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Meeting Minutes Return to Committee Meeting Minutes
Office of the Onondaga County Legislature
Court House, Room 407 * 401 Montgomery Street * Syracuse, New York 13202
(315) 435-2070 Fax: (315) 435-8434
DEBORAH L. MATURO
Clerk
JAMES M. RHINEHART
Chairman
KATHERINE FRENCH
Deputy Clerk

 

FISCAL WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE MINUTES – FEBRUARY 1, 2011

CASEY E. JORDAN, CHAIRMAN

 

Members Present:  Mr. Lesniak, Mr. Buckel, Mr. Holmquist, Mr. Stanczyk,  Mr. Corbett, *Mr. Kinne

Members Absent:  Mr. Kilmartin, Mr. Warner

Also Attending:  see attached list

 

Chairman Jordan called the meeting to order at 11:00 a.m.  A motion was made by Mr. Lesniak, seconded by Mr. Corbett, to waive the reading and approve the minutes or proceedings of the previous committee.  MOTION CARRIED.

 

1.     METROPOLITAN WATER BOARD:  Holly Rosenthal, Administrative Director

        a.     2010 Transfer of $27,787 From 408 Professional Services, $65,000 From 300 Supplies & Materials; To 413 Maintenance, Utilities and Rents ($92,787)

  • Deficit in MLR for contracted work
  • Surplus in 300 account – did not self perform some work – work was contracted out that needed expertise beyond their own workforce – valve repair and heavy electrical line

 

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

 

2.     PARKS AND RECREATION:  William Lansley, Commissioner; Nate Stevens

        a.     2010 Transfer $60,000 From 410 All Other Expenses, $20,000 From 408 Fees for Services; To 413 Maintenance, Utilities and Rents ($80,000)

  • Shortfall for water at the zoo:   weather is a large impact – misters needed for animals in hot weather; price of water increased in last 3 years; installed new water main in park – hydrant was off meter for year
  • Priority - looking at further ways to conserve water at the zoo
  • Looking into water recovery systems – recirculation water and put it back into the system

Mr. Stanczyk asked if it is in the County’s best interest to run a zoo out of the Parks Dept or create something new and cast it off.  Mr. Lansley noted that the Friends group continued $2 million to the operation of a $6 million budget.  He is not sure if anybody would be able to take on that whole operation with the size of it.  In answer to Mr. Stanczyk, Mr. Lansley said that $2 million is allocated from the Friends; $1 million in ticket sales; $2 million of county funds, an attendance of approximately 350,000.  Mr. Stanczyk asked to be provided with detail in writing.

 

Mr. Holmquist noted that for another zoo across the country to take it over, it would take 5 years.  If that is the path the County would take, it doesn’t just happen, many things have to happen to transition it over.  In answer to Mr. Corbett, Mr. Lansley said that the current zoo was built in 1984; the City had it prior to that, it was closed for two years while it was being reconstructed.

 

*Mr. Kinne arrived at the meeting.

 

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

 

        b.     Lights on the Lake – Financial Update:  William Lansley, Commissioner, Nate Stevens

Mr. Lansley provided handouts, which he reviewed – see attachment #1

  • Increase from 2009 to 2010 operation line – cables, lights needed
  • Rehab/infrastructure increase – reimbursable expense in 2011 from Galaxy
  • Galaxy will pay for capital expenses- 10% reimbursed rate/year until 100%; County would still own the displays after 10 years

Mr. Stanczyk asked about details of the contract with Galaxy.  Mr. Stevens explained:

  • Lights on Lake has its own fund balance – a sub account within Special Events account
  • This year the Galaxy contract will add approximately $45,000 to the fund balance for Lights on Lake – before capital expenses.  Capital expenses reimbursed to County by Galaxy – County not bearing the full cost
  • In past 4 years, it has averaged $15,800 as net addition
  • Revenues – used to get $60,000 - $70,000 in sponsorships (i.e. Sold to Wegmans, CSEA, etc); 2010 contract stated Galaxy had the right to obtain sponsorships and keep all the revenue fro it
  • Tickets – in the past, every dollar was kept that was sold from tickets; this year Galaxy kept all of the dollars with the exception of a revenue sharing agreement on the weekends – with a guarantee of $15,000; this year it was slightly over the guarantee
  • Guarantee in contract $305,000 in 2010--amount Galaxy would pay the County even if no one came to the show
  • Ticket price – County controls everything as long as it is mutually agreed upon
  • Net increase in revenues because of ticket price – hard to tell because Galaxy did so much more advertising, 2010 revenue based on actual ticket sales – cars and presale was $341,467
  • Galaxy did a lot of advertising for presale ticket savings

Mr. Stanczyk said that part of the County's commitment was to have new displays every year--putting money into show every year.  This time, the County did not do any new displays, but did electrical improvements.  Mr. Lansley explained that rehab was done, several displays were converted from traditional high energy usage lights to LED lights, cost $22,223.  Rehab expenditure varies dependant on the year – in 2007 - $100,000; in 2001 - $1,400.  The County paid the $22,223 -- Galaxy will reimburse the County for those expenses in the future; County had incurred the costs prior to the contract.  Mr. Stevens explained that it is in the contract that Galaxy will pay for base expenses plus rehap, up to a cap (this year $265,000).  The County went over the cap by about $10,000; that is why gross revenues are $45,000 and not $55,000.  For next year, Galaxy will use the 2010 actual as the cap.

 

Mr. Stanczyk asked who makes the decision on how much money is used to upgrade the show.  Mr. Lansley said that they had $200,000 swept out of the Special Events account, which drops available capital expenditure money in the hole.  Lights on the Lake is a large part of the special events account.  Currently there is a $400,000 balance in the Special Events account; it is a moving target, there are events that haven’t hit it yet.  Mr. Stanczyk asked why the County wouldn’t use some of it to make changes/upgrades, to the show, as Galaxy will reimburse it.  Mr. Lansley said that they need the capital to buy the equipment; there is money in the special events account ($125,000) from Wegmans specific for the playground, skate park, trams, which can’t be used for Lights on the Lake.  In answer to Mr. Lesniak, Mr. Lansley said that starting this year, Galaxy will return 100% of renovations, but it has to be mutually agreed upon.  Mr. Stanczyk said that there is enough money to do some new things from the account.  Mr. Lansley said that the cost of displays range between $20,000 - $100,000.  Mr. Stanczyk noted that years ago there was a determination to put ads at the beginning and end, not all the way through.  This time, there were a number of things going through.  Mr. Lansley said that at the beginning of every arch there have been 3 x 5 fabric signs -- does not know when they came in.  The large lit signs are outside the scope of the show; County has 100% control of it.  In answer to Mr. Stanczyk, Mr. Lansley said that they will absolutely be changing the show.  Mr. Stevens said that in managing the $200,000 balance in the Special Events fund, it covers many things besides Lights on the Lake. 

 

Mr. Lesniak asked why it makes a difference in how much the County invests, if it is going to be reimbursed--what is the timetable.  Mr. Lansley said it is for 10 years, 10% per year.  Mr. Stevens said that he did a quick analysis to see what could be taken out of the funds based on the 3rd quarter 2010 – $60,000 out of Lights on the Lake, have to siphon off money from every single fund.  Mr. Stanczyk said that $125k is dedicated to Wegmans for special things; leaves $75,000 to do the things that need to be done and make improvements to the show.  Mr. Lansley said that they have an operating budget of $225,000 and can’t go in the negative; they don’t get the first payment from Galaxy until December 30th.  They may exceed that in just setting up the show. Mr. Stanczyk asked what the personnel costs are to the County for Lights on the Lake.  Mr. Stevens and Mr. Lansley said it is in the operating, in the $225,000, but there is also Onondaga Leasing, characters, ticket takers – people acquired from an agency, out of that amount.  Mr. Jordan asked for clarification – Mr. Lansley said Galaxy will reimbursed 100% on rehab; 10% each year on capital/new purchases until it is paid off.

 

Mr. Buckel questioned what the concerns are about this; is it because county property is leased to another property; what is the policy end game other than micromanaging.  Mr. Stanczyk said that there is a budgetary control that the legislature has; there are a number of contracts that need to be revenue contracts.  This was defined as a revenue contract, but not only are there county employees involved by contract, there is also the use of a County park.  There is a concern about whether this is being run for the benefit of the people of the community, or getting a private interest creeping in taking advantage of a public facility.  He would like an idea of the details to make sure the County is still getting a product that can be appreciated, that people can enjoy, that won’t be expensive, and that will hopefully have the same commitment to.  Mr. Lesniak said that the biggest complaint that he has heard is that if privatizing this, the price should be lowered, not increased.  The County sold this off, and all of a sudden lost control of the pricing.  Mr. Buckel said that as a policy, we need to define how County parks are used; anytime that we lease or make available County owned property to a private entity, there needs to be certain types of safeguards.  Mr. Lansley said that they didn’t sell off anything -- maybe traded off the opportunity for a partnership to raise revenue to enhance the show.  The County owns the show, owns the rights, owns the website.  There is a decision making on everything that is done with Lights on the Lake – a lot are mutual agreements.  There were some things that the County said “no” to, for example Galaxy wanted bon fire for First Night.  In answer to Mr. Lesniak, Mr. Lansley said that tickets were sold for First Night – presale and gate sale, 7,000, which went to Galaxy.

 

Mr. Lansley said that if they didn’t have the advertising this year and got hit with a snow storm, he could have potentially lost money on Lights on the Lake because of low turnout.  If there were an ice storm that knocked the power out for 2 weeks, there would be a huge loss.  The contract ensures that the show would be paid for 100%.  Mr. Kinne asked if it is the same if their business is sold; Mr. Jordan said that typically if someone buys a business out, they also assume the debt.  Mr. Kinne said not if they go bankrupt.

 

Mr. Antonacci said that this wasn’t RFPd--a new resolution would cure future problems.  There are parameters within the state law regarding the state doing a revenue contract.  In the future, maybe there will be a little more openness on what exactly the price is and the deal being struck if it is RFPd. 

 

In answer to Chairman Jordan, Mr. Lansley said that the contract is for 2 years with 4 renewable; it does not have to come to the legislature.  Mr. Lesniak said that in the contract the County does a capital investments next year and they don’t renew their contract; how are they still responsible for the 10%.  Mr. Lansley said that they are not.  Mr. Lansley said that they would be responsible as long as the contract was in effect.

 

Mr. Stanczyk asked what the increase in ticket price was; Mr. Lansley said from $8 to $12.  Of the increase the County receives 25%; Galaxy receives 75%; County guaranteed $15,000 as a minimum.  Mr. Stevens said that the County has control of the price; it has to be mutually agreed to.  Mr. Lansley said that a cost analysis was done on other existing show – in Albany, a show roughly one third of ours; their per car price is $15.

 

3.     LEGISLATURE:

        a.     Appointment of Costello, Cooney & Fearon as Legislative Counsel (Sponsored by Mr. Rhinehart)

Mr. Lesniak explained:

  • $12,000 budgeted
  • Spent:  2010 - $40; 2009 - $10,000 (mostly Charter review and sewer use law) 2008 - $2,200; 2007 -$3,000
  • With redistricting and other issues - feels this appointment should be made

Mr. Buckel noted that he never saw any report or conferred with counsel; the work belongs to all of us.  If there is a consultation, all legislators need to be involved in it.  Mr. Jordan said that there was an opinion letters circulated regarding the Charter issue; Mr. Buckel said it was not circulated to him.  Mr. Stanczyk said that the only time needing to go to outside counsel is when it is outside the area of Law Department’s expertise or there is an area of contention.  Mr. Lesniak agreed.

 

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

 

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

Respectfully submitted,

 

DEBORAH L. MATURO, Clerk

Onondaga County Legislature

 

* * *

PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE MINUTES – FEBRUARY 8, 2011

PATRICK KILMARTIN, CHAIRMAN

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Mr. Dougherty, Mr. Masterpole

MEMBERS ABSENT:  Mr. Meyer, Ms. Williams

ALSO ATTENDING:  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 the previous committee meeting.  MOTION CARRIED.

 

1.     CORRECTION:

        a.     Amending the 2011 County Budget to Appropriate Additional Federal Revenues for the Department of Correction, and Authorizing the County Executive to Enter into Contracts to Implement this Resolution ($80,000)

PULLED

 

2.     PROBATION:  Andrew Sicherman, Principal Probation Officer

        a.     Amending the 2011 County Budget to Provide Additional State Funds to the Probation Department for the Supervision of Individuals Subject to Regulations Contained in Leandra’s Law, and Authorizing the County Executive to Enter into Contracts to Implement this Resolution ($40,000)

  • Funding will assist with supervision and monitoring of ignition interlock devices
  • County expends funds; claims must be submitted per case for federal reimbursement
  • Funds are available from October 2010
  • Persons convicted of a DWI since Leandra’s Law took effect are subject to the interlock device requirements
  • Those owning or operating a vehicle must have an interlock device
  • Non vehicle owners are checked to be sure they are not operating a vehicle
  • Amount is based on the 2009 DWI figures

 

In answer to Chair Kilmartin, Mr. Sicherman stated there will be some overtime expenses involved in confirming that persons not owning a vehicle are not driving   The Chair cautioned that they do not exceed the budget with overtime dollars.

 

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

 

3.     SHERIFF: Chief Balloni

a.     Amending the 2011 County Budget to Provide Additional Grant Funds for a Selective Traffic Enforcement Program and Authorizing the County Executive to Enter into Contracts to Implement this Resolution ($3,875)

  • Provides for an additional 86 hours of enforcement activity
  • $45 pay rate used in hourly calculation is an overtime rate; STEP funds are usually overtime
  • Funds used to target aggressive and distracted driving and/or speeding
  • Fringe benefits are not covered with these funds

 

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

 

In answer to Mr. Masterpole, Chief Balloni stated the Syracuse Nationals are not charged for increased security.

 

b.      Amending the 2011 County Budget to Accept Additional Funds for Police Service Provided to the Town of Clay ($173,685)

  • Sheriff’s office bills the Town of Clay quarterly for enhanced police services
  • Resolution reconciles 2010 charges according to the contract
  • All charges have been billed; Clay has not made any objection to the charges
  •  
  • Administrative fees were left out of the 2010 budget in error
  • Accounts for the majority of the difference between budgeted and billed figures
  • Administration fees go into the 101 account
  • Fee is applied to the aggregate cost of providing enhanced service
  • $105,033 total administration fee charged for 2010

In answer to Chair Kilmartin, Chief Balloni stated the budgeted amount for administrative fees was reduced for 2011.  Ms. Rooney stated the fee was reduces from 9.5% to 5%.  Chief Balloni stated the contract needs to be amended to reflect the change.  Mr. Seitz stated the 5% administrative fee charged to Clay was adopted in the 2011 budget but the contract with the Town of Clay has not been amended as of this time.  The amendment will require signatures from all three parties (Clay, Sheriff and County Executive).

 

Ms. Rooney explained that the administration fee is an overhead charge applied to the 101.  At the time of the agreement they did not foresee the increased cost for fringe benefits.   Mr. Seitz explained that Clay is charged the full amount for fringe benefits.  The administrative fee is an overhead cost in addition to the fringe charges.  The average cost for county fringe benefits currently is 17%.  When this contract was being created it was less than 8% and next year it is expected to go over 20%.  The county is not looking to make a profit from this agreement.

 

In answer to Chair Kilmartin, Chief Balloni stated that the Sheriff’s office is in agreement that they are not trying to make a profit.  However, determining what the actual fee should be is still a matter of discussion.   

 

Mr. Masterpole questioned why the rate would decrease when the cost for fringe benefits would be increasing for administrative personnel as well.  Chair Kilmartin explained that Clay is required to make the county whole for the embedded cost of enhanced services.  Mr. Masterpole stated when the contract was set up there was an administrative fee percentage that took into account all cost for salary, benefits, and so on.  Mr. Dougherty stated that the admin fee was based on a percentage to make the county whole.  With the growth of the contract the county can now be made whole based on a smaller percentage. 

 

Mr. Balloni stated the disagreement that came up during the budget process questioned what the exact percentage should be.   There are a number of items, not tied to fringe that are cost for the Sheriff’s office.  These items fluctuate when you take on additional personnel.  

 

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

 

Chair Kilmartin requested that Chief Balloni and/or Ms. Rooney report back to the legislature once an agreement has been arrived at or if a long term stale mate arises. 

 

        c.     Transfer of Funds from Regular Employee Salaries Account 101 ($17,000) to Travel/Training Account 401 ($17,000)

  • Initially asked for $38,000 as part of the budget process for the 401 account
  • During the budget process the Sheriff agreed to cut the account to $16,000
  • Final budget was reduced to $8,900 by the legislature
  • 101 account has additional funds due to budget process elimination of 3 positions
  • Positions were eliminated at the step 1 rate
  • Actual vacancies derived from veteran personnel at a higher rate
  • Projected account balance of $43,963
  • Projected cost of $15,000 for mandated inmate travel expenses
  • Custody training comes out of the 401 account as well

 

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

 

 Air One Update:

  • An RFP was issued for consultants
  • In the process of reviewing returned RFP’s
  • Contacted the Albany FAA Flights Standard District Office
  • Will assist in obtaining Single Pilot Part 135 certification
  • Certification could be obtained within a couple months
  • Allows for medical services billing of a single senior pilot while they are on duty
  • Regulations for a Single Pilot Part 135 are less onerous than the full Part 135
  • Once the Single Pilot Part 135 cerificate is established they will start working towards the Full Part 135
  • Allows for billing of any medical flight
  • Full certification may take longer than 1 year to obtain
  • Currently operate under Part 91
  • Cannot legally bill for services under this certificate

 

In answer to Chair Kilmartin, Chief Balloni stated that he did not know if they would be able to charge for public safety use of Air One.   Single Pilot Part 135 certifications specifically addresses medical billing.  He believes that once you are flying commercially other billing becomes a possibility.  Chair Kilmartin urged that the department review the regulations and engage conversations with outside counties in reference to reimbursement for services.  Onondaga County is providing service to neighboring counties thereby allowing them to save the cost of an Air One program.

 

In answer to Chair Kilmartin, Chief Balloni stated that Air One service is provided to those requesting assistance within a reasonable distance.  The Sheriff makes the determination for anything outside of the immediate five county region.

 

Mr. Dougherty questioned if billing for services other than medical would fall under the mutual aid agreement.   Chief Balloni stated mutual aid agreements are in place for fire services only.   There is no mutual aid agreement for police services.

 

Chair Kilmartin stated that Air One service is very similar to the administration fee for the enhanced police services.  The Sheriff’s department needs to be made whole for the services it is providing to outside counties.  Chief Balloni added that they do receive some funds from outside counties.   He believes there is a willingness to assist with the cost of Air One. 

 

The meeting was adjourned at 9:48 a.m.            

Respectfully submitted,

 

KATHERINE M. FRENCH, Deputy Clerk

Onondaga County Legislature

 

* * * 

 

HEALTH COMMITTEE MINUTES - FEBRUARY 8, 2011

ROBERT D. WARNER, CHAIRMAN

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Mr. Warner, Mr. Laguzza, Ms. Ervin

MEMBERS ABSENT:  Mr. Meyer, Mr. Holmquist

ALSO PRESENT:  See attached list

 

Chairman Warner called the meeting to order at 10:07 a.m.  A motion was made by Mr. Laguzza, seconded by Ms. Ervin to waive the reading and approve the minutes of the proceedings of the previous committee meeting; MOTION CARRIED.

 

1.     LONG TERM CARE:  Roberta Sprague 

        a.      Abolish RP# 01 404920 4128, Cook I, Gr 6 @ $33,885 - $37,435, effective April 2, 2011

                 Abolish RP# 01 404920 4115, Cook I, Gr 6 @ $33,885 - $37,435, effective April 2, 2011

                 Abolish RP# 01 404920 4120, Food Service Supervisor, Gr 9 @ $43,016-$47,581, eff April 2, 2011

                 Abolish RP# 01 404920 4123, Cook II, Grade 7 @ $36,411 - $40,241, effective April 2, 2011

                 Abolish RP# 01 404920 4132, Food Service Helper I, Gr 2 @ $26,561 -$29,298, effective April 2, 2011

                 Abolish RP# 01 404920 4125, Cook I, Grade 6 @ $33,885 – $37,435, effective April 2, 2011

                 Abolish RP# 01 404920 7273, Cook I, Grade 6 @ $33,885 – $37,435, effective April 2, 2011

                 Abolish RP# 01 404920 4163, Cook I, Grade 6 @ $33,885 – $37,435, effective April 2, 2011

                 Abolish RP# 01 404920 4149, Food Service Helper I, Gr 2 @ $26,561 -$29,298, effective April 2, 2011

 

  • Food Services Contract discussion based on a bid with two options:
    • First included taking over the entire food service project including the dieticians
    • Second would not take over the dieticians but would include the cooks
  • Advanced Meal was the low bidder.  Decision made to go with just contracting out the cooks and retaining the current clinical dietary staff.
  • 9 people to abolish positions to move forward; 4 have other job opportunities, 1 is on medical leave and 4 others will be affected if they have not found other employment.
  • Current cost is $13.58 per resident per day, and with the outsourcing it would be $15.88 per resident per day to include cooks and other management.
  • The current cooks cost $2.80 per resident per day. 
  • The total saving per resident per day factors out to be $.50
  • Forecast based on assumption contract started January 1st; See Attachment No. 1
  • Originally for September 2011 but they were able to get done early.  6 month benefit for savings.

A motion was made by Mr. Laguzza, seconded by Ms. Ervin to approve this item.

 

Chairman Warner wanted to know about the total savings including savings on retirement and medical benefits.  Mrs. Sprague referred to the handout showing the projection for 2012 being a projected total savings of $235,399 for staff and fringes alone.  This number does not include retirement and medical benefits but does include the estimated rise in staff and fringe costs showing the increase in savings every year. 

 

Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

 

        b.     Transfer of funds from Salaries Account 101 ($139,164) and Fringes Account 120 ($91,848) to Supplies and Materials Account 300 ($231,012)

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

 

The meeting was adjourned at 10:16 a.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

  

Jamie M. McNamara, Assistant Clerk

Onondaga County Legislature

 

* * *

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION COMMITTEE MINUTES – FEBRUARY 9, 2011

CHAIRMAN JAMES CORBETT

 

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

ALSO PRESENT:  see attached list, Mr. Masterpole

 

Chairman Corbett called the meeting to order at 10:04A motion was made by Mrs. Tassone, seconded by Mrs. Rapp to waive the reading of the minutes of the previous committee meeting. MOTION CARRIED.  A motion was made by Mrs. Rapp, seconded by Mrs. Tassone to approve the minutes of the proceedings of the previous committee meeting.  MOTION CARRIED.

 

*Mrs. Ervin arrived.

 

1.     LAKE IMPROVEMENT:  Marty Voss, Administrative Director

        a.     ACJ Update

Project 50 Program:

  • Oncenter:  Green roof construction--design submitted to Codes; bid package underway; parking lot--porous pavement—survey complete, 50% design underway
  • Erie Canal:  structural analysis for green roof underway
  • War Memorial – continue development of water re-use system – pilot
  • Library – renovations projection in development, 50% design complete for Hazard green roof

Save the Rain:

  • Finalizing plans for 2011 campaign; Syracuse Center for Excellence receive RFP to conduct outreach in city neighborhoods

Green Improvement Fund:

  • 5 more grant applications received in January,  32 total proposals submitted – none awarded
  • Projects range from parking lot repave using porous pavement to green roofs
  • Grants go up to $100,000; total in GIF is $3 million – plus pending Harbor Brook and Clinton resources

Harbor Brook Interceptor Replacement Project:

  • State allocated $20 million--interceptor sewer replacement and culvert work – construction moving ahead
  • Approx 6,000 linear feet of interceptor pipe in, 5,000 linear feet to combined sewer and storm pipe in

Midland CSO 045 and Clinton CSO 022 – in design

Ambient Monitoring Program:

  • Tributary sampling – biweekly done January 4, 19; bacteria sampling done Jan 10, 20, 27
  • Lake Sampling - Not done yet due to ice not being thick enough
  • Biological monitoring – sorted & identified 90 lake macro invertebrate samples collected July

Contracts:

  • New contract for Green Improvement fund – Monroe Bldg – green roof

Chairman Corbett pointed reimbursements through EFC loans, short and long term, for funded ACJ projects is over $200,000,000.

 

Mrs. Rapp asked about the Water Street gym project listed last month, but not listed in the report today.  Mr. Millea said that it is still part of the 2011 plan and wasn’t sure why it isn’t listed in the book; it is moving forward.  Mr. Antonacci said that the project came before the Onondaga County Planning Board last week and was approved unanimously with no changes. 

 

2.     WEP:  Matt Millea, Deputy County Executive

        a.     A Resolution Calling a Public Hearing in Connection with the Increased Cost of Proposed CSO Improvements for the Onondaga County Sanitary District of the County of Onondaga ($54,058,000)

Mr. Millea said that they will come back next month with a full briefing on the status of the 2011 lake cleanup program, the implications on the budget, and what it means for the whole program.  They are working with EFC and DEC to streamline the entirety of the funding into one bonding resolution; have to make sure that they don’t preclude themselves from EFC access in regard to the intended use plan.  The $54 million should be the last ask for the lake cleanup program for the foreseeable future.  They will lay out next month what the Clinton Sewer shed and Erie sewer shed will entail.  Chairman Corbett said that as long as the EFC funding is not jeopardized then there will be one bonding resolution and supposedly will be set until 2018.  Mr. Millea said that they are putting the scope of all of the projects into one resolution; Midland and Harbor Brook ($70 million) will be stand alone will be kept separate.  The $54 million will include green implementation in all of the other sewer sheds, Clinton storage project, and sewer separation and other issues at Erie.

 

Mr. Buckel said that unless there is a way to ensure that the money is being used to support local workers, then there will be trouble with this.  In answer to Mr. Buckel, Mr. Millea said that the public hearing would occur in April, and he will lay out the details to the committee between March and April.  Information will also be posted on the Save the Rain website.

 

A motion by Mr. Buckel, seconded by Mrs. Ervin to approve this itemPassed unanimously.  MOTION CARRIED.

 

        b.     Create RP# 01 803330 1297, Inventory Control Supervisor, Grade 8 @ $39,599 - $43,784, effective March 26, 2011

                Create RP# 01 803330 1343, Clerk II, Grade 5 @ $31,220 - $34,474, effective March 26, 2011

                Abolish RP# 01 803330 5436, Stenographer II, Grade 6 @ $33,885 - $37,435, effective March 26, 2011

                Create RP# 01 803330 1345, Clerk II, Grade 5 @ $31,220 - $34,474, effective March 26, 2011

                Abolish RP# 01 803330 5441, Stenographer II, Grade 6 @ $33,885 - $37,435, effective March 26, 2011

 

Mr. Voss said that this is a result of changes that WEP has been looking at by the direction of the Legislature in last year’s budget.  Two titles were eliminated in the fleet/automotive stock room in the 2011 budget, with a caveat that a RFP be issued, reviewed and awarded by the end of the year, which they did.  They got to a point where the proposals were not going to meet the overall need for reducing costs, and they communicated that to the Legislature, and were told to come back with a personnel resolution to address it. 

 

The RFP was reissued in January with modifications.  The RFP is open; questions closed on Friday; response sent out to vendors.  The goal is to reduce their costs.

 

Requesting:

  • One employee to replace two
  • Will restructure to have a supervisory person managing stock room instead of storekeeper and stock clerk
  • Asking for Inventory Control Supervisor in lieu of two abolished positions
  • County no longer tests / fills stenographer titles, gr. 6; want to exchange them for Clerk II’s grade 5
  • One Clerk II will be at the Flow Control Facility, Erie Blvd. (fill vacancy due to death of an employee)
  • Other Clerk II was part of ERI – had approval to fill it from DBM -- can’t fill steno II, need to change title – person will have split duties between fleet shop and construction division
  • If the RFP is awarded in March, they will not fill the inventory control supervisor and will come back to the legislature to have it lined out in the budget
  • Need a backstop in place to keep the fleet parts running for the 13 departments/12,000 vehicles that they service

Chairman Corbett questioned why the original RFP low bidder was not accepted.  Mr. Voss said that all of the responders were significantly more expensive than how it is done now.  They had not communicated effectively what their objectives were in the RFP.  The biggest issue is the municipal discount that Onondaga County receives in buying parts--it doesn’t necessarily translate through an independent vendor.  In answer to Mrs. Rapp, Mr. Voss said that the outside vendors do not get the same price as the County when buying direct; the manufacturers publish different pricing books for each vendor; Onondaga County gets a municipal rate.  He explained that the cost of the vendors for the service was more expensive than what the County is paying for two people, including fringe.  The cost to the County for the 2 employees with fringe is about $94,000/year. 

 

The RFP was reworked to clarify what they are trying to be accomplished.  The RFP is now open; if it is an improvement, it will go to the RFP Committee and they will evaluate it and the change will be made.  If it is not, then come March 31, they still have to provide the services.  They will not hire the person now; they need to get the position lined up and approved by the legislature before they can hire in April.  Mr. Voss reiterated that if the RFP is awarded, they will not fill the positions – and it can be lined out in October.

 

Mr. Buckel said that this has demonstrated what studies of these types of efforts, to privatize public services and goods, have already experienced across the country.  There seems to be a blind mania that it is better to have the private sector do things.  The rest of the country is ahead of us in trying these issues--have experienced that the private sector will cost more because they will try to make the extra profit.  He hopes that WEP’s experience is shared the next time somebody says to go out and hire somebody to do what the County can do better and for less.  Mr. Voss said that he can only speak to what was seen at WEP for auto parts.  

 

Chairman Rhinehart said that $80 oil changes are not savings to the taxpayers of this county.  He asked who serves on the RFP Committee.  Mr. Voss said that is made up of Law Dept., Co. Executive’s office, Purchasing Dept., and dept asking for RFP.  Chairman Rhinehart said that one of the interested parties has been in vendor managed parts for years in 30 cities in U.S., with a number of them in NYS.  Every one of those entities saves money through this vendor.  He did not know if they were one of the responses to the RFP, as he was not part of the RFP review process.  He would like to see how a determination was made that vendor managed parts would not save the county money.  Mr. Millea said that is absolutely not the suggestion--the only suggestion is that the RFP that went out initially did not ask the right questions.  That is why the difference between the first RFP and the second is significant.  He agreed that it has been done in other communities, and there is no reason it can’t be done here.  Chairman Rhinehart asked if it is legal for the Chairman of the committee or himself to look at the RFPs or responses.  Mrs. Tarolli did not know.  Mr. Millea said that they have to be careful because the RFP is still open.  He is not sure that we can talk about the previous responses with the next responses.  When it is all done, it is public information.  He will provide the RFPs this afternoon.

 

Chairman Rhinehart asked if the positions can be left as is for 2 months.  Mr. Voss said that the positions were abolished December 31; they have an employee working on the 103 line.  Chairman Rhinehart said that the intent was to take a look at this and see how it would affect the department, including the shop.  Mr. Voss said that normally an RFP process takes 6–9 months; they had 6 weeks after the budget was finished to complete it.  The position is being requested as a backstop to have something in place to keep the service running.  Mr. Voss will provide any detail to Chairman Rhinehart that he can.  Chairman Rhinehart urged the committee to abstain today and have Mr. Masterpole, Mr. Corbett and himself meet with Mr. Voss. 

 

Mr. Masterpole referred to how the RFP Committee works in City government.  He asked if legislators are allowed to sit on the RFP Committee.  Mrs. Tarolli said that she believes the difference is that the Common Council approves all contracts and under County Charter and Code the execution and implementation of contracts is an executive function.  Mr. Masterpole asked if members of the legislature cannot sit on the Committee.  Ms. Tarolli said that she reads the Charter that it is an executive function, not a legislative function.  Mr. Masterpole asked if the County Executive could ask legislative members to sit on the RFP Committee; Mrs. Tarolli said that she would need to think about it.

 

Mr. Antonacci asked if the price per part that the county is paying now, added the clerk’s pay/fringes and compared it to what the vendors were willing to offer for the same parts – there is an administrative cost in the parts being delivered.  Mr. Voss said that it was an elaborate process – the distinction is that county employees don’t make a profit.  In answer to Mr. Antonacci, Mr. Voss said that auto parts and heavy equipment parts are included; there are a handful of proprietary things.  The auto parts are estimated to be about $500,000; County labor costs for managing it is about $94,000. 

 

Chairman Rhinehart said that the people at WEP don’t issue checks; there are other County people involved that handle paperwork that goes along with each part.  If each part comes from a different company, there are separate checks cut—for hundreds of parts.  The two people working in the parts counter do not handle all of the county’s responsibilities that go along with purchasing parts.  Mr. Voss noted that if a vendor is awarded the parts, the fiscal office is still going to have to issue checks to them. 

 

Chairman Corbett said that this is going to go to Ways and Means Committee next week; he suggested that a vote not be taken on this item now -- Mr. Voss has a lot of information to provide to legislators that are interested.  Mrs. Rapp and Mrs. Ervin agreed that they would like more information.  Mr. Buckel said that he wanted to show respect to the work that has been done.  Mr. Voss said that he will send the RFP’s to the Clerk for distribution.

 

As a Committee, Chairman Corbett said that the item would be moved to Ways and Means Committee.

 

3.     ONONDAGA COUNTY WATER AUTHORITYMichael Hooker, Executive Director

        b.     Informational – Tank Project Update - Copy of report on file

  • Western Reservoir, Van Buren, 20 million gallon tank, went into service in Sept.
  • Eastern, Manlius, 30 Million gallon tank, went into service in January
  • Received bids for 3rd tank – very good bids –Western and Eastern are essentially identical and bids came in about $2.3 million lower than they did 2 years ago for Western
  • Final cost for 3 tanks – just under $35 million
  • Financed the first two tanks through EFC; able to get state AAA bond rating, saving about $8 million in interest
  • Thanked OCWA staff for implementation and recognized MWB staff for their cooperation in the projects
  • Malcolm Pirnie, Project Engineer; C&S Engineers, on site inspectors; DYK Tanks, Napgun, contractors

        a.     Informational – 2011 OCWA Rates

  • New rates published in Post Standard on 1/27. In Eagle Papers last week, on Channel 9 News yesterday
  • First time in at least 40 years that the rate structure has changed; may be first time ever

 

Mr. Hooker provided the following:

OCWA 2011 Rate Schedule Changes:

Over the years OCWA has actively promoted water conservation.  However under its old rate structure customer conservation efforts were not recognized.

 

To assist OCWA in this monumental change, the Authority sought out experts in the area of the development of rate structures.  Ultimately OCWA selected Red Oak Consulting a nationally recognized consultant that is a Division of Malcolm Pirnie to work with OCWA personnel on the changes.

 

As a result OCWA is changing its rate structure for the first time in (at least) 40 years, and the changes are significant.

 

For instance, in 2010 a residential user with a typical 5/8-inch meter was billed $34.28 per quarter for all use between 0 and 8,000 gallons.

 

Under the new rate structure the base system fee for a 5/8” meter is $22.09 per quarter and all use up to 10,000 gallons will be billed at $2.42 per 1,000 gallons.

 

The new base system fee is based on the cost of OCWA’s capital improvement program and is comprised of the annual debt service cost plus the annual cost of depreciation of OCWA’s assets. 

 

Over a two year period, ending in 2010, OCWA completed over $47 million in capital projects, including a major upgrade to the Marcellus Water Treatment Plant and the Otisco Lake intake facilities and the construction of a 30 MG reservoir in Manlius and a 20 MG reservoir in Van Buren that replaced uncovered finished water reservoirs.  All three projects were driven by changes in regulations under the USEPA Safe Drinking Water Act.

 

On the other side of the equation is the unit cost per 1,000 gallons used.  The commodity charge represents the annual cost to operate and maintain the water system.

What is the impact of the change in rate Schedules?

Under the old rate structure, for example, someone using 4,000 gallons in one quarter would have paid the old minimum of $34.28.

 

Under the 2011 revised rate structure the same user will pay the base system fee of $22.09, plus $2.42 per 1,000 gallons used for a total quarterly bill of $31.77 or a decrease of $2.51 for the quarter.

 

It should be noted that the new rate structure does allow for an overall projected increase of 9% on an annualized basis.

 

That being said, the average residential customer uses 15,000 gallons per quarter, and under the 2010 rate structure the average residential customer would have been billed $56.68 for the quarter.

 

Under the 2011 rate structure a customer using 15,000 gallons will be billed the base fee of $22.09 plus $2.42 for the first 10,000 gallons used, plus $3.22 per 1,000 gallons for the next 5,000 gallons for a total bill of $62.39 for the quarter (an increase of $5.71).

 

It should also be noted that the new residential rate schedule is comprised of the base fee and three increasing rate blocks designed to be easier to for customers to monitor their bill.

 

The old rate structure was comprised of a minimum bill tied to consumption plus five additional rate blocks.  The first two blocks increased and then the last three decreased.  The six block approach was difficult to calculate and did not necessarily reflect typical customer use.

 

Presently roughly 88.5% of OCWA’s residential users use less than 24,000 gallons per quarter and are covered by the first two rate blocks.

 

Further, approximately 38.5% of OCWA’s 85,906 residential customers will be covered by the first rate block (up to 10,000 gallons per quarter). In essence their bill will be the base minimum of $22.09 plus $2.42 for all use. 

 

Overall nearly 97% of all residential customers use less than 30,000 gallons per quarter.  Because of the rate structure change, a straight across the board percentage increase does not apply, and as such residential customers using between 0 and 30,000 gallons per quarter may see their bill decrease as much as $12.19 for a quarter or increase as much as (but no more than) $7.17 per quarter.

 

As stated earlier, the average user, at 15,000 gallons will see their bill increase by $5.71 for the quarter or 6.3 cents per day.

 

Commercial Customers:

On the commercial customer side there has also been a significant change as well.


The 2010 rate structure for commercial customers was identical to the residential rates.

 

For 2011 OCWA’s 4,973 commercial customers will pay the same base system fee that is being applied to all metered customer classifications (residential, commercial, industrial and municipal wholesale).  However the cost per 1,000 gallons used will be a flat $2.65 for all consumption by a commercial account.

 

OCWA has also identified about 100 large commercial users that might be moved to the Monthly General Service rate schedule.  Customer Service personnel will be contacting those customers in the coming days to see if they want to be moved to the new rate schedule.

 

Industrial Customers:

With respect to industrial users, OCWA also simplified their rate schedules as well, but maintained a decreasing rate block designed to support industry and foster economic development efforts by Onondaga County and the Towns served by OCWA.

 

OCWA’s 16 largest industrial users alone represent 98.5% of the total industrial use, with an average demand of 7.332 million gallons per day.  Collectively, OCWA’s 47 industrial customers use an average of 4.8 million gallons per day which represents 23% of OCWA’s total sales. 

 

Under OCWA’s old rate schedules only four customers received OCWA’s most favorable industrial user rate.  With the new rate structure will now extend the economic development incentive rate to all 16 of the aforementioned largest customers.

 

OCWA’s Customer Service personnel are presently contacting each of these accounts directly to explain the changes to them on a one on one basis.

 

Effective Date for New Rates:

The new rates go into effect on March 1, 2011.  The first customers to see the change will residential and commercial users that receive a bill in March.  Most of their bill, which is prorated, will be calculated based on the old rates. 

 

Customers billed in April will generally be billed close to 50% on the old rate schedule and 50% based on the new rates.  Customers billed in May will be close to 2/3 new and 1/3 old.  It won’t be until June and beyond that the new rate structure will be fully in place for all quarterly customers.

 

Industrial and Municipal wholesale customers are billed monthly.  The March bill which is sent out the first week of April will be entirely based on the new rate structure and this will be the first time the monthly customers will see the new rates applied.

 

Fire protection rates typically change in September to coordinate with Town and Village tax billing cycles, however for 2011 fire protection rates will remain unchanged. 

 

For questions related OCWA rates or OCWA in general please contact:

 

Effective January 1, 2010

RATE SCHEDULE NO. 2 – GALLONS

GENERAL RESIDENTIAL SERVICE – QUARTERLY

 

AVAILABILITY:  Service under this rate schedule is available to any customer within the Authority’s service area in Onondaga County.

APPLICABILITY:  Any regular metered purpose.

RATE:

First

8,000

Gallons or less

34.28

 

Next

15,000

Gallons or less

3.20

Per 1000 gallons

Next

16,000

Gallons or less

3.97

Per 1000 gallons

Next

561,000

Gallons or less

2.40

Per 1000 gallons

Next

7,500,000

Gallons or less

2.12

Per 1000 gallons

Over

8,100,000

Gallons or less

1.88

Per 1000 gallons

 

MINIMUM BILL:  The minimum quarterly bill for service hereunder shall be:

 

 

Size of Meter

Minimum Consumption (Gallons)

 

Minimum Bill

5/8”

                      8,000

$

34.28

¾”

                    16,000

$

59.88

1”

                    39,000

$

145.80

1 ½”

                    63,000

$

203.40

2”

                  102,000

$

297.00

3”

                  225,000

$

592.20

4”

                  429,000

$

1,081.80

6”

               1,020,000

$

2,382.60

8”

               2,250,000

$

4,990.20

10”

               4,290,000

$

9,315.00

BILLING:        The minimum bill hereunder shall be billed to the Customer in arrears.

PAYMENT:  Bills are rendered net and are payable within fifteen (15) days after presentation, in accordance with Article
                      VIII of the Customer Rules of the Authority.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS: Service hereunder is subject to the Customer Rules of the Authority.

Effective March 1, 2011

RATE SCHEDULE NO. 2 – GALLONS

GENERAL RESIDENTIAL SERVICE – QUARTERLY

AVAILABILITYService under this rate schedule is available to any customer within the Authority’s service area in Onondaga and Oswego Counties.

APPLICABILITYAny regular metered purpose.

 

BASE SYSTEM FEE:  The base system fee for services hereunder shall be:

                Size of Meter:                      Base System Fee:

                            5/8”                                 $        22.09

                            ¾”                                      $       33.14

                            1”                                       $       55.23

                            1-1/2”                                 $     110.47

                            2”                                       $     176.75

                            3”                                       $     353.50

                            4”                                       $     552.34

                            6”                                       $  1,215.15

                            8”                                       $  1,877.96

                            10”                                     $  2,761.70

 

WATER USE RATE:

              First       10,000 gallons  @           $2.42      per 1,000 gallons

              Next       13,000 gallons  @           $3.22      per 1,000 gallons

              Over       23,000 gallons  @           $4.03      per 1,000 gallons

 

BILLING:        Based on the total of the Base System fee plus the applicable usage rate for all water used during the billing cycle.

PAYMENT:    Bills are rendered net and are payable within fifteen (15) days after presentation, in accordance with Article VIII of the Customer Rules of the Authority.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS:  Service hereunder is subject to the Customer Rules of the Authority.

 

Chairman Corbett said that Mr. Hooker and OCWA have been very responsive to older residents that did not use their houses during the winter or are gone for an extended period of time.  They have been reviewing this with Mr. Corbett, and he was told that they were working on something.  This plan is a fruition of those efforts and bringing the commercial and industrial users into what is the best cost analysis for usage.  Mr. Hooker said that the way it was set up was a strange billing process; no matter what they did in trying to make it equal was virtually impossible.  They put this off until March 1st, instead of January 1st.  Fire protection normally goes up in September in conjunction with town and village tax bills, but OCWA did not increase the fire protection cost for 2011 or 2012. 

 

Mr. Buckel asked for data to compare OCWA rates with other rates in the country; Mr. Hooker said that he does comparisons via other utility web sites with like size cities.  The American Water Association does a survey annually that OCWA participates in – nationally and Canada.  Mr. Buckel would like to make sure that we are at least consistent, if not better than other regions near us.  He asked why the same incentive isn’t in place for the larger commercial and industrial users instead of the fixed fee.  Mr. Hooker said that the predominance of users are residential where they have the ability to conserve.  They looked at the flat rates for commercial users because it is typically consistent throughout the year.  On the industrial side, they have purposely kept those rates down to be competitive – industrial rates in the bottom 10% nationally; residential/commercial is in the lower half nationally.  Mr. Buckel said that it is one tool to attract people; wants to ensure encouraging conservation from all users – commercial and industrial have treatment obligations.  Mr. Hooker referenced Anheuser-Busch—their production is similar to what it has been the last several years, but their actual usage is half of what it used to be.  OCWA is aware of, and have watched nationally, that a lot of communities have made their industrial rates higher.  A good example of what happens when the industry leaves is Beechnut moving out to Schoharie – talking about doubling and tripling residential rates because they have lost so much to that one account. 

 

Mr. Antonacci thanked Mr. Hooker and the OCWA staff, who have helped the Comptroller’s office with an audit.  They looked at payroll records to try to ascertain two big tank projects and where the labor came from to use in comparison to the PLA.  Mr. Hooker also provided information on another project, and there was discussion about Wicks.  OCWA is not subject to Wicks because they are an authority. The Comptroller’s office has attempted to compare two water projects with OCWA to Syracuse water projects.

 

Chairman Corbett asked about the companies that bid on the tanks – because it is a specialty OCWA only received 3 bids.  Mr. Hooker said that there are type 1 tanks and type 3 tanks; in the past they only bid for type 3 tanks.  They City built type 1 tanks, built by DYK, California.  Napgun was another bidder and they competed against each other.  Because of what transpired in the City, OCWA tried to make sure it was a level playing field and it increase the bidders from 2 to 3.  On December 31 Napgun and DYK announced that they were merging and will become DN Tanks – will offer type 1 and type 3 tanks nationally. 

 

Mr. Buckel asked why the rates aren’t provided for the industrial users; Mr. Hooker said that he was mainly concentration on the residential customers.  Mr. Hooker will provide the industrial rates to the committee.

 

Chairman Rhinehart asked about authorizing for bonding for the two tanks; Mr. Hooker said that their bonding is independent from the County; the number discussed in March of 2008 was $60 million; the total OCWA will borrow is approximately $44 million.  Total bond includes engineering and inspection, which is not part of the estimate, as well as debt service and cost of issuance.  In answer to Chairman Rhinehart, Mr. Hooker said that OCWA did not have a project labor agreement – it wasn’t an issue and never brought up.  Chairman Rhinehart asked about Sunoco (old Miller Brewery) – ethanol plant and asked if they are paying external customer charge, as do all customers outside of the county.  Chairman Corbett said that there are other industries there and more are going in. 

 

Mr. Masterpole said that he was informed by someone that works at DYK/Napgun, who said that OCWA caught the people he referenced at the last meeting.  The subcontractor slipped through the cracks with an I-9 form and was caught by background check to by OCWA – to their credit.  To OCWA’s non-credit, that shouldn’t have to happen.  Under a PLA, when using certified, local people--why wouldn’t we want to repeat it.  There are enough businesses closing up here --have to put our local people to work.  Mrs. Rapp asked Mr. Hooker if he had local people working on OCWA projects.  Mr. Hooker said that there were a lot of local people working on them.  Mr. Antonacci said that clearly there was local labor, but clearly there was out of town labor due to the nature of the contracts.  Mr. Masterpole said that “local” needs to be defined.  Mr. Antonacci said that the report will be provided by zip code.

 

4.     Requesting the County Executive to Conduct a Feasibility Study Determining the Cost Effectiveness of a Project Labor Agreement Regarding Certain Projects Associated with the County’s Ongoing Lake Improvement Projects (Sponsored by Mr. Corbett)

Chairman Corbett said that there was a recent development which may make him decide to pull this item.  There was discussion at the last meeting, at the Ways and Means meeting, and in caucus, referencing “at the direction of the legislature”.  There were comments suggesting that the County Executive should be the one to implement a feasibility study.  Mr. Millea said that he and Chairman Corbett have been in discussion about the Harbor Brook resolution, when the issue came up regarding the PLA and lack of required votes for bonding authorization.  Time is running short – very concerned about ability to stay on schedule.  The County Executive and he have discussed this at great length, getting input from people on all sides of the issue.  They feel that the best way to move forward is to do a very quick analysis through the program manger, CDMCNS.  Mr. Kukenberger will be present at the next committee meeting.  CDM has a construction management group that will help them do a very thorough, yet quick, analysis on the benefits of the 2008 amendments to the Wicks Law.  The 2008 amendments to the Wicks Law provide that when a project is under a PLA, the Wicks Law requirements can be exempted.  They feel that if they were to do an analysis of the Harbor Brook storage project ($70 million pending), and Clinton Storage project ($54 million) on the Wicks Law, that it would potentially show that there are savings to be had – solely because they can now exempt those projects.  He sent a letter to the Debbie Maturo (copy on file with Clerk), who can forward it to all members of the legislature.  The letter is a request from the County Executive to Bob Kukenberger to advance a study immediately on the benefits of 2008 amendments of the Wicks Law with relation to the Clinton Storage project and Harbor Brook storage project.  If Mr. Kukenberger comes back with a positive response, then there will be a discussion about what the next step might be.  The resolution is on the agenda today; given that the session is March 1st, services would have to be procured for a feasibility study – far too much time would be lost to go through the exercise of a feasibility study.  A very thorough feasibility study on a brand new PLA might take up to 10 weeks or longer.  This is the best option to move forward and have a discussion about the benefits of the Wicks Law.  In the event that there are savings, the County Executive would absolutely consider imposing the existing PLA on the Clinton and Harbor Brook storage projects rather than going through the process of executing a new PLA. 

 

Mr. Buckel has read the case law and PLA -- does not believe that it is required to have any further study or analysis to extend it.  Another option is to move this along is to simply agree with the other signatories to extend it.  Mr. Millea said that at this point, there is no conclusive proof that the PLA, as it is was, is in fact a cost saver.  It is felt that the Wicks Law changes can bolster that argument, and the executive analysis shouldn’t take to terribly long. 

 

In answer to Chairman Rhinehart, Mr. Millea said that the cost of the study will be less than $10,000.  Mr. Kukenberger will hire a subsidiary of CDM that specializes in construction management.  Chairman Corbett said that the subsidiary will not be tied into Onondaga County, whether it is organized or non-organized.  In answer to Mrs. Ervin, Mr. Millea said that the letter asked Mr. Kukenberger to begin the process immediately.  He hopes to have a report back from him in 3 weeks at the longest.  It will be a fiscal analysis of what happens to the Clinton storage project (now at 100% design) and the Harbor Brook storage project (at 20% design) were there benefits from the exemptions to the Wicks law.  Chairman Corbett said that regarding the other portions of the projects, i.e. green, floatables - it is a question of whether or not the exemptions would pertain to them.  Mr. Millea said that he and the County Executive met with Jim Tiereny, the Assistant Commissioner of Water.  He was briefed on the status; he was very concerned that the County is not moving forward with the financial capabilities that are needed.

 

Mrs. Rapp asked if this will measure the competitive aspect of any of the projects.  Mr. Millea said that the scope will be narrow to specifically see what the cost benefits will be from a construction management standpoint and from a general contractor standpoint, in the event bidding under a GC with subs vs. four primes.  It will take into account recent interpretations made by the Department of Labor.

 

Chairman Corbett said that a statement was made by a representative of a firm that was paraphrasing Bob Kukenberger indicating that processed piping could be taken out at another time.  Mr. Corbett questioned Mr. Kukenberger later who clarified that he had said that given any amount of time, and all the money that could be spent, then anything could be done.  Chairman Corbett said that we don’t have all the money to spend.  Mrs. Rapp asked if portions of the PLA could be modified that the County knows is costly.  Mr. Millea did not think so.  It is a discussion that would be had in the event the report comes back with a positive response.  Chairman Corbett said that this allows competitive bidding on another $100 million.  Mr. Millea said if the PLA were to be extended for the two projects; it would be roughly $100 million cumulatively for smaller projects, i.e. parking lots, green roofs, curb cuts, floatable control facilities, etc. --  would now fall outside of the scope of the PLA, if this option is advanced.

 

Chairman Corbett pulled the item.

 

The meeting was adjourned at 11:45 a.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

  

DEBORAH L. MATURO, Clerk

Onondaga County Legislature

* * *

COUNTY FACILITIES COMMITTEE MINUTES – FEBRUARY 10, 2011

KATHLEEN RAPP, CHAIR

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Mrs. Tassone, **Mr. Lesniak, Mr. Dougherty,*Mr. Masterpole

MEMBERS ABSENT:  Mr. Kinne

ALSO PRESENT: Mr. Rhinehart, also see attached list

 

Chair Rapp called the meeting to order at 9:02 a.m.  A motion was made by Mr. Lesniak, seconded by Mr. Dougherty to waive the reading and approve the minutes of the previous committee meeting.  MOTION CARRIED.

 

1.     LANDMARK THEATRE:  James Albanese, Board Member

        a.     Transfer of funds from Contingent Account 650 ($100,000) to Syracuse Area Landmark Account 845 ($100,000)

Progress Report on Landmark Theatre Expansion Project

  • Construction began October 18, 2010 and building is anticipated to reopen November 15, 2011.  Detailed construction schedule attached. 
  • Total cost of expansion project is $16,350,000.  All funds have been raised.  Funds received include:
    • $114,000 from NYS Historic Preservation – used for acquisition
    • $497,050 from then Congressman Walsh – used for architectural and engineering design
    • $6,500,000 from New York State – is confirmed and being utilized to pay for ongoing construction costs
    • $6,700,000 permanent loan from a consortium of banks:  M&T Bank, Alliance Bank, Key Bank and CPC.
    • $2,538,950 – historic tax credits.  These will be paid out at the end of the project.  We have already closed with USBANK as the funder and been approved by National Park Service.

 

  • Goal of the Expansion Project is to expand the stage and upgrade utilities, sound, and lighting in order to accommodate larger stage events and touring Broadway Shows.
  • A Capital Campaign fund-raising group has been initiated to raise funds for the ongoing restoration of this historic gem.
  • Bookings and events will increase once reopened.  These events will continue to keep the Theatre operating on generated revenues.  Confirmed shows will be announced as we get closer to reopening.  Weddings, proms and other front of house events will be ongoing starting in May 2011.
  • The original intent was for the County to support the Landmark Theatre expansion by funding the acquisition of the necessary buildings to expand.
  • All services for the project were obtained by the submission of competitive bids and Request for Proposals for professional services.  

*Mr. Masterpole arrived at the meeting.

 

Mr. Albanese provided handouts of the Landmark’s schedule, auditorium stage, and Clinton and Jefferson Street rendering (on file with the Clerk).

 

  • Initial $100,000 was needed to start the project
  • Funds are used solely for acquiring property necessary for the expansion
  • Looking to raise an additional $1.2 - $1.5 million over time
  • Additional funds are not required to accomplish the defined project as it stands today
  • Funds will be used for upgrades

 

Mr. Lesniak stated they would be competing against the Civic Center.  Mr. Albanese stated that the Landmark holds 1,000 additional seats and does not have the restrictions of anchor tenants. The touring Broadway Shows can require two days just to move in and an additional two days to move out.  Currently shows are only booked for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings because they are not able to get the dates the promoter needs. The Landmark will run one show for a three week period with weeknights, weekends and matinees.

 

In answer to Mr. Lesniak, Chair Rapp stated there has been a series of $100,000 payments to the Landmark. Mr. Albanese stated he believes this is the third payment.  Mr. Lesniak stated this would be the end of the county’s contribution to the Landmark project.  Mr. Albanese responded that at budget time it was discussed that contributions would be made this year and next year.  Chair Rapp stated she was advised that the Landmark was given $23,000 in operational funds for 2011 plus the $100,000 in contingency.  The $100,000 will stop going forward.  Mr. Albanese added the $23,000 is used solely to support a children’s theatre program.  Brining in thousands of children and exposing them to live theatre, while generating new interest in the arts.

 

Mr. Lesniak stated he has a hard time giving the Landmark funds to compete against the county.  Mr. Albanese stated that the Civic Center will still retain some of the touring Broadway Shows. Chair Rapp stated that she believes the Civic Center would continue to take the smaller shows and the Landmark would take shows that the Civic Center could not accommodate.

 

In answer to Mr. Dougherty, Chair Rapp stated that the Civic Center is busy but because of the contract with the Symphony a good deal of time is blocked out.  It is difficult for other organizations to come in because the union contract provides for practice time and rooms are reserved for instruments. 

 

Mr. Rhinehart stated during the budget there was some confusion and conflicting recollections.  He wants to be very clear; it is the legislatures understanding that this is the last year for the request of $100,000.

 

In response to Mr. Masterpole, Mr. Albanese stated the initial intent was for the county to contribute $1,000,000 over a ten year period of time.  It was fully understood by everyone involved, that the legislature could not commit to bind future legislatures to the intent.  The Landmark moved forward in hopes that the legislature would see its way clear to fund part or all of the full ten years.   Without the initial investment, this project would never have happened.  The Landmark’s ultimate goal is to become totally self sustaining.

 

  • Funds are no longer tied to the Key Bank permanent loan
  • Loan has been approve
  • A pro forma has been reviewed showing that the Landmark will be able to operate on their own upon reopening and completing a full season
  • Landmark is a venue and rental house; they do not self promote
  • Make money from concessions and rental fees
  • Landmark is owned by SALT (Syracuse Area Landmark Theatre) a not-for-profit business
  • To obtain all the financing listed they had to create several different entities
  • For a 3 year period a small entity must become for-profit and then revert back to a not-for-profit in order to obtain all the tax credits
  • City of Syracuse gave the Landmark a pilot agreement for the for-profit entity; does not contribute actual dollars

 

A motion was made by Mr. Masterpole, seconded by Mrs. Tassone to approve this item.  Ayes:  3 (Rapp, Masterpole, Tassone) Abstained:  2 (Lesniak, Dougherty).   Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

 

2.     ONONDAGA COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY: Elizabeth Dailey, Executive Director

          a.     Create RP# 01 406520 1257, Librarian IV (Department Head), Grade 35 @ $70,053 - $96,450, effective March 5, 2011

                    Abolish RP# 01 406520 1189, Systems Librarian, Grade 13 @ $58,286 – $64,548 upon successful completion of the

                probationary period of the Librarian IV

                Create RP# 01 406520 01 1249, Librarian II, Grade 11 @ $49,415 - $54,691, effective March 12, 2011

                Abolish RP# 01 406520 01 5815, Librarian III, Grade 13 @ $58,286 - $64,548, effective March 5, 2011

       

  • Budget neutral reorganization of staff
  • Aligns the organizations structure with their 3 missions
  • Central Library, City Branches, and Public Library System
  • Change will provide for an administrator with responsibilities for the system
  • 1 administrator for each mission
  • Librarian IV will be housed in the downtown library
  • Current staff will be placed in these positions
  • Abolished Grade 13 will move up to the Grade 35/Step B
  • Librarian III has retired and position abolished
  • Create Librarian II, providing for a salary savings
  • Position to be filled via promotion or transfer
  • No back fill for position as it was already abolished as part of the budget

 

In answer to Mr. Lesniak, Ms. Dailey stated she was doing some of the Librarian IV positions along with a number of other librarians.  The work is being spread out.

 

Mr. Lesniak stated this is not budget neutral.  Once the person moves up to Grade 35 there will be an increase of six steps.  This position will advance another 3.5% by the end of the year.

 

A motion was made by Mr. Dougherty, seconded by Chair Rapp to approve this item.  Ayes:  3 (Dougherty, Rapp, Masterpole)  Abstained:  2 (Lesniak, Tassone).  Passed; MOTION CARRIED.

 

        b.     Amending the 2011 Budget and Authorizing an Agreement with the City of Syracuse for the Provision of Syracuse Police Patrol at Mundy Branch Library and Authorizing the Execution of Agreements to Implement this Resolution ($163,718)

  • City Branches operate by county administration and are paid for by the city  
  • Community policing handles the patrol detail
  • City is essentially paying itself for the service
  • Invoice and payment could not take place as no contract was created
  • County must pay the city for the policing services as they administer the branch

 

Ms. Tarolli explained that the city has already been billed through the library abstract charges for 2008, 2009 and 2010 services.  Because there was not a resolution authorizing this agreement with the city, they could not be paid.  County Law department believes a specific agreement must be in place.  The city believed that since they had the abstract charge they were OK. 

 

  • Funds were collected in 2008 - 2010 through the abstract
  • $149,184 were not expended and moved into fund balance  
  • Contract spans March 3, 2008 – March 2, 2013
  • Additional $14,534 will be needed from fund balance for 2011
  • Budget was set before the contract terms were finalized

 

Mr. Lesniak questioned how it can be determined that the fund balance is actually derived from these abstract charges and asked for copies of the accounting detail for these years.  

 

  • $163,718 payment is a one-time payment
  • $50.00 per hour is the contracted rate going forward
  • Average 24 hours per week at $1,200.00

 

In answer to Mr. Dougherty, Ms. Dailey stated it was up to the city to resolve the issue.   It did not become a priority until they changed administration.

 

  • Agreement calls for a cap of $240,000 on the full 5 years
  • Rate increases to $50 per hour beginning January 1, 2011
  • $48,000 was on abstract this year

 

Mr. Masterpole made a motion to approve this item.

 

Mr. Lesniak stated the question is, if the abstract charges were figured on the services we provided and what we are being charged for.  There may be a fund balance in the library but, not necessarily from this abstract charge.  Ms. Dailey responded that the City Branches’ operating budget is separate from the Central Library and System budget.  The accruing fund balance is only for City Branch purposes.  Each year 100 percent of the fund balance is applied as revenue to the following budget.  The city uses these funds to defray their tax levy for the following year. 

 

In answer to Mr. Lesniak, Ms. Dailey stated that traditionally they do not recalculate charges within the year.  Unspent funds are used to offset the following budget year.  

 

In answer to Mr. Masterpole, Ms. Dailey stated they were always aware that these funds were going into fund balance because the bill was not being paid.

 

  • Agreement could not be reached on the contract language with the Syracuse Police Chief
  • Service was needed and provided

 

Mr. Rhinehart stated the city is not paying for this.  The county collects tax from the city taxpayers and the money goes into the county coffers.  A separate arrangement is made on the abstract.   Ms. Tarolli stated if you are a city resident, the abstract looks like a county tax on your bill.   The expediency of the abstract is that instead of having a contract you have a guaranteed method of funds.  Mr. Masterpole stated it is city taxpayer only dollars, though not transparent.  Mr. Lesniak stated this is a way for the city to avoid their taxing limits. 

 

Mr. Lesniak questioned the ending date of the contract and suggested that the contract run concurrent with the abstract.  Ms. Tarolli agreed and said they would make the change to the contract.

 

A motion was made by Mr. Masterpole, seconded by Mr. Dougherty to approve the resolution as amended.  Ayes:  3 (Masterpole, Dougherty, Rapp)  Abstained:  2 (Lesniak, Tassone).  Passed; MOTION CARRIED.

 

3.     DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION:  Brian Donnelly, Commissioner
        a.     Amending the 2011 County Budget, Amending Resolution No. 102-2009 to Increase the Total Amount by Which the County is Authorized to Pay in the First Instance 100% of the Federal Aid Eligible Costs by an Additional $1,002,000 for the Design (Scoping I-Vi), Right-Of-Way Incidentals and Construction of the 2010 Onondaga County Bridge Painting Project, Pin 375469, and Authorizing the County Executive to Enter into Agreements to Implement this Resolution ($1,002,000)

  • Paint Lamson Road Bridge over the Oswego River and Old Rte 57 Bridge over the Oneida River
  • Scope of work has changed
  • Lead paint found on both bridges
  • Truss portion of the Rt. 57 Bridge needs painting
  • Federal and local funds are available for the increase
  • Local share split with Oswego County; both bridges are jointly owned
  • $211,000 local match per county
  • Onondaga County will administer the project
  • IMA will need to be signed to receive the funds from Oswego County, they have passed a resolution to do so
  • Funds are expensed upfront with 80% federal reimbursement

 

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

 

3.     FACILITIES MANAGEMENT:  Lee Klosowki, Director Energy and Sustainability

        a.     Authorizing the Execution of an Agreement with the Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board for the Administration of the County Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Revolving Loan Fund.

Mr. Lesniak stated the question here is if Community Development can monitor these loans.

 

  • Loans handled by Community Development are not business revolving loans
  • Handle home ownership repayment loans for those defaulting or moving out before the 5 year period
  • Staff is over worked trying to administer grants
  • Additional staff would need to be hired to monitor these loans
  • Community Development has time limits on their core business
  • Economic Development does not have the systems or resources to monitor the loans

 

In answer to Mr. Masterpole, Chair Rapp stated that business revolving loans would require a new skill set for Economic Development.   Community Development is all federally funded.  Fees are charged from each grant received.  There are no local dollars.

 

Chair Rapp added that the Central New York Regional Planning and Economic Development Board started the revolving loan fund with $2,000,000 twenty years ago.  They have consistently been making loans and have a balance today of $3,000,000. 

 

In answer to Mr. Lesniak, Ms. Tarolli stated that the resolution will need a waiver to be reconsidered at session.

 

A motion was made by Mr. Masterpole, seconded by Mr. Lesniak to reconsider and approve this resolution.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

 

        b.     Overview of Capital Projects – Brian Lynch, Commissioner

  • $11,000,000 in improvements to War Memorial
  • New ADA elevator in the Civic Center Theatre
  • New locker rooms, lighting, floor finishes, carpets
  • Basement concrete slab repair for load in and out
  • 2 new offices
  • Roofing project will be completed within 30 days of the weather breaking
  • Subcontractor completed work on time, on budget
  • Paid for ribbon lighting out of the savings from these capital projects
  • $1,000,000 under budget / total capital for Oncenter improvements

 

Mr. Lynch added that he believes the Facilities Management takeover of the skilled trades and maintenance responsibilities is an overwhelming success story.  Syracuse Crunch is elated with the service they are receiving.  The plumbing complaints have gone from 25 issues to 1 or 2 per night.  He believes this is related to the skill set of the Facilities staff.  The Oncenter is now able to focus on their core mission.

 

  • Downtown Lighting project has been completed
  • Urban Video Project in conjunction with Syracuse University
  • Projection screen on the north side of the Everson
  • Projects from dusk till dawn Thursday – Sunday
  • Demolition of the Board of Election building located on Erie Blvd. West to begin on Monday
  • DOT is cutting back the over growth
  • Designs are complete and approved by BOE
  • Facilities will be handling the build out
  • Poll training site, bathrooms and entrance will be completed by May 1, 2011
  • Build out should be complete by June 30, 2011

 

Mr. Lynch stated that Facilities really took it to heart when the legislature asked them to start thinking about doing business differently.  In the past outside contracts were awarded for renovations.  There is nothing that says that they cannot perform the work in-house. 

 

  • Facilities Management will handle renovations in-house
  • 7th and 8th floors of the Civic Center for DSS
  • BOE - Erie Blvd. West building
  • Substantial cost savings
  • New concepts being used - example: using sheet rock walls; 1/3 the cost of power based partitions
  • Handle HVAC for 50 buildings

 

**Mr. Lesniak left the meeting.

 

In answer to Chair Rapp, Mr. Lynch stated that the green roof for the Oncenter will be contracted out.  They have been very involved with WEP and the green infrastructure.  They recently renovated Lot B, adding new landscaping and porous pavement for rain water capture.

 

In answer to Mr. Masterpole, Mr. Lynch stated that the in-house renovations will be completed using existing staff and hiring two temporary carpenters and electricians from the locals that we currently have agreements with.  They will be paid out of the 103 account line.

 

Mr. Masterpole stated that outsourcing has been the trend to save money.  Hillbrook had to outsource their janitors because it was less expensive.  Mr. Lynch stated that he is a huge believer of expectation.  He cleans 1.2 million square feet each night with 16 full time employees.  Mr. Dougherty stated that the difference for some groups may be that they just don’t have the experience.  Mr. Masterpole stated that by outsourcing the food service we reduced the quality.  Chair Rapp stated it wasn’t our core mission and we were losing money.   This is facilities core mission.

 

Mr. Lynch stated that Facilities is looking to take as much ownership and responsibility as possible.  They just purchased a $4,000 steam extractor.  In the past they paid $25,000 a year per contracted rate to have the Civic Center carpets cleaned.  Cleaning the carpets with our own staff on regular time will save $21,000 this year.  They are looking to bring as much in-house as possible.

 

The meeting was adjourned at 10:23 a.m.   

Respectfully submitted,

 

KATHERINE M. FRENCH, Deputy Clerk

Onondaga County Legislature

 

* * * 

 

PLANNING AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE MINUTES - FEBRUARY 10, 2011

KATHLEEN A. RAPP, CHAIR

                                                                               

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Mrs. Rapp, Mr. Stanczyk, Mr. Dougherty, Ms. Williams

ALSO PRESENT:  See attached list, Chairman Rhinehart

 

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

 

1.     Information Technology:  Bill Fisher, Deputy County Executive, Kenneth Beam, Chief Information Officer
        a.     Bond Resolution. A Resolution Authorizing the a.  Purchase and Installation of a Voiceover Internet Protocol System in and for the County of Onondaga, New York, at a Maximum Estimated Cost of $2,200,000, and Authorizing the Issuance of $2,200,000 Bonds of Said County to Pay the Costs Thereof ($2,200,000)

  • Everyone will be affected by the new system except for Van Duyn who is already on Voiceover IP (VoIP)
  • Currently the County is on Centrex and last year paid a line charge of over $900,000
  • Big advantage of VoIP is that it’s cheaper.  No line charge. 
  • Voice, messaging and phone calls are all on the same data network as the computer system which the County already has a robust networking system.  It enables the County to connect all buildings and reach out to the public at a reasonable cost.
  • Brief description of VoIP – See Attachment No. 1
  • Currently the County has Verizon.  The PBX switch is Verizon’s and the County leases the lines; paying for the time used on the lines.  Expensive and old technology.
  • VoIP fairly new and maturing.
  • Cost reduction for telephone expenses of up to 50% by switching to VoIP
  • No additional lines or wiring necessary.  Everything for VoIP is through the network and can connect at any PC or wall network connection.  
  • RFP put out in September.  Currently reviewing to be brought back to the Committee shortly.  Need funding in place so it will be ready to go.
  • Asking for bonding for $2.2 million 
  • May recommend not bonding as one vendor has an interest free option saving $100 million in interest costs
  • Decision for which vendor will not solely be based on the interest factor   
  • Consulting is needed to talk to each department separately based on how the phones are used, where is voicemail stored, how is it integrated in the operation and the need for call center applications for specific departments.
  • Time frame is approximately 6 months - by summer the savings will show.
  • Reference Cost Comparison – Current System
    • Total phone bill in 2010 was $921,894 equating to approximately $76,000/month
    • Twin States – any repairs/changes/additions needed to be made to current system amounts to $55,000
    • Equipment needed to be replaced if staying with existing system will be $823,392
  • Total operating expense plus the capital expense will be approximately $1.8 million
  • Alternative is spending $2.2 million on a new system
    • If bonded:  10 year probable usefulness at 4 1/2% interest
    • Debt service, PRI Circuits (instead of traditional phone system), software maintenance (a lot of software involved) plus some Centrex lines
  • 200 copper lines through Centrex will still be in place for emergency use if the VoIP system were to fail
  • PBX for current system off site with Verizon and the lines coming in are leased. 
  • Financing perspective – it was in the capital improvement plan and thinking of bonding.
  • Interest is low and benefits will recur; might make sense to finance over a period of time
  • One of the three vendors is offering the first payment due 6 months after the project starts and 36 monthly payments afterward.  Debt service cost will be done in 2014.
    • Will probably do 42 months and will need 13 votes because it is an installment contract

Mr. Stanczyk inquired about employee cell phones that are paid for by Onondaga County.  He also requested a report reference the cell phones consisting of who has them and which departments.  Tara Venditti responded that cell phones are approximately $280,000/year for over 1,000 wireless phones.

  • 911:  Call Center is separate and 911 will pay that bill.  The administrative side is included in the new system. The new system will have to have enhanced 911 installed to show where the call is coming from.

Mr. Stanczyk wanted to know what the chances of the network going down are and losing all computers and phones based on the amount of information that will potentially be passed through the system after installing VoIP.

 

In response to Mr. Stanczyk, Mr. Beam stated that the County is at 10% of their network usage so if it were to jump up to 50%, there would still be no problem.

 

Mr. Stanczyk suggested using the fund balance money to pay for it upfront unless there is a vendor that is chosen who offers interest free financing. 

 

Mr. Rhinehart stated that if the RFP was sent out on a cash basis, there would most likely be a different set of numbers presented in the proposals then what they are seeing today.  The reason for the fund balance increase is based on the increase of sales tax well above projections during budget.  The intent of the sales tax increase was to offset property taxes. 

                                                   

Chair Rapp inquired about Van Duyn and asked what the downsides are.  Mr. Beam and Mr Fisher responded that they do not see any downsides.  Most of what they have are patient room phones, not employee phones.  Also, the system encompassed the nurse call stations and fire alarm system.

 

  • VoIP is also available to be hooked up wirelessly.  Can use blackberries as well.

A motion was made by Mr. Stanczyk, seconded by Ms. Williams to approve this item.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

 

Chair Rapp took the items out of order.

 

3.     A Local Law Establishing A Real Property Tax Exemption for Non-Residential Real Property Converted to Mixed-use Property Accordance with Section 485-a of the New York State Real Property Tax Law (Sponsored by Mrs. Rapp):

Travis Glazier, Director of Intergovernmental Relations, reported:

  • See Attachment No. 2 for letters of support (Village of East Syracuse, Village of Marcellus)
  • June 30th, 2010 the Empire Zone Program expired eliminating property tax exemption component 485-e
  • This is an exemption on increase tax assessment; no loss in sales tax revenue except potential revenue
  • Passing at County level will allow local municipalities to pass a 385-a law
  • Law allows for commercial property to be converted to mixed use property
  • The rule existed under 485-e previously

 

Mr. Stanczyk inquired if the Mayor of the Village of East Syracuse says yes to grant the tax exemption for the project, is it automatic to exempt the County taxes?  Mrs. Tarolli responded that if the law passes, then it will apply to any Town, Village or City that has independently elected the exemption.

 

Mr. Rhinehart wanted to know if a potential developer, i.e.: Village of Camillus would be eligible for the state historic credit in addition to this exemption?  Mrs. Tarolli responded that per State Law you cannot have double exemptions.

 

Mr. Stanczyk expressed his concern with different people being treated differently at each Town, City or Village - trying to achieve a more fair, clear and understood system.  Mr. Dougherty offered a scenario based on the Village of East Syracuse.  If the developer were to look at the taxes based on investing $1 million currently, he may back down.  Mr. Stanczyk replied that it would have to be taken to the County or Town to be eligible for the exemption.

 

  • Key to economic development is a one stop shop by being able to reinvest in the community without having multiple layers of government. 
  • Provides opportunity for villages where the main street may have an eye sore
  • Once it is accepted on the village level, it is in place
  • Parameters for the exemption:  more than $10,000 conversion, conversion has to start after the adoption of the local law and it has to be a conversion from non-residential to mixed-use.
  • Based on the assessment, the developer could be eligible for the exemption again if they were to invest more money into improving the building they originally received the exemption for.  Not retroactive to original agreement.

A motion was made by Ms. Williams, seconded by Mr. Dougherty to approve this item.  AYES:  3 (Rapp, Dougherty, Williams);  NOES:  0;  ABSENT:  1 (Stanczyk);  MOTION CARRIED.

2.     Convention and Visitors Bureau:  David Holder, President of CVB, Terri Toennies, President/CEO OnCenter

        a.     Update on Women’s Bowling Conference – David Holder, President

  • Convention Center received a front page story based on the business in a Meetings East publication
  • Creating a collaborative position that would boost convention business in our area looking primarily in the DC market
  • Position funded by the OnCenter for Convention Development Director – Bill Adams, working out of the DC area
  • Women’s Bowling Conference
    • 2/21/11 construction starts at the OnCenter
    • By July 10th there will have been more than 30,000 women bowlers that have come through generating $40 million of travel spending for the area
    • Equates to 6% of tourism
    • 5600 teams competing and each team will be in town for 3 to 4 days
    • Room tax estimated around $450,000; sales tax estimated at $1.5 million
    • 14 hotels participating in room block – 7-9% increase in occupancy rate
    • Arrangements with Caz Limo for shuttling almost 24 hours per day
    • Businesses are offering specials, bowling promotions, longer hours and Sunday hours
    • 88 straight days of bowling
    • Challenge as a community is to raise the bar from last year’s conference and put forth hospitality
    • Chance for the conference again in 2015 so Syracuse need’s to step up this year
    • Very large opportunity and can be referenced for other business to come to Syracuse
    • Incredible amount of hours to work through all details with different committees to follow up on all pieces
  • Anticipate a number of expenses that will need more funding but not prepared to discuss today

 

Chair Rapp inquired about the conversion of the OnCenter and what happens to the construction when the conference is over.

 

Terry Toennies responded:

  • Building 48 lanes starting 2/21/11 and construction is estimated to be 45 days
  • After conference is ended, it will take 3 weeks to deconstruct
  • The lumber used is enough to build 8 three story houses and the majority of this will be donated to the local Habitat for Humanity for our community.
  • Great collaboration between the CVB and OnCenter
  • David Holder asked:  Have you hugged a bowler today?
  • Three airlines are upping their capacity to their flights in Syracuse and may be able to extend this after the conference
  • Using this event as a catalyst for other opportunities and events
  • Annual and monthly report showing 2010, 2011 and the future years; see Attachment No. 3
  • Opportunities will add up to fill in the holes in the current schedule

The meeting was adjourned at 11:30 a.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

  

Jamie McNamara, Assistant Clerk

Onondaga County Legislature

* * *

WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE MINUTES – FEBRUARY 16, 2011

CASEY JORDAN, CHAIRMAN

 

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

MEMBERS ABSENT:  Mr. Warner

ALSO PRESENT:  Chairman Rhinehart, see also attached list

 

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

CONSENT AGENDA

 

1.     PROBATION:  Andrew Sicherman, Principal Probation Officer

        a.     Amending the 2011 County Budget to Provide Additional State Funds to the Probation Department for the Supervision of Individuals Subject to Regulations Contained in Leandra’s Law, and Authorizing the County Executive to Enter into Contracts to Implement this Resolution ($40,000)

 

In answer to Chairman Jordan, Mr. Sicherman that the grant monies include associated fringe costs.

 

In answer to Mr. Kilmartin, Mr. Sicherman answered that once the funds are gone, they would not be able to put up the manpower to cover this.   Mr. Kilmartin asked how much of the funds are dedicated to regular time and how much dedicated to overtime.   Mr. Sicherman said that he needs to look at it in terms of the day to day operation--estimated it to be about half and half.  Some does require evening and weekend work and some can be done during the day during normal work hours during the day.  Mr. Kilmartin said that he is trying to make sure that departments are not incurring additional pension costs – want to make sure that base pay, overtime and fringe benefit costs are contemplated before the number of hours are calculated.

 

2.     SHERIFF:

        a.     Transfer of funds from Sheriff Police Acct. 101 Regular Employee Salaries to Sheriff Custody Acct. 401 Travel/Training in the amount of $17,000

 

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

 

WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE REGULAR AGENDA

 

1.     FINANCE:  Karen Carney, Director, Real Property Tax Svcs.

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

 

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

 

2.     SHERIFF:  Chief John Balloni

        a.     Amending the 2011 County Budget to Accept Additional Funds for Police Services Provided to the Town of Clay ($173,685)

  • Money billed to Clay for contract; have all the money in form bills. 
  • Based on contract, the amount billed didn’t jive with amount budgeted
  • Most substantial difference is in administrative costs - $173,685 total amount of difference
  • Budget is the Sheriff’s Dept; Clay working from contract – billed according to contract – no pushback from town
  • Contract with Clay expires 12/31/2012
  • Percentage for admin. fee is 9.2% of contract cost – stays that way throughout the term of contract
  • Amendment being reviewed to reduce administrative cost to 5%, per 2011 budget discussions

Mr. Kilmartin said that Ms. Rooney noted during Public Safety Committee that the goal is not for the County to make a net revenue off of the administration of the contract, but to cover actual administrative costs incurred by the Sheriff’s Dept.  In answer to Chairman Jordan, Chief Balloni noted that he is not sure that it is the Sheriff’s position that it will be reduced.  It is being looked at to determine if it is a fair amount.  There is an escalation in fringe benefits to all employees, which drives the 9.25%. 

 

Mr. Kilmartin noted that during the budget review process, there was discussion to make sure the cost of the contract would/should go to Town of Clay and not be pushed onto other parts of the county which are not getting the benefit of the enhanced level of service.  Ms. Rooney and Chief Balloni have been asked to report to Public Safety Committee on a monthly basis regarding negotiations on the administrative fee; his understanding is that it does not have to come back to the legislature for approval. 

 

Mr. Stanczyk said that the assignment of costs for policing services is inequitable, has been for a long time.  A legislator from a town that doesn’t pay for policing services is asking about the contract with the town that has gone out of its way to sign a contract and pay for it.  Chairman Jordan said that generally there is a level of services that everyone receives; the Town of Clay is paying for increased coverage.  Mr. Kilmartin said that taxpayers that don’t have a police service in their town or village are paying for Sheriff’s services through county taxes.  His concern is that if that if a jurisdiction wants a level of enhanced service, then only they bear the cost of the enhanced level of service.  Chief Balloni said that the Sheriff has to allocate resources based on number of calls and business in an area; there is validity to the argument that it is not 100% equal across the county.  They were approached by Clay for enhanced level of service; they came to a contractual agreement, and the Sheriff’s Dept. is providing the enhanced service according to the agreement.

 

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

 

        b.     Amend 2011 Budget to Provide Additional Grant Funds for a Selective Traffic Enforcement Program and Authorize Co. Exec. to Enter into Contracts to Implement this Resolution ($3,875)

  • Budgeted $40k when grant was accepted; an extra $3.875 came in to cover 86 hours of overtime for STEP
  • STEP used for aggressive driving, distractive driving, speeding, dangerous driving behaviors
  • Good use of police time; direct relation to reduction of accidents & reduction in seriousness of accidents
  • Does not cover fringe

Chairman Jordan noted that the funding is being received, but none going toward the fringe cost which is essentially all work done at the overtime rate – not receiving reimbursement to the actual cost to the county.  Fringe cost can be 50% – 60% of salary cost; could be a $20,000-$30,000 cost to the County for fringe costs associated with the grant monies.  Chief Balloni noted that the cost of health insurance doesn’t necessarily go up based on overtime; it is Social Security and retirement costs.  It is a very good use of their time, would probably be doing some of this on overtime even without the grant.

 

Mr. Lesniak noted that the back up documents indicate it will be used during Syracuse Nationals for spectator and participant movement in the interest of public safety.  Chief Balloni said it can be used for that also – there are dangerous driving behaviors during the Nationals.  Chairman Jordan questioned why the Syracuse Nationals does provide some type of grant/stipend to the County by virtue of a correlation between having the Nationals here and traffic related difficulties.

 

Mr. Stanczyk suggested that an area be set up so that the Syracuse Nationals participants can legally drive their vehicles, rather than pay Sheriff’s overtime to give them tickets.  Chairman Jordan noted that there is a drag track in Cicero; even if an area is set aside, it doesn’t ensure that it would be confined to just that area.

 

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

 

Mr. Kilmartin said that for departments that want to avail themselves of grants, that there be an offset in their budget to provide value of the fringe --then would be no net increase in cost for the use of that grant.

 

Mr. Stanczyk asked how much of monitoring aggressive driving behaviors is done in the normal course of the year on straight time; how much is done on overtime.  He suggested it be reported to Public Safety Committee.

 

Chairman Jordan said that he understands that there has been a restructuring of the deputies’ shifts, and it is anticipated that there will be a reduction in overtime costs.  Chief Balloni said that there was a negotiation with the union for a change in the current shift schedule for road patrol; it will be a more efficient scheduling program and should reduce overtime.  They are down 20 positions--doesn’t see any relief for it.  With fewer officers on the road, the more time they are going from call to call, and the less time they have doing this type of enforcement. 

 

Mr. Corbett seconded the motion.  AYES:  7; NOES; 1 (Kinne); MOTION CARRIED.

 

3.     LONG TERM CAREMaureen Cerniglia, Deputy Commissioner

        a.     Abolish RP#01 404920 4128, Cook 1, Gr. 6 @ $33,885 - $37,435, effective April 2, 2011

                Abolish RP#01 404920 4115, Cook 1, Gr. 6 @ $33,885 - $37,435, effective April 2, 2011

                Abolish RP#01 404920 4120, Food Svce Supervisor, Gr. 9@$43,016–47,581, effect. April 2, 2011

                Abolish RP#01 404920 4123, Cook II, Gr. 7 @ $36,411 - $40,241, effective April 2, 2011

                Abolish RP#01 404920 4132, Food Svce Helper I, Gr. 2 @ $26,561-$29,298, effective April 2, 2011

                Abolish RP#01 404920 4125, Cook 1, Gr. 6 @ $33,885 - $37,435, effective April 2, 2011

                Abolish RP#01 404920 7273, Cook 1, Gr. 6 @ $33,885 - $37,435, effective April 2, 2011

                Abolish RP#01 404920 4163, Cook 1, Gr. 6 @ $33,885 - $37,435, effective April 2, 2011

                Abolish RP#01 404920 4149, Food Svce Helper I, Gr. 2 @ $26,561-$29,298, effective April 2, 2011

 

  • Current food service contract with Advance Meal
  • Went out for bid in November – asked vendors to include cooks in the contract; Advance Meal was the successful awardee
  • 9 positions – 2 have moved to WEP; 2 on Leave of Absence; 1 move to Housekeeping Dept; 1 on WEP list; 3 are working.  6 of the 9 positions will be absorbed by the vendor if the employees choose to do so
  • Additional contract costs are being covered by salary and fringe savings
  • The WEP positions were open
  • Cost is $2.80 per resident per day to keep cooks on payroll; when it covert to vendor it will cost $2.30 – saving $.50/resident/day
  • Currently $13.58 cost of food/day/resident – includes food and all labor vendor provides (management, tray line staff).  In April will increase to $15.88/day/resident as the vendor will absorb cost of cooks.
  • Food costs rise every year – vendor does an adjustment every year

Mr. Stanczyk said that when getting food service into private hands, the benefits to the employees are not of the same standards that the county employees are receiving.  Also the food is of lower cost and lower quality – referenced an example for the Jail.  There is a big drive to get private companies involved in what heretofore have been public functions.  Private businesses are involved in trying to make a profit – profit can only be made in quality/cost of food; pay to employees; employee benefits.  Has concern with:  paying people less for a function that that are being paid fairly for; with taking away benefits from people, as he feels our benefits are fair; with taking away quality of food for people under our care.  In answer to Mr. Stanczyk, Ms. Cerniglia said that the quality of the food has not gone down; the food has been contracted to a food service company for over 20 years at Van Duyn.  There are Dept. of Health regulations that they must meet and they exceed the standards.

 

Mr. Buckel said that there needs to be assurance that the food quality is comparable, ensuring that this is not joining a race to the bottom in lower wage levels of entire community.  The legislature doesn’t share universally that the county benefits are luxurious. 

 

In answer to Mr. Kilmartin, Ms. Gile said that approximately $200,000 will be saved annually as a result of the contract. 

 

In answer to Mr. Kinne, Ms. Cernigila said that staff can purchase meals, have same meal options as residents along with other choices, i.e. grill.  The vendor runs the cafeteria on a break even analysis; they try to give employees the best price possible.  It is reviewed quarterly.

 

A motion was made by Mr. Holmquist, seconded by Mr. Lesniak to approve this item.  AYES:  4 (Jordan, Lesniak, Kilmartin, Holmquist); NOES:  3 (Buckel, Kinne, Stanczyk); ABSTENTIONS:  1 (Corbett).  MOTION CARRIED.

 

        b.     Transfer from Acct. 101 Regular Employee Salaries ($139,164) and Acct. 120 Employee Benefits ($91,848) to Acct. 300 Supplies and Materials ($231,012)

 

A motion was made by Mr. Lesniak, seconded by Mr. Holmquist to approve this item.  AYES:  4 (Jordan, Lesniak, Kilmartin, Holmquist); NOES:  3 (Buckel, Kinne, Stanczyk); ABSTENTIONS:  1 (Corbett).  MOTION CARRIED.

 

4.     WATER ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION:  Marty Voss, Administrative Director

        a.     Create RP# 01 803330 1297, Inventory Control Supervisor, Gr. 8 @ $39,599- 43,784, effective March 26, 2011

                Create RP# 01 803330 1343, Clerk II, Gr. 5 @ $31,220 - $34,474, effective March 26, 2011

                Abolish RP# 01 803330 5436, Stenographer II, Gr. 6 @ $33,885 - $37,435, effective March 26, 2011

                Create RP# 01 803330 1345, Clerk II, Gr. 5 @ $31,220 - $34,474, effective March 26, 2011

                Abolish RP #01 803330 5441, Stenographer II, Gr. 6 @ $33,885 - $37,435, effective March 26, 2011

  • Fleet stock room services 13 departments, 1200 county vehicles/year
  • Legislature eliminated 2 positions in 2011 budget; and outsource service of inventory control management
  • Issued RFP in 6 weeks last fall – RFPs came back unsatisfactory – determined that it wasn’t done properly
  • RFP was reissued – waiting for responses
  • Personnel requests are a backstop in event that the responses are consistent with the first RFP
  • Store Keeper, gr. 7 and Stock Clerk, gr. 4 were abolished – looking to create an inventory control Supervisor gr. 8 to back stop what will happen if RFP is not awarded in April
  • Steno titles no longer filled by County; have 2 vacancies – 1 due to death of employee; 1 due to retirement – want to fill them with Clerk II titles
  • Currently there is someone on 103 payroll temporarily running the stockroom, expires 3/31- cannot be extended. 
  • If the RFP comes back reasonable, the position will be lined out in the budget for next year.  It will not be filled.  For 2011, the position will not be filled if the RFP is awarded. 
  • Total operation with fringe cost $94,000 for personnel; responses received were significantly above that
  • Deadline to award RFP is March 26th

Mr. Lesniak said that if the RFP is awarded, then WEP should come back to committee and abolish the position in April.  Mr. Voss agreed.  Chairman Jordan asked that WEP report to Environmental Protection Committee in April and regarding the outcome of the RFP.  Mr. Corbett said that there was a lot of discussion at the Env. Prot. Committee meeting--the department has made a good case in regard to thinking ahead.

 

In answer to Chairman Jordan, regarding elimination of 2 positions in the budget and now creating 2 new ones. Mr. Voss explained that regarding the clerk positions – it is trading in a lesser title to reduce costs.  There were 2 positions reduced in fleet inventory; and include a provision that there would be $100,000 for in stock inventory from the vendor.  No vendor will give them even $10,000 for inventory.  A lot of the inventory is old and are things that the vendors don’t stock – a lot of it is obsolete to them, but not to the County.

 

In answer to Mr. Stanczyk, Mr. Voss said that WEP gets money from other departments to service their vehicles via interdepartmental transfers – bill back to departments.  The on hand value of inventory is about $90,000; generally it is about $200,000.  Regarding the new RFP, he hopes that it was made clearer, as the objective is to cut costs.  Mr. Stanczyk asked if the RFP doesn’t go well, will the second position be filled.  Mr. Voss said that it was previously done with a grade 7 and grade 4, now will do it with a grade 8 and half a clerk. 

 

Mr. Buckel referred to People Soft; it will increase efficiencies – when cost benefits are done – it should not be done just dollar for dollar but also what is added to the entire operation.  Mr. Voss said that they have good system now; looking forward to integrating with People Soft to be even more efficient. 

 

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

 

5.     LANDMARK THEATERJames Albanese

        a.     Transfer of Funds from Acct. 650 Contingency to Acct. 845 Syracuse Area Landmark Theater in the amount of $100,000

  • Purpose/intent  of release is to assist theater in bringing down debt required to acquire the property needed for the expansion of the stage
  • In midst of $16 million construction project; expand stage, upgrade electrical systems, HVAC, restrooms, etc. – target is to bring Broadway to Landmark
  • It will take some business away from Civic Center – i.e. famous artist series type productions
  • Location – more of a Times Square/Broadway feeling being in Armory Square area;
  • Larger shows take 2 days to move in and 2 days to move out – Civic Center has anchor tenants, such as symphony, ballet, opera--the two seasons are the same time frame--it become difficult for Civic Center to book longer periods of time
  • There are 1,000 additional seats at Landmark
  • Update on construction project (on file with Clerk)
  • Parking – lost Trolley lot, there is a garage around the corner; in discussion with other facilities for parking
  • $16.5 million from State – the money has been appropriated by the Landmark; in the budget and have spend down some of it
  • Will reopen in late fall with soft opening; full theater production will start in 2012 season
  • All construction was bid, professional services done under RFP process with review committee.  Construction awarded to Hueber Breuer; design awarded to Holmes, King, Kalquist; Manny Barbas is a rep at the table
  • Construction loan transitioning into permanent loan within 5 years – set up on an interest only scenario

Mr. Kilmartin referred to a loan commitment from a lender to the Landmark with a condition $100,000 from the County.  It boxed the County in – wants to make certain that going forward that there is not another clause in any loan commitment that an appropriation from the County is a contingency to that.  Mr. Albanese said that there is nothing that he knows of at this time.

 

Mr. Lesniak noted that he has a conversation with Mr. Albanese at budget time that the $100,000 was put in the budget, but there is no commitment in the future for any further funding.  Mr. Albanese agreed and said that he relayed to the Board that a current legislature can’t bind a future legislature.  Historically, the Landmark Theater has been one of the lowest recipients of dollar amounts provided to non-for-profits from the County, yet is has one of the highest number of people going through the doors. 

 

In answer to Mr. Stanczyk, Mr. Albanese said that it will be a 25 year commitment when the loan converts to a normal mortgage -- will provide the exact dollar amount to repay the $6.5 million loan.

 

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

 

In answer to chairman Jordan, Mr. Albanese said that there will be not seating capacity expansion; it will remain just under 3,000; but there will be an ongoing restoration.  They are developing several fundraising efforts.  They do not anticipate any problems drawing in Broadway shows due to the condition of the interior; the stage is the only thing holding them back.

 

Chairman Rhinehart asked how much the City of Syracuse contributes to the Landmark.  Mr. Albanese said that they don’t provide anything and historically have not, but they did agree to a PILOT.  Mr. Stanczyk said that the City pulled back many years ago from contribution to cultural and arts to the community – basically saying it was an all encompassing issue and should be done on the county level.

 

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

 

6.     PURCHASE:  Bill Fisher, Deputy County Executive

        a.     Monthly Revenue Contracts Report (on file with Clerk)

  • Mr. Carroll was asked to provide further detail on the revenue contracts – add expiration dates and value of the contracts; remove revenue contracts that expired prior to 2010
  • Report includes contracts coming up for expiration in next several years or expired in 2010 with discussion between departments and organizations in regard to renewing them
  • Dollar amounts are not associated with many of these – Chairman Jordan asked that at least approximate amounts or estimates be provided
  • Student Assistance Program – Mr. Lesniak questioned why on the list.  Mr. Fisher said they will continue --no local dollars associated; work being done with IMAs in North Syracuse School Dist and City School Dist.  Paid for out of grant funds or their own budget.  Mr. Fisher did not believe there are any County employees doing this function; Mr. Seitz said that he believes none are doing 100% of the function – will check with Mental Health Dept. to see what the service is.  Mr. Lesniak asked to be provided with more information; questioned why there is an IMA if they are not County employees.
  • Enhanced police services – no administration fee – straight per hour

        Surplus Auction and Revenues:

  • Grouped by participants
  • County is by far the biggest user ($386,000) of the International Auctions contract, procured through RFP
  • 2010 total of all sales - $575,000
  • Total bids declined:  seller has ability to turn down a bid – total $30,000

Mr. Stanczyk referred to Inmate Calling Solutions – inmates are charged to make phone calls out – company making a profit and County is getting 54% of gross.  There are policy considerations; people were getting thumped for phone calls -- we are a party to that when these things just get done and are reported afterwards.  There is some abuse going on, which is another example of why this information it good to get a grip on and why the legislature should be a little part of some of it.  Mr. Jordan said that most indigent inmates can make phone calls and are not charged for them; the County is charged for them.  Mr. Lesniak said that it is pretty much a going rate charged in all jails. 

 

Mr. Corbett questioned the sale of $3,400 of gold (#10 on report). 

 

Mr. Kinne referred to the jail phone call issue – if an indigent inmate wants to communicate with relatives, the relative has to pay in advance with a credit card; there is a fee.  A certain amount has to be put on the credit card; if the full amount is not used, the person loses it.  It is something that the legislature should look at.

 

7.     ONONDAGA COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY:  Elizabeth Dailey, Executive Director

        a.     Create RP #01 406520 1257 Librarian IV (Depart. Head), Gr. 35@$70,053-$96,450, eff. March 5, 2011

                Abolish RP #01 406520 1189, Systems Librarian, Gr. 13 @ $58,286 – $64,548, upon successful completion of the

                probationary period of the Librarian IV

                Create RP #01 406520 01 1249, Librarian II, Gr. 11 @ $49,415 - $54,691, effective March 12, 2011

                Abolish RP #01 406520 01 5815, Librarian III, Gr. 13 @ $58,286 – $64,548, effective March 12, 2011

 

  • Reorganization of current staff– budget neutral – abolishing 2 positions, changing one position to an M/C and making one a lower level; no new staff members
  • Systems budget

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

 

Mr. Corbett said that there used to be deputy director, Ms. Dailey has brought the position up to a level to do some of the work that used to be done by the deputy; it is important so the library can become more efficient. 

 

Mr. Stanczyk asked how much comes from the County budget and how much is from the apportionment of the City costs.  Ms. Dailey said that numbers are on a separate system operating budget, but work is done across the budgets; there are chargebacks.  Mr. Stanczyk asked if this will cost the city residents more.  Ms. Karmer said that a small fraction is spread across the branches.  Mr. Seitz said that he will provide the information.

 

Mr. Lesniak asked if the budget neutral includes the M/C steps for this year.  Ms. Dailey said “yes”.

 

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

 

        b.     Amending the 2011 Budget and Authorizing an Agreement with the City of Syracuse for the Provision of Syracuse Police Patrol at Mundy Branch Library and Authorizing the Execution of Agreements to Implement this Resolution ($14,534)

 

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

  • IMA for Syracuse Police detail at Mundy Branch Library
  • Successful collaboration since 2008
  • Money in branch operating budget, paid by City through Abstract, paying city employees, administered by County

In answer to Chairman Jordan, Mr. Maturo said that the contract coverage is for 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 – Comptroller will have to approve years 2008, 2009, and 2010 in 2010 year end; need resolution to approve back to 2008 – will accrue first 3 years; will appropriate fund balance with year end resolution.  Chairman Jordan question why there would be authorization to pay back to 2008 when there has been no IMA executed.  The existing contract provides that no work may begin or any service provided under the agreement until the County and the contractor have signed a written agreement.  This is now 3 years later and the County is expected to pay for an obligation, while under the terms of the contract, it has no obligation to pay.  Mrs. Tarolli explained that the City has been billed every year in the abstract for this; there may have been a misunderstanding – Library may have thought that the budget resolution approving the abstract was enough to bill the City for the charge.  When it came through Law, quite some time later, Law Dept. said that there needs to be a separate IMA with the City to bill for the charge because it is not with County personnel.  Ms. Daily said that they never received a bill, but the work was performed.  Chairman Jordan questioned why it took 3 years for an agreement to be signed.  Mr. Seitz said that the service was provided in the beginning; they have wrestled with this for a couple of years to get it worked out.  Mr. Corbett said that this had to do with the administration at the time; they weren’t providing a bill; then they stopped the service.  It was about not getting paid.  At that point, it was caught up.  Now, it started all over again with the understanding SPD will provide the service, County will get a bill and pay it.  However the County never got the bill.  There was no written contract; there was an understanding.  There is a community policing area within a block of Mundy.

 

Chairman Jordan asked if this was ever put out via RFP for a private contractor to provide the service.  Mr. Corbett said that a private contractor will not leave the building.  Chairman Jordan noted that the rate of pay has increased 20%. 

 

Mr. Lesniak noted that the previous Chief of Police refused to sign the agreement and questioned why the new chief will sign it now; what has changed?  Mr. Stanczyk said it is all internal to the City – all branch library costs; City is paying for it.  Mr. Lesniak said that it is not internal to the City; it is on the City abstract—the County is billing for it; County is taxing for it; the City residents are paying for it, not the City.  If looking out for city residents’ County tax dollars, there are issues – wants to know why the previous Chief refused to sign the contract.  Mr. Cuffy said that it was because of a defense and indemnification clause.  When the new Chief came in, Mr. Cuffy sat with him and he agreed to sign the contract; nothing changed in the agreement.  Mr. Lesniak said the County taxed for something that it did not have the authority to tax for. 

 

Chairman Rhinehart questioned if the police service is done on overtime detail; Ms. Daily said that it is.  Chairman Rhinehart pointed out that it is the same thing that is done at the airport.

 

Mr. Kilmartin asked about the difference in amounts from years 2008 to 2011 – questioned $14,534 in 2011.  Ms. Dailey explained that the bulk of the payment for 2011 is already in the budget; the amount requested is the difference for the new hourly rate.  It is in the branch budget; $48,000 was put on the City abstract.  Mr. Kilmartin referred to Exhibit A in the contract and asked who decides on the hours.  Ms. Daily said that it is mutual.  Regarding 2008, 2009, 2010 – the amounts were anticipated – on the branch operating budget.  Mr. Kilmartin said that the County taxed the city residents for those amounts and asked if they are in a reserve fund.  Mr. Maturo said that regarding the prior years that they were taxed for -- if it wasn’t spent, it would have gone to fund balance.  Mr. Seitz said that they never reserve the expense; at the end of the year it went to the library branch fund balance.  Mr. Kilmartin asked if a similar process would be followed for 2012 – an amount put in the budget for branches, put on the abstract and then city residents are charged.  Ms. Daily agreed; will process an invoice because there is now a contract in place.  In answer to Mr. Kilmartin regarding how the County library system is paid for, Mr. Fisher explained that there are 3 budgets:

  • Money from city taxpayers via abstract – pays for City branch libraries owned by the City; the employees working there are County employees.  The City does, in a sense, sign off on things that they want to see done at their libraries. 
  • Central Library budget:  budget for all citizens of the county – taxed for on property tax line. 
  • Systems Services:  provided to all suburban branches and city branches – bulk of revenue comes from State library aid – about $1.4 million this year; a smaller amount comes from county property taxes.

Mr. Buckel said that the city taxpayers have been taxed and paid for a specific service; there is an obligation to complete that transaction, and an obligation to make sure this type of sloppiness doesn’t happen again.  Mr. Lesniak said regarding the hold harmless defense indemnification, the County is indemnifying the City’s Police officers.  Mr. Cuffy said that the indemnification should be mutual.  Mr. Lesniak said that if City Police officers are sued, the County will be part of the suit and will subject to part of those claims.  He asked if in the case of a shooting, who would be the lead counsel; Mr. Cuffy said that the County would represent the County and the City would represent the City. 

 

Chairman Rhinehart said that there was a lot of discussion at County Facilities Committee and referred to “transparency” and the abstract.  Mr. Fisher said that the abstract is not transparent at all.  He pointed out that most of the things on the abstract are examples of the City hiring the County to do something so that they don’t have to duplicate services.  It is delivered to the taxpayers at a lower cost than if the City and County were duplicating those services.  Mr. Lesniak said that if this is a County service, a County library, couldn’t it be done cheaper through the County Sheriff’s Dept., not on overtime and bill city residents on abstract for that cost.  At the same time it would be clear as to who is representing who if there is some wrong doing.  He has issues with indemnifying a police officer for their actions.

 

Mr. Stanczyk said that in this system there is no way to point to any savings that the City is accruing by the County conducting the overall management of this.  The City population has changed radically in the last 30 years and the branch library system has not.  The City branch system has been an orphan and has continued in tact for 30+ years – it is not a savings – it is begging for an overall review. 

 

Mr. Kilmartin asked that if the County wanted to make substantial changes to the city branches, and the County passed a budget with a substantial increase or decrease, then there is a proposal to put that increase or decrease on the abstract; does it go to the City to either vote in favor or opposition to the abstract.  Mr. Fisher said that they have conversations with the City’s Budget Department during the process of writing the County Executive’s budget.  There is some back and forth with it.  Mr. Kilmartin asked if in terms of ultimate decision making, falls to the County in passing its budget and to the City also.  Mr. Fisher said that is where the transparency breaks down – it is not a clear governing structure, but it works pretty well. 

 

Mr. Corbett does not disagree with Mr. Lesniak’s comments regarding indemnification.  He offered that the services have been performed in the past; there is a proposal for this year – should look at what we do in 2012.  This resolution will tie up the loose ends and bring us through 2011.  Mr. Lesniak said that there needs to  be a police service there; he can’t support it with the contract the way it is written.  He can support paying for previous services. 

 

AYES:  4 (Buckel, Kinne, Stanczyk, Corbett); NOES; 3 (Jordan, Holmquist, Lesniak) ABSTENTIONS:  1 (Kilmartin).  MOTION CARRIED.

 

8.     TRANSPORTATION:  Brian Donnelly, Commissioner

        a.     Amend 2011 Budget Amending Res. No. 102-2009 to Increase the Total Amount by Which the County is Authorized to Pay in the First Instance 100% of the Federal Aid Eligible Costs by an Additional $1,002,000 for the Design (Scoping I-VI), Right-of-Way Incidentals and Construction of the 2010 Onondaga County Bridge Painting Project, PIN 375469, and Authorize the County Executive to Enter Into Agreements to Implement this Resolution ($1,002,000)

  • Federal aid bridge painting project
  • Lamson Road Bridge & Route 57 Bridge, both over Oneida River – between Onon Co. and Oswego Co.
  • Scope change – originally to do overspray of beams and girders; upon review determined that paint condition will not allow it – has it to be sand blasted down to metal; Rt. 57 bridge – entire truss needs to be painted; paint tested and it is lead paint – cobnsiderable more added in for protection of water and workers
  • Appropriated local in 2010 work plan; authorization to pay in first instance and be reimbursed by federal gov.

 

A motion was made by Mr. Stanczyk, seconded by Mr. Lesniak to approve this item.  Passed unanimously.  MOTION CARRIED.

 

9.     FACILITIES MANAGEMENT:  Lee Klosowski, Dir. of Energy and Sustainability

        a.     Authorize the Execution of an Agreement with the CNYRPDB for the Administration of the County Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Revolving Loan Fund

  • County received block grant from Dept. of Energy to do energy projects; a portion allocated to do a revolving loan fund to aid small business to do energy efficiency projects
  • Don’t have resources within County to administer the loan fund
  • Reached out to Greater Syr. Business Development to administer – not successful
  • CNYRPDB – currently has loan funds, has expertise in energy business, can administer the loan fund
  • Developed proposed agreement with CNYRPDB
  • Question raised if the County can do it – Economic Development does not have the resources--would have to develop a program; Community Development does not administer loans – uses grant money to refurbish homes and attach a lien on the mortgage, don’t have resources

Mr. Stanczyk said that if the County doesn't have the capacity to do it within the Economic Development Department, then we should develop the capacity; it is not rocket science – it would enhance ability and give reason for Economic Development staff to contact small businesses.  It would not deplete the funds by not attaching a bureaucratic cost to run the fund which is supposed to be a revolving fund.

 

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

 

Mr. Lesniak contacted Community Development; they do handle loans for people under $50,000 that can purchase homes, but they don’t’ have the staff to handle this type. 

 

Mr. Buckel said that this is wouldn’t take any more than an Excel spread sheet – it’s not rocket science.  The loan documentation, oversight, and monitoring can be done at the County level.

 

AYES:  6 (Jordan, Corbett, Lesniak, Holmquist, Kilmartin, Buckel); NOES: 1 (Stanczyk); ABSTENTIONS:  1 (Kinne).  MOTION CARRIED.

 

10.   INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY:  Ken Beam, Commissioner; Bill Fisher, Deputy County Executive

        a.     Bond Resolution--A Resolution Authorize the Purchase and Installation of a Voiceover Internet Protocol System in and for the Co. of Onon., at a Maximum Estimated Cost of $2,200,000 and Authorize Issuance of the $2,200,000 Bonds of Said County to pay the Costs Thereof ($2,200,000)

  • VoIP is different way than what exists today, which is a Centrex line
  • Pay Verizon over $900,000/year for the existing lines
  • VoIP will save approx. $500,000/year over the next 12 years
  • Will avoid significant costs needed if staying with existing technology based on PBX system and switches
  • This will affect all depts. except Van Duyn, which has already gone to VoIP
  • New system will run off of the same system that the computers run off of – phones will run off current network
  • Phones will run exactly like the existing phones; will have the same numbers; transparent changeover
  • Significant cost savings – don’t need a $1 million switch in basement; not leasing lines from Centrex; it is the County’s system; managed with internal staff to reduce costs further
  • RFP process

Mr. Fisher reviewed the spread sheet (attachment #1)

  • 2010 spent $921,000 with Verizon; spent $55,000 with Twinstates
  • Estimate to replace existing equipment:  $612,000--will avoid that cost; will avoid $211,000 cost to install it
  • Questions asked at Planning Committee – why bonding when there is $2.2 million sitting in treasure; debt service over $575,000
  • New plan is not to bond for it
  • Law Dept. has drafted and alterative – lease to own - purchase plan
  • First 6 month – no payments; for 48 months at 0% interest will pay remaining cost of system
  • Price came down slightly – prime contractor, which has been selected, has guaranteed not to exceed price of $2.2 million – will pay over 4 years
  • PRI circuits – need to get voice call from data network out into public telephone system - $144,000/year
  • Software maint.- $90,000
  • Some remaining Centrex lines- $50,000/year
  • 2011 savings - $83,947; bigger savings in 2012, 2013, 2014; huge savings in 2015 – 2022; over next 12 years estimating an average savings of $500,847 per year

In answer to Mr. Kilmartin; Mr. Fisher said that the major drivers are that instead of spending $921,000/year with Verizon, will spend $144,000 with a different vendor.  County will have to own some equipment to avoid the cost, but it is a lot cheaper.  Will own hardware; it may be that the IT Dept. can service it themselves – same type of technology that they run the computers off of – same network. 

 

Mr. Stanczyk made a motion to pay for this system without bonding.

 

Mr. Lesniak asked if the RFP that went out was inclusive of bonding.  Mr. Fisher said that it was specified as to how it would be financed in the RFP.  Mr. Lesniak said that if it were RFP'd as cash, a better price may be received.  Mr. Fisher said that they invited respondents to tell what they proposed to do from a financing perspective; it was an open ended question, which is why one respondent said they would give 0% financing.  Mr. Lesniak asked if the other people that RFD'd had the same offer; Mr. Fisher said that they had opportunity to explain how they would finance this or use their financing vehicles to assist.  No discounts were offered.  The selection of the vendor was not primarily made on the financing; they still would have gone with the same vendor.  Mr. Lesniak said that if the County said if were paying cash, it would have gotten a better price--prefers that this be re-RFP’d before it is decided to pay cash.  In answer to Mr. Stanczyk, Mr. Lesniak said that if some companies knew that they are getting a cash deal, they would cut their price.

 

Mr. Fisher said that this item still needs 13 votes as it is an installment purchase agreement and there are restrictions under general municipal law.

 

Chairman Jordan said that he has set a policy, where resolutions have to be submitted 5 days in advance.

 

Mr. Stanczyk made a motion to amend committee rules to consider a resolution which is not in writing, seconded by Mr. Kinne.  AYES:  3 (Kinne, Stanczyk, Buckel); NOES:  5 (Jordan, Holmquist, Kilmartin, Corbett, Lesniak).  MOTION FAILED.

 

In answer to Mr. Kinne, Mr. Beam explained that some Centrex lines are being kept because there is always a possibility that the computers/server goes down – still need to be able to make emergency calls; still need hard lines coming in.  Mr. Fisher said that there are some small operations with 1, 2, or 3 phones and whether it makes sense to switch from their service to VoIP hasn’t been determined.  Regarding the need to replace equipment on current system, Mr. Beam said that departments now have small keyed systems – allows them to bring in a few lines to supply more people with phones – they are all failing.  Nothing will be needed for maintenance and repair; keyed switches won’t need to be replaced on the Centrex lines.  The warrantee on the hardware that will be purchased is 1 year full replacement.

 

In answer to Mr. Kilmartin, Mr. Seitz said that debt service for the typical bond is 4.5%.  Mr. Rowley said that 4.5% is the standard rate; won’t know actual costs until they go to market. 

 

In answer to Chairman Jordan, Mr. Fisher said that they hope to have the system installed and cut over to it this summer. 

 

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

 

Mr. Stanczyk questioned why the County would bond something; there is $75 million on hand earning less than .50%; why pay interest of 4.5% on a $2.2 million debt, which can be paid for out of cash.  Mr. Kilmartin said that two thirds of the equation is the element of the taxpayer for not having those monies refunded to them, as many legislators proposed a few months ago.  That cost to the taxpayers is substantially higher than what Mr. Stanczyk is proposing.  Mr. Stanczyk questioned why we wouldn’t spend down the fund balance rather than further indenture the citizens going forward by doing more bonding.  Mr. Fisher said that it is not reasonable to ask legislators to vote on the resolution today, as they have not seen it.  He would like the legislature to consider voting for the purchase under installment lease agreement on March 1st, once they have had a chance to read the document and ask questions.

 

Mr. Buckel said that there is legitimate debate to reserve funds in the face of unknown and much higher liabilities for certain expenses.  The debate is:  do we use one shot type gimmicks to have current budget relief – in essence taking a 4.5% obligation and imposing it on future taxpayers when there is sufficient cash, and paying for classically an operating expense.

 

Mr. Lesniak asked to be provided with the total amount of bonding now and what it will be at the end of this year.  What is the amount that will be paid off at the end of this year.  Mr. Rowley said that he will report back on it.  Mr. Lesniak said that it may not be raising the bonding number, due to retirement of bonding.  Mr. Stanczyk questioned taking on new bonding; Mr. Lesniak said that the money should be returned back the taxpayers, where it should have been.

 

AYES:  4 (Kilmartin, Lesniak, Holmquist, Corbett); NOES:  3 (Kinne, Buckel, Stanczyk); ABSTENTIONS:  1 (Jordan).  MOTION CARRIED.

 

11.   WAYS AND MEANS MISC.:

        a.     Requesting the Governor and the Legislature of the State of New York to Amend State Law to Provide the County Comptroller with the Authority to Audit the Cultural Resources Trust and the Onondaga Civic Development Corporation (Sponsored by Mr. Rhinehart)

  • Discussion came up in the fall after the Comptroller did a number of audits that involved downtown facilities, OCC and Jazzfest.  It was realized that the Jazz Fest received funding from 2 or 3 different sources while also reserving funding from the County
  • Even though State Comptroller’s office is authorized to review books of these quasi-governmental offices, because Onondaga is one of the few counties in the state that has its own Comptroller, the County Comptroller should have the authority to review these two new development corporations.

A motion was made by Mr. Lesniak, seconded by Mr. Kilmartin.

 

Chairman Jordan noted that the State Comptroller audits these organizations yearly and the organizations have their own independent audits and report to NYS; the information is all available on line.  Mr. Maturo said that at this point, even if the Comptroller wanted to audit these organizations, he couldn’t because he is not allowed to.  He does not feel that the intention is to audit them annually, but have ability to audit.  The Comptroller has the ability to audit most organizations and contracts in the county.  An audit is different from reporting to NYS.  The County reports financials to NYS, but doesn’t get audited by NYS every year.  He is not sure that these organizations get audited by NYS every year; they do have an audit performed by an outside audit firm.  The State can audit these organizations, but it is not an annual audit.

 

AYES:  6 (Jordan, Corbett, Lesniak, Holmquist, Kilmartin, Stanczyk); NOES:  1 (Buckel); ABSTENTIONS:  1 (Kinne).  MOTION CARRIED.

 

*Mr. Stanczyk left the meeting.

 

        b.     Requesting the Cultural Resources Trust and the Onondaga Civic Development Corporation to Refrain from Providing Funds to any Agency that Already Receives County Funds (Sponsored by Mr. Rhinehart)

  • CRT and OCDC to refrain from financing agencies that already receive County funds without acknowledging to this legislature by a duly adopted resolution
  • County authorized funding for various agencies in 2010 budget includes SSO and during course of year the CRT provided additional funding for them. 
  • While the County does not control what the CRT does and who they provide funding to, it is important that the legislature know if there is going to be multiple funding sources for these organizations; it is transparent and open government
  • Intent of items 11a and 11b were recommendations from the County Comptroller’s office last fall

Chairman Jordan said that the intent last budget season was to encouarage these organizations to help fund these agencies.  Would this create a situation, where not knowing that these organizations will give them any money, will they come to the county asking for more funding than they would perhaps otherwise.  Chairman Rhinehart said that it sends the intent that the legislature wants to be informed on where these monies are going.  Does not feel it will cause any financial hardship to any of the organizations – just a notification to the legislature and good communication.

 

Mr. Buckel asked if there is concern about a specific appropriation made that the legislature did not know about; Chairman Rhinehart said “no”.  In answer to Buckel, Mr. Fisher said both organizations are run by independent boards.  Both boards follow open meetings law, be very expansive in what they need to disclose.  They have audit committees who hire independent auditors.  No taxpayer dollars are being used to audit last year’s books.  The Co. Executive’s opinion would be that it is not a good idea to use taxpayer’s dollars to hire the Comptroller to audit.  Ms. Smiley said that all grants and minutes are on the website; specific amounts allocated were provided previously to committee members.

 

Chairman Rhinehart compared this to a request sent to OCC during budget time when they came for bonding for the new field house, because some legislators had concern that they might be compete with the County downtown.  This is another layer that says there are concerns, would like to go on record that says please refrain from financing any agency that already receives county funds without acknowledgment of this legislature.  He referred to the Landmark Theater; it was tauted to the legislature that $100,000 was committed for every year.  Many legislators didn’t remember that commitment; can’t commit for future legislators.  Having these kinds of things on the record are good because they can be referred back to.  Mr. Buckel said that he is concerned that this is micro management; have set policy and now trying to pull back on what was done.  There is no wrong doing; everything is transparent now. 

 

Mr. Kinne referred to the Landmark and agreed that the legislature cannot commit future legislatures, but noted that during the original discussion the intent was to give them $100,000 for 10 years if at all possible; to get them going and keep them going and get them on sound footing.  Hopefully after 10 years they would be self sufficient. 

 

A motion was made by Mr. Lesniak, seconded by Mr. Holmquist to approve this item.  AYES:  4 (Corbett, Lesniak, Holmquist, Kilmartin) NOES: 0; ABSTENTIONS:  3 (Kinne, Buckel, Jordan).  MOTION CARRIED.

 

        c.     Informational:  Review of Letters of Distribution – Mr. Rowley (Copy of report on file with Clerk)

 

Mr. Kinne said that the resolution refers to share of salary paid by the respective departments of each such employee and asked why it isn’t included in the resolution.  Mr. Rowley said that he provided the amount of salary in a percentage form.  Chairman Jordan asked that a column be included in the report noting the dollar amount.  The salaries are part of the budget and a part of public record.

 

Mr. Kilmartin noted that the report is for 2011 budget, and asked Mr. Rowley to provide the 2010 data. Mr. Kilmartin said that there is sensitivity to revealing names associated with each position, but asked if it is a prohibition.  Mrs. Tarolli said that she didn’t think so.

 

Mr. Lesniak questioned where these people are physically located.  Mr. Seitz said that they can provide that information.

 

Mr. Buckel asked why we care about this; does it matter.  Mr. Rowley said he is not sure; the letters of distribution has been a stable of budget methodology for decades – intent was to charge direct costs of salary and fringe to the department that actually consumes it; captures direct costs that certain departments may be able to claim through federal and state reimbursement; charge grants from operating account.  Mr. Buckel said that he is not seeing that people were hidden or taking out of one department  and put in another just to maintain employment.  Mr. Lesniak said that when going through the budget, department by department, and looking at the numbers, some of them don’t coincide; i.e. if cutting a probation officer and it is reimbursement by DSS – have to question why it would be cut.  Chairman Jordan said that it is an issue of transparency. 

 

Chairman Jordan asked that a column can be added to note if a position is grant funded, and if so, how much.

 

Chairman Rhinehart said that it was an education during the budget process that several departments had many people that they were charging other departments for.  It is not transparent.  There are 5 positions in the county executive’s office billed out to other departments, totaling almost $150,000.  He has questions, which is why he asked the CFO for the information.  Chairman Rhinehart asked if this is all of the letters of distribution.  Mr. Rowley said that to his knowledge this is every letter of distribution; there might be some grant positions in the Health Department that aren’t on the list.  Chairman Rhinehart asked if there could be some out there that we don’t know about; Mr. Rowley said “no.”  Mr. Rowley apologized for not reporting sooner; he thought that he complied with this resolution when the report was provided at the time of the budget.

 

        d.     A Local Law Establishing Real Property Tax Exemption for Non-Residential Real Property Converted to Mixed-use Property in Accordance with Section 485-a of the New York State Real Property Tax Law (Sponsored by Mrs. Rapp)

Travis Glacier, Director of Intergovernmental Relations, explained:

  • June 30, 2010 Empire Zone program expired, as did the 45E exemption
  • State passed 485-a of Real Property Tax code to offer residential commercial exemption – redevelopment of nonresidential property to mixed use
  • Exemption is on an increased investment, as opposed to complete exemption, as opposed to a PILOT--merely an exemption on investment made to the property
  • Passing this legislation allows municipalities at the local level to pass a corresponding piece of 484-a legislations, which allows them to give this exemption out
  • This legislation at the county level will have the county property tax follow the local municipalities
  • Letters of support from Village of East Syracuse, Village of Marcellus, City of Syracuse, Center State CEO and local developer
  • 12 year period of time for exemptions – by State statue

Chairman Jordan said that this presumes that there is sufficient demand for this residential capacity; doing this now may encourage people to redevelop, which might not be the most economic, productive fashion.  Mr. Glacier said that it is an extension of the Empire Zone program; it has been in place.  This is an economic development tool that municipalities can use.  In a lot of cases there are long term plans for villages and they want to re-encourage walkable streets -- this is an opportunity to incentivize that type of development and reuse existing properties.  In answer to Chairman Jordan, Mrs. Tarolli said that the term of 12 years has to be used; County can only do what the towns/villages adopt, which is governed by state statute.

 

Mr. Buckel said that this is really not the same as an extension of the Empire Zone; asked for an inventory of properties across the county that would qualify.  Mr. Glacier indicated that he does not have an inventory.  Mr. Buckel said that it is making something automatic, which may not be in the County’s best interest.  Mr. Glacier said that in the best interest of economic development, this is a one stop shop concept – a municipality can provide this exemption and with that say that the county property tax will fall in line with what the municipality puts in place.  Where a PILOT would have to pass on a local municipality level; and then be passed again on the County level.  This is removal of a level of government.  Mr. Buckel said that this is eliminating taxes on certain types of property and shifting the burden to residential taxpayers.  Mr. Glacier explained that the taxes would stay at the current level; there is no loss of tax revenue; there will be a forego on increased revenue that might not otherwise come in if this development doesn’t take place.

 

No vote was taken.

 

The meeting was adjourned at 11:45 a.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

  

DEBORAH L. MATURO, Clerk

Onondaga County Legislature

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