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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

 

PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE MINUTES – JANUARY 11, 2011

PATRICK KILMARTIN, CHAIRMAN

 

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

ALSO ATTENDING:  Chairman Rhinehart, see also attached list

 

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

 

1.     EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT:  Peter Alberti, Commissioner

        a.     Confirming Appointments to the Position of Deputy Coordinator and Authorizing Reimbursement for Expenses Incurred in the Performance of their Duties

  • volunteer positions; reappointments except Mr. Kosakowski, SFD and assigned to Hazardous Materials unit
  • assist various fire departments in command and control, training, emergency scene
  • reimbursed for nominal expense – mileage, provided with protective equipment
  • total budget is approximately $8,000

Mr. Meyer and Mr. Dougherty asked to be listed as co-sponsors.  A motion was made by Mr. Meyer seconded by Mr. Masterpole to approve this item.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

 

2.     STOP DWI:  Barry Weis

        a.     Amending the 2010 County Budget to Reappropriate 2009 Surplus Stop DWI Funds ($7,975)

  • Monies rolled back into STOP DWI fund to comply with NYS Law; monies utilized for purpose of the program
  • Monies come from fines - $7,000 more came in than was expected

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

 

3.     DISTRICT ATTORNEY:  Rick Trunfio, First Chief Assistant District Attorney

        a.     Amending the 2011 County Budget to Provide the Office of the Onondaga County District Attorney with Additional Funds Beyond the Estimated Dollars Appropriated in the 2011 County Budget and Authorizing the County Executive to Enter into Contracts to Implement this Resolution ($14,438)

  • Manhattan DA’s office brought lawsuit against a number of merchandisers in NYS – number of large retailers selling knives in NYS that were illegal
  • Lawsuit settled with a number of retailers; settlement money was over $300,000
  • Manhattan DA’s office split money evenly amongst 62 DA’s offices in the State - $14,438
  • Money has to be used towards prosecution of criminal possession weapon cases
  • Intend to use for witness protection cases in criminal possession weapon cases

In answer to Mr. Masterpole, Mr. Trunfio stated that the $14,438 is a one-time payment.

 

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

 

4.     SHERIFF:  Chief John Balloni

        a.     Amend 2011 Budget to Accept Federal Homeland Security Funds for the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office and Authorize the Co. Executive to Enter into Contracts to Implement this Resolution ($49,500)

  • Homeland Security targeted danger for improvised explosive devices – want trained dogs out there – have provided $6,500 for a K-9 trained in explosive detection, and a vehicle for $43,000
  • Vehicle is a standard SUV police vehicle with Cruise-eeze – an automatic kennel opening for the dog
  • Brings current K-9 unit to 5 dogs, 4 personnel assigned
  • Had 8 dogs, 7 pers. assigned last year--personnel have been reassigned to help fill 19 vacancies in road patrol
  • Working on MOU with City – will allow City dogs to come into the County when needed; County dogs to go into City when needed.  It has been informally done for a long time. 

In answer to Mr. Meyer, Chief Balloni said that they will receive a new trained bomb dog.  Dogs also do other K-9 duties that they are trained in.  In answer to Mr. Dougherty, Chief Balloni said that the dogs are utilized nearly every day; had over 700 calls last year.

 

Mr. Antonacci said that the Comptroller’s Office is doing an audit of the Sheriff’s Dept.  - have taken a tour of the jail and a drive with a deputy.  His office is hearing that there have been many personnel reassigned out of the dog unit, including the coordinator.  There is a concern that proper assets aren’t being allocated to such a County function.  He questioned what the Sheriff’s intent is for the K-9 unit; should it be a county wide asset.  Regarding modernization and consolidation, it is his opinion that the K-9 unit would be one of the assets that are a county-wide charge used by the many municipalities.  Before this grant is awarded, he questioned what the use of the funds will be; will the vehicle be used solely by the K-9 unit; and what is the plan for the K-9 unit.

 

In answer to Chairman Kilmartin, who noted that there were approximately 8 dogs in the K-9 unit last year, Chief Balloni said that it has been reduced down to 5 dogs currently.  The K-9 unit is one of the areas they have been looking at for re-evaluation of how many calls they have.  It is a unit, which is right for sharing services with the City Police Department.  Being able to share the resources with the City makes it economically more feasible and it helps the Sheriff’s Dept. meet the needs of road patrol, which were significantly impacted by the 2011 budget.  The Sheriff’s Dept. has been working informally with the City for a while; the MOU agreement was agreed upon yesterday.  In answer to Chairman Kilmartin, Ms. Berger said that the MOU should come before the legislature.  Chief Balloni noted that the Sheriff and the Chief of Police have just agreed on basic terms and conditions.  It has not gone to Corporation Counsel or the County Attorney’s Office.  Chief Balloni explained that the basic crux of the agreement is that when City dogs are available and there is a call in the county, and the City is available to handle it and the County is not, then the City would respond for the County and vice versa.  The City police trainer has agreed to train for the County also.  The City had about 8 dogs last year.  Chairman Kilmartin said the Sheriff’s department averages about 7 dogs for the last two years and asked how many personnel and vehicles are dedicated to the K-9 unit in the County.  Chief Balloni said there are 4 vehicles and 4 individuals.  Downsizing the unit would free up vehicles for patrol use - vehicles are standard patrol vehicles with the K-9 cage.  In answer to Chairman Kilmartin regarding the 700 calls last year, Chief Balloni said that there were approximately 400 calls for the Sheriff’s Dept. (called for their own K-9 unit on a call) and the remainder was for other agencies – roughly 300 were other agencies calling for the K-9 unit. 

 

In answer to Mr. Masterpole, Chief Balloni said that the highest demand for dogs is 8:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m., which is basically the shift they are assigned to and are called out on other shifts.  Mr. Masterpole questioned what the K-9 deputies do if there are no dog calls.  Chief Balloni explained that if there is a shortage in the patrol post, they will work that post with their dog.  If not, they wander the county and respond to other units as another backup.  Mr. Masterpole said that with the MOU, there may now be access to 13 dogs.  Chief Balloni said that last year they informally had access to 16 dogs.  Department of Homeland Security is saying this is a prudent action.  Mr. Masterpole said that there is a large level of uncertainty of what is going on the K-9 unit.  While it may be a prudent activity, if the $49,000 cost the County $500,000 in a pension down the road, then it is penny wise and pound foolish.  Chief Balloni said that there is no intent to eliminate K-9 patrol; it is a valuable tool.  Practical downsizing is prudent; it has been studied and some action is taking place. 

 

In answer to Mr. Meyer, Chief Balloni said that they need to maintain the bomb dog and the vehicle for a certain amount of time.  The vehicle is set up so a person can be in the back; the K-9 cage can be taken out and it will be a regular, police package vehicle.  Mr. Meyer asked to be provided with pie graphs showing the utilization of dogs in the City and those in the County. 

 

Chairman Kilmartin asked Mr. Antonacci about the allocation of the K-9 unit and vehicles.  Mr. Antonacci said that his department heard that a study was being done; he conferred with Mr. Rowley who indicated that no study was being done by the Budget Dept.  The Comptroller’s Office is involved in modernization and consolidation and police service is one of the areas of interest.  The concern is:  what is a county-wide charge; what should the Sheriff’s Dept. be involved in; where are the resources being allocated.  In answer to Chairman Kilmartin, the vehicle will be stored at the Heliport during training, but it is an assigned vehicle and it would go home with the handler.  He pointed out that regarding restructuring, they are shooting for a smaller, but just as effective K-9 unit.  The number of take home cars was downsized by 3 from last year.  In answer to Chairman Kilmartin regarding reassignment of officers to patrol, Chief Balloni said that the reassignments are filling many vacancies on the road patrol side.  If someone is pulled back off to go to the K-9 unit, it recreates a hole in patrol – it would result in more overtime.  Chairman Kilmartin said that his concern is with the sequence of things—there is work on an MOU to possibly downsize the K-9 unit --growing right on the eve of possibly downsizing it with the City.  Chief Balloni said that the dog was planned into the current size; the downsizing has already occurred.  The reality that they are sharing resources with the City has already occurred – would like to formalize it in an MOU.  The only new thing is the reassignment of the training person to the road in the Sheriff’s Dept.  It leaves the Sheriff’s Dept. short a training person, but the City has agreed to do the training.  In answer to Chairman Kilmartin regarding capacity at the heliport, Chief Balloni said that it has held all of the vehicles and dogs for the existing program, which last year was much larger.  The capacity exceeds the number of dogs and vehicles that they will have.  In answer to Ms. Williams, Chief Balloni said that an existing car will be taken out of the K-9 unit and put back to general fleet; 4 vehicles will be assigned to the K-9 unit.

 

Mr. Antonacci questioned if the County would be able to make money off of the training and what will happen with seizure funds; how will they be allocated between City and County.  Chief Balloni said that seizure of asset forfeitures are generally worked out based on the percentage of an agencies involvement.  In 2009 there was not many significant asset forfeitures; in 2010 there were a couple of good asset seizures.  Some years it is not very profitable to have a K-9 unit; and sometimes it does very well. 

 

Mr. Masterpole asked why the dogs were downsized and where did they go.  Chief Balloni said that the dogs were aging out, one died, and it was a good time to downsize.  It has been looked at for some time by Chief Bottsford.  Mr. Masterpole asked if the previous K-9 car going to patrol was grant funded or had any restrictions.  Chief Balloni indicated that it did not have any restrictions.  In answer to Mr. Masterpole, Chief Balloni said that most of the agencies that had dogs have eliminated them.  In answer to Mr. Masterpole regarding where the approximate other 300 calls came from, Chief Balloni said that he will provide a breakdown of them. 

 

In answer to Ms. Williams regarding the status of the MOU, Chief Balloni said that there is nothing written – City Corporation Counsel or County Law Dept. will draft an MOU, but noted that he principles have all been agreed to.

 

Chairman Kilmartin asked Chief Balloni to provide bullets of:  the sense of the MOU -- allocation of resources; allocation of K-9s; allocation of vehicles; 2010 number of calls the Sheriff’s Dept. responded to and the number of K-9s used; the number of calls per agency asking the Sheriff’s Dept. to respond; a breakout of calls by city, towns or villages.  Due to the lengthy discussion today, he would like to keep this item as informational; have the information received prior to Ways & Means Committee; have the information presented to Ways & Means Committee in advance of the meeting for them to review.  In answer to Mr. Masterpole, who said that he would be willing to move the item, Chairman Kilmartin said that he would like to have an understanding of the MOU before voting on it.  Mr. Meyer asked if the other dogs or vehicles are grant funded; Mr. Balloni said "not to his knowledge.” 

 

Chairman Kilmartin asked if there is an update on the MOU between the City Police and Sheriff’s Dept. for the police academy.  Chief Balloni said that there isn’t; there is no immediate need for an academy on the part of the County.  Mr. Kilmartin asked if the officers previously assigned to OCC to conduct the academy have been reassigned to patrol.  Chief Balloni said that they have; one recently retired.

 

Chairman Kilmartin asked if there was any update on the helicopter and certifications.  Chief Balloni said that the RFP was sent to 10 consultants.  They are responding to questions now; by next month the consultant should be selected.  The consultant is to assist the Sheriff’s Dept. with the application process for Part 135.

 

The meeting was adjourned at 9:50 a.m.  

Respectfully submitted,

DEBORAH L. MATURO, Clerk

Onondaga County Legislature

* * *

HEALTH COMMITTEE MINUTES - JANUARY 11, 2011

ROBERT D. WARNER, CHAIRMAN

 

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

ALSO PRESENT:  see attached list

 

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

 

1.     SOCIAL SERVICES:  Steve Morgan, Deputy Commissioner

        a.     Amending the 2010 County Budget to Increase Appropriations Within the Department of Social Services to Accept Additional Revenue ($4,800,000)

  • $2.1 million deficit in Safety Net Assistance mandated program – 10% higher than anticipated
  • $2.7 million deficit in Family Assistance mandated program – 13% higher than anticipated
  • $3 million covered via federal and state reimbursement
  • $1.8 million balance covered via surplus Medicaid funds – No additional local dollars
  • Dollar amounts include accruals

 

In answer to Chair Warner, Mr. Morgan stated that the county received $4.7 million dollars more than anticipated in Medicaid funds.  When the federal stimulus package was passed the state passed the county’s share of the benefit along to them by lowering the weekly payments using estimated values.  Once the State’s fiscal year is completed and reconciled any additional funds owed are paid.  Throughout this process the state has underestimated the amounts so that counties do not end up owing them money at the end of the year.  These funds are a product of the fiscal year reconciliation.

 

In answer to Mr. Laguzza, Mr. Morgan stated they should end 2010 in the black.    

 

In answer to Mr. Meyer, Mr. Morgan stated that the last state budget included legislation for the Health department to look into state absorption of Medicaid administration.  The Health department released a report about two months ago.  The report indicates a five year plan phasing out local districts with state processing.  As of this point in time it is not known if County employees will become State employees.

 

Mr. Meyer stated that he hopes someone in the Social Services department is advocating for a regional facility to be located in our area so that the county is able to reap the benefits.  Mr. Morgan stated he is sure that this is very important to the County Executive and Management and Budget as well.   

 

Mr. Morgan will keep the Chairman and committee advised as the process progresses.

 

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

  

The meeting was adjourned at 10:14 a.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Katherine M. French, Deputy Clerk

Onondaga County Legislature

* * *

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION COMMITTEE MINUTES – JANUARY 12, 2011

CHAIRMAN JAMES CORBETT

 

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

ALSO PRESENT:  Mr. Rhinehart and see attached list

 

The meeting was called to order at 10:02 a.m.   Motions were made by Mrs. Ervin, seconded by Mrs. Tassone to waive the reading and approve the minutes of proceedings from the previous committee meeting.  MOTION CARRIED.

 

*Mrs. Rapp arrived at the meeting.

 

1.    LAKE IMPROVEMENT:  Nick Capozza – Sewer Maintenance Engineer; Marty Voss – Administrative Director

        a.     ACJ Update (monthly report on file with the Clerk)

       

Green Program Highlights

  • Completed installation of 100 feet of porous concrete sidewalk at Delaware St. and Grand Ave.
  • Finalized 2011 Project 50 list as part of the Save the Rain campaign, full details as they advance
  • All green projects are part of the capture credit

Progress of Projects Under Construction

  • State has allocated $20 million for interceptor sewer replacement and culvert work
  • 5,719 LF of new interceptor pipe & 5,012 LF of new combined sanitary sewer and storm sewer pipe has been installed in the Harbor Brook interceptor replacement project
  • Project scheduled for completion in the spring of 2011

Projects in Design Stage

        Midland CSO Abatement

  • Notice of Intent to award the contract for construction of a smaller conveyance pipe to connect CSO44 to the Midland RTF was issued to J.J. Lane for $7.7 million
  • Notice to Proceed was issued in December; project will start in the spring
  • Meeting with Syracuse United Neighbors continuously; will hold public meetings to advise residence of upcoming road closures

        Clinton CSO Abatement

  • CSO 022 (Clinton service area) and CSO 045 (Midland service area) are being combined into one project to save on construction administration; won’t have multiple projects in bid phase
  • Waiting to hear back from the State on facilities plan for CSOs 027 (West Fayette) and 029 (Walton)
  • Large storage facility design is 95% completed; project will advertise for bids in March

        Harbor Brook CSO Abatement

  • Final design in progress for a large storage facility and conveyance piping in the Harbor Brook sewer shed near State Fair Blvd.; going to bid in April or May
  • Design is 50% complete, street closure outline should be available soon
  • Working to schedule a meeting with impacted individuals in this area to update them on the impact

Major Milestones for CSO Interim Projects

  • Erie Blvd. storage system gate modifications were completed in house; should be meeting the milestone date created with the AJC

 

In answer to Mrs. Tassone, Mr. Capozza stated that bid notices are sent to trade publications such as the Dodge Report.  Chairman Corbett stated that the Dodge Report is standard for anyone in the construction industry. 

 

In answer to Mrs. Tassone, Mr. Capozza stated that response to these ads has been good.  They are seeing increased interest in their bids.   Some of the projects are specialty type work limiting the number able to bid on the project.  The CSO 44 bid for 500 LF of pipeline received 7 or 8 bids and was very competitive.  The bid was awarded to J.J. Lane for $7.7 million.

 

Mr. Corbett added that Lane has added additional staff and hours to get projects completed in one season.  Mr. Capozza stated the Harbor Brook pipeline will be completed by June of 2011 ahead of the required 2012 date.  Mr. Corbett added that getting the work completed sooner lessons the impact on the neighborhood.  

 

Mr. Millea stated he wanted to soften the ground for the next meeting.  The team will be briefing the Chairman and intents to come before the committee in February with a proposal for the next round of funding for ACJ compliance.  He believes this will be the last request for AJC funding for the foreseeable future. 

 

In answer to Mrs. Rapp, Mr. Millea stated the funds are needed for the Clinton Street project.  The project needs to go out for bid in March.   The designs have been completed and the budget needs are known.

 

Chairman Corbett stated that he has been following this project.  In the past there were problems with proposals not being accurate.  Before a proposal was presented he wanted a complete understanding of what the project would involve.  Some of the problems have included, how much of project would be green and gray and if the projections were correct.  WEP has had time to evaluate everything and come before us with what they think will be the last request for funding.

 

Mr. Capozza stated that they have had some major discussions of how everything comes together.  Mr. Millea stated that the old color coding plan of RTF’s did not fit into the new plan.  The new plan will have three colors representing Clinton, Harbor Brook and Midland.  Maps will be provided to the committee in February.

 

Mr. Rhinehart stated that the ACJ has a capture level that must be met.  The green projects are controversial.  He questioned if the gray projects would be able to compensate for any capture shortage of the green projects.  Mr. Millea responded that the gray projects will achieve 92% of the required capture rate for the AJC.  We are estimating a capture rate of 250,000,000 on the green side.  Should the green capture rate be less than anticipated, the gray should make up the difference.  

 

In answer to Mr. Rhinehart, Mr. Millea stated that they are currently working on the first possible green project outside of the City.  Mr. Capozza is reviewing the Electronics’ Parkway trunk sewer to see if any green projects can be used in this area. 

 

In answer to Mr. Rhinehart, Mr. Millea stated that some of the green improvement funds have been used on private property.  There is a cap on the amount of funds that can be received.  There is a meeting schedule for this afternoon to revise the funding formula for these projects.  Currently it is a flat rate structure, funding green solutions up to $100,000.  They would like to move to a capture methodology.  They are also considering having the interested parties compete for these dollars.  Listing the amount of capture and the dollar amount they are willing to except to get the projects completed.  They are trying to find the best way to spread the funds and get the most participation.  Mr. Rhinehart stated that some of these green projects on private property caused concern.  He would like to be updated on how the process works.  Mr. Millea stated that there is a committee that completes the review process.  He stated they could come before the committee with a full update.

 

Mr. Corbett stressed that he has cautioned from the beginning that the gray capture number needs to be underestimated to compensate for the green capture.  It could take 5 to 10 years for the green capture to reach the estimated capture rate.  Mr. Capozza stated this is one of the reasons they have increased the size of the storage facilities.  The Clinton storage facility started out at 3.7 million and was increased to 7 million gallons for an additional $2,000,000 investment.  Harbor Brook storage facility has an additional 600,000 gallons. 

 

2.     WEP:   Nick Capozza – Sewer Maintenance Engineer; Marty Voss – Administrative Director

        a.     A Resolution Approving the Purchase of a Combination Sewer Cleaner for the Onondaga County Sanitary District of the County of Onondaga, New York ($275,000) - referred from 12/21/10 session

Mr. Corbett stated that this request came before the Vehicle Use Review Board.  The board felt that if the purchase was to be made, it should be a bonded item.  The legislature felt that there was not enough information provided to make an accurate decision and sent the resolution back to committee. 

 

  • Revenue generating piece of equipment ($1-$2 million per yr)
  • Maintenance intensive vehicles
  • Utilization is very high; 3 times greater than most municipalities
  • Life cycle less than 15 years
  • Lost licensed drivers through early retirement incentive; working quickly to have rectify
  • Used for preventative maintenance as well; saving repair cost dollars
  • Purchase verses lease analyze has been completed; monthly fee at 7% - actually lease to own
  • $35 – $40,000 interest
  • Not a separate bond; part of the general bond done once per year
  • 8 trucks currently owned; 1 is unusable
  • Serving 17 municipality contracts, the county system and City of Syracuse  
  • Supply support to DOT, Parks and Facilities

 

In answer to Mrs. Tassone, Mr. Capozza stated that the towns are charged an average of $696 per day for each use.  The towns are charged as the county does not own the sewers.  This is an apportionment type of charge.  In answer to Mrs. Rapp, Mr. Capozza stated that the funds for the bond are derived from the sanitary district and the utilization is apportioned to the user.   Mr. Millea stated that he is not sure that the service could be provided without charging a fee; it may be considered a gift.  The sanitary district does not own the town collection system.  Ms. Berger stated she was not sure.  They would have to look into this.  Mr. Capozza stated that there are hundreds of districts throughout Onondaga County. 

 

A motion was made by Mrs. Ervin, seconded by Mrs. Rapp to approve this item.  Ayes: 4; Noes: 1 (Tassone).  MOTION CARRIED.

 

        b.     A Resolution Authorizing the Issuance of $275,000 Bonds of the County of Onondaga, New York, to Pay the Cost of the Purchase of a Combination Sewer Cleaner for the Onondaga County Sanitary District In and For Said County ($275,000) - referred from 12/21/10 session

 

A motion was made by Chairman Corbett, seconded by Mr. Buckel to approve this item.  Ayes: 4; Noes: 0; Abstained: 1 (Tassone).  MOTION CARRIED.

       

The meeting was adjourned at 10:47 a.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

  

Katherine M. French, Deputy Clerk

Onondaga County Legislature

 

 * * *

COUNTY FACILITIES COMMITTEE MINUTES - JANUARY 13, 2011

KATHLEEN RAPP, CHAIR

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Mrs. Tassone, Mr. Lesniak, Mr. Dougherty, Mr. DeMore, 1Mr. Masterpole, 2,3 Mr. Kinne

ALSO PRESENT: see attached list

 

Chair Rapp called the meeting to order at 9:00 a.m.  A motion was made by Mr. Lesniak, seconded by Mrs. Tassone, to waive the reading and approve the minutes of the previous committee meeting.

 

1.     OCPL:  Liz Loftus, Administrator for Branch Services

        a.     Confirming Appointment to the Onondaga County Public Library Board of Trustees (Timothy D. Dodge)

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

 

        b.     Amend 2011 Budget to Accept Funds for OCPL from the Literacy Coalition of Onon. County ($6,530)

1Mr. Masterpole arrived at the meeting.

The Literacy Coalition went to the Foundation for this grant to be administered on the north side; the library was one of the eligible applicants (White Branch).

 

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

 

        c.     Amend 2011 Budget to Accept Funds for the OCPL 2011 Summer Reading Program ($5,000)

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

  • First time grant; sought after budget was in place
  • Gone after these types of grants in the past; typically get a State grant to help support Summer Reading Program
  • $3,850 All other Expenses – used to purchase incentives/prizes to give out to children

 

        d.     Amend 2011 Budget to Accept Funds for the OCPL from the National Endowment for the Humanities and Authorize the Co. Exec. to Enter Into Contracts to Implement this Res. ($6,000)

  • Ongoing endeavor to protect fragile materials in Central Library
  • Hire an engineering firm to look at environmental controls and make suggestions

 

In answer to Mrs. Rapp regarding capital improvements at the library, Ms. Milcarek stated that this is on the 5th floor, intend to ask what the best way is to redesign it.  The materials will probably be divided between there and wherever local history is moved to. 

 

Mr. Lesniak asked to be provided with a breakdown of the $6,000, all other expenses.  Ms. Milcarek said that it is all for consulting from an engineering firm.  A previous grant enabled the purchase of data loggers, climate control software; the consultant will look at the information in the physical environment and make recommendations on if they can improve the environment for the materials.

 

In answer to Mr. Dougherty, Ms. Milcarek said that they have received an estimate for the work, but will go through the PO process.  She did not know if it would be the same company that installed the data loggers and monitoring software. 

 

2 Mr. Kinne arrived at the meeting.

 

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

 

Mr. Manning announced that the library will run the Love Your Library Campaign in February; which was very successful last year.

 

2.     TRANSPORTATION:  Brian Donnelly, Commissioner

        a.     Amend 2010 Budget in the County Road Fund to Provide for the Purchase of Road Salt ($200,000)

  • transfer in 2010 budget from 101 account to 300 account to cover additional salt purchases
  • savings in 101 line from ERI
  • An additional $200,000 in salt was needed to cover the December snow

 

In answer to Mr. Kinne about the salt contract; Mr. Donnelly explained that DOT has salt sheds at each of the 4 facilities and generally try to make sure shed are ½ to ¾ full at all times to be ready for any type of snow event.  The salt is ordered as it is used; it is delivered in 30 ton increments.  The contract is a bid – each entity that buys off the county contract, which most towns do, put in an estimate before it goes out to bid.  They are not held bound by the estimates.  Mr. Kinne asked if there is an environmental affect or if any extra steps have to be taken to prevent problems to the community regarding where/how the salt is stored.  Mr. Donnelly explained that all of the salt sheds were built with that in mind.  They have to have an asphalt floor that it not permeable; salt cannot run off from the location.  All salt sheds are covered; all 4 facilities have well designed salt sheds that will prevent leaching. 

 

In answer to Mr. Lesniak, Mr. Donnelly said that in 2010 they budgeted for approximately 50,000 tons and used approximately 58,000 tons, a cost of a about $400,000 – had previous budget amendments to the 300 line, received additional money from NYS for the contract, some land was sold throughout the season, which was put into this line also.  For 2011 they asked for approximately 50,000 tons of buying power, through budget reductions, they anticipate only being able to buy 43,000 tons based on available funds.

 

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

 

        b.     Approving the Right of way Acquisition Phase of the Velasko Road Safety Reconstruction Project, PIN 3753.29, Agreeing to Participate and Pay Up to 100 Percentage of the Non-Federal Share of the Project and Accepting Title to the Acquired Right of Way

  • Federal Aid Project – Velasko Road – ROW acquisition phase
  • Approx. 1 acre of land through fee takings or temp and perm easements which will be needed to construct project
  • Primarily lane widening intersection at McDonald Rd and Velasko Rd; drainage near Glenwood--towards Hillbrook
  • Generally in federal aid project the County has to advance money and get reimbursement
  • With ROW transaction, NYS handles all of ROW acquisitions on local federal aid projects – State asked for resolution from local governing body saying that it will accept the ROW after acquired by NYS
  • Anticipated total $220,000 for takings, 20% would be County share – already previously appropriated in work plan

Mr. Donnelly provided aerial photos for the Committee to view.

 

Mr. Lesniak asked if the County has any say in what is paid for the acquisitions.  Mr. Coley explained that by federal mandate, the minimum amount that can be paid is the appraised price.  The State will do two independent appraisals; it can still go to condemnation and the courts will decide on the total final price.  In answer to Mr. Masterpole, Mr. Donnelly explained that the acquisitions are from individuals and businesses. 

 

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

 

        c.     Amend 2011 Budget to Fund in the First Instance 100% of the Federal Aid Eligible Costs at a Max. of $308,000 for the Design (Scoping I-VI) and Right of Way Incidentals of the Rural Paving Project, PIN 3755.55 and Authorize Co. Exec. to Enter into Agreements to Implement the Intent of this Resolution

  • Federal aid project – design phase for rural paving project
  • First time that the County has had an opportunity to do a rural paving project with federal aid dollars
  • There has been somewhat of a push to put federal funds into less populated areas in the highway system
  • 1R project--3 roads, approx. 3.5 miles total; portion of ea. road will be done – Lamson Rd, Apulia Rd, Graham Rd
  • Generally mill out 2” and replace 2” – roads functionally classified in the federal system, but are roads not in a state of disrepair; the idea is to extend the life of the road 8 – 10 years based on this surface treatment
  • County to pay in first instance for design phase
  • These roads were scheduled to be done in 5 years

 

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

 

3.     FACILITIES MANAGEMENT:  Brian Lynch, Commissioner

        a.     Amend 2011 Budget to Accept Revenues Received from OCC from Processing Its Mail ($140,000)

  • In August Dr. Sydow approached Mr. Lynch and expressed interest in Co. Facilities taking over OCC’s mail
  • OCC’s current process: no savings; a mail machine which runs all of their mail through at full rate – no bulk rate
  • An agreement was made that on Feb. 1st Co. Fac. will start processing OCC’s mail
  • No additional cost to the county; no additional staff
  • Can reduce OCC’s mail local dollars from $175,000 to $140,000

Mrs. Rapp said that the machine purchased by the County has a huge capacity--can continue to add on and spread the savings. 

 

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

 

Mr. Lesniak asked about any handling revenue generated from OCC.  Mr. Lynch said “zero”; it is a reduction in OCC’s local dollars.  The difference between OCC and the City is that the City was paying an independent contractor to sort their mail.  OCC does not do enough volume to contract their mail, so they process everything full rate.  Mr. Lesniak asked how the county staff will handle all of the additional mail.  Mr. Lynch said they are handling it great.  Mr. Lesniak asked if any additional staff will be added somewhere down the line; Mr. Lynch said “no”.  He will reach out to Syracuse City School District next.

 

Mr. Lesniak referred to the 3rd WHEREAS clause…OCC shall reimburse the County for any postage or handling fees.  He said that none is being taking from OCC, but questioned if it will be contemplated with any other agencies that the County will process mail for.  Mr. Lynch said that the City pays $2,200 per month.

 

Mr. Lesniak suggested that the handling fees be stricken from the resolution; if it is not being collected, why is in the resolution.  In answer to Mrs. Rapp, Mr. Lynch said OCC will drop the mail off to the County.

 

Mr. Masterpole made a motion to amend this resolution to remove handling fees, and approve the resolution as amended, seconded by Mr. Kinne.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

 

        b.     Amend 2011 Budget to Accept Funds from the SMTC to Help Fund Creation of the Onondaga County Sustainable Development Plan as Part of the Energy, Sustainability and Climate Change Master Planning Activity in the County Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy ($130,000)

Mr. Klosowski explained:

  • Funds would help the creation of the County’s Sustainable Development Plan
  • Funds are in addition to funds already allocated out of the energy efficiency and conservation block grant
  • Primary use of funds is to pay for a consultant who would develop the plan in conjunction with SOCPA
  • Facilities Management controlling budget as it is tied to the block grant; a proposed amended to its budget

Mrs. Rapp explained that this is the new 2010 Plan - $130k from SMTC for a consultant to develop the plan.  Mr. Jordan explained that a steering committee was formed, including Mrs. Rapp and Mr. Rhinehart.  The committee approved scope of services; issued an RFP and have received several responses.  In answer to Mr. Lesniak, Mr. Jordan explained that he hopes between the SMTC money and the Block grant money, it will cover the entire project – not entirely sure what the costs will be – starting to review the responses. 

 

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

 

        c.     Authorize the Execution of an Agreement with the CNY Regional Planning and Development Board for the Administration of the County Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Revolving Loan Fund

  • Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block grant – allocation of $2.5 million
  • Use about $450k to capital a revolving loan fund to make money available to local businesses to do energy efficiency projects
  • Authorize County to enter into IMA with CNYRPDB to administer a revolving loan fund, market program, review and accept applications, underwriting, review financial of loan applicants, determine if projects meet criteria, follow up on collection reporting
  • For initial 2 years of revolving loan fund administration – CNYRPDB would be paid $37,550
  • Thereafter CNYRPDB could be compensated up to 10% of the amount of funds available in revolving loan fund
  • Interest on loans and loan application fees to go to offset administrative cost of CNYRPDB
  • $50,000 loan cap – possibly 6 or 8 loans; maximum duration of loan is 5 years – to keep money flowing

Mr. Lesniak asked that handouts be provided to members prior to the meetings.  In answer to Mr. Lesniak, Mr. Klosowski explained that the $37,500 is a payment to CNYRPDB for their administration of the loan fund on behalf of the County.  The $450,000 is part of a block grant received by the County; the Facilities Management Dept. is in charge of the grant.  Mr. Lesniak questioned why the County is paying someone to handle this.  Mr. Klosowski said that Facilities Management is not set up to do loan processing, market the availability of a loan fund for various businesses.  The loans will go to a business who wants to go to make an energy efficiency improvement in their facilities.  Mr. Lesniak questioned paying $37,500 to advertise for eight loans.  Mr. Klosowski said it is for two years.

 

Mrs. Tassone questioned why the County would want to get into something like this.  Mr. Klosowski said that there was discussion about the various ways to use the funds in the black grant; this was proposed as a way to help businesses in the community make improvements.  Mrs. Rapp said that if the County was to administer this, it would have to hire someone to do it; this is vending the service out.  There is no expertise in house; there is an agency that already does this and has the capacity set up; the County is paying a fee to do that.  Mr. Bottar said that CNYRPDB has been administering loans since 1990; the cost to the County represents what CNYRPDB anticipates its cost would be.  For 8 loans they might meet with 30 companies, 20 might actually submit a loan application that CNYRPDB would have to do the loan underwriting on.  There is a considerable amount of staff time involved.  They currently administer three different loan sources now and have a good sense of the process.  It is $37,500 for two years; after the 2nd year; CNYRPDB would cover all of its costs out of the interest earned on the loans.  Mr. Lesniak asked about the 10% paid to CNYRPDB after the first two years.  Mr. Klosowski said that CNYRPDB will try to run it off of the interest on the loan and application fees.  If those are insufficient or a loan defaults, then CNYRPDB would be paid their actual cost to operate the fund.  It could potentially draw down off of the fund capitalization -- can’t draw any more than 10% of the total amount outstanding.

 

A motion was made by Mr. DeMore, seconded by Mr. Kinne to approve this item.  AYES:  4 (Rapp, DeMore, Kinne, Masterpole); NOES:  0; ABSTENTIONS:  3 (Tassone, Lesniak, Dougherty).  CARRIED.

 

        d.     A Resolution Authorizing the Replacement of Passenger Elevators in the Public Safety Building Office Tower In and For the County Of Onondaga, New York, at a Maximum Estimated Cost of $426,000, and Authorizing the Issuance of $426,000 Bonds of Said County to Pay the Cost Thereof ($426,000)

Mr. Lynch explained:

  • 2 main elevators, original to PSB 1961; Westinghouse elevators--no replacement parts for larger components
  • Advised that they are extremely close to code issues – keeping close eye on it
  • Shivs have been cleaned as much as possible – no more can be done – can’t get components to fix them
  • Project has been in capital plan for 10 years
  • $290k for entire downtown complex for the year--originally slated to receive $1.4 million for emergencies like this
  • Life safety concern

Mr. Kinne asked about the plan for the building and what the other concerns are.  He questioned if any money should be spent on the building until it is decided what will be done with it.  Mr. Lynch said 6 floors are utilized fully in the office tower; the jail is empty and closed.  Structurally the building has no issues--in great condition; from an interior standpoint there are several issues – major abatement issues, ceiling concerns, etc.  To construct a new building today, it would be 2.5 years before constructed and finished.  Mr. Millea said there is no plan for the PSB; no 5 year capital budget; nothing on the table to pursue in this budget or further budgets with regard to the PSB.  This is a danger and investment that needs to be made for the people that use the building.  Syracuse Police and Syracuse Fire are the only residents of the building.

 

In answer to Mrs. Rapp, Mr. Lynch indicated that they pay rent for the building via the abstract.  There is a capital chargeback of 61% City; 39% County (61% city owned; 39% county owned).  From a facilities standpoint, the building is in prime location, on district heating and cooling loop; there is a tunnel system in place utilized by the Sheriff’s Dept.  Hypothetically, the old jail could be torn down and a new office tower built adjacent – moving the current people into the new office tower – provides the staging area to renovate to Class A office space, the current PSB office space.  In answer to Mr. DeMore, Mr. Lynch said that the jail could be demolished and the office tower left – demolishing the jail will cost about $2.5 million.  Mr. Fisher said there has been no discussion about tearing the building down; there is no reason to think about that.  Office workers will be in there for the foreseeable future and they will need an elevator.

 

3Mr. Kinne left the meeting.

 

In answer to Mr. Dougherty, Mr. Lynch will report back to him on the amount of rent that the City pays.  Mr. Seitz said that the debt is slit 61% / 39%, for operating it is based on how much space the City occupies and they get billed on the abstract – they occupy about 85% of the building.

 

Mr. Lesniak would like the resolution to reflect a chargeback.  He said that there have been discussions about what to do with the Sherriff office space and the PSB – at one point there was discussion about knocking one building down and putting in parking – moving them into one building, which he feels is the best way to go.

 

Mr. Masterpole said that there are a lot of vacant downtown buildings; a vacant phone company building is two blocks away with parking in it.  He feels the PSB should be knocked down; a new building should not be built.  To build an office there for departments that rely on take home vehicles is a bad idea.  Mr. Lynch said the NYNEX building was studied.  There are several issues--a defunct building with no central heating and cooling.  The cost of the County he’s steam and chilled water is less than what would be paid in the NYNEX building.  NYNEX does not want to sell the entire building – offered 50 spots, as they want to lease out the entire building.  To upgrade the space, NYNEX wants to keep the same finishes that are in there – they are looking to make a profit.  Mr. Masterpole questioned why the police, Sheriff and fire have to be downtown.  Mr. Lynch said that they need to be in close proximity to the DA’s office and courts.  Mr. Masterpole said that he won’t support for bonding; there is cash and it should be paid for.  Mr. Fisher said that they don’t have cash – it was removed from the budget.  Mr. Masterpole said that the Comptroller has reported that sales tax is heavy; there is fund balance available.  Mr. Millea said that there is no objection to paying for it in cash and not bonding.

 

Mr. Fisher noted that there is a planning process; a 5 year capital improvement plan is the appropriate place to talk about the buildings and priorities.  The process is where conversations should occur regarding the downtown complex and what happens when an operating budget has monies taken out of it.  One of the reasons buildings become dumps is because they are not adequately funded.  Mr. Masterpole said that elevators are a key component of a building and should be part of a 5-year plan.  Mr. Fisher said that if the building is expected to run for many years, then it may make sense to share the costs of operating a building from not just the taxpayers of today but the taxpayers of 5 or 10 years – for however long it is being paid back.

 

In answer to Mr. DeMore, Mr. Lynch said that the County is self insured and agreed that  if there were an accident, the taxpayers would pay for it.

 

Mr. Lesniak said if it were paid in cash, the City would be responsible for 61% of it in cash.  If it were bonded, the 61% is over the period of the bonding.  Mr. Seitz said it would be in next year’s budget; billed the following year.  This will be bonded with other projects.  Mr. Millea added that the bonding process will not delay the Facilities action.

 

Mr. Dougherty asked if this is bonded for 10 years, what happens if the City pulls out of the building.  Mr. Seitz said that the building is a joint ownership; they own 61% of the bond; they are on the hook for 61% of the bond. 

 

A motion was made by Mrs. Rapp, seconded by Mr. DeMore to include language referencing 61% City, 39% County in the resolution.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

 

Mr. Masterpole made a motion to amend the resolution to not bond and pay cash for the project, seconded by Mr. Dougherty.  Mrs. Tarolli said that it would take an executive initiative; a different resolution would need to be approved.  Mrs. Rapp suggested  the resolution be presented to Ways & Means in writing.  After discussion, it was noted that this item will go to the Jan.18th session, prior to Ways & Means meeting. 

 

A motion was made by Mr. Lesniak to approve the resolution as amended included the 61% City, 39% County language, seconded by Mrs. Rapp to approve this item.  AYES:  5 (Rapp, Lesniak, Dougherty, Tassone, DeMore); NOES:  0; ABSTENTIONS:  1 (Masterpole).  MOTION CARRIED.

 

4.     VETERANS SERVICE AGENCY:  Robert McLean, Director

        a.     Transfer from Veterans 101 Acct. Reg. Empl. Sal. $3,905, DSS Admin. 101 Acct. Reg. Empl. Sal. $10,001 to Veterans 410 Acct All Other Expenses, $13,906

  • Slight increase in 2010 to bury indigent veterans and non-remarried spouses
  • Had estimated 50 occurrences and had 51
  • Average cost per burial was about $200 more than calculated
  • If there is no family to work with or consult with, then a full earth body burial is done
  • Had slightly higher proportion in full earth burials than the year before
  • Other variables:  whether or not providing a grave, a $500 cost; cost associated with working with DSS and public administer to make certain the indigent veteran has no funds available to apply towards the process

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

 

5.     OCC Board of Trustees Update - Meg O’Connell, Chair

  • 6th year on board; replaced David Murphy as Chair – Sept. 2010
  • Board of 10 – 5 from County; 4 from Governor; 1 student trustee (Mary Alice Brown)
  • Facilities are in prime condition – renovated many buildings
  • SRC arena being constructed now--exciting for college, students, community-- to open in 3/12 – on schedule
  • Will be building Music and Performing Art Center
  • Operational – appreciate County’s support and partnership
  • Facing more difficulties as a public institution in NYS – midyear cut from state last year
  • There is lobbying for even more cut backs
  • Increased tuition last year – trustees it is take this as a last resort
  • 12,000 students--understands how many are trying to make it through and so much of it is access.  If they have to keep increasing tuition, it is a real concern for the trustees

 

Mr. Lesniak referred to the contracts not being settled at OCC and urged the Board to try and resolve it.  He hears about it at every event he attends; legislators are getting phone calls and have no impact on it.  He spoke to Public Employees Relations Board to find out the process.  He found that there is no process for infinity.  The concern is not only tuition costs, but what kind of education the students are getting if staff are disgruntled.  Ms. O’Connell noted that is has been a concern; there is a contract in place; all are being paid; and there have been no cuts.  What was put on the table really had nothing to do with salaries; it has to do with health care benefits.  OCC’s liability for health care cost is $70 million; paying 90% of health care cost.  The board was asking that new hires come in at a different tier; the union refused to have a two-tier system.  The board is concerned about how it plays out to education of the students.  The fact finder report should be back by March 1st, which will become a public document; hoped the union leaders are looking at what is happening – referred to cuts at West Genesee School District.

 

Mr. Lesniak is concerned about the new arena being in competition with the Oncenter complex.  It was part of the discussion when the resolution was originally passed.  Now there is an advertisement for an event promoter.  A suggestion is that the college become part of the countywide facilities; OCC’s promotional staff be included with the County promotional staff; a coordination of the facilities through one area, rather than competing against County facilities.  Mrs. Rapp said that this was a topic of discussion at the CVB meeting this week, who have heard the message loud and clear – looking as events come in to place at the appropriate venue.  Ms. O’Connell said that competition is not a bad thing; it is just a different venue that the College is trying to create – Section 3 athletics alone is going to be a huge benefit.  Mr. Lesniak agrees, but does not want to see the College competing for something, i.e. ice follies, which the County is also doing.

 

The meeting was adjourned at 10:28 a.m.  

Respectfully submitted,

DEBORAH L. MATURO, Clerk

Onondaga County Legislature

 

 * * *

PLANNING & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE – JANUARY 13, 2011

KATHLEEN A. RAPP, CHAIR

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

ALSO PRESENT:  see attached list  

 

Chair Rapp called the meeting to order at 10:33 a.m.   She stated the agenda would be taken out of order to allow for a quick review of Lights on the Lake.

 

A motion was made by Mr. DeMore, seconded by Mr. Dougherty to waive the reading and approve the minutes of the proceedings from the previous committee meeting.   MOTION CARRIED.

 

6.     PARKS AND RECREATION: Bill Lansley, Commissioner; Ed Levine, President of Galaxy Communications

        a.     Update:  Lights on the Lake  

 

Wegmans Lights on the Lake • November 24, 2010 - January 9, 2011

 

The 21st edition of Central New York’s top holiday tradition, Wegmans Lights on the Lake, was a record setting year...

  • Before the show even officially opened, the Lights on the Lake Stroll and Dog Walk had over 11,500 visitors and raised $11,129 to benefit the Rescue Mission and the Humane Association of CNY.
  • Advanced ticket sales at Wegmans increased over 600%; 928 were sold last year...6,570 this year.
  • The official Lights program, published on Sunday, November 21 by The Post-Standard, reached over 200,000 readers.
  • Over $500,000 in promotional activity disseminated throughout Central New York included print, radio, television and billboard advertising.
  • The 3,000,000th visitor was welcomed to Lights on Tuesday, December 21 and went home with a 40” HDTV provided by Ultimate Electronics.
  • Over 7,000 visitors attended First Night CNY, a family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebration and Lights Walk-Thru, which featured a night full of live music with local legends, national class entertainment, a giant orange ball drop set in motion by SU icon Gerry McNamara, and a spectacular fireworks display over Onondaga Lake.
  • The official website, www.LightsontheLake.com, saw an increase in traffic of over 16% with nearly 62,000 pageviews during the run of the show.
  • Agreement with community partner, Galaxy Communications, insured no taxpayer dollars were at risk as all operating expenses were covered.
  • A record number of vehicles, 38,554, drove through the show passing the previous record of 36,922.

 

Total number of visitors to the 21st Annual Wegmans Lights on the Lake…192,143

Over 40% of the county population!

(2009-10 attendance - 178,933)

 

The following information was provided in response to questions:

  • Website, brand and show are owned by the county
  • Final 2010 numbers are not complete, estimate figures will be close to last year

 

Mr. Stanczyk stated that he would like to see the final gross and net figures.

 

  • $28,000 invested in LED bulb replacement for 2010 (no new displays)
  • Parks department determines display purchases
  • Galaxy Communications agreement provides for 10 year depreciated value on all display purchases

        (Example: $10,000 display purchased, Galaxy pays the county $1,000 for 10 years as long as the contract remains in effect)

 

Mr. Millea stated that there is revenue sharing through the Galaxy Communications agreement.   Mr. Stanczyk asked for detailed information of the contract.  Mr. Millea stated the information will be provided at the next meeting.

 

  • Galaxy Communications pays the county $320,000 each year, more than covering the cost of operating Lights on the Lake
  • 010 improvements include First Night CNY
  • $170,000 risk was assumed by Galaxy
  • First Night CNY returning for 2011
  • 2 year contract currently in place
  • Promotional advertising at the beginning and end of the show
  • Above the arch when there is a sponsor for an entire section
  • Galaxy Communications has been a media sponsor for 15 years who is sensitive to promotional advertising

 

Mr. Antonacci asked why an RFP was not used and suggested that additional funds could have been made through RFP negotiations.  Mr. Lansley stated that they had consulted the Law department and where told an RFP was not necessary for a revenue contract.  Mr. Stanczyk stated that his interpretation of a revenue contract is a contact used specifically for brining in money.  The County has a significant commitment in capital, assets, and personnel for Lights on the Lake.  Anytime this is referred to as a revenue contract he will make a strong exception; this is a two way contract.  

 

1.     ONCENTER:  Bill Fisher, Deputy County Executive

        a.     Confirming an Appointment to the Oncenter Board of Directors (Michael H. Kauffman)

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

 

        b.     Confirming Reappointment and Appointment to the Onondaga County Convention Center (Oncenter) Board of Directors (Lucien Ali, David Heymann) - Sponsored by Mr. Rhinehart

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

 

2.     INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY: Kenneth Beam, Chief Information Officer; Michele Clark, Deputy Chief Information Officer

        a.     Create R.P. 01 102700 1297, Network Administrator, Grade 12 @ $52,621 - $58,254 effective February 12, 2011

                Create R.P. 01 102700 1343, Senior Network Administrator, Grade 14 @ $64,463 - $71,411 effective February 12, 2011

                Create R.P. 01 102700 1345, Systems Administrator, Grade 12 @ $52,621 - $58,254 effective February 12, 2011

                Abolish R.P. 01 102700 0752, Systems Programmer, Grade 14 @ $64,463 - $71,411 effective February 12, 2011

                Abolish R.P. 01 102700 9931, Computer Tech Specialist, Grade 12 @ $52,621 - $58,254 upon successful completion of 

                Senior Network Administrator probation period

Ms. Clark distributed a spreadsheet detailing the changes requested. (See attachment 2)  

 

  • Positions presented as part of the budget process and are replacements for retired personnel
  • Grade 15 abolished in the Sheriff department as part of the budget
  • IT agreed to create a new Grade 12 position to take care of the Sheriff’s department. 
  • Plan calls for two new hires and one promotion
  • A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been created with the Sheriff department

 

In answer to Mr. Dougherty, Ms. Clark stated that there will be an increase to the IT department but the County as a whole will see a net decrease because of the Sheriff position.  The Grade 15 position is not listed on the resolution as it is not part of IT.  It was part of the Sheriff’s department. 

 

        b.     Amending the 2011 County Budget to Transfer Funds for the Reorganization of the Department of Information Technology ($62,743)

A motion was made Mr. Dougherty, seconded by Mr. Stanczyk to approve items 2a and 2b. Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

 

3.     DISCUSSION:  Approving an Alternative Allocation of Payments in Lieu of Taxes for the Shoppingtown Mall Project Pursuant to General Municipal Law 858(15) and Authorizing the County Executive to Agree to Such Alternative Allocation   

Tim Frateschi, Attorney

  • Owner believes ShoppingTown mall is being over-assessed
  • An Article 7 Tax Certiorari  was filed on Onondaga County, the Town of Dewitt and the Jamesville Dewitt school district 3 years ago
  • Mr. Frateschi does not represent ShoppingTown in this tax issue; he is assisting with economic development
  • ShoppingTown is the least profitable of the owners 71 retail facilities
  • If the Pilot is granted the tax certiorari proceedings will end
  • Town and school district will not be required to provide refunds for any overpaid taxes
  • Macerich and the Town of Dewitt agreed on a payment for over assessment
  • Macerich would pay additional funds beyond this amount to the IDA
  • These funds will be redistributed back to Macerich to be used as tenant refunds
  • Pilot was presented to the IDA this morning
  • Town passed resolutions agreeing to the distribution as proposed     
  • School district believes this is fair distribution
  • Current assessment at $54 million; paying $1.8 million in taxes
  • 67% school, 16% county, $13% town tax; percentages remain in the same with the Pilot
  • Assessment will be lowered somewhere between $25 and $30 million
  • Upon approval of Pilot, Macerich will reconsider the 2007 redevelopment plan
  • Either party may depart from the Pilot agreement if the redevelopment is not completed

 

Chair Rapp stated that there is a timeline for this resolution as the tax role must be completed by March 1st.  This resolution will be going to Ways and Means on January 25th and to Session for a vote on February 1st.

 

4.     OCDC and CRT Update:  Mary Beth Primo, Director

2010 CRT Projects

Name                                              Proj. Description                                                 Closing Date    Bond Amount

Syracuse University

Renovating, equipping and repairing certain existing campus facilities (Bowne Hall, Ernie Davis Residence Hall, Lawrinson Hall, and Winding Ridge Apartments on South Campus.

 

Acquisition of 8.78 acres of land, 15,200 sq. ft. one story warehouse, 19,103 sq. ft. office building and 2,000 sq. ft. pole barn.

 

Construction and equipping of a green data center on South campus at Skytop Road

Refunding the City of Syracuse IDA civic facility variable rate bonds (Current principal amount of $120 million Series 1999 A & B Bonds).

 

 

 

 

Jan. 2010

 

 

 

$165,000,000

 

 

Totals

 

 

$165,000,000

 

2010 OCDC Projects

Name                                          Proj. Description                                                       Closing Date   Bond Amount

St. Joseph’s Hospital Heath Center

 Refinancing of SIDA bonds that financed the following:

Construction of an approximately 253,000 square foot parking garage with a pedestrian bridge to the adjacent St. Joseph’s Hospital.

 

Construction of an approximately 60,000 square foot medical office building to be located on top of the north half of the parking garage

Acquisition and installation of certain fixtures, furnishings and equipment within these facilities.

 

Certain other improvements acquired and constructed in connection with the operation of the Hospital.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Will close in 2011

$40,000,000

St. Joseph’s Hospital Heath Center

Construction and equipping of approximately 361,000 additional square feet to the existing Hospital facility and the renovating and equipping of the Hospital.

 

Total project cost is approximately $220 million,  St. Joseph’s requested the Corporation issue up to $177 million of revenue bonds for the project.

 

$63,480,000 closed in July of 2010.  Remaining portion of $1,130,000 will close in

2011.

$177,000,000

Abbey Lane Housing Corp.

(ESF)

Acquisition of approximately 12.8 acres located at 100 -166 Oakland Avenue and a portion of Fineway Place in the City of Syracuse, Onondaga County.

 

Acquisition, installation and construction of a 4 story student housing complex consisting of approximately 454 beds, gathering space, floor lounges, computer lab, television lounge, laundry facility, vending machines, bike storage, with related infrastructure improvements including road, sewer, water and other related improvements.

 

Acquisition and installation in and around the improvements of certain items of furniture, furnishings, equipment, machinery, and other tangible property, funding a debt service reserve fund, and paying capitalized interest (if any), and certain other costs incidental to the issuance of Bonds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 2010

$32,000,000

 

 

Lemoyne

Construction and equipping a new science building.

 

Renovation and reconstruction of Grewen Hall, including classroom renovations, heating , ventilation and air conditioning improvements and construction of the Dolphin Den.

 

Reconstruction and expansion of roadways and parking lots and related site work and landscaping.

 

Renovations of existing academic and student housing facilities to extend the useful life, comply with mandated fire/safety code and environmental requirements.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 July 2010

$25,000,000

Upstate Properties Development Inc. (UPD)

$26,000,000 renovation of 21-story, 137,200 sq. ft. Townsend Tower.   Renovation will create residence facilities for 275 Upstate Medical University students. 

 

Renovation will retrofit 2 existing elevators, and include a new ADA compliant elevator, asbestos abatement, and a total reconstruction of the interior space.

 

Project will create single, double and four bedroom units, student lounges, and fitness and laundry facilities.

 

The site will also include 100+ parking spaces for student parking needs.

 

 

 

Will close in 2011

 

 

 

$26,000,000

Totals

 

 

$300,000,000

 

Ms. Primo handed out copies of the July 23, 2010 and December 20, 2010 memos listing grants awarded by the CRT (on file with the clerk).

 

  • Authorized Agencies not receiving county funding for 2011 requested and received 90% of the County Executive’s recommended funding via grants from the CRT
  • Awards will be paid on a quarterly basis with the first payment provided last week
  • Gifford Foundation IDEAS - Collaborative project received a $50,000 grant for the 2nd phase of their project
  • Main goal of the IDEAS project is to broaden audiences and build community support for over 40 arts and cultural organizations
  • 5 funding partners are working with the IDEAS project
  • 1st phase used to gather information
  • 2nd phase used to analyze data
  • 3rd phase will cost between $750,000 - $1,500,000
  • $100,000 currently in reserve for 3rd phase
  • Estimate 2011 ending balance to be $30,000, after administrative fees have been deducted

 

Ms. Primo provided a handout listing 2010 IDA projects (on file with the Clerk) and the following information on the revised grant guidelines:

 

Cultural Resources Trust of Onondaga County

Grant Guidelines

(Adopted 11-18-2010)

MISSION AND PURPOSE

    • Mission of the Cultural Resource Trust

As set forth in Article 20 and 22 of the Arts and Cultural Affairs Law of the State of New York, the mission of the Trust for Cultural Resources (Trust) is to support, promote and protect the major cultural institutions that provide cultural, educational and recreational opportunities to the people of Onondaga County and New York State, and improve the viability and growth of these organizations.

    • Purpose

Grants awarded by the Trust are intended to be used to support major cultural organizations by:

  • Developing and improving cultural facilities.
  • Providing support to preserve or stabilize major cultural organizations.
  • Assisting projects that will bring regional, national or international recognition to our arts and cultural community or otherwise deemed significant cultural events.

DEFINITIONS

2.1            The term “cultural organization” means:

  • An entity that is exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; and
  • Exists primarily for the purpose of producing, promoting or presenting the arts, heritage and humanities to the public or organized primarily for identifying, documenting, interpreting and preserving cultural resources.

2.2            A “major” cultural organization is an organization that exhibits or has more than one of these attributes:

  • Wide breadth of support
  • Established community presence
  • Fiscal soundness
  • Recognized regionally, nationally, or internationally as a significant cultural asset
  • Be the primary or premiere organization in the County offering this cultural resource or asset

GRANT PROGRAMS

3.1            Program Descriptions

Eligible major cultural organizations can apply for the following:

  •  Capital Project Grants
  • Capital Project grants are intended for use in constructing, rehabilitating, restoring, stabilizing, renovating, improving, expanding, or purchasing new or existing buildings, structures or equipment utilized by organizations.
  • Highly Significant Project Grants
  • Cultural opportunities deemed highly significant and desirable for the community.
  • Critical Need Grants
  • Critical need of a major cultural organization. 

PROGRAM ELIGIBILITY GUIDELINES

4.1            Organizations deemed to be major cultural institutions must satisfy the following program eligibility guidelines:

  • Capital Projects
  • The application for this grant must be for use in constructing, rehabilitating, restoring, stabilizing, renovating, improving, expanding, or purchasing new or existing buildings, structures or equipment utilized by organizations; and
  • The organization must either own or have (or will purchase or receive with grant proceeds) a legal interest in the property; and
  • The project must have potential for a significant or long-term beneficial impact on the community; and
  • Highly Significant Projects
  • Must provide compelling evidence that establishes that the cultural opportunity will impart a significant benefit to the residents of the County and/or New York State.
  • Critical Need Projects
  • The request for funding must support a critical need of a major cultural organization.
  • The applicant should describe in detail how the lack of a grant award will adversely affect the organization.

APPLICATION PROCESS

5.1            How to Apply

Applicants are encouraged to submit applications only if there is a reasonable match between the applicant and its request and the Trust’s mission and eligibility requirements.

To be considered for a grant, the Applicant must submit the formal grant application which should include:

  • Proof of IRS 501(c) (3) designation; and
  • A project description of no more than three (3) pages (see details below); and
  • The most recently approved Annual Report of the Organization; and
  • For capital grants, organization must either own or have a legal interest (or will purchase or receive a legal interest with grant proceeds) in the property.

5.2            Application Project Description

In addition to satisfying the eligibility guidelines of section 4.1, each application should also include a project description that provides the Board with a thorough understanding of the project and its impact on the residents of the county/state.

The required information on all project description applications must include:

  • Description of the project and its core activities and its goals.
  • Number of persons and geographic distribution to be served directly by the project.
  • Detailed description of all sources and uses of funding required to complete the project and also identify the funds that have already been committed.

5.3            Evaluation of Applications

Once deemed eligible, the application will be further evaluated based on:

  • Access: The likelihood of the project to increase the accessibility of cultural resources to the residents of the county/state.
  • Preservation:   The likelihood of the project to preserve the cultural heritage of the county/state by recovering, preserving or protecting historic assets.
  • Appreciation:  The likelihood of the project to broaden the public knowledge, understanding or appreciation of the arts and culture generally, and/or the county/state’s cultural, educational and recreational assets.
  • Project Personnel:  The project personnel are qualified.

5.4      Application Period

Applications are accepted biannually.  For Spring awards, applications should be submitted no later than April 1st.  For Fall awards, applications should be submitted no later than October 1st.  Applicants’ will receive written notice of the Board’s decision within 60 days of application deadline.

5.5            Submission of Applications

  • Grant applications and attachments may be submitted to the Trust by ground mail or by electronic mail. To submit an application by ground mail, please send 10 copies of the grant application and attachments to: 

The Cultural Resources Trust of Onondaga County

421 Montgomery Street, 14th Floor

Syracuse, NY 13202

Attn: Kristi Smiley

Economic Development Department

  • PDF documents of executed grant applications and attachments may be submitted electronically to: ksmiley@ongov.net 
  • Electronic submission of the Application and Annual Report is encouraged.  Attachments other than the Annual Report of the organization are discouraged.
  • A qualified organization may only submit one application per year.
  • Please call the Trust at 315-435-3770, if you have questions about the application process or the availability of funding.      

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

  • The Trust has a very limited pool of funds that it can dedicate to grants.  Applications may be returned to the Applicant and/or not considered by the Board solely due to the lack of available funding. 
  • The Board of the Trust reserves the sole right to determine the eligibility of an organization.

In response to questions the following information was provided:

  • $721,350 received from bond issuance fee
  • $491,000 grants awarded
  • $75,000 paid to the county in 2010
  • $40,000 used for administration fees of the office
  • $30,000 went into the general fund
  • $77,213 will be paid to the county in 2011
  • Additional $24,000 in office expenses each year; used to cover attorney, auditor and insurance
  • Project costs are paid by the developer
  • NYS Comptroller requires audited reports each year
  • The Economic Development office puts the meetings together, produces annual reports, create guidelines and reviews each grant

 

In answer to Mr. Stanczyk, Ms. Primo stated the attorney is used to represent the board and answer any legal questions.  Mr. Stanczyk asked why the county attorney was not used.  Ms. Primo stated this is a separate board hiring their own attorney.  Mr. DeMore questioned if the county could provide this service; it could be considered free services.  Mr. Fisher stated that he has been advised by the county attorney to have as much separation as possible for liability and risk purposes between Onondaga County and the Onondaga County Development Corp.  

 

Mr. Stanczyk stated that $200,000 in fees was excessive.  Mr. Fisher stated that he believes over time the fees will go done.  When you first start up a board there is a lot of work that goes into the guidelines, policies and procedures.  Chair Rapp stated the question is are we paying a premium to the county to provide this service.  

 

In answer to Chair Rapp, Ms. Primo stated that OCDC pays more.  The percentage of staff time devoted to each board is determined and the budget is split accordingly.  Chair Rapp stated that the goal was to have the Economic Development department supported by projects, not tax dollars.

 

Updates for 2011

  • 3 seminars planned for 2011 brining economic development professionals to the public
  • 1st seminar “Manufacturing resources, increasing the bottom line from the inside out”

                        59 preregistered, representing 50 manufacturing business

                        Being held today from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. at the Holiday Inn

Presentation will showcase how JR Clancy and Syracuse Labels have used economic development to assist in their business processes

  • 2nd seminar will be held on Feb. 1, 7:45 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. at the Genesee Grand

                        Seminar will detail financing of capital projects 

                        VIP Structures and BS&K will provide assistance

                        95 preregistered

  • 3rd seminar is planned for May

                        Targeting small business needs

 

5.     COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT:  Bill Fisher, Deputy County Executive

        a.     A Local Law Amending the Onondaga County Administrative Code in Relation to the Onondaga County Division of Community Development within the Office of they County Executive

Resolution was pulled by the sponsor for further consideration.

        b.     Confirming the Appointment of Robert S. DeMore as Director of the Onondaga County Division of Community Development

Mr. Fisher stated that without the local law, there is no need for approving this item.  As it stands today the County Executive appoints someone to this position.  The civil service position was removed and a Director of Community Development position was added to the 2011 budget.  The County Executive is asking that a local law be passed to clean up the Charter and Code in reference to this position.  Currently it states that the Community Development Director reports to Economic Development.  The local law would revise the Charter and Code to clarify that Community Development is independent and does not report to Economic Development.  The County Executive would appoint the director with approval from the legislature; making it consistent with other department heads.

 

Mr. Stanczyk made a motion to approve the Local Law.  Chair Rapp stated that the local law has been pulled from the desk at the request of the sponsor.

 

In answer to Ms. Williams, Mr. Fisher stated the former position was titled Community Development Administrator.  The Director position would perform the same duties.   Chair Rapp stated the position is going from a tested civil service position to an appointed position.  Ms. Williams questioned why this is just being addressed at this time.   Mr. Stanczyk stated that Community Development has expanded significantly from what was envisioned in 1970. 

 

Mr. Stanczyk moved to vote on item 5a and 5b. 

 

Chair Rapp made a motion to approve item 5b.  Mr. Fisher stated that without 5a there was nothing to approve.   The County Executive has the authority to appoint to this position.   The legislature does not have a say in the matter without the local law.   

 

Mr. Stanczyk seconded the motion to approve 5b, with the assumption that a local law would be passed. 

 

In answer to Ms. Williams, Ms. Tarolli stated that the board could vote on 5b without the local law.  The local law must be on the desk by January 21st in order to be considered at the February 1, 2011 session.

 

A vote was taken on the resolution.  Ayes:  4  Abstained:  1 (DeMore); MOTION CARRIED.

 

The meeting was adjourned at 11:57 a.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Katherine M. French, Deputy Clerk

Onondaga County Legislature

* * *

WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE MINUTES – JANUARY 25, 2011

CHAIRMAN CASEY JORDAN

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Mr. Lesniak, 4Mr. Kilmartin, 5Mr. Buckel, Mr. Corbett, Mr. Stanczyk, Mr. Holmquist,

1Mr. Warner, 2, 3Kinne

ALSO ATTENDING:  see attached list

 

Chairman Jordan called the meeting to order at 8:31 a.m.  A motion was made by Mr. Lesniak, seconded by Mr. Kilmartin, to waive the reading and approve the minutes of proceedings of the previous committee meeting.

 

CONSENT AGENDA:

1.     STOP DWI:

        a.     Amending the 2010 County Budget to Reappropriate 2009 Surplus Stop DWI Funds ($7,975)

2.     DISTRICT ATTORNEY:

        a.     Amending the 2011 County Budget to Provide the Office of the Onondaga County District Attorney with Additional Funds Beyond the Estimated Dollars Appropriated in the 2011 County Budget and Authorizing the County Executive to Enter into Contracts to Implement this Resolution ($14,438)

3.     OCPL:

        a.     Amend 2011 Budget to Accept Funds for the OCPL from the Literacy Coalition of Onondaga County ($6,530)

        b.     Amending the 2011 County Budget to Accept Funds for the Onondaga County Public Library 2011 Summer Reading Program ($5,000)

        c.     Amend 2011 Budget to Accept Funds for the OCPL from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and Authorizing the County Executive to Enter into Contracts to Implement this Resolution ($6,000)

4.     VETERANS SERVICE AGENCY:

        a.     Transfer from Veterans Service Agency Acct. 101 Reg. Empl. Sal. $3,905 and DSS Admin. Acct. 101 Reg. Empl. Sal.  $10,001 to Veterans Service Agency 410 Acct. All Other Expenses ($13,906)

5.     TRANSPORTATION:

        a.     Amending the 2010 County Budget in the County Road Fund to Provide for the Purchase of Road Salt ($200,000)

        b.     Approving the Right of Way Acquisition Phase of the Velasko Road Safety Reconstruction Project, PIN 3753.29, Agreeing to Participate and Pay Up to 100 Percentage of the Non-Federal Share of the Project and Accepting Title to the Acquired Right of Way

        c.     Amend 2011 County Budget to Fund in the First Instance 100% of the Federal Aid Eligible Costs at a Maximum of $308,000 for the Design (Scoping I-VI) and Right of Way Incidentals of the Rural Paving Project, PIN 3755.55 and Authorizing the County Executive to Enter into Agreements to Implement the Intent of this Resolution ($308,000)

 

A motion was made by Mr. Holmquist, seconded by Mr. Lesniak to approve all items listed on the Consent Agenda.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

 

REGULAR AGENDA

 

Chairman Jordan stated that the agenda would be taken out of order and item 5a would be addressed first.

 

5.     PURCHASE:

        a.     Monthly Revenue Contracts Report (attachment #1) Sean Carroll, Director

  • Discussions with sponsor of original legislation and majority leadership – Ways to be efficient from a Purchasing perspective and satisfy Legislature’s need for oversight
  • Draft resolution presented – looking for action next month
  • Clarification of spread sheets:
  • At a previous presentation - he stated that all IMAs had gone through the legislature – 2 issues raised: 

1.     Student Assistance Program – on the list incorrectly – program used to be a joint process, county put some dollars towards it and Oasis Program covered most of the cost; school district submitted some payment for councilors within the schools.  In the 2009 budget the legislature acted to no longer have SAP be part of a county process.  The contracts are no longer active, but show up in the data base.  They have been replaced with an RFP.

Mr. Lesniak questioned why they are going out for RFP.  Mr. Carroll explained that they are not from County dollars; in order to preserve integrity of program and RFP was put out – all funds for the program are from Oasis, State funding.  In order to drive the cost of program down, the Mental Health Dept. facilitated an RFP for the school districts.  To his knowledge, they are not county employees.  Mr. Fisher stated that there is no county involvement.  Mr. Carroll will find out if there are any county dollars involved.

2.     Live Scan Store and Forward – from res. 166-2004 – the resolution does not identify the dollar amount ($1,000), authorizes entrance into the contracts.  The budget was about $15,000.

In answer to Mr. Lesniak, Mrs. Tarolli said that whoever initiated the contract would have determined the dollar amount; she will research to find out when it was negotiated.  Mr. Carroll said that software was paid through grant money; all groups are sharing in the maintenance; expects that $1,000 is a backing out of the maintenance fee.

 

1Mr. Warner arrived at the meeting.

 

  • Draft resolution - still language missing relating to legacy contracts; getting closer to addressing issues
  • Revenue contracts 12/15 – 1/13 – 3 items - 2 items being held, not priorities to push immediately, but would like to resolve the issue.  Other item – receipt of money from state – state owes county money – wireless surcharges

2 Mr. Kinne arrived at the meeting.

 

Chairman Jordan referred the sponsorships for Lights on the Lake and asked how the level of sponsorship is determined.  Mr. Carroll said that they accommodate the levels sponsorships.  They are advertising revenues that go through Purchasing, not through the sponsor.  Chairman Jordan asked what someone gets in exchange for their sponsorship, i.e. $1,000 vs. $8,000; questioned the methodology.  Mr. Carroll said that each display is different sizes, of different nature, opportunity to do in-kind radio sponsorship, print media, etc.  He believes there is a sponsorship level for every dollar that someone wants to give, but would have to defer to the Parks Department.

 

Mr. Stanczyk asked for a full financial detail of Lights on the Lake from the Parks Department.  Mr. Casey asked that the information be provided at next month’s meeting.  Mr. Carroll will follow up with the Parks Department.  Mr. Stanczyk suggested that it be brought before Fiscal Ways and Means.

 

Chairman Jordan referred to the contract for $250k for logging.  Mr. Carroll said that the contract has expired; the legislature ordered a new contract for logging.  They are pursuing the legislative order to go out for a logging RFP.  The $250k is the dollar amount of the previous contract; expired 2 years ago.  Each time the contract is done, the revenue will differ based on the quantity of trees and their health.  Chairman Jordan asked what budget year is the $250k revenue from.  Mr. Carroll did not know.

 

Chairman Jordan asked about concession revenues – questioned if it is net revenue or gross.  Mr. Carroll will find out and clarify.  Chairman Jordan noted that for future reports he would like to know if a percentage of a number is being received, what the number is – net or gross.

 

Chairman Jordan asked about Auctions International, online auction services – questioned what the auction proceeds are.  Mr. Carroll said that it depends on whether selling a desk or car.  In last year’s annual report, near $700k was cited in recoverable dollars, approximately half of it was County and half was for other municipalities.  The year before that was $500k.  There is no dollar amount in the contract; there is only the auction company pass through of a $1 charge for photos of lots and letting process.  All revenues are returned to the county; no charge to the county for the auction process.  The buyer is charged a buyer fee.  Chairman Jordan asked if once the auctions occur, he would assume Purchasing would come back to the legislature to request authorization to accept the auction proceeds.  Mr. Carroll said that the contract was done under an RFP; proceeds go into the general revenue fund; they don’t go back to a department.  Chairman Jordan asked if Mr. Carroll would be coming back to the legislature seeking approval to accept the monies generated from the auctions.  Mr. Carroll said “no”; the contract does not require him to do that.  Mr. Seitz said that typically they would not come to committee unless they wanted to appropriate the auction proceeds for some other expense purpose.  They look every year and try to trend how much auction revenues they’ll receive and appropriate it as revenue in the budget to support some expenditures.  They certainly can come to committee and advise what they have received.  Chairman Jordan said that given the current situation, nationwide, statewide, and in the county, there are a lot of constituents upset with how the taxes have gone up.  He is interested in knowing about the monies going into the County and going out of the County.  It is the legislature’s job and what legislators are elected to do.  Mr. Carroll said that they are proud of the program and happy to share the information.  Chairman Jordan asked that the information be incorporated into future reports to the Committee.

 

In answer to Chairman Jordan, Mr. Carroll explained that EPI revenue is part of the pass through on the epidemiology grant (state dollars).  CAPS is Sheriff’s Dept. software; Mr. Schuster explained it is the same as Live Scan and Store and RICI Access.  Regarding Murbro Parking Lot and Auburn Memorial Hospital, Mr. Carroll said that he is still researching them.

 

Mr. Stanczyk said that the committee seems to be getting one side of the equation regarding the revenue contracts.  He referred to two contracts with Citadel Broadcasting each for $100,000 in-kind radio; he assumes the County has some other relationship with them.  Mr. Carroll suspects that they are the only radio station allowed to advertise, so they get the exclusive rights and pay for it with free advertising.  Regarding Coca Cola Enterprises, it is exclusivity; they pay the County $15,000 up front and $16,500 in commission.  Mr. Stanczyk asked if it was negotiated, or is it negotiated or renegotiated from time to time against a potential signing with Pepsi.  Mr. Carroll said that it is an active contract that went through a competitive process.  Regarding Murbro Parking--WEP for lease of space, Mr. Carroll said that it is the lease for the Trolley Lot for the CSO project; Murbro Parking is the only ones that can lease that parking lot – he is still researching it.  Mr. Stanczyk said that it seems a lot of these revenue contracts are just contracts and this legislature should, if not involved in them, at least be aware of them.  Mr. Carroll said that the reason they are contracts is because there is an exchange of value; a cash exchange for service.  The difference between these and gifts is that the County has some obligations also – in many cases it is to take the grant money and pass it along; no expenditures on the County’s part.  Mr. Stanczyk referred to the Charter in terms of who has responsibility for what – the County Executive has the responsibility to receive gifts.  In acknowledgement of the fact that time, money and efforts of the County are involved, it is no longer a revenue contract--the County is being put on the line for something and the Legislature should have oversight.

 

Mr. Lesniak asked how many of the revenue contracts on the list are current/active.  Mr. Carroll said that he will add a column on the report.  Mr. Lesniak referred to the logging contract, which is not an active contract; Mr. Carroll agreed and said that it is listed so that everything was captured.  He said a logging RFP is going out in accordance with the recommendation from this legislature.  Mr. Lesniak said that the recommendation was vetoed; questioned what the revenue projection is from it.  Mr. Carroll said that they are looking for the vendors to tell the County how much value it has.  Mr. Lesniak said that he would like the report to reflect current contracts and those in the works.  Mr. Lesniak referred to the draft resolution and said that he doesn’t see outright gifts listed as exceptions.  Mr. Carroll said that the resolution in December specifically identified gifts as an exemption.

 

Regarding the logging contract, Mr. Warner said that he would like to meet with Mr. Carroll and look at the contract.

 

Mr. Buckel asked if the total dollar value has been computed for all of these contracts.  Mr. Carroll said that a wide variety of them are commissions; Purchasing executes the contracts and does not see the revenue stream, as it goes to the Comptroller’s office.  Mr. Buckel said that he does not want to micro manage what the executive authority is after the legislature approves a budget or program, but would like to know if there is a sense that the county is losing money by any of these types of revenue opportunities.  If so, is there a recommendation from a policy standpoint.  Mr. Carroll said that he believes the answer is “no”; if looking at the contracts on a whole then maybe there is one where the number may be $1,000 and not $1,500.  When looking at them in general, especially in advertising, people want value and are selling them a sign in front of something that is already being done.  To turn a person away because they only want to give $1,000, instead of the $1,500 that the County may want to get for a sign, seems counter intuitive to try to keep as much money in the budget as possible.  If there is a set rate sheet, and the rate sheet states $1,000, no one will ever pay $2,000.  He noted that some of the resolutions are a little dated; there may be an opportunity to update the dollar amount when the contracts are renewed to reflect current dollars.  Mr. Buckel said that there are two or three goals.  When using county assets, such as the parks, there are costs associated with it – want to ensure that we are maximizing revenue from those assets; done in a way that is open, fair and transparent.  He asked Mr. Carroll to think about what the policies are to achieve these goals.  Mr. Carroll said that especially on advertising, he can’t imagine the County turning away any advertiser because they are with one side or another.  When there is completely an unlimited opportunity to advertise, there is no reason tell a person to go away.  Mr. Buckel said that when there is no policy, it generates second guessing.

 

Mr. Kilmartin referred to in-kind radio and asked if it is radio time provided to the County and a quid pro quo contract.  Mr. Carroll said that typically when there is a $100,000 of advertising; the programs attached to it can’t afford it.  When owning one third of the radio stations in Onondaga County, Citadel gives the County air, they have put a value on it.  They would be identified as the radio sponsor and probably get a live feed at the event.  Mr. Carroll agreed that it is for Parks programs, i.e. Balloon Fest, and other County initiatives.

 

Regarding the logging issue, Mr. Kilmartin asked if historically, past 5 years, how often the county has undertaken an annual logging contract.  Mr. Carroll said that there is one cut scheduled; the only cut he is aware of.  Because of a number of cumbersome processes to get the logging done, the value of the logging moves – based on when it is cut, etc.  A consultant is needed, which is what the RFP is for.  The scheduled cut is for 2011 – a logging forestry management RFP is almost ready to go out.  It is for a lot of acreage, does not expect the turnaround time to be two weeks.  Mr. Kilmartin asked if the RFP is specific to log certain areas or if it is a comprehensive review of everything the County has for trees.  Mr. Carroll said “both”; stating that the Legislature created a revenue line in the Parks Dept. budget for $100,000.  Mr. Kilmartin asked for clarification on that statement.  Mrs. Stanczyk said that the Legislature created the line, but the actual dollar amount was vetoed.  Mr. Kilmartin said it is good that the contract is going forward; it would be better if the revenue projection were $200,000 – twice what the legislature projected before it was vetoed.  Mr. Carroll cautioned against using the $200,000 as a benchmark.  Mr. Fisher said that we owe ourselves money for that; there is a project account in the deficit of $750,000 – built the lodge and haven’t sold enough logs to pay ourselves back.  The Executive Office would like to use the money from any logging coming out of Highland Forest to pay the bill.

 

Mr. Kinne referred to Lights on the Lake – wants to create revenue from it, but needs to be careful about commercialization.  There should be some type of standard, set rules regarding how much the County would get for certain sizes of signs, sign location, and placement.  Feels more money should be received for a sign at the beginning or at the end rather than somewhere in the middle.  He asked to be provided with information on this topic so that it can be evaluated.  Mr. Carroll deferred to the Parks Dept., but cautioned that if the threshold is set at $1,000 and someone wants to give $800, it is a hard process in these economic times to turn away the $800.  Chairman Jordan stated that if the County asks $1,000 and someone comes in and offers $800 or $750, then why put a price out there in the first place.  No one will want to spend $1,000 because it is wishy-washy.  Mr. Kinne said there are people available with experience in this and questioned if anyone has been consulted; there has to be benchmark. 

 

Mr. Warner said that he will personally stay out of the logging contract, but reinterred that he wants to speak to Mr. Carroll about the issue.  The County has property with tremendous timber on it, and possibly Mr. Carroll may not realize where and what it is. 

 

Mr. Lesniak that expiration dates of contacts be provided on the reports.

 

1.     SHERIFF:  Chief John Balloni

        a.     Amending 2011 Budget to Accept Federal Homeland Security Funds for the Sheriff’s Office and Authorizing the County Executive to Enter into Contacts to Implement this Resolution ($49,500)

Used to purchase an explosive detection K-9 and a K-9 ready response vehicle.  

 

Mr. Kilmartin noted:

  • County is eligible to receive an SUV and dog to be part of the K-9 program
  • A number of dogs have passed away or moved on in recent years – staff of K-9s within the unit is depleted
  • It would be an asset to have an additional dog in the program and to receive the vehicle
  • MOU is being worked on whereby the City and County might work in concert with the K-9 units; possibly consolidation of units

 

Chief Balloni noted the following regarding the MOU and K-9 Unit:

  • There has been 2 meetings with the City
  • It has not been taken to the Law Dept. yet, as the details are not finalized to write into an MOU
  • MOU would formalize an informal process which has been going on for long time –if the County does not have a dog available, then the City would provide the County one and vice-versa
  • In 2010 the County went into the City 58 times
  • K-9s are an expensive asset and unit to have; if the unit can be downsized while still getting the availability of dogs when needed, then it is a win-win for City and County
  • Last year the County had 4 dogs over 8 years old; 8-10 years of age is the useful life of Sheppard
  • Looking at a major cost in rebuilding the size of the unit; evaluated the size and decided to downsize and move towards cooperation with the City
  • Would reduce the number of take-home vehicles by 3
  • Helps the patrol force; K-9 unit personnel can be used on the road
  • Dog paid for by Homeland Security and will supply a vehicle at a time when the department is not supplied any new vehicles by the County
  • Vehicle does not expand size of fleet – will retire a vehicle; will maintain a new vehicle instead of a vehicle with 90,000 – 100,000 miles on it

In answer to Chairman Jordan:  Chief Balloni said that the SPD, per their annual report, indicated that they handled 5,298 K-9 calls – it is everything that unit did – it could be writing a ticket and nothing to do with a dog.  The Sheriff’s Dept. compared its stats and determined that they had 4812 calls.  There were 735 calls that needed the dog.  The County is facing losing 4 dogs; each dog is to be retrained with an individual team (deputy and dog as a team) –requires 13 weeks of training. 

 

In answer to Mr. Lesniak:  Chief Balloni said that the vehicle will be assigned to whoever is assigned to supervise the K-9 unit.  A K-9 may not necessarily be in the vehicle.  Regarding the bloodhound; it can still be in service, living at Heliport; not assigned to a specific handler at this point.  The number of call outs for the handler are very small.  A Bloodhound’s sense of smell is many times better than a German Sheppard; a German Sheppard’s sense of smell is many times better than a human being.  There are two explosive dogs now; slightly more drug dogs.  Mr. Lesniak asked to be provided with detail of the dogs and what their specialties are, and which dogs will be removed from the unit.  Regarding training, Chief Balloni said that they were working with the City right now on training.  Sheriff’s Dept has an instructor that has been in training with the Unit; the instructor that they had was reassigned to the road.  They are not doing regional classes now; had received $6,200, but it costs many times that to put on a class.  Mr. Lesniak asked to be provided with a breakdown of it.

 

Mr. Stanczyk asked if the City is doing any consolidation.  Chief Balloni said that he does not know the City’s specific plans.  Mr. Stanczyk said he is concerned that if the County has less dogs than it needs and has to pull on the resources of the City, will the County be compensating the City.  Chief Balloni said that the compensation has been quid pro quo; believes the needs in the City are greater on a daily basis than the County’s.  In answer to Mr. Stanczyk, Chief Balloni said that the 735 K-9 calls were inclusive of the City calls. The City has been called out to help the County; he could run the numbers to CHAIRS to know how many calls there were.

 

Mr. Buckel asked for a breakdown of the associated costs with the grants.  Mr. Buckel said that he provided a breakout to Public Safety Committee and will provide to Mr. Buckel.  Mr. Buckel referred to results from the 700 calls – how many times was a K-9 successfully used to make an arrest.  Mr. Lesniak noted that it is not necessarily a result and gave the example of a bomb threat in a school with one dog; the amount of time for the dog to scan the school, and how much the school is spending taking the kids to another location.  He does not think there would be break down of numbers of what the actual costs would be.  Mr. Buckel said to that if there is a bomb threat at a school and the unit is deployed, uncovered that there is no threat, then that is a result that needs to be reported in a cost benefit analysis.  Chief Balloni said that they can break out the bomb threat calls from the 735 calls.  Chief Balloni said that they are not keeping enough statistics on this; they believe in the value of the dogs; some results are more esoteric and harder to measure.  In this case, the Dept. of Homeland Security is pointing them in a direction – he strongly suspects that it is being done for a reason.  Mr. Buckel said that the legislature needs to have specific reasons if appropriating money also.

 

Mr. Corbett asked if the cage/quick release in the vehicle is able to be pulled out.  Mr. Balloni said it is.  Mr. Corbett asked if a specific bomb dog or specific drug dog can be used in an urban setting as burglary/fugitive take down specialist.  Chief Balloni said that they can be; they are trained for other things.  Mr. Lesniak said regarding a cost analysis, the dog as part of the team, is a second person on a call -- it is a lot less expensive when compared to retirement costs.

 

In answer to Mr. Stanczyk, Chief Balloni said that he vehicle will not be a take-home vehicle.

 

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

 

2.     SOCIAL SERVICES:  Steve Morgan, Executive Deputy Commissioner

        a.     Amend 2010 Budget to Increase Appropriations Within the DSS to Accept Addl Revenue ($4,800,000)

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

  • Increase appropriations and offset revenue in temporary assistance accounts – Safety Net and Family Assistance
  • Caseload was driven up more than anticipated in double digit ranges
  • Safety Net projected to be $2.1 million over budget; Family Assistance projected to be $2.7 million over budget
  • Both programs garner federal and state reimbursement – surplus stimulus for Medicaid; $0 local dollars; no additional fund balance appropriation

In answer to Mr. Kilmartin, Mr. Morgan said that the $4.8 million revenue does not have to be allocated to Safety Net and Family Assistance.  Mr. Seitz said it will come in as revenue in general surplus in the Medicaid line.  Mr. Stanczyk said that $3.1 million are the monies specific from the government to pay for the $4.8 million expense.  The other $1.8 million is a county expense.  Mr. Morgan said that the way the County pays its share of Medicaid bills is on a weekly basis; State takes a prescribed amount of money from the County’s bank account every week.  When the Medicaid stimulus bill was passed, the State reduced the counties liability on an estimated basis throughout the year.  At the end of the year the State does a reconciliation--determines if a sufficient amount was given to the county--that is what this excess amount of money is a result of.  In answer to Mr. Kilmartin, Mr. Morgan noted that the news of the reconciliation was in the fall of 2010; a windfall of $4.8 million after the budget process of unexpected revenue. 

 

Mr. Stanczyk said that when the year is closed out, there will be a tremendous surplus – he estimated $13 million - $18 million for 2010.  Mr. Rowley noted that his 3rd quarter forecast reported a surplus; this program and the increases from FMAP is built into that, and does not affect his forecast numbers.  Mr. Kilmartin asked if $4.8 million of revenue was expected to come in for the county via this vehicle; Mr. Rowley said “not in the budget”.  He agreed with Mr. Kilmartin statement that this is above and beyond a budget calculation.

 

In answer to Chairman Jordan, Mr. Morgan said that the calculation for temporary assistance is a pretty prescribed formula; the Medicaid stimulus is very unique.  Chairman Jordan said that the $1.8 is what the County is obligated to pay; the other $3 million is coming from the State and the County didn’t budget for.  Mr. Morgan agreed.  Chairman Jordan said that the County should have been able to calculate the additional amount that would be received by the State because expenses were more than anticipated.  Mr. Morgan said that they are two different items – programmatic and stimulus.  Every year when DSS presents its budget, they estimate what will be spent on the programs; the revenue associated with the programs is usually formula driven and straight forward to understand.  Once the County determines that it will be over budget, it will bring in more revenue.  If he projects a certain expense for budget purposes, he also appropriates the revenue associated with it.  The additional $3 million received cannot be factored into the budget because he does not know how much will be spent; it was for 2010 not 2011.  Mr. Buckel clarified that in 2010 the County had to spend this money because of an increased caseload – spent more than anticipated.  As a consequence, the County will also obtain reimbursement that it didn’t anticipate and be responsible for a local share that wasn’t anticipated.  The issue is how to cove the local share with the $1.8 million.  He asked if there is any restriction on the use of these FMAP monies.  Mr. Rowley said that there are no restrictions.

 

AYES:  8; NOES:  0; Out of Room:  1 (Lesniak).  MOTION CARRIED.

 

3.     BOARD OF ELECTIONSEd Ryan, Commissioner

        a.     Transfer from 410 All Other Expenses to 960 Provisions for Capital Projects, $200,000

  • Savings in account due to the print shop remaining open and reduction in number of polling places - $200,000
  • Anticipated that $65k bonded and $135k paid for the building was not going to be enough to renovate building
  • $200k savings will be used to rehabilitate the building
  • Appling to State under HAVA grant for reimbursement for parking lot for handicapped and two double doors
  • Appling to Feds for a 1,660’ room to teach; reimbursement for laboratories, a $25,000 expense.

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

 

Mr. Kilmartin asked if Mr. Lynch has taken charge of the execution of the project and the rehab work.  Mr. Lynch said that he has; there is a schematic design in place.  Mr. Ryan said that he had hoped to get in the building by December 2010.  Mr. Lynch has committed to the completion of the training room and laboratories by the end of April.  In answer to Mr. Kinne, the building is on Erie Blvd., corner of Geddes St. & Erie Blvd.

 

Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

 

4.     COUNTY CLERK:  Ann Ciarpelli, County Clerk

        a.     Authorizing NYS Reimbursement for 2011 Expenses for the Recording Officer for the County of Onondaga for Administration of Mortgage Taxes

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

 

Mr. Stanczyk asked about the mortgage tax receipts compared to last year; Mrs. Ciarpelli did not have the numbers with her, but believed it was down from last year.

 

Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

Mrs. Ciarpelli asked to update the committee:

  • FAVOR program – 900 veterans signed up; 75-80 businesses participating; staff participates on their own time; no county funds support the program
  • Computer system – up and running – 60%-75% in place – stared January 1st
  • Going to City of Syracuse to discuss delinquent taxes – there is a loosely run program in the County Clerk’s office, which takes care of delinquent taxes filed by City – very time consuming – can’t charge the City for the service.  With staff cuts in last 2 years, program is affected.  Hopes to find a way to get help with this program.  Gets $5 revenue for filing delinquent tax form

 

Mr. Stanczyk asked if there is the same issue with towns.  Mrs. Ciarpelli said that the County Finance Department could take over the delinquent taxes; not the same issue because Real Property Tax Service handles the filing for the towns. 

 

Mr. Kinne asked what the process is for notifying a municipality if a house is sold in the city or town.  Mrs. Ciarpelli said that once the deed is filed in the County Clerk’s office, then it goes over to Real Property Tax Service, who does the notification.  Chairman Jordan said that a form is filed that gets sent to the municipalities to notify them of the transfer of property.

6.     INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY:  Ken Beam, Commissioner

        a.     Create R.P. 01 102700 1297, Network Administrator, Gr. 12@$56,621 - $58,254 effective Feb. 12, 2011

                Create R.P. 01 102700 1343, Senior Network Admin., Gr. 14@$64,463-$71,411 effective Feb. 12, 2011

                Create R.P. 01 102700 1345, Systems Administrator, Gr. 12@$56,621 - $58,254 effective Feb 12, 2011

                Abolish R.P. 01 102700 0752, Systems Programmer, Gr. 14@$64,463-$71,411 effective Feb. 12, 2011

                Abolish R.P. 01 102700 9931, Computer Tech Specialist, Gr. 12@$56,621 - $58,254 eff. Feb. 12, 2011

  • Had 7 employees retire through ERI; want to replace 3 of them
  • During budget process this was lumped into the re-org and into contingency
  • Network Admin and Sr. Network Admin are 2 of the 3 being created with equivalent abolishes
  • Systems Admin, gr. 12 is a new position to IT, reduction happened in the Sheriff’s Dept with a gr. 15 position – through MOU with Sheriff’s Dept, creating a new position, who will be assigned to Sheriff’s Dept to get work done

In answer to Chairman Jordan, Mr. Beam said that this is not part of an overall reorganization plan; it is part of the ERI as a result of losing 7 people.  In adding these 3 positions, there is still a 54% savings over 2 years.  The plan to reorganize IT is a separate issue.  Chairman Jordan said that he would assume IT will come forward at different points in time asking to create and eliminate positions as part of the overall IT reorganization.  He said it would be helpful to him, the committee, and all members of the legislature, to have an idea of what the reorganization plan is so that when components of the plan come before them, they can see how they fit into the reorganization plan.  Mr. Beam said that they will be back at a later date to go over that.  Chairman Jordan asked to be provided with the reorganization plan now; Mr. Lesniak said that the Committee would like to see it before voting on this agenda item.  Mr. Beam said that the items today aren’t really part of the reorg plan.  These positions fit into the new org chart.  Mr. Lesniak said that he wants to see where these positions fit in.

 

Chairman Jordan asked for an update on the PeopleSoft program – it is important to know what the entire plan is for the IT Department.  Mr. Beam said that he would prefer to bring the project manager to committee to provide the answer to those questions.  The project is moving along; it is on schedule and on budget.  With the equipment that is in place; there are several instances of the application installed already; starting to work with all departments to get subject matter experts from departments to work with the project, to get things done.  He feels the project manager would be able to provide more detailed information.  Chairman Jordan said that the Commissioner of IT should have an idea of what is going on regarding the status of these programs.  Mr. Beam said he can provide the high-level view, which is what he just provided.  Chairman Jordan asked to be provided with the reorganization plan, status of implementation of PeopleSoft, schedule for full implementation – work plan, update on IT budget – cost overruns or savings, and training costs.  Mr. Lesniak asked that it be provided prior to session; if there are questions after that, then there will be follow up.

 

Mr. Lesniak asked if the position at the Sheriff’s Dept was abolished or unfunded during the budget process; Mr. Beam said “abolished”.  In answer to Mr. Lesniak regarding the cost, Ms. Clark said that there is net reduction county wide of $60,000.  Ms. Clark said that the IT budget will increase, as it is adding a grade 12; the Sheriff had a grade 15 position, which was abolished.

 

Mr. Holmquist referred to “new F” under “status” on the spread sheet; Mr. Beam said it means “new funded”. 

 

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

 

In answer to Mr. Stanczyk, Mr. Beam said that there is not a transfer of money from Sheriff’s Dept to IT.  Mr. Seitz said that the money was taken out in the 2011 budget already.  Money was taken out of IT’s budget and put into a contingency account; proposing to move in back into IT’s 101 – not asking for new money.

 

AYES:  2 (Lesniak, Buckel); NOES:  0; ABSTENTIONS:  7 (Jordan, Corbett, Holmquist, Kilmartin, Warner, Kinne, Stanczyk).  MOTION CARRIED.

 

        b.     Amend 2011 Budget to Transfer Funds for Reorganization of the Dept. of Information Tech. ($62,743)

Mr. Rowley explained that this is to cover the ERI that was discussed in item 6.

 

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

 

3Mr. Kinne left the meeting.

 

7.     FACILITIES MANAGEMENT:  Brian Lynch, Commissioner

        a.     Amend 2011 Budget to Accept Revenues Received from OCC from Processing its Mail ($140,000)

  • Last July merged mailing with City
  • Legislature asked if agreements were pursued with OCC of Syracuse City School Dist.
  • Met with OCC staff – interested in joining the County to receive bulk mailing rates
  • No revenue will be received from OCC this year – OCC does not do the volume of what the City does (they do about 1/5 of what the City does/year); they do not pay an outside contractor to sort their mail
  • County can help them because it already has the infrastructure in place; no additional staff to process their mail
  • Shows consolidation to taxpayers
  • Anticipated about a $30,000 savings for OCC in 2011
  • OCC will drop off their mail once/day at 12:30
  • Will start around February 1st
  • $140,000 is OCC’s postage

In answer to Chairman Jordan, Mr. Lynch said that OCC would free up some staff time.  He explained that every day the County receives bulk rates – around $.33 - $.34; it is a $.10 reduction on every piece of mail that OCC sends out; results in a savings of approximately $30,000 for OCC.  Mr. Jordan asked what other reductions in costs there are for OCC, aside from postage; Mr. Lynch did not know.

 

Mr. Lesniak said that he understands that there are significantly more savings at OCC, i.e. reduction of staff.  There was a handling fee in the original resolution; he had it removed as there was no intention of moving ahead with a handling fee.  He understands that there are further meetings going on with City School District, other school districts, BOCES, etc., where he feels there should be a handling fee inclusion.  If the County is going to keep taking on this work, it is time that it starts getting paid for it.  Mr. Lynch agreed and noted Syracuse City School is interested; they are going to be charged, as they are paying an outsourcing fee now. 

 

Mr. Kilmartin asked if the $140,000 is cost of stamps and is it a pass through.  Mr. Lynch said that it is postage, and OCC reimburses the County once per month.

 

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

        b.     Amend 2011 Budget to Accept Funds from the SMTC to Help Fund Creation of the Onon. Co. Sustainable Development Plan as Part of the Energy, Sustainability and Climate Change Master Planning Activity in the County Energy Efficiency & Conservation Strategy ($130,000) – Lee Klosowski

  • Accept additional funds from SMTC to aid in creation of County’s Sustainable Development Plan

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

  • As part of stimulus, County received $2.5 million to use for energy efficiency projects
  • One project identified was to allocate $115,000 to update the 2010 Development Plan and create a Sustainable Development Program
  • SMTC has a vested interest in the creation of the plan – helps in planning for transportation 
  • SMTC is willing to grant additional funds to County for development of the sustainable development program, $55,000 currently available; anticipate additional $75,000 being available next year

In answer to Mr. Stanczyk, Mr. Klosowski said that $118,950 is part of the $2.5 million grant; it is part of one of the projects it will be used for.  There was a strategy developed – out of it there were 8 different activities – one of them is to update the sustainable development plan -- $118,950 allocated.  Regarding the $130,000 that SMTC is putting in, James D’Agostino, SMTC, said that it is part of SMTC’s operating expenses.  It is in SMTC’s best interest, and the community’s best interest, to provide some funding to Onondaga County for the creation of sustainability development plan, as it directly affect SMTC’s plan.  He was approached by Onondaga County about the concept.  In answer to Mr. Stanczyk, Mr. Lynch indicated that the $130,000 supplements the $118,950. 

 

Mr. Lesniak asked if SMTC has authorized the funds in a motion.  Mr. D’Agostino said that it was one of the line items in SMTC’s annual budget process; once their budget was approved it requires an invoice from the County for the dollar amount.  Mr. Lesniak questioned the resolution’s language…should they be approved by the SMTC Policy Committee.  Mr. D’Agostino said that it is referring to next year’s budget, which has not been approved yet – will be approved on March 15th.  Mr. Lesniak asked if this is putting the cart before the horse, when it is not known if there are matching funds.  Mr. Klosowski said that $55,000 has been approved; $75,000 is still pending SMTC’s budget process.  Rather than coming back to committee again, this resolution is saying that should the $75,000 be granted, it would be accepted in the same manner. 

 

Mr. Buckel said that this has economic and land use implications; he would like it ensured that the localities are part of the process, because this can have long term implications.  Don Jordan, Planning, said that they will be part of the process; there will be extensive public input.  Mr. Buckel said that he would like more than public input -- would like engagement with the localities.  Mr. Jordan said that is part of their plan – a steering committee was formed to oversee direction of the plan – Mr. Rhinehart and Mrs. Rapp are members.  They have been presented with a scope of services for RFP.  An RFP has been issued and are now reviewing the responses.  Part of the scope of service is a very extensive input process.

 

Mr. Corbett asked if carbon footprint will be included in the sustainability study; Mr. Jordan said it will be part of the Climate Action Plan and they would work together.

 

AYES:  7 (Jordan, Corbett, Lesniak, Holmquist, Kilmartin, Warner, Buckel); NOES:  0; ABSTENTIONS:  1 (Lesniak).  MOTION CARRIED.

 

        c.     Authorize the Execution of an Agreement with the CNY Regional Planning and Development Board for the Administration of the County Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Revolving Loan Fund

  • One of the 8 activities identified for use of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant
  • Develop a revolving loan fund – make monies available for local, businesses to do energy efficiency projects
  • Limited to no more than 20% of allocation of $2.5 million – established loan amount of $450,000
  • Cap of $50,000 per loan (anticipated loans to be $15,000 - $20,000) – make enough loans for multiple recipients – 5 year payback – 20-30 loans outstanding at any point in time
  • County does not have appropriate resources, infrastructure to run a loan program – advertising, accepting applications, reviewing applications, credit checks, monitoring loan payments, pursuing loans in default
  • Worked with CNYRPDB to develop an agreement under which they would administer the loan fund on behalf of the County – enter into an IMA with CNYRPDB
  • Terms:  1st two years the CNYRPDB would be funded at $37,500 – part of the $450,000; subsequent years payment would be actual costs incurred by CNYRPDB, capped at no greater than 10% of the fund balance

In answer to Mr. Stanczyk, Mr. Klosowski said that the interest charged will be something less than market.  The payment to CNYRPDB was based on their anticipated costs to run the program.  Regarding the anticipation of default, the goal is to minimize it through credit check and loan processing.  Mr. Stanczyk said that this is shifting it off, paying another agency to eat into the corpus of it; rather than take care of it ourselves.  He questioned why we don’t control it ourselves; if County controls it with its own staff, there could be better control of what is charged to people, what we want to fund, and what we don’t want to fund -- ability to have a true revolving fund rather than something that will be eaten up in fees.  Chairman Jordan said that it has been presented that the cost of doing it through the County would be significantly higher.  Mr. Klosowski said that the county would have to hire additional staff.  Mr. Stanczyk questioned why it would be farmed off to let fees eat it up.  Mr. Klosowski said that County Facilities does not have the right people to do it; the feedback from the County Executive’s Office is that the resources are not available to run the program internally.  Mr. Lynch said CNYRPDB does this; their default rate is extremely low, referred to the underwriting costs for 30 loans.  Mr. Stanczyk questioned what the Economic Development Department does – this should be in their wheelhouse.  Mr. Bottar said that the CNYRPDB has been managing a loan fund since 1988.  Mr. Stanczyk said that he does not dismiss CNYRPDB’s ability to do it; his concept is on policy.

 

Mr. Corbett said that if it were done internally, there is one mechanism that it might be done through.  Through the Housing Corp. monies are lent, interest derived, done through two local banks which have contracts with the County.  In the last 2 years, the County has significantly downsized personnel.  Regarding the lead grant received for $3.1 million, they are not sure if there are enough personnel to administer it.  An administrative fee would have to be charged for whoever handles this, which will eat into the body of the money.  If the County does not have the personnel to do this, if there is already a vehicle to do this, and there will be some sort of fee anyway, then he feels that it might be the right vehicle to use.

 

Mr. Buckel referred to the fees; Mr. Bottar said that the up to 10% amount is being allocated for legal counseling if needed.  The arrangement in the agreement is to cover all actual staff costs.  Mr. Buckel said that there are special skills that go into a loan portfolio, but it is not rocket science.  The County is getting more involved with sophisticated programs – Community Development already has the mindset to look at requests and make decisions.  He questioned who appointed the CNYRPDB members and how is it organized.  Mr. Bottar said that there are 35 members, each member county appoints 7 directors; the Legislature Chairman and Chairman of Planning Committee are ex-officio members.  The CNYRPDB is a non-profit corporation.  Mr. Buckel asked about the establishment of the loan criteria; Mr. Klosowski said that internally the eligibility has been established.  Under the DOE, they have be to energy efficiency projects -- can’t be for general economic development.  Mr. Buckel asked if the reporting mechanism has been refined.  Mr. Klosowski said that there will be a quarterly report.

 

A motion was made by Mr. Corbett, seconded by Mr. Buckel to approve this item.  AYES:  6 (Jordan, Corbett, Lesniak, Holmquist, Warner, Buckel); NOES:  0; ABSTENTIONS:  1 (Stanczyk).  MOTION CARRIED.

 

8.     SYRACUSE SYMPHONY:

        a.     InformationalPaul Brooks, Interim Executive Director; Rocco Mangano, Chairman, Board of Trustees

Mr. Brooks distributed a handout (attachment #2).  Mr. Brooks and Mr. Mangano and reviewed the outline:

  • Continues to be financially challenged – effected by economy
  • Declining ticket sales, corporate support and government funding
  • SSO is in the midst of a collective bargaining agreement right now; this year the musicians gave them a concession of $580,000, which resulted in a 12% salary decrease to help make ends meet this year
  • Funding secured from an angel investor, which allowed them to finish the summer season
  • Over past 3 years, the Bd. of Trustee has donated over $900,000 – double what some peer orchestras are doing
  • $1.4 million raised in extraordinary funding/bridge funding to help gap in ticket sales and government funding
  • Loyal subscribers, 98% renew from year; working to get new people involved 
  • Are making progress, not out of woods
  • Will ask legislature to release second half of their grant as soon as possible 

Chairman Jordan said that he understands that the County has been subsidizing the Symphony for quite a number of years.  It would be fair to assume that absent some change, the County will continue to subsidize the Symphony.  When everyone is facing economic challenges, it seems that there should be some plan in place to make the Symphony self sustaining; it would be in the best interest of the Symphony and the Community.  Mr. Brooks agreed and noted that several things are being worked on for next season – he referred to the last section of the handout, and reviewed the items listed.  He noted that the problem is that they have to get to next season – that is where they are challenged.  Their budget is in place for this season, costs have been allocated and have to raise the fix the imbalances.  Mr. Mangano said that one thing that is different now is that the musicians (union) are collaborating with them; it wasn’t true in the past and has been a big step forward.  They are in the midst of a planning process, Organizational Renewal - looking at sustainability; looking at getting embedded in the community, looking at changes in lives. 

 

Chairman Jordan asked about attendance; what is the ability to expand, is the Symphony constricted in its current venue.  Mr. Brooks said that classical music attendance nationwide is down 13% in the last couple of years.  They are attempting to offer more of a mainstream programming, which would be more attractive to a wider audience.  They have a 2,000 seat hall; it is tough to fill it on a regular basis.  They are running slightly ahead in the attendance, basically because of the pops series.  The pops side has been more attractive than the classic side.  However, the classic supporters, far and away, provide more donations to the Symphony than that pops subscribers. 

 

Chairman Jordan asked if there is another venue that the Symphony can move to reduce its costs.  Mr. Brooks said that they have had discussions with Terri Toennies, Oncenter, about timing, facilities, etc.  The one challenge is that the Civic Center Crouse Hinds Theater is the only suitable in central New York.  Mr. Mangano said that they love their home; the Oncenter was built largely with the Symphony in mind.  Chairman Jordan said that some people hate to drive downtown; it might seem if it were easier to access it, then it might increase attendance.  Mr. Brooks said that the Columbus Circle lighting project has helped a lot.  They are working on new transportation alternatives from the suburbs. 

 

Mr. Stanczyk said that he will vote to release the other $200,000 now.  He referred to the 15 full time administrative staff and the 7 part time staff – asked if that includes the musicians; Mr. Brooks said that it does not – there are 80 musicians.  Staff is divided into finance, operations, and fund development.  Mr. Stanczyk asked about additional vacant staff positions.  Mr. Brooks said that they have two key staff members, Vice President of Development and Vice President of Advancement, left unfilled intentionally from an expense control standpoint.  Mr. Stanczyk said that the staff seems large; everyone has to do more with less.  Also somehow ticket sales have to be corrected.  He supports the Symphony and wants them to succeed.

 

Mr. Lesniak said that in last year’s budget almost $1 million was taken from ROT monies to fund County Parks.  Many authorized agencies didn’t receive anything from the County. One of the reasons that the $200,000 was held back was to make sure that the Symphony was getting in a self-sufficient mode before the County continued its funding.  He is not sure about up fronting the money at this point – has concerns about scheduling at the Oncenter--other shows were hindered that could have brought County revenue up.  He understands that the Symphony is trying to keep the funding going for this year, but the County may be in worse budget year next year from State mandates, etc.  Even if the legislature does this, it may be a one-time thing.  Mr. Brooks said that this is one time request – they need to get through this season to put in place the pieces and parts for their next season, which will help them balance their budget and drive new revenues.

 

Mr. Lesniak said that a beautiful concert center is being built at OCC, where parking is much easier.  It could still accommodate some of the Symphony’s concerns financially vs. where they are now, and the patrons would receive a much better parking arrangement, easier access, etc.  Mr. Brooks said that they have an open mind, especially when the Landmark is finished.  He does not know about the acoustical capability of the new facility at OCC.  Mr. Mangano said that they want to see the Oncenter utilized in the best way.  OCC is a perfect alternative, may not have to all concerts there; not sure about the size of the stage at Landmark.  Regarding the Oncenter, Mr. Mangano pointed out the difference between the Symphony and the shows that come in – when buying Symphony tickets, the money stays in the county.  When buying tickets from the shows that come in from out of town, the money is going all over.  Mr. Lesniak agreed, but noted that the revenue that the shows coming in generate is offsetting what the taxpayers are putting into the Oncenter.  Mr. Brooks said that they frequently accommodate Oncenter by rehearsing elsewhere. 

 

Mr. Lesniak asked to be provided with the actual attendance numbers by show.

 

Mr. Buckel agreed that there are direct economic spinoffs; there are also indirect economic benefits.  His firm uses the Symphony as a recruiting tool, as does Welch Allyn, companies in Utica, SRC, etc.  This is major resource for our employers.  It is a sign of a community that has a sense of optimism and strength.  To lose it would be a sign of a community that has been in decline and is continuing.  He appreciates the flexibility regarding scheduling; the Symphony does have an acoustically perfect place, but to the extent that other facilities can be utilized and expand the Symphonies abilities is great and asked the Symphony to do that.  He noted that the monopolization of the Civic Center is nowhere near what the Crunch’s monopolization is – there is flexibility. 

 

In answer to Mr. Kilmartin regarding fund-raising; Mr. Brooks said that the $1.75 million is an aggregate of the February and March numbers.  Mr. Kilmartin asked how long that will carry the Symphony through.  Mr. Brooks said that it will carry them through until the end of the season and into the next season.  He explained that for all intents and purposes he is referring to the calendar year, but the fiscal year is Sept. 1 – Aug. 31.  Shortly after the calendar year, they launch their next season for the following year.  Mr. Kilmartin asked what the process for raising the $1.75 million is.  Mr. Brooks said that the board is going out specifically to the 50 top high capacity/high net worth individuals in Central New York.  Additionally, the public campaign builds a broader base of awareness and hopefully a broader base of support from the public.  They are confident that they can make the number.  Mr. Kilmartin asked for budgetary projections for the next cycle, and what kind of lifts may have to be made.  Mr. Brooks said that the dollars raised--$900,000 and $1.4 million was extraordinary funding when they had a higher budget.  They anticipate a lower expense budget for the next season.  It will enable them to balance revenue against expenses.  Mr. Kilmartin said it would be helpful to get a sense of it prior to session – what the budget looks like at the end of this cycle, how much stress there will be if the number comes in at $1.65 million, a projection of the next season – what actions will be taken, what contingencies are there to have the balance sheet zero out.  Mr. Brooks said that he can provide projections, but it is highly contingent on the discussions with the musician’s union.  Mr. Kilmartin asked that Mr. Brooks provide those contingencies.

 

Mr. Stanczyk made a motion to up front the $200,000 to be paid to the Symphony before the end of the month.  Mrs. Tarolli said that this would need an executive initiative.  Chairman Jordan said that it has been considered – there could be a resolution for session.

 

4Mr. Kilmartin left the meeting.

 

9.     WAYS AND MEANS MISC.:

        a.     Amending the 2010 County Budget to Accept Reimbursement for a Deferred Compensation Plan Audit from Onondaga County’s Providers

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

 

5Mr. Buckel left the meeting.

 

        b.     Memorializing the Governor and the Legislature of the State of New York to Eliminate the New York State Estate Tax and to Recoup All Estate Tax Revenues Lost Through Program Cuts at the State Level (Sponsored by Mr. Jordan)

Chairman Jordan said that there has been a lot of commentary, especially regarding small businesses and farms.  This imposes a huge impact upon families--impacts funds for family farms and family businesses.  It distorts the market sense of it; funnels resources to areas that are not necessary the most cost effective and financially sound areas – lowest state tax burden or no state tax burden at all.  There are only 20 states that impose a state or inheritance tax.  Estates and taxes that have accumulated over a person’s lifetime – a family shouldn’t be suffering because a person passes away and a then the government wants a piece of the pocket. There is a request that the state government impose cost savings measures to offset whatever revenue losses there may be as a result of elimination of the tax. 

 

Mr. Warner said that he has seen the destruction that this issue causes, and asked to be co-sponsor.

 

A motion was made by Mr. Lesniak, seconded by Mr. Warner to approve this item.   AYES:  5 (Jordan, Corbett, Lesniak, Holmquist, Warner); NOES:  0; ABSTENTIONS:  1 (Stanczyk).  MOTION CARRIED.

 

        c.     Memorialize the Governor and the Legislature of the State of New York to Review Needed Measures to Reduce the High Cost of Public Pensions (Sponsored by Mrs. Tassone)

        e.     Memorializing the Governor and Legislature of the State of New York to Take Immediate Measures to Relieve Municipalities of the Ever Increasing Costs of the State Public Pension System (Sponsored by Mrs. Rapp)

Items C & E were discussed together; Mrs. Tassone explained that she and Mrs. Rapp will work together on one resolution – the resolutions are similar.  The increase in pension costs for Onondaga Co. since 2000 will be close to $20 million.  The State Constitution does not allow a change to current employees, but can ask new employees to do their own 401K plan.  There is no reason for the taxpayers to pay so much for pension costs. 

 

Chairman Jordan said that this issue is something that everyone is considering nationwide.

 

Mr. Holmquist made a motion to approve item 9c, seconded by Mr. Warner.  AYES:  4 (Jordan, Lesniak, Holmquist, Warner); NOES:  0; ABSTENTIONS:  2 (Corbett, Stanczyk).  MOTION CARRIED.

 

        d.     Approving an Alternative Allocation of Payments In Lieu of Taxes for the Shoppingtown Mall Project Pursuant to General Municipal Law §858(15) and Authorizing the County Executive to Agree to Such Alternative Allocation

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

 

Mr. Frateschi said that this is an attempt by his client, Shoppingtown LLC, to control costs that have been affecting the ability of Shoppingtown to do the kinds of investments they would want to do going into the future.  They have talked to the Town of Dewitt, contacting the school district – the County is the third leg in the stool to approve this alternative distribution.  The alternative distribution relates to:  a refund, which will come back as a result of overpayments of taxation which has been assessed for the past 3 years on the property.  It will be above and beyond what Shoppingtown, LLC has agreed to pay to the school district, town and county.  They are before the County Legislature to ask for approval of the alternative distribution.

 

Mr. Stanczyk noted that he has spoken to the town supervisor; the homework has been done in terms of the school district and town; they have the support of each.  Basically this is to get to a reasonable assessment of the property; allow for development of property.  Hopefully the end result will be a refurbishing of the mall.

 

Mr. Lesniak asked if the restoration is not done in a certain period of time, the PILOT is null and void.  Mr. Frateschi said that if there hasn’t been a substantial completion of the project within three years, then either of the parties can come out of the PILOT and the town would be able to assess it.  Mr. Lesniak said that it would end the certiorari; Chairman Jordan clarified that it would for the previous years, not for the coming years.  Mr. Frateschi said that as long as the PILOT is in place, they agree that there would be no tax certiorari because those are the payments agreed to over the next 10 years.  Mr. Lesniak said that special districts are exempt; Mr. Frateschi agreed and said that Shoppingtown LLC would have to pay the special districts charges based on the assessments that they have agreed to.  There is still a tax certiorari case going on.  The special district charges will be in the PILOT; there is an actual assessment agreed to for purposes of PILOT only. 

 

A vote was taken on the motion.  AYES:  5 (Jordan, Lesniak, Holmquist, Corbett, Stanczyk); NOES: 0; ABSTENTIONS:  1 (Warner).  MOTION CARRIED.

A revised resolution was presented.  Mrs. Tarolli said that the change was added language to reflect language which was already in the PILOT about discontinuing certiorari proceedings in 2008 and 2009, and a covenant for 2010 (section e in resolution).  Also, on the first page – final WHEREAS clause -- clear that the County is agreeing upon a set payment.  The assessment identified will be used for the special districts; it won’t float with any type of tax rate.

 

A motion was made by Mr. Lesniak, seconded by Mr. Holmquist to approve the revised resolution.  AYES:  5 (Jordan, Lesniak, Holmquist, Corbett, Stanczyk) NOES: 0; ABSTENTIONS:  1 (Warner).  MOTION CARRIED.

 

        f.      Memorializing the Governor of New York State and the New York State Legislature to Continue Its Efforts in Redesigning the New York State Medicaid Program and to Give Due Consideration to the Opinions of Counties in Such Plan (Sponsored by Mrs. Rapp)

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

 

10.   LAW DEPARTMENT:

        a.     Report on Pending Litigation

This item was pulled by department.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:40 a.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

DEBORAH L. MATURO, Clerk

Onondaga County Legislature

 

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