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

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

 

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION COMMITTEE MINUTES – JANUARY 11, 2017

MICHAEL E. PLOCHOCKI, CHAIRMAN

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Dr. Chase, Mrs. Tassone, Mr. Burtis

ALSO ATTENDING:  Mrs. Ervin, Chairman McMahon, Mr. Holmquist; and see attached list

 

Vice Chair Burtis called the meeting to order at 9:10 A.M.  A motion was made by Mrs. Tassone, seconded by Dr. Chase, to waive the reading of the proceedings from the previous committee.  MOTION CARRIED.  A motion was made by Mrs. Tassone, seconded by Dr. Chase, to approve the minutes from the previous committee.  MOTION CARRIED. 

 

1.     WATER ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION:  Tom Rhoads, Commissioner

        a.     Resolution Approving the Increased Cost of Certain Improvements for the Baldwinsville Treatment Plant within the Onondaga County Sanitary District ($1,800,000)

Mr. Rhoads:

  • Items a and b relate to Baldwinsville plant disinfection improvements - required to meet SPDES permit May 2018, also small rehabilitation associated with infrastructure in the immediate area
  • Process change, adding dechlorination to disinfection process; $1.8M project based on construction estimate developed by outside consulting engineers
  • Failure to meet permit deadlines subjects County to considerable penalties by regulating agencies

In answer to Mr. Burtis, Mr. Rhoads said that funding is needed now, in order to bid and construct this season, to meet the May 2018 deadline.  Financing now is critical.  Dr. Chase asked if they were pretty sure of the costs.  Mr. Rhoads said that third-party engineers prepared estimates at 25% and 50%, which is the number built into this proposal and what they are basing their work on going forward.

 

Chairman Plochocki arrived at the meeting.

 

In answer to Mrs. Tassone, Mr. Rhoads confirmed that all of today’s projects total $49 million.  Mrs. Tassone asked the number of years in which they would be working to complete these projects.  Mr. Rhoads said that several are piece-meal, projects phased overtime.  In this particular case, the critical piece of the work must be installed by May 2018.  Typically there is a three month period afterwards when the project closeout happens and then there is a 1-year warranty; 2.5 year project.   Some of the projects are complex, he suggests discussing the timeframe for each as he gets into them. 

 

Mrs. Tassone asked if there was any way to put off some of these projects, before they start voting on them.  Mr. Rhoads said that it was a sensitive discussion.  There is no way to put off this project without exposing the County to the risk of SPDES permit declination.  When they start looking at the other projects, each has their own unique circumstances.  If they are going to put them off, he asked what level of service they will be expecting.  Also consider the cost will be far more if kicking the can down the road.  The construction cost index is between 3% and 6% of the annual inflation rate.  Failure to act today exposes them to failures, and several on the list today have experienced infrastructure failure or multiple failures.  Infrastructure failures expose the public to safety risks, significant environmental risks, regulatory risks and reputation risks.  All of those cause him to strongly recommend that they consider each and every one of these in their due course.  Interest rates are also going to increase.  Mrs. Tassone said that she realized this.  Her concern was for safety, questioned if each project was necessary due to safety concerns.  Mr. Rhoads said that this project was not a safety concern however, the SPDES permit does not allow latitude - $37,500 per day, if the state chooses.

 

Chair Plochocki said that the price tag is very big.  While there needs to be a price tag discussion, today he would like to ask specific questions about each project, including to what level it is required.  He is of the opinion that all of these need to be completed.  He heard that the interest rate may be raised two more times this year, so if they are going to borrow, now is the time.  All that being said, and putting his personal views aside, the caucus may decide that this is too much to spend right now.  Ways and Means will discuss what they can afford. 

After reviewing all of these projects he asks that Mr. Rhoads name one or two projects to cut.  For the record, “Tom does not want any of these projects cut.  He feels they are all necessary, and I as Chairman feel they are all necessary.”

 

Chair Plochocki said that the projects fall into three categories.  ACJ and SPDES projects are required and don’t; leave them much choice, the third category is replacing or rehabilitating, which is voluntarily so to speak.  In the opinion of WEP they need to be done.  He believes that WEP has done their due diligence and are fixing the absolute most critical.  With that being said, this committee has already had several bites at the apple discussing fixing clarifiers and such.  In the interest of time, he would like Mr. Rhoads to hit on a few things for each project - 1) ACJ, SPDES or rehab rehabilitation, 2) engineering or construction phase, with each noted for the record accordingly.  Mr. Rhoads said that he would also like to talk about whether they are in a very affordable position, the current sewer rate, how they compare to the national average, and things going on nationally and locally.  If they fail to make the investments, who are they kidding?  In a respectful manner, it is important to look at the big picture - if they are giving it away, and not maintaining the infrastructure, who wins?  Chair Plochocki replied, indeed.

 

In answer to Chair Plochocki, Mr. Roads provided the following:

  • Baldwinsville project at construction phase, SPDES required by May 2018, $1.8M
  • Predominantly SPDES driven - while at chlorine tank will address cracked tank, adding dechlorination, parts of SCADA system improved to better manage chemical feed, storage, and process for chlorination and dechlorination

Chair Plochocki suggested that the committee collectively vote in favor of the projects or pass them along to Ways and Means without voting.  He prefers voting, but asked the committees quick thought.  Dr. Chase said that Mr. Rhoads was the expert and knows what the priority is.  Realistically when it goes to Ways and Means it may very well change, but she feels comfortable supporting Mr. Rhoads input.  Chair Plochocki said that this was his sense as well.  Normally when legislator’s put their vote to something it is important, they are saying they totally support it.  In this case, it is fair to say for the record, “even though we are supporting, to the extent that legislators vote for and support these projects, that doesn’t necessarily mean that when it gets to the Ways and Means stage we won’t recognize that there are financial realities”.  If the committee starts breaking in the votes, when it gets to Ways and Means, people might think they did not believe Mr. Rhoads or had another problem.  If it comes down to the economics, it will be weighed in later.  In answer to Mr. Burtis, Chair Plochocki said that the projects would be taken individually, but if people are not ready to approve them they will not vote.  They are voting on the fact that they feel these projects are necessary, how to budget for it comes later.

 

In answer to Mr. Burtis, Mr. Rhoads confirmed the total for this project is now $5.2 million - borrowed money for the engineering work, additional $1.8 million brings the project home.  Includes engineering, finance costs, issuance cost associated with finance, insurances, and miscellaneous expenditures.  In answer to Dr. Chase, Mr. Lannon said that previously they approved engineering for the disinfection project and the asset renewal project, which is reflective of the $3.4 million.  The $1.8 million is for construction of the disinfection component. 

 

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

 

        b.     A Resolution Authorizing the Issuance of an Additional $1,800,000 Bonds of the County of Onondaga, New York, to Pay the Increased Cost of Certain Improvements for the Baldwinsville Treatment Plant in and for the Onondaga County Sanitary District ($1,800,000)

 

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

 

        c.     A Resolution Approving the Increased Cost of Certain Improvements for the Metro Wastewater Treatment Plant within the Onondaga County Sanitary District ($21,355,000)

  • ACJ project, construction phase, required to optimize phosphorus treatment process
  • Adding divider wall for tank separation in large tank, controls process in individual tanks rather than one large tank, significant infrastructure investment and asset management required to improve process, replacing baffles in settling boxes and slide gates - a little this and that in the asset renewal/management context to accomplish process required; improving and modernizing logic and supervisory controls

Chair Plochocki said that he was mainly looking for the big picture and asked if two-thirds or more was ACJ required.   Mr. Rhoads said yes.

 

  • ACJ projects receive preferential points for EFC scoring, well positioned for low interest loan; also submitting grant applications, cannot guarantee

Mr. Burtis said that the total estimated maximum cost translates to $24.2 million.  Mr. Rhoads said that it was because of the engineering, which was already invested.  Mr. Burtis said that the period of probably usefulness (PPU) is forty years.  Mr. Rhoads said that they have historically financed for 20 years, but could potentially finance up to the PPU.  Mr. Burtis said that the goal was to improve performance of regulatory goals for phosphorus levels entering Onondaga Lake.  Mr. Rhoads said that phosphorus is the triggering nutrient in freshwater for hazardous algae blooms.  Phosphorus is critically measured and tracked, in the Onondaga Lake system, via the ambient monitoring program.  The state requires that they to do more to bring those levels into compliance.  Chair Plochocki said that a lot has already been spent on phosphorus removal.  It is a huge thing with regard to the ACJ.

 

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

 

        d.     A Resolution Authorizing the Issuance of an Additional $21,355,000 Bonds of the County of Onondaga, New York, to Pay the Increased Cost of Certain Improvements for the Metro Wastewater Treatment Plant in and for the Onondaga County Sanitary District ($21,355,000)

 

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

 

        e.     A Resolution Approving Proposed Improvements for the Onondaga County Sanitary District Consisting of the Meadowbrook Limestone Wastewater Treatment Plant Disinfection System and Collection System Project in and for the County of Onondaga, New York ($11,725,000)

  • Disinfection and clarifier improvements, construction phase, SPDES permit required - effective May 2018
  • Zero chlorine limit, requires change in technology to disinfection by ultraviolet light, SPDES requirement drives 50%; other 50% associated with 40 year old secondary clarifiers and well over 40 year old electrical infrastructure

In answer to Chair Plochocki, Mr. Rhoads confirmed that 50% was necessary rehab.  Items are bundled due to the significant mobilization costs associated with doing these projects; several hundred thousand dollars associated with mobilization and $8,000 - $10,000 for construction inspection and administration.  Part of the planning process is to bundle the work to make it as cost effective as possible.  Chair Plochocki said that aside from what is required, it is not surprising to find that they have their own work to due on these old plants. 

 

In answer to Mr. Burtis, Mr. Rhoads said that through 50% design they have a cost estimate from the third party engineer, which tells them they can proceed with confidence at this financing number.  In answer to Chair Plochocki, Mr. Rhoads confirmed that the design phase is finished.  In order to deliver by May 2018, they have to go to bid and start pouring concrete this year. 

 

Mr. Burtis said that it was important to note the addition of security cameras and card readers for the buildings and main gate, he likes seeing this.  Mr. Rhoads said that they have good electrical contractors bidding on the work, which makes it more cost effective to add these assets.  Chair Plochocki said that some of what is being called rehab is actually security upgrades, a good detail to note.

 

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

 

        f.      A Resolution Authorizing the Issuance of $11,725,000 Bonds of the County of Onondaga, New York, to Pay Costs of Improvements for the Onondaga County Sanitary District, Consisting of the Meadowbrook Limestone Wastewater Treatment Plant Disinfection System and Collection System Project ($11,725,000)

 

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

 

        g.     A Resolution Approving Proposed Improvements for the Onondaga County Sanitary District Consisting of Engineering Design of the Oak Orchard Wastewater Treatment Plant Secondary Clarifier Rehabilitation in and for the County of Onondaga, New York ($950,000)

  • Engineering services to begin design for rehabilitation of secondary clarifiers, 37 year old plant, reaching end of useful life by time of construction; no SPDES directive however can’t count on meeting SPDES requirements when clarifiers reach end of life, risk failure

Chair Plochocki said that this was at the design phase and is all asset management.  Mr. Rhoads agreed, adding that it will be a larger and more expensive project when they go to construction. 

 

Dr. Chase asked where this project was on the wish list.  Mr. Rhoads said that he would address that at the end.  Dr. Chase said that this project would not hit as quickly as the othes.  Mr. Rhoads said that they have a list of $180 million dollars’ worth of projects, and they prioritized this rack as being the most critical. 

 

Dr. Chase asked if they would be pristine when all these projects are completed.  Mr. Rhoads said that it never ends.  They have a $2 billion dollar utility and are only asking for 4%.  He then questioned how much they put into their home each year.  Chair Plochocki said that relatively speaking, while the costs and projects will always be there, the percentage will be more maintenance.  There will always be DEC requirements, but the bulk of the costs approved have been ACJ related, which will drop, relatively speaking, inflation notwithstanding. 

 

Dr. Chase said that something lasting 40 years will need maintenance, but all of this is not going to come due at once.  Mr. Rhoads said to think of this being a car - it is a mechanical device running 24/7, 365 and is 40 years old.  They are asking a lot of it and regulatory demands are asking for a higher level of treatment.  More chemicals are being added, which are corrosive to the tanks and equipment; microfibers and all sorts of strange and exotic medical compounds going through these plants.  They are in a highly regulated business and the environmental demands are ongoing.  The community is close to the environment, but it comes at a cost. 

 

Dr. Chase said that she was thinking that they could tell Ways this was a big investment, but they would not continue to put this amount of money into it.  Mr. Rhoads said that he cannot say they won’t be putting this amount of money into the sanitary district.  Their observation is that if the improvements are not made, they will get into consent orders which include a penalty and aggressive time lines that costs more.  They are behind the curve on a lot of asset renewal because all the air was sucked out of the room by the consent orders.  If they allow regulatory agencies to drive the bus, they are not interested in what the costs will be.  Oswego allowed the regulatory agencies to get behind the wheel.  Their sewer costs are now $800 to $850 per year, and we are at $411.11 per year.  Regulatory guidelines allow for everyone to pay their fair share for sewers until it reaches 1.5% of their annual income; Seattle and Atlanta paying $1,000+ per year.  He is concerned that if investments are not made today, they will be exposing themselves to significant additional costs via regulatory regulations.

 

Mrs. Tassone asked if the bid came in at $950,000 for design.  Mr. Rhoads said that Mr. Lannon creates the estimate.  They don’t ask for proposals until they have authorization.  If the numbers come in higher, they would come back for approval.  If lower, those funds are used for the construction phase.  Mrs. Tassone asked if there was an estimate on the cost for construction.  Mr. Lannon said $6.2 million.  Chair Plochocki noted that it would be subject to change as the engineering process continues. 

 

Mr. Burtis referred to Section 3 of 1h, It is hereby determined that the period of probable usefulness of the aforesaid specific object or purpose, is five years”.  Mr. Rhoads said that the PPU for engineering is 5 years, brick and mortar is 20-40 years.

 

Mr. Burtis said that previously Mr. Rhoads addressed why some of the smaller amounts were not being paid for in cash and asked that he go over this again.  Mr. Rhoads said that there are 180,000 units in the sanitary district and using cash would add $5 to $6 dollars to the unit charge.  Bonding spreads the borrowing over a longer period and avoids a spike in the unit cost to the community.  Mr. Burtis asked if he was correct in saying that at times they approve the bond, but then opt out and use cash.  Mr. Rhoads said that some of the projects are engineered with cash, typically in the $200,000 weigh class.

 

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

 

        h.     A Resolution Authorizing the Issuance of $950,000 Bonds of the County of Onondaga, New York, to Pay Costs of Improvements for the Onondaga County Sanitary District, Consisting of the Oak Orchard Wastewater Treatment Plant Secondary Clarifier Rehabilitation ($950,000)

 

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

 

        i.      A Resolution Approving Proposed Improvements for the Onondaga County Sanitary District Consisting of Phase I of the Camillus Force Main Replacement Project in and for the County of Onondaga, New York ($2,000,000)

  • 7 mile long force main, 1982 vintage, failed 4 times over past 5 years, some emergency repairs costing over $280,000
  • Pipe too large and not ideal material – sewage travels too slow uphill from outside Village of Camillus to Westside pump station then to Metro; Village of Camillus WWTP failed in the 80’s, sanitary district took over responsibility for fixing problem that was putting ick into Nine Mile Creek, resolved by converting treatment plant to pump station and then pumping 7 miles to next pump station in line
  • Hydrogen sulfide forms in pipe when flow is too slow, mixes with water, forms hydro sulfuric acid, acid ate away crown of pipe, failure caused initial reaction to add chemicals at the pump station, chemical wasn’t flow paced, kept adding chemical even when pump station wasn’t running, eroded the base of the pipe

Chair Plochocki interjected noting that they are tight on time and have a lot to cover.  He then asked if this project as at design stage.  Mr. Rhoads said that they would most likely push a pipe within a pipe.  The design is being done with cash capital. 

 

  • Phase 1, not entire 7 miles, likely to be $8 to $10 million dollars; first section chosen due to failure locations and residential neighborhood; predominately asset management

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

 

        j.      A Resolution Authorizing the Issuance of $2,000,000 Bonds of the County of Onondaga, New York, to Pay Costs of Improvements for the Onondaga County Sanitary District, Consisting of Phase I of the Camillus Force Main Replacement Project ($2,000,000)

 

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

 

        k.     A Resolution Approving Phase I of Proposed Improvements for the Harbor Brook Drainage District Consisting of Miscellaneous Culvert and Chemical Improvements in and for the County of Onondaga, New York ($200,000)

  • Infrastructure rehabilitation construction, minimal design, standard low cost fixes for concrete repair and fencing restoration, box culvert in poor condition, applying pressure concrete and/or pour and replace limestone blocks 
  • Phase 1, drainage district project, real property tax to district residents, borrowing to avoid spike at 2% increments; going after most critical, then proceeding down length of culvert more than 110 years old 

 

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

 

        l.      A Resolution Authorizing the Issuance of $200,000 Bonds of the County of Onondaga, New York, to Pay Costs of Phase I Improvements for the Harbor Brook Drainage District Consisting of Miscellaneous Culvert and Channel Improvements ($200,000)

 

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

 

        m.    A Resolution Approving Proposed Improvements for the Bear Trap Ley Creek Drainage District Consisting of the North Midler Culvert Improvement Project in and for the County of Onondaga, New York ($130,000)

  • Culvert parallel to North Midler, crosses under railroad underpass; failed last year, installed band aide, holding but entire culvert in unique location, asset falling apart, significant repair to avoid emergency repairs of $20,000
  • County subject to significant liability from motoring public – could be $10 million dollar problem if not taken care of

Mr. Burtis asked if emergency repairs were paid with cash or do they come back for funds.   Mr. Rhoads said that in the sanitary district they use the cash capital account.  In the drainage district tend to borrow a little from the sanitary district to pay for the immediate need, as they don’t have a cash capital account.   As part of this, they will reimburse the sanitary district for the costs.

 

In answer to Chair Plochocki, Mr. Rhoads confirmed that this was a minimal design construction project, and all asset management. Adding that it was also a drainage district, not a sanitary district.

 

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

 

        n.     A Resolution Authorizing the Issuance of $130,000 Bonds of the County of Onondaga, New York, to Pay Costs of Improvements for the Bear Trap Ley Creek Drainage District, Consisting of the North Midler Culvert Improvement Project ($130,000)

 

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

 

Chair Plochocki said that the piper was now due.  Mr. Rhoads consulted with the Mr. Lannon and Mr. Capozza.

For the record Chair Plochocki said, “Tom feels very strongly, all of these need to be done and be done now.  In addition to that, Tom has noted on many occasions that relative to other communities in the country and the state we pay very, very little in our sewer rate.  Other areas pay much more because they are maintaining their assets at a higher level”.  Mr. Rhoads said that these are all things that they think should be done sooner rather than later.  The exposure on all the ACJ and SPDES items are significant.  If they don’t invest in repair of the Camillus force main they are subjecting themselves to significant environmental and property damage.  The Harbor Brook Drainage District and North Midler culverts both have public safety issues.  It pains him, but if they want to skip one for a year it would be the Oak Orchard secondary clarifier design.  However, they are entering its 40th year and are really talking about a significant problem.  He is concerned that the sanitary district’s unit charge has not increased in 3 years.   Chair Plochocki reiterated that many areas of the country and state pay much more in their sewer rates and are using the funds to maintain their infrastructure at a higher level than we currently are. 

 

Chair Plochocki thanked Mr. Rhoads, noting that he understands that if something could be put off it would be items g and h.  With that being said, that is the only project that is true design.  It makes sense, in terms of asset management, to always be designing.  For the record, “We are cutting out the only project that would be starting design.  There are other things out there that are in the process of being designed, but in terms of what we are approving in this batch, we would be taking that out, and it could raise other issues.

 

     o.     PULLED

 

Chair Plochocki took the agenda out of order.

 

3.     Litigation Update:  Travis Glazier, Director Office of Environment; Kevin Murphy, Outside Counsel; Benjamin Yaus, Deputy County Attorney 1

Mr. Glazier:

  • Introduced Kevin Murphy, works on environmental issues on behalf of the County, has been doing so since this processes began, predates Mr. Yaus and himself
  • Will move quickly through presentation, reach out to him with any unanswered questions following the meeting
  • Jan 24, 2012 Onondaga Lake Natural Resources Damages Assessment and Restoration Trustee Council (NDR) notified County of potential responsible party (PRP) status for damages associated with natural resource damages
  • Under CERCLA, The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980, there are investigations and response to hazardous substance release, as well as restoration of resources and compensation for loss of natural resources over time – this is second of those two, loss of natural resources over time under CERCLA
  • Trustees are US Fish and Wildlife Service, NYSDEC, and Onondaga Nation; trustees assess damage or loss of environment, not assessed in traditional monetary sense, i.e. someone fishing is called a trip, for recreational purposes there are a number of trips, both assessment parties consider what the financial impact of that is and tally these trips, monetary value is not an exact science, very loose; everything measured in trips, acres and habitat, also develop a plan to restore, rehabilitate and replace damaged natural resources, in addition can request US Attorney General to commence a civil suit against natural resource damages defendants
  • Assessment done in cooperation with Honeywell International, participated in NRDA process, Onondaga County did not

A motion was made by Mr. Plochocki to enter into executive session to discuss, on an attorney client basis, legal strategy regarding potential legal exposure for damages related to the Onondaga Lake Superfund site, and to receive legal direction on the this matter.  Mr. Burtis seconded the motion.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

 

A motion was made by Mr. Plochocki, seconded by Mr. Burtis, to leave executive session and enter regular session.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

 

2.     ONONDAGA COUNTY SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION DISTRICT BOARD: 

        a.     Confirming Reappointments to the County Soil and Water Conservation District Board (Craig S. Dennis, John Lemondes, David Coburn)

 

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

 

The meeting adjourned 10:47 P.M.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Katherine

KATHERINE M. FRENCH, Deputy Clerk

Onondaga County Legislature

Attendance

 

* * *

COUNTY FACILITIES COMMITTEE MINUTES – JANUARY 11, 2017

JUDITH A. TASSONE, CHAIR

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:  *Mr. Dougherty, **Dr. Chase, Mr. Shepard

ALSO ATTENDING:  see attached list

 

Chair Tassone called the meeting to order at 10:50 a.mA motion was made by Dr. Chase, seconded by Mr. Shepard to waive the reading and approve the minutes of the previous committee meeting; MOTION CARRIED.

 

1.     TRANSPORTATION:  Martin Voss, Commissioner

        a.     Amending the 2017 County Budget to Pay in the First Instance 100% of the Federal and State Aid Eligible Costs at a Maximum Amount of $3,467,500 for the Allen Road Paving Project, Pin 3754.61, and Authorizing the Execution of Agreements ($3,467,500)

 

*Mr. Dougherty arrived at the meeting.

  • Federal aid reimbursement agreements
  • Allen Road in Town of Clay between W. Taft and Bear; 1.2 miles; mill and overlay with hot mix asphalt; includes sidewalks, curbs, drainage, traffic signals

**Dr. Chase left the meeting.

 

Chair Tassone stated that every one of these projects is in dire straights and needs to be done.

 

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

 

Chair Tassone took the agenda items out of order.

 

        c.     Amending the 2017 County Budget to Pay in the First Instance 100% of the Federal and State Aid Eligible Costs at a Maximum Amount of $1,425,000 for the Bridge Maintenance I Project, Pin 3755.16, and Authorizing the Execution of Agreements ($1,425,000)

 

  • Bridge Maintenance 1 project; 6 county owned highway bridges which includes repairing or replacing bearings, concrete decks, repairs to approach pavement, bridge rail, bridge joints and washing and sealing

 

Mr. Dougherty asked how long it will take.  Mr. Rauber responded that these will be done during construction season, and are only maintenance; will be open to traffic.  Mr. Rauber replied to Mr. Dougherty that the bridge on Buckley Road was a complete replacement.  There may be daily lane closures, but not a full closure.

 

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

 

        b.     Amending the 2017 County Budget to Pay in the First Instance 100% of the Federal and State Aid Eligible Costs at a Maximum Amount of $1,045,000 for the Benson Road Bridge Project, Pin 3755.74, and Authorizing the Execution of Agreements ($1,045,000)

 

  • Benson Road; Town of Skaneateles; near Dutch Hollow Country Club; replacing bridge over Dutch Hollow Brook
  • Demolish existing bridge (corrugated steel and arch pipes) and construct 3 sided concrete structure

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

 

        d.     Amending the 2017 County Budget to Pay in the First Instance 100% of the Federal and State Aid Eligible Costs at a Maximum Amount of $5,966,000 for the John Glenn Boulevard Bridges Over Onondaga Lake Outlet Project, Pin 3755.20, and Authorizing the Execution of Agreements ($5,966,000)

 

  • 2 main bridges over Onondaga Lake outlet; close one side to repair and route to other side; then swap

 

Mr. Dougherty asked if it would be done in a construction season, and Mr. Voss said they hope.  Chair Tassone asked how long each section will be closed off.  Mr. Rauber replied two to three months per side.

 

Chair Tassone stated the local share is $314,000.

 

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

 

        e.     Amending the 2017 County Budget to Pay in the First Instance 100% of the Federal and State Aid Eligible Costs at a Maximum Amount of $3,325,000 for the John Glenn & Kirkville Road Paving Project, Pin 3755.72, and Authorizing the Execution of Agreements ($3,325,000)

 

  • John Glenn and Kirkville Road paving; Geddes, Salina and Clay; John Glenn Blvd. from Farrell Road to Buckley Road; Kirkville Road from Kinney Street to Robert Street in Town of Dewitt
  • Milling, overlaying existing hot mix asphalt with new pavement; traffic signal improvements at John Glenn and 57, and Kirkville Road and Kinney Street

 

Chair Tassone said it is two different areas combined in one project.  Mr. Voss stated the local share is $175,000. 

 

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

 

2.     LAKEVIEW AMPHITHEATER

        a.     Informational

 

Mr. Holmquist passed out the following:

Lakeview Amphitheater - Informational

 

As contract administrator, the County Executive has access to contracts with SMG, Live Nation, Aramark and other entities doing business at the Lakeview Amphitheater.  To ensure 100% transparency, the Legislature should be authorized access to the same information and provided copies of the contracts.

 

Over the past year, the Legislature has discussed implementing a Facility Use Fee and Naming Rights for all or parts of the Amphitheater - what is the status of these initiatives and what are the anticipated uses of any revenues from these fees?

 

A breakdown of the annual maintenance costs of Lakeview Park and the Amphitheater?

 

In the 2016 budget, the Legislature set up a grant account in the Parks department with funding for the Amphitheater. $850,000 of the allotment was spent. Please provide a detailed breakdown of how this was spent, and, are there any plans to repay this amount with any of the current or future proceeds?

 

What is the status of the payment from the State for the Miranda Lambert concert?

 

Does the State plan to pave their parking lots before next season?

 

Has the County Comptroller's office been provided all of the necessary information to perform a full and complete audit?

 

Mr. Sales passed out the following letter (Draft Interim Financial Statement on file with Clerk):

 

 

Letter

Letter continued

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2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

 

Chair Tassone stated Mr. Holmquist has questions, but the questions will be postponed until someone from the County Executive’s office is here to answer them. 

 

Mr. Holmquist:

  • Questions submitted to County Executive in advance several days ago; disappointed that County Executive has chosen not to have anyone here to answer questions; terribly disrespectful to this committee, the Legislature and myself

Mr. Holmquist would like to go over these questions for the record.  Mr. Holmquist would appreciate an invitation back when the County Executive’s team can come.

 

Mr. Holmquist:

  • County Executive has access to financial records with all vendors at Amphitheater
  • Everyone wants Amphitheater to succeed; taxpayers own the Amphitheater ($50 million)
  • Contracts exist with vendors:  Live Nation, Aramark and SMG; County Executive knows what’s in those contracts, also revenues and expenses experienced from tax payer point of view; Live Nation making big money; SMG doing great; Aramark making money with $14 beers
  • Legislature has legal, moral and ethical responsibility for financial oversight
  • Legislature is policy making branch of government; entitled to same financial records the County Executive has
  • Number 1 to gain access to where the money is for taxpayers; being told its proprietary information, but Legislature invested $50 million in this facility, so Legislature has right to know what’s in those contracts
  • Facility Use Fee (FUF) on Amphitheater; good news there is one, but all money is going to Live Nation; County owns; County Executive agreed it’s a good thing; revenue was to pay for maintenance
  • Told a year ago that a company would come forward with naming rights; those would pay for maintenance of facility; year later, and nobody; SMG has someone working on it, but there is no naming rights or revenue
  • No maintenance budget – during budget presentation all lumped together; it is not split out; no idea what expenses are or what are potential revenue sources to help maintain the facility; no FUF – What happened to it?
  • In a few years, will be hit with significant bills with no maintenance budget; which has happened with other facilities
  • $850,000 grant – told legally had to be grant, and its seed money; Amphitheater use to get up and running with intention of paying County back; to date, have not heard about money; do not know if money has been spent
  • Financial records given is an unsigned draft report; same thing written on napkin carries same weight
  • Invested $50 million; $850,000 unaccounted for; County Executive claims made $150,000, but looks like a $750,000 loss; unless the County Executive’s office can tell the Legislature where the $850,000 is
  • Status on payment for Miranda Lambert; ~$119,000; where’s the money?  Turns out no contract; County Executive claimed the County was getting $119,000 from state; no signed contract
  • State going to pave parking lot, has not happened yet; should be paved; state owned; how is that payment to County?
  • Onondaga County Comptrollers audits departments, facilities, services; have every right to do full audit
  • Would like to know why County Comptroller cannot do a full audit; all these questions, plus many others
  • Legislature voted that the County Executive had to give 3 update reports; came in June last year, and County Executive’s office reported nothing; no financials; stated all information will be given at end of season
  • County Executive’s office attended Kathy Rapp’s committee and Ways and Means with unsigned draft reports
  • Do not know about $850,000, do not know about revenues or expenses as relates to tax payers
  • There is economic benefit; but take exception to millions of dollars of benefit, and would like to hear about that
  • Sales tax revenue, said to be main driver of benefit, was down last year; would not blame Amphitheater
  • Appreciate being here and would love to ask those questions to get public information for a $50 million Amphitheater the taxpayers own; they have every right to know; also impact to taxpayers
  • If there is a problem or if it’s losing hundreds of thousands a year; what can the Legislature do to help close the gap; understanding other economic benefits; responsibility to see the Amphitheater runs as well as possible
  • County Executive’s team made decisions behind closed doors with no public transparency; no public disclosure
  • Terribly disrespectful to County Legislature and County tax payers; someone should be here today

Chair Tassone said the letters were dropped off and, according to them, they were not invited.  Chair Tassone said Darcie (Lesniak) specifically sent these questions to Steve (Morgan), which would mean, “Can you be here to answer them?”  Why they are not here, Chair Tassone does not know, but she has her suspicions.

 

Mr. Holmquist appreciates being at the committee, and said Chair Tassone is doing good work to allow this on the agenda to be able to discuss it and hopefully get some answers.  Mr. Holmquist stated the Legislature is a co-equal branch of government that does not deserve to be disrespected this way. 

 

The meeting was adjourned at 11:14 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Attendance

JAMIE McNAMARA, Assistant Clerk

Onondaga County Legislature

 

Signature 

 

* * *

PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE MINUTESJANUARY 11, 2017

BRIAN MAY, CHAIRMAN

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Mr. Holmquist, Mr. Dougherty, 1Mr. Ryan

MEMBERS ABSENT:  Mr. Liedka

ALSO ATTENDING:  See attached list

 

Chair May called the meeting to order at 12:04 P.M.  A motion was made by Mr. Dougherty, seconded by Mr. Holmquist, to waive the reading of the proceedings from the previous committee.  MOTION CARRIED.  A motion was made by Mr. Dougherty, seconded by Mr. Holmquist, to approve the minutes from the previous committee.  MOTION CARRIED. 

1Mr. Ryan arrived at the meeting. 

1.     DISTRICT ATTORNEY:  Barry Weiss, Administrative Officer

        a.     Amending the 2016 County Budget to Accept NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services for the Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office, and Authorizing the Execution of Agreements ($138,600)

Mr. Weiss:

  • 3 items, all state grant funds, received around September, carries over two calendar years for the state budget

Chair May said that these funds would amend the 2016 budget.  Mr. Weiss said that they would add funds to the 2016 budget.

 

  • Second item for reentry, liked the job they are doing and awarded more funds

Chair May said that the items would be taken one at a time.

  • 1st item Aid To Prosecution grant, County has been receiving these funds for 40 years, continuation of funding

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

 

        b.     Amending the 2016 County Budget to Accept NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services for the Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office, and Authorizing the Execution of Agreements ($67,560)

  • Reentry grant, part of GIVE program; state had more funds and passed them along

Mr. Dougherty asked what the Reentry program was.  Mr. Weiss said that state prisoners start the program several months prior to their release to re-acclimate them.  Counselors help them find jobs, housing, and acclimate them back into the community.  Their success rate is believed to be one of the highest in the state. 

 

In answer to Mr. Dougherty, Mr. Weiss confirmed that the program has been ongoing since 2007.  The state felt they were taking people off the start, wondered how they could help them when they come back.  Mr. Dougherty asked if the grant covered the entire position of the person working on this.  Mr. Weiss said yes - it is handled through a group of different County departments.  In answer to Chair May, Mr. Weiss confirmed that the funds come to the DA and supports a number of positions at some level.  Mr. Weiss added that the funds also pay for things such as work boots or bus tokens, provides the tools to get people back to being productive citizens.

 

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

 

        c.     Amending the 2016 County Budget to Accept NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services for the Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office, and Authorizing the Execution of Agreements ($2,050)

  • Additional funds from Office of Victim Services, budget amendment

Chair May said that it was good to have additional funds as there were some staff changes in that area.

 

Mr. Dougherty asked if they applied separately for these funds.  Mr. Weiss said no, they apply every two years for the grant.  Additional funds were awarded to the agencies providing the service.  Mr. Dougherty said that he was hoping they weren’t applying for $2,000 grants.

 

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

 

2.     ONONDAGA COUNTY/SYRACUSE COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS:  Barrie Gewanter, Executive Director

        a.     Confirming Reappointments to the Onondaga County/Syracuse Commission on Human Rights (Shui-Kai Chin, Rev. Douglas P. Mackey, Francis McMillian Parks, Joyce M. Suslovic)

Ms. Gewanter:

  • Staggered appointments of 1 to 3 year terms when created so all would not be replaced at once
  • Requesting reappoint of people with 1 year terms - gap from appoint to start of Commission, full Commission asked that all be reappointed to continue serving, is working well; more information on individuals available on request

Chair May said that they have good credentials, and are the County Executive’s appointments to the Commission.  Ms. Gewanter agreed, adding that they are waiting on the Legislature to fill one appointment, that of Montanette Murphy.  A letter was sent to Chairman McMahon and they hope that the Legislature will reappoint her.   She has been wonderful, as have the others. 

 

Mr. Dougherty said that Dr. Chin was very capable and an excellent professor.  Ms. Gewanter said that he was appointed by the County Executive as interim chair.  He is a former chair of the Commission and has just been succeeded by Lou Sanchez and co-chair Rabbi Daniel Fellman.  Mr. Holmquist said that Ms. McMillian Parks is wonderful.  Ms. Gewanter said that she is their elder conscious of civil rights.  Chair May said that she has a very interesting background. 

 

Mr. Ryan said that it was great that everyone wants to continue on with this work. It is appreciated, and an important commission.  In response to Mr. Ryan, Ms. Gewanter confirmed that there are two additional Legislature vacancies that can be filled.  There are also 6 vacancies for the Mayor of Syracuse.  Mr. Chin sent a letter to the Mayor requesting she fill the vacancies, and provided a list of 13 people suggested by the Commission.  Mr. Ryan said that he saw a correspondence about the two vacancies for the Legislature.   Also included, for the record, “It was suggested that perhaps somebody could join the Commission from the refugee community”.   He wished that Mr. Weiss was still present to discuss some of the work the DA’s office has done.  The refuges on the Northside are being taken advantage of.  It would be a good idea to have someone on the Commission to speak as a voice for that community.  He urges the committee to take this up, realizing the appointments are not technically theirs, he would like the two Legislative vacancies filled with members of the refugee community.

 

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

 

3.     SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT:  Kenneth Andrews, Chief, Civil Dept.

        a.     Transfer from Sheriff’s Office, Account 666500 Contingency, to Sheriff’s Office, Account 641020 Overtime Wages, $1,295,039;

                Transfer from Sheriff’s Office, Account 695700 Contractual Expenses Non-Govt, to Sheriff’s Office, Account 641020 Overtime Wages, $360,000;

                Transfer from Sheriff’s Office, Account 694130 Maintenance, Utilities, & Rents, to Sheriff’s Office, Account 641020 Overtime Wages, $325,000

Chief Andrews:

  • Transferring funds to true-up 2016 budget, relative numbers – additional bills coming in, will balance each line, will be close to these numbers  
  • Implemented hiring for Justice Center 25 years ago, many now retiring, also had retirement incentive, many vacancies to be filled by current academy but have 35 people becoming eligible for retirement this year
  • Overtime will always be a challenge for the Custody department due to staffing requirements, much done over past year to suppress overtime, i.e. 4 on 1’s and Safe Cell project

For the record, Chairman May said, “Just for perspective, appreciate the humility but, what we are looking at here is really the third year in a row of a balanced budget from the Sheriff’s department.  And, even better, what we are looking at is a budget that forecast $263,000 dollars to the good.”  Overtime drives some of this, but it is interesting that overtime, after the contingency is released, is at a good number when you consider some of the variables that nobody controls with respect to these costs.  This is a good projection and appreciated.  

 

Mr. Dougherty said he agreed with everything said by the Chairman.  Overtime is hard to control, but he would argue that there are only varying degrees of control for any one of the items.  Overtime would probably be the most unpredictable.  Rather than focusing on each individual line, the bottom-line is the most important.  Chief Andrews is present a lot and virtually every resolution is transferring money from one account to another, usually from contingency.  While this does not have to be decided today, he proposes they either make contingency account transfers bigger, so that there is more flexibility from quarter to quarter, or do away with the contingency altogether.  He understands that they have a system that seems to be working and may not want to change it.  However, a significant amount of time goes into preparing these, determining how much to ask for and when to release it.  Perhaps Chief Andrew’s time is better spent. 

  • Doesn’t mind coming over and updating committee from a financial standpoint; he too looks at the bottom number and manages other lines so that the bottom-line reflects what he wants
  • Only one item in contingency for 2017 - $300,000 for supplies; at some point will need to request transfer, provides opportunity for updates and to answer questions, not an inconvenience

Chair May said that 2015 had a lot in contingency.  This is the third time in for release to the 2016 budget.  The point is well taken, there is a trend here and it is a good one.  Mr. Dougherty said that it was great.  Chair May said none the less, it is great to see this visibility.  It helps the committee to understand where the fiscal challenges are.  It is interesting how overtime falls into one spot or another each year.   There is always a great reason why, but it is good to understand.  Mr. Dougherty’s points are well taken and something they should definitely talk about at budget. 

 

Chair May said that the Sheriff comes over at times also.  Chief Andrews said that the Sheriff wants to make himself available to the committee as well.

 

  • 101 account challenging for 2017 due to what the Legislature went through, number may mean fewer people working, not where the Sheriff wants to go, wants to keep staff and provide services, looks to Chief Andrews to make the budget work – not laying people off; will work to come in under budget again next year

 

Mr. Dougherty said that it was good work, and everyone appreciates how difficult it is to make this in the black each year.

 

Budget

Budget

Chair May said for the sake of record, road patrol OT compared to budget is up more this year than in the past. Chief Andrews said that Police was up due to a couple of homicides.  The Justice Center is more controlled as they know the staffing requirements.  Homicides and those sorts of things are uncontrollable.  Chair May said that they were also down staff going into an academy, which may have also been a little bit of a driver.  Chief Andrews said that it was a little, but what really drives overtime is the major incidents that cause a bubble to take place.  Chair May said that there was vast improvement on the jail side.  Chief Andrews said that they are doing better.  It is just a matter of how they can work with the union on certain things.

 

Mr. Ryan said that the number of people on road patrol is historically down from the past, which figures into the bottom-line.  This is good, but for him it is one of two things.  They are dealing with a department that has little or no control over what people do.  More often than not, people do stupid things and get in trouble.  Unfortunately homicides are up, last year being the worst in history with 30.  That will effect overtime, but if they have less people, and people have a greater need for services or are committing crimes, they have to pay the overtime to take care of it.  Overtime will always be there, it is a matter of getting the number to a number that is not crazy.  It is the same with the Justice Center, 35 people will be eligible for retirement and any number may leave.  The academy has already been negated by the people who left for the retirement incentive.  Chair Andrews said that they currently have one double fill. 

 

Mr. Ryan said that all things being equal, they are pretty full at the Justice Center so overtime should be about where it is now.  If employees decrease there is a savings on the employee line verses an expenditure on the overtime line.  Asked if there was another plan should they get too low, which then causes a big problem.  Chief Andrews said that it would be overtime, but there was a saving in the 2016 101 line because of the retirements.  There is a breakeven point, when you hire it brings the cost of overtime down.  However, when the cost of benefits starts reaching 50% it doesn’t make since to hire when they can pay time and a half to persons already receiving those benefits.  What they have to worry about is burnout of their people.  Some people will work $80,000 worth of overtime a year, as double shifts are available every day of the week.  Suddenly it gets in the paper that a jail deputy is making $170,000 a year, though they never see their family.  Mr. Ryan said that the paper won’t write that there is also an inmate population that is almost at full capacity, and there are state laws that govern how and where they must be watched.  There is also the other side in which not all of the overtime is voluntary, and these people would like to be home with their families.

 

Chair May asked if there was any progress on the Special Enforcement Unit and housing it at Hancock.

  • Helicopter moved to Hancock; working on a grant for a new fuel tank - currently have 10,000 gallon tank at Camillus, 19 years old, not cost effective to move, may not stay intact
  • Anticipates announcement on new location soon, only there a week or two, have been busy cleaning.  

Mr. Dougherty said that a number of cars were purchased this year, asked what the rest of the fleet looked like. 

  • Have continual 3 year plan, fleet of 211, 24 vehicles need to be replaced each year, budget allowed for 12 vehicles, Sheriff asked him to figure out where to get funds for the other 12
  • Using grants, Stop DWI funds, and such for the remaining 12, will do this as long as they can, probably won’t be able to do every year - important to replace each year because of repair costs and specifically because they are law enforcement vehicles, it’s not the number of miles but the number of hours on them; disappointed with the budget, but will work with them and make it work for this year
  • Will be bringing forward a resolution requesting funds from the Civil department - interest bearing account for trust and agency funds, should never have been put into this account, per Comptroller audit, happened 12 years ago, want to transfer those funds to a special funds account to purchase another car; will bring forward what the fleet looks like for next year sometime during the year

Mr. Dougherty suggested brining the information to the committee sooner, rather than waiting for midyear.  Chief Andrews said they update the information on a constant basis and can let them know what they are doing with the fleet right now.  Chair May said for a point of clarification, this information is important as the budget came through with no cars.  This committee, and the legislature, advocated and built 12 cars back into the budget.  Being in the loop enables them to do things such as that.

 

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

 

The meeting adjourned at 12:35 P.M.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Katherine

KATHERINE M. FRENCH, Deputy Clerk

Onondaga County Legislature

Attendance

 

                                                * * *

 

 

WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE MINUTES

January 30, 2017

David Knapp, Chairman

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Mr. Shepard, Mrs. Ervin, Ms. Williams, Ms. May

MEMBERS ABSENT:  Mr. Kilmartin

ALSO PRESENT:  Chairman McMahon, Mr. Ryan, see also attached list

 

Chairman Knapp called the meeting to order at 8:55 a.m.  A motion was made by Mrs. Ervin, seconded by Mr. May, to waive the reading of the minutes of the proceedings of the previous committee.  MOTION CARRIED.  A motion was made by Mr. Shepard, seconded by Mr. May, to approve the minutes of the proceedings of the previous committee.  MOTION CARRIED.

 

CONSENT AGENDA

 

1.     DISTRICT ATTORNEY:

        a.     Amending the 2016 County Budget to Accept NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services for the Onondaga Co. District Attorney’s Office, and Authorizing the Execution of Agreements ($138,600)

        b.     Amending the 2016 County Budget to Accept NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services for the Onondaga Co. District Attorney’s Office, and Authorizing the Execution of Agreements ($67,560)

        c.     Amending the 2016 County Budget to Accept NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services for the Onondaga Co. District Attorney’s Office, and Authorizing the Execution of Agreements ($2,050)

 

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

 

WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE REGULAR AGENDA

 

1.     SHERIFF:  Chief Kenneth Andrews

        a.     Transfer from Sheriff’s Office:

                Acct. 666500 Contingency to Sheriff’s Office, Acct. 641020 Overtime Wages, $1,295,039;

                Acct. 695700 Contractual Expense Non-Gov. to Sheriff’s Office, Acct 641020 Overtime Wages, $355,000;

                Acct. 694130 Maint., Utilities & Rents to Sheriff’s Office, Acct. 641020 Overtime Wages, $216,779

 

  • Transfer of funds to cover overtime shortfall for 2016
  • 2016 projection with these changes – under budget by over $200k

 

Mr. May congratulated the department; 3rd year in a row that they balanced.  It is over a quarter million dollars to the good and clarified that the shortfall was in the overtime budget line; but the overall budget is actually under.

 

Chief Andrews said noted earlier in the year he had explained what would happen with the overtime budget due to retirements, etc.  They will face it again this year, but there is an academy going on now which will refill the staff.  There are many eligible retirees coming up this year, that weren’t eligible for the early retirement incentive.

 

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

Chairman Knapp took the agenda out of order.

 

8.     ENVIRONMENT, OFFICE OF:  Chairman McMahon

        a.     Authorizing the Execution of an Agreement with the USDA Aphis WS Regarding Deer Management Services Within the Winkworth Neighborhood (Sponsored by Mr. McMahon)

 

Chairman McMahon:

  • Last month discussed deer/ticks management in the Village of Fayetteville; at that time talked about Winkworth neighborhood, Town of Onondaga
  • Winkworth Neighborhood has developed at Deer/Tick Management plan with DEC
  • Homeowners have applied/received numerous permits
  • Resolution allows county to enter into contract with USDA to do a bait and cull program, similar to what Village of Fayetteville did

 

Chairman Knapp noted that he is on the Deer & Ticks Advisory Board and commended the Winkworth neighborhood who have shouldered this on their own.  They got together, organized, and educated the entire neighborhood.  They did a great job; this is a model for other neighborhoods going forward.

 

Mrs. Ervin asked if we are going to look at a different way of doing this going forward – a more county-wide approach.  Chairman McMahon explained that the DEC doesn’t like that approach.  For the state to give out nuisance permits you first need to document the issue – impact on human health, infrastructure, and vehicular accidents.  The program needs to be tailored to where it can be documented.  No county has ever had its own plan; it would be easier, but NYS DEC won’t allow that.  The problems in Winkworth Neighborhood (inner ring Town of Onondaga/outer ring Syracuse neighborhood) it is going to be a lot different than what the Village of Fayetteville is dealing with.  It may be similar to what the east side is dealing with, but probably different than the Town of Clay.  He said that when the process started he tried to see if a county wide plan could be adopted, and the answer was negative.

 

Chairman Knapp said that the Winkworth plan wasn’t done in a vacuum.  Cooperative Extension helped them a lot.  Basically you need a core group in a neighborhood to organize things; Cooperative Extension and Office of Environment really put together the program.  Chairman McMahon said that the resources are there for a community to do this.  In this example, the Town of Onondaga didn’t want to lead a town-wide program, even though that was DEC’s recommendation.  Office of Environment and legislative staff have gotten very familiar with this issue.  Councilor Maroun is in a group, and is very interested to see how it could work, in the east side of Syracuse.  The Town of Dewitt has been very active, and they continue to learn from these processes.

 

Chairman McMahon agreed with Chairman Knapp’s comment.  He noted that they did door-to-door surveys, documented cases of Lyme Disease, vehicular accidents, infrastructure issues, vegetation, and/or housing damage.  DEC wants to see that there is actually a problem.  The group then created a plan, that doesn’t just deal with the deer, but a comprehensive approach – a lot of it is education.  

 

In answer to Mrs. Ervin, Chairman Knapp said that they absolutely will be sharing the plan with the other neighborhoods.  He noted that Mrs. Stanczyk, on behalf of the legislature, has done a boat load of work on this.  He is investigating some of the larger insurance companies, who have grant programs for deer management issues.  One of their biggest expenses is deer/car accidents.  The number of deer/car accidents has dramatically decreased in Fayetteville.  He plans to get a copy of the Winkworth plan to Councilor Maroun and to Dewitt.

 

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

 

2.     WATER ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION:  Tom Rhoads, Commissioner

        a.     Resolution Approving the Increased Cost of Certain Improvements for the Baldwinsville Treatment Plant within the Onondaga County Sanitary District ($1,800,000)

  • CIP resolutions have been through the Environmental Protection Committee 3 times; passed unanimously.

 

Items 2a and 2b discussed together.

  • Baldwinsville Wastewater Treatment plant – required by NYS permit to install a more restrictive disinfection program by May 2018
  • Have a chlorination process; required to add a dechlorination process for affluent
  • $1.8 million project includes a dechlorination tank, modifies tank and takes care of necessary improvements regarding the chemical feed

 

In answer to Mr. May, Mr. Rhoads confirmed everything is in the CIP.  Mr. May asked for clarification on which projects required and why.  Mr. Rhoads explained that several are required by permit, several are required by ACJ, and several are asset renewal.  In this case, the primary driver is in compliance with the permit, but parts of the concrete tank are falling apart, so when doing work in that area they will also take care of that.

 

Chairman Knapp asked if internally, from a department standpoint, if all of these can be managed concurrently.  Mr. Rhoads said that they believe they can; with several projects there is third party support with consultants during construction phase.  He noted that they also have their own construction division for construction inspection.  He said they are fully prepared to manage the projects with the costs outlined.

 

Mr. May said that he assumes the whole amount needs to be authorized.  Mr. Rhoads said that he can review that with each item.  There are some items that are just on the first phase and will be a multi-year capital improvement.  On this item, it all has to be done by May 2018.  Mr. Rhoads said that they understand they are looking for a lot of support from the legislature, feels the best way to present some of the projects is in a phased approach; easier for the legislature to manage the cost impact.

 

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

 

        b.     A Resolution Authorizing the Issuance of an Additional $1,800,000 Bonds of the County of Onondaga, New York, to Pay the Increased Cost of Certain Improvements for the Baldwinsville Treatment Plant in and for the Onondaga County Sanitary District ($1,800,000)

 

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

 

        c.     A Resolution Approving the Increased Cost of Certain Improvements for the Metro Wastewater Treatment Plant within the Onondaga County Sanitary District ($21,355,000)

 

  • Serving about 250k people
  • Improve upon the high level of phosphorous removal – critical to health of Onondaga Lake
  • Required by ACJ; to not proceed with project would expose with penalties up to $5,000/day
  • Construction phase of project; go to bid by March, complete construction by June 2019
  • Does a a number of significant improvements to the process and helps maintain a very high level of affluent treatment

 

Mr. Jordan asked if this is an increased cost or the cost originally estimated when entered into the ACJ.  Mr. Rhoads said when we entered into the ACJ, we had about 7 alternatives.  This was the most cost effective solution.  Some of the agenda items referenced additional cost.  We bonded for the engineering portion of the project construction phase is an additional cost.  Mr. Jordan asked if it is additional beyond what was anticipated.  Mr. Rhoads said the estimate was prepared in June 2016 at 50% of design phase – are now at 100% design phase and still coming in at $21,355,000 to complete the project.

 

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

 

        d.     A Resolution Authorizing the Issuance of an Additional $21,355,000 Bonds of the County of Onondaga, New York, to Pay the Increased Cost of Certain Improvements for the Metro Wastewater Treatment Plant in and for the Onondaga County Sanitary District ($21,355,000)

 

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

 

        e.     A Resolution Approving Proposed Improvements for the Onondaga County Sanitary District Consisting of the Meadowbrook Limestone Wastewater Treatment Plant Disinfection System and Collection System Project in and for the County of Onondaga, New York ($11,725,000)

 

  • Meadowbrook Limestone serves the Meadowbrook area of the City, Dewitt, Fayetteville, Manlius, a little of Pompey
  • SPDES Permit – state required elimination of any residual chlorine in affluent to this stream
  • Meadowbrook Limestone is fairly small and dry in this area; had to have nearly a total removal of residual chlorine, which effectively eliminated use a chemical process--had to change to an ultraviolet disinfection system
  • Also going to improve clarifiers and replace significant electrical assets which were original (over 50 years)
  • New disinfection process required to be on line by May 2018

 

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

 

     f.      Resolution Authorizing the Issuance of $11,725,000 Bonds of the County of Onondaga to Pay Costs of Improvements for the Onondaga Co. Sanitary Dist. Consisting of the Meadowbrook Limestone Wastewater Treatment Plant Disinfection System and Collection System Proj. ($11,725,000)

 

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

 

     g.     A Resolution Approving Proposed Improvements for the Onondaga County Sanitary District Consisting of the Engineering Design of the Oak Orchard Wastewater Treatment Plant Secondary Clarifier Rehabilitation in and for the County of Onondaga, New York ($950,000)

 

  • Asset renewal to 1980 plan  
  • DEC to increase the rate capacity to the plan
  • Phased project -- engineering phase – will be coming back in the future for asset improvements
  • Start design in 2017; likely to be completed 2020-2021; over 40 years old at that time

 

Mr. May asked what the total cost forecast is, and Mr. Lanning said is is $7.2 million – $950,000 of that was for engineering.

 

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

 

        h.     A Resolution Authorizing the Issuance of $950,000 Bonds of the County of Onondaga, New York, to Pay Costs of Improvements for the Onondaga County Sanitary District, Consisting of Engineering Design of the Oak Orchard Wastewater Treatment Plant Secondary Clarifier Rehabilitation ($950,000)

 

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

 

        i.      A Resolution Approving Proposed Improvements for the Onondaga County Sanitary District Consisting of the Phase 1 of the Camillus Force Main Replacement Project in and for the County of Onondaga, New York ($2,000,000)

 

  • Phase 1 of replacement of 7 miles ( 36,600) ft. long force main, 1982 vintage; has failed  4 times in 5 years
  • Failure resulted in untreated wastewater to the environment, proximate to Nine Mile Creek
  • Emergency repairs have cost approximately $285k - $$450k for each band aid
  • Pipe is oversized-- sewage moves slowly uphill from the Village/Town of Camillus to Westside pump station –when moving slowly it becomes septic
  • Septicity – turns into hydrogen sulfite gas, which in combination of the water creates sulfuric acid
  • Sulfuric acid is burning out the crown of the pipe – having crown failures
  • Had chemical addition at the pump station – eroded the inverted pipe
  • First phase will push a pipe within a pipe to reduce diameter of existing pipe, improve the velocity, and likely use HDPE pipe – resistant to chemical attach
  • Project could likely cost $10 million – seeking $2 million for phase 1

 

Chairman Knapp asked if this is the one that failed a couple of weeks ago.  Mr. Rhoads said that was Ley Creek Force Main – has failed twice.  If this force main fails in the Bennett Road area, there will be huge property damage and environmental responsibilities.

 

Chairman Knapp asked if reduction the pipe will be a capacity issue down the road.  Mr. Rhoads said that it wouldn’t be – the design was looking at a 200%–300% increase in population in the area, which is not happening in the immediate area of the Village of Camillus.

 

Chairman Knapp said that this is for construction, not design.  Mr. Rhoads said that they have a small design project through their cash capital budget to help with construction cost estimates and best motive to proceed.  Mr. Capozza said that this will be for about 2 miles – will take it as far as they can go with the first phased budget. 

 

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

 

        j.      A Resolution Authorizing the Issuance of $2,000,000 Bonds of the County of Onondaga, New York, to Pay Costs of Improvements for the Onondaga County Sanitary District, Consisting of Phase 1 the Camillus Force Main Replacement Project ($2,000,000)

 

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

 

        k.     Resolution Approving Phase 1 of Proposed Improvements for the Harbor Brook Drainage District Consisting of Miscellaneous Culvert and Channel Improvements in and for the County of Onondaga, New York ($200,000)

  • 110 year old infrastructure – need to put significant asset renewal dollars into it
  • Channel becomes a concrete box culvert – Skunk City neighborhood, through City of Syracuse, into Harbor Brook
  • Estimate $800k in total expenses over 5 – 10 years 
  • First phase, $200k, term services contract for fencing and basic concrete repairs; developing term services contract for pneumatically applied concrete (Shock-Crete) 
  • Areas where concrete is significantly deteriorated, fencing repairs – safety issues
  • To not maintain the culvert and box channel exposes the community; if critical failure, it would be significant funding
  • Real property district, not part of sanitary district – small bites – tax cap concerns, real property tax concerns

 

In answer to Mr. Jordan, Mr. Rhoads said that this is a storm water system that has 13 active CSO’s going into it.  It is part of the drainage district, not part of the sanitary district.

 

In answer to Mrs. Ervin, Mr. Rhoads said that the total might be $800k.  It is being approached in small bites because it is a real property district.  He said that today’s agenda has over $40 million – looking for support from the legislature on.  Will be applying all scarce resources in the areas needed most.

 

Mr. May referenced this item and the next one and initially questioned why cash wasn’t being used.  He reminded himself that the legislature forced the use of reserves in operation, more so than perhaps requested.  In the previous item, a project account was dipped into for the engineering of the slip lining.  He said he is OK with it, especially because it’s so early in the year and part of a bigger project.  Mr. May said that he views this item as a safety issue because it’s in a residential area and would love to see the fencing escalated.  Mr. Rhoads noted that there was a loss of life (years ago), and if a child or adult got in there it would be end of life. 

 

In answer to Chairman McMahon, Mr. Rhoads said that fencing repairs and some concrete repairs can start in March or April.  The pneumatic contract needs to be put through a bidding process. 

 

Chairman McMahon said that this a drainage district, the $200k bonding is done via the drainage district, not WEP funded.  There are only a certain amount of households paying into the drainage district.  If $800,000 was done at once, they would see some sharp increases on their taxes.  Mr. Rhoads agreed and added if it were done as a cash capital project, it would have been significant impact.  Chairman McMahon asked that the time frame is addressed to fix this and keep Mr. Puchalski and Legislator Ryan apprised to the progress, as they are very concerned. 

 

Chairman Knapp and Ms. Williams said that the fencing should be a priority.  Mr. Rhoads said that it will be, but noted that the 110 year old infrastructure will need legislative support in the future.  When they come back, he asked members to understand that it is all imperative for service to the community and to prevent flooding.

 

Mr. Jordan understands that fencing is a priority, but if they are going in there to do construction, you don’t want to be putting up a fence to then knock it down to get to the construction.  It is a systematic process.  Mr. Rhoads understands all of the concerns; they will continue to make the investments in a very good, efficient manner.  They will take care of significant safety concerns and asset management concerns in a bundled project that would be most cost effective.

 

In answer to Mrs. Ervin about the priority of fencing.  Mr. Rhoads said that phase 1 would include fencing work.  Mrs. Ervin said that right now the priority is that it is a safe situation--understands that long term support is needed.

 

A motion was made by Ms. Williams, seconded by Mrs. Ervin, to approve this item.  Passed unanimously.  MOTION CARRIED.

 

        l.      A Resolution Authorizing the Issuance of $200,000 Bonds of the County of Onondaga, New York, to Pay Costs of Phase I Improvements for the Harbor Brook Drainage District Consisting of Miscellaneous Culvert and Channel Improvements ($200,000)

 

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

 

        m.    A Resolution Approving Proposed Improvements for the Bear Trap Ley Creek Drainage District Consisting of the North Midler Culvert Improvement Project in and for the County of Onondaga, New York ($130,000)

 

  • Drainage district – culvert on on North Midler, goes under railroad trestle in Town of DeWitt
  • Storm water box culvert – failure on it; put a plate on it and paved over it – a band aid
  • $130,000 to refurbish the entire box culvert and get another 60 years out of it
  • Real property district – if culvert were to fail, potential properties and liability claims would be will over $130k

 

Chairman Knapp said it will be paid for by the resident of the drainage district.

 

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

 

        n.     A Resolution Authorizing the Issuance of $130,000 Bonds of the County of Onondaga, New York, to Pay Costs of Improvements for the Bear Trap Ley Creek Drainage District, Consisting of the North Midler Culvert Improvement Project ($130,000)

 

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

 

3.     TRANSPORTATIONMarty Voss, Commissioner

        a.     Amending the 2017 County Budget to Pay in the First Instance 100% of the Federal and State Aid Eligible Costs at a Maximum Amount of $3,467,500 for the Allen Road Paving Project, PIN 3754.61, and Authorizing the Execution of Agreements ($3,467,500)

 

  • Items 3a – 3e represent the federal transportation improvement projects for 2017
  • All scored by Federal Highway by the Federal Highway Administration and SMTC 

 

  • Allen Road, Town of Clay

 

Chairman Knapp said that these are fronting the money and then we will be reimbursed.  Mr. Voss agreed.

 

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

 

        b.     Amending the 2017 County Budget to Pay in the First Instance 100% of the Federal and State Aid Eligible Costs at a Maximum Amount of $1,045,000 for the Benson Road Bridge Project, PIN 3755.74, and Authorizing the Execution of Agreements ($1,045,000)

 

  • Benson Rd. Bridge, near Dutch Hollow, Town of Skaneateles

 

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

 

        c.     Amending the 2017 County Budget to Pay in the First Instance 100% of the Federal and State Aid Eligible Costs at a Maximum Amount of $1,425,000 for the Bridge Maintenance I Project, PIN 3755.16, and Authorizing the Execution of Agreements ($1,425,000)

 

  • Represents 6 bridges

 

Mr. Rauber distributed the following:

Bridges

  • Chosen upon their need
  • Not anything significant other than maintenance – bearing replacement, steel repairs, deck repairs, wash bridges

 

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

 

        d.     Amending 2017 Co. Budget to Pay in the First Instance 100% of the Federal and State Aid Eligible Costs at a Maximum Amount of $5,966,000 for the John Glenn Blvd. Bridges Over Onondaga Lake Outlet Project, PIN 3755.20, and Authorizing the Execution of Agreements ($5,966,000)

 

  • Two bridges that go over the outlets of Onondaga Lake on John Glen Blvd.
  • Public outreach next couple of months – let people and business know about the project
  • 25,000 vehicles/day through the areas
  • Plan is to take down one side, redo it, re-traffic along the other side, switch the following year
  • Completed end of construction season 2018

 

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

 

        e.     Amending the 2017 County Budget to Pay in the First Instance 100% of the Federal and State Aid Eligible Costs at a Maximum Amount of $3,325,000 for the John Glenn & Kirkville Road Paving Project, PIN 3755.72, and Authorizing the Execution of Agreements ($3,325,000)

 

  • Paving on John Glenn Blvd. & Kirkville Road
  • Work done in Towns of Geddes, Salina, Clay for John Glenn Blvd.; work done in Town of Dewitt for Kinne St. to Roberts Street on Kirkville Rd.

 

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

 

        f.      For Plowing State Roads During the Winter of 2016-2017:  Amending the 2017 Onondaga County Budget to Accept Additional Revenue, and Authorizing the Execution of Agreements ($62,627)

 

  • Ability to bill NYSDOT for additional $62k for reimbursement on plowing
  • Due to the labor agreements settled last year and the raised therein
  • Employees received a raise; amount of money billed to NYS for roads the county plows goes up commensurate with higher wage rate

 

Mr. Jordan said that it’s been a mild year snow-wise.  We are going to be billing for more money, but this past year we ended up where we paid a penalty because it wasn’t as significant of a year.  Mr. Voss said the winter isn’t close to done yet and wants to maximize whatever reimbursement we can get from the state.  It will be paid back to the towns and villages that the county has IMA’s with.  We want to make sure we are whole on our end regardless of what kind of winter we have.  In answer to Mr. Jordan, Mr. Voss said that they don’t recoup the money until long after the winter is over.  The towns are paid twice a year.  Mr. Morgan said that if the severity factor doesn’t come in, the county doesn’t it pass it off to the towns either.  Chairman Knapp said that there was not severity factor for the towns last year – just a flat rate.  Mr. Morgan said that we have to wait until winter is over to determine what it is.  Chairman Knapp said that the second check is well into the late summer.

 

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

 

4.     LEGISLATURE:

        a.     Standard Work Day and Reporting Resolution

 

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

 

5.     INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY:  Kevin Sexton, CIO

        a.     Amending the 2017 County Budget and Authorizing Further Amendment to an Intermunicipal Agreement with the City of Syracuse Regarding the Provision of Services for PeopleSoft Financials and Hyperion Software Systems

 

  • 3rd agreement with the city; adds additional $125k to the agreement
  • Used for services in support of their PeopleSoft financial initiatives
  • Have very functional and constructive relationship with the City of Syracuse, namely with David Prowak, IT Director,
  • Look to provide further automation for them with county PeopleSoft support in terms of voucher upload, reoccurring vouchers, electronic invoices, combo edits, work centers, and additional reporting needs
  • Viewed as a success story in terms of shared services – move forward through March of 2018

 

In answer to Chairman Knapp, Mr. Sexton said that this arrangement is going into its third year.  Chairman Knapp said that he wanted to be sure that the County was being reimbursed for what it is forwarding and asked Mr. Morgan to report on reimbursement from the City.  Mr. Morgan said that the City is paid through November 2016; there is an outstanding invoice for December.  The City has paid roughly $200,000 so far.  Mr. Sexton said that December will be processed this week.  Chairman Knapp asked if that payment will get us up to $250,000; Mr. Sexton said “very close.”

 

Mr. Jordan asked if the services provided to the city will be more than what the county has provided in the past.  Mr. Sexton said it will be about the same.  Mr. Sexton said that the county hosts their services and runs PeopleSoft from the county domain.  The agreement allows the county to provide support when they need it, when they run into problems.  If there are new initiatives that they want to implement, the county is there to provide that--work with them to gather their requirements and then do configuration or automation as needed.  

 

Mr. Jordan said that he has a difficult time supporting this.  The PeopleSoft program is way beyond the original completion day.  He questioned why we would take our resources to provide services to the City when we do not have PeopleSoft fully implemented for the County yet.  It seems ill advised.  We should be focusing on getting it up and running for the county and then if we want to expand service to other municipalities, so be it.  It seems we are diverting resources away from a project that hasn’t been completed yet.

 

Chairman McMahon said that PeopleSoft is probably more expensive than it really should have been or as it was originally communicated.  He assumes that the County is not bringing on any additional manpower.  Mr. Sexton agreed.  Chairman McMahon said that the $125k will actually help the county recoup some of the costs of PeopleSoft implementation.  Mr. Sexton said that it will help cover the services; our own staff will provide services and will get reimbursed for those hours.  Chairman McMahon said they are not doing the shared services right now; they are still our staff.  Mr. Sexton agreed.  Chairman McMahon said that this is a new $125k coming in, same staff; financially it is a better deal.

 

Chairman McMahon said that Mr. Jordan’s second point needs to be addressed.  Mr. Sexton said he views it as two separate projects in terms of PeopleSoft financials vs. PeopleSoft human capital management for payroll and benefits.  The county has different staff working on those projects.  The initiative with the city on the financial side really has no bearing on the project with human capital management.  He said that the county’s relationship with the city actually strengthens the county from a financial standpoint--- the county has tagged with the City on a lot of the initiatives that they are looking to apply in reduced manual processing.  If it makes sense for us, and is going to help support our processes better, then we implement them as well.  There is a strength there.  The human capital management project has been slow moving, but moving in a very positive direction as of late.  Separate staff work on that – these two are not dependent on each other.

 

Mr. Jordan said that his focus is more the allocation of resources.  He does not have a problem with getting reimbursement from the City; has a problem diverting.  Maybe instead of having people dedicating services to the city, we could reallocate their duties and have our staff getting it up and running for the county.  Mr. Sexton said “conceptually yes, but it is different knowledge sets.”  The same staff that support financials, really don’t know payroll; they don’t know benefits.  It is really specific staff that are there doing it now.  He said that they don’t have anybody additional that has that institutional knowledge, that can support the human capital project.  All of our experts are really fully engaged on the project right now.  “It is moving slower, but it is at a much lower expense, and we are very close to meeting our requirements on that side.”

 

Mr. May said that this is a great discussion.  He understands that it is a separate process in that there is some gains on our part in terms of institutional knowledge – being able to apply some of what the city wants to do to ourselves in the long run.  That said, if you take the dollars that are applied to this support function and put it to the other side, implementation, would it move the goal posts closer.  The staffing and resources that we are using for this function – if we weren’t doing this, would be be able to accelerate the deadline on the other side.  Mr. Sexton said that he doesn’t believe so – we have the team that we want in place now.  If we brought in a new person, there is a big learning curve involved.  Most of the resources are county resources; we are really only down to one consultant.  The benefit is that we know it, we know the PeopleSoft side of it; we are meeting our requirements more closely.  He said that he likes the way the project is working currently; doesn’t know if throwing more resources at it will really help.  Mr. May asked if maybe there would be diminishing marginal returns if more resources were thrown at it.  Mr. Sexton said that there would be at this stage of the project, noting that they are doing parallel testing right now, and are staffed pretty well for it. 

A motion was made by Mrs. Ervin, seconded by Ms. Williams, to approve this item.  AYES:  4 (Knapp, Shepard, Ervin, Williams); NOES:  0; ABSTENTIONS:  2 (Jordan, May).  ABSENT:  1 (Kilmartin); MOTION CARRIED.

 

Chairman Knapp thanked Mr. Sexton for working with the Veteran’s Advisory Committee on improvements at the War Memorial.

 

6.     BOARD OF ETHICS:

        a.     Confirming Reappointment to the Onondaga County Board of Ethics (William Fitzpatrick)

 

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

 

7.     MISC.:

        a.     A Local Law Regarding County Property Located with the City of Syracuse, on the Corner of South State Street and Harrison Streets, Presently Known as “Lot 17” (Sponsored by Mr. McMahon)

 

Chairman McMahon:

  • Couple of years ago the legislature was confronted with a decision to either invest in Hotel Syracuse or go back to one original plan to build hotel next to convention center
  • Legislature doubled down on the Hotel Syracuse and have seen the success that they have had
  • Paid for study to look at different options for the lot that the county has
  • Worked with Visit Syracuse to brand convention center district as a convention center corridor
  • Traveled to Louisville and Milwaukee to look at what they have done and their successes
  • Need new development in the lot and need to create density; density will create a viable corridor with convention center on on end, Everson Museum and Hotel Syracuse on the other
  • Need to figure out a way to connect the viable corridor to the rest of downtown
  • Urged County Executive to RFP for the lot
  • Pemco Group put in proposal and was awarded
  • Will be a mixed use commercial projects, over $100 millon that will bring thousands of people to downtown, help create the needed density, provide some amenities that the district doesn’t have
  • Substantial investment into a downtown property – will create hundreds and hundreds of construction jobs
  • $2.5 million will be reimbursed to the county; property will go on the tax roles
  • Will get a much needed development that will have tremendous synergy with convention center corridor vision

 

Chris Montante, Pemco:

  • Pemco is the proposed developer for this site, together development with Capstone Collegiate Communities, who is one of the larger student and housing developers in the nation
  • Capstone Collegiate Communities approached Pemco, who defined the need and responded to RFP
  • Project will provide density needed in neighborhood
  • 24/7 folks living and working  there; ancillary retail, restaurants, and some other things that will support civic buildings and other activities in the neighborhood
  • Will provide connectivity to the university and other institutions – potentially transforming the neighborhood into something really great
  • Proceeded with a plan to enter into a development agreement, disposition agreement to purchase property at market value
  • Have a period of time with an option agreement to develop the plan/concept
  • During the option time – have ability to test the site environmentally in 2017, and develop concepts more thoroughly
  • 4th quarter 2017 hope to have a fully developed concept plan to present
  • Parking lot would remain and owned by the county during the option period
  • Will purchase the property when all approvals and commitments are in place

 

Chairman McMahon asked Mr. Montante to go over the main concept, noting student housing and commercial elements.

 

Mr. Montante:

  • 2.5 acre site; proposal is to develop roughly 450k sq. ft.; 2 elements – office tower and housing tower
  • 1,100 car parking in and below structure
  • Retail including restaurants, perhaps a grab and go grocery, coffee shop
  • Are talking about a market in some of the area – have basic outline
  • Will be able to refine the plan, take into consideration the surrounding buildings, observations and requirements that the county may have during the planning process

 

Chairman McMahon noted that there are key points on timeline:

  • Local law is on the desks and will be on February’s agenda, gives the option  - can’t go get a bank loan without having access to the land
  • Conservative timeline – the sooner the developer can get the approvals needed, the sooner they can start building
  • 2017 - environmental work will be done; goal at end of 2017 is to move forward with appropriate plans to the Planning and Zoning boards in the City of Syracuse
  • 2018 - hopefully have those approvals; working to close on a construction loan at the end of 2018/beginning of 2019 and construction would then begin
  • Details as to specifics of commercial building aren’t done yet – this is the first part of the process
  • Pemco individual will be back before the legislature and have to live up to what they said in RFP
  • Agreements provide different milestones that they have to meet; if they don’t meet them they have an option to extend, but would have to pay into a jobs program

 

Chairman Knapp said that it is a lot to take in and will not call for a vote today.

 

Chairman Knapp asked Mr. Morgan how much is made annually in parking revenue in that lot.  Mr. Morgan deferred to Mr. Fisher, who didn’t have the specific number, but said it was in the low six figures.  Mr. Fisher said that there is an agreement with SMG where it is not part of the Oncenter facilities, but they manage it for the county for a fee.  Everything comes back to the Facilities Management Department.  Chairman Knapp asked Mr. Fisher to provide the parking revenue number to Mrs. Stanczyk.

 

Mrs. Ervin said that she thought the Hotel Syracuse was going to be the convention center hotel, until we decided what else we were going to do.  She thought that we were still looking at a hotel on this lot.  Chairman McMahon said that it is in the agreement with the Hotel Syracuse that we couldn’t have a hotel on this lot for 7 – 8 years.  With the new stock in the market, it probably isn’t the strongest play.  There are new hotels going up downtown; there are new and refurbished hotels on Carrier Circle and 7th North Street corridor, the DestiNY hotel, and the Inner Harbor hotels.  From the hotel market place, there is a new stock and a lot of rooms on board; suggests it’s not the wisest development.  To have a real convention center corridor, you have to have people.  Part of the problem on the Harrison St. corridor is that there is one restaurant and a couple employers.  There aren’t any employment drivers to create people.  Creating this type of development puts money on the tax rolls, getting money back to the county, bringing in hundreds and hundreds of people downtown in the arts and cultural district.  Other types of things can then be looked at that other communities have done.  He referenced Louisville – their convention center district includes an old hotel, similar to ours.  They have 4th Street Live, which is roof over the street scape – under the roof is a mecca of restaurant and entertainment options.  Mrs. Ervin said that she has been to Louisville and asked if that is what this will lead to, and questioned what the student housing would do.  Chairman McMahon said that is part of the project.  Having students there is having people there – they will be spending money and utilizing resources on this side of downtown, which has been neglected as far as development goes.  The larger player is the new commercial building with a major anchor tenant and different amenities.

 

Mr. Jordan said that the project sounds exciting.  One concern is losing the low six figures parking revenue in the long term.  When we were talking about a convention center hotel, the county was involved in litigation.  The property was basically taken by eminent domain and the county had to pay $3.4 million to acquire it.  Now we are talking about an almost $1 million hit, not even factoring in the loss from parking lot revenues that the county will no longer have.  He understands that Pemco did their own appraisal, but the county did its own appraisal when involved in litigation to determine what the value of the property was six years ago, and a court of law determined the value to be $3.4 million.  We are getting considerably less than that.

 

Mr. Jordan said he is concerned with the student housing.  There was recently an article in the paper where there are concerns that we may be over building for student housing.  He understands the developer is looking a couple of years down the road, but at that time they may decide that developing the property as student housing isn’t the way to do this and maybe the proposal changes significantly.  He would like to see, at the time they execute their options, that it comes back to the legislature for approval.  He referenced when there was an attempt to build a convention center hotel, and the reason it failed was because the as built appraisal didn’t come in high enough, so the funding situation fell apart.  He said that there could be a possibility of there being problems with developing the property as currently proposed. 

 

Mr. Jordan said another concern is if that at some point the property becomes owned by S.U. and then it becomes a tax exempt property, which has been a big complaint for the city.  He wants it to be clear that there is no intention of conveying the property to S.U. or them having some interest it in, where it could be a non-taxable parcel.

 

Mr. Montante said that regarding the appraisal, the county had engaged an appraiser, who took into consideration the income being generated and their income capitalization methodology.  They came up with a range in values assuming there are are no environmental concerns there.  He noted that there is an environmental history there and testing will be conducted.  He clarified that it wasn’t Pemco’s appraisal, it was the county’s appraisal.  He said they made an offer and agreed to take on the environmental risk.  During the option period, at the time that they don’t own the property, they will be spending a lot of money, which prior development arrangements did not do.  Pemco will pay the market price for the property, which is unprecedented for this lot; will be putting dollars into it during 2017 to test the lot; will be reporting the results of the testing to the county in case there is an issue with the site; will conduct soil compaction and other tests to determine the feasibility to develop the site.  It all will add value to the site, all coming out of Pemco’s pocket, all which will be a benefit to the site whether we exercise our option or not. 

 

Mr. Montante referred to the student housing component.  They had a preliminary study conducted in 2016, submitted with the RFP, and determined that there is demand for student housing.  It is a little bit more deliberate coming down the hill, not going to be just S.U.  There will be no plans to sell to a public university at this point.  They plan on being fully engaged with the university, once site control is obtained.  He said that they have reached out to the student population; will do focus groups; will reach out to the university; will take all public comment into consideration.  It is very deliberate; it’s not just S.U.; there is also Upstate Hospital; this is a lot of synergy and connectivity up and down the hill.  To look at the overall map, what may happen with Rt. 81, what may happen with Syracuse Housing Authority land, and this site together with the Hotel Syracuse, and other investment, this really is transformative.  They will work collaboratively to see if they can get together with a plan that will need to be approved by City/County Planning; it will need to go through the zoning process.  They will submit concepts after spending money and time, take everybody’s opinions into account.  They have some time; the protection is that they cannot execute on the option to purchase the land until all concepts are approved, all public vetting.  It is exciting; thinks they have the right partners, the right concept, and that over time they will be able to mitigate any concerns.

 

Chairman McMahon said that any student housing, is taxable because it is a for profit use.  He noted that S.U. owns the land on Comstock where there is student housing, a private developer manages it.  They have a PILOT each year.  He noted that the student housing is 25% of this plan; the plan is $100 million development, a brand new commercial building with a major anchor tenant.  The developer is not ready to talk about the anchor tenant at this point.  He does not want the take away to be that this is a student housing project; it is not.  The project went through a process.  Regarding the appraisal history, the county was extremely upset with the judge’s ruling on the value of that lot.  Chairman McMahon said that this gets the money back to what the market rate is.  What the judge said back then is not what the market rate is today.  Additionally, the county will get property tax from it.  There will probably be a PILOT agreement.  There will be benefits to offset any parking revenue that was received. 

 

Chairman McMahon said that having a convention center district is a game changers.  The development team is prominent, who does fantastic work.  There are safety nets, which provide the county the opportunity if there are issues with what is being done.  They have to go through the planning process before they can close; we don’t exercise the option until we get paid a $2.5 million check. 

 

Mr. Jordan asked Mr. Montante if he has any objection to coming back to the legislature at the time the option is executed for legislature approval – coming forward with what the plan is.  Mr. Montante said that they would object to that due to the processes followed up to that point – dollars spent, environmental testing, engineering studies conducted, and engagement with City/County Planning.  There would be a whole public process to that point and would have a lot of dollars out the door.  They will have added dollars in value to the property through the predevelopment steps; they would have funding commitments in place – all of which would have cost an enormous amount of dollars – probably over $1 million into the site at that time.  On that basis, we would not be able to get the funding commitments with that kind of uncertainty at that point.  He said he would like to work with everyone and thinks they have in the context of the agreement.  He noted that there are development milestones and a development timeline.  He said that they have been discussing this for a period of time, and it has been about all of these same concerns – thinks they got there with the agreement.  Mr. Jordan said that unfortunately, it may have been discussed for quite some time, but legislators haven’t been involved.  This was received Friday, and there hasn’t been time to mull over this. 

 

Mr. Jordan referred to the 1,100 parking spaces and asked if they would be accessible to the public.  Right now, the parking lot is full most of the time, as is the garage.  Mr. Montante said it will have 1,100 slots on site and will not utilize the convention center parking lot.  The spaces will not be available for the public; they have to provide 1 to 1 parking for the student housing component, and there will be roughly 500-700 employees for the office tower, which will eat up the parking.  He said parking is on the table to discuss, but at this point it is private parking for the benefit of the mixed use project.  Mr. Jordan said that this is another factor to take into consideration – take into account that we will be losing slots that are there now.

 

Chairman Knapp said that it might be something like the arrangement with Harrison garage and the Marriott Syracuse Downtown – certain spots for one use during the day and the same spots are repurposed in the evening.  Mr. Montante said that they would be agreeable to having parking available at times when it is it needed for public purpose. 

 

Mr. Fisher said that there are 1000 parking spaces in the garage, 300+ in the surface parking lot – there are times when both are jammed up.  It is important to the convention center.  He said that he will want SMG to provide some information on how this project would allow the continuance of support to some of that activities that are already going on at the War Memorial, Oncenter, or other events.  There is also a significant number of county employees that park in the garage or lot, and an agreement with the condo partner at the Galleries who park some of their folks there. 

 

Mr. Jordan referenced Harrison Garage and noted that Upstate is parking there, the Hotel is parking there, other public is parking there, and other employees that work downtown are parking there.  He noted that it could very easily get jammed up with there not being enough spaces for people to park.  The Hotel, would obviously not be happy about it, nor would some downtown businesses.  Chairman McMahon said that the Hotel wouldn’t be affected because they have the city’s owned garage; they basically manage Harrison garage.  Chairman Knapp asked about the Hotel parking garage.  Chairman McMahon said that there is a lot of potential there, but it is not in the greatest shape.  In answer to Chairman Knapp, Mr. Fisher said that there are 3 or 4 different companies that own it; it is in receivership; “it’s a real mess”.  He said that the county moved its spaces from about 265 down 110 there, and would get out altogether if it could.  It is back up to code, but it is not at a level to where the Marriott needed it to be, so they entered into an agreement with the city to take over a portion of the Harrison Street Garage.

 

Mr. Jordan referred to project assistance in the agreement and asked what help is anticipated from the County or City.  Mr. Montante said that in the next step of doing the engineering, testing – it will reveal any budgeting gaps, which would be the basis for a request for a CFA or some other form of state funding.  The RFP suggested that there will be a great deal of that, because there was a preliminary budget of $150 million.  The economics of building the garage, branch new downtown development, might not be 100% economically feasible without some assistance.  They require some type of PILOT where the land would be the basis for the assessment for a period of time and then building would phase in over time.  That would enable financing the greatest amount, reduce debt over time, so it’s a sustainable, feasible project for over the long term when it does present 100% to the role of the improvements.  Until they go through the process of preliminary engineering and conceptualization, they won’t be able to define it.  Mr. Jordan said that he wanted to make sure that it’s clear to the public, that in talking about potential PILOTs, he doesn’t want another Inner Harbor situation where we get into a bind because there was some understanding that there wouldn’t be any request for a PILOT.  Chairman McMahon said that there absolutely is going to be a PILOT with this project.  In answer to Mr. May, Chairman McMahon said it will probably be an OCIDA PILOT – one of their uniform PILOTS that they have on their menu of services currently.  Mr. Montante said that all of this has been represented throughout the process, in the RFP as well, because they wanted 100% transparency.  Chairman McMahon said that the project would probably look to the URI pot of money.  

 

Mr. May said that the project is intriguing; probably the most transformable thing to happen to downtown in decades, should it go through.  It is talking about a commitment and taking encumbering the property for “x” amount of time until the developer is ready, which is fair and understandable.  He asked what happens in February – is the local law being introduced, voted on, what is the process.  Chairman McMahon said that the local law is on the desks; if there are enough members comfortable with it, then we can move on it.  The development team probably wants to start to get to work so that it is a 2018 issue, not a 2019 issue.  He would like to see the parking worked out.  The developer can’t deviate from the RFP that they won – we already know what it’s going to be.  The question is what are the fine-tuned pieces that will be there.  The problem is that you can’t have future legislative bodies trying to get a different bite at the apple off a policy decision this legislature made. 

 

Mr. May requested that this go to County Facilities Committee, maybe even Planning Committee, caucus on it, talk about it and put it on for March – so that this transformative change is fully vetted on our side, so we are confident in what we are doing, and all of us are making the right decision that makes sense for everybody.  Mr. May said that time is money for the developer.  Mr. Montante said that they are putting their schedules together for the environmental testing; should have a plan in place, but probably won’t proceed with that until a little bit further beyond winter; there is a little time.

 

In answer to Mrs. Ervin regarding not seeing the documents; Chairman Knapp asked that a copy of the RFP be provided to members.  Mr. Jordan said that that the agreements make reference to exhibits a – c, but they were not attached.  He asked asked that the exhibits also be provided to the members.  Chairman McMahon said that Mr. Trombley can provide the RFP and the Law Department would have the exhibits.

 

Ms. Williams said that this is a big project, and doesn’t want to go into it half baked.  She understands that some people looked at this and digested it, but the members just receive it and there are a lot of things she wants to look at.  She said it seems like this is being hurried; when things are hurried, things get left out.  She said that she wants to make sure she is comfortable and has all of her questions answered. 

 

Mr. Shepard asked if there is a specific anchor tenant in mind.  Mr. Montante said that they do and feels it will add an element of feasibility to this.  He said that over 1 – 1.5 years ago, Aspen wanted to come downtown, Excellus expressed an interest to go downtown with an RFP.  There is demand for new downtown office space.  Some of the old stock is being converted as meaningful, residential, mixed use projects.  Mixed use is the future.  Downtown is a very essential part of the county economy, and urban core development and redevelopment is one of the pillars in the regional plan.  Connectivity between the anchor institutions and downtown are essential; this corridor is even more essential to that.  With all of the changes coming through with this part of downtown, you can imagine the impact that it might bring; the anchor tenant being considered is certainly going to help with that.

 

Mrs. Ervin said that she is very in favor of the the concept of the project; would like some more details; it sounds exciting.  Mr. Montante said that he is available anytime to discuss any aspect of this.

 

Mr. Jordan asked if a grocery store is part of this development.  Mr. Montante said that maybe a grab and go concept.  Mr. Jordan said that we are building all of the residential space, but there is really no grocery store downtown.  Mr. Montante said that there is also a market concept, vendor concept, and a coffee shop concept.

 

Chairman Knapp said that PEMCO is very well respected, local company that really does things right, which helps the confidence in the project.

 

9.     SYRACUSE/ONONDAGA COUNTY PLANNING BOARD:  Bill Fisher, Deputy County Executive

        a.     Confirming the Appointment to the Syracuse/Onondaga County Planning Board (Lisa Dell)

 

Mr. Fisher said that Mr. Dudzinski has termed off, and there is a vacancy.  He briefly reviewed Ms. Dell’s resume.

 

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

 

10.   PURCHASE, DIVISION OF:  Andrew Trombley, Director

        a.     Revenue Contract Report

revenue contract

Mr. Trombley:

  • Tissue Recovery Services – 2 vendors solicited, a very specialized field
    • 1 response; 1 decline
  • CNY Eye and Tissue Bank – incumbent vendor, reapplied, selected
    • Occasionally receive revenue for additional tissue – use Medical Examiner’s office to recover it; fee associated with the service
  • Catering concession at Highland Forest – RFP renewal
    • Sent to 11 vendors including current; received 1 response from the current vendor
    • Golden Apple Restaurant selected
  • Informational - Cell Tower Lease Consultant and Brokers Service
    • County partnered with NYSAC to do the RFP
    • RFP that is part of shared services – make model available across the state
    • If a company had interest in putting in a tower, or adding to existing tower, they would work through a department
    • Now have an agent that understands the market and county’s goals in terms of cell tower service extension and need to protect fire/police dispatching services
    • Allows maximization of revenue stream
    • Will help leverage areas that require service upgrades
    • Vendor may come to the legislature to review groups of proposals for additional assets of cellular service
    • Legislature will have full review/oversight over each of the structures

 

Chairman Knapp asked if this company will negotiate if, for example, Verizon wants to add cell receivers on one of our towers.  Mr. Trombley said that they will work through the various processes and make sure it meets our code.  They will bring it to the legislature for final approval.  In answer to Chairman Knapp, Mr. Trombley said that the county maintains ownership of the property and towers.  The company would own the asset that they put on the tower. 

Mr. Jordan asked if the county proactively solicits people to collocate on our towers.  Mr. Trombley said that it hasn’t been done in the past – that is part of this agreement.  They are out marketing county property. 

 

Mr. May asked how Lights in the Lake performed this year.  Mr. Trombley said he can get the numbers from the Parks Dept.; can ask them to report.  Mr. May asked about the status of the contract.  Mr. Trombley said it is out for an RFP; should be back in the next month or two with a couple of revenue contracts.  Chairman Knapp asked what is out for RFP.  Mr. Trombley said that Lights on the Lake is done in a model to limit the county’s tax dollars that have to be put into it.  The model is for a vendor to do marketing, provide the costing structure to run the event at the lowest possible cost to the county; makes sure there are assets to renew each year to keep the interest up; try to transfer the risk to the vendor.  Chairman Knapp asked if the vendor would add attractions.  Mr. Trombley said that the vendor may propose new revenue streams that would lead to an additional asset.  If there is additional money beyond the operating expenses, that money is reinvested into the event.  Mr. May said that they carry all of the risk besides our manpower.  Chairman Knapp asked if when buying a ticket, is he buying from a county employee or a vendor.  Mr. May said that it is a county employee; it is a cost, but there is offsetting revenue, but all of the upside stays with the vendor.  They sell advertising sponsorships, ticket gate, etc. goes to the vendor and the county gets paid.  Chairman Knapp said it minimizes our exposure.

 

Mr. Jordan said that the display is pretty full and questioned how it is determined which ones will retire.  Chairman Knapp said that would be something to talk to Parks Dept. about.  He will asked them to come in.

 

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

 

Respectfully submitted,

signature

DEBORAH L. MATURO, Clerk

Onondaga County Legislature

 

attendance