Meeting Minutes Archive: March, 2008

Office of the Onondaga County Legislature

Court House, Room 407
401 Montgomery Street
Syracuse, New York 13202
(315) 435-2070 Fax: (315) 435-8434
www.ongov.net
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  PLANNING & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
CASEY E. JORDAN, CHAIRMAN
March 10, 2008

MEMBERS PRESENT:            Mr. DeMore, Mr. Stott, Mrs. Rapp, Mr. Rhinehart, Mr. Stanczyk, Ms. Williams
ALSO PRESENT:  Mr. Meyer and see attached list (Attachment 1)

Chairman Jordan called the meeting to order at 11:15 a.m.

A motion was made by Mr. Rhinehart, seconded by Mrs. Rapp to waive the reading of the minutes; MOTION CARRIED; a motion was made by Mr. DeMore, seconded by Mr. Stott to approve the minutes; MOTION CARRIED.

1.      ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT:  Mr. Kim Hall, Management Analyst

a.   A Local Law designating a regionally significant project within the Onondaga County Empire Zone

This regionally significant project is located on 5.0 acres on Crossroads Park Drive in the Town of Clay.  Revonate Manufacturing, Inc. will lease the 77,000 sq. ft. building, will create 74 manufacturing jobs and will make a $.5 million capital investment.  Company remanufactures laptops, desktops, monitors and projectors for one of the largest computer manufacturers in the world and is a sister company of Seneca Data.

Mr. DeMore asked about the benefits of being in an Empire Zone.  Mr. Hall said the real property tax credit and the wage tax credit of $1,500 per employee (can be claimed for 60 consecutive months).  Mr. Hall said they check on the companies in an Empire Zone; 34 companies were decertified in 2007.

Mr. Jordan noted that the average salary would be around $26,000 per year plus benefits.

In answer to Mr. Stanczyk, Mr. Hall said the company is only required to create 12 jobs in the first year, but they will be creating 53; company will lease 22,000 sq. ft in the first year; by year five, they will have created 73 jobs and will be moving into the remaining space.

In answer to Mr. Rhinehart, Mr. Hall said the building is currently empty, does not know who owns the building.  Mr. Rhinehart asked if any of the other businesses in that park qualify; Mr. Hall replied "no".  This company has already been approved by the Town of Clay Planning Board, the State and the Empire Zone Administrative Board.

Mr. Stott asked about communicating the standards of a regionally significant project to other companies in the surrounding area.  Mr. Hall said he held a free informational seminar in 2005 regarding the Empire Zone and 300 companies attended, meets with accounting and law firms, actively markets the Empire Zone program by working with all of the business parks; Ms. May does business outreach.  Mr. Hall said there are certain target industries they look for; every business has to pass a cost benefit analysis (for every dollar they take out of the program in benefits, they have to give back $20 in the form of salaries, capital investments, employee benefits).

A motion was made by Mr. Rhinehart, seconded by Mrs. Rapp to approve this item; passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

2.   SOCPA:  Mr. Edward Kochian, Deputy County Executive

a.      Confirming appointment of Director - Don Jordan

Mr. Kochian noted that Mr. Jordan has been with the County since 1996, was head the GIS program and is working on his Masters at ESF.  Mr. Kochian added that he appreciates the diligence Mr. Jordan brings to the job and that he was recommended by Ms. Kitney.

Mr. Meyer requested to be a co-sponsor.

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

3.      INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY:  Mr. Edward Kochian, Deputy County Executive

a.      Confirming appointment of Chief Information Officer - Kenneth Beam

Mr. Kochian noted that Mr. Beam came most recently from Erie County government and was in the private sector before that.  After an extensive search, Mr. Kochian said they feel very confident that Mr. Beam, as Chief Information Officer, is the person to help us use strategically applied technology to help achieve the goals that we collectively want such as work smarter and to have a strong workforce.

Mr. Jordan asked Mr. Beam to expand on his statement in his resume that he centralized all the Erie County's technology functions, saving the county $800,000 annually.  Mr. Beam said that, similar to Onondaga County, each department of Erie County government was buying their own equipment.  Mr. Beam said when you buy in a larger group, have a better bargaining power; they saved money on PC's, software licensing and printing equipment.  Some departments had staff running the servers and maintaining the equipment; they consolidated that all into one department, resulted in some positions being deleted as transition went on and people retired.   Mr. Beam said they centralized all the purchasing part and the managing part.  Mr. Jordan asked about the SAP program.  Mr. Beam said it a software package - Enterprise Resource Planning, was decided on by a committee, it wasn't his choice, it is one big software package that runs everything for the county and they are still working on it $30,000,000 later.

Ms. Rapp asked if the towns were included when they centralized.  Mr. Beam replied no, but they did help support the towns; they were able use their help desk and get technical support from them, provided the towns with access to systems they needed to get to such as tax collections, etc., connected all the police and gave them internet access; they could also buy off the county contracts.

In answer to Mr. Stott, Mr. Beam said outsourcing everything does not make sense, have to take each aspect of the technology, depends on the cost, lots of times more effective to stay in house, but there are times when you need that outside expertise. 

Mr. Rhinehart asked about the vendor contracts being renegotiated in Erie County resulting in annual savings of $2,000,000.  Mr. Beam said it took many years and it is a cumulative number; for example, the copiers were leased instead of purchased (no longer have to worry about disposal after), county now has a contract with a local vendor for leasing multi-function devises (allowed them to get rid of most printers, could now print to the copiers), vendor was responsible for the machine, toner and maintenance.

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

4.   CVB Update - Mr. Holder

Mr. Holder talked about the following regarding their Destination Marketing Program:

  • Invested in a new CVB database system - combines all database needs into one system, gives good reporting mechanisms, also feeds into their website and all their publications.
  • Showed a mockup of their new website - easy for user to navigate and get to different links; will be up live March 30th to coincide with their newspaper insert.
  • March 30th - a 32-page newspaper insert will drop locally in the Post-Standard and Troy, Schenectady, Saratoga, Albany, Ottawa, Kingston and Scranton newspapers.  Will go into topics such as shopping in Skaneateles, dining in Little Italy, Lacrosse, fishing at Onondaga Lake Park, the zoo, museums, and performing arts.  Will have stories on events and the Underground Railroad, doesn't list the specific items as much as tell the story, will be visually captivating.
    Secured a grant from Senator DeFrancisco for $25,000 from Empire State Development, received private industry advertising support of $70,000, have had to make minimal investment from CVB perspective ($30,000).  Will have a drop of over 405,000 copies and another 20,000 left over for circulation through various places.  Expects this to spike website visits and phone calls through the roof.
  • Showed a mockup of new television commercials that will start airing in late March, early April; will have the actual commercial for the April meeting.
  • Planning a sales mission into Scranton, Albany and Ottawa to visit all the offices of AAA and Canadian automobile clubs to educate them on what we have to offer; also doing same thing with Albany meeting planners.
  • Doing a media blitz this summer in markets (newspapers TV stations, radio stations), and again in late fall.

Mr. Stanczyk asked what the budget is for the TV spots.  Mr. Holder said about $20,000 for the creative and production work and a minimum of $90,000 for the actual placement for the rest of this year (between 3 and 5 different commercials).  They are putting any remaining money into online advertising and a public relations piece.

Mr. Rhinehart asked how many hits they get on the website per month now.  Mr. Holder said about 83,000 annually, expects a big increase after the newspaper insert, will report back with those results. Mr. Rhinehart asked the cost to maintain that website per year.  Mr. Holder said prior to this year, about $5,000.

Mr. Stott asked if they have looked at partnering with airlines to possibly hit other markets outside of the present target.  Mr. Holder said ultimately it is part of their plan, have a meeting set up next week with Jet Blue about engaging them in a relationship; their next extension will be to look at the Big East cities.  They have to build the nucleolus of awareness and let it start expanding itself.  First responsibility is to get this message right, then build those partnerships.

Mr. Stanczyk asked if there were any advertisers on the web page now; Mr. Holder said no, but have built in the mechanism in the website redesign so that they can add advertisers to it.

5.      ONCENTER:

a.      Confirming appointments to the OnCenter Board of Directors (Ms. Patil, Mr. Murphy)

A motion was made by Mr. Stanczyk, seconded by Mr. Rhinehart to approve this item; a vote was taken and passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

The meeting was adjourned at 12:00 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Johanna H. Robb
Deputy Clerk

* * *

PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE MINUTES - March 13, 2008
CHAIRMAN RICHARD LESNIAK

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Mr. DeMore, Mr. Holmquist, Mr. Buckel, Mr. Masterpole, Mr. Warner, Ms. Williams
ALSO PRESENT:  Chairman Meyer, See attached list

Chairman Lesniak called the meeting to order at 9:00 a.m.
A motion was made by Mr. Warner, seconded by Mr. Masterpole to waive the reading and approve the minutes of the proceedings of the previous committee.  MOTION CARRIED.

1.     DISTRICT ATTORNEY:  Rick Trunfio, Deputy District Attorney
b.     Amend '08 Budget to Provide Office of the Dist. Attny. with Addl. funds beyond the Estimated Dollars Appropriated in the 2008 Budget for the Parole Re-Entry Prog. and Authorize Co. Exec. to enter into contracts to implement this res. ($99,932)
This will pay for a re-entry coordinator and a couple of caseworkers to work with State Parole; it helps parolees get reintegrated in the community.  It is a way to cut down on recidivism; parolees are at risk for re-offending.  The money goes through Violence Intervention Program and Southwest Community Center--pass through.  This is the first year for this re-entry money; feels DCJS will continue to fund it; if they don't, the position goes away-it is not a county position.  The number of parolees to be served in unknown--depends on how many people State Parole sends to them; it is not for violent offenders or sex offenders.  A task force is working out the details, which is chaired by the DA's office.  The re-entry program is designated to work with employers who are willing to work with ex-cons, having a plan set up. 

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

Chairman Lesniak asked if people coming out of shock programs will be looked at; Mr. Trunfio said that they could be--parole officers in correctional facilities will identify them.  It will be a combination of volunteering and the State identifying them.

Mr. Masteropole asked about the determination of where parolees go after release from prison.  Mr. Trunfio said that when released they have to provide a solid address, which triggers which regional office will supervise them.  DCJS's goal is to put a re-entry coordinator in every county; feels Onondaga Co. was picked first because it is rated as one of the top Impact sites in the state.  Regarding the parolee's address, Chair Lesniak said that there are checks and balances as to where that person is going, i.e. is family in the area.

Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

a.     Amend '08 Budget to Provide Office of Dist. Attny. with Addl. Funds Beyond the Estimated Dollars Appropriated in '08 Budget for the District Attorney's Recruitment and Retention Program and authorize Co. Exec. to Enter into Contracts to Implement this res ($62,447)
Chairman Lesniak said that this item was discussed last June and provided committee members with copies of the June 2007 Public Safety and Ways & Means Committee meetings.  Mr. Trunfio provided a page of the contract that lays out the task goals and identifies what the DA has to do in reference to the awards (attach #1).

Mr. Trunfio stated that public service does not pay as well as private services; DA's office cannot keep experienced prosecutors.  This has been an ongoing issue with the DA's Association.  Out of the top 11 jurisdictions in upstate, where the crime rate is about the same as here, Onondaga Co. ranked 8th in starting salary.  The only lower County was Oneida; a few are very comparable; #9 was $45,000; #10 was Albany at $43,000; Monroe is a about $2,000 more than Onondaga. The cost of going through S.U. Law School is about $100,000; he has ADA's paying $1,200 - $1,400/month in student loans.  The starting ADA salary is $49,000.  The starting salary at Bond, Schoeneck and King is $80,000; that is more than most chief ADA's make that have been here for 20 years.  This is a state problem.  The State came up with a pool of money to help retain or recruit ADA's.  Last year $45,000 was received; 12 bonuses was given out, and they had to file a 1099.  Last year they young ADAs were targeted and were asked for a 3-year commitment.  There are 47 ADAs at this time; 16 have a year or less of experience; 4 were just sworn in-each handling a calendar part in City Court and have less then 3 weeks as lawyers.  An additional 9 have 3 years or less experience.  This year they hope to target more experienced ADAs to keep them.

Mr. Warner made a motion to approve this item,

Chairman Lesniak asked if the State still offers a scholarship program.  Mr. Trunfio explained that the State has a loan forgiveness program; Assembly put together $3 million for public defenders and legal aid; the Senate put together $3 million for prosecutors.  It has to be applied for; it reimburses someone for about $3,000 and then they have to file a 1099.  A similar program was just passed on the national level; but it is a fraction of what people's loans are.

Chairman Lesniak referred to pg. 19 of the contract--referring to a committee.  Mr. Trunfio said that is consists of the DA, the Admin. Officer, himself, reps from senior staff to recommend nominations.  Names are not made public.

Mr. Holmquist asked if the increase received this year was higher than other counties.  Mr. Trunfio said that he did not know; he knows that last year Monroe County received the same amount as Onon. Co.  Mr. Holmquist feels that this is not enough--asked if there is enough to retain people.  Mr. Trunfio said that the DA is targeting people that have been here a while and have done tremendous work.  The DA's Association always has this item on the agenda; hopes that the federal money will be a big help; it is based on a complicated formula. 

Mr. Masteropole said that realistically folks have bills to pay; has an issue with bonus or free money handed out because someone has a bill that everyone else has.  Mr. Trunfio said that if the federal and state governments have recognized it, then it is more than that.  Law school tuition has skyrocketed.  This is about running county government and the criminal justice arena.  Mr. Masterpole said this is a systemic problem countrywide.  Going into public services is sometimes nice--health benefits are second to none, state pension, holiday time off, etc.  Private sector attorneys cannot be compared to public sector attorneys.  There are benefits to being in the public sector that don't compare to the private sector.  He is in favor of taking care of our employees, but wants to be careful as to what precedent this is setting. 

Mr. DeMore said that this money was already taxed by the State; if it doesn't go here it will go somewhere else.

Mr. Buckel seconded the motion.

Mr. Warner, Mr. DeMore, Mr. Holmquist, and Mr. Buckel requested to be added as co-sponsors.

Mr. Buckel said that this is a question of the quality of the service the county is offering.  He has a policy in his practice that whenever there is a difficult case or close call with the attorney general, he always advises his client to fight, because they don't have the trial quality to win and they can't try the complex cases.  It filters down to other jurisdictions.  It isn't systematic, there are other jurisdictions:  U.S. Attorney's Office, Security Exchange Commission--they will generally get top level talent; they pay on a different scale and are more competitive.  He asked if the schools that the DA's office recruits from has loan forgiveness programs; could we begin to shift the burden.  Mr. Trunfio said that SU refused a federally funded program years ago that would have focused on training/preparing people in public service; the federal money went to a law school in Albany. 

Chairman Lesniak asked if the awards will all be the same; Mr. Trunfio said it will be split evenly; check size will depend on the number of candidates.

Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

2.        Memorializing the Governor and Legislature of the State of New York to Enact S.6951 and A.10008 to Amend Section 466-g of the Real Prop. Tax Law to Remove the Restriction that Volunteer Firefighters and Other Emergency Personnel Must Serve in the Municipality in Which They Reside to be Eligible for Benefit Under such Section and Encouraging the Further Amendment of Tax Law §606(e-1) to Allow Individuals to Claim Both the Exemption and the Tax Credit - Mr. DeMore

Mr. DeMore said that section 466-g of the Real Property Tax Law gives firefighters and other volunteers a break in their property taxes.  It currently states that the volunteer must live in the town that they are volunteering in.  With the mutual aid system, these volunteers are all over the place.  Bills are pending in the State to change it.  Also, Section 606(e-1) of the State Income Tax Law gives the actual tax credit to volunteers for $200.  For tax year 2008,t he volunteers have to make a decision when they file their taxes in 2009 to either chose the tax break on the property of this.  He and Chairman Lesniak feel that they should get both.  He will contact State representatives to see if the can work on amending section 606 (e-1).

Chairman Lesniak said that the exemption on real property is a $3,000 limit off assessment; in Onondaga Co. it equates to about $27/individual.  It is confusing for people--they file and get notice on their real property in May, but don't do their taxes until the following Jan., Feb. or March, nothing gels together so that they can pick.

Mr. Masteropole asked if a person lives in the City, can they be a volunteer.  Mr. DeMore said that they could.

A motion was made by Mr. Warner, seconded by Mr. Buckel, to approve this item; passed unanimously.  CARRIED.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:38 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,

DEBORAH L. MATURO, Clerk
Onondaga County Legislature

* * * 

SOCIAL SERVICES COMMITTEE MINUTES - March 12, 2008
CHAIRMAN SAM LAGUZZA

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Mr. DeMore, Mr. Lesniak, Mr. Stott, Mr. Buckel, Mr. Holmquist, Mr. Warner
ALSO PRESENT:  see attached list

Chairman Laguzza called the meeting to order at 10:30 a.m.

HILLSIDE WORK SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM:  Dave Ingalls, Wegmans; Wayne O'Connor, Hillside

Mr. Ingalls said that Wegmans started the program in 1987; by 1993 the Hillside Agency took over the Hillside Work Scholarship Connection.  Chair Laguzza said that Danny Wegman put $80,000 on the table and told the Pirro administration that there were matching grant funds available.  Ms. Merrick, DSS, said that the County applied to Office of Children & Family Services in Dec. for a COPS waiver.  It allowed taking $80,000 from Wegmans and leveraging it with State money-were able to leverage 65% more.  They were approved in Jan.--are in the process finalizing the 2008 contract.  Chair Laguzza said that this is a collaborative effort between private and public sector.  Legislative approval is not needed to continue under the existing grant; it was factored into the '08 budget.  If there is a second year, it will be factored into the '09 budget.

Mr. O'Connor provided a brief personal background and gave a Power Point presentation (attachment #1). 

Mr. Lesniak asked if SAT scores are tracked.  Mr. O'Connor said that they have not looked specifically at them, but help all of the kids to prepare for the SAT tests, and the kids have done really well.  They have 13 seniors in Syracuse and expect them all to graduate this year.  The kids are encouraged to take SATs and ACTs.  Mr. Lesniak asked if the kids have experienced any problems in getting into a college.  Mr. O'Connor said that the college are out there.  If they can get the kids across the stage for graduation, then he guarantees that they can get into college.  They might start with a community college and they almost all qualify for financial aid.  The key is to keep the there; they drop out because of cultural differences, don't have a way to get back after a break, or they get caught up in the things going on in the streets in their neighborhoods while on break. 

Chairman Laguzza asked about projected goals for this academic year; can the legislature be provided with data in the near future.  Mr. O'Connor said that his goal is that 90% or will be advanced to the next grade. 

Mr. Stott said that there are some similarities between this and CNY Works.  Regarding risk factors, he asked about environment and home life and if anything is being done to take kids out of a bad environment.  Mr. O'Connor said that when they are aware of it; they are mandated to hotline it in; have also taken kids to Booth House.  They work with the parents; there are parents that aren't good at parenting but love their kids.  Some of these kids are coming from dysfunctional, and sometimes, abusive situations.  All advocates know the parents and make home visits.  There is no long-term plan to get kids out of their homes, but they work with agencies if they feel a child is at risk.  Ms. Merrick said that a long-term plan is for theme to make a living, get an apartment, so that they don't have to stay in those situations.  Mr. O'Connor said that there is a collabaration with Westside to address some of these concerns.

Mr. Stott asked if anything is done with Habitat for Humanity.  Mr. O'Connor said that they do not work with them, but do work with many agencies--Habitat for Humanity is a good suggestion.  There is a close collaboration with OCC, LeMoyne, and S.U.  Today the Teacher's program for LeMoyne will be at Hillside to provide one-on-one tutoring.  Mr. Stott referred to the 3.5% remaining population that are not attending classes and asked how they are being targeted.  What is the correlation between that and the 12% who are having promotional problems.  Mr. O'Connor said that he believes the 12% will pass, but may be failing right now. 

Mr. Warner asked about the city school drop out rate.  Mr. O'Connor said that nationwide is it around 50%; varies from city to city.  In Syracuse there is about a 60% graduation rate.  In rural and suburban schools it is much higher.  Mr. Warner asked at what point does Hillside let you go.  Mr. O'Connor said that they keep intervening, but at the point that they find the kids are not doing homework, not responsive, not staying after school, not doing progress reports, then the kids are put on probation and a meeting is held with the parents.  If it doesn't work, then they have to let them go because there are 180 slots to fill; there is waiting list of kids wanting to get into the program.  Chair Laguzza asked about probation.  Mr. O'Connor said not a lot is done with punishments; probations vary.  The kids are told that they will get their homework done, they will stay after school for help; they will cut down hours of work until it can be proven that they are working in the right direction--90% of the time it works:  Some kids just aren't ready; if they want to come back into the program later, Hillside will bring them back in. 

Mr. Holmquist stated that this is a phenomenal program.  He asked if this were totally funded what is the current need; how many kids would qualify.  Mr. O'Connor said that there were about 2,000 kids that entered the freshman class this past year in 4 high schools; about half won't graduate unless there is intervention.  Not all of those kids will qualify.  He projected that there would be about 2,000 in grades 7-12.  The cost per student is $3,600.  The funding comes from the school districts that participate, County, actively pursuing relations with local and national foundations, and are applying for grants.  The County is a pass through for State funds; there are no local dollars. 

Mr. Buckel referred to lead poisoning and asked if there is any data that is consistent with HIPA that allows earlier intervention on the students that have this problem.  Mr. O'Connor said that it could be a factor, as well as alcohol, drugs, etc., but it is difficult for them to know because of regulations.  Mr. Buckel said regarding referrals, it sometimes leads to getting the best potential kids, but not always the kids that need it the most.  He asked if there is a formula that measures the results objectively.  Mr. O'Connor said that there is; and that is why there are very specific risk factors.  Mr. Buckel said that you can tell at a much young age than 7th grade if the child will be at risk-is it advantageous to start earlier.  Mr. O'Connor said that there is no doubt that the earlier start, the better.  This program is not designed to do that; there are interventions at the school districts.

SOCIAL SERVICES- Informational:  David Sutkowy, Commissioner; Steve Morgan, Deputy Commissioner
Mr. Morgan distributed an overview (attachment #2).  Commissioner Sutkowy highlighted the following:

  • Largest department in county government
  • 750 staff, $240 million operating budget
  • Operate 5 public benefit programs; 2 caseworkers program, and a child support bureau
  • serve 1 out of every 6 or 7 county residents
  • Public benefit programs: Cash Assistance--Family Assistance(1 fed., 1 State); Food Stamps, Medicaid, Daycare, HEAP--all financial support programs to low income families - benefits available through a means test - look at income and resources and make a decision based on a formula set by Washington or Albany
  • Working hard on promoting accessibility to health care benefits; over 5,000 kids in Onondaga County don't have access to public health benefits; working closely with Health Dept. and agencies
  • Protecting health and safety of children; removing kids from homes - placements that are permanent
  • Partnering with Schools, City, Hillside--trying to figure out a better way to address issues of parents functioning at a level higher than qualifications for the DSS formal system, but not enough to provide enrichment experiences
  • Operational efficiency - aging population in suburbs--in the near future there will be more individuals on fixed incomes who may qualify for services.  DSS is not positioned now to address their needs.  Civic Center is tough to access; needs to figure out better ways to make services easier to access.  They have facilitated Medicaid enrollers in the communities; people don't have to come down to the Civic Center to apply for Medicaid.  90% of food stamp applications are done over the phone.  Because staff is down and numbers are up, they set up a call center.  A technology was developed so that a worker knows everything about a case by pulling it up on the computer and running a scenario.  The average wait is 1-1.5 minutes; the work is task based. 

Regarding budget issues for 2009; Mr. Sutkowy referred to the State set cap on Medicaid.  It is about 3.5% above, about a $3 million cost increase.  Last year, the County was about a half percent over the State cap, so the County benefited.  The budget increases are in Medicaid, staff, salaries and fringes.

The meeting was adjourned at 12:05 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
DEBORAH L. MATURO, Clerk
Onondaga County Legislature

* * *

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION COMMITTEE MINUTES - March 13, 2008
CHAIRMAN JAMES CORBETT

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Mr. Jordan, Mr. Kraft, Mr. Rhinehart, Mr. Masterpole, Ms. Williams
MEMBERS ABSENT:  Mrs. Winslow
ALSO IN ATTENDANCE:  Chairman Meyer, see also attached list

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

1.   LAKE IMPROVEMENT:  Sue Miller, Public Intergov. Relations Office
     a.     ACJ Update
Midland

  • Finished Midland-testing every mechanical part; manufacturers training staff; development of O&M manuals
  • Looking to start performance period in March

Sewer Separation

  • nothing new; no work on Bissell/Temple Street this past month

Clinton Phase I

  • Continuing - sheeting, pipes, manholes going in
  • Work on shafts for microtunnelling

Clinton Phase II

  • Short line of pipe that connects Trolley lot to the back of MOST - issued letter of intent to award to Delaney, low bid contractor. Before awarding, they met with DEC, Atlantic States, the Nation and described where the pipe is and its purpose. It was agreed that whatever was going to happen in the Trolley lot, the pipes would still be needed to convey the CSOs. Have issued the letter of intent to award to Delaney. Delaney did not agree to hold his bid until May 1st. The next low bidder was $1.4 million more.
  • Meetings held weekly with DEC, Atlantic States, the Nation. Co. Exec. has set April 15th as the decision point; are researching, discussing green infrastructure, impacts on storm water, and the volumes of storm water with combined sewage, relationship to downsizing any different technology on the Trolley lot. Bids held until May 1st.

Mr. Jordan asked if actual construction would start prior to the April 15th.  Ms. Miller said that they have 45 days to award the bid--would like to begin as soon as possible because of the construction season-want to finish by Nov. per arrangement with the Armory Square Association.  Mr. Jordan further questioned the award of the bid.  It was explained that the decision was made to go ahead and award the bid, because no matter what is happening in the Trolley Lot, the combined sewage has to get to it.  It would be there for storage.  Mr. Jordan asked if the conveyance would have to be installed no matter what.  Ms. Miller said that it would unless a totally different alternative, such as rain gardens or cisterns, were done.  The feeling is that something would have to be there for the volume to pick up the CSOs.  The County is looking into how much of the volume can be cut down. 

Mr. Masterpole said that there is a statement being made that regardless of how we proceed, unless we chose not to proceed, the conveyance have to go in.  He expressed concern about getting boxed into the same corner as occurred with Midland.  He feels that we should find out what we are doing before moving forward with the conveyances.  Ms. Miller said that we are at a point of reviewing where we are and assessing options.  The major parties agreed to take this time out. 

Mr. Rhinehart stated that the executive side doesn't need to come here to award any of the bids; she has decided to hold these meetings, and they seem to produce a lot of data.  If the executive side decides to proceed with what we have then they can go ahead and award the bid.  The legislature has to approve the funding.  This has slowed down, but it is still going forward. 

Mr. Jordan expressed concern that if a decision is made to go in a different direction, then money may be spent on conveyances that aren't needed.  Chairman Corbett added that they could be used as storage.  Ms. Miller said that the thinking is that one way or another they could be used; it is a very short area; a very limited area.  The pipes would still be needed to capture the CSOs.  Ms. Miller said that the pipes are constructed for the size of the volume.  However they will be handled, they will have to be transported.  If doing all sewer separation, they might not be used, but she believes that all the parties are looking at partial sewer separation. 

2.  Confirming reappointment to the Region 7 Fish and Wildlife Management Board (Mr. Corbett)

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

3.   Confirming appointment to the Region 7 Forest Practice Board (Mr. DeMore)

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

4.   Memorializing the Governor and the Legislature of the State of New York to enact Senate Bill S.1820A Relating to Prohibiting Certain Sized Trucks From Operating on Particular Routes- Mr. Corbett
A motion was made by Mr. Rhinehart seconded by Mr. Corbett to approve this item.

Chair Corbett said that this item was discussed in committee, but Mr. Masterpole had concerns with trucks coming down Rt. 81 through the City.  He researched it; the approved routes are the Thruway and Rt. 81. 

Mr. Masterpole asked if this is sending a request to the State that will increase the cost--are trucking companies going to have increased cost in tolls and fuel.  He is concerned that it will force more trucks through the city, but understands they are approved routes.  Chairman Corbett said that some of the roads are not designed to handle trucks of this size.  Mr. Masterople said this is a way to drive up costs to businesses and putts bubbles around communities.

Mr. Rhinehart said that currently the DOT Commissioner has designated Routes 41 and 41A to prohibit trucks over 48 ft., but it is not law.  The legislation going in front of the State takes the current designation and makes it law.  The local police and sheriffs enforce it.  Mr. Masterpole said that his concern is that this may be costing the truck companies more in fuel, labor hours, and tolls.  Mr. Rhinehart said that this pertains to trucks over 48'.

Mr. Jordan said that the bigger and heavier the vehicle is, the thicker and wider the road needs to be.  There are issues of cost and safety.  Mr. Masterpole asked if Routes in 41 and 41A can't handle trucks over 48'.  Mr. Rhinehart said that they can't; they have difficulty making the turns, and they are given tickets.  Chairman Corbett said that they are giving tickets for violation of regulation; this legislation makes it a law.

AYES:  4 (Corbett, Mr. Rhinehart, Mr. Kraft, Mr. Jordan); NOES:  2 (Williams, Masterpole).  CARRIED.

5.   METROPOLITAN WATER BOARD:  Dave Fitch, Administrative Director

      a. Authorizing Issuance of $60,000,000 Bonds of the County of Onondaga to pay the cost of Certain Improvements for the Onondaga County Water District in and for said County - Mr. Kraft
Mr. Kraft said that a public hearing was approved, which was the necessary prelude; this is the next step. 

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

Mr. Rhinehart stated that he is still in favor of OCWA handling the bonding.  Chairman Corbett said that it will be brought back at the April session.  Mr. Rhinehart asked if there has been any new recommendation or change from the executive side.  Mr. Fitch said that per Jean Smiley, it was determined to proceed as though MWB would complete the projects.  Two resolutions need to be passed.  To avoid losing time, following the public hearing on April 1st, these 2 resolutions would be ready to be passed.  He introduced Mark Lenz, Malcolm Pirnie, who will provide a presentation today and at the public hearing. 

Mr. Rhinehart said that if MWB is authorized to do bonding, a proposal has to be submitted to the State Comptroller; he asked if anyone has called them to let them know that a package may be coming for review.  Mr. Fitch said to his knowledge no contact has been made yet, but the counsel for the MWB has been alerted that an application may be needed and they are getting prepared.  Mr. Kraft said that he contacted the Law Dept. to see if something could be started.

Mr. Masterpole said that the first path for OCWA was defeated, and questioned moving forward in dual paths.  Mrs. Tarolli said that the OCWA local law is back on the desks for presentation.  There are 2 more steps this legislature would have to take to proceed with the County doing the project.  The first are the 2 resolutions to be presented at the April session for bonding authorization and approval.  After the application is ready to go, it comes back to the legislature for authorization of the application to be submitted to the State Comptroller.  Mr. Masterpole further questioned why the OCWA local law could come back after being defeated in March.  Mrs. Tarolli explained that a local law can come back time after time; resolutions have a different procedure.

Mr. Jordan said that if the County does this, can the bonding be issued as revenue bonds vs. geo bonds.  Mr. Kraft said that the full faith and credit of the County is behind it, and referred to Section 4 of the resolution.  Mr. Kraft said that it is the revenues first, which is why it is cheaper to do it this way.  The intent is to put it on the water rate.  Chairman Corbett said that each time there is an increase in the water rates, it would be the County Legislature that would vote to increase everyone's water rates.  Mr. Kraft said that the legislature votes to increase the rate, or change the rate, that MWB charges OCWA.  Mr. Corbett said that if OCWA did it, the legislature wouldn't vote to change the rate. 

Chair Corbett said that he had originally understood that there would be two tanks at one time; now there is recent information that the tanks would be done one at a time, which will extend the length of the construction. 

Mark Lenz, Malcolm Pirnie, gave a Power Point presentation (attachment #1).

Chairman Corbett asked if a projection were done if the tanks are done one at a time.  Mr. Lenz said that they would finish the tank at Western and then move on to Eastern, which would extend the construction schedule out to 2015.  It adds about 2 years to the total project.  From a cash flow perspective, it might add about $4 - $4.5 million. A 6% annual construction inflation rate is being projected.  If bid in packages, there may be a higher likelihood of getting the same contractor and seeing some savings.

Chairman Corbett referred to a comment about the majority of entities not being in compliance by 2009 and the anticipation that a government body will allow them to go beyond that date--has anyone gone to the government bodies and told them how long it will take.  Mr. Fitch said that MWB has; they made an inquiry to the State Health Department.  It is a federal regulation that the State has primacy to implement.  The Federal Government has not given real specific guidelines to the State as to how long they can give a community to do this.  The response he received from the State Health Department was that they have no deadline.  They want to see that there is some movement to complete this.  The State can only react to a plan that is presented. 

Mr. Rhinehart asked how long the tanks will last; Mr. Lenz said 50-100 years.  They are concrete and steel that is pre-stressed.  They are extremely low maintenance.  Mr. Fitch said that MWB has 5 already, which were constructed in the early 1970's, and the maintenance put into them has been minuscule.

Mr. Masterpole asked Mr. Lenz if he sees any difference in how this moves forward as far as OCWA or MWB doing it.  Mr. Lenz replied that as long as it is moving forward and making improvements, then he does not.  It is really whether the County wants to be in the water business or not.  Mr. Fitch said that OCWA has communicated to MWB that if the legislature decides to have the Authority issue the bonds, then MWB will assume the contract with Malcolm Pirnie.

Chair Corbett asked about the length of bonds and cost anticipated if the County does it.  Mr. Mareane said that Terminal is the missing element, another $30 million.  It is not addressed today, but has to be built to comply with the mandate.  Estimated debt numbers were run based on extended schedule and doing one tank at a time.

AYES:  4 (Jordan, Masterpole, Kraft, Williams); NOES:  2 (Corbett, Rhinehart).  MOTION CARRIED.

      b.  Approving Improvements for the Onondaga County Water District Eastern and Western Reservoir Sites of the County of Onondaga, New York - Mr. Kraft
A motion was made by Mr. Kraft, seconded by Mr. Masterpole to approve this item.  AYES:  4 (Jordan, Masterpole, Kraft, Williams); NOES:  2 (Corbett, Rhinehart)MOTION CARRIED.

     d.   Requesting the Onondaga County Executive or Her Designee to Make Periodic Reports to this Legislature on the Status of the Covered Storage Project - Mr. Kraft

Mr. Kraft referred to the sewer projects and how surprises came in big bundles.  He feels it would be better to have status reports given to this committee as the project goes along.

A motion by Mr. Kraft, seconded by Ms. Williams, to approve this item.  Passed unanimously; CARRIED.

      c.   Appropriating $20 Million of the $60 Million Bonds Issued to Pay the Cost of Certain Improvements for the Onondaga County Water District - Mr. Kraft
Mr. Kraft stated that he has flexibility with this item.  There are 1 or 2 contractors that do this kind of work.  He has questions about contingencies, vender capacity, and cost, if all 3 are put out at once.  He wants to move as fast as possible with the highest priority being the west.  Possibly the best way to approach the State Comptroller would be to do one, and maybe get approval faster than if all 3 were sent at the same time.  He does not want to delay the long term; looking to do it in pieces where it is in the County's best interest.  He asked the law department to start on the State Comptroller's paper work.  Mr. Rhinehart said that the longer this is dragged out, the more it will cost. The OCWA local law is being brought back to the floor, so possibly OCWA will issue the bonds.  There are not 13 votes to have MWB do this yet--asked why the Law Dept. or engineers would start putting together a proposal for the State Comptroller, as it may not be needed.  He does not support this, it will draw it out, make it slower, and cost more money.  Mr. Kraft wants to make the best business decision--would like the consultant, finance people, and water people to due diligence and come back and inform the committee. The resolution starts the process moving. 

Mr. Masterpole said that one reason he supports this resolution is because of the State Comptroller--doesn't think things should be hid.  He asked how quickly this can move forward to get the needed legislation to advance it to the Comptroller's office; does it need to come to committee before it goes to the floor.  Mrs. Tarolli said that MWB uses outside consultants to prepare that application.  When it is passed, there will be a public hearing held.  After the public hearing, there is a report of the findings.  When a resolution is passed sending the application on to the State Comptroller, it includes very specific findings.  There is a time frame that will provide the opportunity to look at the report and make a determination.  She doesn't know if it can happen all at the same time; she can coordinate with MWB's outside consultants to see if it is even legally possible to do it all at once.  Mr. Masterpole asked what a reasonable timeframe is.  Mrs. Tarolli said that MWB's consultants have to get the report ready and the legislature has to have the opportunity to review it.  Mr. Fitch didn't think it would take counsel very long to prepare it, but typically they would not be authorized to go ahead with it until the Legislature authorized the bonding.

Chairman Corbett asked if OCWA does it, it wouldn't cost the County anything because there is no application to the Comptroller, but if we go through MWB, it will ultimately cost the County.  Mr. Fitch said that a Comptroller's application is less than $10,000.

Chairman Corbett asked about estimated debt service.  Mr. Mareane said that they looked at Malcolm Pirnie's extended schedule.  The County won't borrow in advance of the services, they will borrow when the money is needed. Each borrowing would be spread 20 years.  It was modified to recognize that there will be another $30 million put into the project out to 2015- 2016.  He provided an estimate (attachment #2).  When debt peaks in 2018, they will have added about $7.8 million per year in debt service.  In order to cover it, the County will have to raise wholesale water rates over a period of time by 94%.  This assumes one tank every 2 years.  If it is staggered, the effect of inflation raises the total cost to $64.5 million.  Mr. Fitch reminded the committee that these are wholesale water rates and the rates are about $1/1,000 gallons. 

Chairman Corbett said that if we authorize the $60 million per this resolution, the money cannot be appropriated for more than $20 million without a majority vote of the legislature.  Mr. Mareane said that the resolution is a check and balance for the legislature.  Mr. Kraft said that he is trying to deal with the concerns of having 1 or 2 vendors, not the interest or inflation.  If it is delayed, the cost will go up, but you will save the finance cost over that time.  He asked Mr. Lenz, if Malcolm Pirnie is in a position to give an evaluation in the next week or so as to what is a good business decision.  Mr. Lenz said that these could be bid as 3 separate projects.  There are 3 vendors that would build these tanks, 1 is in Boston, 1 in Texas, 2 of them do business on the east coast right now.  He would recommend that 3 different bid packages be prepared.  Closer to the time of issuing decide what the technical or financial advantages are to issuing those packages concurrently or staggered. 

A motion was made by Mr. Masterpole, seconded by Mr. Kraft.  AYES:  4 (Masterpole, Jordan, Kraft, Williams); NOES:  2 (Rhinehart, Corbett).  MOTION CARRIED.

The meeting was adjourned at 12:40 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

DEBORAH L. MATURO, Clerk
Onondaga County Legislature

* * * 

EDUCATION & LIBRARIES COMMITTEE MINUTES
PATRICK M. KILMARTIN, CHAIRMAN
February 14, 2008

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Mr. Stott, Mr. Corbett, Mr. Holmquist, Mr. DeMore
MEMBERS ABSENT:  Mrs. Winslow, Mr. Kinne
ALSO PRESENT:  see attached list (Attachment 1)

Chairman Kilmartin called the meeting to order at 11:05 a.m.

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

1.   OCPL:  Ms. Sally Carmer, Director of Administrative Services

a.   Amending the 2008 County Budget to accept Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funds for the Onondaga County Public Library and authorizing the County Executive to enter into contracts to implement this resolution ($12,000)
Grant is for the Summer Reading Program, amount is based on previous years' attendance.  It will enable them to provide two programs to each of the 31 libraries in the County system - the Zoo to You program with the theme of "Catch the Reading Bug" and David Moreland's magical show, also centered on the bug theme.  Cost of two programs is $10,850; the balance ($1,150) will go towards supplies and materials for advertising.

Mr. Kilmartin asked if the funds have to be expended and then reimbursed from the State; Ms. Carmer replied "yes".

Mr. Corbett expressed congratulations for the Library receiving the maximum amount of $12,000 of funds allocated by this grant.

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

2.   OCC:  Mr. William Emm, Chief Financial Officer

a.   Amending the 2006-2007 Onondaga Community College Budget to accept additional State Aid ($348,709)
Due to increased enrollment, OCC has earned additional State Aid.  The additional $597,629 in their 2006-2007 Operating Fund budget is a combination of the increased State Aid and tuition dollars.

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

Mr. Corbett noted that this is a direct result of being proactive with the student housing. 

In answer to Mr. Kilmartin, Mr. Emm said they have a Mission Statement and Strategic Plan that they use as a basis to build their plans and budgets, then they look to see what the levels of support are from the State and County, the last resort is having to raise tuition.  Mr. Emm said it is difficult to project out more than one year because they never know what the State is going to do.  Mr. Kilmartin asked if they have an internal calculation of how it would affect total revenues if an additional hundred or thousand students were to enroll at the last minute.  Mr. Emm said it would fluctuate each year.

The motion to approve this item was seconded by Mr. Stott.  A vote was taken and passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

Mr. Kilmartin read a letter from Dr. Sydow regarding the proposed 2008-2009 New York State Budget that would have a strong detrimental impact on OCC and their 11,000 students (attachment 2).

Mr. Corbett said OCC has dramatically increased students, asked if they will be one of the colleges it affects the most.  Mr. Emm said "yes", because of the $50 reduction in state aid per FTE, and also the change on distributing capital funds to a first-come, first served basis; the College's position is to move forward with their capital plan as soon as they are able to.

Mr. Kilmartin said, in talking with Dr. Sydow, that this is a very substantial change in how capital projects would be supported by the state, those that are poised to move forward with plans quickly will be in the best position to capture dollars; there is also a concern that the much larger downstate counties could cap an enormous amount of those capital funds if they are the first to move.  With the new allocation of the 40 acres at Velasko Road and Rt. 173 and how the college is reworking some of their designs and plans to execute capital projects, Mr. Kilmartin said the timing could bode well for OCC and for the college to move forward.  In terms of additional details to how the governor proposes the distribution of these capital funds, Mr. Kilmartin asked if it will be different, if it will be triggered not by a mere allocation of capital funds from the County Legislature, but actually an appropriation.  Mr. Emm said that was an important distinction.

In answer to Mr. Stott, Mr. Emm said in the past, the Legislature might appropriate in two steps, that way could now jeopardize their ability to access the full amount of money they are looking to achieve.  Mr. Stott asked about changing the Legislature's policy.

Mr. Kilmartin anticipates that Dr. Sydow and Mr. Emm will be coming back to the Legislature with a more detailed plan on how they want to move forward with these capital projects and the timing for that; it would be a substantial change on how the Legislature approaches these capital projects.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:25 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Johanna H. Robb
Deputy Clerk 

* * *  

WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE - March 25, 2008
CHAIRMAN JAMES M. RHINEHART

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Mr. Holmquist, Mr. Corbett, Mr. Kraft, Mr. Warner, Mr. Rapp,
MEMBERS ABSENT:  Mr. Kilmartin
ALSO PRESENT:  Chairman Meyer, Legislator Lesniak, see also attached list

Chairman Rhinehart called the meeting to order at 9:33 a.m.

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

1.    WAYS AND MEANS MISCELLANEOUS:
      a.    Confirming appointments to the Onondaga County Board of Ethics
A motion by Mr. Kraft, seconded by Mr. Warner, to approve this item.  Passed unanimously; CARRIED.

      b.    Confirming reappointment to the OnCenter Board of Directors (Mr. Hamilton)
A motion by Chairman Rhinehart, seconded by Mr. Corbett to approve this item.  Passed unanimously; CARRIED.

      c.    Confirming appointment to the OnCenter Board of Directors (Mr. Lavine)
A motion by Mr. Kraft, second by Chair Rhinehart to approve this item.  Passed unanimously; CARRIED.

      d.    Confirming appointment to the Soil and Water Conservation District Board (Mr. Dennis)
A motion by Chair Rhinehart, second by Mrs. Rapp to approve this item.  Passed unanimously; CARRIED.

2.   FINANCE DEPARTMENT:  Karen Carney, Director
      a.    Approving Correction of Errors

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

3.   BOARD OF ELECTIONS:  Commissioners Ed Ryan and Helen Kiggins
      a.   Amend '08 Budget to Provide Local Match Required to Purchase Voting Machines, Provide Poll Worker Training, and Purchase a Cargo Van, and Authorize Co. Exec to enter into contracts ($213,317)
Ms. Kiggins reported that HAVA has given the County money to purchase machines, train people, transport and house the voting systems.  The County has 5% match; the first payment is due on April 18th for $161,000.  They need to purchase a new cargo van to move a machine from site to site for demo and training; can receive a 58% of funding from HAVA; County will be responsible for 42%.  The van will be available to other departments for their use. 

Mrs. Rapp asked about finding a location for storage.  Mr. Ryan said that the idea that the BOE was going to move fell through the cracks.  Therefore, they will be looking just for storage and not moving the department.  There are a couple of locations that are being looked at.  The County has to take ownership of 27 machines within a month; will be receiving 15 - 20 every couple of weeks.  They need 5,000-6,000 sq. feet to put the machines in.  The Commissioners would like to have the BOE more accessible to the public by moving out of the 14th floor of the Civic Center; but it isn't going to happen in the short term.  Mr. Ryan said that the decision fits the budget, but does not do what needs to be done long term for the BOE.  The Executive Department has been working to find storage space within the County-owned buildings.  Mr. Ryan said that this year lever machines will still be used; because probably Plan A won't be certified and 400 machines will have to be moved.  People with disabilities will be able to use the new machines.  Mr. Ryan said that the BOE budget goes toward storage of the machines, a training center (which they won't have now), and training on the machines.  The training on the machines ends March 31, 2009, so they are trying to get a couple machines to take out to show people how to use them.  Plan B is being looked at, which is just the storage of the machines.  They need 12,000 sq. ft.; 7,000 sq. ft. needs to be climate controlled; the other 5,000 sq. ft. is for supplies.  Most BOE's are under one roof.

Mr. Kinne questioned when a decision would be made.  Mr. Mareane said they are now at a decision point.  Mr. Stanczyk asked what would be done long-term.  Mr. Mareane explained that there is a storage need for the machines and storage needs elsewhere in the County.  They plan is to acquire a building to accommodate the storage needs; not to accommodate the BOE's operations in that building, but to maintain the office operation in the Civic Center.  Mr. Stanczyk said that it makes sense to have one location for BOE.  Mr. Mareane said that the search for a building began with a new storage need that when along with the new machines.  Later the talked moved to should the move the office be consolidated with the warehouse.  There is a significant cost to go along with it; resources are limited.  The operation costs are the initial cost to make the space ready for an office, it may be $500,000 or more.  There are really no tenants available to back fill the movement out of the space in the Civic Center.  There would be a new cost of occupancy with utilities that go along with a new location.  The most cost effective way to do it is to acquire the warehouse and leave the office where it is. 

Mr. Stanczyk asked if staff spends much time going back and forth between the locations.  Ms. Kiggins said that there is and expects it to increase.  Mr. Stanczyk asked for a cost benefit analysis vs. having the whole operation in one location.

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

4.      TRANSPORTATION:  Tom Gottstein, Senior Management Analyst; John Leo, Assistant Commissioner
      a.   Amend '08 Budget to provide addl. funds for the Purchase of Gasoline and Diesel Fuel to be Sold to the City of Syracuse Water Dept. and Authorize the Co. Exec. to enter into contracts ($8,520)
A motion was made by Mr. Stanczyk, seconded by Mr. Kinne to approve this item.

This is for the City Water Dept vehicles that work out of Skaneateles.  Their only other tank facility is on Midler.  Currently the County sells fuel to Town and Village of Marcellus, Marcellus School Dist., fire departments.  Mr. Kraft said that it is more convenient for them to get the gas in Marcellus. 

Mr. Corbett asked for an additional detail from the City prior to session.  Mr. Gottstein said that he will also find out how many gallons will be used.

Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

      b.      Authorize Advanced Step Hiring for Highway Maint Sup., Gr 33, Step N@$64,775 eff 4/12/08
Mr. Leo explained that the Highway Maintenance Supervisor is one of only 2 MC, leadership positions in the field.  They aren't allowed to earn overtime.  The last 3 employees that were put into this position were approved by the legislature for an advance step N.  At step N the pay is $64,775, and the average salary including overtime for a highway section crew leaders is $68,900.  Mr. Gottstein provided the history of the position via legislation, grade, overtime, etc.  A person who worked full-time in this position last year had 400 hours of comp time.  They get some of time off, but it is a small amount.  No staff is allowed to take vacations from November - April.  Mr. Leo will provide the amount of comp time that they take.  Mrs. Walter said that some MC positions aren't allowed comp time at all.

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

Chairman Rhinehart said that it is a different level of service in a supervisory position. The County needs to take a look at this.  Many supervisors don't make as much as the people they supervise; it is not uncommon.

Mr. Leo said the crux of the reason to bring this person up to a step N is not to make more than the people he supervises, but to pay him what they think it is worth to have that supervisor out there.  The figure that they are asking for is less than the people that he supervises.  Mr. Stanczyk feels that if that is the case, something is not happening in Personnel that should be happening.  Advance step hires should not be done as a matter of course.  Mrs. Walter said that there may be other ways to correct it.  Right now there are 2 employees in this job and one is at the advance step and the other is in anticipation of the advances step because of past history.  This is a fairness issue at the moment; the salary plan in the long run can be looked at.

A vote was taken on the motion.  AYES:  7; NOES:  1 (Rhinehart).  MOTION CARRIED.

5.   OCPL:  KyungJin Park, Personnel Admin.
      a.   Create Information Aide, Grade 2 @ $23,657 - $26,094 effective April 12, 2008
Mr. Kraft asked why the typist position isn't being abolished.  Ms. Park explained that they want to keep it on the roster in case of a need, but it won't be funded.

A motion by Mr. Kinne, second by Mr. Stanczyk, to approve this item.  Passed unanimously; CARRIED.

      b.   Create Literacy Coordinator, Grade 8 @ 35,269-$38,996 effective April 12, 2008; Abolish Librarian Assistant, Grade 8 @ $35,269 - $38,996 effective April 12, 2008

The position is in the Central Library.

A motion by Mr. Kinne, second by Mr. Stanczyk, to approve this item. Passed unanimously; CARRIED.

6.      FACILITIES MANAGEMENT:  Brian Lynch, Commissioner
      a.      Abolish Paint Crew Ldr@$23.6185 eff. April 12, 2008; Create Painter@$22.6412 eff April 12, 2008
A motion by Mr. Kraft, seconded by Mr. Stanczyk to approve this item.

Chairman Rhinehart asked about the status of the Sheriff's building improvements.  Mr. Lynch said that it is in progress now. 

Mr. Corbett asked if this change is related to one of the settled contracts.  Mr. Lynch said that it is not; it is an aside to that.

Vote was taken on the motion.  AYES:  7; NOES:  0; ABSTENTIONS:  1 (Corbett).  MOTION CARRIED.

      b.      Amending 2008 County Budget for Downtown District Lighting Improvements at Columbus Circle, the War Memorial and Community Plaza by Utilizing Tobacco Securitization, Prior Years' Room Occupancy Tax Revenue and Grant Money ($658,000)
Mr. Barbas said the effort is to take some of the public, cultural areas and light them architecturally.  The purpose is to light the buildings, show off our historic district, and hopefully to help the cultural activities in this area, make it feel more secure and put our best face forward.  Mr. Barbas and Mr. Raman gave a Power Point presentation (on fie with Clerk).  A budget and estimate of energy and maintenance costs were distributed (attach #1).

Mr. Corbett said that Mitzpah Towers does not include an owner.  Mr. Barbas said that they were working with the developer's architect when they met in 2006.  He assumes the owner is still on board; he was very interestes in anything to improve the look of his building and Columbus Circle.

Mr. Corbett said that a resident has brought of the issue of light pollution and global warming, who will speak at the public comment period on the 1st.  Mr. Barbas said that they are trying to maximize the affect with minimum light.  They are trying to localize all of the lighting. 

Mrs. Rapp asked if this would be phased.  Mr. Barbas explained that they would like to bid it as one contract, with one price and hope to do it all this year.  All of the owners have to sign on; SHIPO has to agree.  Mrs. Rapp asked about the City's architect lighting.  Mr. Barbas said that State Street is almost done; have done some of Montgomery Street. 

Chairman Rhinehart asked how much is being spent on the roof.  Mr. Barbas replied that it is $6 million, which also includes cleaning the building, re-pointing the building, repairs to the stone, copper roof, tile roofs, building up roofs; doors being replaced and refinished, ornamental glass being repaired.  Chairman Rhinehart said it would make sense to show it off when it is done.

Mrs. Rapp said NIMO has some economic development money; have up to $1 million allocation within the city.  If it has not been allocated, the County is in line for it, which may help to reduce costs.

Mr. Mareane said that originally it was proposed to use only tobacco money for this project; last time it was proposed to use near $500,000 of tobacco money and $164,000 in ROT.  The new resolution calls for an equal split of tobacco money and room tax money.  It is now $319,000 tobacco money; $10,000 in Downtown Committee money; and $320,000 surplus room tax money.  There is a provision in the resolution, which says that if additional money comes to the project, it will be applied to the project, specifically to reducing the amount of tobacco money.  The balance in tobacco security is $350,000-$400,000 left; ROT current balance is $1,380,000.  This will bring it down to about $1 million flat. 

Mr. Kraft noted that he is the sponsor because it came through his committee, but will not be voting for it.  Tobacco money is capital project money; must be used for capital projects; a better use would be something that is a community use service; feels this is not a suitable use. 

Mr. Stanczyk said that this project will be a benefit to the City and the community at large.

Mr. Kinne asked to be provided with an update on the new message board for the War Memorial/OnCenter complex.

A motion was made by Mrs. Rapp, seconded by Mr. Kinne to approve this item.  AYES:  7; NOES:  1 (Kraft).  MOTION CARRIED.

7.      SYRACUSE JAZZFEST:  Frank Malfitano
      a.      Transfer of funds from Acct. 650 Contingency in the amount of $20,000 to Acct. 898 Syracuse Jazzfest for Costs Associated with the 2008 show ($20,000)
Last fall the Executive side asked for a Jazz Fest appropriations, which was higher than what was passed in the budget.  The legislature took $20,000 and put it into a contingency account, so that the when the event came closer there could be an update and get a sense for the event.  There is no increase being asked for; request to release the contingency funds.

Mr. Kinne made a motion to approve this item, seconded by Mr. Stanczyk.

Mr. Kraft asked about other support for the Jazz Fest.  Mr. Malfitano explained that they have a private sector match from JGB Enterprises, who is now the title sponsor.  The amount is commensurate with what title sponsors have given in the past.  Mid-range support from a number of business and entities within the community.  The annual operating budget is $325,000.  It will be solid, dynamic 2-day festival, with world-class artists.  The goal is to continue free Admission and maintain educational programs.  He thanked the County for 25 years of support.  They have never received a lot of State funding.  Mr. Malfitano asked that the legislature consider restoring these monies to the budget. 

Mr. Corbett congratulated Mr. Malfitano on the tenacity for which he has gone after funding of all kinds and for the community outreach to all of the artists regarding the banner.  Mr. Malfitano said that they are seeking out this year's poster artist from the visual artists of the community and offering $1,000 cash first prize.

Mr. Holmquist gave his accolades to this event; it is one of the great events in Central New York; he asked what it would take to hit a 3-day event.  Mr. Malfitano said that it is possible; need another $75,000-$100,000.  They are actively pursuing it. 

Mrs. Rapp asked about the $74,000 balnce on the budget transfer; Mr. Mareane said that it is the sum of all contingencies.  Last year there was a mid year bump to support it; the legislature sustained it during budget and put it into contingency account. 

Chairman Rhinehart asked if the City contributes; Mr. Malfitano said that they do not; nor does the federal government.  The State provides an occasional small grant--average since 1991 is $13,000.  The State funding has gone to the education portions and schools were given stipends for jazz bands to participate.  He supports that, but pointed out that the County and local governments have issues when the State slashes the funds and then the County is expected to pick up the pace. 

Mr. Kraft noted that the total form the County is almost $36,000. 

Mr. Kinne said that the event is fantastic; a private company is looking to donate 6 figures.  The community is known for a great, free jazz fest--something the County can do for its citizens and brings us world recognition.

Mr. Malfitano said that they are not asking the County to serve as a bail-out mechanism in the absence of support for the State.  The County shares a disproportionate share of the burden for producing this festival.  A Sustainability Task Force has been formed.  They need to figure out a way to engage the State, Federal and City government to support this event.  There is no reason that the County should be the sole public sector supporting body for this event, which serves all of the residents of this community and visitors from throughout the State and Canada.

AYES:  7; NOES:  1 (Kraft).  MOTION CARRIED.

8.   DISTRICT ATTORNEY:  Rick Trunfio, First Chief Deputy District Attorney 
      a.   Amend '08 Budget to Provide the Office of District Attorney with Additional Funds Beyond the Estimated Dollars Appropriated in the 2008 County Budget for the District Attorney's Recruitment and Retention Program and Authorizing the County Executive to Enter into Contracts ($62,447)
A motion by Mr. Stanczyk, second by Mr. Warner, to approve this item.  Passed unanimously; CARRIED.

      b.      Amending the 2008 County Budget to provide the Office of the Onondaga County District Attorney with additional funds beyond the estimated dollars appropriated in the 2008 County Budget for the Parole Re-Entry Program and authorizing the County Executive to enter into contracts ($99,932)
A motion by Mr. Warner, seconded by Mr. Holmquist to approve this item.

In answer to Mr. Stanczyk, Mr. Trunfio explained that there is a Task Force made up of members the DA staff, which has a number of different service providers, including CNY Works and Parole.  A coordinator is working out of SW Community Center, who will be responsible for coordinating with all of the caseworkers and service providers.  The program is designed to make these people re-enter society as productive citizens.  They should be able to report back in 6 months on the progress.

Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

9.      PERSONNEL:  Peter Troiano, Director Employee Relations
      a.     Accepting and Approving contract between the Co of Onondaga and the NYS Nurses Assoc.
      b.     Accepting and Approving the Contract between the County of Onondaga and the Central and Northern New York Basic Building Trades Council
      c.     Accept and approve contract between the Co. of Onondaga and the DSBA of Onondaga Co., Inc.        
      d.     Accepting and approving contract between the Co of Onon and the IUOE Local 832S, AFL-CIO

A motion was made by Mr. Stanczyk, seconded by Mr. Corbett to approve items 9a-9d.

These are one-year labor agreements; sole provision is a 2.5% wage increase.  It will enable them to further develop a long-term bargaining agenda.  Chairman Rhinehart asked if there were discussions with labor regarding GASB45 relating to long term reporting of benefits, and the position it will put the County in the future.  Mr. Troiano answered that there is an ongoing relationship with all the bargaining units, except one, on health care and benefit issues; it has existed for about 9 years.  In terms of developing a plan with something more detailed, it is in progress.  The Coalition has successfully stemmed the rapid growth of the health and dental benefits programs.  Chairman Rhinehart said that private sector and municipalities are moving to more than stemming the growth--others are limiting, capping, employees having to participate more.  He has concern about going back to his constituents with taxes that are increasing constantly, and this is a contributing factor.  The legislature is a concerned about increasing cost of benefits and labor.

Mr. Corbett asked about OCSBA; Mr. Troiano said that they are in interest arbitration now.  Their labor agreement expired Dec. 31, 2003.  There has been one interest arbitration award, which covered 2 years (2004 and 2005).  Mr. Corbett said that this would catch them up to the beginning of 2007; Mr. Troiano agreed.  Mr. Corbett asked if there have been cost containment issues on retiree benefits.  Mr. Troiano said that none of the 8 bargaining units represent individuals who have retired and have retiree benefits.  A bargaining unit can negotiate for benefits that would accrue to them once they retire, but not to persons that are currently retired.

Mr. Stanczyk is concerned about the net effect of the inflation cycle - important that we have to be fair to our employees to make sure they are getting compensated.  In comparing positions in county government, compared to private sector, there is a bargain for the County. There are a lot things going up not only for government, but for every household.  Mr. Troiano said that inflation rate is about 3.5% for 2007.  Mr. Stanczyk feels it is higher than that. 

Mr. Kraft said that the latest number is $52 million for health benefits in Onondaga County.  Options should be considered.  He asked Mr. Troiano to work with the legislature so that they know what is going on with negotiations.  It is an important issue to retirees of the future.

A vote was taken on the resolution.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

9a.  Memorializing the Governor and the Legislature of the State of New York to place the OCC 2008-2013 Capital Improvements Plan on the Capital Projects List and to Adopt this Plan - Mr. Meyer.
Mr. Meyer said that when the Governor's budget was being put together, certain colleges could qualify and certain ones couldn't.  OCC was excluded.  OCC asked for a quick response; a letter was drafted from himself and Mr. Kilmartin and sent to Assemblyman Stirpe.  The letter was shared with the other members of the local delegation, who are on board, but asked for a memorializing resolution. 

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

Mr. Warner asked if the State forgot OCC.  Mr. Meyer responded that certain colleges qualified and OCC is not on that list.  He is viewing it as an oversight.  Mr. Stanczyk said that he understood that a specific confirmation of matching funds was needed and not yet in place, and OCC would be eligible once the requirement was fulfilled.  Mr. Meyer said that he understood that OCC was specifically not eligible.

Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

10.      METROPOLITAN WATER BOARD:  David Fitch, Administrative Director 
      a.      Authorizing the issuance of $60,000,000 Bonds of the County of Onondaga, New York, to pay the Cost of Certain Improvements for the Onondaga County Water District in and for said County
A motion was made by Mr. Stanczyk, seconded by Mr. Kinne, to approve this item.

Mr. Fitch stated that items 10a and 10b are necessary requirements per County Law. 

Mr. Corbett said that the original resolution which to do the project through OCWA, was that both tanks would be done at once.  Now there is a possibility of doing one at a time, with a projected increase of $4.5 million.  There is also $10,000 for the Comptroller's review.  He has a concern about the additional funds.  Mr. Mareane had provided a projection of doing one tank every two years.  Mr. Corbett felt it would be more feasible to do more than one at a time.  Mr. Kraft met with the consultant, Mr. Fitch, Mr. Mareane, and Mr. DeMore.  The consultant, on several occasions, recommended that it be bid in 3 separate bid packages.  He felt the 2nd bid package would provide competition to the 1st package.  His resolution, item 10c, says that MWB could come back whenever it is appropriate to go ahead.  It will not make 3 different submissions to the Comptroller.

Mr. Mareane submitted summaries of estimated debt service, MWB covered storage construction schedule including terminal and an "extended" schedule (attachment #2).

Mr. Corbett is concerned with the amount of debt; it is not just the $60 million; there is still $30 million for Terminal; and there are a lot of capital projects, there may be some surprises that were anticipated at OCC. 

Mr. Fitch referred to Mr. Mareane's handout, column titled "wholesale rates"-these are percentage increases on MWB wholesale rate.  OCWA is purchasing roughly 55% of the water that they sell every year from Lake Ontario's source.  Because the County's rates go up this percent, it does not mean that OCWA needs to raise their rates a like amount.  It cannot be assumed that the column reflecting rate increases will transfer onto the customer, because the cost of Otisco Lake water does not go up as a consequence of building these tanks.

Mr. Corbett said that each year the legislature would be voting on these rates.  Mr. Fitch agreed.

Mr. Warner said that he doesn't understand why a potential risk would be taken in causing the County's bond rating to change. 

Mr. Stanczyk feels this is about whether or not the County is controlling this or not.  Water entirely affects this community.  To fend this off because there is some concern about our debt load and make a decision to push the oversight and control away from us even further--that is not as long sighted, as we need to be.

Mr. Warner said that in his 18 years at the legislature, he cannot recall any problems with OCWA.  He can only recall good work on their part; to tell them that we don't trust their management is a slap in the face.

Mr. Kinne supports this resolution-MWB is a County department and we should be in charge of this.  Also, the legislature is the true and legitimate watchers of the County taxpayers.  This project rightly belongs with the County; not in a State agency.  He said that OCWA has done a wonderful job; this is simply a matter of who should be watching and he feels it should be the County. 

Mr. Kraft suggested moving these items to the floor, and vote on April 1st.  Mr. Stanczyk would like to call the question; Mr. Warner asked for a vote today. 

Chairman Rhinehart said that he will not support these resolutions; the longer it takes to do this, the more it will cost us.  This will have to go the our State Comptroller's office, it takes time:  Mr. Kraft stated that the consultant said that time used while pursuing the State Comptroller, is needed regardless for design and engineering; there would be no wasted time by going to the Comptroller.  Mr. Corbett asked if OCWA were to do it, would it take the same amount of time.  Mr. Fitch and Mr. Kraft said that it would.

AYES:  4 (Kraft, Holmquist, Kinne, Stanczyk); NOES:  4 (Rhinehart, Corbett, Rapp, Warner).  MOTION DEFEATED.

      b.      Approving Improvements for the Onondaga County Water District Eastern and Western Reservoir sites of the County of Onondaga
A motion was made by Mr. Stanczyk, seconded by Mr. Kinne to approve this item.  AYES:  4 (Kraft, Holmquist, Kinne, Stanczyk); NOES:  4 (Rhinehart, Corbett, Rapp, Warner).  MOTION DEFEATED.

      c.      Appropriating $20,000,000 of the $60,000,000 Bonds Issued to Pay the Cost of Certain Improvements for the Onondaga County Water District
A  motion was made by Mr. Stanczyk, seconded by Mr. Kinne to approve this item.  AYES:  4 (Kraft, Holmquist, Kinne, Stanczyk); NOES:  4 (Rhinehart, Corbett, Rapp, Warner).  MOTION DEFEATED.

11. LAW DEPARTMENT:  Kathleen Dougherty, Deputy County Attorney
      a.      Settlement of Claim
Mrs. Tarolli said that this claim was discussed last month, if the committee is comfortable with last month's discussion, then there is no need to go into executive session.

Authorize the Settlement of the Supreme Court Action of Michael Angelo vs. County of Onondaga, Daniel Kilcoyne, Ashley M. Baldino, Anthony M. Baldino, Jr.

A motion by Mr. Corbett, second by Mr. Warner, to approve this item.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:4 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,
DEBORAH L. MATURO, Clerk
Onondaga County Legislature