Meeting Minutes Archive: September, 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 COMMITTEE - SEPTEMBER 8, 2008
CASEY E. JORDAN, CHAIRMAN

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

Chairman Jordan called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m.

A motion was made by Mr. Rhinehart, seconded by Ms. Williams to waive the reading of the minutes; MOTION CARRIED; A motion was made by Mr. Rhinehart, seconded by Mr. DeMore to approve the minutes of the proceedings of the previous committee meeting; MOTION CARRIED.

1.   SOCPA:  Ms. Megan Costa, Planning Services; Ms. Bobbie Harrison, Cornell Cooperative Extension
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 25AA

b.   Renewing with modification Agricultural District No. 4, in the Towns of Dewitt, Fabius, Pompey, Lafayette (east of Interstate 81) and Tully (east of Interstate 81)

A motion was made by Mr. Rhinehart, seconded by Mr. Stanczyk to approve items 1.a and 1.b.

Ms. Costa explained that land can be added to an agricultural district every year, but land can only be taken out every eight years during the renewal process.  Regarding item 1.b, 78 property owners have requested to be deleted in Agricultural District No. 4 (1,187 acres).  Mr. Stanczyk asked about the taxation rate change if the property owner develops the land.  Ms. Harrison said the assessor through Agriculture District Law has the right to go back and assign a penalty.  Mr. Stanczyk asked if there is any check to the system; Ms. Harrison said it is through the town planning board and assessor.

A vote was taken on items 1.a and 1.b; passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

2.      GREATER SYRACUSE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE:  Ms. Carol Eaton

a.      Designating the Greater Syracuse Chamber of Commerce as the agency authorized to make application to the New York State Department of Economic Development and to receive matching funds therefrom under the New York State Tourist Promotion Act of 1978

Mr. Jordan said the Chamber of Commerce has done an outstanding job in terms of promoting tourism and development in Central New York.

In answer to Mr. Rhinehart, Ms. Eaton said it is a specific grant for tourist promotion matching funds, they would have to match between $70,000 and $78,000 with funds given to them by the County (will know the exact amount after all the applications are in).  Grant is given every year.  In answer to Mrs. Rapp, Ms Eaton said they are asking for the maximum amount.  Ms. Eaton noted that they are committed to give a small portion of the grant to the Finger Lakes Region; we are part of that region.  Money is used solely for marketing and promotion of tourism, can't be used for membership, salaries or administration. 

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

The meeting was adjourned at 9:10 a.m.

 Respectfully submitted,
 Johanna H. Robb, Deputy Clerk

* * *

   COUNTY FACILITIES COMMITTEE MINUTES
BERNARD KRAFT, CHAIRMAN
September 9, 2008

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Mr. Kilmartin, Mr. Jordan, Mr. Kinne Mr. Laguzza, Mr. Masterpole
MEMBERS ABSENT:  Mr. Lesniak
ALSO PRESENT:  Mr. Rhinehart, Mrs. Rapp and see Attachment 1

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

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

1.   PARKS:
a.   A resolution authorizing the replacement of the scoreboard at Alliance Bank Stadium at a maximum estimated cost of $1,284,000 and the issuance of $1,284,000 in bonds of the County of Onondaga, New York -
Ms. Jean Smiley, Admin. Physical Services, Mr. Robert Geraci, Parks Commissioner; Mr. John Simone, Chiefs

Ms. Smiley advised that they would like to defer any action on this item until the October committee meeting; over the past couple of weeks, new information has come up in terms of technologies that they might be able to utilize, the Chiefs have been working with a couple of vendors.  They have also had a preliminary inquiry from a company regarding a possible sponsorship (at this point they don't know if it would be an option that they would pursue).  Ms. Smiley said that Mr. Geraci and Mr. Simone were present to talk about the problems with the existing scoreboard, the reasons they are hoping to make a change in the future.

Mr. Geraci reviewed the information sheet provided to the committee members regarding the Alliance Bank Stadium scoreboard (Attachment 2).  Mr. Geraci noted that his department is charged with the physical care and upkeep of the facility, this a mechanical issue.  Over the next few weeks, they will be finalizing the pricing of the boards; they have the responsibility to replace the board, it is not optional, no different than replacing a roof.  Mr. Simone said the scoreboard has seen its better days, it is difficult to see and to operate on a game by game basis, it crashes at least two or three times during a game.

Mr. Laguzza said the Simones and the Chief's Board will be talking to the Mets to, hopefully, secure them as a franchise; the artificial turf has been replaced with real grass, but we also need to send a message to the Mets that as a community we are trying to do our best to make our facility top notch, that we are in the process of purchasing a scoreboard; whether bond for the scoreboard is paid by a revenue source through room tax or a differently type of tax, surcharge on tickets, etc. is peripheral.  Need to send a message to the Mets and all major league organizations that this community is going to take care of its facility, included in that is a new up- to-date scoreboard.

Mr. Laguzza made a motion to approve the concept of moving forward with the purchase of a scoreboard.

Mr. Kraft said there is one hanging issue - the revenues that are going to come in from selling the space on the scoreboard, that hasn't been resolved or negotiated; would like to see the whole package put together before making statements.

Mr. Jordan asked about the annual savings in demand charges with the proposed replacement scoreboard.  Ms. Smiley said it is because of the types of lights and equipment that the demand charge is a big issue, not only to the Chiefs who pay during the baseball season, but the county otherwise; they are trying to bring the demand charge cost down.  Mr. Jordan asked if part of the discussions would be a commitment from the manufacturer that five or ten years down the road they could still get servicing for the scoreboard.  Ms. Smiley said they could look at those things when entering into an agreement, but technology is changing so quickly it is difficult to tell a company that ten years from now they still have to be able to service what you have, doesn't know if realistically they could get a company to commit that it is never going to change to a different operating system if another system is more viable.  Mr. Geraci said the companies that are now in the scoreboard business are solid, entrenched (one has 50 boards in the US), but can't promise they won't be out of business in ten years.

Mr. Kinne asked if they are 100% sure that we will have a team here next year.  Mr. Simone said they would have a team, if not the Mets, it would be another team; there are 30 minor league AAA teams and 30 major league teams.  Mr. Kinne asked how the attendance was this year.  Mr. Simone said very good, they were up about 3-4% over last year and have had increases the last four out of five years.  The Chiefs are happy with the improvements to the facility that were made last year and look forward to next year.  Their financial statement will be ready on November 18, 2008.  In answer to Mr. Kinne concerning the scoreboard, Mr. Geraci said they are proposing to buy a board with perfect resolution, quality will be top notch and scoreboard would fit into the existing framework, which will save a lot of money.  Mr. Kinne asked how long they expect the new scoreboard to last; Mr. Geraci said between ten and twelve years.  Mr. Simone said it is like a plasma or LCD TV that lasts for 100 thousand hours, then they start losing their intensity, picture starts getting lighter; the scoreboard will not stop working, just wont be the best picture that it was.  Mr. Kinne suggested having the video, but going back to the old way of keeping score with someone manually hanging up the numbers.  Mr. Geraci said the newer scoreboards are all one screen; it would be labor intensive to have somebody changing the score manually, much easier to do electronically.  Ms. Smiley added that they have to consider the safety issue in terms of the height and how to get people up there.

Mr. Masterpole stated that he would like to move forward with 1.a. to prove to the Mets that there is a commitment on the table from the County that we are going to maintain our facility; in the event that a sponsor comes along or there is a better way to pay for it, those dollars would be used to offset the bonding.

Mr. Laguzza requested to amend his motion with a resolution memorializing the Mets baseball community that Onondaga County is committed to taking care of its facilities including having a state-of-the-art scoreboard.

Mr. Kraft asked if he is willing to commit the taxpayers regardless of any other arrangements.  Mr. Kraft said he is not ready to commit until they go through the details of negotiating who is going to get all the revenues and how it is all going to work out.

Mr. Laguzza made a motion to waive the rules and consider his memorializing resolution, seconded by Mr. Kraft.  A vote was taken:  Ayes:  4 (Kinne, Laguzza, Masterpole, Jordan); Noes:  2 (Kraft, Kilmartin); MOTION CARRIED.

A resolution memorializing major leagues baseball that Onondaga County is committed to taking care of its facility including having a state of the art scoreboard.
A motion was made by Mr. Laguzza, seconded by Mr. Masterpole to approve this item.

Mr. Kilmartin applauded Mr. Laguzza's intensions, but said it is too vague and premature, not understanding all the issues, many of which need further discussion.  Mr. Jordan said we all agree that we are committed to maintaining county facilities, acknowledges that there are problems with the current scoreboard and something needs to be done; he is not comfortable with making commitments when he doesn't know the cost to the taxpayers and exactly what is involved.  Mr. Kraft said he believes County government will be involved and will deliver the message that we are working on the scoreboard without saying the County Legislature has approved it, he thinks the Legislature will approve it when all the arrangements come together.

A vote was taken on this item; Ayes:  3 (Kinne, Laguzza, Masterpole); Noes:  3 (Kraft, Kilmartin, Jordan); MOTION FAILED.

A motion was made by Mr. Masterpole, seconded by Mr. Laguzza to approve item 1.a.

Mr. Masterpole advised that if details and questions are not answered by the next session, they could vote against it then.  Mr. Kilmartin asked if the County Executive's office has a specific plan for the proposed payment for the scoreboard through bonding.  Ms. Smiley said "not at this time".  Mr. Kilmartin asked how they arrived at the number stated in the resolution.  Ms. Smiley said that is one of the reasons for coming and talking today and not pushing for a dollar amount, they don't have the exact scoreboard amount because of changes with some of the technology; it may come slightly lower or higher.  Mr. Geraci recalled that this item was part of Parks for Tomorrow II that was brought for a vote last November; all of that was passed except for the scoreboard; the price listed in the resolution is a year old and that is why they want to defer it for a month.  Mr. Kilmartin understands that they haven't finalized a brand, model or an exact price, said it might be wise to give it a little time to do some research before there is a final vote on a bond for a specific amount.  Mr. Geraci said that is why they asked to pull it today and come back to October committee.  Mr. Kilmartin asked who physically maintains the scoreboard day to day and who pays for the maintenance; Mr. Geraci replied "the County", the Chiefs staff operates the scoreboard for their games, the County pays for operation of it for community use.  Mr. Simone said from 1997 to 2006 there were about 300 events a year, the Chiefs used the scoreboard 72 times per year and community use was about 75%.  Mr. Geraci said the number of community events was dramatically reduced to about 40 events per year when they put the grass in.  Ms. Smiley said not all the changes were directly related to the grass, school districts have more complexes and fields now.  In answer to Mr. Kilmartin, Mr. Simone said they could begin negotiations with the major league teams on September 18th.  Mr. Kilmartin asked if the County is allocated one panel out of the nine panels used for advertising.  Ms. Smiley said "yes" (goes towards paying off the debt), until 2010 when they would negotiate a new agreement.

A vote was taken on the motion; Ayes:  2 (Masterpole, Laguzza); Noes:  3 Kraft, Kilmartin, Jordan); Abstained: 1 (Kinne; MOTION FAILED.

2.            TRANSPORTATION:  Mr. Brian Donnelly, Commissioner
a.   Amending the 2008 County Budget to spend an additional $513,699 to pave County roads, and authorizing the County Executive to enter into contracts to implement this resolution
Prior savings of $513,699 in a prior project was closed to Reserve for Bonded Debt, that money can be used to offset Transportation's debt service in current budget year, would be neutral to the County's bottom line in its budget.  Mr. Donnelly provided a handout regarding the impacts of current escalation figures on the 2008 Workplan (Attachment 3).

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

b.   Amending the 2008 Onondaga County Budget to accept additional revenues from the sale of fuel to county departments and outside agencies ($404,730)
DOT sells fuel to other County departments and outside agencies; due to the increase in the price of fuel, it is necessary to amend the Department of Transportation Road Machinery budget to reflect the additional revenues attributable to the sale of fuel.  2008 budget price for unleaded fuel was $2.13 per gallon, price has averaged $3.00 per gallon; 2008 budget price for diesel fuel was $2.34 per gallon, price has averaged $3.61 per gallon.

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

3.            FACILITIES MANAGEMENT:
a.   A Local Law authorizing the lease of County property located at the County of Onondaga Civic Center to Syracuse University for the Connective Corridor Urban Video Project - Mr. Eric Persons, Dir. of Engagement Initiatives, Syracuse University
Mr. Persons presented a Power Point.  Mr. Persons noted that city businesses and MDA are stakeholders in this project.  The feedback they are getting:  the need to overcome our physical barriers of Rt. 81 dividing the city, general conditions of our streetscape and lighting, safety and security, landscape and environment and improvement of our transit options.  This is a public art project with innovative use of materials, screen technology and ways of maintaining it on a year-to-year basis.  Mr. Persons said more activities and events would encourage people to come down to city areas and SU; sees the project as a source of economic development.  Started with a design competition - winning entry was developed by a partnership between a firm in New York City and a professor in SU's School of Architecture.  The vision is public places as social spaces.  Ways to make them more inviting:  improving our transportation options, getting people out of vehicles and having an environment that is more conducive to pedestrians and bicycles, also reforestation of green space, seasonal opportunities, lighted pathways and public art.  Public art movement is stemming from a collaboration of 40 Below and visual arts galleries, has pushed arts out into the streets of the city of Syracuse, developed a Public Arts Commission.  Students came up with the idea to do video projection, an innovative form of artistic media that is being seen throughout the world.  No other city in the world has instituted an outdoor video gallery with this technology; this could help put Syracuse and SU on the map as a cultural destination.  They are planning the video project in four stages; Syracuse Stage is the first (have started the physical work of installation), Monroe Building would be next, Onondaga Historical Association third and Civic Center Theater fourth.  Video would be projected on the tall space of the Civic Center above where people enter the theater (north side).  They are asking for permission to enter into an agreement with SU; because this is a public building, they are proposing to create a small committee of three people to review proposed video projections.

Mr. Kraft said it would be a five-year lease and they would have to come back to the legislature at that time.

Mr. Jordan expressed concern about some of the language of the local law.  Language doesn't state who bears responsibility for utilities above $2,000, says in the agreement that the County agrees to pay costs for electricity that may remain after the sponsorships or in-kind support, not to exceed $2000 per year.  Mr. Jordan noted that the local law says the county will participate in the selection of the video art to be displayed, there is nothing stated about approval by the Committee.  Also, the agreement says five years and that SU may terminate within 30 days, asked why it was not reciprocal.  Ms. Smiley said SU is making a substantial investment of $250,000; if there is a particular problem, they need ability to cancel.  Mr. Jordan said he doesn't want it used as a vehicle for advertising SU; Ms. Smiley said the project prohibits any advertising.

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

b.      Establishing the Onondaga County Public Arts Commission
The Chairman of the County Legislature would appoint one member and the County Executive would appoint two members.  The commission is related specifically to the Urban Video Project; because the Civic Center is a public building, want safeguards.

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

c.      Authorizing the County Executive to execute an agreement with the City of Syracuse for the issuance of a joint request for proposals for procurement of energy services pursuant to Article 9 of the New York State Energy Law - Mr. Tom Ferrara, Facilities Management

Mr. Ferrara noted that the City and County have a long history of bidding natural gas together.  County and City would issue a joint Request for Proposal for the selection of one or more qualified energy services contractor(s) to assist them in lowering energy costs and increasing the use of renewable energy source.  ESF might participate in the RFP.  Ms. Smiley said the County could still move forward independently.  Mr. Kilmartin suggested reaching out to all the town and villages; Ms. Smiley said this would be the initial phase, would branch out down the road.  Mr. Kilmartin suggested they contact Dr. Sydow at OCC.  Mr. Jordan asked about the section of the agreement regarding SEQR.  Ms. Smiley said they are leaving the door open for some entity that may propose to use County or City property, not currently looking to purchase land, want to leave options open. 

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

A resolution authorizing the purchase and installation of an electronic scoreboard at the War Memorial Arena in and for the County of Onondaga, New York, at a maximum estimated cost of $800,000, and authorizing the issuance of $800,000 bonds of said county to pay the cost thereof

Mr. Masterpole noted that there is a surplus in ROT that could be used towards paying off the bond for the scoreboard for the War Memorial.  Mr. Kraft said there is a surplus in ROT every year in case there are things that need to be taken care of.  Mr. Kilmartin asked about the current ROT balance.  Mr. Kochian provided a handout entitled Room Occupancy Tax Reserves - Contingency and Prior Years (Attachment 4.)  Mr. Jordan said he would like to look at all available options.  Mr. Kraft said that there is the possibility of a sponsor for this scoreboard and also Alliance Bank Stadium.

A motion was made by Mr. Masterpole, seconded by Mr. Laguzza; a vote was taken; Ayes:  3 (Kinne, Laguzza, Masterpole); Noes:  3 (Kraft, Kilmartin Jordan); MOTION FAILED.

The meeting was adjourned at 12:35 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Johanna H. Robb
Deputy Clerk

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PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE MINUTES - SEPTEMBER 9, 2008
CHAIRMAN RICHARD LESNIAK

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Mr. Buckel, Mr. Holmquist, Mr. DeMore, Mr. Warner, Mr. Masterpole, Ms. Williams
ALSO PRESENT:  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. DeMore, to waive the reading and approve the minutes of proceedings of the previous committee.  MOTION CARRIED.

1.      PROBATION:  Mary Winter, Commissioner
      a.      Amending the 2008 County Budget to provide additional State funds to the Probation Department for the Global Positioning Supervision of Sex Offenders, and Authorizing the County Executive to enter into contracts to implement this resolution ($470,000)
A $470,000 grant was received through Senator DeFrancisco's office for GPS monitoring of level 2 and 3 sex offenders.   A few counties around the state received these monies last year, have been renewed this yea and 7 more counties are joining in.  It will provide another level of protection for citizens and children in the community.  Currently there 342 sex offenders on probation; 171 are registered with sex offender registry; 81 are level 1; 55 are level 2; 32 are level 3.  The sex offenders will be screened; about 30 will be part of GPS monitoring.  It is intensive, 24/7 active GPS monitoring.  Regarding overtime, there will be a lot of alarms and alerts in the middle of the night, if a person won't comply.  There are many systems, an RFP will be done; the systems operate differently and they will be very selective in choosing a vendor.  They will look at other municipalities around the country that use them.  GPS is much more common in Florida, California.

Chairman Lesniak asked if the salaries included in the breakdown are for current probation officers.  Ms. Winter said that they will be new staff; if the grant goes away, the positions will go away.

Mr. Warner asked what percentage of level 3's will commit a crime again.  Mr. Trunfio said that of all criminals, sex offenders are the most likely to re-offend.  Level 1's - least likely to re-offend; Level 2 - medium likely to re-offend; Level 3 - highly likely to re-offend.

Mr. Warner referred to a constituent who signed a contract to buy a house and later found out that a level 3 sex offender lived right next door.  It was never disclosed when the buyer signed the contract.  There should be a guideline that if someone is buying a home with children, that the purchaser is notified that a level 3 sex offender lives next door before any money is spent.  Mr. Buckel said that the laws doesn't require it. 

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

Mr. DeMore said that if the GPS system alarms at 2:00 a.m., will someone from Probation know about it.  Ms. Winter said that they will; there will be some sort of an alert and the Probation Officer will go out to where the person is.  Ms. Winter said that the details are still being worked out, but thinks there will be an on-call Probation Officer. 

Mr. Buckel asked about the type of system.  Ms. Winter said that there are several types--one that she looked at included software, wherein information was added for each person as to where they were not allowed to go.  The Probation Dept. would be notified if a person enters an area that they are prohibited from.  The alarm is very load.  Inclusion zones and exclusion zones can be entered.  It can be used as a home confinement tool.  Mr. Buckel expressed concerned about the long-term survival of the program, even after the grant is up.

Chairman Lesniak asked when this would be implemented; Ms. Winter said at the end of the year.

Mr. DeMore seconded the motion; Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

2.   DISTRICT ATTORNEY, SHERIFF & PROBATION:  John Duncan, U.S. Attorney's Office
      a.      Amending the 2008 Budget to provide funds to the Office of the Onondaga County District Attorney, Sheriff's Office, and the Probation Department for the Project Safe Neighborhoods Program, and authorizing the County Executive to enter into contracts to implement this resolution ($150,000)
Mr. Duncan said that these monies come out of Project Safe Neighborhoods from the federal government.  Congress has allocated an amount of money to each of the 93 districts to be allocated to local agencies to respond to issues with gangs, guns and drug crimes.  It is designed to supplement Operation IMPACT monies that are being received.  The manner in which the money is used is decided through a committee process.  Over the past several years a number of federal gang prosecutions have been initiated; the federal gang Task Force has prosecuted approximately 95 members of local Syracuse gangs on racketeering charges; all of which as serving long prison sentences.  Approximately $95,000 is allocated to the Sheriff's Dept. Gang Task Force.  Additional monies, $40,000, for Probation will assist with intensified patrol for the Syracuse Police Dept. and Probation for high-risk offenders.  About $15,000 is provided to the District Attorney's Office to help with monitoring and interface between the federal and State programs. 

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

Mr. Buckel asked about the $15,000 for the DA's Office.  Mr. Trunfio said that they contract for a grants coordinator.  They have managed about $6.2 million of grant money ever since the DCJS monies have been flowing through the DA's office and out to the law enforcement agencies.  It is a full-time job with a part-time contractor.  Mr. Buckel asked what rate the contractor is paid at; Mr. Trunfio said that he is paid $30,000/year.  Chairman Lesniak said that the $15,000 is above the $30,000; Mr. Weiss said that it offsets what the District Attorney's office puts in. Mr. Duncan said that the contractor, Jim Quick, is one of the best around.  Mr. Trunfio said that he is responsible for writing all of the grants that are passed around to county agencies. 

Mr. Warner asked about gun violence and statistics with Project Impact in relation to guns taken and the crime rate.  Mr. Duncan said that SPD and the Sheriff's Dept. are securing guns whether they have funding or not, but between IMPACT and Project Safe Neighborhoods, there is no question that there is a correlation between them and the guns seized.  Mr. Trunfio said that last year the violent crime rate increased 5% -10% in upstate New York.  This year violent crime has increased nationally.  Onondaga County went up 5% compared to Albany, Buffalo, and Rochester, where it went up double digits of 10% - 15%.  The presence of Operation IMPACT, the visibility, has proven to prevent people from carrying guns. 

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

3.      SHERIFF:  Chief William Peverly
      a.   Amend '08 Budget to Authorize the Sheriff's Office to Receive Grant Funds from the NYS Archives and Authorize the County Executive to enter into contracts to implement this res.  ($35,417)
This grant will enhance ability and expand capability of filing and retrieving records.  The grant will provide the filing systems that are needed. 

A motion was made by Mr. Masterpole, seconded by Ms. Williams, to approve this item.  Out of Room:  Mr. Warner.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

      b.   Amend '08 Budget to Authorize Sheriff's Office to Receive Addl. Grant Funds from the DCJS Project Lifesaver, and Authorize the Co. Exec. to enter into contracts to implement this res. ($3,000)
Chief Peverly said that this is for Project Lifesaver, a program that identifies individuals who are at risk for becoming lost due to dementia, Alzheimer's, etc.  There are over 30 people registered in the program.  The funds will be used to purchase bracelets and batteries used in the program.

A motion was made by Mr. DeMore, seconded by Mr. Masterpole, to approve this itemPassed unanimously; CARRIED.

      c.      Amending the 2008 County Budget to authorize Sheriff's Office to receive additional grant funds from the Bureau of Justice Assistance in support of local law enforcement, and authorizing the County Executive to enter into contracts to implement this resolution ($100,000)
This is a member item from Assemblyman Stirpe; the funds have to be expended by Dec. 31, 2008.  The following items are being requested to assist in investigations:

  • Underwater Remote Video System (ROV), $50,655 - 26" long, 15" wide, 12.5" high; operates off of a cable attached to a computer with joystick above ground--will be used to conduct searches in the water. There is a risk associated with diving, there are deep waters in areas of the county, and the Sheriff Dept. does not do deep-water dives. With this device the operators are above ground; they deploy it and it does an underwater search with a video camera displayed on the computer. It has an arm that can be attached to a piece of evidence to be brought out of the water. It is good for searching purposes and for recovery of evidence.

Mr. Buckel asked if the courts have accepted it--authenticated evidence barred by the machine as valid.  Chief Peverly said that he did not have first hand knowledge of that, but explained that video and other photographic evidence is used and accepted. 

Chairman Lesniak asked if it was tested in local waters.  Chief Peverly said that it hadn't been, but one dive team member used it at a training session.

Mr. Buckel suggested that an inquiry should be made to the U.S. Attorney's Office to see if the equipment has been authenticated in a court proceeding as reliable--to make sure there are no twists on training that may be required to ensure the admissibility of the evidence. 

Mr. Holmquist asked if the State outlined that there was money available for underwater devices, or was this something that the Sheriff's Department was looking for and seeking a grant to fit the need.  Chief Peverly said that this is a Byrne JAG and the parameters are very broad.  A lot of the grants have very limited criteria as to what they can be used for.  The Sheriff's Dept. has been looking at this type of equipment for a couple of years.  He said that the volunteer fire companies' dive units would also benefit, as the Sheriff's Dive Team works and trains in coordination with them.
 

  • License Plate Reader, $18,345 - installed on patrol cars. As an officer is driving down the road, it reads the license plate number and does an instant check on it to see if there is a suspended license, registration, if owner is a wanted person, or if there are warrants out. Is also can be used as an investigative tool-stores data so that research can be done. One will be purchased with this grant; they currently have 4. There is another grant from Sen. DeFrancisco and will purchase 4 more through it. The objective is to disburse them around the county.
     

Mr. Warner asked to be provided with information on what the license plate readers have recovered since the Sheriff's Dept. has had them.  Also, he would like to be provided with a short detail on who Edward Byrne was.

  • Cell Phone Forensic Tool, $18,000 - tool is used download data from cell funds when they are used in crimes; text, video, telephone numbers. It is used just for confiscated cell phones.
     
  • Custody Mini-City Tabletop Training Board, $10,000 - it is a mock up of the Justice Center, creates various scenarios and teaches how to responses to them. It is a training tool for justice center deputies on how to respond, so that a lot of interaction with the real training is minimized. Real training will still take place.
     
  • Civic Document Sender, $3,000 - scanning and sending documents between Sheriff and Courts, primarily Family Court. Also will be scanning documents out of civil office that will go to NYSPIN, which is located at the 9-1-1 Center
     

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

The meeting was adjourned at 9:45 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Deborah L. Maturo, Clerk
Onondaga County Legislature

* * * 

 ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION COMMITTEE MINUTES - SEPTEMBER 11, 2008
CHAIRMAN JAMES A. CORBETT

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Mr. Jordan, Ms. Williams, Mr. Kraft, Mr. Rhinehart, *Mr. Masterpole, **Mrs. Winslow
ALSO PRESENT:  see attached list

Chairman Corbett called the meeting to order at 11:02 a.m.  A motion was made by Mr. Rhinehart, seconded by Mr. Jordan, to waive the reading and approve the minutes of proceedings of the previous committee meeting.  MOTION CARRIED.

1.   LAKE IMPROVEMENT:  Sue Miller, Deputy Director, LIP
      a.   ACJ Update
Mrs. Miller passed around photos of the Flexipave path that was installed in front of the MOST; easy construction; installed in one day by Ross Paving.  It is porous and made of a combination of recycled tires and a stone aggregate, held together by a urethane.  In answer to Mr. Jordan, Mrs. Miller said that it cannot be used for roads, as it won't take the weight.  It can be used for sidewalks and parking lots.  The Green Committee is encouraging the City to use porous pavement on sidewalks as an option.

Clinton Conveyance Project

  • Finished 3rd stage of microtunneling; one more left, which is starting today. Regarding the Phase 2 conveyance, a decision to have the sending pit on the Trolley lot side to cut down on traffic and disruption behind the MOST.

Sewer Separation Project

  • A meeting was held in Aug., sponsored by SUN, to provide an update. A decision was made that the County would put in sidewalks along Rockland Ave. Under IMA with City, the County is only required to put in sidewalks where there is disruption. After the City put in a green strip between the road and sidewalk, the work did in the remaining sidewalks. Therefore, the rest of the sidewalk needed to be replaced; 2 sides of the street, 2 blocks, between South Ave and Hunt Ave. It is subbed out under the contractor for that job.

Mr. Rhinehart asked how much is being paid for the sidewalks; Mrs. Miller said that she would find out.  He asked if there will be planting in the green space; Mrs. Miller said that there is a commitment from the City that they will put in gravel, top soil, and seed it.  Mr. Ott said that the sidewalk will be poured on the north side of the street tomorrow; the south side next Tuesday or Wednesday, weather permitting.

Mr. Kraft said that there are requirements for the County to put an area back to good shape if it is disrupted.  In this case, the County is going beyond what is normally required.; Mrs. Miller agreed.  Mr. Kraft said that his taxpayers in the suburbs are going to somewhat support this project. 

Midland Phase 2

  • Addressing punch list; have had discharge; had combined sewer with 9 or 10 storms; still testing--operable & operating.

Mr. Rhinehart asked if anything is being done with hydro seeding--DOT uses it a lot through Soil & Water District.  There is quite a savings and the general contractors should be informed.  Mrs. Miller will look into it.

Mr. Kraft asked for an update on all of the WEP projects. 

Urban Forestry Grant - received final approval from the state and it will commence this fall, $75,000.  It is on the near Westside.  It will include one rain garden and planting of some trees.

Clinton Street - finishing the first phase of the conveyances; about $18 million; it is almost done - last phase of microtunneling will have all pipelines that were called for under the first phase.  Regarding the RTF, the committees are set up; possible options are being discussed.  There is general agreement, as there are pipelines going to the Trolley lot, that there needs to be some kind of storage there.  The size is the question.  DEC has mentioned that system wide, there might be a need for over 3-4 million gallons of storage.  Other options in the system for storage are also being looked at--a combination of green to hold back and store storm water and gray to hold back and store storm water and/or combined sewer.

Mr. Kraft said that after years of planning and commitment to an RTF, it now may work out to move on it.

There was one remaining conveyance area, from Fayette Street to in back of MOST; options are being looked at for handling those CSO's, including taking it to another system, i.e. Erie Boulevard system, or taking a portion.  Some of the Clinton sewer shed is on the east side of Salina St.; there is potential for taking some off and putting it into the other facilities.  Erie Blvd. holds 5 million gallons of storage in a storm; a lot is storm water; not combined sewage, is being looked at.  How the separated storm water can be kept out of Erie Blvd., which would give more room for combined storage.   They are looking at what exists; how they can be modified or revised to handle the volume captured that DEC wants.

Mr. Kraft asked if any pipelines were done north or west of Clinton; Mrs. Miller said "no."  Mr. Kraft asked if the alternative of going to Erie Blvd. would require big disruption.  Mrs. Miller said that all construction causes disruption; it is a question of trying to limit disrupt.  A possibility could be a floatables control facility.  It depends on what the State will require to meet water quality and CSO policy.

Mr. Jordan asked if there is an anticipated cost reduction by utilizing a mix of green and gray.  Mrs. Miller said that they would hope so, but can't provide any sense for that right now.  Mr. Jordan asked what the RTF cost is that may not need to be constructed; Mr. Ott replied that it is $77 million.

Mr. Rhinehart asked if there are any plans for discussion on being more proactive, instead of reactive--he had asked about a countywide plan for lateral inspections at time of sale.  Mr. Ott said that they have done the I&I idea where it is cost effective.  Currently, there is no inspection program.  Regarding the CSO project, they are being proactive with trying to implement green over a time period to see how effective it is and then determine what other things can be done with gray that meet the water quality goals.  They are still in discussions with the DEC regarding amending the ACJ to incorporate green and a revised gray program.  It hasn't been finalized yet, but all indications show that DEC is willing to work with the County and are pleased that they are moving forward with green initiatives.  They may be coming up with green grant funding this fall.  Mrs. Miller said that DEC is looking at the $10 million construction grant from the State each year to make sure that it is also available for green projects.

Mr. Corbett asked if the October 15th date is still valid; Mrs. Miller said that it is still on the table, but they are working together with DEC.  Mr. Ott said that they are working towards that date.  They meet every week.

**Mrs. Winslow arrived at the meeting.

Midland - Mr. Kraft said that there is a plant to handle the capacity of the CSOs, which cost a lot of money, and it is not hooked up; he asked what is being done about it.  Mrs. Miller said that it is on the table for discussion; is being discussed with DEC and the citizens from the area, regarding the desire to incorporate green.  Mr. Kraft asked if DEC is going to continue to allow CSOs.  Mrs. Miller said that DEC is fully aware and involved with all of the discussions - have put importance on seeing what can be accomplished through green. 

Chairman Corbett noted the volume in the area; can green will take care of it.  Mrs. Miller said that it is being analyzed. 

Mrs. Miller said that a lot has been achieved.  She feels that if the County hadn't done what it has, then DEC would not be at the point of allowing a moratorium to look at green and gray.

Mr. Masterpole said that there are 7 CSOs that the RTF can handle; it is built, money is spent, why wouldn't we just connect to it.  Mrs. Miller said that citizens in the area, and others, have asked the County to look into the possibility of doing green and reduce gray.  Mr. Masteropole asked if connecting the 7 CSOs to the Midland RTF is a large project; Mrs. Miller said that it is -- 7,750'.  They are looking at the first CSO beyond where they are now, #44, to see if it makes sense to tie that into the plant.  Currently 3 of the largest CSO are tied in

Metro Treatment Plant - has been running for years; doing great, reason for improvements in the lake. 

Mr. Kraft asked about the money aspect of the projects.  Mrs. Miller said that they are still getting money from the State.  The State continues to put in $10 million/year.  The Feds are paying on sewer separation through Corp of Engineers and on Midland.  Mr. Kraft asked if there are efforts to ask the Feds for more money.  Mr. Ott said that the State has indicated that they will be making grants available.  The concept is to possibly not spend as much money as required under the ACJ--green as a potential cost saving measure.  Mrs. Miller said that they continue to work with the Onondaga Lake Partnership to ask for money (EPA and Corp of Engineers).

Mr. Ott said that sewer separation project #051 is coming---need to come back to increase authorization for it.

Mr. Rhinehart asked if the project on Kinne St., East Syracuse, is complete.  Mr. Ott said that he will check to see if the last liner of the sewer was done.

Mr. Masterpole asked about the Destiny main acquisition.  Chairman Corbett said that Destiny is trying to determine if they want to go in a different direction.  Mr. Masterpole asked if regardless of the direction, will they still want the County to own it.  Mr. Ott said that we need to find out what their options are. 

2.      WATER ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION:  David Coburn, Director, Office of Environment
         a.         Amending '08 Budget to provide funds to address Honeywell Remediation Issues ($70,000)
The legislature has rolled over $500,000 in a contingency account every December for the past several years.  It is to pay for anticipated future costs associated with Honeywell litigation. Today $70,000 is being asked to be released to have available funds to pay for experts.  With expectations to have an increase in activity associated with remedial investigation of wastebeds 1 - 8 (County owns 1-6), along with a human health risk assessment that EPA is doing in association with the bicycle trail, and anticipation that work on the lake bottom will increase; the additional funding will be needed in the not too distant future to make sure the expertise is available to protect the County and community interest.

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

Chair Corbett asked if the Onondaga Nation has taken a more aggressive interest in this.  Mr. Coburn said that the Onondaga Nation approached EPA and encouraged them to conduct a health risk assessment; they approached the Federal Highway Administration and asked them to withhold the trail money until all of this activity is completed.

Mr. Coburn said that the total amount allocated since the early '90's was approximately $3.84 million; in 2003 $1 million returned to fund balance.  Approximately $2.3 million has been spent to date.  In 2008 about $6,000-$7,000 has been spent, primarily dealing with the human health risk assessment and now the remedial investigation phase.  He doubts that the $70,000 requested today will be spent this year; it would be released into the WEP operating budget and have it encumbered against the contract with Kevin Murphy.  It would be spent down as needed; expected to be spent over the next 12 - 18 months. 

Mr. Coburn distributed a map (on file with Clerk); approximate extent of County biosolids area. 

Mr. Masterpole asked if wastebeds are developable.  Mr. Coburn said that they are developable for recreational purposes.  There have been proposals build on them--he senses that there are limitations.  Mr. Masterpole asked if they were developed, would it make for an unhealthy living environment.  Mr. Coburn said it probably varies from wastebed to wastebed.  The contaminants of concern in wastebeds 1-8 are approx. 30' depth--organics that may be passing through underneath.  The remedial investigation is intended to address that question.  It appears that the contamination at/near the surface aren't very significant.  Chair Corbett said that he worked with Honeywell in the Camillus area--one proposal was a soccer field/athletic field, because it wouldn't go down far in depth and cause disruption.

Mr. Coburn said that he will be back in December--whatever balance of contingency fund exists will need to roll into the 2009 budget.  Mr. Rhinehart questioned why it isn't operated out of WEP's budget and then give them the money back.  Mr. Coburn said that DMB's position was that if the established fund of years ago was maintained, the budget impact was then.  As it is drawn down, it is a budget neutral impact.  It does send a message that the County is prepared and available to address the issue as it happens. 

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

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

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

* * *

EDUCATION & LIBRARIES COMMITTEE MINUTES
PATRICK M. KILMARTIN, CHAIRMAN
September 11, 2008

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

Chairman Kilmartin called the meeting to order at 1:00 p.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. Liz Loftus, Interim Deputy Director, Ms. Sally Carmer, Dir. of Admin. Services

a.   Amending the 2008 County Budget to accept New York State Special Legislative funds for the Onondaga County Public Library, and authorizing the County Executive to enter into contracts to implement this resolution ($10,000)

Funds would be used for the Hazard Branch community room to make it more comfortable, appealing and welcoming to those who participate in the community events, will purchase furnishings and some audio equipment.  There are no centers in that part of town, it is used a great deal by the community and also by the library staff for the programs they provide.  Library was built in 1968 and most of the furnishings are original.  In answer to Mr. Kilmartin, Ms. Carmer said they applied for this grant specifically for Hazard Branch.

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

Mr. Kinne said he is aware that the Mundy Branch has been having problems, it is obviously being used as a drop off and babysitting service, police officer is there afternoons and weekend, asked if anyone is looking into this matter.  Ms. Loftus said a lot of the problems with the library stem from having a big open space with lots of activity circulating through the building; they would like to do something with the space, have a proposal to build a computer lab and some small meeting rooms, would cost about $290,000 (they have money from a grant that is committed to computer wiring and they are trying to raise the rest of the funds).  Ms. Loftus said the more focused activities they can have, the more de-escalation of the frenzy the open space creates.  Staff address behavioral issues, but also feel they are there to serve the children and the community and offer the best services they can, they are doing programs all the time, staff continues to look at programs that will work.  Mr. Kinne said his concern is for security of the patrons and staff; a library should be a more conducive place to learn, asked to have the committee kept informed concerning this issue.

b.      Discussion - Abolish Unfunded Librarian III, Grade 13

Ms. Loftus said they would like to retain the unfounded Librarian III position on their roster.  They have created a Network Administrator position to replace the Librarian III; that person will be appointed for a 52-week probationary period, would like to see how that arrangement works out (they have a memorandum of understanding with the IT Department).  Also, they are in a state of transition without an Executive Director, new director would want to look over the roster.  Mr. Kilmartin reviewed that at the last committee meeting they were told that the Network Administrator would come from the IT Department, position would be paid by an IMLS grant for the first 52 weeks.  Ms. Carmer noted that after the grant runs out, the position would be paid for by OCPL, position will be on the OCPL roster, not IT.  Mr. Kilmartin asked if the former Librarian did any traditional Librarian III duties or was it all network and computer related work.  Ms. Loftus said it was primarily network duties in the later years, prior to that the person had some public service duties.  Mr. Kilmartin asked if they requested the Librarian III position to be funded in the 2009 Budget; Ms. Loftus said "no".  Mr. Kilmartin said no action is needed today to keep the status quo; his preference is to leave it for discussion at budget time.

c.   A Local Law amending Local Law No. 18-2002 to provide for a Lost Library Card Replacement Fee

Ms. Loftus asked to have this item removed from the agenda.

The meeting was adjourned at 1:19 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Johanna H. Robb
Deputy Clerk

 * * *

     WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE MINUTES - September 12, 2008
CHAIRMAN JAMES RHINEHART

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Mr. Kilmartin, Mr. Mr. Kraft, Mr. Warner, Mr. Holmquist, Mr. Stanczyk, Mr. Corbett,
Mr. Kinne, Mrs. Rapp
ALSO PRESENT:  Chairman Meyer, see also attached list

Chairman Rhinehart called the meeting to order at 9:34 a.m.  A motion was made by Mr. Warner, seconded by Mr. Corbett, to waive the reading of the proceedings of the previous committee.  MOTION CARRIED.  A motion was made by Mr. Corbett, seconded by Mr. Warner, to approve the minutes of proceedings of the previous committee meeting.  MOTION CARRIED.

2.   DISTRICT ATTORNEY, PROBATION & SHERIFF:  John Duncan, U.S. Attorney's Office
      a.      Amending 2008 County Budget to provide funds to the Office of the Onondaga County District Attorney, Sheriff's Office, and the Probation Department for the Project Safe Neighborhoods Program, and authorizing the County Executive to enter into contracts to implement this resolution ($150,000)
Mr. Duncan said that $150,000 in federal funds has been allocated through the Project Safe Neighborhoods Program:  $15,000 DA's Office; $40,000 Probation; $95,000 Sheriff to support the Federal Gang Task Force, manned by officers in SPD, Sheriff, ATF, US Marshals, NYS Police.  Monies allocated by congress to support local efforts for gang, gun, and drug violence. 

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

1.   PROBATION:  Mary Winter, Commissioner
      a.      Amend '08 Budget to provide addl. State funds to Probation Dept. for the GPS of Sex Offenders, and Authorize Co. Exec. to enter into contracts to implement this resolution ($470,000)
This was originally a $500,000 grant from Sen. DeFrancisco, reduced by 6% by the Governor.  It is to provide GPS for level 2 & 3 sex offenders; provides an additional layer of protection for current and future victims.  There currently are 342 sex offenders on probation:  171 are registered with sex offender registry; level I - 81; level II - 55; level III - 32.  All level 2 & 3s will be screened along with any sex offender probation violator. 

Mr. Corbett asked if this will be a condition of probation; Ms. Winter said that it would be; the Court would have to order it.  It will be for new cases or violators of probation where they go back to court and the condition is added.

In answer to Mr. Kilmartin, the $328,000 for personnel costs is for new hires.  Ms. Winters said that it is a grant for one year; she has been told that it will be renewed.  If it is not, the program and staff will go away. 

There will be 24/7 active monitoring; this is a computer terminal and the probationer has a bracelet around their ankle that will be individually programmed.  It will include exclusion zones (i.e. zoo, mall, victim's home, etc.).  An alert will be given.  If the probationer is near an exclusion zone, he/she is given an alert to get out.  If they don't, there is a very loud noise that goes off.  It is being done in Nassau, Suffolk, Monroe, Federal Probation, and parole; it is used widely throughout the country.

Mr. Stanczyk asked what is done with a repeat offender; this is on the cusp of trying to make a determination as to whether these people should be in prison or out in society.  If money is being spent on these systems, he is being told that these people aren't really safe to be out in the community.  Ms. Winter said that Probation Dept. does not make the decisions on who gets out; that is up to the judiciary system.

Mr. Kilmartin said that this gives law enforcement a great deal of flexibility.  There are restrictions pursuant to statutes and sentencing guidelines as to what the system can or can't do in regard to the offender.  There are restrictions on how good a case is or isn't, which puts restrictions on the judge, prosecutor, defense attorney and Probation Dept.  This is an added element to the system that can allow for further scrutiny, closer tracking; another way to monitor people if the guidelines of sentencing allow them to be in society.  It is a great benefit.

Mr. Warner made a motion to approve this item.  Mr. Warner asked if there are any studies to show recidivism rate of people wearing the bracelets.  Ms. Winter said that she does not have any, as it is very new. 

Mr. Kilmartin amended the resolution to add language..."in the event that the grant funding is discontinued, it is the request of the Legislature for the Commissioner of Probation to order appropriate personnel reductions commensurate."  There was no objection.

Mr. Corbett seconded the motion as amended.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

3.   SHERIFF:  Roy Graiten, Captain
      a.      Amend '08 Budget to Authorize the Sheriff's Office to Receive Grant funds from the NYS Archives and Authorize County Executive to enter into Contracts to Implement this Res. ($35,417)
A motion by Mr. Kraft, seconded by Mr. Stanczyk to approve this itemPassed unanimously; CARRIED.

 

      b.      Amend '08 Budget to Authorize Sheriff's Office to Receive Addl. Grant Funds from the DCJS for Project Lifesaver, and Authorize Co Exec to enter into contracts to implement this Res. ($3,000)
Project Lifesaver, a program to assist people who suffer with Alzheimer's, dementia, autism, etc; those that tend to wander--provides a transmitter bracelet.  There are 33 individuals with bracelets now. 

A motion by Mr. Stanczyk, seconded by Mrs. Rapp to approve this itemPassed unanimously; CARRIED.

      c.      Amending 2008 County Budget to authorize the Onondaga County Sheriff's Office to receive additional grant funds from the Bureau of Justice Assistance in support of local law enforcement and authorizing the County Executive to enter into contracts to implement this resolution ($100,000)
This is JAG money form Assemblyman Stirpe, has an expenditure deadline of Dec. 31, 2008.

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

Capt. Graiten reviewed items being purchased:

  • Underwater Search & Rescue Team ROV - $50,655
  • Cell Phone Forensic Tool - $18,345
  • Custody mini-chip tabletop training board, $10,00
  • Civil Document Sender, $3,000

Mrs. Rapp asked if this made it past the State budget cuts; Capt. Graiten said that it has.  Chairman Rhinehart asked if the monies have to be used for these specific items.  Capt. Graiten said that JAG allows it to be used for a variety of things; these items were identified as needs. 

A vote was taken on the motion.  AYES7; NOES:  1 (Kraft); ABSTAINED:  1 (Rapp); MOTION CARRIED.

4.   FINANCE DEPARTMENT:  Karen Carney, Director
      a.      Approving and directing the correction of certain errors on tax bills
This is a correction from last month, Town of Pompey, assessor placed an assessment on a piece of vacant property for an improvement of a home and put in an application to correct it. 

Mr. Stanczyk asked if the reason for the penalty is because the person paid nothing.  Mrs. Carney said that the law states that if you apply for a correction during the penalty free-period (receivers collecting without a penalty, there is no penalty.  This correction didn't come to the County until after that date.  At this point the property owner has paid on the corrected amount, but did not pay anything when he receive the tax bill.  He paid the corrected amount last month; the correction came to the County in June.  He received the bill in January; it was incorrect.  No action was taken by the assessor or property owner until June.  Had he applied for the correction in January, during the correction free period, he would not have had to pay any interest at all. 

Chairman Rhinehart said that the first bill that was sent was the school tax bill in September.  The County tax bill came, no action was taken again in January.  Mr. Rhinehart said that this was a $50 penalty. 

Mr. Kinne expressed concern on how much time and energy was spent on this and what can be done to correct it for the future.  Mrs. Carney said that they receive about 200 corrections in a year, out of 178,000. 

A motion was made by Mr. Stanczyk, seconded by Mr. Kilmartin to approve this item.  AYES:  6; NOES:  3 (Kraft, Rapp, Holmquist).  MOTION CARRIED.

5.   TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT:  Brian Donnelly, Commissioner
      a.      Amending the 2008 County Budget to spend an additional $513,699 to pave County roads, and authorizing the County Executive to enter into contracts to implement this resolution ($513,699)

There was a residual amount in a capital project for paving Warners Road of approximately $513,000 bonded funds.  They will return the money to reserve for bonded debt; in turn it will be put back as unreserved for paving in the capital plan. 

A motion by Mr. Stanczyk, seconded by Mrs. Rapp to approve this itemPassed unanimously; CARRIED.

Mr. Kilmartin asked if there wasn't additional paving projects that were contemplated this year, would this money have been transferred to debt service.  Mr. Donnelly said that it would have ultimately been returned to the reserve for bonded debt; it would not in turn come back into the department as funds that could be used.

      b.      Amending the 2008 Onondaga County Budget to Accept Additional Revenues from the Sale of fuel to County Departments and Outside Agencies ($404,730)

A motion by Mr. Kinne, seconded by Mr. Kilmartin to approve this item. Passed unanimously; CARRIED.

6.   FACILITIES MANAGEMENT:  Jean Smiley, Physical Services Administrator
      a.      A Local Law authorizing the lease of County property located at the County of Onondaga Civic Center to Syracuse University for the Connective Corridor Urban Video Project
As part of the S.U. project with the Connective Corridor and the Civic Strip, S.U. approached the County about an Urban Art Project.  They are using video to project art on various buildings throughout the city.  It will run from dusk to 11:00 p.m. each night.  The equipment costs S.U. approximately $250,000.  It will be projected onto the Civic Center.  The idea is to make Syracuse a more walkable city, a more exciting atmosphere.  Buildings have been selected around the community.

As this is public building, there were concerns about the art.  Things that will be projected are called "quiet time"; similar to screen savers; looking at culture and historical issues.  As the project goes forward on some other buildings, S.U. will look at general release movies that can be watched off of a building.  They are using the Syracuse Arts Commission as the entity which proposals for projected art will go through.  Because the County is not part of the Arts Commission; a mini Arts Commission is being created to review what is projected on County buildings.

It was noted that the projector will be on the Civic Center.

Mr. Kinne suggested that there should be a marquis on the Civic Center; no one knows what is going on in the Civic Center unless they have a ticket for an event.  Mrs. Smiley said that she will look into it; there has been discussion with the OnCenter.

Mr. Kilmartin asked if there is any move to integrate movies and art with the Syracuse Symphony and other organizations.  Ms. Smiley said that S.U. has been working across the community.  She said that the art will not be static.

A motion by Mrs. Rapp, seconded by Mr. Stanczyk to approve this itemPassed unanimously; CARRIED.

7.   Water Environment Protection:  Dave Coburn, Director, Office of the Environment
      a.      Amending 2008 Budget to provide funds to address Honeywell remediation issues ($70,000)
This is a request to release $70,000 to apply toward outside legal and technical expertise on Honeywell litigation.  The money available is now below $30,000.  Honeywell has released a remedial investigation report on waste beds 1- 8, County owns 1 - 6; the area where the trail is going.  EPA is doing a health risk assessment on the same area.  This fall DEC and Honeywell will release a work plan on implementation of the lake bottom study; it has potential ramifications towards the County. 

Mr. Stanczyk asked if an agreement has been reached with Honeywell; the money was originally for litigation and now is being used for environmental oversight.  Mr. Coburn said that historically about 60% science, 40% legal has been spent.  Right now there is a period of science and technical questions.  With the reports being released, the lawyers are still involved--making sure that the document is prepared appropriately for whatever defense may be launched later.  Still pending is the issue that NYS has notified the County that they are going to try to recapture costs that they incurred; those costs are about $17 million amongst various parties.  One day the County will be faced with defending or negotiating a settlement of those claims.

Mr. Stanczyk questioned if the $500,000 is going to be sufficient. Mr. Coburn indicated that he is unsure.  The amount was established with acknowledgment that there will come a day when funds will be needed for this purpose.  It is hard to predict what will happen and what the need might be.  In answer to Mr. Stanczyk, Mr. Coburn said that Kevin Murphy, Wladis Law Firm, is the County's outside legal counsel.

Chairman Rhinehart said the $500,000 has been rolled over and not used, concerned that taxpayer's money is sitting there.  He questioned if it will continue and said that the issue will come up during the budget review process.  Mr. Coburn said that if the money is not rolled over at the end of the year, it would return to fund balance.  It will sit in the contingency account or WEP fund balance.

Mr. Kraft said that over $30 million was put away in WEP fund balance in the 1990's in anticipation of problems and costs with the Lake project.  There was a 20-year plan established on how to face the costs and use the saved fund balance to stabilize the sewer use charge.  The $500,000 was part of the fund balance.  No money is being spent or taxed.  This year about $6,000 was spent.

Chairman Rhinehart asked if the experts that are hired for consultation are all lawyers; Mr. Coburn said that they are not-there is one lawyer, Ecology and Environment (Buffalo), S&W Development, 2 mercury experts, a PCB expert, and a modeler.

A motion was made by Mr. Kilmartin, seconded by Mr. Corbett to approve this item.  AYES:  8; NOES:  0; ABSTAINED:  1.  MOTION CARRIED.

8.   OCPL:  Sally Carmer, Director, Admin. Svcs. 
      a.      Amend 2008 Budget to accept NYS Special Legislative funds for the OCPL and Authorize the County Executive to enter into contracts to implement this resolution ($10,000)
This will be used to refurbish the community room at the Hazard Branch library, which gets high usage.  The branch manager applied for this grant.

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

Mr. Stanczyk asked about White Branch, which needs work on its community room; Ms. Carmer said that she sent an application to the State yesterday for 50% reimbursement for a $73,000 project there.

Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

9.   PERSONNEL:  Elaine Walter,.Commissioner
      a.      Abolish Personnel Technician II, Grade 31 @ $44,892 - $63,242 effective October 18, 2008; Create Employee Relations Officer, Grade 31 @ $44,892 - $63,242 effective October 18, 2008
Ms. Walter said that the Personnel Department has had some unanticipated turnover, and is ready to hire a replacement.  Instead of hiring in the Personnel Tech II title, which there is no list for at the moment, she would like to switch the title to a Employee Relations Officer, there is a list of good candidates.

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

The person will be involved in personnel administration, labor relations, Civil Service, monitoring county departments, town, village, and school district payrolls. 

Chairman Rhinehart said that other counties handle their employee titles differently.  He asked that as the County abolishes and creates titles, is there a direction for redefining some of the positions.  Mrs. Walter said that the County is going in a direction for people hired to work more broadly.   They try to make the job description as open as possible. 

Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

10. WAYS & MEANS MISC.:  Roberta Sprague, Commissioner, Van Duyn
      a.      Van Duyn Transfer of Funds from Acct. 101 Reg. Employee Salaries in the Amount of $250,000 to Acct. 408 Professional Services to Cover Costs of Contract Nurses ($250,000)
A motion was made by Mr. Stanczyk, seconded by Mr. Warner to approve this item.
On any given day there are about 40 open spots for certified nurses assistants or nurses.  There are about 27 people out because of childbirth leave, disability, worker's comp type issues.  Those positions cannot be filled.  On any given 24 time frame she can have 20 call-ins.  If there are 40 open slots, in a 24-hour period, she is required to have sufficient staff to take care of residents' needs. 

Mr. Kraft asked if it was anticipated when the budget was put together.  Ms. Sprague said that money was put in but there was anticipation that more people would be willing to do overtime.  Some staff that used to do large numbers of overtime have retired; some staff is not interested in doing as much overtime.  Two years ago, the policy was changed so that not everyone is allowed overtime--in a given 2 week period of time, if someone doesn't cover there own hours, they can't do overtime.

Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:30 a.m.
 

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