funding is for $46,079. 

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

Mr. Warner asked for further information on HICAPP.  Ms. Farewell said that there will be an increased number of counselors.  Mr. Warner questioned what happens if someone does not sign up for Medicare Part D.  Ms. Spoto Decker said that it is voluntary; but people are strongly encouraged to sign up for Part B.  The only way Medicare D is not voluntary is if a person has Medicaid. 

Mr. Warner seconded by motion.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

      b.   Amend '07 Budget to provide the Dept. of Aging & Youth - Office for the Aging with additional State funds beyond the estimated dollars appropriated in the '07 Co. Budget for the CSE, EISEP and SNAP Programs and authorize the Co. Exec. to enter into contracts to implement this res. ($229,518)

SNAP:  There is a COLA adjustment and additional funds are available for SNAP, $18,000.  The funds will be used to funds will be used to increase nutrition counseling and other support services; will increase the number of meals; total projected meals are 13,300.

EISEP:  funds will increase additional hours of in-home aide service to approximately 50 new clients.

CSE:  funds will increase amount of social adult day care; people served will increase by 150; increase client contacts by 750.

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

Mr. Warner asked about qualifications for SNAP meals.  Ms. Schmid said that they subcontract the meal program in the community (9 programs).  SNAP supports those over 60 years of age and determined to be at risk of poor nutrition (due to low income, chronic disease, living alone, etc.)  The program pays the private pay toward the meals.  Participants are asked to contribute $2.75 for 2 meals a day, but it is voluntary and ranges from $0 - $2.75.  Private pay programs vary ($5.50-$6.50 est.) and are delivered to homes by volunteers.  Also, volunteers do a daily safety and security checks.  SNAP serves 175 people; this additional money will add another 50.  A federal program also exists, which requires a county match; about 120 people supported in it. 

Expanded In-Home Services for Elderly:  Ms. Debbie Boutin said that the program provides personal assistance to people over age 60; bathing, dressing, toileting, etc., and less than 5% get some housekeeping.  There are case managers and they contract with local not-for-profits.  Right now they are serving 380; last year served 550.  A person must qualify by income; cannot be eligible if on Medicaid; 45% of the clients are paying part of the cost because there is sliding fee.  The State funding doubled in the last 2 years.

Community Services for the Elderly:  Ms. Spoto Decker.  The COLA would change a halftime neighborhood adviser to full-time.  These advisors help link people to services, i.e. Medicare Part D, adult day care, food stamps, legal, etc.  It will also be used to provide seed money for education of elder abuse; working with Vera House on the project.  There will be an increase in adult day care program participation. 

Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:23 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,

DEBORAH L. MATURO, Clerk

Onondaga County Legislature

Department of Aging and Youth  - SOCIAL SERVICES ATTACHMENT #1  9/7/07

Program and Financial Information Sheet        

 September 7, 2007

Action Requested:

Increase the 2007 appropriation in the Department of Aging and Youth's budget by $290,597

$229,518 - COLA for the following programs: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Expanded In-Home Services for the Elderly Program (EISEP), and Community Services for the Elderly (CSE), plus additional NYS funding for SNAP.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

$87,153

1. Additional NYS funds will be used to keep pace with inflation and address the increase in meal costs due to rising gasoline and milk prices.

2. Will fund additional nutrition counseling and other support services. 

3. The increase in additional funding will also help serve the additional increase in the number of meals home delivered meal agencies will be serving. The projected increase in the number of meals for 2007-2008 is 13,300 meals.

These services along with meals help the seniors of Onondaga County maintain their independence in their own homes. New York State like other states is experiencing a substantial growth in their 60+ population; the fastest growth is in the age group 85+ and minority elders.

There are no local dollars required. This funding is expected to be permanent.

Expanded In-Home Services for the Elderly Program (EISEP)

$62,314

Funding is from the NYS Department of Aging. The funding is targeted to provide 3,400 additional hours of in-home aide service to approximately 50 new EISEP clients.  

EISEP provides only non-medical services, which prevent premature nursing home placement.  In-home workers from local licensed home care agencies assist functionally impaired elderly who are in need of community-based long-term care but are not eligible for similar services under Medicaid.  EISEP operates under a fixed, capped budget and requires client cost sharing.  

There is a 25% match on this funding; agency in-kind will be used to meet this requirement.  Funding is expected to be permanent.

Community Services for the Elderly (CSE)

$80,051

Additional NYS funding will be appropriated into community-based contracts for services to older adults for the following:

1. Change from half-time to full-time position of Neighborhood Advisor at Dunbar Association, Inc.  Projected numbers of unduplicated people to be served will increase by 150.  Projected number of client contacts will increase by 750.

2. Increase in the number of unduplicated people and hours of service for frail elderly to participate in Social Adult Day program activities, including health and wellness and nutrition programs.

3. Increase community education and awareness on the issue of Elder Abuse Prevention and reporting through increased programming-including seminars to practitioners and annual educational conference.

There is a 25% match that subcontractors provide.  This is done through in-kind such as supervision, supplies, IT, etc.

Health Insurance Information Counseling and Assistance Program (HIICAP)

$15,000

Additional NYS funding will provide for the following:

1. Increased access to information and assistance on Medicare Part D through community publications and informational sessions

2. Increased access to information and assistance to Extra Help, a program of the Social Security Administration that assists low-income elderly pay for Medicare Part D premiums

3. Increased access to information and assistance on Medicare Part B through community publications and informational sessions

4. Increased access to information and assistance on Supplemental Medicare Insurance Policies (Medigap) through community publications and informational sessions

Training programs for staff and program volunteers

5. Increasing numbers of community volunteer counselors.

There is no local match to this funding.  Funding is expected to remain at this level due to the Medicare Modernization Act (enabling legislation for Medicare Part D) and be permanent.  In SFY 06/07, HIICAP staff and volunteers provided 2,242 hours of counseling on the above topics.

Transportation

$46,079

Additional NYS funding will be provided for the following:

1. Increase in unduplicated elderly and numbers of rides to important appointments such as physician offices, pharmacies, congregate meal sites, grocery stores.  Subcontractors to receive additional funding are as follows:

Agency providing transportation/Amount of funding to be received:

  • Syracuse Northeast Community Center/$3,300
  • Northeast United Methodist Conference for Native Amer. Outreach/$3,300
  • Central New York Regional Transportation Authority for Call-A-Bus/$3,300
  • The Salvation Army/$3,300
  • Catholic Charities of Greater Syracuse/$3,300
  • Canton Woods Senior Center/$3,300

2. Remaining funding will be provided under a competitive process to towns in Onondaga County for the establishment or enhancement of a volunteer driver program, under the banner of Project Safe R.O.A.D.s (Safe and Responsible Options for Aging Drivers).

There is no local match on this funding.  Funding is expected to be permanent. 

* * *

EDUCATION & LIBRARIES COMMITTEE MINUTES
JAMES DIBLASI, CHAIRMAN
SEPTEMBER 11, 2007

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Mr. Corbett, Mr. Holmquist, Mr. Kilmartin, Mr. Kinne, Mrs. Chaplin, Mrs. Winslow

ALSO PRESENT:  see attached list (attachment 1)

Chairman DiBlasi called the meeting to order at 11:07 a.m.

A motion was made by Mr. Corbett, seconded by Mr. Kilmartin to waive the reading of the minutes; a motion was made by Mrs. Chaplin, seconded by Mr. Holmquist to approve the minutes of the proceedings of the previous committee meeting.  MOTION CARRIED.

1.     OCPL:  Ms. Sally Jensen, Dir. Administrative Services

a.     Transfer of funds from Supplies and Materials Account 300 to Furniture and Equipment Account 215 ($17,500)

Ms. Jensen explained that when she put together the 2007 budget, some capital things were put in the Supplies and Materials Account that should have been in the Equipment Account.  The funds are for upgrading the Branch Libraries' phone system.

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

b.    Amending the 2007 County Budget to accept Supplemental New York State Aid Funds for the Onondaga County Public Library and authorizing the County Executive to enter into contracts to implement this resolution ($135,224)

Ms. Jensen said that New York State provided some unexpected, additional supplemental aid when they enacted the 2007-2008 budget.  Money would be used for the following initiatives:

  • $60,000 for marketing initiatives and printing.
  • $10,000 for postage (projected the ILS to be up and running earlier in the year, cut back on their postage account in the 2007 budget in anticipation of going to automated phone notification).
  • A study on their sorting and delivery service.
  • $55,000 for additional books and materials - $20,000 for general system wide use, $10,000 for literacy related material and remainder to purchase some system wide databases.

Mr. Kinne asked about the person or firm to be hired to do the circulation study.  Ms. Jensen said they have no one in mind at this point; would be someone, locally, who is in the business of material handling.

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

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

Respectfully submitted,

Johanna H. Robb

Deputy Clerk

* * *

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION COMMITTEE MINUTES - September 11, 2007
CHAIRMAN JAMES A. CORBETT

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

ALSO PRESENT:  see attached list

Chairman Corbett called the meeting to order at: 9:35 a.m.

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

1.   LAKE IMPROVEMENT:  ACJ Update:  Ms. Sue Miller

  • Midland Phase II - construction is winding up; end of construction items-painting, flashing on the roof
  • Other construction:
    • o  Sewer Separation project on Rockland; about 1000' of new sewer, 35 new laterals put in with new traps and cleanouts; it is basically done.  South Avenue is next.
    • o  Clinton Phase I conveyances - pipeline outside of the Trolley lot and not in Armory Square area.  Construction started on Adams Street.  New conveyance line, which crosses Adams Street.  Have started on the south end and have gone to Onondaga.  The other end of the line is on Arterial; have started saw cutting the pavement to put in shafts for micro tunnels.
    • Contract for building demolitions for Midland Phase III and Harbor Brook bids were opened Aug. 28.  Five bids were received and we will be awarding that contract shortly--4 structures for Harbor Brook, 6 structures at Midland
  • Clinton RTF project put out to bid on 8/8; bids due in 9/18, but are extending bid time to 10/3

Mr. Jordan asked how many bids are anticipated.  Ms. Miller did not know, but said that there has been a lot of interest and bid information was widely distributed.  People have taken out plans from other states in addition to those interested in this area.  There are about 12 contractors who have taken out the plans.  Mr. Farrell asked how many had not bid in the past; Ms. Miller said it is about half.

Mr. Rhinehart asked about 20,000 cubic yds. of concrete and if there have been any problems.  Ms. Miller said that there have not been.  A testing crew is hired, CME, to ensure the quality of the concrete.

2.  WATER ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION:  Mr. Randy Ott, Commissioner

a.   Authorizing the acquisition of property for the Northtown Pump Station Project ($3,500)

A request to purchase 5500 sq. ft., Town of Clay, for construction of the Northtown Pump Station, $3,500.

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

b.   A resolution calling a public hearing in connection with the increased cost of improvements for the Onondaga County Sanitary District

Request for a public hearing for an increase for Wetzel Road Treatment Plant, Sawmill Creek Pump Station, which is currently under construction.  The legislature authorized $45,288,531 last August.  It is projected that the current funding will run out by November; this project is near 8-10 months behind scheduled.  The $2.7 million request is primarily for two areas.  There was $1.1 million that was not considered at the time of the last increase.  The bulk of that was $720,000 in EFC bond issuance cost.  The remaining $1.7 million is related to additional modifications, unforeseen conditions and delays in schedule with the prime contractor.  He referred to the attached spreadsheet (attachment #1).

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

Mr. Rhinehart asked why the project is behind schedule.  Mr. Ott said it is primarily do to problems that the general contractor has encountered on the job.  Mr. Rhinehart asked if there is an addition $2.7 million to the taxpayers, can some of it be recovered.  Ms. Tarolli said that the $2.7 million has nothing to do with delay or is in discussion with the contractor.  She asked that if anything were going to be discussed with respect to the potential for litigation she would appreciate the opportunity to talk about it with an attorney-client privilege.

Mr. Ott said that the money being asked for is not to settle any major claims with the contractor.  The project is extended, which means there is more engineering, inspections, and more costs to carry the project out further. 

Mr. Farrell referred to the spreadsheet--$28 million (Falter) and asked if it includes contingency or if it is the bid amount.  Mr. Ott said it is not the bid amount; it does include some contingencies; the first column is where the project stood last summer.  The original bid was $27,591,000; there was about 5% contingency added.  Mr. Farrell asked if a separate column could be added to the spreadsheet noting the original approval and the breakdown of it.  Mr. Farrell asked for the original soft costs to be separated out.

Mr. Kraft said that there is a contract signed by both parties and questions why the County should give the contractor more money; why shouldn't they be expected to carry out terms of the original agreement.  Mr. Ott said that is what they are trying to do.  The $1.7 million breaks down to 3 categories: $700,000 modifications/change orders; $600,000 small claims, $400,000 unforeseen conditions.  Mr. Kraft said that more than half of $1.7 million is up in the air.  Mr. Kraft asked about the EFC issuance cost; Mr. Ott said it was never included in the request last Aug; it was an oversight--it is a cost the County pays to have EFC issue the bonds. 

Mr. Jordan said that $600,000 is in dispute, $400,000 is unknown expenses-of the $1.7 million, about $1 million may or may not come to fruition.  Mr. Jordan asked if there are any other similar situations of where there are additional monies requested and the County is disputing.  Mr. Ott said "not to his knowledge".

Mr. Farrell said that the numbers are quite substantial and he is uncomfortable, until he understands more, with moving forward.  Ms. Tarolli said that the authorization to go ahead and borrow that money; does not mean that it will be spent.  The piece in discussion right now is needed to get the project done.  Who ultimately pays for it will be part of a longer conversation.  Mr. Farrell asked if this is not voted on today, what is delayed in terms of the work.  Mr. Ott said that he will not have enough money to continue paying the engineer, contractor, and other people on the project.  Mr. Farrell asked if the work can be directed to proceed without having those funds authorized.  Ms. Tarolli said that this is just calling for the public hearing, which gives more time to work out other issues.  

Mr. Rhinehart said the message being sent is that the committee is supporting the public hearing and the resolution.  Chairman Corbett said that the public hearing will allow everyone to be able to talk and get as much information as needed.  By agreeing to a public hearing, we are not agreeing to a request.  Mr. Ott said that he will have to come back to committee next month to request the authorization to approve the increase. 

Mrs. Winslow asked how do we get ourselves in these situations with these contractors-when bids are gone through, are references checked, are credentials looked at.  Mrs. Winslow said that is seems something could be built into the contract to protect the County.  Mr. Ott said that all of that is done, but this is a municipal bid; it is low bid, unless there is a very sound reason, it is very difficult to reject a low bidder. 

Mr. Jordan said that he has an uneasiness with asking for $2.8 million of which $1 million is up in the air. He is uncomfortable borrowing money in case it is needed, and if there is potential litigation.  If the money is borrowed and not used, and if there is reimbursement from the contractor, he is afraid that all the money will be spent.  Chairman Corbett said that the money won't be borrowed that it not used.  Mrs. Tarolli said it is like a draw.  Mr. Ott said if more is borrowed than needed to complete a project, that money becomes a balance and it is not bonded for. 

Mr. Farrell suggested that if the County is considering paying anything, the County has to look and question how they are doing business; is it being dong correctly; can it be improved. 

Mr. Kraft said that it would be helpful if the department could convince the committee that the $1.7 million is a good fight to do the best they can for the citizens of the county.  He asked Mr. Ott to think about what can be done to help the legislature be more satisfied about what his going on before this is voted on.  He said he knows that Mr. Ott is doing his best; he knows that this job site is a bad situation-trying to build a plant on top of a plant and trying to keep it all working.  Mr. Ott said it is a very difficult job.

A vote was taken on the motion.  AYES:  6; NOES:  0; ABSTAINING:  1 (Rhinehart). MOTION CARRIED.

c.   Approving the expansion to the Onondaga County Sanitary District in the Town of Cicero, to be known as the Sanctuary Sewer District Extension

This is to create an extension to the Onondaga County Sanitary District for a small development, Town of Cicero, that has some failing septic tanks.  A Commissoner's hearing was held on Aug. 31st, and the request was approved at Ways & Means to hold a public hearing.  It will encompass about 40 acres, 10-12 homes.

Mr. Rhinehart asked if there is any local opposition to it.  Mr. Ott said "not that he is aware of"; it was requested by the Town, builders and homeowners. 

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

Mr. Farrell asked if the extension will pick up more than this development in the future.  Mr. Ott said that at this point it is just for this small development; 3 sides of the property are surrounded by NYS DEC Game Management plan.  The builder will pay for the cost of connecting to the county sewer.  Mr. Farrell asked how long the line is from the entrance to the facility.  Mr. Ott said about 1,000'.  Mr. Farrell asked if within the 1000' if there is opportunity to tie in for future development.  Mr. Ott said only if the 2 parcels were divided up. 

Ms. Chaplin asked if this project has anything to do with improvements/problems in Mr. Farrell's district (Floradale).  Chairman Corbett, said that it does not; it is in an entirely different part of the county.  Ms. Chaplin asked what is being done about that area.  Chairman Corbett said it is currently in litigation.

Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

3.   Informational:  Onondaga County Soil & Water Conservation District--Jeff Carmichael, Tom Trinder

*Mr. Farrell left the meeting.

Mr. Carmichael gave the attached power point presentation (attachment #2).

Mr. Trinder said that he is the Chair of the County Soil & Water Conservation District and a dairy farmer.  He has every program and practice offered by the District on his farm.  He has seen significant advantages to these programs and projects, not only on this own farm, but also on neighboring farms.  These programs benefit all individuals.

Mr. Rhinehart said that at a recent meeting it was discussed that funding from Congressman Walsh will be drying up and that the County will be asked for more of a contribution.  He and Mrs. Winslow decided that it would be a good idea for the District to come in and give a presentation because the budget review process will begin in two weeks.  He said that they do a tremendous job throughout the county.  

Mr. Corbett referred to the ACJ and the monitor in the streams for non-point source - he asked if the District contributes information to the Onondaga Lake Partnership.  Mr. Carmichael said that he sits on the Projects Committee.  They are working with the County and the OLP; the County has an excellent monitoring program and US Geological Survey has been developing a watershed module.  All the information collected by the County is being fed into the model.  Over time that model will be used to help direct what things need to be focused on in the watershed. 

Mrs. Winslow said that if the District were not in place, the kind of pollution to clean up the water would cost millions.  They try to get out ahead and keep the water maintained instead of ending up with a crisis mode.  It costs a lot more to try to fix something after the fact.  The farmers can see the benefits for not just their property, but also all of the community.  She would hate for the program to be cut for the school children - they are our future; and are being taught to be environmentally conscious --need to keep them in that state of mind.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:00 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,

DEBORAH L. MATURO, Clerk

Onondaga County Legislature

* * *

WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE MINUTES - September 12, 2007
VICE CHAIRMAN JAMES CORBETT

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Mr. Farrell, Mr. Kraft, Mrs. Rapp, Mr. Ryan, Mr. Stanczyk, Mr. Rhinehart

MEMBERS ABSENT:  Mr. Warner, Mr. Meyer

ALSO PRESENT:  Mr. Sweetland, see also attached list

Vice Chairman Corbett called the meeting to order at 9:35 a.m.

A motion was made by Mrs. Rapp to waive the reading and approve the minutes of the proceedings of the previous committee.  MOTION CARRIED.

Mrs. Rapp displayed a copy of the U.S. Air Magazine-- includes 62 pages about Syracuse and will be seen by 60 million people internationally.  It includes great photos; incredible exposure; and entire page dedicated to Erie Canal Museum.

1.   TRANSPORTATION:  Mr. Mark Lynch, Commissioner

      a.   Authorize Co Exec to enter an agreement with the State of New York for Snow and Ice Control on State highways

This if for $1,495,608 for the annual contract to the State; $7,027/mile; last year's base figure was $1,366,000.  The County does 213 miles of State roads.

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

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

      a.   Amend 2007 Budget to accept funds from the NYS Education Dept. Local Government Records Management Improvement Fund and authorizing the County Executive to enter into contracts ($74,057)

The State offered a special incentive for county clerks for grants to improve records.  A grant was written for $74,467, which was fully funded.  It will allow her to work with IT and the upgrades being done with the system. A motion by Mr. Stanczyk, seconded by Mrs. Rapp to approve this item. Passed unanimously; CARRIED.

3.   HILLBROOK:  Ms. Jackie DeNero, Dir., Juvenile Justice/Dentention Services

      a.   Authorize Co. Exec. to enter into a contract with Oswego Co. to provide Secure Detention Svcs.

This annual contract would secure two detention beds for Oswego Co.  The per diem amount fluctuates year to year; it is determined by the State, based on reconciliation that they do 3 years late.  Right now it is around $300/year; next year it will be approximately $485.  There will recognized income in the '08 budget--80% utilization will be guaranteed.  Ms. Guile said that out of county funds were recognized in this year's budget. 

Mr. Stancyzk would like to know how much the revenue is this year and what is budgeted for 2008.  Ms. DeNero stated that she would provide the information prior to session.

Mr. Farrell asked if the per diem rate covers all direct and indirect costs; Ms. DeNero indicted that it does.  He asked what is anticipated to be used for our own county.  Ms. DeNero said that they have the beds available.  They assume about 24 beds for county residents and 8 for out-of-county residents.  There are no other contracts with other counties right now, they plan is to approach counties that have the highest utilization. 

Mrs. Rapp questioned why the per diem fluctuates so much.  Ms. DeNero said that there is a very complicated formula based on costs.  Costs went up because of the renovation; the census went down and the cost per child increased.  Mrs. Rapp asked if it will change if there is a full roster.  Ms. Denero said it would if that were the only reason, but other costs are going up at the same time...salaries, utilities, all are factored in.  Right now the State reimburses 50% of all costs for in-county residents: 100% reimbursed for out-of county residents.

Vice Chairman Corbett stated that the numbers will be reported by the department prior to session. 

A motion by Mr. Farrell, seconded by Mrs. Rapp to approve this time.  Passed unanimously; CARRIED.

4.   AGING AND YOUTH:  Ms. Lisa Farewell

      a.   Amend 2007 Co. Budget to provide the Dept. of Aging and Youth-Office for the Aging with additional State funds beyond the estimated dollars appropriated in the 2007 Co. Budget for the State Transportation Prog. and the HIICAP Prog. and authorize the Co. Exec. to enter into contracts ($61,079)

A motion by Mr. Stanczyk, seconded by Mr. Ryan to approve this item. Passed unanimously; CARRIED.

      b.   Amend 2007 Co. Budget to provide the Dept. of Aging and Youth-Office for the Aging with additional State funds beyond the estimated dollars appropriated in the 2007 Co. Budget for the CSE, EISEP and SNAP Programs and authorize the Co. Exec. to enter into contracts ($229,518)

A motion by Mr. Stanczyk, seconded by Mr. Ryan to approve this item. Passed unanimously; CARRIED.

5.   HOTEL:  Mr. David Herkala, Deputy County Attorney

      a.   Authorizing the acquisition of certain property from the City of Syracuse; approving the classification of an unlisted action; accepting the Short Environmental Assessment Form and declaring a Negative Declaration for purposes of the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA)

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

Several years ago, the city dedicated a portion of Harrison Street as a roadway; it is a 15' strip, part way into the parking lot, in connection with the Hotel.  The City has agreed to abandoned it and transfer to the County.  The City is taking action on Sept. 19th, and this resolution is in anticipation of that.  Mr. Stanczyk said that the right of way strip has a value; a private owner would pay a substantial amount for it.

Passed unanimously. MOTION CARRIED.

6.   OCPL:  Ms. Sally Jensen, Dir., Administrative Services

      a.   Transfer of funds from Acct. 300 Supplies and Materials in the amount of $17,500 to Acct. 215 Furn. and Equipment to cover the cost of upgrading the phone system in the branch libraries ($17,500)

This is to upgrade the phone system at branch libraries; it was put in the wrong account originally. 

A motion by Mr. Ryan, seconded by Mr. Stanczyk to approve this item.  Passed unanimously; CARRIED

      b.   Amending the 2007 County Budget to accept Supplemental New York State Aid funds for the OCPL and authorizing the County Executive to enter into contracts ($135,224)

After the '07 budget was adopted, the State included $135,224 in State aid for Onondaga Co.  The official notification was received in July.  There is very little visibility for the libraries in the community; would like to dedicate some of this to a marketing effort.  During the '07 budget preparation it was anticipated that the ILS contract would have been negotiated and implemented earlier in the year.  Therefore, they reduced the postage account.  Once the ILS is up and running, there will be automated phone notification.  The target date is now Oct. 23rd --projecting a shortfall in postage.  Also would like to do a study of the sorting and delivery operation--getting materials from one library to another.  It works fairly well--would like to see how it can be optimized by contracting with an agency to study it.  $55,000 would be dedicated for additional materials. 

Mr. Rhinehart referred to visibility in the community-has any research been done about more people using computers than the library for information.  Ms. Jensen said that last year a $25,000 grant was received from the Community Foundation, which was used to do a community survey.  Based upon that data they would like to use that information to move forward with a marketing campaign.

Mr. Stanczyk asked if there will be supplemental funding next year and was funding received the year before.  Ms. Jensen said that in 2006 $50,000 was received.  There is an expectation that the $50,000 will carry into the 2008 budget.  There is no indication that the other $85,000 will continue.  Mr. Stanczyk questioned why this is being discussed-should be discussed at budget time.  Priorities are being presented today on what the library would like to spend the money on.  Ms. Jensen said that the funding year is 1/1/07 to 12/31/07; need to spend it this year.  Mr. Stanczyk said that these are budget issues.

Mr. Corbett said if it were not spent, would it have to be turned back.  Ms. Jensen said that if it is set up as a grant, it may be able to be carried over. 

Mr. Kraft said that these funds are not going into operating accounts; Ms. Jensen said it is going into grant accounts.  Mr. Kraft asked if there are spending requirements on this State aid; Ms. Jensen said "no."  Mr. Kraft asked why it can't go to the operating account.  Ms. Jensen said because it is so late in the year, they would be hard pressed to spend it down by year-end.  Mr. Kraft questioned if it is unrestricted for use, then why can't it be part of revenue in the operating account and if it is not all spent, then maybe not so much will be taken from the general fund.  Ms. Jensen said that if it doesn't get spent in 2007, and is in the operating budget, then it would go to fund balance and they wouldn't be able to use it.  Mr. Mareane said that this can be discussed as part of the library's budget presentation.  Ms. McCaffrey said that this money has to be used to aid the library system.  Mr. Kraft asked why this is staying in a grant account and not general fund.  Mr. Mareane said that it was felt that this was an appropriate way to spend the money; there is a certain baseline level of spending for the library, which is being maintained; felt this is an appropriate way to spend one-time additional revenue.  Mr. Kraft said that it wasn't planned to spend this money and questioned why it has to be spent now.  Ms. McCaffrey said that there were priorities identified by system directors, member directors, branch administration at a retreat.  They were looking for ways to fund the priorities.

Vice Chairman Corbett said that this item passed unanimously yesterday.  There was discussion about how the library budget has been cut so much over the last five years; this was unanticipated and would allow them to do some things they have been wanted to do for a while but have not been able to.

Mr. Stanczyk questioned the collaboration with Pinckney Hugo; Ms. McCaffrey said that it will raise the level of awareness of services, i.e. the system-wide databases that not enough people know about.

Mr. Farrell would like to see a written output from the retreat and anticipated costs.  He said he has difficulty supporting this because of the way it was presented; he heard it has to be spent this year.  Upon further questioning, it was not true and it can be spent next year.  The people who have looked at this previously have said that they want to spend it this year; it is a critical piece of credibility.  He feels it was presented accurately.

Mr. Ryan said that it appears that the library will take the amount and spend it on a wish list; they made a determination to spend it on promos, dissemination of books, etc. instead of putting it in the operating budget.  The legislature has to decide what needs to be spent vs. what wants to be spent.  Half is going for a promo that he assumes is being spent accurately.  Is it in the best interest of the community to spend $60,000 to say that there are libraries and what is done there.  Ms. McCaffrey said that the legislature supports the libraries generously; this is a way to ensure that everyone gets the most bang for the buck.  It is a small amount if the increase in usage and awareness is really significant.  Mr. Ryan asked there wasn't this priority list what would the money be spent on.  Ms. McCaffrey said that it would be materials--it has to go for system services for all libraries in the county.

Mrs. Rapp asked about the $50,000 for marketing.  Ms. McCaffrey said that Erin Hugo is donating services, using dollars to get back from the media outlets, 3 for 1--the relationship with his agency will benefit the library.  Mrs. Rapp would like to abstain until more information is received. 

Mr. Stanczyk said that the FCC is compelled to provide public service announcements.  Ms. Jensen said they are typically run at times when there is not a wide audience; public service announcements have been done.

Mr. Rhinehart asked if the committee this today, would OCPL come back for a different use for the money.  Ms. Jensen said that they would evaluate; the money is there, it needs to be used.

Mr. Ryan questioned if some of the items could be carved out of this, does it all have to be spent at once.  Ms. McCaffrey said it would reduce the local dollars.  Mr. Ryan said that he has no problem with the sorting and delivery services.  Ms. McCaffrey said that the priorities are materials and sorting and delivery.  Ms. Jensen said that postage is needed; it will run short.  Mr. Seitz said it could be amended. 

A motion was made by Mr. Kraft, seconded by Mr. Farrell to table this item until the Ways and Means Committee meeting on Monday, September 17th.  Out of room:  1 (Mr. Rhinehart).  AYES:  6; NOES:  0; ABSTAINED:  2 (Stanczyk, Rapp).  MOTION CARRIED.

7.   SHERIFF:  Chief William Peverly

      a.   Transfer of funds from Acct. 413 Maintenance, Utilities & Rents in the amount of $13,843 to Acct. 215 Furniture and Equipment to pay for repairs to the Justice Center Chiller ($13,843)

A motion was made by Mr. Kraft, seconded by Mr. Farrell to approve this item.  Out of Room:  1 (Mr. Rhinehart); Passed unanimously.  MOTION CARRIED.

      b.   Amend 2007 County Budget to authorize the Onon. Co. Sheriff's Office to receive grant funds from the Div. of Criminal Justice Services and authorize the Co. Exec. to enter into contracts ($10,500)

This is specifically allocated--must be spent on vehicles; this portion cannot go to other accounts.   It can be used for the purchase, lease or maintenance of vehicles for the Drug Enforcement Task Force.

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

Mr. Stanczyk asked how much money is involved in the purchase, lease, and maintenance of vehicles-is this the total amount.  Chief Peverly indicated that this is not the total amount; it helps underwrite the costs.  There is one individual assigned to the Drug Enforcement Task Force and he has a vehicle that he uses.   The money can be used for maintenance and purchasing of fuel.  When they are in the covert operations, credit cards are used to purchase fuel; maintenance is not done at the regular maintenance facility.  When going out on investigation, they will lease a car short term, so this could go for that cost.  When it comes to purchasing vehicles, they have a number of mechanisms.  Sometimes they purchase through the State contract and may incorporate one vehicle assigned to the Task Force.  There are vehicles that are seized through the investigations; those vehicles can be purchased from the government at a much-reduced rate.  Mr. Stanczyk asked how many vehicles are dedicated to undercover now.  Chief Peverly said there is one officer that is full time with the Drug Enforcement Task Force and he has a car assigned to him.

Mr. Ryan asked if a vender that flips the cars every month or two.  Chief Peverly said that they have vendors that they lease from-may lease for a week, month, or a few days, it varies based on the circumstances.

Passed unanimously.  MOTION CARRIED.

8.   CORRECTIONS:  Ms. Pat Mosley, Assistant Commissioner, Management & Admin. Services

      a.   Transfer of funds from Acct. 413 Maint., Utilities & Rents in the amount of $14,000 to Acct. 215 Furn. and Equip. to cover costs of repairs of the condenser in the Food Service Blast Chiller ($14,000)

A motion by Mr. Stanczyk, Seconded by Mr. Ryan to approve this item.  Passed unanimously; CARRIED.

9.   WATER ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION:  Mr. Randy Ott, Commissioner

      a.   Authorizing the acquisition of property for the Northtown Pump Station Project ($3,500)

A motion by Mr. Kraft, seconded by Mr. Farrell to approve this item.  Passed unanimously.  CARRIED. 

10.       HEALTH:  Ms. Jean Smiley, Deputy Commissioner

      a.   Amending the 2007 County Budget to accept funds for a Correctional Health Records Management Grant and authorizing the County Executive to enter into contracts ($58,400)

Ms. Smiley said that this is the 5th grant that the Health Dept. has applied for and received to improve their records management systems.  When the Justice Center was built, there was limited health records storage areas.  Collapsible shelving allows them to put more records in a consolidated space.  They are also using an electronic system; records are scanned by bar code.  The request is for clerical staff to do the conversion--labeling and bar coding.  They want to hire a temp instead of putting someone on payroll for 8 months. 

Mr. Farrell referred to the time period of July 1, 2007 - June 30, 2008.  Ms. Smiley said that is the time period the State set up for the grant.  The letter came to the County on Aug. 7th, back dated to July.  This money must be spent in that time period.  It will be going into a grant project account. 

A motion by Mrs. Rapp, seconded by Mr. Farrell to approve this item.  Passed unanimously.  CARRIED.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:40 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,

DEBORAH L. MATURO, Clerk

Onondaga County Legislature