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Meeting Minutes February 2010 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
JAMES M. RHINEHART
Chairman
JOHANNA H. ROBB
Deputy Clerk

 

PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE MINUTES – FEBRUARY 9, 2010

CHAIRMAN PATRICK KILMARTIN

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Mr. Dougherty, Mr. Masterpole, Mr. Meyer

MEMBERS ABSENT:  Ms. Williams

ALSO PRESENT:  see attached list

 

Chairman Kilmartin called the meeting to order at 9:10 a.m.  A motion was made by Mr. Masterpole, seconded by Mr. Dougherty to waive the reading and approve the minutes of proceedings of the previous committee.  MOTION CARRIED.

 

1.     SHERIFF:  Captain Roy Graiten

        a.     Amend ’09 to Accept Addl. Funds for Police Services Provided to the Town of Clay ($75,000)

  • Estimated costs were determined before the signed the agreement
  • $75,000 was underestimated.  Overages included:  Replacing all laptop mounts in cars, light bars on cars, fuel gas cost higher than anticipated
  • Positions/pay were known; didn’t know how much of the equipment would be compatible with Sheriff’s equip.
  • Ability to increase or decrease fuel costs was built into the contract.
  • When a year was reached, additional adjustments could be billed to the contract and have all been made.
  • The contract was effective July 7, 2008,  a 5 year contract with yearly adjustments
  • The first adjustment was in July – equipment, fuel

Chairman Kilmartin asked for a specific break down of costs.  Mr. Graiten said employee benefits came in low, overtime came in low, administration costs weren’t included in the original budget, laptops $23,800, light bars $9,300, $5,000 difference in fuel.  In answer to Chairman Kilmartin, Mr. Graiten said that the shortage was from July 2008– July 6, 2009.  The only cost that will be changing is fuel.  The employee costs are agreed upon with whatever the contract rate is; administrative cost is a percentage of the employee cost.  As employee costs go up, administrative cost will go up.  There is factor built in to the contract to charge for recurring equipment costs – flairs, uniforms, etc.  Clay pays whatever the Sheriff’s budget increase is or 3%, whichever is lower.  They pay quarterly for the cost of replacing cars--in 5 years all 7 cars can be replaced.  As those prices change, it is adjusted.  They do not have to go to Clay for reimbursement.  Mr. Masterpole asked what Clay’s anticipated savings were.  Mr. Graiten said that Clay estimated $911,000.

 

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

 

        b.     Amend ’10 Budget to Provide Additional Grant Funds for a Selective Traffic Enforcement Program and Authorize the Co. Executive to Enter into Contracts to Implement this Resolution ($3,000)

Originally anticipated $37,800 and it was included in the budget, but are receiving $3,000 more. This grant provides for selective traffic enforcement – identifying aggressive drivers; hot spots for accidents, speed enforcement, traffic control enforcement, etc.

 

Mr. Kilmartin asked if these funds will be used to offset other costs in the budget currently for save driving programs or to add another $3,000 for safe driving programs.  Mr. Graiten said that it is all done on overtime, which is all covered by the grant—an additional $3,000 worth.  Mr. Kilmartin asked if the grant application prohibits using these monies to offset current programming for safe driving.  Mr. Graiten said “no”, because they have this grant, that is the amount of time spent on it.  They don’t do an additional $10,000 of dedicated traffic enforcement for specific targeted areas.  Traffic enforcement is part of the routine duties of a deputy that would be paid for in their normal course of business.  This is meant to target specific behaviors in specific areas.  In answer to Mr. Meyer, Mr. Graiten said that different areas have been identified by accident statistics, i.e. Route 31.  Mr. Meyer asked to be provided with a list of areas.  Mr. Graiten said that they enforce what they see—speeders, cell phone use. 

 

Mr. Masterpole questioned why we pay overtime to enforce speeding; why can't the on-duty Sheriffs, in their normal course of business, pay closer attention to targeted areas.  He asked what the Sheriff on straight time is doing while another Sheriff is on overtime in a targeted area.  Mr. Graiten said that he/she is taking complaints, answering calls.  Mr. Masterpole asked if the grant includes pension benefits.  Mr. Graiten said “no”.  Mr. Masterpole said that someone can rack up overtime; the salary part will be covered by the grant funding, but when the pensions are through the roof, the taxpayer is responsible for it.  Mr. Graiten said that the choice is not to do the enforcement.  Mr. Masterpole suggested that it could be done with straight time--for $40,800 another Sheriff could be put on.  Mr. Kilmartin asked if the funds are allocated to cover the cost of personnel on overtime for the specific reason of traffic safety and specialized traffic enforcement, or is it going to individuals doing overtime who get calls for a mishmash of public safety issues.  Mr. Graiten said that their assignment is specifically to go out and do traffic enforcement.

 

Mr. Dougherty asked how much the County is offset with revenue for traffic tickets;’ Mr. Graiten said that the County doesn’t get revenue from them--it goes to the municipalities and State.

 

Chairman Kilmartin asked if the Sheriff’s Department entertains taking grant funds that do not have specific prohibitions and offsetting the current budget, as opposed to doing specialized programs/services.  Last year the Sheriff’s Dept. was creative in the budget and found grant funds that didn’t have specific mandates-- found a way to help reduce their budget.  Mr. Graiten said that very few grants aren’t targeted; they are meant to work specific details.  Mr. Masterpole asked if they have to be used for overtime for the specific details.  Mr. Kilmartin asked if personnel assignments can be adjusted, i.e. five in targeted area and one could be assigned to do specific traffic monitoring while the other deputies share the other duties.  Mr. Graiten said that short of adding additional people, he doesn’t think it would be allowed--would be considered supplanting.  Chairman Kilmartin asked that it be looked at.  He asked that when grant applications come over for committee that the department send over highlights of the specific prohibitions of what grant funds can’t be used for as well as noting the specific allowances.

 

Mr. Masterpole said that he has a hard time with this when over 100 employees were laid off in the last budget and the federal government is in a mess.  This grant creates overtime, which will in turn add to pension costs, but understands that if we don’t take it, it will go somewhere else.  Mr. Graiten said that the County will get the benefit of increased enforcement.  People are seeing police enforcement and they will slow down or not talk on the phone.  In answer to Mr. Dougherty, Mr. Graiten said that this provides 71.41 additional hours.  Mr. Kilmartin asked that the Budget Department provide the prohibitions and mandates with the grant items.  Ms. Hutchinson said that budget analysts review each one prior to the item coming to the legislature.  Chairman Kilmartin questioned the percentage of overtime related to grants; the Sheriff’s Dept. stated that they will provide the number.

 

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

 

        c.     Amend ’10 Budget to Accept State Homeland Security Funds for the Onondaga County Sheriff's Office and Authorize the Co. Exec. to Enter into Contracts to Implement this Resolution ($477)

Homeland Security funds used to reimburse for overtime for a Red Team exercise.  It is partnering community members, businesses and other associations across the state to work together to alert law enforcement to suspicious activities and potential terrorism.  They go out and buy suspicious products, i.e. fuel to see if it raised a question or concern on the part of the business owner.  It was an educational process to inform people that they need to alert law enforcement.  He does not know if any agencies spent money on Red Team. 

 

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

 

        d.     Amend ’10 Budget to Provide Additional Grant Funds for a Safety Belt Enforcement Program and Authorizing the County Executive to Enter into Contracts to Implement this Resolution ($420)

Budgeted $28,560 and received $420 more.

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

 

The meeting was adjourned at 9:40 a.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

DEBORAH L. MATURO, Clerk

Onondaga County Legislature

* * *

HEALTH COMMITTEE MINUTES - FEBRUARY 9, 2010

ROBERT D. WARNER, CHAIRMAN

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Mr. Laguzza, Mr. Meyer, Mr. Holmquist, Mrs. Ervin

ALSO PRESENT:  see attached list (Attachment 1)

 

Chairman Warner called the meeting to order at 10:04 a.m. A motion was made by Mr. Laguzza, seconded by Mr. Meyer to waive the reading of the minutes and approve the minutes of the proceedings of the previous committee meeting; MOTION CARRIED.

 

1.     SOCIAL SERVICES:  David Sutkowy, Commissioner; Sarah Merrick, Program Coordinator

        a.     A Local Law Amending the Onondaga County Administrative Code to Transfer the Division of Community Services from the Onondaga County Department of Long Term Care Services to the Onondaga County Department of Social Services

 

        b.     Transfer the Following Positions from Long Term Care Services Admin. Unit 40-49-00 to Social Services Admin. Unit 40-

                 81-10

                Transfer R.P. 01 40493000 0013 0921, Administrative Assistant, Grade 09 @ $41,622 - $46, 260 to R.P. 01 40811000 0012

                 0921, Administrative Assistant, Grade 09 @ $41,622 - $46,260 effective March 27, 2010

                Transfer R.P.s 01-40493000 0013 4729, and 4843, Community Health Nursing Supervisor, Grade 05 @ $48,394 - $59,597 to

                 R.P.s 01 40811000 0012 4729 and 4843, Community Health Nursing Supervisor, Grade 05 @ $48,394 - $59,597 effective

                 March 27, 2010

                Transfer R.P.s 01 40493000 0013 4835, 4852, 4853, 4855, 4856, 4858, 4867 and 7329, Community Health Nursing, Grade 03

                 @ $42, 703 - $59,597 to R.P.s 01    40811000 0012 4729, 4835, 4852, 4853 4855, 4856, 4858, 4867 and 7329, Community

                 Health Nursing , Grade 03 @ $42,703 - $59,597 effective March 27, 2010

                Transfer R.P.s 01 40493000 0013 4822 and 4823. Typist II, Grade 05 @ $30,238 - $33,389 to R.P.s 01 40811000 0012 4822

                 and 4823, Typist II Grade 05 @ $30,238 - $33,389 effective March 27, 2010

                Transfer R.P.s 01 40493000 0013 4934 and 4935, Clerk II, Grade 05 @ $30,238 - $33, 389 to R.P. 01 40811000 0012 4934 and

                 4935, Clerk II, Grade 05 @ $30,238 - $33,389 effective March 27, 2010

                Transfer R.P. 01 40493000 0013 6212, Deputy Commissioner Community Services, Grade 35 @ $68,363 - $96,450 to R.P.

                 01 40811000 0012 6212 Deputy Commissioner Community Services, Grade 35 @ $68,363 - $96,450 effective March 27,

                 2010

Mr. Sutkowy explained that the local law would change the Administrative Charter and Code in order to move the function of home care from the Department of Long Term Care to the Department of Social Services (DSS). 

 

Mr. Sutkowy reviewed the following:

  • Home care is a service under the Medicaid program for recipients who have a disabling condition that requires assistance, majority are elderly, but it is not exclusive to that population
  • Staff of about 25
  • In 2009 DSS, Dept. of Aging and Youth and Long Term Care and met with the County Executive office concerning services in this area.  Issues driving the discussions:
  • County’s elderly population is aging – 62,000 individuals in Onondaga County are 65 and older (13%), by 2030 it is estimated that 83,000 individuals will be 65 and older (20%)
  • Residential demographics are changing – more will be living in the suburbs and rural areas which will create challenges for the service delivery system
  • Need for more creativity, more flexibly in order to meet the growing needs – one answer – a closer relationship between DSS Adult Protected program and Aging & Youth Neighborhood Advisory program.
  • There is a lot of overlap between Long Term Care, Adult Protective Services and Medicaid Chronic Care with this population – bringing those services under one administrative apparatus in order to facilitate better communication, individual case planning, service delivery and organizational planning has been discussed.

 

In answer to Mr. Warner, Mr. Sutkowy said there would be no additional costs, Ms. Merrick would be heading up the program temporarily, unit was under the Deputy Commissioner of Long Term Care (funding for that position was removed in the 2010 Budget), uncertain as to whether to have this as companion piece or to merge it with Adult Services.

 

Mr. Laguzza asked if the job function for Deputy Commissioner would mirror what it was at Van Duyn; Mr. Sutkowy replied “yes”.

A motion was made by Mr. Laguzza to approve items a. and b.

 

In answer to Mr. Meyer, Ms. Tarolli said they took the section of the Code under Long Term Care and moved it over to DSS for the local law.  Mr. Sutkowy said the decision has not been made as to what step the deputy commissioner would come in at.

Mr. Laguzza’s motion was seconded by Mrs. Ervin, a vote was taken on items a. and b., passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

2.     VAN DUYN:

        a.     INFORMATIONAL:  Bonadio Group Mr. Mario Urso, Ms. Janine Mangione

 

Ms. Sprague reviewed that the Bonadio Group was retained with the objective to identify opportunities to reduce expense and increase revenue by adjusting operations and/or adopting various organizational alternatives at Van Duyn Home and Hospital and to assist them with their analysis of the financial implications of those options.

 

A handout was provided by The Bonadio Group (Attachment 2).

Mr. Urso explained that the company is a CPA firm that does a substantial amount of healthcare consulting across upstate New York, client base is a mix of public, private and proprietary long term care facilities (about 40).  Mr. Urso noted the following:

  • There has been a substantial underpayment from the Medicaid system for the cost of providing long term care, especially as it relates to public facilities. 
  • Public facilities operation losses escalated from a 12% negative margin to almost a 30% negative margin from 200 to 2004 according to a 2006 study.  Part of that stems from the missionary aspect of public facilities – home of last resort for complex, difficult, hard to place patients.  Public facilities end up with a disproportionate share of Medicaid patients; Medicaid does not cover the entire cost.
  • Private and proprietary are not doing that well in New York State either, but have the benefit of more traditional funding streams – Medicare funding for rehabilitation services, private insured patients.  They try to target their Medicaid business to be 60%; Van Duyn is in excess of 80%.  Loss of money on Medicaid patients is staggering because of their higher Medicaid utilization.  Many more people are becoming eligible for Medicaid due to transferring their assets amongst their family members. 
  • There was a substantial effort made by the State to modify the system by rebasing – change from the existing historic reimbursement methodology based on 1980 - 1983 costs.  There is a rebasing system that is in effect in the current State fiscal year with a significant positive impact to Van Duyn (approximately $2 million impact).  Van Duyn still hasn’t received a penny because the federal Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services hasn’t approved the rates yet, then it has to be signed off by NYS Div. of Budget.  Ms. Mangione said facilities received partial payments for rebasing in 2007 and 2008 and it was to be fully implemented in 2009.  Van Duyn’s increase should be 24 dollars a day, effective until March 31, 2010.  Mr. Urso said Gov. Paterson is proposing that the rebasing model continue through 2011.  In answer to Mr. Meyer, Mr. Urso said every facility (public private, proprietary) could be impacted.  They anticipate that Upstate facilities will be more positively impacted than downstate, will be some leveling of the playing field. 

 

Mr. Urso noted the State was supposed to move to a regional pricing model in 2010 which has the potential of being very negative for the County.  Public facilities will be grouped with all other facilities in a region.  Public

facilities generally have a higher cost of operation with higher salaries and benefit costs.  Van Duyn’s salary and benefit costs are over 70% (affected by post retirement medical), non-public facilities costs are about 28% on average, other public facilities average around 50%.

 

Uncertainties:

  • Don’t know what the regional pricing rate would be going forward
  • Don’t know whether rebasing will be approved and at what rate

A private operator making a substantial investment would want to see what the returns are.

 

Regarding page 4, Ms. Mangione said the reason they see the losses continuing to increase each year is related to the fact that the County can’t increase the revenue and expenses are going to increase at a minimum inflation of 3%.  In answer to Mr. Warner, Ms. Mangione said the $24 a day is temporary and is capped; estimates were on all the facilities getting the full rebasing, numbers did not pan out when they received rates last January; the $24 is not a full implementation.  If it had gone the way it was supposed to, Van Duyn would likely be showing a positive line.  Van Duyn will be a loser going to the new Regional pricing system because it will be based on the lowest average of everybody in the system.  Mr. Urso said the rebasing model is based on the facilities cost structure, when they move to regional pricing they won’t care how a public facility operates; initial estimates show the counties are going to lose significant dollars.  Mr. Urso said the numbers on page 4 point to the difficulty in options given the costs and what is expected to happen; that is why it makes the decision difficult for somebody to come in and take it over.  Ms. Mangione said when she attends meetings with other associations they feel that the counties might be the losers in the new system, but point out that there is the IGT money available to supplement those loses.  Dr. Dennison said the distribution across the state is 45% for profit, 45% not for profit and 10% public.

 

Ms. Mangione pointed out factors driving the losses:

  • Medicaid utilization – a struggle to change the payer mix
  • Benefit costs due to union contract requirements – 20% higher than average of other county-owned facilities (health insurance about 6% to 7% higher, 20% higher in the post employment benefits)

 

Ms. Mangione reviewed page 7.  Mr. Laguzza asked what costs would continue if the County was to unload the facility.  Mr. Urso said there would be the overhead allocation of $750,000 plus the post retirement cash obligation they are already committed to.

 

Ms. Mangione referred to page 8 with and without IGT utilization.  Mr. Urso said over this period until 2012 there should be some settling out in New York State of what is going to be the reimbursement methodology. 

 

In answer to Mr. Meyer, Dr. Dennison said if they go to a regional methodology, the region would likely be the five contiguous counties, most of those counties have very small public nursing homes; the region would be based on the average.

 

Ms. Mangione referred to the recommendations starting on page 10:

  • Van Duyn should continue to work on capital improvements – 80% is reimbursed back to the county through their Medicaid rate
  • Continue to review outsourcing services such as therapies (housekeeping, transportation, dietary/food and laundry services).
  • Continue to work with the consulting firm on specialty programs (rehabilitation, Alzheimer’s, dementia and metal health) to attract short term people.  Mr. Urso said that may be an outsource contract service provider who could provide the services, Van Duyn would still be able to bill for those services and collect the revenue
  • Review use of available land surrounding the facility for possible development
  • Continue to review sponsorship alternatives when regulatory environment is more stable
  • Continue to explore program and operational synergies with Community General Hospital
  • Continue to review operating costs

In answer to Mr. Warner, Ms. Sprague said they are looking into the possibility of having someone run an assisted living program on the campus with one story homes that accommodate about 13 people each.

 

Mr. Warner asked how the national health care plan that the administration in Washington is trying to put through would affect the facility.  Dr. Dennison said there are two pieces:

  • A modest option for long term care insurance may have the effect of increasing private pay patients.
  • Changes in the way Medicare may pay for services in a hospital by bundling the services of a patient – the cost of the surgeon, internist, in-patient hospital care, nursing facility placement for rehabilitation, home care, etc.

 

Mr. Warner asked about people who transfer their assets to the children because of the nursing home situation.  Ms. Mangione said they have seen a significant drop in the overall private payer mix in all nursing homes statewide.  Dr. Dennison said the number of days/months that someone pays privately has been cut in half in the last five years.

 

Mr. Warner asked at what point in time the County would be able to decide whether to continue with Van Duyn.  Ms. Sprague said it is still out in the future because of the uncertainty of the whole financial piece.  Mr. Urso said there is a state requirement relative to a placement plan for each resident when a facility closes, must have the ability to place them in another institution; that would be difficult.  Dr. Dennison said there aren’t enough places for the number at Van Duyn, someone else would have to build in order to accommodate this number of patients. 

 

Ms. Ervin said capital improvements would make Van Duyn more welcoming for private pay patients.

 

Mr. Laguzza suggested a parallel project with the new type of assisted living – one story housing on the 79 acres.

 

The meeting was adjourned at 11:20 a.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Johanna H. Robb

Deputy Clerk

* * *

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION COMMITTEE MINUTES – FEBRUARY 10, 2010

JAMES CORBETT, CHAIRMAN

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Mrs. Tassone, Ms. Ervin, Mr. Buckel, Mrs. Rapp

ALSO PRESENT:  Mr. Meyer, see also attached list

 

Chairman Corbett called the meeting to order at 10:05 a.m.  A motion was made by Ms. Ervin, seconded by Mrs. Rapp to waive the reading and approve the minutes of proceeding of the previous committee.  CARRIED.

 

1.     LAKE IMPROVEMENT:  Patty Pastella, Commissioner

        a.     ACJ Update

Harbor Brook

  • Construction underway; started installation of sewer laterals on Hartzen St., manhole, sewer replacement in the retention basin.
  • Public information meeting schedule for tonight for residents in that area
  • Scheduled to be complete by end of year

Green Infrastructure Program:

  • Presentations given on green/grey infrastructure to NYS DOT, City of Syracuse, CNY Works
  • Continued advertising campaign with billboards, advertisements in Green Magazine and Post Standard
  • Receive Recognition for Save the Rain program in relation to overall Lake clean-up efforts

Ambient Monitoring program:

  • Continuing with tributary sampling; Lake Sampling is complete for this year
  • Doing field data entering and preparing for next year’s monitoring program

 

In answer to Chairman Corbett, Ms. Pastella said that the tributaries include Harbor Brook and Onondaga Creek.

 

Amendment to Existing Contracts:

  • Issued amendment to CDM/C&S for work on Harbor Brook Interceptor and for ACJ project management

Loans:

  • Reimbursement request to EFC
  • In January received reimbursement payment for over $260,000
  • Reimbursement to date through EFC loans are approx. $168 million short term; approx. $37 million long term

 

Chairman Corbett took the agenda out of order.

 

3.     OCWA:  Robert Tomeny, Anthony Geiss, Mike Hooker, Geoff Miller

        a.     UPDATE:  Otisco Lake Filter Plant Renovation – Mr. Miller provided the following:

OCWA is approximately 85% complete with the upgrade project which is being completed to meet USEPA disinfection byproduct regulations, improve the quality of the filtered water, improve the safety and reliability of the treatment process, maximize and provide consistent capacity of the treatment process and replace aging equipment. The major work that has been completed includes:

  • Elimination of gas chlorine and replacement with liquid sodium hypochlorite systems at both the Otisco Lake pretreatment facility and the treatment plant itself
  • Construction of two additional filters (filters 5 and 6) at the treatment plant
  • Rehabilitation of filters 3 and 4 at the treatment plant
  • Installation of a chlorine dioxide system for zebra mussel control and pre-treatment at the Otisco Lake facility
  • Installation of a carbon dioxide system for pH control to assist with coagulation and sedimentation processes at the treatment plant
  • Addition of air scour to provide a more efficient backwash of the filters
  • New roof on the water treatment plant building
  • New high efficiency boilers at the treatment plant
  • New more efficient, larger generator at the treatment plant
  • Work that is continuing and will be completed in 2010 includes:
  • Improvements to the polymer system at the treatment plant
  • Rehabilitation of filters 1 and 2
  • Replacement of the original analog instrumentation and control system with a PLC-PC based Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system
  • Rehabilitation of the facility control and operators workstation

The original project cost estimate was $18 million. Through detailed design and internal engineering staff value engineering work, good timing of bids and quick, responsive actions with the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation which provided OCWA with reduced bonding costs ($2 million in interest saved over 20-year bond life) and reduced financing costs we have been able to keep the project cost down to about $14.5 million. We have also been able to complete additional work in the $14.5 million project cost that was not in the original scope, including:

  • Repairs to the transmission main between the pretreatment facility and the treatment plant: pipe joint repairs, protection of a section of main from creek bank erosion, valve replacements on the transmission main, air valve repairs and replacements, creek crossing and access to the right-of-way improvements and clearing of the right-of-way.
  • Additional HVAC improvements at the treatment plant
  • Additional valve replacements at the treatment plant
  • Replacement of chlorine distribution piping at the treatment plant
  • Rehabilitation of Exterior Insulation and Finish System (EIFS) on all buildings at the pretreatment facility
  • Replacement of paving at the pretreatment facility
  • Reinforcing and regrouting filter trough supports and connections

Chairman Corbett asked if the sodium hypochlorite system has a wooden tank.  Mr. Miller said that they are and have a pvc liner.  It is basically liquid chlorine 3 times the strength of at home bleach; it is very aggressive and would eat through fiberglass or steel tanks.  With these tanks they can save the tank but will need to replace the liner every 10 years or so.  In answer to Chairman Corbett, Mr. Miller said that the service area is for Marcellus, Onondaga Hill, Fairmount, North Syracuse, Minoa. 

 

        b.     UPDATE:  Eastern and Western Tank Projects

OCWA Large Tank Projects Status (01/12/2010) - Mr. Geiss provided the following:

OCWA Large Tank Projects program includes one 20 Million Gallon (MG) Western Tank located in Van Buren plus a 30 MG Eastern Tank and 20 MG Eastern Tank being built in Manlius.  The new concrete covered tanks will replace the existing Metropolitan Water Board (MWB) open reservoirs at Western (100 MG) and Eastern (30 MG).  USEPA’s Long Term 2, Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule requires that open reservoirs either be covered or additional treatment be provided. After an MWB study of possible options it was determined the best long term solution would be to replace the open reservoirs with covered storage tanks. In accordance to the rule the open reservoir situation must be addressed by 2012.  As stated, MWB started the above projects and completed the report phase. MWB also initiated the design phase and the initial estimate for the construction of the first two tanks (Western 20 MG and Eastern 30 MG) was $56 million.  OCWA took over the projects in July 2008 and completed the design phase by the end of the year and then solicited bids for construction. Bids were received in December 2008 for the 20 MG Western Tank (with a low bid of $10,238,700) and in January 2009 for the 30 MG Eastern Tank (with a low bid coming of $14,315,000). The projects were subsequently awarded in February 2009.  OCWA investigated all avenues related to financing the construction of the tanks. Ultimately financing was obtained through the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation in the amount of $33 million. The $33 million covers engineering, construction, inspection, restoration, cost of issuance and the related debt service reserve. Further, through the bond placement EFC the Authority obtained a 1% interest rate for the first year of the project applied only to the money used during the initial year. In the end the 30 year bond being issued will be at the AAA bond rating for the state which in turn will save an estimated $4 million dollars over the life of the bond.  Additionally, late in 2009 the Authority was notified that the Western 20 MG tank project had been awarded ARRA stimulus money from New York State. This was the last project obtaining funds. The estimated amount of aid for the project is currently $3.8 million. This total award could increase should other projects not go forward or come in below their estimated cost.  The Western 20 MG tank has the following design parameter and construction schedule:

  • Location – Within existing reservoir
  • Capacity – 20 MG
  • Depth – 30 feet
  • Diameter – 373 feet
  • Roof – Flat with 155 columns
  • Substantial Completion -- July 2010
  • Final Completion – December 2010
  • Expended thru 12/11/09 -- $7,326,989.58 (71.56%)
  • Work Completed -- 70% (estimated)
  • Current Status -- Shut down for winter 12/4/2009
  • Restart -- March 2010 (weather permitting)
  • Work Completed -- Tank Foundation, floor, wall and ½ of roof
  • Wire winding completed and initial cover
  • The Eastern 30 MG tank has the following design parameter and construction schedule
  • Location – Adjacent to existing reservoir
  • Capacity – 30 MG
  • Depth – 30 feet
  • Diameter – 412 feet
  • Roof – Flat with 222 columns
  • Substantial Completion -- January 2011
  • Final Completion – July 2011
  • Expended thru 12/11/09 -- $4,047,524.85 (28.27%)
  • Work Completed -- 20-25% (estimated)
  • Current Status -- Shut down for winter 1/15/2010
  • Restart -- March 2010 (weather permitting)
  • Work Completed -- Excavation and foundation

4 of 9 floor panels poured

Existing generator relocated

Pipe construction & connections done

The third tank project (Eastern 20 MG) design is currently 90% complete. The design will be completed by the fall of 2010. It is anticipated that bids will be solicited and received in early 2011, with the project being awarded shortly thereafter. The final project schedule for construction will depend on the status of the Eastern 30 MG tank, as this 20 MG will be located within the footprint of the existing reservoir. The existing open reservoir must remain in service until the new Eastern 30 MG is complete and in service. The estimated final cost for the third tank is currently $20 million.

  •  Location – Built within existing reservoir
  •  Capacity – 20 MG
  •  Depth – 30 feet
  •  Diameter – 373 feet (estimated)
  •  Roof – Flat with 155 columns (estimated)
  •  Substantial Completion -- August 2012(est.)
  •  Final Completion – December 2012 (est.)
  •  SWPP Spring 2010 submit to DEC and Town
  •  Design Status -- 90% complete
  •  Final Design -- Complete by September 2010

 

Chairman Corbett asked how many yards of concrete at western; Mr. Geiss aid 1,000 for half of tank, another 110 yards on top.  They poured from 7:00 p.m. – 5:00 a.m.

 

Chairman Corbett asked if there is anticipation for solar.  Mr. Geiss said not at this time.  It was looked at with the mixing system; but then when with a hydraulic mixing system. There is a possibility of doing it at Western.  At Eastern there may be a possibility of wind turbines; they will be looking at it.   Mr. Hooker noted that there is not a lot of electric demand there.  Mr. Corbett was thinking more of an off-line back up.  M. Hooker said that they looked at solar power, but they would be replacing the solar power before they would ever reach their payback.  He noted that wind turbines are a vertical turbine and spin around the pole; they look like a telephone pole.

 

2.     WEP:  David Coburn, Director, Office of Environment

        a.     Amend 2010 Budget to Provide Funds to Address Honeywell Remediation Issues ($70,000)

Release of $70,000 for use in Onondaga Lake Superfund matters.   Mr. Coburn provided a history:

  • Allied closed and State sued them to clean up pollutants in the lake
  • Allied (Honeywell) sued the County under the Superfund Act
  • County responded by creating an internal team to address the issue (members from WEP, Law Dept., Env. Health, Office of Environment)
  • Recognized the lake situation and federal superfund was so complex that assistance was needed from outside legal and technical experts to help address the situation
  • Honeywell built a scientific case that made the County responsible for approx. one-third of the cost of the cleanup
  • Legislature appropriated funds, assembled teams and began taking apart the science that Honeywell used
  • County settled with Honeywell, but it didn’t absolve potential liability with DEC, EPA or other 3rd parties
  • 2003 Legislature established contingency fund to be a source dedicated to the paying the cost of outside experts

Busy year/activity:

  • EPA and DEC have asked County and others to pay a portion of $12 million in a cost recovery action
  • EPA has asked County and others to conduct an investigation in remedial study of lower Ley Creek
  • Dealing with GM bankruptcy--were a responsible party for no small part in contaminants coming down Ley Creek
  • Dealing with Crucible bankruptcy and their involvement
  • Onondaga Nation has given notice of intent that they may name the County under natural resource damages
  • Looking at waste beds 1-8, owned by the County
  • Looking at waste beds B and Harbor Brook, Murphy’s Island

 

Had $430k in the contingency account, down below $30k in the contract for outside experts encumbered against it.  The release of $70k will bring it up to near $100k to continue to address the ongoing concerns.  The funds can’t be used unless the legislature releases them. 

 

Mrs. Rapp questioned how the bankruptcies affect the County; are they no longer liable.  Mr. Mendez said that the County has taken the position that GM should remain liable and should satisfy sufficient funds to cover their liability.  Onondaga Co. filed a notice of claim; filed a motion to have the matter resolved through alternative dispute resolution.  There was concern that the process may result in little/no return; filed objections to that.  They have responded by adjourning the motion; indicating willingness to reach out and attempt to resolve the claims before March 10th.  If GM was allowed to discharge the claims with bankruptcy with little or no money, then the remaining parties would be targeted by EPA.  Mr. Coburn said that there is recourse--if it can be established that GM was truly a responsible party, and this is truly an orphaned site, then it could be paid for out of federal superfund.

 

Mr. Buckel asked for clarification of the numbers.  Mr. Coburn said that there are funds encumbered against the contract; there have been altogether around $3.8 million; some returned because at the time the County settled with Honeywell; money was returned to fund balance and this account was established.  Some funds have already been encumbered against the contract--now down to a critical number.  Mr. Buckel asked what is anticipated to be needed.  Mr. Coburn said that in the phase 12 -14 months they have spent about $70,000, but it go through peaks and valleys.  Mr. Buckel asked if there is anything anticipated regarding the report on Murphy’s Island that stands out.  Mr. Coburn said that they have to be vigilant about all of it; not just the property that is dedicated park land.  After Honeywell does its cleanup, there will be monitoring going on and it is important to remain vigilant to make sure it is done accurately.  These sites are all contaminated; will be some level of clean up.

 

Chairman Corbett pointed out that as part of the settlement, the volume of water cannot be reduced.  As this goes along, it could change some of the things that happen with the County.  Mr. Coburn said that the County wants to be prepared.

 

A motion by Mrs. Rapp, seconded by Ms. Ervin to approve this item.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

 

        b.     A Resolution Approving Improvements for the Metropolitan Syracuse Wastewater Treatment Plant of the County of Onondaga, New York

        c.     A Res. Authorizing the Issuance of $3,000,000 Bonds of the Co. of Onon. to Pay Costs of Certain Improvements for the Metropolitan Syracuse Wastewater Treatment Plant In and For Said County

Mrs. Pastella said that these items are related to the digester cleaning project, which was discussed last month – cleaning all 4 digesters at Metro; 3 primary and 1 secondary.  The project also includes replacement of valves that will allow them to be cleaned in-house in the future.  Total project is $5 million; $3 million over the current allotment because of the increased cost of removal and disposal of materials.  In answer to Mrs. Rapp, Mrs. Tarolli stated that the first source of payment comes from the sewer unit charge.

 

A motion was made by Ms. Ervin, seconded by Mrs. Rapp to approve items 2b and 2c.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

 

        d.     A Resolution Approving the Revised Project Plan Relating to the Midland Regional Treatment Facility and Conveyances Project In and For the Onondaga County Sanitary District

        e.     A Resolution Amending the Authorized Purposes for which Bonds of the County of Onondaga, New York, have been Authorized to Pay the Cost of Certain Improvements for the Midland Regional Treatment Facility and Conveyances Project In and For the Onondaga County Sanitary District

Revised scope for Midland CSO Abatement project – no increase in the amount requested – change to allow green/gray combination instead of strictly gray.  In answer to Mrs. Rapp, Mrs. Maturo explained that no one spoke at the public comment period at the February session; the public hearings will be held on March 2nd prior to session.  Chairman Corbett explained that it is anticipated to be $70 million in gray and $9 million in green.  Ms. Ervin said that the neighborhoods need to know what is going on and have a chance to be heard. 

 

A motion was made by Chairman Corbett, seconded by Mrs. Tassone to approve items 2d and 2e.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

        f.      A Resolution Approving the Revised Project Plan Relating to the Harbor Brook CSO Improvement Project In and For the Onondaga County Sanitary District

        g.     A Resolution Amending the Authorized Purposes for which Bonds of the County of Onondaga, New York, have been Authorized to Pay the Cost of Certain Improvements for the Harbor Brook CSO Improvement Project In and For the Onondaga County Sanitary District

Revised scope to allow for green and gray combination to address Harbor Brook CSO Abatement program.   There is no change in cost.

 

A motion by Mrs. Rapp, seconded by Ms. Ervin to approve items 2f and 2g.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

 

4.     INFORMATIONAL:  Public/Private Partnership for GreenBj Adigun, Admin. Director Green Technology

This is part of Save the Rain program and the Green Improvement funds to complete a 2-year demonstration pilot project to provide financial assistance for the implementation of green infrastructure projects on privately owned properties.  Focusing on:  Midland, Harbor Brook and Clinton sewer sheds--selected because of impact on lake and because of the appropriated funds in those areas already for gray projects.  With the change in the ACJ requirements, some funding will be used to fund green improvements on privately owned properties.

 

Highlights:

  • Eligible property owners in sewer sheds
  • Up to $100,000 per applicant for single projects; no more than $250,000 per applicant for multiple projects
  • Funding will only cover cost of green infrastructure solutions beyond traditional constructions
  • i.e. replacement of sidewalks—will pay the incremental difference, up to a certain amount, from what would normally be paid for sidewalks and the cost do doing porous pavement

 

The County is working with CH2M Hill who provides input to green infrastructure solutions.  Privately owned property owners would be able to hire their own vendor to implement the infrastructure.  They have to meet the criteria of volume capture.  There are a lot of developers/businesses interested in doing projects; each project will be evaluated based on its merits.  In answer to Mr. Buckel regarding a volume capture requirement as part of the grant, Mrs. Smiley said that some will be larger than others; there won’t be a minimum level. 

 

Award Process:

  • grant applications submitted to WEP for review
  • notify the applicant within 60 days if they have or haven’t been recommended for funding and the level of funding
  • applicant and County sign contract
  • applicant begins/completes construction of approved green infrastructure
  • upon completion, County reviews green infrastructure for compliance; issues certificate of completion to applicant
  • applicant submits claim form to County for reimbursement; reimbursed within 60-days of claim submittal

 

There are several property owners interested; have presented it to many community groups and organizations, will be available on website where and applicant can down load application or submit application on line.

 

Mrs. Rapp asked about specific properties.  Mr. Adigun said that there has been a lot of interest in the Clinton sewer shed.  Jefferson Street Commons has already put down porous pavement, Crouse Hospital has expressed interest in a roof garden; King & King wants to implement a green roof on their new facility.  Mrs. Rapp said that King and King was doing that before this program.  Mrs. Smiley said that they held off on pieces of it because this project hadn’t officially been kicked off.  Official applications will now be sent out.  Mr. Adigun said that there has been a considerable amount of interest for the Downtown Committee that works with a lot of developers within City limits.  There are approximately 20 developers/organizations that have expressed interest.  Mrs. Smiley said that she wanted to come the legislature informationally first; the project will kick off in the beginning of March.  In answer to Mr. Buckel, Mr. Adigun said that the overall fund is $3 million and renewable.  Mrs. Smiley said a lot will depend on interest; it was modeled after what other cities have done.

 

Ms. Ervin asked how it will be marketed.  Mr. Adigun said that they are partnering with Downtown Committee, working with City of Syracuse; presentations/workshops to organizations; will be put out to media; many have heard of it via word of mouth or by the website.  Mrs. Smiley said that if anyone has suggestions regarding any community groups to let her know and they will be happy to work with them, will be doing a major blitz to launch it.  Ms. Ervin said that it is a finite amount of money and everyone should have a chance for it so there should be a wide-spread approach.  In answer to Mrs. Tassone, Mrs. Smiley said that applications will be continuous and $3 million was a starting point.

 

Mr. Buckel assumed that the water engineers have assessed these properties, as these are all low-lying lands, to be sure it will not create more problems with flooding and capturing water.  Mr. Manko, CH2M Hill, clarified that any properties within the Metropolitan Sewer Treatment plant sewer service area is the focus for capture.  This fund is targeting the sewer shed as a start; may be expanded in the future.  The goal in capturing storm water is applicable to the entire metro service area.  To be successful, it needs not to just include public properties, but private properties as well.  They are trying to incentivize public/private parties to get on board.  If there isn’t enough incentive, people won’t do it; if there is too much incentive they will run out of money.  Mrs. Smiley said that they are working with the city regarding parking lots – looking at issues in terms of the water tables so that when decisions are made, they don’t cause a problem somewhere else.  Mrs. Pastella said that the idea of green infrastructure is to get it into the ground, not on the surface; every structure has an overflow where it will be captured.  Mrs. Smiley said that the consultants have a balanced approach regarding the number of parking lots, pavements, green roofs, etc.  This is engineered green.  Mr. Manko said that it is an approach that our creeks, tributaries are connected to that water table and want to get the water better managed throughout the system and not just be the traditional end of pipe solutions.  However, if the local green cannot accommodate the process, it will end up basically back in the pipe.  Up until the time that it overflows, it will be addressed through green infrastructure.  Mrs. Smiley said that this is a small piece of a bigger picture--looking at land owned by municipalities, private property in terms of streetscapes and other types of improvements.  They will be looking at major renovations that meet the County’s goals, improve aesthetics and provide other benefits.

 

Chairman Corbett said that this goes all the way to Avery Ave in Solvay; there a number of businesses in that area that have concrete or tarvia and water dumps right into the streets -- would these places be eligible for this program.  Mrs. Smiley said that sidewalk may not be the only solution; there might be issues in terms of retaining water and other things that might make sense.  Mr. Manko said that in many cased green infrastructure can help elevate massive inundations of flow and alleviate flooding.

 

5.     Memorialize the Governor and the Legislature of the State of NY to Ban Hydrofracking or, in the Alternative, to Amend State Law to Allow Local Municipalities the Option to Ban Hydrofracking within their Municipal Borders, and Request the Governor to Pursue Further Independent Scientific Assessments to Determine the Risks Associated with Hydrofracking (Sponsored By Mr. Buckel)

Mr. Buckel said that hyrdofracking has generated enormous amounts of response/concern amongst citizens.  The State passed a law to prohibit counties from regulating/overseeing these activities.  He is concerned that there are extraordinary water reserves and many constituents, including those in southeastern portion of the county, are serviced by wells.  In absence of ability to further regulate these activities, until further scientific study is done to verify the chemicals used, how extracted, how they mesh with existing wastewater systems, it is important that a message be sent to the State asking for slower process.  It was very clear that the State was rushing toward allowing hyrdofracking, in part for the desire to gain tax revenues.  It is clear, based on what EPA has published and by concerns expressed by constituents, that the message is “not so fast”.  The message is that we want it stopped, pending further study, or have the authority as a locality to handle it ourselves.  In the future there may be a parcel of property in the county that we would want to use as a test case, so that we can control what and how it is done and how it is measured. 

 

Chairman Corbett said that because this resolution was defeated on the floor, Mr. Buckel has checked with both the Clerk and the Law Department to make sure it is in a correct format to bring to committee.

 

Mrs. Rapp attended a program on hyrdofracking; it confirmed that we need to stay on top of this issue.  At the meeting a scientist said that it is very unlikely that Onondaga County would be hyrdofracking for a long time; the reserves are clearly south of Onondaga County.

 

A motion was made by Ms. Ervin, seconded by Chairman Corbett to approve this item.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

 

The meeting was adjourned at 11:21 a.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

DEBORAH L. MATURO, Clerk

Onondaga County Legislature

 

* * *

COUNTY FACILITIES COMMITTEE MINUTES - February 11, 2010
KATHLEEN A. RAPP, CHAIR

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Mr. Masterpole, Mr. Lesniak, Mr. Dougherty, Mr. DeMore
MEMBERS ABSENT: Mrs. Tassone, Mr. Kinne
ALSO PRESENT:  Mr. Meyer and see attached list (Attachment 1)

Chair Rapp called the meeting to order at 9:05 a.m.  A motion was made by M. Lesniak, seconded by Mr. DeMore to waive the reading of the minutes and approve the minutes of the proceedings of the previous committee meeting; MOTION CARRIED.

 

1.     FACILITIES MANAGEMENT: Mr. Brian Lynch, Commissioner

        a.     Create, R.P. 01 80051000 0003 1246, Steamfitter @ $30.0710/hr. effective March 13, 2010

Abolish R.P. 01 80051000 0007 0672, Mech Sys Mtce Wkr, Grade 04 @ $44,658 - $49,462 effective March 13, 2010

  • Presently have a fully funded Mechanical Systems Maintenance position in the 2010 Budget for the purpose of servicing the HVAC equipment.
  • Received 48 resumes and conducted two interviews, have not found anybody with the skill sets needed.
  • Found two steamfitter candidates equally strong who have an entirely different skill sets than Mech. Sys. Mtce. Wkr.
  • Will save the County money by taking over the service contracts at 911 with expertise of the new steamfitter.

Mr. Lesniak asked if the person would be full time. Mr. Lynch said “yes” – salary about $60,000 a year (hourly rate). Service contract rates are about $85 an hour for regular time and $108 for overtime and weekends. The amount they would save at 911 would cover the salary increase for this position.  Facilities Management presently serves the downtown complex and 11 County parks.

 

In answer to Mrs. Rapp, Mr. Lynch said the new hire would assist with the parks and also do the 911 service. 

 

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

 

2.     PARKS: Mr. William Lansley, Commissioner

        a.     Memorializing the Governor and the Legislature of the State of New York to Enact Legislation Revising the Process of Obtaining Fishing Licenses and to Remit to Onondaga County a Portion of the Fishing License Fees

  • Looking to recoup 20% of the fishing license fee sales in Onondaga County to help assist in the operation of the Carpenters Brook Fish Hatchery; a fishing license presently costs $29.
  • Carpenters Brook Fish Hatchery stocks 100% in Onondaga County, in all other counties the DEC stocks.
  • Have had positive feedback from local state delegation; have backing of the Sportsmen Federation and Friends of the Hatchery.

 

Mr. Masterpole asked if they have had conversations with DEC Commissioner Grannis. Mr. Lansley said they have talked locally with Mr. Lynch. Mr. Lansley said ESF has written a letter of support.

  

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

 

b.   Update: Fishing TournamentsMr. Jon Cooley, Dir. of Recreation & Public Programs

  • Have hosted the Bass Tour Elite Series Program for four consecutive years, Oneida Lake and Onondaga Lake fisheries are now known throughout America. They will not host it this year; tour has been reduced to 8 stops this year.
  • Estimated economic impact of this program is about $3 million annually.
  • 2010 – there is a $25,000 ROT allocation to the Parks Department – will proportion the dollars out to:
  • To keep advertising regionally and nationally
  • To hopefully bring back an Open Bass event in 2011 and an Elite event in 2012, those are negotiated by the CVB - some dollars to give them leverage on negotiations, bid rights are going up.
  • To continue to feed the regional events – NYS Bass Federation, Anglers Choice event and the American Carp Society program.
  • To build awareness of trout fishery.

 

Mr. Cooley said the fishery here is world class – ROT dollars are returning about 40 to 1 on investment.

 

3.     Memorializing the New York State Legislature to Enact Senate Bill No.  S.6464 and Assembly Bill No. A.09528 entitled "An Act Authorizing the County of Onondaga to Enter Into a Lease with the Syracuse Chargers Rowing Club" and Requesting and Concurring in the Preparation of a Home Rule Request (Sponsored by Mrs. Rapp)

Mr. Lansley passed a map showing the Syracuse Chargers Rowing Club’s existing building, noted they want to double the size. They have secured $150,000 through the State to start the process, also have a bank authorization for another $150,000 which puts them within $75,000 of the total amount needed.

 

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

 

The meeting was adjourned at 9:25 a.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,


Johanna H. Robb

Deputy Clerk

 

 * * *

PLANNING & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE - February 11, 2010

KATHLEEN A. RAPP, CHAIR

 

MEMBERS PRESENT: Mr. DeMore, Mr. Stanczyk, Ms. Williams, Mr. Dougherty

ALSO PRESENT:  see attached list  

 

Chair Rapp called the meeting to order at 10:30 a.m.  A motion was made by Ms. Williams, seconded by Mr. DeMore to waive the reading and approve the minutes of the proceedings of the previous committee meeting.  MOTION CARRIED.

 

1.     Confirming Appointment of John E. Harper, Jr. to the Central New York Regional Market Authority (Sponsored by Chairman Rhinehart)

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

 

2.     ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT:  Kim Hall, Management Analyst Economic Development

        a.     A Local Law Designating a Regionally Significant Project Within the Onondaga County Empire Zone (Bannon Automotive) (Project description on file with the Clerk)

        ▪ Ratio 20–1 (10–1 ratio required for manufacturing)

        ▪ Former Ball Plastics building, perfect for manufacturing

        ▪ Partial lease of building; entire building placed in empire zone

        ▪ Tax benefits for certified entity only

        ▪ Project is contingent on multiple financing benefits

 

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

 

        b.     A Local Law Designating a Regionally Significant Project Within the Onondaga County Empire Zone (C Speed)  David Lysack, President; David Colangelo, Partner C Speed, LLC (Project description on file with the Clerk)

        ▪ Hiring technicians, assemblers, engineers

        ▪ Starting salaries are $60,000 plus

        ▪ 3 markets serviced; test and measurements, military and medical

        ▪ Recruited through CNY Works    

        ▪ Syracuse University Case Center’s largest employer; keeping graduates in Syracuse

        ▪ 33-1 ratio

 

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

 

3.     INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY: Ken Beam, Chief Information Officer; William Fisher, Deputy County Executive; James Maturo, Deputy Comptroller

          a.     Informational:  Process evaluation for potential replacement of FAMIS and GENESYS with web-based enterprise software.  (Schedule of Peoplesoft meetings on file with Clerk)

Mr. Fisher provided the following information sheet.

 

 

County Seal

 

 

 

 

OFFICE OF THE COUNTY EXECUTIVE

INFORMATION SHEET FOR

PROJECT TO EVALUATE POTENTIAL REPLACEMENT OF

FAMIS (FINANCIALS) AND GENESYS (HR)

MAINFRAME SOFTWARE WITH WEB=BASED

FINANCIALS AND HR SOFTWARE.

 

 

PURPOSE:

 

Onondaga County has used the FAMIS mainframe software as our Financials application since

1977. We have upgraded the system on numerous occasions since 1977 but are now evaluating a

migration from FAMIS toward the Peoplesoft software recently implemented in Broom County.

 

The county has used the GENESYS mainframe software for payroll (101) and human resource

planning (HRP) since 1989, adding temporary payroll (103) in 1992.  As with FAMIS, we have

upgraded this system numerous times but are now evaluating a migration from GENESYS toward

the Peoplesoft software recently implemented in Broome County.

 

OBJECTIVE/WORK PLAN:

 

Since October 2009, the Office of County Executive has worked with other County offices and

departments, including the Office of the Comptroller, Management and Budget, Finance, Personnel,

and Information Technology to evaluate whether to continue using the FAMIS and GENESYS

software applications or to migrate to the Oracle (Peoplesoft) Financial and HR software that

Broome County has been implementing since 2008.

 

Our purpose in appearing before the February 11, 2009 meeting of the Planning & Economic

Development Committee is to describe the evaluation process that has been undertaken so far and

to explain how we will make a decision about whether to proceed toward a Resolution to finance a

project to migrate the County and potentially other municipalities in Onondaga County to the

Peoplesoft system now in operation in Broome County, using the same software and system

integration vendors chosen by Broome.

 

FUNDING SOURCE: n/a – No funding required or requested at this time.

 

BUDGET: $0

 

  • FAMIS system may not be supported by new owners
  • Difficult for departments to manipulate information in FAMIS
  • Current software costing over $1,000,000 per year to operate
  • Peoplesoft is an integrated web based system
  • NYS, Syracuse City Schools, Broome, Orange and Nassau Counties currently use PeopleSoft software
  • Systems integrator CedarCrestone comes highly recommend by Broome County and would be available
  • Custom software purchased by Broome County shared with Onondaga County free of charge (FAMIS chart of accounts)
  • Estimated cost over $5,000,000
  • Free use of software for Towns, Villages and Oncenter

 

In response to Mr. Stanczyk, Mr. Fisher stated that Erie County is using SAP Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software.  They specialize in manufacturing ERP software.  Erie County has spent over $45,000,000 with the process still incomplete.  Peoplesoft also produces ERP software, but specializes in the public sector enterprise.   

 

In response to Mr. Stanczyk, Mr. Fisher stated they are not ready to make a recommendation at this time.  This is a major project that will require the support of senior staff members from all departments involved in order to succeed.  Over half of these projects fail.  They are significantly over budget, time frame or simply “pull the plug” and walk away from the project.  This is a very time consuming and expensive process.  It will take years to complete and add a great deal of stress to the IT department. 

 

Mr. Fisher provided the following timeline should they decide to move forward with this project.

  • Bond resolution brought before the March 2010 Committees
  • Resolution present at the April 6, 2010 Session
  • CedarCrestone begins work mid April 2010
  • Financials beginning January 2011
  • HR beginning January 2012

 

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

                                                                                     

Respectfully submitted,

 

Katherine M. French

Assistant Clerk

 * * *

 

WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE MINUTES – FEBRUARY 23, 2010

CHAIRMAN CASEY JORDAN

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Mr. Lesniak, Mr. Buckel, Mr. Stanczyk, Mr. Holmquist, Mr. Kilmartin, Mr. Kinne, Mr. Warner

MEMBERS ABSENT:  Mr. Corbett

ALSO PRESENT:  Chairman Rhinehart, Mr. Meyer, see also attached list

 

Chairman Jordan called the meeting to order at 8:30 a.m.  A motion was made by Mr. Warner, seconded by Mr. Lesniak to waive the reading and approve the minutes of the proceedings of the previous committee.  MOTION CARRIED.

 

1.     BOARD OF ELECTIONS:  Edward Ryan, Helen Kiggens, Commissioners

        a.     Update

They have determined that the best way run the new machines is with larger polling sites with more voters, more election districts.  Allows use of fewer inspectors, reorganize the polling place in a better way so that there are better trained inspectors.  A 3-tiered system for inspectors was created:

  • Polling Site Manger—has extra responsibilities, makes sure Rep. & Dem at each table to sign in voters; see that people get breaks, move in out of polling place at proper time; bring supplies back at end of the night, would receive additional training and compensation
  • Polling Systems Specialist—extra training, more hands-on
  • Regular Inspectors:  some people can’t warm up to the new machines, but they can sign voters in and direct people around the polling site

 

There are sites that have 3, 4, 5, 6 & 8 districts inspectors – 32 inspectors are not needed for 8 districts any more.  This will allow a savings in cost of inspectors; by going to larger sites they can send less machines out, have fewer technicians.  A letter was sent to the smaller towns suggesting a good polling site; really want to get down to one polling site in smaller towns.

 

Mr. Ryan said that in training 600 people vs 2000, the savings would be $40,000 in just training.  They have looked at where they can trim costs.  Regarding ballots, the State had it set up so that 2 people were certified; they charge $.57/ballot.  A local person will do it for no more than $.30/ballot.  They also ran it through the print shop, and it would cost about $.15/ballot there.  Not only is there a savings, but there would be ability to print on demand.  The State mandates that 110% of ballots be printed for every election, which equates to about 300,000 ballots.  Erie County did the printing in house in 2009. 

 

The warehouse has been leaking; the administration is trying to find an option for them.  The building needs a lot of work.  They are trying to get a training center in one building; 2 years ago they trained all over the county.  They don’t have the personnel to send all over the county.  They have looked at Carousel Center and the State Fair; need a centrally located spot with parking, as there are 2,200 people that will take the training course; have to start in May and be done in June.  Additionally, 600-800 people have to be trained on machines, which takes a lot of time; it has to be done in batches of 16 people; it can’t be done with 50 people at a time because there is too much hands on. 

 

Chairman Jordan asked about concerns that personal at polling locations could actually see the voter’s ballot.  Ms. Kiggens said that they found that the inspectors were too helpful to the voters last year all over the state.  A privacy sleeve will be used this year and inspectors will be told that they have to stand back to a certain point.  Mr. Ryan said that privacy booths take up as much room as the machines; they need larger sites; need more room for parking and need to be HAVA acceptable. 

 

Mr. Stanczyk asked how much money is in the budget for ballots; Ms. Kiggens said $175,000, based on $.57 each.  Other counties have been printing their own as it is so much cheaper.  In answer to Mr. Stanczyk. Mr. Ryan said that there are 201 polling places currently; would like to reduce it by 10 or 15 next year.  There are about 75 in the City.  They are looking to consolidate 4 or 5 districts into one in the City; there are not a lot of voters in the inner city.  There will be cost to renting place, i.e. a gym, but will save on labor costs by consolidating.  Mr. Stanczyk said he is concerned about closing city and suburban districts, as people won’t know where to go; if people have to drive or go too far, they won’t vote.  Mr. Ryan said that if they do it when the schools are shut down for school conferences, then people could vote at the schools, as everyone knows where they are.  Mr. Ryan said that there would probably a cost to for the maintenance people to open and close the schools. 

 

In answer to Mr. Kilmartin, Ms. Kiggins said that the County Executive is looking for warehouse space for  BOE now.   Mr. Ryan said that BOE would like to move its offices there also; need about 25,000 sq. feet for office, storage and training.  Regarding training, there are 2 kinds:  paperwork – election law, process, etc., which can be done in a few locations; the hands on training with machines – 8 machines, 8 supply bags, assign 2 inspectors to each set; refurbish and replenish all of if after each class, really need to have it all at the warehouse where they have access to all supplies.  Training will be done at the existing warehouse, as it is too much to send people out to do the classes. 

 

In answer to Mr. Lesniak, Ms. Kiggins said that there are 275 machines, and they just purchased 25 more.  Twenty five machines were taken out of rotation – at ARISE and Aurora, used for training purposes.  At least 38 polling places need 2 machines; machines do breakdown; need additional machines to make sure there is coverage.  Right now there is Federal HAVA money, but it will eventually run out.  Mr. Lesniak asked if the number of polling places are reduced will the number of machines needed be reduced.  Ms. Kiggins said that they still need enough to scan the ballots; if there are 3,000 voters at a site then 2 or 3 machines are needed.  In some places the number will be reduced.  Mr. Ryan said that they have to have a machine at each polling place that is HAVA compliant; the new machines they are buying don’t have the ballot marking portion on them; they are just the scanner, they cost $7,200; the other machines cost around $15,000.  More machines have to be put in during a presidential election year.  Mr. Lesniak is concerned about reducing the number of polling places, feels it will diminish the number of voters.  Ms. Kiggins said that they are working with the towns; Mr. Ryan said that in the City there are places that just physically aren’t big enough; there isn’t room enough for the privacy booths.

 

Mr. Rowley commented on the $.15 cost that the print shop said that they could produce the ballots for – has no idea where the number came from.  They are still looking at the print shop; hope to get a report to the legislature by the end of June.  The print shop is not run like a commercial print shop.  Mr. Fisher said that he spoke to Mr. Beam and the $.15 looks realistic but assumes that an investment will be made in a copier that is more than $1 million with a 5 year lease.  Also, Facilities Management is looking at the BOE space; a private company volunteered to bring in some industrial engineers to help think about the space and try to understand their operations.  Mr. Lynch said that a programmatic study was done on BOE operations.  It is difficult to locate a single story warehouse, with office space, loading dock, parking, etc.  There are a lot of requirements.  Mr. Ryan said he did not know about the machine at the print shop; Ms. Kiggins said that the print shop printed ballots on the current printer. 

 

Regarding the current warehouse, Mr. Stanczyk asked about the lease and the owner isn’t fixing the leaks.  Ms. Kiggins said that they do fix it, but then another leak develops, they aren’t replacing the roof.  Mr. Ryan said that the warehouse was taken over by a bank in California; they are trying to get out from underneath it.  The roof will cost between $1 million – $1.2 million to fix; they are auctioning the building as we speak.  Pyramid was the broker; the lease was for 3 years with extensions on it.

 

2.     FINANCE:  Karen Carney, Director Real Property Tax

        a.     Approving and Directing the Correction of Certain Errors on Tax Bills

3 corrections:  Geddes – incorrect sanitary unit charge; Pompey – assessor made  clerical error and put the Community Church into the taxable portion; Salina – overcharged for county sanitary units.

A motion by Mr. Warner, seconded by Mr. Lesniak to approve this itemPassed unanimously. CARRIED.

 

3.     SOCIAL SERVICES:  David Sutkowy, Commissioner

        a.     Transfer the Following Positions from Long Term Care Services Admin. Unit 40-49-00 to Social Services Admin. Unit 40-

                81-10:

                Transfer R.P. 01 40493000 0013 0921, Admin. Assistant, Gr. 09 @ $41,622 - $46, 260 to R.P. 01 40811000 0012 0921, Admin.

                Assistant, Gr. 09 @ $41,622 - $46,260 effective March 27, 2010.

                Transfer R.P.s 01-40493000 0013 4729, and 4843, Community Health Nursing Supervisor, Gr. 05 @ $48,394 - $59,597 to

                R.P.s 01 40811000 0012 4729 and 4843, Community Health Nursing Supervisor, Gr. 05 @ $48,394 - $59,597 effective March

                27, 2010.

                Transfer R.P.s 01 40493000 0013 4835, 4852, 4853, 4855, 4856, 4858, 4867 and 7329, Community Health Nursing, Gr. 03 @   

                $42, 703 - $59,597 to R.P.s 01 40811000 0012 4729, 4835, 4852, 4853 4855, 4856, 4858, 4867 and 7329, Community Health

                Nursing , Gr. 03 @ $42,703 - $59,597 effective March 27, 2010.

                Transfer R.P.s 01 40493000 0013 4822 and 4823. Typist II, Gr. 05 @ $30,238 - $33,389 to R.P.s 01 40811000 0012 4822 and

                4823, Typist II Gr. 05 @ $30,238 - $33,389 effective March 27, 2010.

                Transfer R.P.s 01 40493000 0013 4934 and 4935, Clerk II, Gr. 05 @ $30,238 - $33, 389 to R.P. 01 40811000 0012 4934 and

                4935, Clerk II, Gr. 05 @ $30,238 - $33,389 effective March 27, 2010.

                Transfer R.P. 01 40493000 0013 6212, Deputy Commissioner Community Services, Gr. 35 @ $68,363 - $96,450 to R.P. 01

                40811000 0012 6212 Deputy Commissioner Community Services, Gr. 35 @ $68,363 - $96,450 effective March 27, 2010.

This is a companion to the resolution that was brought over in November regarding the transfer the function and location of the Home Care Program from LTC, Van Duyn to DSS and relocated them to the Civic Center complex. Cost neutral, no change in positions, no change in reimbursement.  It requires a change in the Charter/Admin Code.

 

Chairman Jordan asked if these duties can be outsourced, as there is a need to reduce pension costs.  Mr. Sutkowy said that they haven’t looked into it; it would be a long-term analysis; it would involve negotiations with bargaining units. 

 

A motion by Mr. Lesniak, second by Mr. Stanczyk to approve this item.

 

In answer to r. Lesniak, Mr. Sutkowy said that the construction has not been completed for the relocation move.  Facilities Management is doing the pre-design work now.  There are about 25 emeployees now.  In answer to Mr. Stanczyk, Mr. Sutkowy said that like other operations in the County there is expanded work, but few staff over the last few years.  Mr. Stanczyk asked if there is any advantage to DSS running this operation.  Mr. Sutkowy said that it is a program that serves the disabled who need, want,and can stay in their homs.  The program provides supportive services so that individuals don’t need to enter more costly, long-term care programs; it is disabled and elderly.  There are better economies of scale that can be achieved, better communication if integrated more closely with Protective Services for Adults and Medicaid Chronic Care unit, under DSS.  A lot of the cases are shared commonly in these units; in the long term the cases will be handled better and more efficiently.  Mr. Buckel asked if they are able to do this consistent with HIPA; Mr. Sutkowy said yes.  Mr. Warner asked if the services provided include transportation.  Mr. Sutkowy said that it doesn’t; it provides in home care, i.e. helping a person get out of bed, preparing breakfast, bathing, etc.

 

Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

 

4.     SHERIFF:  Captain Roy Graiten

        a.     Amending the 2009 County Budget to Accept Additional Funds for Police Services Provided to the Town of Clay ($75,000)

Much of the revenue is equipment that the Sheriff's Dept. had to supply to the Town of Clay – i.e. laptops, mounts, light bars, which had to be replaced to bring up to Sheriff’s specifications.  Some things came in under budget from what was originally estimated.  Overall, on the $1.3 million budget, an additional $75,000 was needed.  Clay has already paid for adjustments. 

 

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

 

        b.     Amend ’10 Budget to Provide Additional Grant Funds for a Selective Traffic Enforcement Program and Authorize the Co. Executive to Enter into Contracts to Implement this Resolution ($3,000)

Revenue was anticipated at $37,800 and are being provided an additional $3,000.  It is for targeted areas, based on accident data for traffic enforcement.

 

Mr. Warner made a motion to approve this item.

 

Mr. Kilmartin noted that he has made a request that grant funds be utilized when possible to substitute for county budget funds for services, as well as getting creative for personnel management; see if there can be a net savings to the County of Onondaga while still getting the services.  Also, whenever a grant is submitted to Public Safety Committee that a calculation is made to incorporate not only overtime, fringe benefits, regular hourly rate, and an allocation for pension costs.  Every time there are additional hours of overtime, even though the grant covers the hours and maybe the fringes, the County has to allocate the pension costs.  Every year the County’s contribution to the State goes up.  He will be working with public safety departments to squeeze as many dollars out of the grants and take into account all of the costs.  Departments will be asked to provide the permitted uses and prohibited uses for the different grants.

 

Mr. Kinne said that he has a problem with this item, as the pension costs aren't included and does not understand why it has to be done on an overtime basis.  Mr. Graiten said that the grant is designed that way; is meant to be hours spent on traffic enforcement; it does not cover all of the costs.  Mr. Kinne asked about revenue from traffic tickets—it goes to the municipalities and the county doesn’t get any.  Mr. Graiten said that the County gets some DWI fines and handicapped parking fines.  Mr. Kinne said that the County provides the service, but doesn’t get any money for it.  

 

Chairman Jordan asked if it is worthwhile for the the County to accept these funds if essentially it is a net loss in terms of obligations financially.  Mr. Rowley said that he could run a calculation.  Mr. Seitz said that county wide the average is 12.1% of salaries for pension costs; the Sheriff’s plans are a little higher. 

 

Mr. Kinne asked what the County gets for the money.  Mr. Graiten said that it gets increased traffic enforcement in accident areas.  Mr. Kinne asked if there is proof that it is working; is there any back up information.  Mr. Graiten said that they can get accident data, but the State doesn’t supply it quickly enough.  They could look at grants in 2007 or 2008 and at the accident data to see if the was reduced in the areas targeted by the grants.

 

In answer to Mr. Stanczyk, Mr. Graiten said that this grant does not include fringes.  Mr. Stanczyk said that there is no way to get pension reimbursement from this grant, because it is not allowed.  Mr. Graiten agreed; they are reimbursed for salary only.  In answer to Mr. Stanczyk, Mr. Seitz said that the fringe costs are about 45%, but variables are FICA and retirement. 

 

Mr. Kilmartin agreed that it makes sense to try to see what kind of net results the County is getting from the grants, however feels it will be nearly impossible to try to determine if the patrols resulted in fewer accidents.  The best way to look at it would be to determine how many dollars were allocated to this grant and how many tickets were written, because the number of tickets might go to how many people were actually touched, impacted by hours of overtime. 

 

Mr. Buckel asked to be provided with 2-3 years of data on the different kinds of measurements. i.e. crashes, to see what the baseline numbers are. 

 

Mr. Kinne said that it will be hard to integrate what was done without the extra enforcement; questions how it would compare to a sign that displays the drivers speed.  Chairman Jordan said that there are cameras with radar in them; if spending $40,800 per year for traffic enforcement, can the money be used to purchase this type of system.  There is no pension or overtime cost; there would be maintenance cost that might have better utilization.  Mr. Graiten said that the upfront cost is the problem with that system; when they apply for grants, they submit a plan.  He does not know if they would fund a plan for cameras.  The reason the County gets increased amounts is because the Sheriff’s Dept. productively is good.

 

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

 

        c.     Amend ’10 Budget to Accept State Homeland Security Funds for the Onondaga County Sheriff's Office and Authorizing the Co. Exec. to Enter into Contracts to Implement this Res. ($477)

A motion by Mr. Kilmartin, seconded by Mr. Lesniak to approve this itemPassed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

 

        d.     Amend ’10 Budget to Provide Addl. Grant Funds for a Safety Belt Enforcement Program and Authorizing the County Executive to Enter into Contracts to Implement this Resolution ($420)

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

 

5.     WEP:  David Coburn, Director, Office of Environment; Mike Lannon, Deputy Commissioner

        a.     Amend 2010 Budget to Provide Funds to Address Honeywell Remediation Issues ($70,000) –

Fund is used for outside legal and technical assistance.  In December the Legislature released $430,000 from contingency fund into the 2010 budget, now asking to release $70,000, leaving a balance in the contingency fund of about $360,000.  The last 15 months have been active – 2008 EPA & DEC issued cost recovery action to get $12 million from potentially responsible parties for the cost they had incurred in carrying out lake cleanup efforts.  One year later EPA asked potentially responsible parties to assume responsibility for conducting a remedial investigation of lower Ley Creek; 2009 – activity on waste beds 1-8 (county owns 1 – 6) with respect to remedial, investigation information and recently Honeywell issued a human health risk assessment; 2009 – activity in Harbor Brook waste bed B, Murphy’s Island, owned by the County.  Additionally, there have been bankruptcies with GM and Crucible Steel, which have caused more reliance on the outside experts.

 

Mr. Warner asked if Honeywell also has to authorize the $70,000; Mr. Coburn said “no”.  In answer to Mr. Warner, Mr. Coburn said Honeywell owns waste bed 13.

 

In answer to Mr. Stanczyk, Mr. Coburn said that the Superfund expert is S&W Redevelopment and are also used for hydrogeological expertise.  They are located in Syracuse.  Ecology and Environment, Buffalo, does the ecological risk assessment analysis and human health risk assessment; Kevin Murphy, Wladis Law Firm, does legal pieces.  Many years ago mercury experts were used, but haven’t been used for some time.  A modeling expert, in Michigan, hasn’t been used for some time.  For a short time a PCB expert was used. 

 

In answer to Mr. Warner, Mr. Mendez said that there are thousands of Superfund sites in the U.S.  Mr. Coburn said that Superfund sites have a more rigorous exercise with DEC and EPA regulations. 

 

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

 

        b.     A Resolution Approving Improvements for the Metropolitan Syracuse Wastewater Treatment Plant of the County of Onondaga, New York

        c.     Authorize Issuance of $3,000,000 Bonds of the County of Onondaga Pay Costs of Certain Improvements for the Metropolitan Syr. Wastewater Treatment Plant In and For Said County

Mr. Lannon said that this is for a project that is needed – digesters are roughly 1/3 full of grit material; it has been about 10 years since the last cleaning.  The project includes a private contractor coming in, removing grit, broom sweep clean, hose down digesters, and do an inspection.  It will improve efficiency of digesters.  Chairman Jordan questioned why they weren’t cleaned every 5 years; Mr. Lannon said typically the rule of thumb is to clean them 5–7 years, but depends on the other processes being put into it.  A number of different things are monitored on a daily basis to make sure performance is satisfactory.  There is not a lot of mechanical equipment inside the digester – large circular vessels.  In the 3 primary digesters, there are cannon mixers; the secondary digester is really a gas holder and there is no mechanical equipment in it.  Chairman Jordan asked if there will be any extra cost now, as opposed to if they were cleaned out more frequently.  Mr. Lannon said it will be minimal; might be more effort because the grit might have compacted more.   

 

In answer to Mr. Stanczyk, Mr. Lannon said that they are using roughly $2 million in 960 monies; looking at additional $3 million for the total project; the cleaning cost about $2.3 million – clean and dispose of material.  There will be 3400 dry tons of material.  The vessels are roughly 1.8 million gallons each, over 100’ diameter, 25’ tall, 8-10 feet of grit.  The contractor will pump it down roughly half way, which will be sent to other digesters, water it and pump it down, drive in a bobcat to get the rest.  Each digester will be down 8 weeks.  The other money is for installation and new valves, which have been in place 35+ years.  There are allotments included for incidental concrete repairs, etc.  In answer to Mr. Stanczyk, Mr. Lannon said that 10 years ago the cost was a little over $1 million.

 

Mr. Lesniak asked what the rational was for $2 million out of 960 and $3 million bonding; why isn’t more coming out of fund balance.  Mr. Lannon said that they wanted to allocate as much as possible out of 960; the rest of the operating budget went elsewhere, other projects, etc.  Mr. Lesniak asked if the $3 million will affect the sewer rate; Mr. Lannon said that in the overall grand scheme it will as it and other projects are financed as well.

 

Mr. Buckel asked if bonding for a repair is being driven by current financial predicament or is there an actual accounting and capital budgeting rational to borrow for this maintenance.  Mr. Rowley said that it is in the capital plan, as it is a long-term repair; it will be for 10 years.  Mr. Buckel said it should have been a 5 year process; Mr. Rowley said that they do bond for PPU for 5 years.  Chairman Jordan asked why WEP fund balance isn’t being used.  Mr. Rowley said that there is a plan to use the fund balance; the objective is to keep sewer fund relatively stable and not get big spikes.

 

In answer to Mr. Kilmartin, Mr. Lannon said that their hope and expectation is to reconfigure some of the plumbing and piping so that the cleaning can be done in house every year and a half or so.  There will be less material in digesters, more of a maintenance type of activity. 

 

Mr. Stanczyk asked if this was bonded for 10 years ago or just paid for; Mr. Lannon did not know.  Mr. Stanczyk said it makes sense get to ongoing maintenance so that it can be done in-house.  In answer to Mr. Kinne, Mr. Lannon said that the removed material will go to a landfill probably at the contractor’s discretion.

 

A motion was made by Mr. Kilmartin to approve items 5b and 5c, seconded by Mr. Lesniak.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

 

        d.     A Resolution Approving the Revised Project Plan Relating to the Midland Regional Treatment Facility and Conveyances Project In and For the Onondaga County Sanitary District

        e.     Amending the Authorized Purposes for which Bonds of the County of Onondaga, New York, have been Authorized to Pay the Cost of Certain Improvements for the Midland Regional Treatment Facility and Conveyances Project In and For the Onondaga County Sanitary District

Revising project plan and purpose for the bond; building in green elements into the project; born out of the 4th stiputlion of the ACJ.

 

A motion was made by Mr. Stanczyk, seconded by Mr. Kinne to approve items 5d and 5e. 

 

Mr. Kinne said that the plant was built and finished less than a year ago, and questions what improvements are being done.  Mr. Lannon said that two of three inputs to Midland Ave have been completed; the remaining work to be done is a tie in of CSO 044 to Midland.  Also looking to offset the flow by adding green elements. 

 

Mr. Kinne asked to be provided with the location of 044 and what improvements will actually be done.

 

A vote was taken on the motion.  AYES:  7; NOES: 0; ABSTENTIONS: 1 (Kinne).  MOTION CARRIED.

 

        f.      A Resolution Approving the Revised Project Plan Relating to the Harbor Brook CSO Improvement Project In and For the Onondaga County Sanitary District

        g.     Amending the Authorized Purposes for which Bonds of the County of Onondaga, New York, have been Authorized to Pay the Cost of Certain Improvements for the Harbor Brook CSO Improvement Project In and For the Onondaga County Sanitary District

Revising the project plan for Harbor Brook, revising the purpose for bonds to build in green elements

 

A motion was made by Mr. Stanczyk, seconded by Mr. Lesniak to approve items 5f and 5g.  AYES:  7; NOES:  0; ABSTENTIONS; 1 (Kinne).  MOTION CARRIED.

 

6.     FACILITIES MANAGEMENT:

        a.     Create R.P. 01 80051000 0003 1246, Steamfitter @ $30.0710/hr. effective March 13, 2010; Abolish R.P. 01 80051000 0007 0672, Mech Sys Mtce Wkr, Grade 04 @ $44,658 - $49,462 effective March 13, 2010; Abolish R.P. 0180051000 007 0672, Mechanical Systems Maintenance. Worker, Gr. 4 @ $44,658-$49,462, effective March 13, 2010

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

 

This is being done with the intention of hiring someone with the skill set needs to service the 911 towers and HVAC equipment there.  The intention is to have the contractual service not renewed and have Facilities Management take over all responsibilities, service and preventative maintenance related to it; $12,000 savings anticipated.  In answer to Mr. Lesniak, Mr. Lynch said that the $30.07/hr. does not include benefits, about $43/hr. with fringe.  The contractor’s time is $72/hr., on a weekend it is $118/hr.  The contract was based on service plan for the year, 4 times/yr.  He has compared it with on straight time and on an overtime basis for the new position.  It is about $55/hr on overtime compared to $118/hr. 

 

Chairman Jordan asked if a steamfitter is need for HVAC.  Mr. Lynch said that they solicited 47 resumes for mechanical systems maintenance worker, none of which were CFC certified which is needed to work on HVAC equipment.x  The steamfitter has a 5-year apprentice training program for work service repairs and preventative maintenance, which a mechanical systems maintenance worker does not have.  The person selected, Thad Fleming, has a strong skill set in DDC controls (digitally controls alarms tied to a computer located in the steam plant which monitors HVAC equipment at 911 Center).

 

In answer to Mr. Kilmartin, the abolished position is vacant.  There are 3 other steamfitters in the county.  They have similar qualifications; they service the HVCA equipment in 11 downtown buildings, taken over 11 County Parks buildings, and will take over all of 911.

 

A motion was made by Mr. Stanczyk, seconded by Mr. Kinne to approve this item.  Passed unanimously; MOTIONCARRIED.

 

7.     COUNTY CLERK:

        a.     Amend ’10 Budget to Accept Funds from the NYS Education Dept. Local Gov. Records Mngt. Improve. Fund and Authorize Co. Exec. to Enter into Contracts to Implement this Res. ($68,260)

Funds will allow moving forward with computerized system – develop and build web enabling portion.

 

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

 

In answer to Mr. Kilmartin, Mrs. Ciarpelli said that there will be a contract with an outside firm.  The grant was written to be in place last June; State just came through with funds and the grant ends June 30th.  The County doesn’t have the people to be able to do it.  It should be up and running by the fall:  mortgages and deeds should be ready to be put out by the end of June/beginning of July; as the rest of the program is implemented for indexes to be searched, would be added on to it.  Adding on images is another program and more expensive. 

 

In answer to Mr. Stanczyk, Mrs. Ciarpelli said that there isn’t anyone in-house to do the work; IT has been cut very tight.  Just getting her program done has been a major project.  There may be IT people who have the capability, but they don’t have the time.  They have 2 IT people working on her program; have been working on it for three years.  There are many other things going on in the County and there isn’t enough staff to do the work.  If something comes up in other departments, i.e. Sheriff, E-911, BOE, the County IT people have to go those emergencies.  Mr. Stanczyk said that in running a $1.2 billon operation, there should be the facilities, knowledge, manpower in IT staff to do the work necessary to run departments.  There is outside money coming in to do these things, but we don’t have the people--questions who was laid off a year ago.  Mr. Kilmartin said that it would mean that it would have to be someone on County payroll, who is not doing anything, and readily available for 3 – 6 months to do this project, or someone to assume a person’s responsibilities to dedicate the time for this project.  Mr. Stanczyk said that with $68,000 the County could hire someone.

 

Mr. Kinne asked for a one or two page report on what is going on with the project.  Mrs. Ciarpelli said that a lot has been done, but there is much more to be done.  For a county of our size, we are the last county to have web access available to the public.   IT staffing is not dedicated to her project, but have made great strides.

 

Mr. Lesniak seconded by the motion.  AYES:  6 (Jordan, Warner, Lesniak, Buckel, Holmquist, Kilmartin); NOES:  0; ABSTENTIONS:  2 (Kinne, Stanczyk).  MOTION CARRIED.

 

8.     WAYS & MEANS MISC.:

        a.     Amending Resolution No. 231-2000, As Amended, to Eliminate the Authority to Hire Management Confidential Employees up to Step G (Sponsored by Mr. Meyer)

Mr. Meyer said that it is the authority/responsibility of the legislature to set pay.  There is an issue with recruiting and retention; and there seems to be a pattern of problems in particular areas.  It has come to his attention that there are problems in other areas also, i.e. health insurance.  After the last meeting he has had suggestions and continues to look for ideas.  It is an important area, particularly with the M/Cs, as he feels they are underpaid and it is having an impact.

 

                1.     Amendment A to Resolution (8a) (Sponsored by Mr. Lesniak)

                2.     Amendment B to Resolution (8a) (Sponsored by Mr. Lesniak)

                3.     Amendment C to Resolution (8a) (Sponsored by Mr. Lesniak)

 

        b.     Requesting the Onondaga County Commissioner of Personnel to Review the Salary Schedule for Unrepresented Employees and Identify any Necessary Changes to Address Recruiting Issues and Inequities in the Current Salary (Sponsored by Mr. Lesniak)

 

Mr. Lesniak said that he asked Elaine Walter to provide a brief history of what the problems are, particularly with the advance steps.  Mrs. Walter said that going back 10 years is the time period to look at:

  • 2000 – salary study done by Steven Condrey.  Grade structure was put in place, titles were allocated into grade structure and fixed some inequities among and between jobs.  
  • Salary schedule was not the original design recommended by consultant; modified by Legislature
  • Salary schedule is unwieldy; has 27 steps – steps are very small increments between steps are 1.25% in most cases
  • From day one the schedule caused problems when compared to CSEA counterparts, whose schedule was much shorter, but steps were quick and higher percentages, 3.5%
  • COLAs negotiated for various unions have not always been added by the same proportion to the MC schedule
  • Several years including years 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2010 when lesser or 0% COLA was put on the schedule, the net effect depresses the MC schedule by comparison to CSEA counterpart
  • Jobs virtually comparable between CSEA and MC in 2000 may have been a few hundred dollars apart.  Today those jobs are few thousand dollars apart
  • Entry level hiring rate is artificially low
  • Incumbents – difficult to attract people into management ranks – sometimes it is an overtime issue, but sometimes the grades are so close together, for someone to leave CSEA where they get overtime at time and half and move into MC, the promotion formula does not give them an increase, sometimes it is even a decrease  
  • Historically the MC schedule has been modified different from the CSEA schedule and it has caused some hiring problems and promotion problems
  • Overtime for CSEA and not MC
  • MCs have been used as the leadership group to reign in addition costs:  MCs receives smaller vacation allotment, smaller sick leave allotment, pay higher premium for health benefit contribution, and higher copays

 

Mr. Lesniak has had meetings with Personnel and with DMB to start looking at scenarios to try to adjust the schedule so that there doesn’t have to be an advance step hire—when MC gets hired, they get hired at step A.  There may be some titles in forensics, looking at some titles that the County can’t even recruit for unless they are taken out to step Z because of their educational requirements.  Some titles may have to be reallocated in grade.  In answer to Mr. Kinne, Mrs. Walter said that there are about 10 of those titles in the forensic unit; in all of county government there are about 20 – 25.  Mr. Kinne said that it can be dealt with as a smaller issue.

 

Mr. Lesniak would like to push items 1, 2, 3, 8b to April committee.  Regarding item 8c it is the committee’s choice if they want to vote on it today or wait.  It does away with the 3 month waiting period for heath insurance; it is a wash between biweeklys that come in when someone is put on the health insurance plan vs. claims that are going out.   

 

Mr. Meyer indicated that he would also hold off until April for item 8a.

 

Mr. Kilmartin asked if there was any data available today comparing the COLA adjustments for CSEA to MCs over the past 10 years.  Mrs. Walter said that she did not have the data with her, but can provide it.  A rough look at it is at least a 10% reduction between the two; took at in terms of the salary schedule, basically steps A – J would have to be dropped to make it comparable.  The gap gets bigger as you go out through the schedule because the steps are small until it reverses because there are more steps.  Mr. Kilmartin asked to be provided with case study.  Mr. Stanczyk said he would like to have 5 positions reviewed that are comparable and work out disfavorably and 5 that have worked out favorably.  Mrs. Walter explained that the only way it works out favorably is over a 27 year time frame.  Mr. Lesniak said that MCs don’t pull ahead of CSEA until step Q.  In steps A – G, they have lost money; G-Q they catch up; and from Q up they start making more money.  Mr. Stanczyk said that there hasn’t been any mechanism to hire somebody in a CSEA grade at an advance step.  Mrs. Walter said that there is; there is language in the contract and it has happened.  The language allows the Personnel Commissioner to authorize advance step hire for certain recruitment or skilled areas.  There have been about dozen in her career.  Mr. Kilmartin asked that in any additional factors be incorporated into the analysis, i.e. Steps, grades, etc.  Mr. Kilmartin asked if the time value of money has been taken into account.  It is one thing to analyze 2 people that started out at step A at $30,000; COLA adjusts from 3 years for one and nothing for the other, and then in year four they each get 3.  It is not only the raw dollars. At the end of 10 years someone is now making $50K and someone else is making $40K, but one person had the time value of money over the 10 year period and had buying power with it.  Mr. Lesniak said that at step Q, it is finally the breakeven point and they start making more than their CSEA counterparts.  Mrs. Walter said it is 20 years out of the 27 years.  There aren’t that many at that level.

 

Mr. Stanczyk remembered that when this was implemented the CSEA schedule was a 4–step schedule, but the 1st step was a reduced pay – 90% of pay of actual amount.  People are given the step increase after a year, because they are basically on probation.  Mrs. Walter said that it is more or less still in place, as it stands now when looking into a salary study, but look at the entry rate as the new hire rate – not 90% of anything anymore.  In addition, people get 3 more steps, which are 3.5% apart, received annually for four 4 years.  Mr. Stanczyk said there should probably be a situation to even out the movement.  Mrs. Walter agreed; the schedule should have never been created with 27 steps.  Mr. Stanczyk said that in the MC schedule there is a continual increases year by year to pay more for the position.  Instead of putting people at A, they are being put at X, Y, Z, etc.  Mrs. Walter said that there were reasons for putting people at advance steps, but now it is time to make the adjustments to the schedule.  It was never Personnel’s recommendation or the contractor’s recommendation that the MC schedule have 27 steps. 

 

Mr. Meyer thanked Mrs. Walter for her years of service to Onondaga County; has had the pleasure to work with her for a number of years. 

 

Regarding this issue, Mr. Meyer said that it might not get to perfect, but there has to be improvement on this.

 

        c.     Amending Res. No. 14-1995, As Amended, to Eliminate the Three Month Waiting Period for Health Insurance for Officers and Employees Not Represented by a Bargaining Unit and Requesting the Commissioner of Personnel to Pursue Discussions with Respect to Eliminating the Waiting Period for Represented Employees (Sponsored by Mr. Lesniak)

Mr. Stanczyk said he would like to have it moved to the April Ways and Means Committee, which was the consensus of the Committee.

 

        d.     Request NYS Comptroller to Deposit all State Funds Into Banks and Credit Unions Chartered in New York, Particularly Local Banks, Requesting the County Executive to Continue Using Local Banks for County Business, and Encouraging All Local Governments and County Residents to Use Local Banks and Credit Unions to the Extent Permitted by Law (Sponsored by Mr. Stanczyk)

 

Mr. Stanczyk said this is a straight forward memorializing resolution--requesting State Comptroller, County Executive, local governments to use local banks to the extent permissible by law.  Mr. Lesniak asked what a local bank is; is HSBC a local bank.  Mr. Stanczyk said it is; they have local branches here.  Mr. Lesniak asked if it is any banks that have branches in Onondaga County; Mr. Stanczyk said “yes”.  Mr. Lesniak asked what if a better rate could be obtained from a bank in Monroe County.  Mr. Stanczyk said that this is a memorializing resolution encouraging people to use local institutions.  We should be encouraging people to shop, bank and invest locally.

 

Mr. Buckel said that he has a potential conflict of interest and will abstain from this.  The movement that has started is other places are that some of the bank sizes have changed and encourage citizens to put money in local banks.  The banking industry has shown that the community banks, the local chartered banks, i.e. Solvay Bank, have been able to keep the lending going to individuals and small businesses as opposed to larger institutions.  This resolution defines a local bank as a local community bank/credit union chartered within NYS.  Arguably some of the larger institutions that have branches here would not qualify.  If, as an institutions, we want to suggestion that we think our community is going to be stronger, encourage our government and families to use local banks and credit unions (those charted in NYS) or say that big banks have provide a whole range of services that others don’t and we’ll leave it to the free market and individuals to decide.  There are arguments both ways, but would like to encourage communities to support local banks as best they can and encourage government to do that

 

Mr. Kilmartin asked about the definition of “chartered” as it refers to banks.  Mr. Buckel said it is banks that are chartered in NYS, as opposed to national banks.  Chartered says that they are local banks.  Arguably this would apply to HSBC, which does a tremendous volume of business in New York including school districts.  Mr. Kilmartin said if HSBC is doing business in New York State, does that mean that they are chartered here.  Mr. Buckel said “no”; it just means they are doing business here.  Mr. Kilmartin said that chartered is more analogist to corporations and incorporated; Mr. Buckel agreed.

 

Mr. Lesniak asked about the intent, i.e. HSBC.  Mr. Stanczyk said he has no problem dealing with HSBC, Key Bank or any other bank, but feels we should buy and do business locally. 

 

Chairman Jordan asked about situations where there would be revenue difference.  Mr. Stanczyk said that this is not an edict; it is a suggestion that in the calculation of how to do things, to keep local in mind.  Chairman Jordan said that the suggestion is that where possible the County Executive, the State Comptroller use local banks, but it is not an absolute prohibition.  Mr. Stanczyk agreed. 

 

Mr. Buckel said that having offered higher rates, so many larger financial institutions have taken that money and gambled it on powerfully dangerous bets and gambles.  The movement is trying to draw some of the capital back into local area, where they are more inclined to support local business and loan to local families, mortgages that are more responsible.  Can’t solve the banking crisis here, but can make a philosophical statement that we want to begin to try to encourage people to use local banks.

 

A motion by Mr. Kinne, seconded by Mr. Stanczyk to approve this item. AYES: 3 (Warner, Kinne, Stanczyk); NOES: 0; ABSTAINED:  5 (Jordan, Lesniak, Holmquist, Kilmartin, Buckel).  MOTION CARRIED.

 

        e.     Requesting the Federal and State Legislators who Represent Onondaga County to Take Legislative Action to Counter the Recent Supreme Court Decision which Struck Down Spending Limits by Corporations and Unions in Political Elections (Sponsored by Mr. Warner)

 

Mr. Kinne and Mr. Stanczyk asked to be listed as co-sponsors.

 

Mr. Warner said that the original rule was the McCain-Feingold law.  Mr. Warner said he finds the action to be impulsive and almost disgusting.  We need to restore faith in our election process.  Under this scenario the pay to play system is alive and well.  He is asking for the federal and state officials to find a way around this.  He understands that some of them are already working on it.  This resolution is a little more than a memorializing resolution because it is already being worked on.  This is more of an “attaboy” and “keep up the good work” resolution.  He does not want to vote on it today and requests that it be sent direction to session.

 

Chairman Jordan asked what Mr. Warner is asking to be done.  Mr. Warner said to find a way around the Supreme Court decision, which essentially threw out the McCaine-Feingold legislation. 

 

Mr. Stanczyk said that there is a difference between a person who has $1 million net worth and wants to contribute $10,000 towards a campaign and a corporation who has billions of net worth and wants to use its influence and spend an incredible amount of money to influence elections.  Feels the public is fed up with that type of influence.

 

Mr. Buckel said that he supports this with a “be careful what you wish for”.  This is not telling anyone to change decisions; it is expressing a very legitimate outrage.  He is a first amendment absolutist and when the first amendment says that Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech, it is the most important, central bedrock that we have.  This decision has caused lots of controversy and is misunderstood in some corners, but agrees that something should be done about the process.

 

Mr. Lesniak said that when an oath of office is taken it is taken to support the Constitution of the United States.  It’s not that he doesn’t support a modification of how those dollars can be spent; it is a question of diminishing freedom of speech.  He is as distraught as Mr. Warner is with what was done, but there are multiple issues.  

 

Mr. Stanczyk it can’t be said that this is a freedom of speech issue; the courts have made the determination that corporations should be treated the same way as individuals.  There is a distinction between the individual and a corporation, which is the crux of it.  The corporations have to be contained that are overrunning sovereign governments, overrunning the entire world.  This is continuing to empower them and not to check the unbridled asset, power, money, influence that the corporations have. 

 

Mr. Kinne said that his problem is that if it is an extremely wealthy individual, extremely wealthy corporation, or a union that has a certain point of view that that they want to make, that distorts reality.  He feels something should be done about it.  He referred to a movement that exists now and provided an example.

 

Chairman Jordan said that about 90% of corporations are mom and pop.  To have a blanket prohibition against any corporation from funding or paying for an ad voicing their opinions, etc, is a slippery slope.  It says that an individual no longer has the ability to voice their views or concerns to advocate for something that they believe in.  He has the same concerns about how much a large corporation can spend to influence legislation.  It is happening already and there certainly has been enormous outrage.  The only way to really address this is by constitutional amendment, unless disclosure was required; there are safe guards that could be instituted.

 

Mr. Lesniak asked if the sponsor will accept an amendment written to more address how the present legislation is being drafted to address this issue.  Mr. Warner said that federal senators are already working on this issue.

Chairman Jordan said that this is very open ended.

 

        f.      Memorializing the Governor and the Legislature of the State of New York to Repeal the Cost Recovery Tax on Local Industrial Development Agencies (Sponsored by Mr. Jordan, Mrs. Rapp)

 

Mr. Hall said that retroactive to 2009, a 4.7% tax on IDA revenues was instituted by the State.  In answer to Mr. Stanczyk, Mr. Hall said that the IDA has not paid this; it is $54,000 for 2008 alone, which was not budgeted for.  A bill was received a few weeks ago and it is due at the end of March.  There is no penalty if the bill isn’t paid.  After speaking to the board members, CFO, and Ida’s around the state, the IDA would like to not pay it.

 

Mr. Jordan said because the IDA is not on the calendar budget, this actually encompasses six months of the 2007 budget year.

 

Mr. Lesniak made a motion to approve this item, seconded by Mr. Kilmartin.

 

Mr. Buckel asked if the tax is on the agency fee that the IDA earns when they do a transaction.  Mr. Hall said "yes", and theoretically any transaction that generates revenue.  The tax is being applied to pass-through grants.  For example, the IDA owns Hancock Airpark tax parcels, run by Hancock Field Development Corp.  Hancock Field Development Corp. applied for a grant for infrastructure, and the State won’t give them the grant until the work is done.  The IDA pays for the improvements, the grant is paid to Hancock Field Development Corp, which then pays the IDA back, and the IDA is taxed on that grant.  Mr. Buckel asked if that could be handled by accounting for it differently; Mr. Hall said that they plan to do that in the future.  Mr. Hall said the tax may also apply to what they consider revenue for what the County pays the office for staff, etc.  Mr. Buckel asked what the agency uses the fees for.  Mr. Hall said it is used for staff, there is a shrinking surplus now $1.6 million in cash.  Mr. Lesniak asked if the tax is applied to Civic Development Corporation; Mr. Hall said “not yet”.  In answer to Mr. Stanczyk, Mr. Hall said that the legislation was approved in April 2009, and the bill just came in.

 

Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

 

9.     LAW DEPARTMENT:

        a.     Settlement of Claim

Mr. Lesniak made a motion to enter into executive session for the purpose of discussion litigation related to Klinger v. Onondaga County; seconded by Mr. Warner.  Passed unanimously; CARRIED.

 

Mr. Kinne made a motion to leave executive session and enter regular session, seconded by Mr. Warner.  Passed unanimously.  MOTION CARRIED.

 

The following resolution was introduced:  Authorizing the Settlement of the Court Action of Adolf Klinger and Diana Klinger V the County of Onondaga.

 

A motion was made by Mr. Kinne, seconded by Mr. Lesniak to approve this item.  AYES:  6 (Kinne, Lesniak, Jordan, Warner, Buckel, Holmquist); NOES:  0; OUT OF ROOM:  2 (Stanczyk, Kilmartin).  MOTION CARRIED.

 

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

Respectfully submitted,

 

DEBORAH L. MATURO, Clerk

Onondaga County Legislature

 

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