header graphic
Bookmark and Share
Meeting Minutes Return to Committee
Meeting Minutes
Office of the Onondaga County Legislature
Court House, Room 407 * 401 Montgomery Street * Syracuse, New York 13202
(315) 435-2070 Fax: (315) 435-8434

DEBORAH L. MATURO
Clerk
J. RYAN McMAHON, II
Chairman
KATHERINE FRENCH
Deputy Clerk

 

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION COMMITTEE MINUTES - AUGUST 14, 2013

MICHAEL E. PLOCHOCKI, CHAIRMAN

 

Members Present: Mrs. Rapp, Mrs. Tassone, Mr. Shepard, Ms. Williams

Also Attending: See attached list

 

Chairman Plochocki called the meeting to order at 9:03 a.m.  A motion was made by Mr. Shepard, seconded by Mrs. Rapp to waive the reading of the minutes of the proceedings of the previous committee meeting.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.  A motion was made by Ms. Williams, seconded by Mrs. Rapp to approve the minutes of the proceedings of the previous committee.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

 

 

1.     WATER ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION: Tom Rhoads, Commissioner

        a.     Authorizing the County Executive to Enter into a Contract with the United States Department of the Interior for the Operation and Maintenance of Stream Gaging Stations in the County of Onondaga

  • Stream gaging stations used to measure flow and nutrients entering the lake; required compliance
  • Consistent with last year’s resolution – pay 65% of the rate

 

In answer to Mrs. Rapp, Mr. Rhoads stated there was nothing different this year; all the same stations with a slight change in amounts - $87,720 last year and asking for $80,100 this year. 

In answer to Mrs. Tassone, Mr. Rhoads confirmed that all the funds were used last year; fixed dollar agreements.  Mrs. Tassone noted that the resolution states we are contributing the sum of up to $80,100.

Mr. Shepard asked if the small shed near the dog park was a gaging station.  Mr. Rhoads state that is what they are like; can’t say if that specific shed is a gaging station.  In addition to the gage, the stations record telemetry information on the flow for the streams that can be used by the engineers.

A motion was made by Mrs. Rapp, seconded by Mrs. Tassone to approve this item.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

        b.     A Resolution Approving Various Green and Innovative Infrastructure Projects Located Outside the Amended Consent Judgment Area as Outlined in Local Law 1-2011 for the Purpose of Mitigating Inflow and Infiltration of Stormwater into the Consolidated Sanitary District Sewer System in and for the County of Onondaga, New York

 

Chairman Plochocki stated this is the final piece of the Suburban Green Infrastructure Program.  In 2011 the previous Legislature allotted money for this program with disbursement of those funds going through the 2012 Legislature.  During the budget process in 2012 money was again set aside for this project.  We have voted on this item in various forms and have now reached the point where Commissioner Rhoads and others are coming back to us with a list of projects they feel are the best.  Though not privy to the discussions, there have been many between the Legislature’s leadership and the County Executive’s office.  All those in the appropriate positions are very happy with the selection. 

 

        c.     A Resolution Authorizing the Issuance of $2,000,000 Bonds of the County of Onondaga, New York, to Pay the Costs of Various Green and Innovative Infrastructure Projects Located Outside the Amended Consent Judgment Area as Outlined in Local Law 1-2011 for the Purpose of Mitigating Inflow and Infiltration of Stormwater into the Consolidated Sanitary District Sewer System in and for the Onondaga County Sanitary District

 

Mr. Rhoads discussed items b and c together:

  • Item b approves the projects and item c authorizes bonding for the projects
  • Notice sent to municipalities within sanitary district to present applications for proposed green and innovate  I&I removal projects; received $4m in applications - $2m has been authorized for these projects
  • Applications thoroughly reviewed and discussed - all good I&I removal projects but some did not contain the green approach, trying to change the way people think about and manage stormwater and our sanitary sewers, moving away from gray solutions; important for applicants to have green projects in area with frequent problems     

Mr. Rhoads provided the following report noting the approved projects are listed in green:

Save the Rain Suburban Green Infrastructure Program Report 2013

The Save the Rain Suburban Green Infrastructure Program (SGIP) received a tremendous amount of high quality applications for the 2013 round of funding.  Onondaga County Dept. of Water Environment Protection recommends funding for the following projects (highlighted in green below).  Selection was based upon how green and innovative the proposed projects were as well as the ability to address inflow and infiltration (I/I).  Areas within the sanitary district with a recent history of problems with flooding and sewer backups – such as the Town of Geddes, Town of Dewitt, and the Village of North Syracuse – were high priorities for I/I mitigation. 

 

If possible, we recommend continued exploration of alternate avenues for future funding for reducing I/I with the additional projects proposed under SGIP 2013.


2013 Recommended Project Descriptions:

Town of DeWitt Willis Carrier Recreation Center Project
Funding not to exceed: $300,000
(Requested $400,000.00; Proposed Local Match 91% of entire rec. center development)

The Town of DeWitt is proposing to incorporate green infrastructure in the development of the Willis Carrier Recreation Center, a multi-use sports complex.  The center will have stormwater management practices ranging from detention ponds, stormwater trenches, a porous parking lot, tree plantings, vegetated swales, and rain barrels.  These green infrastructure practices will reduce the amount of stormwater runoff from entering Ley Creek as well as existing town stormwater and sanitary sewers located within the park itself. The town proposes removing 125,300 square feet of currently impervious pavement and constructing the new lot will be with porous asphalt. The construction of new parking lot will be done in Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the project, and the remainder of the complex will be completed in future phases.

 

Town of Geddes Bergner Road Green Interception Porous Pavement Project
Funding not to exceed: $210,000
(Requested $308,000.00 Proposed Local Match 17%)

The Town of Geddes proposes a green project for runoff reduction, installing a three foot wide strip of porous pavement along the sides of Bergner Road and a portion of Lakeland Avenue west of Bergner. In order to optimize runoff reduction in a cost-effective way, the remaining 20 foot width of standard asphalt pavement will be graded to direct drainage to the porous pavement strip. The existing drainage pipe along Bergner Road will be replaced with perforated pipe in a stone trench beneath the pervious concrete gutter. The catch basins will have grates several inches above grade, so they only take in water in large storms.

 

Town of Geddes Parsons Drive Green Median Project
Funding not to exceed: $400,000
(Requested $400,000.00)

The Town of Geddes proposes a green infrastructure project to retrofit the median along Parsons Drive with an underground infiltration trench. Curb cuts will be installed in the curbing around the north median and around the south median. Existing trees in the median will be left there along with additional landscape plantings resistant to frequent inundation to be added along the low area near the infiltration trench. An infiltration trench system will also be extended along Granger Road from Breakspear Road east to West Manchester to reduce flows going to the Bronson Road system.  Perforated pipe will be installed in the infiltration trench along the side of the road, with catch basins near the intersections. The grates on these catch basins will be several inches above grade so they only take in water during large storms.

 

Town of Geddes Walberta Infiltration Basin Project
Funding not to exceed: $200,000
(Requested $201,000; Proposed Local Match 15%)

The Town of Geddes proposes a green infrastructure project at the Walberta Road School in the Westvale neighborhood.  The school sits at a low point with now natural overflow route for stormwater drainage. Stormwater is diverted down Granger Road to the Onondaga County Trunk Sewer on Bronson Road. This trunk sewer currently surcharges during severe storms due to large amounts of inflow and infiltration. The proposed project would divert water to an infiltration basin for storage. The infiltration/detention basin is on Wegman’s property and the Town of Geddes is currently working to finalize a right-of-way agreement with Wegman’s. The project is expected to capture approximately 356,400 gallons of stormwater per year.


Town of Lysander Manhole Repair/Pipe Lining/Tree Planting Project
Funding not to exceed: $400,000
(Requested $400,000.00; Proposed Local Match 17%)

The Town of Lysander is proposing an innovative and green project including pipe lining, manhole repair and tree planting. The town plans to slip line sewer mains with cured in place pipe (CIPP) and epoxy coat 23 manholes included in the Indian Springs Manor sanitary sewer. In addition to the gray improvements, the town proposes to plant 42 additional street trees within the right-of-way.

 

Village of North Syracuse Green Interception with Streetscape Project
Funding not to exceed: $300,000

(Requested $400,000.00; Proposed Local Match 53%)

The Village of North Syracuse proposes a green streetscape project with porous pavers, tree planting and added green space. The proposed streetscape improvements include removal of impervious pavement surfaces and replacing approximately 4,500 square feet of that surface with grass as well as replacing 11,500 square feet with porous pavers. Under the pavers will be a perforated storm sewer system to collect and infiltrate runoff from Main Street and provide drainage for the pavers. Additionally, the village proposes to plant 92 native street trees will also be incorporated into the streetscape for water quality improvement and aesthetic enhancement to the corridor.

 

Village of Solvay Highway Garage Bioretention Project
Funding not to exceed: $110,000
(Requested $108,214.31)

The Village of Solvay proposes a bioretention project at their highway garage facility.  The site contains poorly draining soils, so the proposed bioretention basin will be equipped with an underdrain system to improve drainage and promote pollutant removal through filtration. Some grading will also be required to create bioswales to direct runoff to the basin and modification to the existing retaining wall along the east side of the highway garage to allow for drainage.

Village of Solvay Trump and Power Streets Bioretention Project
Funding not to exceed: $80,000
(Requested $78,838.83)

The Village of Solvay is proposing a bioretention/rain garden project on village-owned land to capture stormwater and reduce inflow and infiltration (I/I) to the sanitary sewer. The project will install a bioretention system at a triangular piece of land at Power, Trump and Gillis streets and at a smaller piece of land immediately to the east across Gillis Street. Flow will reach these low-lying areas through curb cuts. These green practices will alleviate part of this volume via underground infiltration and evapotransporation processes in the bioretention areas.

 

Other Projects Submitted:

Town of Salina Sewer Separation/Disconnect Project
(Requested $70,000.00)

The Town of Salina Sewer Separation Project includes sanitary sewer removal and separation within Mattydale/Pitcher Hill Sewer District between Westview Avenue and Harford Road. This area has been determined a “hot spot” by the Onondaga County Department of Water Environment Protection and is an area of concern due to frequent maintenance and more importantly contribution to sanitary sewer overflow (SSO) concern within the area. The storm to sewer connection will be eliminated and all of this stormwater will be eliminated from the sanitary sewer system.

 

Village of Baldwinsville Pipe Lining & Manhole Repair Project
(Requested $400,000.00; Proposed Local Match 29%)

The Village of Baldwinsville proposes a televising, pipe lining and manhole repair project. The village will evaluate sewer mains in two areas with a history of excessive infiltration using remote television monitoring. When the most significant areas contributing to infiltration have been identified, a lining and repair contract will be prepared incorporating trenchless pipe lining technology to line and seal leaking sewer mains. Manhole structures will also be grouted and sealed.

 

Village of Camillus Manhole Rehabilitation Project
(Requested $185,535.00; Proposed Local Match 5%)

The Village of Camillus Sewer Rehabilitation Project aims to reduce inflow and infiltration (I/I) issues which adversely impact the Village sanitary sewers serving the “Eastern Village” area of Camillus. The project will include rehabilitation of sewer manholes located in the Village, including epoxy grouting to seal manhole walls and chimneys; replacement of manhole steps; raising/replacing manhole rims and covers that are at or below grade; installing manhole inserts on manholes that are subject to surface flooding; and replacing manholes with significant structure damage, missing bases.

 

Village of East Syracuse Pipe Lining and Manhole Repair Project
(Requested $400,000.00)

The Village proposes to make cost-effective improvements to the sewer system to reduce inflow and infiltration (I/I), utilizing innovative infrastructure methods to reduce runoff into the sanitary system including cured-in-place-pipe (CIPP) and manhole rehabilitation using chemical grout, spray on mortar, and epoxy resin liner coatings. These methods of improvement require little or no excavation or restoration.

 

Villages of Fayetteville & Manlius Joint Repair & Green Infrastructure Projects
(Requested $433,462.00; Proposed Local Match 15%)

The Villages of Fayetteville and Manlius collaborated in their application for SGIP funding for a joint innovative sanitary infrastructure rehabilitation project to remove inflow and infiltration (I/I) using green and innovative technologies.

 

The first part of the proposal includes conventional excavation/replacement and cured in place pipe (CIPP) lining to rehabilitate structurally unsound vitrified clay pipe (VCP) and VCP sewer with root intrusion in both villages. The joint project approach will increase opportunities for construction cost savings due to “economies of scale” and a single mobilization/demobilization, and reduce engineering design, bidding and construction costs.

 

The second component, the Pratt Lane/Feeder Street Green Infrastructure Improvements, seeks to continue the green streetscape enhancements through the Lower Village area with pavement restoration and integration of green infrastructure village-owned Pratt Lane and Feeder Street including porous asphalt and bioretention practices.  This will extend the green streetscape from their 2012 SGIP project further through the village, creating a green corridor.

 

Village of Liverpool Pipe Lining and Tree Planting Project
(Requested $86,200.00)

The Village of Liverpool proposes a project that includes a combination of green and gray infrastructure technologies to reduce infiltration in the sanitary sewers and manholes along Hiawatha Trail and along the portion of Third Street between Birch Street and Bass Street.  The green component of this project will be planting street trees within the right-of-way along various streets throughout the Village of Liverpool, capturing stormwater and providing aesthetic streetscape improvements.

Village of Solvay Bailey Street Pipe Lining and Manhole Repair Project
(Requested $281,518.20)

The Village of Solvay is proposing a pipe lining and manhole repair project. This will begin with using pressure concrete or epoxy methodology to rehabilitate deteriorating manholes. Manhole covers with holes will be replaced by water tight covers. Then repairs will be performed with cured in place pipe (CIPP) techniques. Sanitary or storm sewer cross connections, sump pump, driveway or roof drain connections that are found will be disconnected from sanitary sewers and connected to the existing storm sewer system.

 

Mr. Rhoads continued:

  • Geddes projects are both green and resolve areas where there have been a number of recent problems – higher concern that they might get into consent orders in this area; WEP has fielded several calls in the Town of Dewitt; Village of North Syracuse is contributory to Oak Orchard treatment plant – have significant amount of I&I ; combining the history of problems and the greenness of the projects ask for approval to proceed with complied list of projects
  • Stayed within $2m dollar allotment - some projects not paid in full 

Mrs. Rapp asked if there was an opportunity to amend the list.  She feels badly that the Community Development money was taken out of the Town of Salina because they didn’t write it correctly.  This is a bad area.  When you look at the dollar amount as compared to some of the other dollar amounts and the amount of good that this project could do in that community, she would be willing to talk about this.  Mr. Rhoads responded that he understood.  Mrs. Tassone stated that she would like to see some of the monies divided differently; less on some and more on some of the projects totally ignored. 

Mr. Rhoads stated that he is allowed to entertain this discussion with the committee but the decision is happening at higher levels.  During the dredging project, Honeywell is contributing millions of dollars per year for backflow received at Metro.  We had asked to use $800,000 of these funds in the 2013 budget for I&I removal.  This was a way in which areas where we have immediate problems could have been resolved via the use of green projects; understands there was only so much money to go around.  He believes the course of action will be to see if we can found some of these projects with an I&I removal approach, while we have this funding opportunity in future budgets.   

Mrs. Tassone asked who made the final decision on these projects.  Mr. Rhoads stated the list was developed in close coordination with the legislature’s leadership and theirs.  Mrs. Rapp noted that they needed to come back and talk to the committee. 

Chairman Plochocki asked if the theory under the current proposal was to give a lot of money to a smaller number of projects.  Mr. Rhoads responded that they wanted to makes sure that the projects were completed and met the goals of green and innovative.  Several projects are good for I&I but manhole repairs and things such as this, do not reach the bar of being green or innovative.  They would like to demonstrate that there are new approaches to resolving these problems.  The request was very clear; looking for green and innovative solutions.  Many of the solutions received have merit and would be good as pure I&I projects, however they are not green approaches toward these solutions.

Ms. Williams asked if those who had not been selected were notified as to why and what they could have done to improve their application.  Mr. Rhoads responded that they would be; projects need to be approved by the legislature.  He hopes they will move forward with the proposal provided.  After they receive approval, feedback will be provided to the applicants. 

Ms. Williams asked if they had an opportunity to add another project.  Mr. Rhoads responded that this could not be done within the budget latitude allowed for this year.  In answer to Chairman Plochocki, Ms. Williams confirmed that she was asking if they could include projects that were rejected.  Chairman Plochocki stated that he believes Mr. Rhoads was stating that if we wanted to take a new project that hadn’t applied, the answer would be no.  

Chairman Plochocki asked if it was Mr. Rhoads understanding that the projects could be amended.  Mr. Rhoads responded that the way the legislation is written the projects must be approved by the County Legislature.  The Legislature as a whole needs to come together on the priority projects and this then needs to be coordinated with the executive branch.   

Chairman Plochocki asked if he was correct in assuming that because Community Development was a federally funded program, certain rules were put into place by the County, which created a delicate situation as to whether or not the County Legislature could change things and exactly what County Legislature approval means.  Whereas, in this case we are talking about a different situation – it is a County program with County money and it is up to the County Legislature to approve the final list.  Mrs. Berger responded that it is up the Legislature to approve the funding amounts but the decisions about the projects and infrastructure growing the district is up to the Commissioner.  Under Article 11 of the Administrative Code, the Commissioner can make the final determinations as to what will benefit the district. 

Chairman Plochocki stated he understands that it would be their decision as to what is within the certified sanitary district but his understanding is that all of these projects are located within the district.  If this is the case, he asked Mrs. Berger if she thinks there are still parameters we would need to follow.  Mrs. Berger stated the Commissioner develops maps and plans for the infrastructure changes that would extend the district.  The resolution authorizes bonds for the projects, which would be repaid as district funds and there are checks over growing the district within Article 11, providing the Commissioner with certain controls of the district.  Mrs. Berger stated that she could look into this further and would follow up.  Chairman Plochocki stated it would be appreciated if she could.

 

Chairman Plochocki stated because there are so many unanswered questions, he is leaning towards not   taking a vote on this item today.  He asked the committee if anyone wanted to take a vote.  There being none, it was agreed no vote would be taken.   

Mrs. Tassone asked for an explanation on the Town of Dewitt project.  Mr. Rhoads stated that there are a number of stormwater and sanitary sewers located within the park.  With this project we will be removing impervious surfaces which will abate stormwater and have it naturally, in a greenway go into the ground.  It won’t overtop the sanitary sewers in that area and cause inflow.  There is a lot of old infrastructure in that area.  We also have some drainage problems and flooding concerns along Ley Creek; some business flooded in 2011 in this area.  The project will assist with an I&I issue and is tributary to our Ley Creek pump station where we have considerable amounts of I&I.  This is a constrained pump station; extraneous flow in Ley Creek pump station and flooding in Ley Creek drainage district – this goes a long way in resolving both of those issues.  These issues have been presented to use somewhat frost fully from business owners and their attorneys.  Mrs. Rapp added that this was a really bad area.  A few years ago the flooding was so bad that the manhole covers popped and people were going down the streets in canoes.  This is a really good project.  Mrs. Tassone agreed.  Mr. Rhoads stated that this is using a green approach to resolve areas where they do have tremendous problems.

In answer to Chairman Plochocki, Mr. Rhoads stated that all of the projects are located within the certified sanitary district; doesn’t believe any of the projects submitted would stretch the boundaries or be outside of the district.

Chairman Plochocki stated the item would move onto Ways and Means.

Mr. Rhoads asked for the committee’s indulgence on another item – Clean Water Fair, September 7, 2103 from 9:00AM – 2:00PM at 650 Hiawatha Blvd., Syracuse, NY.  http://savetherain.us/2013fair/   

Mr. Rhoads stated that Chairman Plochocki was at the Clean Water Fair last year and reported that it was even better than the State Fair, according to his nephews.  Chairman Plochocki noted that his nephews were three and six at the time.  Two things that defined it as being better than the State Fair were the piece of pipe from the trunk line sewer and the fish species.  The kids were amazed that these large tunnels were underground and were able to use a small net to pull out fish for closer examination.  Mr. Rhoads added it was a great day and asked that they let people know.

Chairman Plochocki introduced Mary Kate Hartmann, as the new Executive Director for the Center of Nature Education at Baltimore Woods.  The center is near and dear to his heart as it is located in his district and the town of Marcellus.  It is one of our authorized agencies and they have been doing such an outstanding job that we increased their authorization last year; a rare thing to occur for an authorized agency.  Patty Weisse was the director for many years and did an outstanding job.  Ms. Weisse stepped down a few weeks ago and Ms. Hartmann is taking over. 

Chairman Plochocki welcomed Ms. Hartmann and asked her to briefly discuss the invitation presented to them.  Ms. Hartmann stated one of the largest fundraising events for Baltimore Woods was coming up on September 8, 2013 from 3:00PM – 6:00PM.  It is our Environmental Chief Home Grown Event.  It is a local Iron Chief Cook-off competition using produce from local farmers throughout Onondaga County and a portion of Madison County.  The funds raised from this event are used to support the Nature in the City program.  The program has been expanded this year from 11 schools to all 19 schools in the district.  Programming is provided in grades K-2 and 4-6.  The event is free to attend and a lot of fun - please come and join them. 

Ms. Hartmann thanked the committee for their support of Baltimore Woods adding it is greatly appreciated and they truly enjoy carrying out their mission. 

2.     OFFICE OF THE ENVIRONMENT: David Coburn, Director

        a.     Informational - Emerald Ash Borer / Ash Tree Inventory Update

  • Positive id of Emerald ash borer in Onondaga County – no surprise, would have liked a couple more years for preemptive work
  • Due to proactiveness we are well positioned to face this challenge relative to many communities across the country and in NYS 

1

  • Curve explains what was experienced in the Midwest; mortality pattern repeats itself in just about every community that has had the infestation occur, first 7 yrs.10% tree mortality, next 4 yrs. 90% mortality
  • Want to avoid being in steep part of the curve without being ahead of the game, trees would be falling down around you; hard to say where we are in the curve – hope to flatten out the curve so we don’t face a situation where we can’t keep up with the trees that are falling down
  • Spent time this spring on a system to achieve early detection of the Emerald ash borers arrival - helps them target resources in areas where infestations might occur; trying to slow the spread and avoid the steep part of the curve
  • Purple stars on map below indicate metrics of where the purple traps were located; because we created a taskforce of experts, educators, utilities, municipalities and other stakeholders we were able to obtain more traps than other communities –  a number of them got about 20 traps we have 140; intended for early detection 
  • Created a number of sentinel trees centered primarily in urbanized and city areas – for broader coverage created some sentinel tress in the perimeter area as well; this is done by girdling  the trees - removing the bark from a certain area of the tree stresses the tree and acts as a lollypop for the beetles attracting them in, trees are then taken down in the fall and the bark is removed to look for tell tail galleries that show where the beetle is
  • Trap on Court Street Road contained positive id;  put up by USDS APHIS, saw beetle July 5 and received positive id on July 29 – takes a while to get positive id’s; since that time have gotten positive id’s in Eastwood area along Kensington between Comstock and Westcott, several areas with suspected beetles need positive id, suspicious samples found by wasp nest in Lions Park - Baldwinsville area; using this system to target were efforts for slowing the spread will go

 

2

3

 

  • Legislature appropriated $96k to inventory ash trees on county owned property - contracted with Onondaga County Soil and Water Conservation District, a little over 50% complete; information will assist in development of strategy to preemptively remove or inoculate trees
  • Onondaga County Ash Tree Survey (see attachment No.1) - notes and definitions on bottom left of summary detail types of information collected; tree health important as certain trees in poor health won’t take in the chemical; cost assumptions on survey based on current contract – expect bid for new contract to be lower based on volume; as of May 2013 25k trees have been identified on county owned property – highway right-of-ways make up most of the balance yet to be inventoried; inoculations likely to be contracted – don’t have staff in house

 

Mrs. Rapp asked if it would make since to hire people for inoculations.  Mr. Coburn responded that it was something to consider but it doesn’t appear to makes since to create positions and pay benefits.  Mrs. Rapp asked where the in-house number came from.  Mr. Coburn stated the in-house number came from larger communities that have staff.  If we put staff on, we could calculate what those costs would be.  The team in Rochester has two or three teams of three inoculating.  We have to look at the numbers.  We are dealing with a lot more trees than Rochester; City of Syracuse has 8,000 street trees.  Mrs. Rapp asked if Soil and Water would have some ability to do this.  Mr. Coburn responded that they are acquiring some certification so that they will be able to do some application but we are talking about a lot of trees.  It remains to be seen how many trees we will inoculate; would like to obtain the rest of the data to see our long-term plan.  This does not preclude us from taking steps to move forward now.

Chart

  • Low end of tree size heavy – less expensive to treat; information invaluable in assisting with bids

Tree Diameter by 6  Potential Targets

Risk Assessment

  • Same information on County owned lands in pie chart format listed below

2

6

Type

 

  • Currently heavy percentage on trail/sidewalk – anticipate more will shift to road as inventory is completed

Risk Assessment

Onondaga County Ash Tree Survey

Trees Adjacent to County Owned Property

  • While inventorying County owned property also look across the property line for ash tree targets on private property - trees that could fall onto County property or County trees that could fall onto private property
  • Database extremely useful for strategy development
  • $250k appropriated in 2012 to begin implementation program; summarizing of this data paid for via these funds
  • Hope to start with Onondaga Lake Park and build a model for other parks and campuses; start with removal of risk level 3 trees, then remove or inoculation of trees in confirmed areas – targeting resources to slow the spread, then moving to risk level 2 trees – if trees have stem or canopy problems precluding them from inoculation makes since to take them down, next focus on small diameter trees

 

In answer to Mrs. Tassone, Mr. Coburn stated there are no guarantees that the tree will survive with inoculation.  All we can go by is the success they have had in the Midwest, even with slightly infested trees.  The inoculation actually kills the beetle.  In some of the areas where you have infestation if you were to inoculate around the trees, it may help to kill the beetle, slow the spread and buy you more years in which to spread-out your removal costs.  We are looking very hard at this strategy.  When I say, there is no guarantee - there a number of other factors that affect these trees; have seen a number of false alarms.  You really need to confirm that you are dealing with an infestation, before dedicating resources to try to slow the spread.  The percentages are very good; optimistic it is a good investment if you are able to identify trees worth preserving. 

1

6

Potential Targets

Risk Assessment

Adj2

6

Type

Risk Assessment

Mr. Coburn displayed a large GIS map for the committee to review noting the following:

  • Yellow dots represent ash trees in Onondaga Lake Park - over 4,400 in the park
  • Red dots represent risk level 3 trees
  • Purple dots represent all trees smaller than 4” diameter – very heavy concentration on one side of the park
  • Dark blue dots represent trees with severe stem or canopy damage
  • Helpful what-if questions can be answered using the database and GIS technology - asked Parks Dept. what the impact to the park and recreation use would be if we eliminated all of these trees
  • Parks Dept. has helped divide the park into 7 management units, based on use and intensity of use -   would manage West Shore Trail differently than Willow Bay
  • We are utilizing our tool to develop a stagey to preemptively begin managing ash trees in Onondaga Lake Park
  • We are home to a rare species of Indiana bats hibernating in Jamesville Quarry, Long Branch Park is a major roosting area; due to Fish and Wildlife regulations can’t remove trees during the roosting season (April to end of September), removing trees in the winter isn’t a bad thing in terms of use for the park – pluses and minuses to this; trees could be taken down earlier if misting nets are used and no bats are found in nets over a period of time – expensive process, not worth spending money on as it is pretty certain bats would be caught in the nets
  • Early creation of taskforce has allowed us to  be ahead of the game, also focal point for private residences, commercial and industrial business to go help identifying ash trees and providing positive id of the beetle
  • People are very interested – large number of calls, involves a lot of manpower but worth trying to determine whether or not there is an infestation 

 

In response to Chair Plochocki, Mr. Coburn stated that the Willow Bay area has an extensive population of Ash trees.  Cooperative Extension did a tagging event at park a while ago – placed purple ribbons with yellow tags on Ash trees to draw attention to the issue and help educate the public.  The yellow tag contains Cooperative Extensions contact information. 

1

  • Willow Bay area just off the lake

 2

  • Willow Bay parking lot – essentially all trees along the parking lot are Ash

3

  • Long Branch Bridge area crossing over the outlet – all but 2 trees in photo are Ash

4

  • Trail walking up toward Willow Bay
  • Willow Bay area would be devastated if all Ash trees were removed – would resemble a baseball field; may make since to consider canopy conservation, with gradual thinning of trees and replacement
  • Decisions will involve tradeoffs – better price if taking down all Ash trees; part of this is providing service to the community and preserving the character of the park; will probably recommend some kind of removal,  replacement and inoculation over 10 yr. period – limiting liabilities but preserving recreational opportunities for the park 

 

In response to Mrs. Rapp, Mr. Coburn stated it wasn’t practical to do one-for-one replacement of trees.  Mrs. Rapp noted this would be very expensive.  Mr. Coburn agreed, adding there are 4,400 trees just in Onondaga Lake Park.  He doesn’t believe they will plant seedlings, as they suffer from mower disease and have a lower mortality rate.  

In response to Mrs. Rapp, Mr. Coburn confirmed that they would not be planting Ash trees; would plant a very diverse crop of trees.  They are working with the Parks department on the types of species they would like to plant.  This would allow us to decide were replacement would start; probably some shift with replacement trees planted in areas where there are no trees now, while removals are done in other areas.  When trees are removed, they don’t always fall as intended – don’t want plant new trees next to existing trees to be removed.  There is a strategy in figuring out where, when and how to do replacement and removals.

Mrs. Tassone questioned what kind of time-frame we would be working with, noting they just came into the area.  Mr. Coburn stated that we just positively identified them – the expectation is that they have been here for a few years, just not known.  Melissa Fierke, MS, PhD from SUNY EFS will be undertaking a project to determine how long the infestation has been here and where it started.  Our wild guess is that they have been here 3-4 years.  

Mrs. Tassone asked if any trees had been killed because of this.  Mr. Coburn responded that there are trees that are dying.  The beetle was found in a trap on Court Street Road but the actual infestation appears to be on Franklin Park Drive.  From the parking lot of a church on Franklin Park Drive, you can see trees that are in serious decline.  Behind that, is a timbered area where there is serious thinning and a lot of woodpeckering – another indication that the beetle is there.  The tree will start sprouting new braches at the bottom, its way of rejuvenating.  This area has been impacted for some time; infestation is probably several years old.  This is very difficult to find - even with the number of traps, sentinel trees and eyes they have in the field.  The purple traps are starting to yield benefits; can’t get to them every week, as there are so many.  They are checked 2-3 times per summer.  About 25% still need to be checked, mostly in the southwest corner of the County.  Part of the challenge is that some other beetles look exactly like the Emerald ash borer, to the layperson.  It is important to get DEC or APHIS confirmation.  

Chairman Plochocki stated for the record and to share information with the committee, he wanted to ask questions about cost saving measures, though he is aware of the answers.   

Chairman Plochocki stated that Ash wood has a value to it and asked what the extent of the offsets would be from the trees removal.  Mr. Coburn responded:

  • Ash grown in timber stands is more valuable than open grown
  • Trees in Onondaga Lake Park are considered open grown; throw branches out at much lower levels creating many knots – less value, also tend to have objects in them such as nails - damaging to the expensive saws  
  • Very apprehensive about using open grown trees; have technology to look for nails and such - some value in the larger trees
  • Mulching industry will take as much as we will give them, also talked with the biofuels industry – they all know we are looking hard at this question
  • Don’t’ expect to generate revenue, expect to realize a cost savings because of wood waste opportunities; current plan is to make sure people bidding on the new proposal sharpen their pencils when they give us a bid to reflect those cost savings; may not be as dramatic as we would like it to be

In answer to Chairman Plochocki, Mr. Coburn stated that we are lucky because Mark Burger, Executive Director for SWCD came to us from another position, where he was estimating timber values for the timber industry.  He brings a lot of experience to the table. 

Chairman Plochocki asked Mr. Coburn for his thoughts on waiting for trees to die and dealing with them at that time.  Mr. Coburn responded:

  • We want to avoid getting into the situation where 20k or our 25k trees are dying in a 4-year period; someone would have to figure out how to cut 6k-7k trees per year and that is only half of the inventory
  • Maxwell Capstone students contacted municipalities across the Midwest for lessons learned early this year -  without exception they said not to wait or you will end up in a situation where you can’t keep up
  • We are ahead of the curve, can begin bidding removals and treatments via the database – an invaluable tool; really places us ahead of other communities who are racing from one infestation to another - trying to keep up with it and not looking at it strategically

Chairman Plochocki stated based on the experience gathered from the Midwest by the Capstone students, if we wait until the trees die in years 8-14, trees will start dropping like flies everywhere, bringing down power lines and hitting buildings.  Mr. Coburn reiterated the antidotal data says don’t wait, we wish we hadn’t.

Chairman Plochocki asked about letting trees along the trails stand, until they fall.  Adding the odds of hitting a hiker is minimal.  County employees could cut the fallen trees and push them to the side.  Mr. Coburn responded:

  • Trees in the inventory are only those with targets; there are a lot of Ash trees that don’t have targets and are not in the inventory, they will be allowed to fall and let nature take its course
  • Intent is to manage inventoried trees in some form; may seem remote and there are trees that have died and fallen out there but there are two differences - the volume of trees falling all at once and the way in which they fall, instead of an occasional tree it will thousands and Ash trees fall over within a year or two of dying and tend to break of at the trunk and fall all the way over; when the Elm trees died you saw trunks standing for ten years, didn’t pose a risk and had a narrow drop zone

Mr. Coburn stated he received a YouTube video of a bus in Ohio that was hit by an Ash tree rolling down the road.  Chances of this happening aren’t great but increase if you have 500 Ash trees along a road.  A tree fall (not Ash) in a remote campsite area of Utah injuring a young boy where the forest service had put together stones for a campfire ring.  The parents are suing the forest service for $1 million saying they should have known the tree was in poor condition.  We are aiming to avoid these kinds of situations.  

Chairman Plochocki asked about saving costs by not inoculating any of the trees.  The Elms were not wiped out - a few remained and over the years will repopulate.  Mr. Coburn responded:

  • Probably would be a small handful of trees resistant to the beetle; Ash trees in Asia, where they came from have more resistance and more predators, could be a day when more predators exist here but  don’t exist today
  • Willow Bay is not inoculated and simply clear-cut or trees left alone, the situation would be very undesirable
  • Inoculation in certain areas, particularly infected areas – buys you more years in which to spread your removal costs out and to do replacement
  • Inoculation at the frontend is much less expensive than removal and replacement; trees need to be inoculated every 1-2 yrs. depending on the product used - now developing products for 3 yrs., trees grow every year so costs of inoculations increase yearly
  • Have to figure out what the balance is, guesses we will want use some combination of inoculation, removal and replacement, preserve trees in areas where it would be very beneficial to the community;
  • Trees make a big a difference in your energy bill - if we have a large healthy Ash tree providing shade to a County facility it may be worth keeping for a few years
  • All these trees will eventually die, all trees do; can consider planting replacements or eventually removing the tree as time goes on
  • There is a cost for inoculation and removal but you are also buying a lot of good

Chairman Plochocki asked about the costs of inoculation and average tree diameter.  Mr. Coburn responded:

  • Quotes at the upper end are about $10 per diameter inch if outsourced, starting to see these numbers come down; getting closer to the in-house cost of $5
  • Will have to see what the market is doing when we get involved in this
  • If we are able to develop in-house capability through Soil and Water, it would be at the lower end
  • Average diameter would change as the inventory changes – not that useful as there are areas with a large number of trees with a large diameter and then areas that have a large number of trees with a small diameter

Chairman Plochocki stated it would generally be the larger trees that we would want to save.  Mr. Coburn agreed adding the intent is to take out small diameter trees before they become a more costly problem.  As noted in the curve shown earlier, we have a very large number of small diameter trees.  If you are talking about the departments issuing chainsaws and getting much of this work done, the feedback is that they can’t go very far; they are stretched pretty thin and resources are constrained.  Even a 6-inch diameter tree has a very large canopy.  Tree removal is one of the top 2-3 most dangerous professions in the country; don’t want to start issuing chainsaws to get things done.  The idea of using inmates has also come up; don’t think we want to issue chainsaws to inmates.  Mrs. Tassone agreed.  Mr. Coburn stated there may be some opportunities in terms of managing wood waste and plantings and we will certainly explore them.

Chairman Plochocki stated to give the committee a rough since of the current costs it would be about $100 to inoculate a 10-inch tree, which must be done roughly every year.  Mr. Coburn responded that it depends on the product being used; some have annual application.  The pesticide of choice is injected. 

In answer to Mrs. Rapp, Mr. Coburn responded that to apply the pesticide they drill holes in the tree and inject the product with large needles.  The number of holes depends on the size of the tree; 10-inch tree likely to have 10 holes - product is injected and translocates through the tree.  This product is labeled for 2 years; starting to see benefit for 3 years.  They are working on finding applications in the Midwest that will go for 4 years.  Inoculation could become increasing affordable.

Mr. Coburn stated that there is one other twist in New York State.  There are individuals who have interpreted the regulations such that if you inoculate a tree it becomes regulated soiled waste.  It then must be managed as soiled waste and go to a regulated facility for disposal.  

In answer to Mrs. Tassone, Mr. Coburn confirmed the soiled waste regulation only applies in New York State.  The regulation is being reviewed.  If this is the way they are going to interpret it, unofficially, he has been told that they are looking at a beneficial use determination.  This would allow the inoculated trees to be used for mulch, lumber and biofuels.  The hope is that because the product is labeled for two years and not affective after two years, and by in large the product is gone at that point, they will then be able to determine it is not a problem.  This is something that is hanging out there; whether or not it will have to be factored into the costs of inoculation is yet to be determined.    

Chairman Plochocki noted that up to this point, the target area is 25,000 trees and we are about halfway done with the inventory.  Mr. Coburn responded that we are about halfway done but he would not assume that it will be twice as many trees; just doesn’t know what it will be.   Mrs. Rapp stated this is just on County property.  Chairman Plochocki added it was only in targeted areas as well.  Mr. Coburn agreed.  Chairman Plochocki stated that without question this could millions of dollars’ worth of cuttings. 

Mrs. Rapp asked if this affected all varieties of Ash trees.  Mr. Coburn stated it affects all true Ash trees.  Mrs. Rapp questioned if it would affect Mountain Ash.  Mr. Coburn stated that Mountain Ash is not a true Ash tree; has orange berries and is not affected by this.

Mr. Coburn thanked the committee for their support noting it has made a big difference.  He added they probably won’t be surprised if he comes looking for more support.

The meeting adjourned at 10:18 a.m.                                      

Respectfully submitted,

 

KATHERINE M. FRENCH, Deputy Clerk

Onondaga County Legislature

* * *

PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE MINUTES - AUGUST 14, 2013

KEVIN HOLMQUIST, CHAIRMAN

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Mrs. Tassone, Mr. Dougherty, Mr. May

MEMBERS ABSENT: Mr. Ryan

ALSO PRESENT: Mr. Knapp, Mr. Andrews and see attached list

 

Chairman Holmquist called the meeting to order at 12:05 p.m.  A motion was made by Mr. Dougherty, seconded by Mrs. Tassone to waive the reading and approve the minutes of the proceedings of the previous committee meeting; MOTION CARRIED

 

Chairman Holmquist took the agenda out of order.

 

1.     SHERIFF: Chief Balloni

        Monthly Update on Status of:

        c.     Pistol Permits

  • Signed contract with vendor for technology; need check up front – not uncommon
  • Per resolution public notified of foil request received from emerges.com – resulted in hundreds of new request to opt-out; coming in faster than they can be entered, will delay any release they are able to make
  • Sheriff reached out to Law dept. and Sheriff’s Association, County Clerk reached out to County Clerk’s Association – foil requests are being denied statewide; Sheriff’s Association attorney strongly indicated requests can be denied as an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy – according to law shall not be limited to “sale or release of names and addresses if such lists will be used for solicitation and/or fundraising purposes”; since emerges.com is in that business it is a far inference to say the list will be used for this purpose; case law has been sustained
  • Reviewing all legal options, haven’t made a decision; strong indication names will not be released anytime in the immediate future 

Chairman Holmquist asked if he was correct in the fact that not all pistol permit holders are listed on the computer, to begin with.  Chief Balloni responded that was correct.  They are all on the CHAIRS system, which is our criminal history system.  All pistol permit holders are input into this system so that police are aware a pistol is on site when going to a residence.  This is also the computer system we are using to log persons opting out.  However, we now have hundreds and hundreds of forms that have not been input; believe this was a result of the media coverage.  In addition, we have the Sheriff’s Association legal team indicating that perhaps we shouldn’t release any information.  We will be consulting further with our Law department; Sheriff literally handed this to him, as he walked out the door.

 

Chairman Holmquist asked what list we would have once all the opt-out forms are processed and if the list will be taken from the CHAIRS System.  Chief Balloni stated we could at least take the list of people who had opted out from the CHAIRS list.  To do this correctly we need the new computer to be in position.  In his opinion, there is no way to do this correctly, particularly in light of what this company will do with that information. 

 

In response to Mr. Dougherty, Chief Balloni confirmed that all legally registered pistol permit holders were currently listed in the CHAIRS system.  Mr. Dougherty asked if they decided to release this information, the list in the CHAIRS system would be exported into something with those people opting out then subtracted.  Chief Balloni responded that was correct.  Mr. Dougherty asked if this was something that in theory they could do automatically or if there was software that would allow for this.  Chief Balloni responded that CHAIRS is a County created software system.  Though not an easy thing to do, a program could be written to obtain this information. 

 

Mr. Dougherty asked if the list of opt-out forms was also electronic.  Chief Balloni responded that they are however, not everyone has been added to the system, as they are coming in fast and furious.   

 

Mrs. Tassone asked how people were notified.  Chief Balloni responded that it was done through media.  The information is also listed on our website, where you can download the form.

 

Mr. Knapp thanked Legislator Dougherty for his previous resolution requiring this public notification.  He has been amazed at the outpouring of media coverage.  It was in the newspaper, constantly on the radio and on television last night, which has resulted in this public reaction.  Chief Balloni added this is a very strong public reaction; their phones are ringing off the hook.  Mr. Knapp stated this was something to feel good about.

 

In response to Mr. Knapp, Chief Balloni stated we must respond to any foil request within 5 days; simply says we have received the request and are looking into it.  We then have an additional 20 days to say whether or not we will release the information and in what form.  We are not jumping into anything.  We are looking at all the options and researching what others are doing.  At this time, it is very safe to say that the Sheriff is inclined not to release any of this information. 

 

Mr. Knapp stated it would take more than 20 days to get all the exceptions entered.  Chief Balloni responded that the answer has to be within 20 days.  They can then take whatever time is reasonably necessary, to compile such as list. 

 

Chairman Holmquist stated it seems like there are thousands of opt-outs.  We have 45,000 permit holders; need to make sure accurate information is released, if the list needs to be released at some point in the future.  Chief Balloni responded that the Sheriff has instructed that we make sure every opt-out form is input before releasing anything, should they decide to do so.  Chairman Holmquist stated if there are 5,000 opt-outs, or whatever the number is, that is 5,000 opportunities to hit the wrong button and release someone’s name in error.   Chief Balloni responded that they feel strongly about this; no one opting out will be released. 

 

Mr. May asked if anyone had said they wanted their information to be included.  Mr. Knapp responded that there was one person on television last night, saying he had nothing to hide and his name could be released.  Mr. May asked if he specifically said he wanted to be included.  Mr. Knapp responded that he didn’t say he wanted to opt-in, this goes back to the SAFE Act, it should have been written to opt-in as opposed to opting out.  Chairman Holmquist added the people that wrote the law did not feel that way. 

        b.     Special Operations Facility

  • VIP Structures handling needs assessment, process could take a couple months

        d.     Correctional Health

  • In the middle of RFP process – not free to comment on this

In answer to Mr. May, Chief Balloni stated the response deadline has passed.  There is a large committee of professionals reviewing the responses. 

 

Mr. May asked if there was a deadline as to when a vendor will be selected.  Chief Balloni stated the RFP contains an expected date.  However, we want to take whatever time is necessary to evaluate the information correctly.  This is a major decision; want everyone to have a good look at the information.  The process is ongoing.  Mr. May asked what the expected date was.  Mary Christiano responded that August 26 is the date in the RFP but it’s not concrete that we have to decide.  Mr. May stated he understood.  Chief Balloni added they certainly want to start working with whatever vendor is selected as quickly as possible.  

 

Mr. May noted we have extended our time with the current vendor.  Chief Balloni responded that we have done the contract work on this; doesn’t know if it has all been completed. 

 

        a.     New Mental Health Unit at Justice Center

  • RFP went to Purchasing dept., have a number - means it can go out; should be in the process of selecting an architect/engineering firm to do the design
  • Will work with both State and Federal Commission of Corrections; Federal Commission will advise on best practices; State Commission has regulatory authority over us
  • Note – last time the initial bldg. was built State Commission reviewed plans then disallowed some things after they were built  

In response to Mr. Dougherty, Chief Balloni stated disallowing the space meant we were not allowed to use the room.  The restriction is still in place.  In answer to Mrs. Tassone, Chief Balloni stated they are using the room for alternate purposes.  Chief Balloni added that even if the State Commission tells them they can do something, they are never quite sure.  The Commission is not easy to work with.  They are a regulatory independent authority with no direct report to anyone, except themselves.    

 

Mr. Dougherty stated this was ridiculous and asked if the disallowed rooms are still useful to them.  Chief Balloni responded that they have repurposed them; they have to, as the population, numbers are very high.  He simply pointed this out to show that even though we work with the State Commission, it is possible for them to change their minds at the end of the line.  Mr. Dougherty stated his point was, if it was now worth reviewing with the state to see if they had changed their mind before making any further changes to that building.  Chief Balloni responded that it was not, they have repurposed the space and it’s not enough space to do the job that needs to be done.

 

Chief Balloni continued:

  • Will be the preferred vendor for prisoner overruns for all 5 contiguous counties; currently shipping them much further away; Oswego County sending out prisoners at very high costs to their county; only space we will have is that freed up by creation of new Mental Health unit; probably room in any configuration to take in some of those prisoners
  • Prime objective - deal correctly with Behavioral Health issues and save overtime; temporarily filling up freed space is a 3rd benefit

 

Mr. May asked if the Behavioral Health side of the RFP was exploring whether this will be a county solution or something more regional in nature, from a space standpoint.  Chief Balloni responded that they are certainly looking at those options from a space standpoint.  Mr. May asked if this was part of the RFP.  Chief Balloni responded that it is not specifically spelled out in the RFP, for a number of reasons. 

 

Mr. May asked how this could be thoroughly explored without being in the RFP.  He thought it was relatively clear that we wanted to look at whether or not this capability would benefit other counties.  It is a specialized application and would take a burden off them and perhaps benefit Onondaga County.  Chief Balloni responded that we have been going to the other counties and talking to them.  In terms of the specialized application for Behavioral Health, one of the things we learned from the Federal Commission is that for purposes of the best treatment individuals need to be as close to home as possible;  would then get visitation from family, friends and so on.  We were more looking at what to do with the available cells, depending on how we build it, whether or not we could fill it.  He thought this was the direction they had been looking, based on the Commission’s report. 

 

Chief Balloni stated they are looking at the same thing through a different glass; looking at it in terms of space, as people with these issues are much better off staying in their community, if possible.  Even in our scenario, there will be people that need continuous medication and things that we can’t provide in our institution, even with upgraded capabilities.  There will be people that will end up in mental hospitals.  In those cases, they are always taken far away from home, which is not a good thing.  Most of the people in our various jails throughout the county can stay in their community and receive proper treatment and assistance.  We are looking at what can be done with the extra space and what can we report back to this committee regarding that; how much regional demand is there and could we make this a regional facility.  He thought that was the direction.  Mr. May said he did not but he is only one person.

 

Mr. May stated he believes the RFP gives them opportunity   to explore those options, should we wish to pursue it.  Chief Balloni agreed saying the RFP gives you an ability to contract for specific services.  In general, the RFP is what we are building, a Behavior Health unit.  Pretty much everyone agrees the number of beds needed is about 100.    

                   

        e.     Amending the 2013 Budget to Accept State Homeland Security funds for the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office and Authorizing the County Executive to Enter Into Contract to Implement this Resolution ($72,500)

  • Pass through of funds via the Sheriff’s Office, amounts and use vary from year to year
  • Sheriff’s Office is not on the list of agencies receiving funds this year
  • Large group of police officials discuss needs, prioritize and decide as a group how funding will be spent; in some years the Sheriff’s office has received the lion’s share of these funds

 

In answer to Mrs. Tassone, Chief Balloni stated the committee of law enforcement officials includes Town, Village and Sheriff Officials; decide as a group what the highest priorities are.  All the needs are real, it is just a matter of prioritizing and being fair; objective is for everyone to have the equipment needed to do the job safely. 

In answer to Mr. Dougherty, Chief Balloni confirmed these funds were for terrorism prevention.  Only certain items are acceptable for purchase under the grant guideline. 

Mr. Dougherty questioned the portable refrigerator/freezer for Dewitt Police.  Chief Balloni responded this kind of thing could easily be for the storage of evidence; biological evidence is put into cold storage.  He doesn’t have the specifics but is making an educated guess.  Mr. Dougherty stated he was glad he asked as he could only picture one type of portable refrigerator/freezer.  Chief Balloni added he was certain you would not be eating for drinking anything out of this particular unit.

Mrs. Tassone asked if this was done yearly, with each agency requesting funds for a specific use.  Chief Balloni confirmed that was the case.  Mrs. Tassone asked if most of the agencies answered.  Chief Balloni stated they did, adding most agencies want to participate. 

Chief Balloni stated they received a Lifepac 15 for Air 1 today; $26,000 piece of equipment.  They were able to reallocated funds to this from leftovers of a grant such as this.  There is a chance that an agency may say their needs have changed and they don’t need their money.  The committee would then reallocate those funds according to what is acceptable within the grant guidelines.

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

2.     EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT: Kevin Wisely, Commissioner

        a.     Accepting Homeland Security Funds from the State Homeland Security Grant Program for the Onondaga County Department of Emergency Management, and Authorizing the County Executive to Enter into Contracts to implement this Resolution ($261,000)

 

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

The meeting was adjourned at 12:33 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

KATHERINE M. FRENCH, Deputy Clerk

Onondaga County Legislature

 

* * *

COUNTY FACILITIES COMMITTEE MINUTES - AUGUST 14, 2013

JUDITH A. TASSONE, CHAIR

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Mr. Dougherty, Mrs. Rapp, Mr. Andrews, Mr. Shepard

ALSO PRESENT:  see attached list

 

Chair Tassone called the meeting to order at 10:33 a.m.  A motion was made by Mr. Andrews, seconded by Mr. Shepard to waive the reading of the minutes of the proceedings of the previous committee meeting; MOTION CARRIEDA motion was made by Mrs. Rapp, seconded by Mr. Shepard to approve the minutes of the proceedings of the previous committee meeting; MOTION CARRIED.

 

1.     TRANSPORTATION:  Brian Donnelly, Commissioner

        a.     Authoring the County of Onondaga to Accept Real Property Obtained by the State of New York Relative to the North Burdick Street, C.R. 94, Over the Erie Canal Bridge Replacement Project, PIN 375376

 

  • NYSDOT - bridge replacement project on N. Burdick Street in Town of Manlius over Erie Canal – County road – required to obtain right of ways to comply with slip, better drainage
  • Asked County once right of way acquired and approved drainage, to allow the right of way; no issue and no cost to County; to accept right of way, have to have legislative authorization

 

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

 

        b.     Amending the 2013 County Budget to Fund in the First Instance 100% of the Federal Aid Eligible Costs at a Maximum Amount of $16,000 for the Right of Way Acquisition Phase of the Willis Avenue Bridge Over the CSX Railroad Project, PIN 3754.26 and Authorizing the County Executive to Enter into Agreements to Implement the Intent of this Resolution ($16,000)

 

  • Fed aid project - replace Willis Ave bridge in Town of Geddes; need 3 temp easements to access under the bridge
  • Total cost is $20,000; $4,000 local secured in work plan; Fed aid funding so need authorization to spend $16,000 in advance and get reimbursed
  • Temp easement – have 4 locations and 3 property owners for access onto railroad land to bring in heavy equip
  • Span of 8 – 10 months to keep open
  • Any real-estate negotiations for right of way on fed aid projects is done by NYSDOT – generally temporary easement is 10% of what a permanent easement would be; assessed at $20,000
  • Land owners:  Honeywell, Church and Susquehanna Railroad & IDA; 4 breaks but 3 property owners
  • Paying to use property; no owning, no takings; guarantee access to piers and under bridge for entire period of project
  • Fairly sizable easements; way railroad is sloped - it is a long expanse to move equip in
  • Determining if IDA has control or Susquehanna railroad; working with IDA

Mr. Dougherty asked if there is damage to the property, will the County be liable for it.  Mr. Donnelly responded that liability is always an issue.  Generally the temporary easement protects the County from the damage but if it is deemed to be a permanent harm to the property (would refer to Law), but think they would come back with a claim.  The whole idea of getting the temporary easement is to explain what is going to be done, how the property will be accessed and paying for the right to guard against getting into any legal action. 

 

Mr. Donnelly replied to Mr. Andrews that it is just for the length of the project.  The tracks are owned by CSX but the bridge is owned by the County so DOT has to get in to do the pier work.  Once it is done, Mr. Donnelly believes they will not have to be back there for another 30 – 40 years. 

 

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

 

        c.     Amending the 2013 Onondaga County Budget to Provide For the Local Match Dollars for the Onondaga Lake Canalways Trail, PIN 375355 ($200,000)

        d.     Amending Resolution No. 148-2007 to Increase the Authorization to Pay in the First Instance 100% of the Federal Aid Eligible Costs by an Additional $800,000 for the Construction and Construction Inspection Phases of the Onondaga Lake Canalways Trail, PIN 375355 ($800,000)

 

  • Onondaga County Canalways Trail – under construction of section that connects West Shore Trail to State Fair lot
  • $800,000 in available fed funds; attachment no. 1 – expense report
  • 2007 – DOT secured federal and non-fed funding totaling $3.5 million; non-fed funding from find money through Pepsi; project to bid in 2012; bids were $400,000 – $450,000 higher than what was secured in 2007
  • Had enough money to award bid and get under construction
  • Since building through waste beds, wanted to get into project to see challenges before securing additional fed funding
  • Challenges:  soil stabilization and pile depths for bridge across 9 mile creek resulted in change orders for $180,000
  • Soil stabilization and desire to make sure individual stay on the trail – need to increase rail to tune of $250,000
  • $800,000 in fed; this source not eligible for state so it’s 20% share; $200,000 of County funds will be surpluses from North Street Project completed last year (Jamesville Road to 173 in Town of Dewitt); budgeted $200,000 more but asphalt pricing never went as high as anticipated; capital project, have bonded funds
  • Bridge installed yesterday - begin paving; limited work during Fair with no disruption; work on outer parts of trail away from Fair parking; paving in September and anticipate substantial completion by mid to end of October
  • Honeywell has a lot of work in proximity to trail – coordinating with them to minimize potential conflicts; don’t want to open trail then have to close
  • Fed funding is CMAC (Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality) funding - available since mid 1990’s because of air quality issues; have $1.5 mil available; only need $800,000 – 20% match; not eligible for Marcheselli funding - 15%
  • Eligible for fed highway funding under CMAC because it is alternate transportation; not motorized transportation; other projects include walking routes or bike routes - no air quality issues, and may reduce carbon monoxide in atmosphere

 

A motion was made by Mrs. Rapp, seconded by Mr. Shepard, to approve item 1c.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

 

A motion was made by Mr. Shepard, seconded by Mr. Dougherty, to approve item 1d.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

 

        e.     Authorizing the Sale of County Highway Property Located in the Town of DeWitt to Donna Fergeson and James Burry ($400)

 

  • North Street project - house built in 20’s in right of way; County purchased and demolished house; what is left is small parcel with two houses behind; it’s appraised for $400; adjoining homes want the land; will extend their lawns

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

 

2.     CNY ARTS:  Stephen Butler, Executive Director

        a.     Amending the 2013 County Budget to Make Funds Available to CNY Arts for Distribution to Musical Associates of Central New York, Inc. ($75,000) (Attachment No. 2 – Report on Symphony)

 

  • Moving money from contingency fund to Symphony; working w/Symphony and others to oversee startup of operation
  • Ended first year; started in Oct.; generated $1.1 mil in income; County funding was less than 20% of that
  • Ticket sales and service fees – hired by colleges or universities to perform
  • Ended in black; assets available to them; biggest expense is musician fees which may go down with more musicians; job people in; lot of musicians left after SSO folded
  • Good news – hired Executive Director; Syracuse native; happy to see they’re starting to spend money on marketing
  • CEO not a volunteer board member who has street credits – $1.1 mil first year so all things look possible

Mrs. Rapp asked if they are working with the CVB.  Mr. Butler responded he believes they are.  There is a Video Games Concert the Symphony is doing with the Landmark.  The Symphony is unchained from any one performance venue which saves them money, and allows them to work in churches and regionally.  The Symphony has partnered with the Landmark to do the Video Games concert that will run while the Everson is doing the Video Games exhibit.  They are all working with the CVB on putting together packages to get families from out of the area to the museum and concert which will require them staying overnight. 

 

Mr. Butler:

  • Announced full season for next year; hired Pops Director/Conductor – out in CA but from Syracuse; come in to manage Pop series
  • Good venture; almost through startup phase and moving to full-fledged organization; budgets over $1 mil; did 80%
  • When symphony folded, musicians moved to Buffalo or Boston; still jobbing people in; as this Symphony takes over, more and more people from region will join the collaborative; this is the regional Symphony

Mr. Dougherty stated it will be good to see more pairings like the Everson and other events in the area.  The Symphony could get into some of the concert series the towns do, or even Memorial Day or 4th of July parades; it would raise a lot of publicity.  Mr. Butler commented that the Symphony usually does the fireworks but these things are planned out a year in advance; this Symphony was flying by the seat of their pants last October.  They want to be more relevant to the community.  Mr. Dougherty said that was the problem before.  The Symphony was a thing someone could do but the publicity was sparse.  They did not plug into things that were drawing in other people.  Mr. Butler stated it is a change in thinking.  They have partnerships with St. Paul’s, they are working with Chamber Music Society, and they are sending out small groups of musicians to play at different venues. 

 

Mrs. Rapp asked if the Video Games concert is partnered with other groups.  Mr. Butler responded yes but he knows of only the one since it came through his door. 

 

Mr. Butler commented it is good that they are thinking like this.  They now have an Executive Director that ran music festivals, is more accessible and is full time.  They will also be partnering with the Syracuse Opera to share administrative costs and the box office.  Chair Tassone said it is a great job.

 

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

 

3.     PARKS:  William Lansley, Commissioner; Nate Stevens, Administrator

        a.     Lights on the Lake Report  (Attachment No. 3)

 

Mr. Lansley:

  • Report attachment A – shows where dollars go; approx. 180 displays; each year select group of displays that are deteriorated or beyond rehab are sent out - sand blasted/repainted/rewelded – each year in $25,000 range
  • Parks operates, makes deposits, revenues are contractually for Galaxy – they reimburse Parks for expenses plus
  • Last page shows dollars:  operations $266,000, revenue $336,000; guaranteed $320,000 dollars and split of revenues; split revenue increase w/Galaxy; $16,000 this year
  • Operation expenses from 2011 - 2012 dropped
  • LED bulbs last longer, so less replacements; less expensive to operate
  • Report attachment B – Dec. 2011 kilowatt hours was $96,000, in 2012 $74,000; 23% decrease; expenses for electricity dropped from $12,000 – $10,000; operate lights - late Nov. through first week+ in Jan.; move towards LEDs

Mr. Dougherty asked since the bulbs are more expensive, wouldn’t it offset the savings in electricity.  Mr. Lansley responded that he can get the numbers, but it does recover itself.  The only thing available for displays currently is LEDs.  The cost of the LEDs has dropped so it’s a more reasonable purchase.

 

Mr. Lansley:

  • Report attachment C – advertising with Galaxy; Lamar Billboards, Time Warner Cable and Post Standard – spent almost $821,000 on last show
  • 2nd yr of 3 yr contract w/Galaxy; no extensions; will have to RFP after 14/15 season; don’t know what they are making
  • $333,000 is ticket revenue; Galaxy has sponsorships, and they sell advertising
  • What Galaxy makes in selling advertising is their revenue stream; offset with advertising; not a lot within expendable out; they use air time on their stations for promoting
  • Their revenue was consistent in $60,000 range; take on entire First Night program as well
  • County gets reimbursed $320,000; whole gate was $336,000

 

Mr. Stevens responded to Mrs. Rapp the contract states that Galaxy and Parks split the gate above $380,000.  Add $32,000 to the $380,000 and that is the overall gate for the show.  Mrs. Rapp commented that Galaxy is paying for the marketing through the displays in the show, and not from the gate.  Mr. Lansley agreed, and said they do the First Night event so there is no County expense in that.  Mr. Lansley stated when they started the program, they did not want to get creamed if there was a two week ice storm.  If there was, Parks is still guaranteed $320,000.  If there is no revenue in, the County is still safe because it is only investing $185,000 for rehab and to keep things fresh. 

 

Mr. Dougherty asked Mr. Stevens to explain the sharing agreement.  Mr. Stevens responded (reference report attachment a) that anything above $379,900 in sales is split evenly between Galaxy and Parks.  Mr. Stevens replied to Mr. Dougherty that if the ticket sales come in below $379,900, then Parks still receives $320,000.  Parks is guaranteed $320,000 plus half of anything over $379,900. 

 

Mr. Lansley passed out pictures of the displays purchased for the upcoming season (Attachment No. 4)  First is an animated Beauty and the Beast that looks like they are dancing.  The most popular section is Wizard of Oz so Parks purchased a 40’-50’ tall tornado with circulating objects.  Last is an archer with an arrow that is illuminated as people drive under.  Mr. Lansley responded to Mr. Dougherty that Parks sets this up and has full operation of the show.  There will also be an additional laser component to be seen on the side of the Salt Museum.

 

4.     ONONDAGA HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION:

        a.     Endorsing the Planning Project at the Skӓ·Noñh–Great Law of Peace Center, Authorizing the Onondaga Historical Association to Apply for Grant Funding, and Authorizing the County Executive to Enter into Contracts

 

Chair Tassone stated no one was present for item 4a.  Mrs. Tassone stated they are going for a grant and will match the amount.  Mrs. Rapp asked if the committee is endorsing it.  Chair Tassone responded the committee is only saying yes they can go for the grant.  Chair Tassone responded to Mrs. Rapp that the committee is not doing the match. 

 

Mrs. Berger replied to Mr. Dougherty that it is a state grant.  Because it is County owned property there must be a promise to use this for public benefit.  Mrs. Berger responded to Mrs. Rapp there is no matching as far as she knows, and Mrs. Berger has not seen the application.  Mr. Dougherty commented he will be abstaining from the vote.

 

Chair Tassone asked when the grant was due.  Mrs. Berger answered that the application is due fairly soon.

 

Chair Tassone stated there will be no vote on this item.

 

The meeting was adjourned at 11:08 a.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Jamie M. McNamara, Assistant Clerk

Onondaga County Legislature

 

* * *

HEALTH COMMITTEE MINUTES - AUGUST 15, 2013

DANNY J. LIEDKA, CHAIRMAN

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Mr. Jordan, Mr. Ryan, Mr. Dudzinski, Mrs. Williams

ALSO PRESENT:  Also see attached list

 

Chairman Liedka called the meeting to order at 9:41 a.m.  A motion was made by Mr. Dudzinski, seconded by Mr. Ryan to waive the reading of the minutes of the proceedings of the previous committee meeting; MOTION CARRIEDA motion was made by Mr. Jordan, seconded by Mr. Ryan to approve the minutes of the proceedings of the previous committee meeting; MOTION CARRIED.

 

1.     HUMAN SERVICES DEPARTMENTS:  Ann Rooney, Deputy County Executive of Human Services; Steve Morgan, Chief Fiscal Officer

        a.     A Local Law Amending the Onondaga County Charter and Administrative Code for the Purposes of Reorganizing Certain Human Services Departments

 

Human Resources Reorganization Report on file with the Clerk

Ms. Rooney:

  • After vote for Van Duyn, there were discussions w/Chairman Liedka – working on redesign of Human Services
  • Once Van Duyn in place, comfortable moving into next phase – look at how business done on HS side of gov’t
  • Human Services is incident driven; not a lot of proactive work; wait for crisis to be involved
  • Crisis driven – very expensive for County tax payer; all resources sent to handle, and response is at highest cost
  • A year planning to look at more client focus – children, families or adults
  • Law stated if presenting a budget w/o depts in place, then there is no budget; no retreating because no departments
  • Tab one of report shows the current structure; following page is proposal for structure going forward in 2014
  • Department of Mental Health – abolishment; Department of Aging and Youth – abolishment; Probation and Juvenile Justice moved out; Social Services will be public benefit only; Hillbrook part of new formation; Van Duyn – Nov 30th will not be formal part of County; Community Services division remains; Veterans Services - part of adult line of work
  • Intention to be more client focused; families trying to navigate complex system
  • Depts work well together; informally accomplished a lot - needs formalization so children/adults can navigate system
  • Proposed new department:  Department of Children and Family Services will be comprised of Child Protective Services, Hillbrook, Juvenile Justice, Children’s Mental Health and Youth (of former Aging and Youth Dept.)
  • Asking as part of this in Dec., have to appoint new commissioners; same faces – no loss of positions or additions
  • Proposing Dave Sutkowy, Commissioner of Social Services become Commissioner of Children and Family Services
  • Proposed new department:  Adult and Long Term Care which will be comprised of Adult Protective in DSS, Community Services with dissolution of Van Duyn (finding suitable placement for elderly), Aging (of Aging and Youth), Adult Mental Health and Veterans Services
  • Veterans Services is a standalone 4 person dept.; Corliss Dennis does a fantastic job reaching to all other depts for assistance; this will put that dept. under the umbrella for all services the veterans and their families will need
  • Proposed new department:  Social Services Economic Security; DSS is largest County dept. with around 700 employees – one Commissioner and one dept. to oversee all the public benefits, but also children’s and adult’s case management; two different lines of work – administrative (eligibility) and case management
  • New dept. will only be economic security portion; 400 employees; covers Medicaid, Food Stamps, Temporary Assistance, Child Care, HEAP, Day Care and Child Support; make sure applications processed; determine eligibility
  • Currently unaffected:  Corrections, Adult Probation, Health (proposal down the road), Sheriff (dually elected official)
  • Financial operations – admin functions not part of the day to day operations; proposal to segregate the admin functions and put them under CFO; a few employees to Personnel; 4 attorneys will go to the County Attorney’s office

 

Mr. Morgan:

  • Depts in Human Services structured on full funding from fed and state gov’t; not structured in way for County to best utilize resources; instead of following money, proposal is better suited to serve children and families in community
  • Been in gov’t for 19 years (Comptrollers and Social Services) – in SS there were a few attempts to pull in finance operations from other small depts
  • Consolidated fiscal operation would better service the county and departments; allowing departments to focus on mission while finance piece can be handled by finance experts who are trained in this work
  • Concept to pick up financial pieces from each department and consolidate under CFO – a new division of financial operations; picking up finance people from SS, Aging and Youth, Mental Health, Probation and other depts
  • Result in efficiencies, effectiveness and better financial product to allow to construct budget more sensibly and logically; having control and firsthand knowledge of the finances will assist in producing a better budget
  • Personnel – mainly SS, Mental Health slated to go to Personnel; Attorneys in SS to go to Law
  • Stripping out infrastructure pieces and centralizing – putting in areas where expertise lies
  • Plan over next few years is to fold in finance operations from all depts – only one office that services the whole County

Ms. Rooney:

  • First step:  creating structure; picking up pieces and putting people down in new departments; no additions or lay offs
  • Tab 2 - prepared in partnership with Law; breaks down legislation in tab 6
  • 3 columns:  1st - current structure; 2nd - specific things happening with Van Duyn (one month in 2013 Community Services has to transition to Long Term Care); 3rd – describes where all the services land in the various depts
  • Tab 3 - counties across the state are constructed differently; local discretion – what each county determines as best way to attain service delivery at its highest level
  • Mr. Sutkowy took lead - traveling around the state evaluating and talking with various commissioners about what they see as best model, working w/clients and community services – proposal most suitable for community

Mr. Ryan asked what other places around the state have gone to this model, has it been successful and what are they saying.  Ms. Rooney responded:

  • New York City is one by its sheer size; historically had Department of Children and Family Services
  • Albany County is smaller than Onondaga County but has gone through this restructuring
  • Able to sit around the table with the various commissioners and deputy commissioners to discuss the before and after
  • Restructuring has allowed Albany to have much better service delivery and better outcomes for children and families
  • Biggest expense Onondaga County has is children that are in out of home placement; $130,000 per year
  • If County can make the system less incident driven, then fewer children removed from their families; last resort
  • Coordination of services earlier has allowed Albany County to focus on putting services in before there is a crisis

Mr. Sutkowy:

  • Proposed structure most resembles Albany County - developed a Children and Family Department that encompasses Social Services, Child Protective, Mental Health, Youth Bureau and parts of Healthy Families
  • Not about rearranging deck chairs; it’s about changing behavior in respect to clientele
  • Organized traditionally according to how the state is organized; over the years have realized families don’t fall into silos – they cross everywhere; currently not as nimble as needed to meet the needs of families who cross systems
  • Could do a lot better working with families – reducing their involvement in the system, how far they go into the system (more costly) and reducing the length of time in the system
  • Other counties reporting good success by integrating services; addressing issues before child is deeper in the system

 

Mr. Ryan said what Mr. Sutkowy is saying is that if they move to this more rehabilitative structure and focus on early childhood, then the County can focus more on getting them out of the system, so they do not end up in the Criminal Justice system; humongous budget and social implications.  Mr. Sutkowy responded Criminal Justice and residential care in the DSS Foster Care system. 

 

Mr. Morgan:

  • Tab 4 - Budget – caveat that this is draft form; before and after pic; focus on appropriations
  • Asked depts to submit budget as if operating same as now; difficult to have depts submit in future state – CFO staff, Ms. Rooney, department heads and fiscal staff deconstructed/reconstructed budgets in future state (proposed 2014)
  • DMB (with approach of finance under CFO) talking about benefits and where belongs; day to day of benefits – Mr. Troiano and Mr. Morgan working last 6 months on transition of benefits; put into place even w/o proposal
  • 3 employees from Risk Mgt to Personnel – Finance Department still heavily involved; very few large organizations that have benefits administered by the CFO
  • Fiscal operations – complete increase; no modified budget
  • County Attorney – attorneys form DSS moving to County Attorney’s office
  • Mental Health and Aging and Youth - being abolished and folded to new depts
  • Personnel – increasing for movement of benefit and personnel folks in DSS and Mental Health
  • Probation – remains untouched
  • Hillbrook - being abolished and folded to new dept.
  • DSS Economic Security – folding in administration costs of public benefit programs and benefit costs themselves
  • DSS broken into administration and programs:  suggesting strip down to public benefit programs (temp assistance, food stamps, day care, HEAP, etc) and also put benefits going to clients in that budget
  • Purchase of Services and Programs is zeroed out and pushed into new departments
  • Adult Long Term Care Services – new department including Aging, Adult Services from DSS, Veterans and Adult Mental Health; no program costs but there are some contracts
  • Department of Children and Family Services – new department including Child Welfare, Youth, Children Mental Health and Hillbrook; two programs - Foster Care and Juvenile Delinquent payments for out of home placement
  • Veterans - being abolished and folded to new dept.
  • Total appropriations decreasing $6 mil – not result of restructure but first step is to pick up employees where they are now and put down in new structure
  • Future years will see savings in programs and financial operations as get more efficient; decrease related to mandate costs on program side that are slated to decrease next year – will talk about throughout budget cycle
  • Decrease is not a result of the restructure

Ms. Rooney:

  • Tab 5 - questions - suggest Legislature use for next year budget process to hold Human Services side accountable
  • Physical restructure – better efficiency and service delivery
  • Being able to measure services is very difficult now; i.e.  child in Mental Health services also in Juvenile system and family on Welfare – difficult to see what all services are; going forward it will all be in same department
  • Statistic – of youth currently incarcerated at Hillbrook, 75% have been or are victims in child welfare system
  • Having penetration in system earlier; young woman pregnant at 16 – intervene so baby is healthy and mother getting services to keep child at home

Chairman Liedka asked where are the employees going, is there a cost associated with that, are there any savings and will there be savings realized for other facilities.  Ms. Rooney responded there is minimal cost for bringing the staff back together.  The intention down the road is to bring some employees who are currently in lease space, back to the Civic Center (i.e. nurses at 501 E. Fayette Street).  On the seventh or eighth floor of the Civic Center there are people in very small areas, and on other floors the employees are very spread out.  There is an opportunity to move people to the appropriate space and bring in employees (nurses) to avoid lease costs.  The other intention is to bring in the Jobs Plus people (not County employees but through OCC) currently at the Salvation Army to help offset costs.  Chairman Liedka asked because of the increase of employees downtown, will there be an issue with parking.  Ms. Rooney replied 501 E. Fayette is only three blocks away so that should not affect anything.  Mr. Millea, Mr. Owens and their team have looked at the parking needs, and what is available.  Ms. Rooney stated they have not gotten to where the employees will park but are attuned to the needs of the clients and employees.

Ms. Williams asked what position Ms. Alford, the Commissioner of Aging and Youth, will have now that the department is being separated.  Ms. Rooney responded the intention is for Ms. Alford to become the Deputy Commissioner in the Department of Adult and Long Term Services.  Ms. Alford’s expertise is on the Aging side, and the Aging side is more expansive.  The County will benefit from Ms. Alford being a part of a larger department, and helping people navigate through the nursing homes system.  Her influence on the adult protective system is critical.  It is a lateral move because Ms. Alford is the Commissioner of a small department, but her title will be Deputy Commissioner.  Ms. Williams responded that to the community Ms. Alford is a Commissioner; one of two of color.  Ms. Rooney commented there are four.  Ms. Williams stated Ms. Alford will now be a Deputy Commissioner so Ms. Rooney should understand the concern.  Ms. Rooney replied structurally this is what will happen but Ms. Alford will still be the face of the Aging component, and it will be much more expansive; currently the department is very small.  Ms. Rooney commented someone could say it looks like a demotion but it is actually an expansion based on the scope of her duties.  Ms. Rooney agreed with Mrs. Ervin that there is more work to do but it will be the same pay.  Ms. Rooney responded to Mrs. Ervin that the only contemplation of any pay raise is in the new DSS Economic Security for Sarah Merrick who is currently the Executive Deputy Commissioner.  The proposal is to have Ms. Merrick become the Commissioner of that department which is a one grade pay increase.  Ms. Merrick is very well equipped, and this has been her line of work for years.  In this reorganization, they have to rely on the expertise everyone is bringing to the table.  This is why Ms. Alford is staying with Aging, and Ms. Merrick is staying with Public Benefit.  Mrs. Ervin stated if Jane Doe were a Commissioner that is becoming a Deputy and has more work to do, then wouldn’t Jane Doe want more money.  Mrs. Ervin asked if this is something they are thinking about.  Ms. Rooney replied it is not something they are contemplating.  Ms. Rooney stated Ms. Alford has her sphere of influences on the Aging and Youth side, and often times has to pull teeth to have the other areas work on a case with her.  For example, a neighborhood advisor is sent out to a home and the person clearly has behavioral issues, poverty issues, etc.  The only part currently under Ms. Alford’s control is the neighborhood advisor.  Under this proposal Ms. Alford can coordinate the whole sphere of services.  Ms. Rooney stated if she were Ms. Alford, she would be thrilled that she can coordinate all of those services.

 

Mr. Morgan responded to Mrs. Ervin that they want to keep people in the same grades, and did not want to involve proposing increases or decreases.  The way it is proposed is that everyone makes a lateral move with the same grade.  Most of the employees are requested or required to do other work or additional work; not just one employee but all that are involved.  The grades exist and fit into the new structure.  Mr. Long, current Commissioner of Mental Health, will be the Commissioner of Adult and Long Term Care.  Ms. Alford and Mr. Beck will be the Deputy Commissioners; they’re grade 36 and Mr. Long is a grade 37.  They are required to do different levels of work and felt that asking for an increase would make the process longer.  Mrs. Ervin asked if they will come back in the future, because the Legislature has to keep this in mind.  Mr. Morgan agreed.  Mrs. Ervin asked when the staff will know.  Ms. Rooney responded there are rumblings but there will not be a briefing until the Legislature votes on the restructuring in the beginning of September.  Ms. Rooney agreed with Mrs. Ervin that the changes to personnel will not be made official until after the vote.  

 

Ms. Williams stated a previous committee had a change in title, and it came with moving to another grade.  Ms. Williams’ concern is that at some point this will be coming back to the Legislature when everyone has moved to their new positions, but then the title fits a different grade level.  Ms. Williams does want to get into a battle over where people should be with the increase or decrease of work.  Mr. Antonacci commented that Ms. Alford does a great job.  Mr. Antonacci’s concern is moving on and losing the opportunity for more consolidation on the accounting side.  There is a new position being created that will have duties that potentially could be done in the Comptroller’s Office.  From a compensation stand point, Mr. Antonacci brags about Jim Maturo, and the position being created is a grade higher than the Comptroller’s Deputy in charge of the accounting side.  Mr. Antonacci would like to flush that out more with Mr. Morgan.

 

Mr. Jordan asked if this will go to Ways and Means.  Ms. Rooney said yes.  Mr. Jordan commented that it is a lot to digest, and Mr. Jordan is not sure he could formulate all the questions he has at this time. 

 

Chairman Liedka asked that the committee formulate the questions they have on the proposal, and send them to their staff to be forwarded to Ms. Rooney and Mr. Morgan.  Ways and Means will be another set of eyes, and this may or may not warrant a joint meeting.  Chairman Liedka appreciates the work that was put in and the concept is good, but from the Legislature’s standpoint they need more time to dig through it.  It is a sweeping change so they need more eyes and more time. 

 

Mr. Ryan asked what other lease facilities the County has other than 501 E. Fayette and the Jobs Plus people.  Ms. Rooney replied that she will get a list of the leased spaces. 

 

Ms. Williams asked if the WIC program would be brought back.  Ms. Rooney responded they are talking about a hybrid model for WIC because there has to be a presence in the community; not ready to bring forward yet.

 

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

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

JAMIE MCNAMARA, Assistant Clerk

Onondaga County Legislature

* * *

WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE MINUTES – AUGUST 16, 2013

DAVID KNAPP, CHAIRMAN

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:   Mr. Jordan, Mr. May, Mr. Holmquist, Mrs. Ervin, Ms. Williams

MEMBERS ABSENT:  Mr. Kilmartin

ALSO PRESENT: Chairman McMahon

 

Chairman Knapp called the meeting to order at 8:50 a.m.  A motion was made by Mr. Jordan, seconded by Ms. Williams, to waive the reading of the minutes of the proceedings of the previous committee.  MOTION CARRIED.  A motion was made by Mr. Jordan, seconded by Ms. Williams to approve the minutes of the proceedings of the previous committee.  MOTION CARRIED.

 

CONSENT AGENDA

 

1.     WEP:

        a.     Authorizing the County Executive to enter into a Contract with the U.S. Department of the Interior for the Operation and Maintenance of Stream Gaging Station in the County of Onondaga County ($80,100)

2.     TRANSPORTATION:

        a.     Authoring the Co. of Onondaga to Accept Real Property Obtained by the State of New York Relative to the North Burdick Street, C.R. 94, Over the Erie Canal Bridge Replacement Project, PIN 375376

        b.     Amending the 2013 Co. Budget to Fund in the First Instance 100% of the Federal Aid Eligible Costs at a Maximum Amount of $16,000 for the Right of Way Acquisition Phase of the Willis Ave. Bridge Over the CSX Railroad Project, PIN 3754.26 and Authorizing the Co. Executive to Enter into Agreements to Implement the Intent of this Res. ($16,000)

        c.     Amending the 2013 Onondaga County Budget to Provide For the Local Match Dollars for the Onondaga Lake Canalways Trail, PIN 375355 ($200,000)

        d.     Amending Resolution No. 148-2007 to Increase the Authorization to Pay in the First Instance 100% of the Federal Aid Eligible Costs by an Additional $800,000 for the Construction and Construction Inspection Phases of the Onondaga Lake Canalways Trail, PIN 375355 ($800,000)

        e.     Authorizing the Sale of County Highway Property Located in the Town of DeWitt to Donna Fergeson and James Burry ($400)

4.     SHERIFF:

        a.     Amending the 2013 Budget to Accept State Homeland Security funds for the Onon. Co. Sheriff’s Office and Authorizing the County Executive to Enter Into Contract to Implement this Resolution ($72,500)

5.     EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT:

        a.     Accepting Homeland Security Funds from the State Homeland Security Grant Program for the Onondaga County Department of Emergency Management, and Authorizing the County Executive to Enter into Contracts to implement this Resolution ($261,000)

 

Chairman Knapp stated that item 3a, CNY Arts, will be moved to the regular agenda.

 

Mr. Jordan referred to item 2d, Onondaga Lake Canalways Trail – total additional amount of funding needed is $888,342, but there is proposed funding for $1 million.  Mr. Donnelly stated that the expected expense at this point is $888,342 in federal funding, which as to be matched at 20% level.  There is actually $1.5 million available in federal money, but they don’t think they will need all of it.  Mr. Jordan asked Mr. Donnelly to report back with what the actual cost is.  He questioned what happens with additional monies, if there are any.  Mr. Donnelly said it won’t get spent; the federal funding is only received after the money is expended,  there has to be a submittal for reimbursement.  The local share is in the capital project account.  The local share would be returned to bonded debt once the project is completed and closed out.

 

A motion as made by Mrs. Ervin to approve the items on the consent agenda, seconded by Mr. May.  Passed unanimously.  MOTION CARRIED.

 

WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE - REGULAR AGENDA

Chairman Knapp took the agenda out of order.

3c.   Presentation:  STAR Exemption – NYS Real Property Tax Services – Teresa Frank

 

Ms. Frank provided the following power point presentation, as well as a sample letter that will be sent to residents, STAR registration Fact Sheet, and informational palm card (on file with Clerk).

Ms. Frank:

  • There will be a lot of interest in this topic
  • Will have a booth at the NYS Fair for people to register for STAR – central region – 12 counties
  • The first letters will go out next week, which includes Onondaga County
  • NYS is trying to be fiscally responsible – have found that some people have more than one STAR exemption
  • By linking a unique identifier, i.e. SS nos., to the registration process – they will be able to track if someone has more than on exemption
  • Does not affect those that have enhanced STAR exemptions – will not affect seniors
  • Does not affect this year’s school bills
  • Adding 100 staff members to the call center
  • Do not go to assessor’s office unless it is a new STAR exemption
  • State will collect assessment rolls for all municipalities in the state; every property will have a unique star code, which will be noted in the resident’s letter with direction on how to register on line or by phone
  • Appeals Process – denied property owners will receive notice to appeal to Dept. of Taxation & Finance; if not satisfied, they can appeal to State Bd. of Real Property Tax; no appeal to local board of assessment review


1 2

34

56

78

910

 1112

13


Chairman Knapp said that the word is getting out; there is an appeal process, but there will be a few that qualify but just won’t get it done.  He asked what the process is after December 31st.  Ms. Frank said that one more mailing will be done in January stating that they have missed the deadline and to get it in. There will be some latitude for those that are really lax.  Things could be fixed through formal legal corrections.

 

3.     CNY ARTSStephen Butler, Executive Director

        a.     Amending the 2013 County Budget to Make Funds Available to CNY Arts for Distribution to Musical Associates of

                Central New York, Inc. ($75,000)

Mr. Butler:

  • Move $75,000 out of contingency to the Symphony
  • A victory for an organization that began less than a year ago – has raised over $1 million – leveraged by County funds of a little less than 20%
  • New executive director hired; marketing has up ticked; involved in a number of partnerships, i.e. video games – partnered with Landmark, Everson and CVB to sell a video games concert in tandem with the video games exhibit at the Everson
  • Service fees have been tremendous

Mr. Jordan referred to attendance participation – being more free attendance than paid attendance.  Mr. Butler explained that it coordinates to the service fee income – people attend the concerts for free, but it is sponsored by an organization, i.e. City of Rome, SUNY Oswego, S.U.  They are paid performance, but not by the attendees.

A motion was made by Mrs. Ervin to approve this item, seconded by Ms. Williams.  AYES:  5 (Knapp, Jordan, Holmquist, Ervin, Williams); NOES:  1 (May); ABSENT:  1 (Kilmartin).  MOTION CARRIED.

1.     HUMAN SERVICES DEPARTMENTSAnn Rooney, Deputy County Executive/Human Svcs.

        a.     A Local Law Amending the Onondaga County Charter and Administrative Code for the Purposes of Reorganizing Certain

                Human Services Departments

Ms. Rooney:

  • The Human Services side of county government has worked on this for a minimum of one year
  • Came to the legislature last year with Van Duyn in the budget process – it was extensive and the legislature took a large vote – everything is moving as planned for it; looking at a Nov. 30th sale date
  • Looked at how Human Services does business – historically, it is incident driven particularly when it comes to child and adult protective work, rather than having preventative measures in place early on that allows us to not use the highest cost intervention, which often happens the way we are aligned right now
  • Have concluded that there is a better way to do business, which involves the integration of our services
  • Now the departments are driven by the State of NY from the origination of the County and how funding comes to the County and traditionally that is how it is distributed out into the community and pay for our employees
  • To wipe the slate clean and ask how it should be organized, it wouldn’t be the way it is now.  It would be based on the clients that we serve and the needs that we have by population
  • On the children’s side, it would be children and families; on the adult side, it would be services for adults – need to take a more holistic approach to how we service all of our population – in the long term it will save us a tremendous amount of money (referenced an example of average cost of min. $130k/yr. for out of home placements)
  • Attempting to scale back what we do; braid funding; braid services - this legislation creates the structure

She understands how all-encompassing this is and what they are asking the legislature to do--does not want legislators to feel like this is being shoved down their throat.  Regarding the budget process, there has to be a structure in place for the legislature to have the ability to decide funding for the county.  The Law Department has said that the structure has to be in place for the departments – not the financing decisions.  The structure is needed for the legislature to fund how business is done in county government.  The same review process will be in place.  Should the budget come completely off the rails and can’t come to a solid conclusion with it, the employees of Onondaga County would have no place to go back to. 

Ms. Rooney provided a Human Services Reorganization (copy on file with Clerk):

Tab 1:    Current organization – circled department will be affected by this transition

Tab 2:    Proposed organization – creating a Dept. of Children and Family Services, Dept. of Adult and Long Term Care Services (voted on last year as part of Van Duyn transition); Veterans Services would fall under Adult and Long Term Care

        Social Services Economic Security:  just be the public benefit portion (Medicaid, HEAP, Day Care, Child Support, TA, Food Stamps, Fraud)

        Abolishment of Departments of Mental Health, Aging & Youth.  Children’s Mental Health will go with Children and Family Services; Adult Mental Health will go on the Adult Services side.  Aging will go to the Adult side; Youth will go to Children and Family Services

        Composition of Children and Family Services:  Child Protection Svcs (DSS); Children’s Mental Health (MH); Youth Bureau (A&Y); Juvenile Justice (Probation); Hillbrook

She noted that there have been over 300 youth in and out of Hillbrook over the last 12 months.  Of that population, 75% of them currently are or have been victims in our child welfare system at some point during their life.  With that, we can see much earlier the benefit of getting involved much earlier and hopefully prevent the interventions that we have to have at the highest level, like Hillbrook. 

        Composition of Adult & Long Term Care Services:  Community Svcs., Adult Protective (DSS); Mental Health-Adult; Aging (A&Y), Veterans Services.  Veterans Services is now a department of 4 – will be integrated to bring more comprehensive/integrated services to veterans

        Financial Operations (Administrative & Financial Services):  a lot staff serves administrative functions embedded in operating departments.  The proposal extracts them and puts them into a separate division, which will be created in the Finance Office.  There will be efficiencies gained through this because of putting all of the expertise in one place. 

Personnel Department – personnel/payroll employees who are embedded will be moved to the Personnel Dept. 

Law Department – 4 Social Services attorneys will be moved to the Law Dept.

Mr. May referred to the financial piece regarding the dedicated to various functions, and asked for clarification.  Ms. Rooney explained that they would be placed in the Finance Office; they will be taken from the departments, i.e. accountants, purchasing – things that sit in operating departments and move them with the expertise, i.e. those that do accounting placed in the accounting section for the whole county.  It will allow for much better reporting and make the budget process a little more seamless going forward.

Mr. Jordan referred to some positions currently embedded in a department, but there is a charge off to another department.  He asked if that will change – will there not be as much interdepartmental charge backs.  Ms. Rooney said that if they would still be servicing grants and funding from DSS, they would still be paid for out of that operating department.  Mr. Jordan said that the money transfer would still be the same, they will just be sitting somewhere else; Ms. Rooney agreed.

Mr. Holmquist noted that this is a  amending the Charter and asked how it affects the roles, responsibilities, powers/duties of the County Executive and the County Legislature.  Ms. Rooney said that they were very careful with that making sure that the balance of power stays consistent.  The same number of appointments that the county executive has, and that the legislature is subject to their approval, remains the same.  There is a net of $0 except in the financial operations, where there will be a new division chief.  However, they are contemplating abolishing or defunding a position to pay for it, so that it is cost neutral.  Mrs. Tarolli added that the same number of executive appointments with legislative confirmation stays the same.

Mr. Holmquist asked if this isn’t passed, what happens for purposes of the budget.  Ms. Rooney said there there is a voting session in October before the budget vote.  She understands that there is the sense that this is the bones/structure, but legislators want to see the numbers behind it.  It will become clearer for legislators then.  The opportunity to hear this a few times will, hopefully will give the comfort level that legislators need to say this is how we will operate and do business.  She referred to tab No. 5 in the handout, and noted that these are questions she wants the legislature to ask next year/

Mr. Jordan asked if the budget presented in September will assume the proposals in the organization chart.  Mrs. Rooney said that it would.

Mr. Holmquist said that there was a little problem a couple of months ago regarding positions and salaries.  He asked if there is anything like that in this proposal – does the legislature have to ask the questions 50 different ways.  Ms. Rooney said that it doesn’t.  The contemplation is that David Sutkowy will move to Children and Family Services, which will leave a vacancy in the Social Services Commissioner slot.  The contemplation is that Sarah Merrick, the current Executive Deputy Commissioner of DSS, would be promoted into that position.  It really can’t be called a raised, as she will be taking on new responsibilities.  It is the only position, where an individual will be getting more money, but only because of the duties that she will be performing.  Every other move is a lateral transfer.  There is nothing else contemplated that gives anyone else a raise.  It is just picking them up and moving them. 

Ms. Rooney continued:

Tab 2:    1st column is how the organization is now;

              2nd column - in order to accomplish the sale of Van Duyn, there were certain things that the legislature was asked to vote on last year that have to occur in December.  It is the movement of Community Services Division -- moves from DSS to Dept. of  Long Term Care for one month in Dec.

              3rd column – new proposed departments going forward

Tab 3     shows how other counties have integrated.  Her team has visited other counties that have done some of the integration.  The proposal most closely mirrors Albany County.

Tab 4     budget as it currently; it is not the finalized budget

Departments were asked to submit their budgets as if they existed in the same manner that business is done now.  The Budget office and Human Services budget then reconstructed those budgets and put them into the new format.

Div. of Management & Budget:  $300k decrease – employee benefits portion will be moved to Personnel Dept. – 3 staff moved

Div. of Fiscal Operations - $1.5 million increase – moving all accounting/finance types from human services to this new division

County Attorney:  $406k increase – DSS attorneys moved to County Attorney’s office

Mental Health – $27 million decrease – department will be abolished

Aging & Youth - $1 million decrease – department will be abolished

Personnel - $810k increase – employees that do personnel work will be moved to Personnel Dept.

Probation – nearly a net of $0 with all of the ins and outs

Hillbrook – $3.8 million decrease – abolished and going under Children and Family Services

DSS Economic Security – $151 million increase – all public benefits -  all of staff and program costs will be in Economic Security

Purchase of Services and Programs will be pushed into the new department

Adult and Long Term Care Services -  $20 million – new department

Children and Family Services - $76 million – new department

Veterans Service Agency - $500k decrease – moved to Adult Services

The $5.2 million reduction show is not from all of the restructuring.  The restructuring should be a net of $0, as people are being picked up and moved.  The $5.2 million decrease is because mandated costs have gone down.

Mr. Jordan referred to more money coming in next year as a result of Obama Care; Ms.  Rooney said that it why the Medicare costs are going down; it is reflected in the $5.2 million.  In answer to Mr. Jordan, Mrs. Venditti didn’t know the amount of additional federal revenue dollars for next year, but will find out.

Mr. May asked to be provided with the bullets that Ms. Rooney referenced categorically with the numbers.

Tab 5 – list of question that they have to be able to answer next year

Tab 6 – proposed legislation

Mr. Jordan said that the legislation refers to administrative districts and funding and asked for an explanation of how it connects to the proposed legislation.  Ms. Berger said that the way the departments are currently organized are in line with state funding.  There is a Department of Mental Health that is also a State District of Mental Health.  There are administrative districts that have a chief executive official, which is nothing more than an administrative head…currently the Commissioner of Mental Health is also the Chief Executive Officer of the state aid district.  When the services are split between the children’s services and adult services, there still has to be some oversight between the two departments to administer state aid.  This is a mechanism for the State for them to look at our Charter and see how the county accounts for the money – it provides an easy way for them to look at it. 

Chairman Knapp noted that Health Committee did not take a vote on this item yesterday, and some members have seen this document for the first time, so he is not planning to take a vote on it today. 

Mr. Jordan asked that the legislation be sent over electronically so that proposed changes are easier to make.  Mrs. Berger will email the legislation.

2.     WATER ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION:  Tom Rhoads, Commissioner

        a.     A Resolution Approving Various Green and Innovative Infrastructure Projects Located Outside the Amended Consent

                Judgment area as Outlined in Local Law 1-2011 for the Purpose of Mitigating Inflow and Infiltration of Stormwater into the

                Consolidated Sanitary District Sewer System in and for the County of Onondaga, New York

Mr. Rhoads asked the committee to attend the Save the Rain Clean Water Fair on September. 11th.

Mr. Rhoads:

  • Items 2a and 2b are tied together – suburban green infrastructure projects
  • Item 2a asks for approval of the projects; item 2b is the bonding
  • $2 million is 2013 budget – bond money to make grants to municipalities; legislature decides which projects are being funded in concert with the Co. Executive
  • There are $4 million of excellent application; a lot of hard work was done to settle on the $2 million

The following report was distributed:

Save the Rain Suburban Green Infrastructure Program Report 2013

The Save the Rain Suburban Green Infrastructure Program (SGIP) received a tremendous amount of high quality applications for the 2013 round of funding. Onondaga County Dept. of Water Environment Protection recommends funding for the following projects (highlighted in green below). Selection was based upon how green and innovative the proposed projects were as well as the ability to address inflow and infiltration (I/I). Areas within the sanitary district with a recent history of problems with flooding and sewer backups – such as the Town of Geddes, Town of Dewitt, and the Village of North Syracuse – were high priorities for I/I mitigation. 

If possible, we recommend continued exploration of alternate avenues for future funding for reducing I/I with the additional projects proposed under SGIP 2013.

 

2013 Recommended Project Descriptions:

 

Town of DeWitt Willis Carrier Recreation Center Project

Funding not to exceed: $300,000

(Requested $400,000.00; Proposed Local Match 91% of entire rec. center development)

The Town of DeWitt is proposing to incorporate green infrastructure in the development of the Willis Carrier Recreation Center, a multi-use sports complex. The center will have stormwater management practices ranging from detention ponds, stormwater trenches, a porous parking lot, tree plantings, vegetated swales, and rain barrels.  These green infrastructure practices will reduce the amount of stormwater runoff from entering Ley Creek as well as existing town stormwater and sanitary sewers located within the park itself. The town proposes removing 125,300 square feet of currently impervious pavement and constructing the new lot will be with porous asphalt. The construction of new parking lot will be done in Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the project, and the remainder of the complex will be completed in future phases.

 

Town of Geddes Bergner Road Green Interception Porous Pavement Project

Funding not to exceed: $210,000

(Requested $308,000.00 Proposed Local Match 17%)

The Town of Geddes proposes a green project for runoff reduction, installing a three foot wide strip of porous pavement along the sides of Bergner Road and a portion of Lakeland Avenue west of Bergner. In order to optimize runoff reduction in a cost-effective way, the remaining 20 foot width of standard asphalt pavement will be graded to direct drainage to the porous pavement strip. The existing drainage pipe along Bergner Road will be replaced with perforated pipe in a stone trench beneath the pervious concrete gutter. The catch basins will have grates several inches above grade, so they only take in water in large storms.

 

Town of Geddes Parsons Drive Green Median Project

Funding not to exceed: $400,000

(Requested $400,000.00)

The Town of Geddes proposes a green infrastructure project to retrofit the median along Parsons Drive with an underground infiltration trench. Curb cuts will be installed in the curbing around the north median and around the south median. Existing trees in the median will be left there along with additional landscape plantings resistant to frequent inundation to be added along the low area near the infiltration trench. An infiltration trench system will also be extended along Granger Road from Breakspear Road east to West Manchester to reduce flows going to the Bronson Road system.  Perforated pipe will be installed in the infiltration trench along the side of the road, with catch basins near the intersections. The grates on these catch basins will be several inches above grade so they only take in water during large storms.

 

Town of Geddes Walberta Infiltration Basin Project

Funding not to exceed: $200,000

(Requested $201,000; Proposed Local Match 15%)

The Town of Geddes proposes a green infrastructure project at the Walberta Road School in the Westvale neighborhood.  The school sits at a low point with now natural overflow route for stormwater drainage. Stormwater is diverted down Granger Road to the Onondaga County Trunk Sewer on Bronson Road. This trunk sewer currently surcharges during severe storms due to large amounts of inflow and infiltration. The proposed project would divert water to an infiltration basin for storage. The infiltration/detention basin is on Wegman’s property and the Town of Geddes is currently working to finalize a right-of-way agreement with Wegman’s. The project is expected to capture approximately 356,400 gallons of stormwater per year.

 

Town of Lysander Manhole Repair/Pipe Lining/Tree Planting Project

Funding not to exceed: $400,000

(Requested $400,000.00; Proposed Local Match 17%)

The Town of Lysander is proposing an innovative and green project including pipe lining, manhole repair and tree planting. The town plans to slip line sewer mains with cured in place pipe (CIPP) and epoxy coat 23 manholes included in the Indian Springs Manor sanitary sewer. In addition to the gray improvements, the town proposes to plant 42 additional street trees within the right-of-way.

 

Village of North Syracuse Green Interception with Streetscape Project

Funding not to exceed: $300,000

(Requested $400,000.00; Proposed Local Match 53%)

The Village of North Syracuse proposes a green streetscape project with porous pavers, tree planting and added green space. The proposed streetscape improvements include removal of impervious pavement surfaces and replacing approximately 4,500 square feet of that surface with grass as well as replacing 11,500 square feet with porous pavers. Under the pavers will be a perforated storm sewer system to collect and infiltrate runoff from Main Street and provide drainage for the pavers. Additionally, the village proposes to plant 92 native street trees will also be incorporated into the streetscape for water quality improvement and aesthetic enhancement to the corridor.

 

Village of Solvay Highway Garage Bioretention Project

Funding not to exceed: $110,000

(Requested $108,214.31)

The Village of Solvay proposes a bioretention project at their highway garage facility.  The site contains poorly draining soils, so the proposed bioretention basin will be equipped with an underdrain system to improve drainage and promote pollutant removal through filtration. Some grading will also be required to create bioswales to direct runoff to the basin and modification to the existing retaining wall along the east side of the highway garage to allow for drainage.

 

Village of Solvay Trump and Power Streets Bioretention Project

Funding not to exceed: $80,000

(Requested $78,838.83)

The Village of Solvay is proposing a bioretention/rain garden project on village-owned land to capture stormwater and reduce inflow and infiltration (I/I) to the sanitary sewer. The project will install a bioretention system at a triangular piece of land at Power, Trump and Gillis streets and at a smaller piece of land immediately to the east across Gillis Street. Flow will reach these low-lying areas through curb cuts. These green practices will alleviate part of this volume via underground infiltration and evapotranspiration processes in the bioretention areas.

 

Other Projects Submitted:

 

Town of Salina Sewer Separation/Disconnect Project

(Requested $70,000.00)

The Town of Salina Sewer Separation Project includes sanitary sewer removal and separation within Mattydale/Pitcher Hill Sewer District between Westview Avenue and Harford Road. This area has been determined a “hot spot” by the Onondaga County Department of Water Environment Protection and is an area of concern due to frequent maintenance and more importantly contribution to sanitary sewer overflow (SSO) concern within the area. The storm to sewer connection will be eliminated and all of this stormwater will be eliminated from the sanitary sewer system.

 

Village of Baldwinsville Pipe Lining & Manhole Repair Project

(Requested $400,000.00; Proposed Local Match 29%)

The Village of Baldwinsville proposes a televising, pipe lining and manhole repair project. The village will evaluate sewer mains in two areas with a history of excessive infiltration using remote television monitoring. When the most significant areas contributing to infiltration have been identified, a lining and repair contract will be prepared incorporating trenchless pipe lining technology to line and seal leaking sewer mains. Manhole structures will also be grouted and sealed.

 

Village of Camillus Manhole Rehabilitation Project

(Requested $185,535.00; Proposed Local Match 5%)

The Village of Camillus Sewer Rehabilitation Project aims to reduce inflow and infiltration (I/I) issues which adversely impact the Village sanitary sewers serving the “Eastern Village” area of Camillus. The project will include rehabilitation of sewer manholes located in the Village, including epoxy grouting to seal manhole walls and chimneys; replacement of manhole steps; raising/replacing manhole rims and covers that are at or below grade; installing manhole inserts on manholes that are subject to surface flooding; and replacing manholes with significant structure damage, missing bases.

 

Village of East Syracuse Pipe Lining and Manhole Repair Project

(Requested $400,000.00)

The Village proposes to make cost-effective improvements to the sewer system to reduce inflow and infiltration (I/I), utilizing innovative infrastructure methods to reduce runoff into the sanitary system including cured-in-place-pipe (CIPP) and manhole rehabilitation using chemical grout, spray on mortar, and epoxy resin liner coatings. These methods of improvement require little or no excavation or restoration.

 

Villages of Fayetteville & Manlius Joint Repair & Green Infrastructure Projects

(Requested $433,462.00; Proposed Local Match 15%)

The Villages of Fayetteville and Manlius collaborated in their application for SGIP funding for a joint innovative sanitary infrastructure rehabilitation project to remove inflow and infiltration (I/I) using green and innovative technologies.

The first part of the proposal includes conventional excavation/replacement and cured in place pipe (CIPP) lining to rehabilitate structurally unsound vitrified clay pipe (VCP) and VCP sewer with root intrusion in both villages. The joint project approach will increase opportunities for construction cost savings due to “economies of scale” and a single mobilization/demobilization, and reduce engineering design, bidding and construction costs.

 

The second component, the Pratt Lane/Feeder Street Green Infrastructure Improvements, seeks to continue the green streetscape enhancements through the Lower Village area with pavement restoration and integration of green infrastructure village-owned Pratt Lane and Feeder Street including porous asphalt and bioretention practices.  This will extend the green streetscape from their 2012 SGIP project further through the village, creating a green corridor.

 

Village of Liverpool Pipe Lining and Tree Planting Project

(Requested $86,200.00)

The Village of Liverpool proposes a project that includes a combination of green and gray infrastructure technologies to reduce infiltration in the sanitary sewers and manholes along Hiawatha Trail and along the portion of Third Street between Birch Street and Bass Street.  The green component of this project will be planting street trees within the right-of-way along various streets throughout the Village of Liverpool, capturing stormwater and providing aesthetic streetscape improvements.

 

Village of Solvay Bailey Street Pipe Lining and Manhole Repair Project

(Requested $281,518.20)

The Village of Solvay is proposing a pipe lining and manhole repair project. This will begin with using pressure concrete or epoxy methodology to rehabilitate deteriorating manholes. Manhole covers with holes will be replaced by water tight covers. Then repairs will be performed with cured in place pipe (CIPP) techniques. Sanitary or storm sewer cross connections, sump pump, driveway or roof drain connections that are found will be disconnected from sanitary sewers and connected to the existing storm sewer system.

  • The projects in green are the projects being proposed to be funded.  The projects were evaluated upon where there has been significant problems of extraneous flow (I&I)
  • Projects are being funded for their green attributes and resolution of significant problems that have occurred in the past
  • The other projects have merit; are really good projects, and hope to talk to the legislature in future budgets about how to fund them

Chairman McMahon said that he worked with Mr. Rhoads and his team on this.  The projects that are funded actually meet the application; a lot of the other projects were I & I or G I projects – good projects but somewhat against the mission of the $2 million.  He has committed to work with WEP in the budget process to try to fund some of these projects in the 2014 – 2015 budget – feels that some of them, if not all, will be able to be funded.

Mr. Jordan said that in the past his concern has been getting the greatest bang for our buck—dollars spent on one project may result in a greater control of water than another.  He would like to see a comparison on the cost per gallon of capture for the projects considered.  Mr. Rhoads said that it is difficult with I & I projects.  For the most part all of these projects have about the same attributes for pure I & I reductions.  They are all resolving significant I & I issues; all helping to improve the extraneous flow problems.  He does not think that weighing them based upon their gallons of capture is going to significantly change the equation.  The towns have the intimate knowledge with their systems and they have not presented the county with the explicit information that would make a determination that would be really functional or effective at that level.

Chairman McMahon said that what is different between this round of applications and what we have seen--for example, with the Save the Rain projects in the City, the County had its own engineers and these applications are submitted by the towns.  Unless the County sent its engineers out to verify what the towns did, we have to go with what the towns gave us.  Mr. Jordan said that the towns should provide the cost per gallon of capture for their projects.  Mr. McMahon said that this is a green infrastructure fund; technically the only projects that qualified were funded.  The other projects were pure I & I projects.  Mr. Jordan restated that the cost per gallon of capture should be provided as a component of information from the towns and does not see why we don’t have it.  It is hard for him to say whether these are good projects or bad without that information.

Mr. Rhoads said that they are endeavoring to change the paradigmship with this program.  They are trying to demonstrate that the green approach is a more sustainable approach and a more cost effective approach.  The projects that are proposed are moving the bar in a different direction.  Mr. Jordan reiterated the need for the cost per gallon of capture.  Mr. Millea said that Mr. Jordan’s point is good and it means that they have effectively communicated how they make decisions in the CSO area.  The suburban areas are very different.  The objective in the city is very different than the objective in the suburbs.  The objective in the city is to capture storm water and keep it out of the sewer system.  They quantify that and spent a lot of money on a sophisticated storm water model to make cost benefit decisions.  In the suburban areas, they are not talking about capture and retaining.  They are just talking about keeping it out.  The I & I projects are not necessarily about capturing storm water and keeping it out of the combined system.  It is more less just keeping it out of the sanitary sewer system and preventing wet weather flow from peaking the pump stations.  Green infrastructure in the city is good for one reason and green infrastructure in the suburbs is good for another.  They are not using the same cost benefit analysis in suburban communities to make these decisions.  These are really demonstration model projects.  With regard to MS4s, there are ancillary benefits of these green infrastructure projects in keeping nutrients and other pollutants out of tributaries that are outside of the Onondaga Lake watershed but really feed into the Seneca River or Meadowbrook Limestone.  He thinks that they can provide an analysis, with the engineering reports they have, on the quantity of stormwater these projects may afford; will provide it before session if possible.  It will be very difficult to do with hybrid projects – GI and I&I.  The cost per gallon is not necessarily the metric they are chasing.  Mr. Jordan said that the results are essentially the same – looking to contain the flow of water into various systems.  Mr. Rhoads said that they are also trying to demonstrate that if they don’t change the way in which they manage stormwater, with MS4 requirements, it is also significant regulatory stormwater, that is going to be impacting all of the ancillary suburban municipalities.  Even if it is prevented from going into the sanitary system, it will go into the current storm systems, which are being overwhelmed and contributing to nutrient and other pollutant discharges into our receiving waters.  Those are going to be tremendous costs. 

Mr. May said that the numbers are significant in the evaluation process, but it is almost as much a matter of relevance.  A strained subdivision that it is causing strain on a system can affect a town-wide system.  A small amount of capture, even at a higher price, may have significantly more relevance in the qualification process than a big nut.  Mr. Rhoads referenced the impacts of where there are backups of sewers--private property damage has a significant cost.  They have been challenged with that many times in Geddes.

Chairman Knapp said that no vote will be taken; the item has been considered.

        b.     A Resolution Authorizing the Issuance of $2,000,000 Bonds of the County of Onondaga, New York, to Pay the Cost of

                Various Green and Innovative Infrastructure Projects Located Outside the Amended Consent Judgment Area as Outlined

                in Local Law 1-2011 for the Purpose of Mitigating Inflow and Infiltration of Stormwater into the Consolidated Sanitary

                District Sewer System in and for the Onondaga County Sanitary District ($2,000,000)

 

Chairman Knapp said that no vote will be taken; the item has been considered.

 

        c.     Presentation:  Consolidated Sanitary District User Fee & Rate Study Consideration

Mr. Rhoads distributed the following handout. 


1415

1617

1819

2021

2223

2425

26


  • Opportunity to revisit something they asked for last year; will ask for it again this year
  • Significant issues going on with CSD
  • User Fee – approx. $65 million/year
  • Alternative approaches, which is why a larger/more discreet study is being asked for
  • There are fairly significant rate increase in the future

Chairman Knapp asked if the County currently has the infrastructure to do a flow base.  Mr. Rhoads said that we don’t.  Right now, there is an I & I study going on in the Brewerton area.  They are sometimes able to evaluate what the OCWA water billings area, but the water billings don’t compare that well.  They have been going through some significant issues to try to compare water billings and the amount of water consumed by OCWA in the Brewerton service area to how it compares to the amount of flow received.  To do that they would actually need to install flow monitoring infrastructure in the major trunk sewers, which is fairly expensive.  Chairman Knapp asked if the goal would be to have a meter on every house.  Mr. Rhoads said that he didn’t think so, although where there are water meters it would typically be something that would be looked at.  In a multi-year study, they could see what it would cost to actually get to those flow based measurements that are representative and work, or with extraneous flows, how to build for that volume of extraneous flow.

3.     WAYS & MEANS MISC.:

        a.     Amending the 2013 County Budget to Release Contingency Funds for the Farmland Preservation Program and Amending

                Resolution No. 169-2012 (Sponsored by Mr. Knapp)

Chairman Knapp noted that last month the Ag. Council recommended some money for the Tully Agricultural/Welding program.  There are two more recommendations:

  • Helping Hands group at Martin Luther King School – doing a wonderful job – creating a large raised bed garden near the school where they will raise vegetables to be sold at a farmers’ market.  They are also negotiating with local stores to supply them with fresh vegetables.  The Council has recommended $15,000 to help them get started.  
  • Clear Channels Communication – putting together a Buy Local Campaign with logo and slogans; negotiated with local markets to see if they are receptive to the Buy Local Campaign – having kiosks in the stores with locally grown produce.  The Council recommended $3,000.

Mr. Jordan asked how the urban garden will work and who will maintain it.  Chairman Knapp explained that the Helping Hands group has volunteered and they are working with the kids at the MLK School.  The gardens that have already been done at the MLK School have been a huge success, and they are building upon that template into a bigger space.  The revenues will be invested into expanding for next year.

 

A motion as made by Mr. May, seconded by Mrs. Ervin to approve this item.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

 

        b.     Calling for a Public Hearing on the 2014 County Budget

 

A motion was made by Ms. Williams, seconded by Mrs. Ervin.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

 

4.     PURCHASE:

        a.     Revenue Contract Report – Sean Carroll, Director

Mr. Carroll:

  • Dept. of Correction inmate email RFP has been put out – a service would provide it; screen for inappropriate emails, email will be sent to inmates – reduces the amount of time that inmates have to be taken in and out for physical visits; obvious restrictions on what can be sent through:  no transfer of images, no transfer of elicit information of any kind, etc.  It will be screened the same as the phone calls.
  • The vendors that provide the phones are the same vendors that want to provide the email.
  • Dept. of Correction inmate commissary RFP has been put out – inmates can use their commissary funds to purchase preapproved sundries; the vendor will manage the commissary process; requirement for sundries for indigent inmates when they arrive.

5.     LAW DEPARTMENT:

        a.     Informational Update – Pending Litigation

 

A motion was made by Mr. Jordan to enter executive session for the purpose of discussion the legal matter of Lucinda A. Walts, on behalf of Lucine Williams La Tant, Deceased vs. County of Onondaga; seconded by Ms. Williams.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

 

A motion was made by Mr. Jordan to exit executive session and enter regular session, seconded by Ms. Williams.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

 

Chairman Knapp noted for the record that no action was taken during executive session.

 

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

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

DEBORAH L. MATURO, Clerk

Onondaga County Legislature

* * *

 
Copyright © 2001- 2014 Onondaga County, New York  All Rights Reserved.   |  Ongov.net  |  Privacy Statement | Directions & Downtown Parking Maps