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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 - DECEMBER 13, 2017

MICHAEL E. PLOCHOCKI, CHAIRMAN

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Dr. Chase, Ms. Cody, Mrs. Tassone

MEMBERS ABSENT:  Mr. Burtis

ALSO ATTENDING:  See attached list

 

Acting Chair Tassone called the meeting to order at 9:33 a.m.  A motion was made by Dr. Chase, seconded by Ms. Cody, to waive the reading of the proceedings from the previous committee.  MOTION CARRIED.  A motion was made by Dr. Chase, seconded by Ms. Cody, to approve the minutes from the previous committee.  MOTION CARRIED. 

 

1.     WATER ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION:  Tom Rhoads, P.E., Commissioner

        a.     Transfer from Water Environment Protection, Account 693000 Supplies and Materials, to Water Environment Protection, Account 694100 All Other Expenses, $150,000

 

Mr. Rhoads:

  • Transferring funds to move biosolids; 2017 budget prepared May 2016, hard to predict pricing, slight increase in unit disposal cost and volume increased

 

Chairman Plochocki arrived at the meeting.

 

  • Able to support transfer due to low fuel costs; overall budget performing better than indicated, estimate using $5 million of the $7 million forecasted from fund balance

Ms. Tassone asked what the fund balance would be at the close of 2017.  Mr. Rhoads said that he would get back to her.

 

Dr. Chase made a motion, seconded by Mrs. Tassone, to approve this item.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

 

The meeting adjourned at 9:36 a.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Katherine French

KATHERINE M. FRENCH, Deputy Clerk

Onondaga County Legislature

Attendance

 

* * *

COUNTY FACILITIES COMMITTEE MINUTES – DECEMBER 13, 2017

JUDITH A. TASSONE, CHAIR

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Mr. Dougherty, Ms. Cody, Mr. Plochocki, Dr. Chase

ALSO ATTENDING:  Mr. Jordan; see attached list

 

Chair Tassone called the meeting to order at 10:34 a.mA motion was made by Dr. Chase, seconded by Mr. Plochocki to waive the reading and approve the minutes of the previous committee meeting; MOTION CARRIED.

 

1.     ONONDAGA COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY:  Mary Beth Primo, Deputy County Executive Physical Services

        a.     Confirming Reappointments to the Onondaga County Public Library Board of Trustees

                (Babette Morgan-Baker, Jill Hurst-Wahl)

  • Both women are reappointments, who were previously approved

 

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

 

2.     CHALLENGER FIELD OF DREAMS:

        a.     Amending the 2017 County Budget to make Contingency Funds Available for use in Connection with the Challenger Field of Dreams, and Providing for Agreements as may be Necessary Related to such use ($25,000)

 

Mrs. Stanczyk stated this is to release money in contingency.  The assumption was someone from the Executive side would be here to discuss this.  Mr. Lansley knows about the project; Carrier property. 

 

Chair Tassone verified the committee can vote, and it will go to Ways and Means. 

 

Mr. Dougherty remembers when Danny Liedka brought this forward a couple years ago.  Mrs. Stanczyk commented it was put in the 2017 budget in 2016.  Mr. Dougherty asked what is happening with this.  Mrs. Stanczyk responded it is an additional funding source, and believes the park is open.  Ms. Primo stated the town is doing improvements, and it is a very well used park.  Ms. Primo does not know what the money is earmarked for.  Mr. Dougherty feels they need more information, and Chair Tassone agreed. 

 

Chair Tassone stated it will be moved to Ways and Means.

 

Chair Tassone took the agenda items out of order.

 

3.     PARKS & RECREATION:  Mary Beth Primo, Deputy County Executive Physical Services; William Lansley, Commissioner

        c.     Authorizing Execution of Agreements Necessary for Access and use of Parking Lots from New York State in Connection with Lakeview Park (Sponsored by Mr. McMahon)

 

Ms. Primo:

  • Amphitheater – used State Fair parking lots since it opened; had 1 year agreements with state
  • Current discussion lead to agreement for 20 year license allowing County ability to park in orange lot; once construction done, it will have capacity for 6,900 cars; sufficient for every car needed if sold out (avg. 2.5/car and sell out is 17,500)
  • State charges flat fee based on whether the venue is sold out or not (how much capacity using), and whether they will be used for half day (7 p.m. – midnight) or full day (3 p.m. - midnight)
  • Do not pay anything during State Fair; do not collect revenue or pay for parking (2 concerts in 2017 during Fair)
  • For 2017 the County would have paid the state $37,000 based on new formula; actual paid in 2017 was $111,000
  • Also getting permanent easements across orange lot; when not parking there, still need access to amphitheater for maintenance, a small event, etc.; need ability to drive across orange lot to get to property
  • Ms. Primo presented a map of the orange lot (Map on file with the Clerk)
  • Had lease with state to improve parking - 600 spaces for County; gives easement to parking lot if orange lot not needed
  • During State Fair, people can park anywhere; in agreement is reservation for 500 spaces for VIP and 120 spaces for disabled; been standing agreement over past 3 years

Dr. Chase asked how much the County makes in parking fees, if the County is paying $37,000.  Ms. Primo does not mean to dodge this, but the financial items are under the purview of Bill Fisher.  This year the County may have come out even or lost a little bit.  The parking revenue is not the only revenue; also have sponsorships.  Everything goes into the same pot to be used for what needs to be done there.  This will help cushion the operating account.  Ms. Primo replied to Dr. Chase that during the State Fair, the state will use the parking they improved in the County’s lot; which will exist for the 2018 NYS Fair.  The agreement with the State Fair is that all the parking lots are available, and people can use the bus to go to the Amphitheater.  The only exception is for the ADA and VIP spaces; nothing else is reserved.  Dr. Chase wanted clarification that the state is the one that collects the parking fee, and Ms. Primo agreed.  Ms. Primo stated there is no revenue or expenses involved.

 

Ms. Primo answered Mr. Dougherty’s questions:

  • It has been a one year contract, which started as a handshake
  • Is there any liability for the County for easements, maintenance, Sheriff, concession areas, etc. with the 20 year contract?  Nothing different; County is not in worse position; financially County in better position
  • While using the lots, County is responsible for concessionaire, orderly operation, Sheriffs, and clean up
  • Agreed, that it is materially the same thing as before, but it is extended 20 years
  • This is a license agreement - state can terminate agreement with 10 months’ notice; allows County to find an alternative
  • Why would state cut revenues 2/3 over 20 years?  State recognizes it’s an asset to the Fair - more than 13 day event
  • Whole project has been done with state cooperation; design build legislation was passed for it; state very supportive
  • On/off ramp 690 – majority of orange lot construction will be done by start of concert season, and finished by Fair time; exit ramp to 690 West will be completed then

 

Mr. Wixson responded to Mr. Dougherty that instead of the perpendicular approach to 690 that exists near the Trooper’s station, it will be a regular accelerating on ramp.  It will start further up the hill, and allow for safe merging.  That is phase one.  Phase two is the 690 East overpass; 2019 projection.  Ms. Primo stated they are not sharing costs with the state.

 

Mrs. Tarolli stated the resolution does two things.  First, it authorizes acceptance of all the easements.  The state will give the County a stamped drawing and acquisition map, and do an overlay.  That will be filed with the County Clerk’s office.  Secondly, it authorizes the agreement.  Mrs. Tarolli reached out to the sponsor to make two word changes to conform to the agreement:  substitute the word agreement, and reference access to County property. 

 

Mr. Plochocki asked, for the record, if financially there’s no question this is a better deal for the County than what the County had.  Ms. Primo responded definitely.

 

Mr. Dougherty asked if there is going to be a reduction in the parking fee.  Ms. Primo replied it is a fee the County imposes, and they have not thought about it.  The costs will have to be looked at, as there is a lot involved with running the whole operation.  The County needs to make some revenue, and Ms. Primo has not heard anyone complain about the parking fee.  Mr. Dougherty said $60,000 is good, but not great for the overall costs.  Ms. Primo does not think it will happen, as it is not enough to spread the wealth. 

 

Mr. Jordan requested to see copies of the agreement and easements.  Mrs. Tarolli said yes.  Ms. Primo agreed with Chair Tassone that they will have it by Ways and Means.

 

A motion was made by Dr. Chase, seconded by Mr. Plochocki, to approve this item.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

 

        a.     A Resolution Authorizing the Replacement of the Boardwalk at Rosamond Gifford Zoo, in and for the County of Onondaga, New York, at a New Maximum Estimated Cost of $2,200,000 and Authorizing the Issuance of an Additional $1,195,000 Bonds of said County to Pay Costs Thereof ($2,200,000)

 

Mr. Lansley:

  • Boardwalk in progress; deterioration with elevated boardwalk; engineer came out, and said had about one year to fix it
  • Short term elongate for $50,000 - $60,000 to support and get through process of bonding, designing and redoing
  • Suggested moving entire walkway toward main building and integrate; eliminate elevated walkway - $1,000,050 mil for making repairs, which would be perpetual problem
  • Design came through as more expensive, but gives elephants more space - AZA recommendation; gives guests more immersive experience (center of exhibit); also can create holding areas
  • Herd of 7 (elephants); one successful birth; trying to increase the herd
  • Taking half of white lipped deer exhibit (hill) and moving up; do not need much space; then have walkway to overlook inside elephant exhibit with 12’ tube walkway below for elephants to pass through
  • Yard on the side will be walkway to contain public on both sides with hydraulic gates – elephants will walk by to get to yards; great experience for viewers
  • Year old project; $2.2 mil funding to make permanent repair to boardwalk
  • Will build new walkway while boardwalk in use; in spring will transfer to walkway and dismantle boardwalk; this will not cut off trail or experience at any time

Chair Tassone asked if they can use any of the existing walkway.  Mr. Lansley said yes.  The Friends put in a new overview area, which is an existing part. 

 

Mr. Lansley continued:

  • Some areas of current boardwalk are 20’ above ravine
  • Added more viewing areas for red wolves, white lipped deer and elephants; existing overlook will be the end; expanding yard that was white lipped deer; creating tunnel for elephants
  • Existing overlook will be expanded to large viewing area
  • It will be 100% AZA compliant, which it is not at this time

Mr. Dougherty said there was $50,000 spent to shore this up, and make it more stable.  Is the new walkway bricks or pavers?  Mr. Lansley responded it will be asphalt with pavers at the walks to the viewing areas.  Mr. Dougherty said the maintenance will go way down, because this is easier to handle versus a wooden deck 20’ off the ground.  It is expensive, but in time it will be less maintenance costs.  Mr. Lansley commented that they will be able to use plows on this versus the boardwalk where they cannot take vehicles; has to be done by hand with shovels and snow blowers. 

 

Mr. Lansley said the timeline is getting most of this done prior to the school season starting with the new trail, and taking down the other as they go forward.

 

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

 

Mr. Lansley wanted to publicly thank John (Dougherty) for his services as a Legislator and appointee on the board at the Zoo.  He has done tremendous work keeping the projects going, and elevating the view of what is going on at the Zoo.  Mr. Lansley appreciates all the work he has done at the Legislature.

 

        b.     A Resolution Authorizing Various Improvements to Parks in and for the County of Onondaga, New York, at a Maximum Estimated Cost of $528,000, and Authorizing the Issuance of $528,000 Bonds of said County to Pay Costs Thereof ($528,000)

 

Mr. Lansley:

  • 3 projects originally at $728,000; scaled back at request; primary need is at the playground at Wegmans Landing
  • Everything transpired in last year with delamination of rubber; black surfaces 3” shredded rubber that has resin holding together – colored surface on top that is clean rubber, which has been delaminated by weather
  • Lasted about 5 years; tremendously busy playground; 100s and 1000s kids there
  • Built with grant money from Wegmans Corporation about 15 or more years ago; spent $1 mill doing this, the dog park and tram operations; have naming rights for it – Wegmans Landing area
  • Had agreement for 4 years at $40,000 each from Wegmans, and has been 3 years since getting any dollars
  • Thank Wegmans tremendously for investment made in County Parks; tremendous asset for Onondaga Lake Park
  • Wegmans Landing is the area off Parkway (including Griffin Visitor’s Center, and fields); Wegmans boundless Playground is official name for playground; also, Wegmans Good Dog Park at north side

Chair Tassone stated the original ask was $728,000, which was reduced to $528,000.  Mr. Lansley will go over the projects, and is asking for an increase of $200,000 for the Wegmans playground.

 

Mr. Lansley:

  • First project - $200,000 to replace rubber surface with carpet surface; large thick carpet like the Dome floor (use rubber material pellets to hold carpet down); current material cannot be cut and glued; has to be redone with new materials
  • New material can cut and put together like carpet in house – can glue seams together; make repairs for long time
  • Using remainder of Wegmans’ donations to upkeep playground; more than $100,000 dedicated to buying pieces of equipment to maintain; constantly buying things to repair and make great experience for kids
  • Wegmans sign that had 2 large crayons became deteriorated; $16,000 – $17,000 to replace sign
  • Large sign in front of Park hit by car and destroyed; $50,000 - $70,000 to replace; $25,000 Wegmans’ money and $25,000 settlement from person who hit the sign
  • Inspections are requirement of running playground – summary is graded as serious problems for immediate repair, things that are going to be a problem, and some that will become problems eventually
  • $200,000 to replace carpet; use remaining Wegmans’ dollars to buy replacement equipment; put carpet around it

 

Chair Tassone stated Wegmans is no longer contributing, and Mr. Lansley agreed.  Chair Tassone said it is too bad, because they still have the naming rights.  Mr. Lansley commented that the naming rights are perpetual; it was an agreement with the previous administration.  Mr. Dougherty said the truth is the County would not have it at all if it weren’t for Wegmans.  Chair Tassone agreed, but said Wegmans gets complaints if the playground is not kept up.

 

Mr. Dougherty asked how many people use it.  Mr. Lansley said it is hard to tell, as they come and go in large volumes; guestimate is 100,000 – 200,000 kids annually. 

 

Mr. Lansley:

  • Second project - $100,000 repair of Ten Eyck Drive, where Syracuse University row house and Challenger’s row house are off Longbranch Road; first section of road beat up; wet property; develops cracks; road long – repair and pave
  • Third project – Carpenter’s Brook Fish Hatchery; built in 1934 and original ponds; 26-27 ponds; large cracks they mason over; need to be jackhammered out and repaired professionally
  • In 2019 – $302,000 to do rhino liner and fiberglass inserts for ponds; not constantly exposed to weather
  • Fourth project - energy efficient system at Zoo; generating heat power gas unit; used as generator to keep exhibits going; right now use portable generators to plug in; lot of animal exhibits cannot go long without power
  • System will be tied into existing HVAC; can generate power; turbine system; permanent device
  • All projects originally $728,000; 4 projects - carpet, ponds, road, and energy system

Chair Tassone stated before the resolution can be voted on, the committee will have to make an amendment to include the $200,000 bonding for the Wegmans playground.  Chair Tassone asked for a motion.

 

A motion was made by Mr. Dougherty, seconded by Dr. Chase, to amend the resolution to increase the bonding amount $200,000 for the Wegmans’ playground.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

 

Chair Tassone called for a vote on the resolution as amended.

 

A motion was made by Mr. Dougherty, seconded by Dr. Chase, to approve this item as amended.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

 

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

Respectfully submitted,

Signature

JAMIE McNAMARA, Assistant Clerk

Onondaga County Legislature

Attendance

 

* * *

PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE MINUTES - DECEMBER 13, 2017

BRIAN MAY, CHAIRMAN

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Mr. Dougherty, Mr. Ryan

MEMBERS ABSENT:  Mr. Liedka, Mr. Holmquist

ALSO ATTENDINGSee attached list

 

Chairman May called the meeting to order at 12:04 p.m.  A motion was made by Mr. Dougherty, seconded by Mr. Ryan, to waive the reading of the proceedings from the previous committee.  MOTION CARRIED.  A motion was made by Mr. Dougherty, seconded by Mr. Ryan, to approve the minutes from the previous committee.  MOTION CARRIED. 

 

1.     FIRE ADVISORY BOARD:

        a.     Confirming Reappointments to the Onondaga County Fire Advisory Board (Melissa Mott Abend, Christopher Dunham)

 

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

 

*2.    HUMAN RIGHTS

        a.     Confirming Reappointments to the Onondaga County/Syracuse Commission on Human Rights (Rev. H. Bernard Alex, Suzette M. Melendez, Leonardo L. Sanchez, Mary Alice Smothers)

 

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

 

3.     DISTRICT ATTORNEY:  Barry Weiss, Administrative Officer

        a.     Regarding Grant Funding Awarded by the NYS Office of Victim Services:  Amending the 2018 County Budget, Making Personnel Changes, and Authorizing the Execution of Agreements ($75,000)

 

Mr. Weiss:

  • Grant given to a number of child advocacy centers around the state for forensics; creating DA investigator position and accepting the funds, 2 year grant, $75,000 per year

 

In answer to Mr. Dougherty, Mr. Weiss said that someone with forensic certification would be hired for the position.  Mr. Dougherty asked what happens if the funding goes away.  Mr. Weiss responded that the position would go away and the McMahon/Ryan Board would have to determine what to do.  As president of the board, they are currently aware that this is a possibility.  In answer to Mr. Dougherty, Mr. Weiss confirmed that they are aware of the potential layoff, and that they may potentially have to find funding elsewhere.

 

Chairman May said that there is strong abolishing wording in the resolution, should funding cease.  Mr. Dougherty said that he was aware of that, but it always makes him a little nervous when they are hiring someone.  Mr. Weiss said that over the years we have found that OVS funds increase, as long as you report to them on a regular basis, rather than decrease.

In response to Mr. Dougherty, Mr. Weiss confirmed that we would not be hiring from within. 

 

In answer to Mr. Ryan, Mr. Weiss said that the qualifications are that the person must be a certified forensic investigator to perform child interviews.  Mr. Dougherty asked the position currently does this.  Mr. Weiss replied that it would be people from the Syracuse Police department and the Sheriff’s Abused Persons Unit.  Mr. Dougherty asked if there was a need to enhance those capabilities.  Mr. Weiss responded that currently detectives are not able to be at every interview and this person will be assigned there all the time.  They will be part of our office but working at the McMahon/Ryan Child Advocacy Center. 

 

Mr. Dougherty said that he hates that there is a need for this.  Mr. Ryan said that the work they are doing is good and he cannot imagine how hard it must be.  Chairman May agreed.

 

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

 

4.     CORRECTION:  Matthew Kearney, Captain; Tina Dalfo, Accountant

        a.     Amending the 2017 County Budget to Make Funds Available for use by the Department of Correction ($100,000)

 

Ms. Dalfo:

  • Introduced herself and Captain Kearney
  • Funds are inmate telephone commission money accumulated over 15 years, in telephone project for benefit of the inmates and otherwise improve operations of the facility; appropriating funds to accept additional revenues

Chairman May said that $29,000 is on hand and an additional $71,000 is anticipated.  Ms. Dalfo responded that all $100,000 is now in hand.  Chairman May said that some of the items they were looking to purchase pertained to improving things for the inmates and security vests for the officers.  Ms. Dalfo agreed.  Chairman May said vests are not inexpensive and this is a great way fund something like that.  Ms. Dalfo responded that it saves taxpayers money because it is coming from the revenue.

 

Mr. Ryan asked what improvements are for the inmates, other than the vests.  Ms. Dalfo responded that it is basically, “to otherwise improve the operations of the facility”; fund use is directed out of NYS.  Mr. Ryan asked if there are guidelines under DOCS.  Ms. Dalfo answered yes, under the state commission; also funding the Law Library for inmates. 

 

Captain Kearney said that it includes a new live scan machine for booking intakes, which ties into DCJS.  In answer to Mr. Dougherty, Captain Kearney said that the live scan is a fingerprint/photo machine that electronically sends records to DCJS.  The current machine is at end of life and, if we purchase this machine prior to yearend, we should receive return grant funds of around $10,000.  In answer to Mr. Ryan, Captain Kearney said that all the components of the machine are at end of life - it is a computer.

 

Chairman May said that the grant was offered as an incentive to stay up to date.  Captain Kearney said that the grant paperwork was done by the Sheriff’s department, but we are waiting for the funds to be released before ordering the machine.

 

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

 

*Ms. Gewanter arrived late to the meeting, and provided the following for the record:

 

Human Rights Commission

 

Members Whose Terms are Current

1. Shiu-Kai Chin                                                         

2. Rabbi David Fellman                                          

3. Rev. Doug Mackey                                               

4. Montanette Murphy                                              

5. Bruce Carter

6. Starr Guckert                                                           

7. Francis McMillan Parks

8. Gabe Ramos

9. Steve Butler

10. Sanjay Chhablani

11. Khadijo Abdulkadir

12. John Rushing III

13. Jeffrey Tamburo

 

Justice Center Oversight Committee

 

Members Whose Terms are Current

1. Marissa Mims

2. Dr. Dennis Nave

3. Robert Slivinski

4. Dr. Najah Salaam Jennings Bey

5. Allan LaFlore

 

Members Who Just Resigned (Leg Appointments)

6. Jo Anne Bakeman

7. Dominic Fruscello

 

Members Whose Leg Appointments Expire on 12/31/17

8. Arthur Barksdale

9. Carlton Strail

Members Whose Re-Appointment by County

Executive to a New Term is Up to be Confirmed

by the Legislature on 12/19/2017

14. Suzette Melendez

15. Leonardo Sanchez

16. Mary Alice Smothers

17. Rev. Bernard Alex

 

Member Who Just Resigned (CE Appointment)

18. Joyce Suslovic

 

Members Whose Leg Appointments Expire on 12/31/17

19. Crystal Doody

20. David Pasinski

21. Rosalie Young

 

Members Whose Mayoral Appointments Expire on 12/31/17

22. Shelly Skellington

23. Suzie Carman

 

OPEN Unfillled Legislature Appointment

24. _______________________

 

Chairman May apologized for the interruption.

 

Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

 

        b.     A Resolution Authorizing the Reconstruction/Construction of Improvements at the Department of Corrections Facility in and for the County of Onondaga, New York, at a Maximum Estimated Cost of $325,000, and Authorizing the Issuance of $325,000 Bonds of said County to Pay Costs Thereof ($325,000)

 

Chairman May said that this item was discussed in detail at the last committee meeting; routine maintenance, feel free to ask any further questions.  In answer to Mr. Dougherty, Ms. Dalfo confirmed that nothing was different from the informational presentation.

 

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

 

5.     EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS:  William Bleyle, Commissioner

        a.     A Resolution Authorizing Replacement of the Rose Hill Radio Tower in and for the County of Onondaga, New York, at a Maximum Estimated Cost of $339,000, and Authorizing the Issuance of $339,000 Bonds of said County to Pay Costs Thereof ($339,000)

 

Mr. Dougherty said that this was the second pass for this item.  Chairman May added that it was thoroughly talked about at the last meeting and asked if there were further questions or anything different.  In answer to Mr. Dougherty, Mr. Bleyle confirmed that this is the exact same resolution.

 

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

 

6.     EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT:  Daniel Wears, Commissioner

        a.     Transfer from Emergency Management, Account 666500 Contingency, to Emergency Management, Account 695700 Contractual Expenses, $10,000

 

Mr. Wears:

  • Move contingency funds to contractual expense for OCC delivery of Public Safety Critical Management classes, 2nd year doing this since he arrived, believes it was also done previously, multidisciplinary class designed to bring all the different agencies, including the public sector, together to respond to an incident

Mr. Dougherty asked how many people typically take the class.  Mr. Wears responded that up to 30 people can take the class, which is 16 hours total.  Mr. Dougherty asked if it was rank and file employees or commissioners.  Mr. Wears answered that typically it is entry level or people looking to be promoted to a supervisor role, particularly on the professional side.  Some departments use this as one of their qualifications to run for officer positions.  Chairman May said that people are being sent or recommended by their agency, department, or company.  Mr. Wear agreed. 

 

  • 1st two nights of class are presentation: Emergency Management, fire, EMS, hazmat, and other businesses in the industry detail their response role; 2nd half of the class acts out management of incident using a board -  “matchbox car village board”, visually able to move vehicles and see response

 

In answer to Mr. Ryan, Mr. Wears said that he believes the cap is 30 for the class, which is managed by OCC.  Mr. Ryan asked if there was a waiting list.  Mr. Wears answered yes, very often we hit the cap.

 

In answer to Chairman May, Mr. Wears confirmed that the $10,000 pays for the class and it is free for everyone taking the class.  It is a very heavy instructor class because the board is the streets, buildings, and everything else, which requires a number of dispatchers. 

 

Chairman May said that the state is looking to model a statewide program after this class and during his travels he received very good feedback on the class.  Mr. Wears said that a national representative from National Grid was at the last class, and they historically send people also.  Chairman May said that this goes into the bucket of other things we do to help the communities we serve.  It is something of high value because not only is it difficult to recruit volunteers for various agencies, but to advance them through the ranks.  Once they get them in, it is hard to keep them because of the demands on these folks. 

 

Mr. Ryan said that a National Grid employee who may want to get into a leadership roll could enroll in this class and would be part of the conversation for incidents with power or gas issues.  Mr. Wears that was part of the intent for the class, to drive different areas to work together to resolve the incident, whether fire, police, EMS, business entities, or public utilities.  All the scenarios we go through on the board are designed to force them to work together.

 

In answer to Mr. Dougherty, Mr. Wears said that a very high percentage of the attendees are first responders and from Onondaga County.  Occasionally there will be 1 or 2 people from another entity or contiguous county.  Mr. Dougherty said that per-person this is a small cost and asked if out of county was subsidized.  Mr. Wears answered that he was not aware if OCC charged back to other counties.  Mr. Dougherty said that he wasn’t sure that he even cared, was just curious.

 

Mr. Dougherty asked why these funds were put into contingency.  Chairman May answered that he would guess that during the final budget deliberation we did not exactly know, and there wasn’t time to ask, so we put it in contingency to find out what it is and solve it.  Mr. Dougherty said that it would be his guess as well.  Mr. Wears said that it has been in contingency for a few years; doesn’t know why. 

 

Chairman May said that this is a great investment.

 

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

 

b.     Amending the 2018 County Budget Regarding American Heart Association Training Cards ($60,000)

 

  • Training center for the American Heart Association; association increased CPR training cards from $2.50 to $17; budget neutral, increasing revenues and appropriations

 

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

 

Chairman May said that this is a 700% increase and asked what the driver was.  Mr. Wears responded that he had no idea; received a memo October 2nd basically saying they are increasing the costs.  The cards are now electronically printed by the students themselves.  Chairman May said that the increase was staggering. 

 

Mr. Wears said that there are other trainers but we have always used the AHA and their instructors.  We don’t teach the class, we just provide the service, at the training center, to the instructor. 

 

Chairman May said that this is budget neutral as we get revenue for the cards.  Mr. Wears agreed, adding that we were fortunate because we order cards in bulk and continued to sell them are our costs.

 

Seconded by Mr. Ryan.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

 

The meeting adjourned at 12:25 p.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Katherine French

KATHERINE M. FRENCH, Deputy Clerk

Onondaga County Legislature

Attendance

 

* * *

PLANNING & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE MINUTES – DECEMBER 14, 2017

DEREK T. SHEPARD, JR., CHAIRMAN

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Mr. Plochocki, Mr. Knapp

MEMBERS ABSENT:  Mr. Ryan, Mr. Jordan

ALSO ATTENDING:  see attached list

 

Chairman Shepard called the meeting to order at 10:35 a.m.  A motion was made by Mr. Knapp, seconded by Mr. Plochocki to waive the reading and approve the minutes of the previous committee meeting; MOTION CARRIED.

 

1.     COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT:  Martin Skahen, Director

        a.     Authorizing the Transfer of Tax Delinquent Properties to the Onondaga County Housing Development Fund Company

 

  • Housing Development Fund Company takes tax delinquent homes off auction block (from tax auction), rehab and sell these homes to low income first time homebuyers
  • 8 properties - resolution asks to approve taking possession of deeds; will determine if they are fixable
  • Receive list from Don Weber’s office 2 months prior to auction; identify homes between $70,000 - $110,000 range; do not go into homes, only look at pics and do drive byes
  • Identified 60 homes that would work, but at auction day there were only 8; other 52 paid, were not eligible, etc.
  • (i.e.) Home in Fabius on Main Street - realized it was worth ~$80,000; fix for $160,000 – $170,000, then sell for $100,000; gave back to Don Weber; auctioned off for $45,000
  • Community Development uses government money, so there are stricter requirements; not historic home, but in historic district – meaning they would have to do restoration on wood versus replacing siding and windows with vinyl
  • (i.e.) Home in Camillus on Ryan Home track; 3 bed, 2.5 bath; entire house was full of mold; people were hoarders; will lose money instead of breakeven
  • Take these properties, and asses; hope to end up with all 8

Mr. Knapp:

  • On board, and sometimes meet in houses before and after; do nice job and get properties back on tax rolls
  • Always debate if County taking homes from private sector, but very comfortable doing right thing
  • Are the WEP fees figured out?  Are they forgiven?

Mr. Skahen responded to Mr. Knapp that he believes the fees are forgiven.  Towns and villages forgive the taxes while the homes are being worked on, and the County makes them whole. 

 

Chairman Shepard asked if the exemptions become active by way of process of acquiring them, or are they approved individually after.  Mr. Skahen replied they become active after acquiring them.  When the Legislature approves them, it kicks everything into gear.  Mr. Knapp asked if they decided they do not want them, then it goes back.  Mr. Skahen said yes, but does not believe it is retro.  It does start back up. 

 

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

 

2.     GREATER SYRACUSE PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION (LANDBANK):  William Fisher, Deputy County Executive

        a.     Amending the 2017 Budget to Provide Support for the Greater Syracuse Property Development Corporation and to Encourage Redevelopment of Blighted Properties ($150,000)

 

  • County Executive has been proposed declining amounts each year for Landbank, based on the idea they would find ways to fund operations on sustainable basis vs. continuous appropriations from County
  • 2017 budget presentation had $150,000; Legislature moved to contingency; this year County Executive did not propose any for 2018 - discussion to move money out of contingency already approved and taxed for

Mr. Knapp asked for a reminder if the Legislature did anything for 2018.  Mr. Fisher and Chairman Shepard both agreed that they do not believe so. 

 

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

 

        b.     Authorizing the Transfer of Tax Delinquent Properties to the Greater Syracuse Property Development Corporation

 

Mr. Skahen:

  • Make sure not to overlap; Landbank take homes in worse shape; serves different need; auctioned for less, need work

Mr. Fisher said this happens regularly each year, and they vet the properties with Community Development.  The County Executive believes these are a good set for the Landbank. 

 

Mr. Knapp asked if Mr. Fisher is on the Landbank, and he responded no.  Chairman Shepard answered Mr. Knapp that there are 6 properties.  Mr. Knapp asked where they are.  Chairman Shepard said Village of North Syracuse, Town of Dewitt, Village of Jordan, Village of Solvay, Village of Baldwinsville, and Town of Salina. 

 

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

 

3.     CORNELL COOPERATIVE EXTENSION:

        a.     Memorializing the Governor and the Legislature of the State of New York to Increase State Support for Cornell Cooperative Extension County Associations in the State of New York (Sponsored by Mr. McMahon)

 

Mr. Knapp:

  • CCE had state support and funding, which remained stagnant for past 10 to 20 years; coming to rely more and more on individual counties they reside in, and also college
  • Resolution - try and put pressure on state to increase support level

Chairman Shepard thought it said they are looking for $8 million across the state, and Mrs. Lesniak agreed.

 

Mr. Knapp continued:

  • Most upstate counties have their own; work hard to try and share services; each had own finance and IT person; trying to work regionally and share assets, not hiring own people
  • Gotten into new areas like ash borer; huge part of deer management plan and tick borne illness program; continue to grow scope of services, but financing is stagnant

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

 

4.     Memorializing the Governor and the Legislature of the State of New York to Adopt S. 5887 / A. 8073 to Establish the Empire State Video Gaming Media Production Tax Credit (Sponsored by Mr. McMahon)

 

Mr. Patterson:

  • Mitchell Patterson, lives in Clay; own business based in Saratoga Springs in streaming industry
  • Wrote article about video gaming industry – gets some attention from state, but nothing passed yet
  • E-Sports created about decade ago - people watching people play video games; just observing (not playing)
  • Currently $108 billion industry; past 6 years has grown 6.5% on average; projecting to be $130 billion by 2020
  • Current tax credits offered by state are not specific; many companies do not fit, and/or do not want to tie themselves to a University; find it cumbersome
  • Feel that most tax credits in state have idea of new industries (old adage like a new factory)
  • Video games, while a few decades old, in the sports trend is a new industry; gone from nothing to $130 billion
  • RIT is one of the largest video gaming development schools in nation; NYC has become a hub for video games
  • Major League Baseball software BAMTech sold to Disney for $4 billion; 10 other studios sold for over $100 million
  • Warner Brothers Office based in Troy; Activision Office based in Schenectady; Riot Games office (owned by Tencent, - one of the 10 largest companies in world)
  • New York State pushing for $50 mil tax credit to support these businesses; would be great to support growing industry
  • Everyone talking about brain drain - jobs that help keep and retain; kids love video games and software
  • (i.e.) Went to Christmas party of video game company with 45 employees - oldest employee is 28; avg. salary of $85,000
  • How is money made by observing people?
  • All over the board including subscription programs; company started in 2007 called MLG Major League Gaming – first one to stream games; teams are sponsored; people pay to watch annually, monthly or weekly competitions
  • League of Legends is largest video game in world with over 140 million monthly active users; has event called Summoner’s Cup - major events at Madison Square Garden and Staple Center; sell out every arena
  • Last year it was hosted online with 48 mil viewers watching the entire event; sell ads that way

 

Mr. Knapp asked how the committee can get Mr. Patterson’s business here.  Mr. Patterson said his wife has kept him here, and it is something they discuss.  The majority of employees work from home and are across the state.  Mr. Patterson replied to Mr. Knapp that his company has 12 employees, and it was started 2 years ago.  The business is video streaming like Apple TV, and TVG, a horse betting app. 

 

Mr. Knapp asked if the tax credit would help keep these outfits here, or bring in new ones.  Mr. Patterson believes it would do both.  Retention is a big deal, and a lot of companies are getting calls from Montreal, Monterey, San Jose, and Los Angeles.  They are creating tax incentives. 

 

Mr. Patterson commented that currently there are 2.8 billion active gamers in the world; either watching or playing.  Twitch was started in 2010 (streaming games), and bought by Amazon 3 years ago for $1.4 billion.  It is a big industry, and it is in New York State.  It has not gotten the accolades, or support.  Gamers tend to be reclusive, which has probably hurt their marketing.

 

Mr. Shepard read Mr. Patterson’s article, and it stated that this is not new money.  It is taking an existing program, and clarifying that this venture qualifies.  Mr. Patterson agreed, and said the current bills as constituted in the Senate and Assembly are repurposing existing tax credit dollars.  It is not finding a new $50 million. 

 

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

 

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

 

Respectfully submitted,

Jamie

JAMIE McNAMARA, Assistant Clerk

Onondaga County Legislature

Attendance

 

* * *

 

WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE MINUTES

December 15, 2017

David Knapp, Chairman

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Mr. Kilmartin, Mr. Jordan, Mrs. Ervin, Mr. Shepard, *Mr. May

MEMBERS ABSENT:  Ms. Williams

ALSO PRESENT:  Chairman McMahon, see also attached list

 

Chairman Knapp called the meeting to order at 9:02 a.m.

 

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

 

CONSENT AGENDA

 

1.     WATER ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION:

       a.     Transfer from Water Environment Protection, Account 693000 Supplies and Materials, to Water Environment Protection, Account 694100 All Other Expenses, $150,000

 

2      EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT:

        a.     Transfer from Emergency Management, Account 666500 Contingency, to Emergency Management, Account 695700 Contractual Expenses, $10,000

        b.     Amending the 2018 County Budget Regarding American Heart Association Training Cards ($60,000)

 

3.     DISTRICT ATTORNEY:

        a.     Regarding Grant Funding Awarded by the NYS Office of Victim Services:  Amending the 2018 County Budget, Making Personnel Changes, and Authorizing the Execution of Agreements ($75,000)

 

4.     CORRECTION:

        a.     Amending the 2017 County Budget to Make Funds Available for use by the Department of Correction ($100,000)

 

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

 

REGULAR AGENDA

 

1.     PARKS & RECREATION:  Bill Lansley, Commissioner

        a.     A Resolution Authorizing the Replacement of the Boardwalk at Rosamond Gifford Zoo, in and for the County of Onondaga, New York, at a New Maximum Estimated Cost of $2,200,000 and Authorizing the Issuance of an Additional $1,195,000 Bonds of said County to Pay Costs Thereof ($2,200,000)

  • Assessment done on elevated walkway - deteriorating concrete, rusted steal, cables breaking
  • A design was done to shore it up until a full design to repair it
  • Design firm was made aware of long-term study for zoo elephant exhibit
  • Design firm recommended not reinvesting in an elevated walkway that will deteriorate the same way in 20-30 yrs.
  • At grade walkway – don’t need as large of field for the white lip deer  - adding up the hill, at grade walkway with viewing stations and dismantle elevated boardwalk
  • Boardwalk is not ADA, can’t put vehicles on it, snow removal by hand or snow blower
  • Breading Program for Asian Elephants requires more space – new design goes further up the hill with 2 existing overlooks that the Friend have made; one requires walkway from new trail at grade over 12 ft. tunnel – elephants can go between yards
  • Patrons will be in center of exhibit; elephant will go underneath
  • Existing walkway from red panda toward the elephant building – will build at grade crossing with large steel gates where elephants will walk in front of crowd
  • Will build new section, open for patron use and then dismantle old section

 

Mr. Jordan said that he thought when the construction of the elephant shed was done, it included the construction of the board walk – wasn’t that long ago.  Mr. Lansley said that repairs were done to the boardwalk on top of the existing concrete plank.   Beyond the overlook that was built is the bulk of the boardwalk that was not addressed in that project.  It was replacing the boardwalks; a rubber seal was put on top of it to make it last until total remediation could be done – 60% was never remediated.

 

In answer to Mr. Kilmartin, Mr. Lansley said that the area is just below the tigers, where the asphalt walkway ends and boardwalk starts – asphalt will remain, but will curve and go across the hill.  It will dig into the hill; a new fence will be put in for the white lip deer on top; and then dismantle large sections of elevated walkway.  Concrete was deteriorating heavily – engineers at the time required that immediate repairs be made.  It was about $60,000.  With this project a roadway will be built to get down there and build the new board walk – it will serve as an emergency route in the future.

 

Mrs. Ervin asked if once this is done, everything will be completed – there will be no more need to do any work.  Mr. Lansley agreed for the elephant project, adding that it will really complete that project.

 

Chair Knapp said that he and Legislator Tassone went to the zoo to see what the proposal was.  It snowed that day and it was not fun walking on the boardwalk.  The way this is being laid out with the elephant expansion program, and the new rules in place where people can’t interact with the elephant anymore, this will allow people to get as close as they can get to them, as opposed to looking through a glass at them.  It will hopefully alleviate having to do maintenance and further safety enhancements. 

 

In answer to Chairman Knapp, Mr. Lansley said that the Friends are not involved in this project.  They are going to help out tremendously with the medical center.  Chairman Knapp asked about discussions regarding enhancing the elephant display to include rhinos.  Mr. Lansley said that there are other species that can co-exist with the elephants – will look at putting them into the yard.  This will have two separate yards that can be closed off – if an elephant has to be quarantined, or have babies in a separate area – gives a lot more flexibility with the heard.

 

Mrs. Ervin said that the IDA piece is really big.

 

A motion was made by Mr. Kilmartin, seconded by Mrs. Ervin, to approve this item.  AYES:  4 (Knapp, Kilmartin, Ervin, Shepard); NOES:  0; ABSTENTIONS:  1 (Jordan).  MOTION CARRIED.  

 

        b.     A Resolution Authorizing Various Improvements to Parks in and for the County of Onondaga, New York, at a Maximum Estimated Cost of $728,000, and Authorizing the Issuance of $728,000 Bonds of said County to Pay Costs Thereof ($728,000)

  • Capital improvements brought forward at Ways & Means during budget review
    • Playground
      • Built 15 – 18 yrs. ago, funded by Wegmans - $1 million benefit; asked Wegmans to continue funding – received additional 4 years at $40,000, which ran out about 3 years ago.  Dollars in Special Events accounts are dedicated to repairing playground equipment.
      • Seeking $200k to re-do fabric base – rubber now; want to go to fiber carpet, which should last longer, and able to be fixed – can cut out a piece if damaged and seam it in
      • Fix equipment in the Spring and then put carpet around it – will be almost a brand new playground
      • Continue to talk to Wegmans for additional funding; seeking out any other funding opportunities that could be applied to the project
      • Safety issue at this point – need to address
      • Carpenters Brook - $100,000
          • Built in 1934 – have 27 outdoor, spring fed ponds; water is consistently 47º - raise fish year round
          • Concrete formed ponds have cracked and have leaks – need to jackhammer them out, rebar, repair concrete
          • Hope to get fiber liner or spray on rhino liners next year
          • Road Repair - $100,000
            • From Long Branch to S.U. Boathouse – entrance road
            • In rough shape – remediate in Spring
            • Energy Efficiency at Zoo
            • Gas powered turbine energy generator--currently running a lot of zoo exhibits off of portable generators
            • In cases of emergency, turns turbine on and creates energy that ties into exhibits crucial for maintaining life for animals
            • NYSERDA project – get a return on it; 30 year project -12-year return on investment

 

Chairman McMahon said that he spoke to Ms. Primo, who was going to reach out to Senator Velasky and Assemblywoman Hunter about assistance, and would like to know the status of that.  He also asked Law Department to look at the agreement with Wegmans; Syracuse University is looking at it; it is ridiculous and need to break it if they aren’t going to be paying a yearly maintenance fee.  He is willing to support this, if updates are received –“there is no way our senate and assembly members can’t get $200,000 for this.” He would like to see where the effort is.  Mr. Lansley said that they will be very diligent to that, and hopefully can get some sort of resolution before the project – can’t do anything until the spring anyway.  Chairman McMahon said that it is something that we need to get better at; the city doesn’t do a playground project in a city park without going through this and trying to get money; assembly and senate representatives should be paying for this.

 

Mr. Jordan asked what the anticipated life of the carpeting is.  Mr. Lansley said that he will have to go back and look at it, but it was substantially more than the rubber – will provide the information.  In answer to Chairman Knapp, Mr. Lansley said that it is like a fuzzy nylon with a lot of grip and texture to it.  It is laid out and then a sand mixture is put on top that holds it down – it is not glued so it can be vacuumed, can cut sections out if repairs are needed.  Mr. Jordan asked if it comes with a warrantee; Mr. Lansley said that it does and will provide it.  Chairman Knapp said that for regular fields it is about 10 years; there is high traffic areas at the end of the slide or around the merry-go-round.

 

Mr. Jordan referred to Carpenter’s Brook, noting that there was a project not too long ago where some of the ponds were replaced.  Mr. Lansley said that they did one.  A vendor came in to see how it would adhere, and he didn’t do too good—it was a vendor who was doing other repairs there.  It was channeled out and re-mortared, and it didn’t last, so large sections had to be taken out, reinforced, and poured.  Mr. Jordan said that frequently a statement is made that someone was hired, they didn’t do a good job, and the product wasn’t that good.  He never hears about the county going back against the installer or manufacturer, saying that they didn’t perform the contract sufficiently.  Mr. Lansley said that this was just one repair of $500-$600, but assured that the contractors are held to a very high level in Parks Dept.  He gave the example of the parking lot at the Salt Museum -- a gate was installed, which was shorter than actually ordered; the contractor was made to come back and repair it. 

 

Chairman Knapp said that he is sure other hatcheries have had the same issues as Carpenters Brook.  Mr. Lansley said that the superintendent provides a lot of information as he tours other hatcheries.  Years ago fiberglass troughs were installed in the hatchery building, prior they were copper-lined, wood troughs.  The Friends assisted with the cost, as they were very expensive.  Something a little thinner is needed for the ponds that will last the test of time being that they are outside.  

 

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

 

Chairman Knapp said that he will support this at this time, under the condition of what the Chairman spoke about in finding other sources.

 

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

 

2.     COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT:  Marty Skahen, Director

        a.     Authorizing the Transfer of Tax Delinquent Properties to the Onondaga County Housing Development Fund Company

  • Every year at tax auction time, properties are taken off the auction
  • The homes are rehabbed and sold via low-income, first time home buyer program
  • Started with about 60 properties and ended up with 8

 

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

 

Mr. Jordan said that he has seen some of the properties in the past and some weren’t in bad shape.  There are people out there that provide for their families by buying properties, rehabbing them, and reselling them.  He has a problem with taking properties off the tax auction, somewhere, someone may very well be interested – some that with very little investment could be fixed up and then resold – could make a little money and help support their family.  He doesn’t know why we would take food out of someone’s mouth.  It is something else if it went to auction and nobody had any interest in, then we turn around and rehab them – that makes a lot of sense.   He said he has not seen these properties, as he just received the resolution yesterday, and will be abstaining until he can do so.

 

Mr. Skahen said that 100’s of properties are auctioned off; his office identified 60 potential that would fit their model to be sold within the $70,000 - $100,000 range.  There are plenty of people that come to the auction and leave happy and support their families.  There is value that they take 10-12 properties a year and allow them to be rehabbed and sold to people that would not be able to become homeowners without the program.  Mr. Jordan agreed – it’s a great program and there is value to it, but thinks that we should focus on the homes that are in a little worse shape.  Mr. Skahen said that you can’t tell by looking at them, noting that they usually can only look from the outside.  He gave an example of a house that once all of the stuff was removed that people had hoarded in the house, they entire house was covered in mold – will cost money that they didn’t see coming.  It is a big risk that is taken; if that house was sold to someone who flips houses for a living, they would have taken a huge hit.

 

Chairman McMahon said that he understands Mr. Jordan’s point, but the danger is that these are properties that no one his bidding on and we are getting them very cheap.  A lot of these houses aren’t the types that you can make money on by flipping them.  There aren’t a lot of 2-families; they are smaller homes.  The key point is that it is community development – getting homeowners in these properties.   

 

Chairman McMahon asked how long the county waits to do an auction.  He said that he gets properties forwarded to him all of the time that people want to buy.  Some of them are higher tiered properties where they owe the county over $30,000, but it hasn’t been delinquent that long.  If we start sending them notices that we are going to take their property, they will pay their taxes.  The county holds the towns harmless and a lot of these properties go delinquent; that is money kept on the side lines each year that can’t be budgeted for.  He asked what the law is and if it can be changed.  Mr. Weber said that it is a state law; there is a specific law in Onondaga County with that Tax Act – one of the few counties that still have the Tax Act – it takes a minimum of 3.5 years.  If you are delinquent this year; we are going to auction properties that have 2015 taxes or earlier due at least.  There are things that homeowners can do to stall that process, i.e. enter into a repayment agreement or file bankruptcy.  Chairman McMahon said that you would think that if you could do it quicker, the homeowner is going to enter into a repayment agreement right away.  Basically the law allows them to have a 3 year hiatus, and if it is in the towns, it is not impacting the towns or the school district, it is impacting the county’s bottom line.  He asked to see the verbage on the law.

 

In answer to Mr. Kilmartin, Mr. Weber said it is 3.5 years.  It is a very old law.  Mr. Kilmartin asked if it has been amended to provide more time.  Mr. Weber said that originally it was 2 or 2.5 years; there was a challenge in court and the end result was that it gave more time.  Mr. Kilmartin said it would be interesting to get the delegations engaged on it because they have a vested interest in being respectful of the current owner; giving people enough rope to try to find a solution, but then having an earlier demarcation line to get these neighborhoods back up and running.

 

Chairman McMahon said that a homeowner is allowed to get in the hole for 3 years of taxes; most are not going to get out of the hole by that point.  If you push the issue they will set up a payment plan early; it can be very generous to get it done – similar to the IRS setting generous payment plans. 

 

Mr. Jordan said that it’s the same thing for foreclosures; the process gets longer and longer all of the time.  People live in houses for 2 – 5 years not paying anything, living for free in the house.

 

Mr. Weber referred to remaining in the home; they don’t want to be a tyrant, because the ones that tend to go would be the elderly or those that don’t have anywhere else to go.  He said that the time that they have allows them to work with people.  It would be very rare to actually put someone out on the street.  Chairman McMahon said that no one is suggesting that solution; they are going to get in a payment plan to keep their house, and the system is allowing 36 months before they have to enter into a payment plan.  Chairman Knapp said that they dig themselves a bigger hole.

 

Chairman Knapp said that he is on the board of the Housing Development Fund Company and sees a lot of the properties.  A meeting was held at one of the houses recently, which was one that was fixed up.  They went to another house that was taken off the tax auction, but no work had started on it.  It was a nice house in it’s time, but in really rough shape.  The neighbor was very pleased that we were taken over the property; people had looked at it, but once they were inside of it there wasn’t any interest.  

 

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

 

3.     GREATER SYRACUSE PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT CORP. (LAND BANK)

        a.     Amending the 2017 Budget to Provide Support for the Greater Syracuse Property Development Corporation and to Encourage Redevelopment of Blighted Properties ($150,000)

 

Chairman McMahon said that that $150,000 was appropriated in the 2017 budget for the landbank to redevelop properties throughout the county.  This moves the money into a grant to work out a contract with the landbank.  Chairman Knapp said that the money is in contingency right now.  Chairman McMahon said that for 2018 there is no cash going to the landbank.  Some things were done, i.e. working with them on their sewer charges for properties, CNY Works has been working with them.  He said that he is trying to get personnel and labor there to help keep up some of the properties – it helps them save money in other areas.  

 

A motion was made by Mr. Kilmartin, seconded by Mrs. Ervin, to approve this item.  AYES:  4 (Knapp, Kilmartin, Shepard, Ervin); NOES:  0; ABSTENTIONS:  1 (Jordan)

 

        b.     Authorizing the Transfer of Tax Delinquent Properties to the Greater Syracuse Property Development Corporation

 

Chairman McMahon said that there are certain properties that the landbank spoke to the municipalities about.  The municipalities are working with the landbank on development strategies that we have implemented in previous years.  In answer to Chairman Knapp, Chairman McMahon confirmed that these properties are typically worse than the Fund Company’s.  There have been quite a few properties in Baldwinsville, Jordan, and East Syracuse that have gone through already; this is continuity of that approach.

 

Chairman Knapp said that all of these properties are from the suburbs

 

A motion was made by Mr. Kilmartin, seconded by Mrs. Ervin, to approve this item.  AYES:  4 (Knapp, Kilmartin, Shepard, Ervin); NOES:  0; ABSTENTIONS:  1 (Jordan).  MOTION CARRIED.

 

4.     EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS:  William Bleyle, Commissioner

        a.     A Resolution Authorizing Replacement of the Rose Hill Radio Tower in and for the County of Onondaga, New York, at a Maximum Estimated Cost of $339,000, and Authorizing the Issuance of $339,000 Bonds of said County to Pay Costs Thereof ($339,000)

  • Replace Rose Hill radio tower – a 325’ standalone, self-supporting radio tower replacing the existing guide tower
  • Includes funding to deconstruct the old tower and transfer antennas onto the new tower
  • Rose Hill tower is the oldest in the fleet of 18 radio towers; one of the most critical geographic locations; Town of Marcellus, good view of southwestern suburbs – very important tower
  • Originally built for Union Specific Railroad in early 1960’s; Union Specific gave it to OCRRA; OCRRA constructed it when they built the Rock Cut Road facility in 1979 or 1980 – kept at Rockcut Road until 1987
  • 1987 it was deconstructed and moved to Rose Hill site by the Sheriff’s office
  • Approaching 60 yrs. old; does not meet current ANSI standards for public safety communication towers
  • A number of engineering issues with tower -- basically constructed of steel and 60 years old
  • Deconstructing and reassembly is never a good thing; along the line it was moderately bent, and as result struggled to tension the guide wires
  • Tower legs at 65’-85’ are overstressed
  • Ultrasound investigation showed internal corrosion
  • To keep the tower beyond next year would require immediate repairs that would cost between $50,000-$55,000 to re-guide; climbing later, deemed unsafe - $18,000-$20,000 to replace
  • Want to avoid a tower collapse – critical interruption to public safety community and pose a danger; would cost approx. $1.5 million
  • Long term tenant of 20+ years – pays $26,000/year

A motion was mad by Mr. Kilmartin, seconded by Mrs. Ervin to approve this item.

 

Chairman Knapp asked if this will be more like a cell tower without guide wires.  Mr. Bleyle agreed, noting that the current tower is guide; this will be self-supporter. 

 

Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

 

5.     FINANCE, DIVISION OF REAL PROPERTY TAX SERVICES:  Don Weber, Director

        a.     Southwood-Jamesville Water District – General Apportionment

        b.     Southwood-Jamesville Water District, Town of Dewitt Apportionment

        c.     Southwood-Jamesville Water District, Town of Onondaga Apportionment

        d.     Warners Water District – General Apportionment

        e.     Warners Water District, Town of Camillus Apportionment

        f.      Warners Water District, Town of Van Buren Apportionment

        g.     2018 Town Tax Rates, Fixed, Ratified, and Confirmed

 

A motion was made by Mr. Kilmartin, seconded by Mrs. Ervin, to approve items 5a – 5f.  Passed unanimously; motion carried.

 

A motion was made by Mr. Kilmartin, seconded by Mrs. Ervin, to approve item 5g.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

 

6.     FINANCE, DIVISION OF MANAGEMENT & BUDGET:  Tara Venditti, Acting CFO

        a.     Authorize the County Comptroller to Transfer 2017 Unencumbered Appropriations and Appropriate Revenue After Expiration of the 2017 Fiscal Year Upon Approval of the County Executive and the Chairman of the Ways & Means Committee

  • Authorization to clean up any negative account balances
  • Used generally for social services programs

 

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

 

        b.     Authorizing the County Comptroller, Upon Approval of the Finance Department Division of Management and Budget and the County Executive's Office, to Transfer 2017 Unencumbered Appropriation Account Balances in Excess of $7,500 Into, Between, and Among all Interdepartmental Chargeback Appropriation Accounts and Adjust the Corresponding Interdepartmental Revenue Accounts

 

  • For interdepartmental accounts

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

 

7.     CORRECTION: Tina Dalfo, Fiscal Officer

        a.     Resolution Authorizing the Reconstruction/Construction of Improvements at the Department of Corrections Facility in and for the County of Onondaga, New York, at a Maximum Estimated Cost of $325,000, and Authorizing the Issuance of $325,000 Bonds of said County to Pay Costs Thereof ($325,000)

  • Kitchen floor restoration, food service delivery carts, new dishwasher – all 50 years old; floor is ripped up
  • Have had water leakage; created hazards in the kitchen area, fixing up to meet OSHA regs
  • Purchase new washing machine for inmates laundry
  • Items necessary to keep the facility running

Chairman Knapp asked if the kitchen items are all original.  Ms. Dalfo said that they are, as well as the laundry machine, a massive machine.  It is more economical for the inmates to wash the laundry.  The plan is to get 2 machines that are smaller and more efficient.

 

A motion was made by Mrs. Ervin to approve this item.

 

Mr. Jordan asked if any grant monies are available to pay for some or all of these items.  Ms. Dalfo said “not that we are aware of”.  She said that they have looked into things, but they don’t have anything – they basically say that we have to provide for the safety and security of the inmates there.

 

*Mr. May arrived at the meeting.

 

Mr. May said that this item passed unanimously and was vetted thoroughly at Public Safety Committee.  There were two bites at the project, and a good job was done explaining that this was almost pure routine maintenance.  He noted that he can’t remember a capital project coming from Jamesville since he has been on the legislature.

 

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

 

 

Chairman Knapp stated that an additional item, 7b, would be considered, and the resolution was distributed:

 

        b.     PROVIDING FOR VARIOUS PERSONNEL CHANGES RELATED TO TRANSFERRING THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTION UNDER THE CONTROL OF THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE, AND AMENDING RESOLUTION NO. 149-2017

 

Chairman Knapp stated that while going through the consolidation of the justice center and the Jamesville Correctional facility yesterday, it was found that a couple titles didn’t match in the original resolution and local law that was passed.

 

Mr. Owens said that this is simply changing those titles to clarify the local law; want to make sure it is correct going forward.  In addition, the deputy commissioner position posed a little Civil Service challenge in the previous title.  This new title clears that up and makes it more in line to the Sheriff’s vision and how he wants to operate.  It is just a title change; there is no dollar impact. 

 

Mr. Jordan asked why there aren’t any eliminations, if this is a title change.  If giving it another title, we should be eliminating one position and created another position.  Mrs. Berger said that those positions don’t exist until 1/1/18.  By this resolution becoming effective, if adopted, then those positions would not have existed and these positions will be implemented.  Mr. Jordan said that you are not changing titles; you are creating new positions.  Mrs. Berger said that you are creating new positions and changing the titles.  The positions authorized by Resolution No. 149 don’t exist until 1/1/18; this resolution will change that; so you don’t need to abolish them because they don’t really exist. 

Mr. May said that the Commissioner titled position goes away and gets replaced.  Mr. Jordan said that at budget time a new position was created for a commissioner.  Mr. Owens said “you abolished and created a title.”  Mr. May said that this is just changing the title of the create.  Mr. Kilmartin said that we had created at budget time, and simultaneously abolished the one for one.  What this is doing, as to that create, is just changing the title of that position for that one created. 

 

Mr. Jordan said that in the past, in order to that, we had to eliminate the previous position and create the new one.  The one created at budget time should be eliminated now for this new position.  Mr. Owens said that in effect, it is.  On paper it never happened, we haven’t created that – it wouldn’t take place until January 1, 2018.  Mr. Kilmartin said that his create will substitute for and eliminate the prior create at budget.  Mrs. Berger agreed, adding that there won’t be an additional set of titles – “if this resolution is adopted, there will not be a duplicate set of titles.”  Mr. Jordan said that we created a position effective Jan. 1, 2018 – there is not a position right now for that person.  Mr. Kilmartin said that this is sliding in lieu of that create; this one will take effect Jan. 1st; the one we created at budget will never take effect. 

 

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

 

8.     CHALLENGER FIELD OF DREAMS:  Chairman McMahon

        a.     Amending the 2017 County Budget to make Contingency Funds Available for use in Connection with the Challenger Field of Dreams, and Providing for Agreements as may be Necessary Related to such use ($25,000)

  • This money is in the 2017 budget  - contingency account for the Challenger Field in Dewitt
  • Releasing the money

 

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

 

9.     LAW: 

        a.     Authorizing the Execution of Agreements to Provide Security During Arraignments Held at the Centralized Arraignment Part at the Public Safety Building During Off-Hours

 

Chairman Knapp said that he, Mr. Kilmartin, Judge Murphy, Judge Tormey, and Mr. Durr worked yesterday, and well into the evening, on the final pieces of the puzzle to make this happen.  It will be a great thing for the towns, and for the town judges. 

 

Mr. Kilmartin said it has been a process, long in the making with a lot of different people and agencies – court system, OCA, towns, villages, Sheriff’s office, Co. Executive’s office and Law Department for over a year to year and a half of very diligent work from a lot of people.  It would have fallen apart but for the county stepping forward to help make this happen and bridge a gap on a couple of different issues.  The net result will be tremendous efficiencies in the court system.  It will stop the fractured, antiquated system, which was made even more complex, with the Hurrell Harring case.  A lot of credit goes to a lot of people for being involved.

 

Chairman Knapp said that it is a model and prototype for the rest of the state.  The other counties are looking at modeling their systems after this once we are up and running and learning from our challenges.

 

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

 

10.   PURCHASE:  Andrew Trombley, Director

        a.     Authorizing the Execution if Shared Services Agreements for the Provision of Various Purchasing Services by Onondaga County to the Town of Hartwick in Otsego County

  • Authorizing IMA with Town of Hartwick, Otsego Co. 
  • Hartwick has about 2,200 people; roughly equivalent to town of Fabius, Tully or Otisco
  • Town supervisor is also the county’s E911 Commissioner and has seen benefits of a consolidated purchasing program and services provided to the County of Otsego; he asked if services could be provided to his town
  • Great opportunity to test out service to a town – would like to someday do a town in Onondaga County as no cost
  • Don’t expect large volume of work – a lot will be off of Otsego Co. contracts, state or national contacts
  • They want assurance that they are purchasing things correctly

 

In answer to Chairman Knapp, Mr. Trombley said that the revenue is $5,000 per year, and confirmed that it will not require any additional staff.  Mr. Trombley stated that there will be no additional staff; will be absorbed into the existing workforce.

 

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

 

Mr. Jordan questioned why we are bothering with this for $5,000.  If for some reason Onondaga County messes something up, our liability is going to be more than we will ever get from this contract.  Mr. Trombley said he was disappointed to hear that and added “I would think as a fiscal conservative, you would want to see money come into the county that doesn’t cost us any additional time.”  Mr. Jordan said that as a fiscal conservative he sees the potential liability being more than we would get from the contract.  Mr. Trombley said that there isn’t any liability.  The IMA says that the town assumes liability for all of their decisions – county assumes liability for the process only.  Mr. Jordan said that “if we screw something up, they don’t indemnify us for that.”  Mr. Trombley responded “We don’t screw anything up in our office; you don’t have to worry about that.”

 

Chairman Knapp asked if they want us to order a tire, and we order the wrong one, how does that work.  Mr. Trombley said that the municipal body retains decision making control; we do a process – an RFP, bid or quote based on their rules.  If the scope they provided us is correct, we go out and bid it or RFP it; if they give us bad scope, that’s on them.  Chairman Knapp asked what happens if it’s just a key punch error and just order the wrong tire.  Mr. Trombley said that there is the ability with the vendor relationships to mitigate it; we are not going to be at risk.  Until they accept delivery and pay for it -- if there is an issue with the product upon delivery, those things get worked out.  That’s a very rare occurrence, if at all.

 

A vote was taken on the motion.  AYES:  5 (Knapp, May, Shepard, Kilmartin, Ervin); NOES:  1 (Jordan).  MOTION CARRIED.

 

        b.     Revenue Contract Report

  • New Solicitation for Athletic Operations at Hopkins Road Park and Onondaga Lake Park
    • Received 4 proposals; chose incumbent vendor – Home Run Softball

 

report

 

Chairman McMahon asked if they had the most revenue out of the four proposals.  Mr. Trombley said that of the four they were competitive on the dollar amount; there was one that was significantly higher and offered more revenue, but literally had no experience in the field; they were new to the business.  After review with the Park’s Department and consultation with the RFP Committee, we were not comfortable that they could provide the quality of the program that is required.  The goal is to first provide the quality program to the residents of the county that sign up and pay to be in these leagues – wants to be sure they are run correctly and that someone has the ability to perform.  Then we look at the financials and see if they can support the model as they described it.  He said “Frankly, their proposal was very, very nonspecific on how they would get there, so we were just not comfortable awarding to them.”  The current vendor has a very competitive proposal in terms of price – the other 3 were all the same.  They do considerable work bringing tournaments and other outside revenue outside of the county and have a statewide network that brings folks in that will pay sales tax dollars and occupancy tax.  In answer to Chairman McMahon, Mr. Trombley said that the contract is 3 years + 1 + 1. 

 

Chairman Knapp asked about Lights on the Lake; Mr. Trombley will check with Commissioner Lansley and have something put together.  Mr. May said that he would like to hear about it when they are ready.

 

11.     COUNTY LEGISLATURE:  Chairman McMahon

            a.   In Connection with Hiawatha Lake Wall Repairs:  Amending the 2017 County Budget to Make Contingency Funds Available for Use, and Providing for Agreements as May be Necessary ($200,000) (Sponsored by Mr. McMahon)

  • This is the 2017 budget – tax on city abstract – moving those funds into a project account; IMA with the City and new mayor-elect

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

 

          b.     In Connection with the United States Bowling Congress 2018 Open Championships Tournament:  Amending the 2017 County Budget to Make Contingency Funds Available for Use, and Providing for Agreements as May be Necessary ($45,000) (Sponsored by Mr. McMahon) 

  • 2018 Bowling Conference is coming; already restoring various bowling lanes around the county; Oncenter will return to a big bowling center very soon
  • Biggest piece of business in county history regarding tourism
  • To obtain the business, a down payment was needed; we made part of it and the other part is in a project account
  • In addition, there were certain carrying costs that Visit Syracuse would need from us – this is a small piece of that
  • Will go to pay warehouse that stores all of the equipment
  • Will have another request in next 3 months to pay for the other items necessary for this event – hopefully out of year-end room occupancy tax

 

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

 

Mr. May asked when the event starts.  Chairman McMahon said March, noting that the Oncenter is converting it over now. 

 

12.     CHARTER CONFLICT COMMITTEE:

          a.     A Local Law Amending the Administrative Code Regarding Outside Employment of Certain Officials Employed by the County

 

Chairman Knapp said that a few months ago a local law was adopted concerning outside employment for the five county-wide elected officials.  In looking back at that, we realized there were several appointed employees in the Law Dept, and DA’s office who were under the same restrictions.  It is prudent to expand the conflict committee so that they can apply to do some of the things, i.e. volunteer and non-for-profit organization, refereeing, serving on a local town zoning board, etc.

 

Chairman McMahon said that in January he will be bringing forward the chairman’s picks for the conflict committee.  The chairman has 3 picks to put forward for confirmation and will consult with Leader Ervin on one of the 3; 2 will be ready to go in January.

 

Mr. May said that when this started it pertained to five people, and asked what the scope is now or if it could change.  Chairman Knapp said that it could change – not sure how many ADA’s there are.  In answer to Mr. May, Chairman Knapp confirmed that every ADA would now be subject to this if they wanted to do something outside.  There are some positions in the county attorney’s office now too that are under the same restrictions.  Mr. Shepard said that they already are subject to it; this just lets them apply for a waiver.  Mr. May said that it was discovered after the fact that the implications were broader than anticipated.  Chairman Knapp agreed.  Mrs. Ervin said that this is cleaning that up; Chair Knapp agreed and said that this gives folks flexibility.

 

A motion was made by Mr. Shepard, seconded by Mr. Kilmartin, to approve this item.  AYES:  4 (Knapp, Shepard, Kilmartin, Ervin); NOES:  0; ABSTENTIONS:  2 (May, Jordan).  MOTION CARRIED.

 

13.     COMPTROLLER:

          a.     Requiring the Onondaga County Comptroller to Perform Financial Audits Using Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards

 

Chairman Knapp said that last month resolutions were passed requesting the Comptroller to do some audits of the Economic Development and Lakeview Park.  He said that as the audits can get emotional for those two topics, he thought it was prudent to have it in here…“to make sure we play by the rules.”  There is nothing in the generally accepted auditing standards that is not just basic professionalism and common courtesy setting up the goals and procedures.  In the end making sure that whatever department is audited gets the report before it is released to the legislature or media, so that they can look at what the report entailed. 

 

Chairman McMahon asked Mr. Maturo if he sees the proposed resolution being a conflict with the way he currently operates; “does it impact the Comptroller’s office in a way that changes the way you operate.”  Mr. Maturo said that certainly they would have liked time to have looked at it; just found out about it yesterday afternoon, and would have liked discussion on it.  He said that he personally does not see it being an issue.  “Quite frankly, anything that gets cooperation with our audits, we are all in favor of.”  Chairman Knapp said that we are definitely going to be encouraging cooperation from the County Executive’s side on this.  Mr. Maturo said that they are still looking at the resolution, but at first blush he doesn’t see much that is different from what is done now.  Chairman McMahon told Mr. Maturo that if there is something that he believes does, to please let him know.  Mr. Maturo said that he knows the issues between the Comptroller’s office and the issues with the Legislature, but it seems to be a pattern that we find out things affecting our office the day of Ways & Means.  “We would appreciate some input before it actually gets to that point.”  Chairman Knapp said that they are generally accepting auditing standards; it’s not like a secret document that we just created; it’s out there. 

 

Mr. May suggested that the resolution be just considered today, as it is a little new for everybody.  Chairman Knapp agreed.

 

The meeting was adjourned at 10:20 a.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

SIGNATURE

DEBORAH L. MATURO

Onondaga County Legislature

 

attendance

 

 

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