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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

HEALTH COMMITTEE MINUTES - JULY 14, 2015

1DANNY J. LIEDKA, CHAIRMAN

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:   Mr. Burtis, Dr. Chase, 2Ms. Williams

MEMBERS ABSENT:   Mrs. Tassone

ALSO ATTNEDING:  Mrs. Ervin and see attached list

 

Chairman Liedka called the meeting to order at 8:50 A.M.  A motion was made by Dr. Chase, seconded by Mr. Burtis, to waive the reading of the proceedings from the previous committee minutes.  MOTION CARRIED.  A motion was made by Ms. Williams, seconded by Dr. Chase, to approve the minutes of the proceedings of the previous committee.  MOTION CARRIED. 

 

Per Ms. Rooney’s request, the Chair took the agenda out of order.

 

2.     ADULT & LONG TERM CARE SERVICES:  Ann Rooney, Deputy County Executive/Human Services

        a.     Confirming the Appointment of Lisa Alford as the Onondaga County Commissioner of Adult and Long Term Care Services

Ms. Rooney:

  • Prior to reorg Ms. Alford was Commissioner of Aging and Youth, handled change with professionalism, realignment very smooth, formed great team with Bob Long and Barry Beck
  • Chosen to fill position based on past commissioner experience, experience running local Head Start and work history prior to working for the County

 

A motion was made by Ms. Williams, seconded by Dr. Chase, to approve this item.  Pass Unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

 

1.     HEALTH DEPARTMENT:  Michelle Mignano, Deputy Commissioner

        a.     Authorizing the Health Department to Accept Various Donated Items

Ms. Mignano:

  • Don’t seek donations per County policy, advise legislature of donations received above certain amount
  • Lerner Center received grant to support community connectors, part of neonatal abstinence syndrome – drug addicted babies, project ran in concert with Healthy Families, a medical student from Upstate and Dr. Dennison who is on the Health Advisory Board, very integral community
  • Offering tablets, cameras, cases, memory cards and projector, items to be used by community connectors, preloaded tablets with material, engage community women to talk with colleagues and become advocates to enhance the public health army with the right message, i.e. similar to Neighborhood Program with neighborhood advisors
  • Camera and projector used for photo journalism storytelling; didn’t have opportunity to fully develop the project, Health department looking to take on the program

Dr. Gupta said that they continuously work with Healthy Start and Professor Dennison, and this happened because of their collaboration.

 

A motion was made by Dr. Chase, seconded by Ms. Williams, to approve this item.  Pass Unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

       b.     Authorizing the County Executive to Enter into Agreements whereby the Onondaga County Health Department will Participate in the CNY Epidemiological Alliance

  • Epidemiological Alliance a connectivity of counties:  Cayuga, Cortland, Jefferson, Lewis, Madison, Oswego, Tompkins, and Onondaga, in existence for more than a decade under health preparedness
  • Lean on each other; Onondaga County provides guidance, many smaller counties don’t have MD’s, also assists with catastrophes; have MOU’s with counties through Emergency Management
  • Resolution codifies what they currently operate under and what would happen with a catastrophe:
  • Seek approval from County Executive and advise the Legislature
  • Send assistance based on our Health departments needs also, don’t have to send someone
  • If event receives reimbursement from an agency, voucher supported county for payment; only billed once in past 8 years - Lewis County for pertussis
  • Alliance has quarterly teleconference calls, discuss what’s happening, public health preparedness, grants, deliverables for the state and drills; held full scale drill using county staff this spring, deliverable for state and feds, colleagues came to watch and evaluate drill, Onondaga County did the same for their drill in return
  • Business as usual, just codified; every other County Legislature or Board of Supervisors has approved legislation

 

A motion was made by Ms. Williams, seconded by Dr. Chase, to approve this item.  Pass Unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

 

      c.     Transfer of Funds from Environmental Health Contingent Account 666500 to Environmental Health Professional Services Account 694080 ($42,100)

  • 2 sprays in 2014 budget, 2015 budget allowed 1 spray with funds in contingency for an additional 2 sprays, used first spray, requesting release of funds for next spray, if needed
  • Triple E found before first spray, declared public health emergency, 50% of spray costs will be returned via state aide

 

Chairman Liedka asked how long before they know the impact of Friday’s spray.  Ms. Letteney said that they set the traps last night, would be finished counting today and would then have an idea of what it going on.  Chair Liedka asked that they go through the DEC approval process, for the public’s knowledge, in case they have to spray again.  Ms. Mignano said that they declared a public health threat because of Triple E.  They will notify NYSDOH, but will not have to seek approval.  Once they declare, they can spray.

  • Always spray in concert with NYSDOH; many interested in unique Cicero Swamp ecosystem
  • Had capacity to request spray before Triple E, while coordinating the plane found Triple E, plane in the air as soon as possible prior to finding Triple E
  • RFP process used for vendors, not many vendors, nationally recognized plane from Indiana; Ms. Letteney calls to schedule spray with plane ASAP; last year had to wait for 2 counties to be spread first
  • Planes have capacity to turn off jets, not spraying over all areas - number of calls and Facebook messages received saying the plane went over their home

Dr. Gupta:

  • Before spraying must determine it is the right thing to do, question themselves, put all the data together and consult with NYSDOH, even if not required
  • Weather plays a role, had a lot of rain, then plane failure, understand public’s concern; for the future may add more frequently FAQ’s to website, i.e. Plane flying overhead does not mean it is spraying
  • Follow strict NYS guidelines for spray, even have conservation snake area; many people watching to make sure things are done right
  • Facebook good place for communication, will post messages in the future, people need reassurance

Ms. Williams said that she works in this area and it feels like they are being eaten alive.  She asked how soon they would call to schedule the next spray.  Ms. Letteney said that they would want to wait awhile.  The mosquito numbers will likely be down for a bit.  They will look for virus and the increase pattern before deciding to spray again.  It is hard to define a timeframe. 

 

Ms. Williams said that it seems as if the people that live in the area have a disconnect as to when, how and why they spray.  Many question why they do not spray.  The use of Facebook is great, as people tend to go there for information.  Dr. Gupta said that she would encourage people to go to Facebook and the Health Department website.  She also asked legislators to contact the department with FAQ’s not already on the website.  

 

Ms. Mignano said that the mosquito count would be on the website right away but they will not be able to say if there are additional West Nile or Triple E incidents.  Dr. Gupta said that they have not seen a direct correlation between Triple E and high mosquito counts.  A strong, important message is that people need to use all the protective measures, i.e. clothing.  Once Triple E appears, it can continue to breed and people need to be very aware of this.  

 

Dr. Chase said that this was not a new issue and asked if there was any thought of getting someone local for spraying.  Chair Liedka said that the good news is that the price is coming down.  A few years ago, it was $60,000 per spray.  Ms. Mignano said that spraying was RFP’d by Purchasing and goes by bid.  It is unlikely that the county would have a certified licensed pilot, ready to go.  Chair Liedka said that it would be ideal if they were local but the pool is thin.  The good news is that the cost has gone down considerably.  Ms. Mignano said teenagers might be able to do this themselves, in their own backyard, the way drones are going.

 

A motion was made by Mr. Burtis, seconded by Dr. Chase, to approve this item.  Pass Unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

 

Mr. Burtis said that on the positive side they are engaging people who are now listening and understand the seriousness of this.

 

In answer to Mr. Burtis. Ms. Letteney said that they still have fogging trucks.  They used them once last year to go around neighborhoods.  The problem is that it is not effective in the swap itself, just for people’s yards.  They cannot spray too often.  Misquotes will become immune and there are only two chemicals approved for use in NYS.  They have to be very choosy as to when and how they spray.  Ms. Mignano said that last year they sprayed in midsummer and put the trucks out later.  The misquote counts cropped up again and they received many calls from neighborhoods who felt infested. 

 

In answer to Mr. Burtis, Ms. Letteney said that they used the same grid but a different provider who used much larger loops with the sprayer shut off during that time.  Due to air traffic, he had to do something else for 20 minutes and this was the reason he was in the air so long. 

 

Dr. Gupta said that people should be aware that they should not be using a drone at this time.  Ms. Mignano said they advise everyone to put their toys indoors when spraying. 

 

1Chair Liedka said he had to leave the meeting and asked Mr. Burtis to take the chair.

 

Ms. Letteney said that they had the same provider for 10 years and everyone was used to him and his plane.  Ms. Mignano said that he was in the air 1.5 hours, at most, and the public was attuned.to something being different.  Dr. Gupta said that because they canceled several times and then the plane failed, people became even more conscious.  Chair Burtis said that it was like the perfect storm and he received a lot of feedback. 

 

Dr. Gupta said that this raises a good concern, what is the best way to communicate.  This is something they will discuss but she believes the department has great communication.  Chair Burtis said that there is an amazing amount of information on the website.  Dr. Gupta said that they should steer people to the website. Chair Burtis said they have gotten people interested and now they want to ask questions.  He does not think this is a bad thing.

 

Ms. Mignano said that they should let them know if there are people, they would like flyer information sent to, i.e. traveling softball league, organizers in Central Square, playing at Gillette Road.  The lateness of the flight was also unusual.  Generally, they have completed the spray by 9:00 p.m. 

 

Chair Burtis asked whom he should call if he had concerns. 

 

2Ms. Williams left the meeting.

 

Ms. Mignano said that he could call the Health department and ask for her or Dr. Gupta. 

 

The meeting adjourned at 9:23 A.M.                                        

 

Respectfully submitted,

signature

KATHERINE M. FRENCH, Deputy Clerk

Onondaga County Legislature

sign in sheet

* * *

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION COMMITTEE MINUTES - JULY 15, 2015

MICHAEL E. PLOCHOCKI, CHAIRMAN

 

MEMBERS PESNT:  Dr. Chase, Mr. Shepard

MEMBERS ABSENT:  Mrs. Rapp, Mr. Burtis

ALSO ATTENDING:  See attached list

 

Chair Plochocki called the meeting to order at 9:08 A.M.  A motion was made by Dr. Chase, seconded by Mr. Shepard, to waive the reading of the proceedings from the previous committee minutes.  MOTION CARRIED.  A motion was made by Dr. Chase, seconded by Mr. Shepard, to approve the minutes of the proceedings of the previous committee.  MOTION CARRIED. 

 

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

        a.     A Resolution Approving Various Infrastructure Improvement Projects to Benefit the Onondaga County Sanitary District of the County of Onondaga, New York ($1,980,000)

Mr. Rhoads:

  • Discussed last month with public hearing resolution, now have bond and project resolution
  • Villages in sanitary district and Meadowbrook/Limestone district of the City to receiver $120k, straight grant reimbursement for repairing broken infrastructure, have limited geography, difficult to install green, typically broken pipes and manholes causing I&I
  • Towns have more ownership of real property, areas subject to flooding typically cause I&I, towns will submit competitive proposals for projects designed to reduce I&I via green and innovative improvements, proposals will be evaluated and brought back to the legislature for final award
  • Bond resolution consistent with $1.98M

 

Dr. Chase asked if there were ways to prevent the issue, over the last month, with the manhole structure.  Mr. Roads said that it was a City storm sewer.  They had a 25-year storm in a system designed to manage 5-year storm events.  The storm was 5 times larger than the design.  Manhole covers are designed to come off for storm sewer relief.  If locked down, the water finds another point of relief and causes a dangerous situation somewhere else.  Dr. Chase asked about grates.  Mr. Rhoads said that grates could work in a storm sewer but are subject to clogging, and become pedestrian and bicycle unfriendly if not well designed.  Dr. Chase asked if the grates could be covered up.  Mr. Rhoads said that the manhole cover stays in place and is more resilient to snowplows and heavy truck traffic.  Grates eventually break and then the public incurs significant damage, i.e. driving into a broken manhole.  Dr. Chase suggested a grate with a manhole on top of it.  Mr. Rhoads said that it takes a tremendous storm to lift a several hundred-pound manhole.  Water near the accident was actually moving cars down the road.  They are talking about tremendous pressure and a tragedy.  There is no perfect solution for containing Mother Nature, which will work under all different circumstances.  The manhole is the preferred solution. 

 

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

 

      b.     A Resolution Authorizing the Issuance of $1,980,000 Bonds of the County of Onondaga, New York, to Pay the Cost of Various Infrastructure Improvement Projects to Benefit the Onondaga County Sanitary District in and for said County ($1,980,000)

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

     c.     Authorizing the Extension of an Agreement with the City of Syracuse to Share in the Costs of Funding an Arborist Employed by the City of Syracuse ($37,500)

  • 50/50 split with City of Syracuse
  • Use arborist for street tree planting, part of the Save the Rain program; 2015 goal - plant 1,500 street trees, important part of Save the Rain, significantly reduce amount of combined sewer overflow
  • Arborist was present several times over the past year to talk about Emerald ash borer, valuable resource to the County for all things regarding urban forestry

In answer to Chair Plochocki, Mr. Rhoads said that this was initially authorized in 2010.  They are proposing renewal with the same numbers and same split.  Dr. Chase said that over the 5-year period there was no increase in salary or benefits.  Mr. Rhoads said that he was unsure what the total salary and benefit package was but the City had not requested a change in the reimbursement relationship.

 

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

 

2.     A Resolution of the County Legislature of the County of Onondaga, New York to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) in Support of the Request Made by the Seneca County Legislature, New York and the Various Legislative Bodies of Other Areas in the Vicinity of Seneca Lake Seeking the Denial of the Request by Crestwood Midstream Partners, LP for Approval of a Plan for Mass Storage of Liquid Propane Gas (LPG) Adjacent to or Under Seneca Lake

 

Chair Plochocki asked Steve Churchill, from the Seneca County Board of Supervisors, to come to the table, along with Joseph Campbell.  In answer to the Chair, Mr. Campbell said that he was president and one of the co-founders of Gas Free Seneca, a NYS not-for-profit organization dedicated to protecting and preserving Seneca Lake. 

 

Chair Plochocki said that they spoke briefly about this in caucus, prior to the June session, and decided that the item would go to committee.  There was some concern as to how quickly the DEC would act.  Mr. Churchill confirmed that the DEC had not moved on the item.  Chair Plochocki said that he provided a quick briefing to legislators, who also reviewed the forwarded materials, and asked Mr. Churchill to provide background for the item.

 

Mr. Churchill present the following:

  • Also chairs Seneca County Environmental Committee; reached out to Chair Plochocki several weeks ago
  • Talking about massive storage project for LGP, other gases and carbon-based fuels on the south shores of Seneca Lake towards Watkins Glen
  • Finger Lakes comprised of 14 counties, Onondaga County has 2 of the Finger Lakes, should be proud of Skaneateles as the cleanest of the lakes
  • Look to Onondaga County for support as a neighbor
  • Old abandoned unlined solution salt caverns, primarily abandoned in the 60’s and 70’sPart of Syracuse Salt Formation, 2000 feet down, comes closest to the surface in Syracuse; Marcellus Shale about 5,000 to 8,000 feet down in same area
  • Abandoned mines filled with water for stabilization, turns to brin
photo

In answer to Chair Plochocki, Mr. Churchill:

  • Confirmed water used to stabilize pressure in unused caverns, some question geology and integrity of the caverns; 2001 accident in Hutchinson, KS with similar storage, natural gas stored in solution salt caverns designed to hold natural gas, break in line caused gas to seep into rock formation, traveled 8 miles, collected in other old abandoned solution salt caverns, caused explosion, killed 2 people, 10’s of thousands evacuated for several months, did not understand what happened, took months and millions of dollars to solve and mitigate, after explosion DEC asked about the stability of these caverns, received conflicting data
  • A million touch points on this topic, here to ask for help, not opposed to storage, are against the location of storage due to its proximity of the water; 5 county watershed with 40 municipalities

Seneca Lake Caverns map

listlist

chart

  • Schuyler County only legislative body asking DEC to approve proposal, contentious vote 5 to 3, both Town of Hector and Village of Watkins Glen are located in Schuyler County and passed a resolution in opposition

Dr. Chase asked why the Schuyler County Legislature was for this project.  Mr. Churchill said that he did not know.  The project will create 8 to 11 jobs.  It is essentially a hands-off operation, just storing fuel.  The property tax estimate is $600,000 per year.  There is very little benefit for the risk. 

 

Chair Plochocki asked if they drain some or all of the brine before putting in the gas.  Mr. Churchill said that I was an offset.  They displace the brine with LPG going in and inject brine when taking LPG out.  It is constantly balanced and full.  The proposal is to build multi-million gallon brine ponds on the western shores of Seneca Lake slopes. The ponds will be double-lined with liners used in landfills, and will hold the displaced brine.  Given this year’s rainfall there have been some questions as to potential issues with the brine ponds. 

 

Chair Plochocki said that there was an increase in salt in the lake from the 1900 to 1964, just not a spike, and a working theory is that some of the brine might have been seeping out at that time.  Mr. Churchill said that prior to 1964, they were not storing fuel, it related to the production of salt along the lake and there was no DEC oversight.  Even today, US Salt discharges salt into the lake.  Permissible amounts can be legally discharged, however they tend to exceed the levels as it is cheaper to pay the fine than to remedy the solution.

 

Chair Plochocki said that the vote in Seneca County was unanimous and asked if it had been unanimous in any of the other counties, aside from Schuyler.  Mr. Churchill said that it was unanimous for the most part.  In Cayuga County, one dissention felt that this was not their business.  However, he believes that this as a regional issue that it is being fought on many fronts. 

 

  • Issues Conference held in February, a 2 day hearing held in Horseheads - accepted petitions arguing that certain issues weren’t completely addressed by the DEC, coalition filed in December,13 communities, a number of municipalities, Gas Free Seneca, Finger Lakes Wine Business Coalition, and Seneca Lake Pure Water Association all filed for party status, Crestwood and the gas industry filed on the other side, law judge currently deciding if any issue presented has a basis for a better look - community character seemed to peak judges ears
  • Asked Governor to stop this or provide the number of opposing municipalities needed to do so
  • LPG storage not needed here, 2015 coldest February on record, no propane shortage, propane won’t stay here, changed design due to shipping concerns, will pipe gas to Selkirk, NY; no benefit, claim lower price but commodity is dictated by the market

 

Chair Plochocki said that companies use the caverns because they believe it is more economical than building a facility for storage.  Mr. Churchill said that he would think it was much cheaper but the building would be safe.

 

Chair Plochocki asked Mr. Churchill to explain the difference between the red and green line in the modeling graph (see page 4).  Mr. Churchill:

  • Yellow box indicates amount of salt injected into the lake to obtain recorded levels
  • Green line shows 60k metric tons of salt dumped into the lake in 1905, caused increase in salinity, in 1965 330,000 metric tons of salt entered the lake

Chair Plochocki said there is a very strong cause and effect argument.  Playing devil’s advocate, he asked why the salt level started declining after 1970 if the storage from 1964 to 1984 caused the salt increase.  Mr. Churchill said that one primary theory is that with the initial gas storage, they took out a large amount of brine and that brine made it into the lake.  They did not have storage ponds or the DEC in 1964.  In 1970, the high number was supposedly due to a large spill from the Morton Salt Company.  This is also when DEC started coming online.  Mr. Campbell said that DEC pointed to the Morton Salt incident as perhaps being the reason for some of the salinity in the lake, but there was no spike when that happened. 

  • Displayed photo from early 1920’s that showed solution salt mining in downtown Watkins Glen, photo of derricks over potential site and graph explaining what happened in KS explosion; questioned if those areas were properly sealed and closed, certainly at risk, explosion could happen again

Dr. Chase asked where the other gas company moved to, and if Crestwood had looked at other sites.  Mr. Churchill said that they moved across the street to Route 14, which runs down the Westside of Seneca Lake.  They moved off the lake, out of salt caverns, and into a manmade lined rock cavern much shallower than the 2000 feet salt caverns.  Dr. Chase asked if they talked to Crestwood about doing something like this.  Mr. Churchill said that Crestwood bought US Salt, which owned the abounded salt caverns and threatened to lay off all the people if this project does not go throw.  They sent an email to their people telling them to boycott businesses that had joined the business coalition against this project.  The battle has been in the DEC’s hands and ongoing for 5-years.  When this started, he never intended to go to surrounding counties for support.  Now it appears that the political front may be the only way to defeat this and save the Finger Lakes.  At the issues conference the DEC and Crestwood were speaking the same language, as far as the DEC is concerned there is no problem with this project. 

 

  • DEC doesn’t have staff to monitor; attended Watershed Alliance meeting two weeks ago, woodland and forestry tech from DEC spoke, said he was 1 of 3 techs, his region covers Niagara Falls to the Hudson River and the Catskills to the Adirondacks, confirmed there are no DEC resources, have cut back staff
  • 28 communities representing 3/4 of a million people don’t want to put 4.2 trillion gallons of water at risk, want to add Onondaga County

Dr. Chase questioned why Schuyler would be in favor, when this sits in their county.  Mr. Campbell said that the resolution passed 5 to 3.  There was a huge public outcry and one month later the vote to rescind failed 4 to 4.  A republican and a democrat legislator from Schuyler joined forces and field on behalf of Gas Free Seneca at the issues conference.  If this were to come up for a vote today, it would not pass.  Mr. Churchill said that the Schuyler County Chair runs a tight ship.  He is an engineer by trade and runs a family owned company that provides service to the gas and oil industry.  He also comes from the southern tier, which is more gas and oil friendly, as they have seen repeatedly with the fracking issue.

  • Displayed photos of various newspapers showing headlines opposed to the project, over 350 businesses from the region joined the collation against the project, various businesses - not just wineries
  • Wine Enthusiast named the Finger Lakes the No. 1 wine tourist destination in the world

 

Dr. Chase said that one would think they would be worried about the number of wineries in the area and the many jobs they provide.  If they were to become contaminated it would be terrible.

  • Lodi Town Supervisor voted against support when his county voted; presented before his town in 2014, said it needed further consideration, might bring in Crestwood, no vote taken, presented again in 2015, 30 people from the community attended and spoke carrying the message - they own the businesses and live there, the board couldn’t deny their constituents and unanimously passed the resolution
  • Some communities had Crestwood come in, i.e. Town of Varick, strong proponent of project on Varick board, Crestwood not on their agenda but came in and spoke for 45 minutes, passed resolution with 1 dissenting vote; again people in the audience who live in Varick made the case, same thing in Ovid; Cayuga County went through a couple committees, had Crestwood present, passed with 1 dissenting vote, Yates County also heard Crestwood and passed the resolution - no one swayed by hearing Crestwood 

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

 

Mr. Churchill thanked the committee and asked that they come back and enjoy the Finger Lakes.

 

3.     LAKE IMPROVEMENT:  Tom Rhoads, P.E., Commissioner

        a.     ACJ Update     

Mr. Rhoads:

  • Distributed Save the Rain Second Quarterly Report 2015 (on file with Clerk) http://savetherain.us/str-q2-2015/
  • Reviewed Commissioner’s Report:
  • Bad news:  June extremely wet, seeing changes in weather forecasting, no longer forecast anticipated amount of rain, wet weather events cause them to scramble, many overflows, much sampling, operation alerts, power failures typical during storms, must use emergency power at pump stations
  • Good news:  weathered storms well with green infrastructure, all green assets have severe weather relief, store water instead of causing flooding in surrounding area, relieve themselves to the sewer system, attenuates peaks in the sewer system and improves all responses to storms; Zoo wetlands really tested and passed with flying colors, received several 25-year storm events
  • Wisconsin-Milwaukee Center for Economic Development prepared a strong paper on relationship between green infrastructure assets and real property value, cover page and summary pages included with Commissioner’s report (see above link), shows installation of green infrastructure provides true economic development; are using green infrastructure to solve combined sewer overflows but should be viewed as potential economic development tool, properties adjacent to green infrastructure increase in property value; similar study done on street trees, provides same positive results
  • Gray Projects Update:  CSO 063 project on track for completion October 2015, located in the city near Solvay, will move that section of the city into the Lower Harbor Brook storage facility and improve water quality
  • Green Projects Update:  Several projects in design and construction; Connective Corridor largest project, City of Syracuse project owner, providing some funding support
  • Green Improvement Fund UpdateRa-Lin doing several green roof projects, improves sewer response, nice to see projects with longtime community businesses
  • Metro WWTP:  highlighted graph showing heavy rain late-spring/early-summer, creates tremendous amount of runoff, see phosphorus carrying over into the lake, not seeing blue-green algae blooms in Onondaga Lake as of yesterday, has been seen in surrounding lakes

 

Chair Plochocki said that it was incredible that they have gotten to a point where Owasco and Cazenovia Lakes had to worry more about blue-green algae blooms than Onondaga Lake.  Mr. Rhoads cautioned that they are starting to flirt with high phosphorus levels.  They normally see springtime peaks in early April, when the lake is a little colder

  • Changes in ecological system, Alewife are forging on Daphnia (water fleas that eat algae) and algae is popping back up; besides added nutrients, have dynamics of lifecycle ecology of the lake, still studying what will cause Alewife to fall back
  • Legislation & Media:  Very busy quarter, saluted Ms. Quinn for gathering all text, Onondaga Lake very active subject, good to have community so involved, lucky to be able to make many policy decisions because of lakes recovery

 

The meeting adjourned at 10:13 A.M.

 

Respectfully submitted,

signature

KATHERINE M. FRENCH, Deputy Clerk

Onondaga County Legislature

attenandance

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COUNTY FACILITIES COMMITTEE MINUTES – JULY 15, 2015

JUDITH A. TASSONE, CHAIR

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Mr. Dougherty, Mr. Shepard

MEMBERS ABSENT:  Mrs. Rapp, Mr. Ryan

ALSO PRESENT:  see attached list

 

Chair Tassone called the meeting to order at 10:32 a.m.  A motion was made by Mr. Dougherty, seconded by Mr. Shepard, to waive the reading of the proceedings from the previous committee meeting; MOTION CARRIED.  A motion was made by Mr. Dougherty, seconded by Mr. Shepard, to approve the minutes of the proceedings of the previous committee.  MOTION CARRIED.

 

1.     TRANSPORTATION:  Brian Donnelly, Commissioner

        a.     Amending the 2015 County Budget to Provide Additional Funds for the Purchase of Gasoline and Diesel Fuel to be Sold to the Southwood Fire Department and Authorizing the County Executive to Enter into Contracts ($6,503)

  • Authorization to sell fuel to the Southwood Fire Department
  • County has a number of fire departments and school districts that utilize being able to fuel at County locations
  • Charge 3 cents per gallon administrative fee plus the actual cost of the fuel that they are purchasing
  • Will benefit Southwood - will fuel at the Jamesville facility - won’t cause any difficulties for County

In answer to Mr. Dougherty, Mr. Donnelly confirmed that this is the same agreement that the County has with others.  It is a beneficial to the fire departments as the County has fuel islands with wide turn radius for them to get their equipment in and out.  Also it’s available 24/7 with card access

 

Mr. Dougherty asked if there has ever been a problem with this, Mr. Donnelly said “never”.  Mr. Dougherty asked, if there will ever be a problem.  Mr. Donnelly said that he wouldn’t stipulate to never, but it would be hard to foresee any.  The County provides reports indicating how much fuel is used, when they used it, and who used it.

 

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

 

        b.     Authorizing the Acquisition of Real Property Rights Necessary for the Jordan Road Bridge over Skaneateles Creek Project, Pin 3754.77, County Bridge C-80, Bin 3313110, in the Town of Skaneateles, County of Onondaga

  • Entertained by County Facilities Committee in May with a not to exceed number of $3,000, $1,000 each for temporary easements
  • All three property owners have signed donation agreements to forgo the price and donate their properties, authorizing the County to take these easements with no compensation to the property owners

 

Mr. Dougherty asked if these easements were permanent, Mr. Donnelly said that they were temporary just for staging equipment during the construction process - not acquiring any kind of right-of-way.

 

Mr. Dougherty asked if the County has any kind of liability, and Mr. Donnelly said “yes”.  He explained that anytime there is a temporary easement it’s with the understanding that the property will be restored to what it was prior to the County being on the property.

There are a number of projects where temporary easements are necessary for access to a particular area and it has never generated a liability, but couldn’t say that there is no possibility of exposure.

 

Mr. Dougherty asked if there was anything other than tire tracks that could cause liability; Mr. Donnelly said “no”.

 

Two of the property owners are Stauffer Chemicals and a private property owner, these properties are simply for access to the structure.  The Town of Skaneateles is the other property owner, which is a little different because the County is rehabilitating a railroad bridge as a pedestrian access point

 

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

 

2.     FACILITIES MANAGEMENT:  Lee Klosowski, Director, Energy & Sustainability

        a.     A Local Law Authorizing the Installation of a Solar Panel System and Lease to Solar City of County Property Located in the Town of Dewitt at the Jamesville Penitentiary

 

        Items 2a and 2b were discussed together

  • Allow leasing of County property to Solar City Corporation of San Mateo, CA for the installation of their solar panels, inverters, and electric equipment to be constructed, owned, operated, maintained and subsequently removed by Solar City Corporation.
  • County property to be leased is approximately 12 acres at the Metropolitan Water Board, Clearwater Treatment Plant site in Oswego, and approximately 12 acres at the Jamesville Penitentiary site

Mr. Klosowski showed the Legislators maps of the sites

 

image

image

 

  • Full Environmental Assessments have been completed for both sites; concluded that there is no significant adverse environmental impacts
  • Term of the lease is 20 years with the option of 2, mutually agreeable, 5-year extensions
  • The lease agreements are a part of Purchase Power Agreements, which would run for the 20 year term between the County and Solar City Corporation.
  • The County will purchase the electricity output from the Solar City systems
  • Electricity produced and purchased is expected to cover about 96% of the Clearwater Treatment Plant and about 170% of the Jamesville Penitentiary site requirements
  • Residual production from the Jamesville site will be used to offset usage of consumption at other County facilities and the Civic Center.
  • Total output from these two sites will cover about 5% of the County’s total electricity requirements.  When combined with production from the previously approved Oak Orchard and Metropolitan Water Board Soule Road sites, total solar production will meet approximately 9% of the County’s total electricity requirements.
  • Electricity prices in the PPAs are below the County’s 2016 forecasted electricity prices and below average prices for the most recent 3-year period
  • Prices will be escalated at 2% per year during the course of the contract
  • US Department of Energy, Energy Information Agency (EIA) forecasts electricity prices to escalate at 2.2-2.6% through 2040
  • First year savings for the two projects combined are conservatively estimated between $20,000 to $50,000
  • Electricity produced by Solar City will reduce the County’s greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 3%.  Combined with the previously approved Oak Orchard and Metropolitan Water Board Soule Road projects, the total greenhouse gas emissions reduction will be over 5.5%
  • The County has a climate action plan with a goal to reduce 1% per year over the next 20 years, this will give 5-6 years of reduction

In answer to Mr. Dougherty, Mr. Klosowski showed on the maps that there are some trees on the land

 

Mr. Dougherty asked who was responsible for damage and liability if there is an accident at the site, Mr. Owens said that the locations are fenced in and that the responsibility would fall on Solar City.

 

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

 

        b.     A Local Law Authorizing Installation of a Solar Panel System and Lease to Solar City of County Property Located in the Town Of Oswego, County of Oswego, at the Metropolitan Water Board Clearwater Water Treatment Plant

 

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

 

The meeting was adjourned at 10:52

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

signature

 

KIMBERLY A. MEMORY, Assistant Clerk

Onondaga County Legislature

 

attendance

 

* * *

 

PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE MINUTES - JULY 16, 2015

BRIAN MAY, CHAIRMAN

  

MEMBERS PRESNT:   Mr. Dougherty, Mr. Holmquist, Mr. Jordan

MEMBERS ABSENT:  Mr. Ryan

ALSO ATTENDING:  Mrs. Ervin and see attached list

 

Chair May called the meeting to order at 10:10 A.M.  A motion was made by Mr. Jordan, seconded by Mr. Dougherty, to waive the reading of the proceedings from the previous committee minutes.  MOTION CARRIED.  A motion was made by Mr. Jordan, seconded by Mr. Dougherty, to approve the minutes of the proceedings of the previous committee.  MOTION CARRIED. 

 

1.     HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION:  Ann Rooney, Deputy County Executive/Human Services

        a.     Confirming Appointment of Barrie H. Gewanter as Executive Director of the Onondaga County/Syracuse Commission on Human Rights

Ms. Rooney:

  • Commend legislature for reinstituting the Human Rights Commission
  • Ms. Gewanter will make good transition to executive director knowing she represents the entire County; held extensive discussions on how this will work, coming from someone advocating on the outside to working within County government
  • All are familiar with her level of intelligence and commitment; received 2003 Human Rights Award from Onondaga County/Syracuse Human Rights Commission
  • Over the past year legislators worked with Ms. Gewanter to put together the Jail Oversight Committee, moving forward see this as partnership between legislature and executive branch, still much work to do - setup Jail Oversight Committee, reinstitute the Human Rights Commission, and appoint members, all will come before the legislature for approval

Mr. Holmquist said that Ms. Gewanter was an outstanding choice.  She has always been very professional, collaborative and works well under pressure.  Over the years, she has worked on many hot topic issues and has been a calming influence.  This is a tough job, with tough issues.  Mr. Dougherty said he agreed with everything Mr. Holmquist said.

 

In answer to Mr. Dougherty, Ms. Rooney said that they considered other internal candidates who had applied.  It was not an extensive search because of Ms. Gewanter’s presence in the community.  She seemed to be a tremendous fit.  As commissioner, Ms. Gewanter will report to Ms. Rooney.

 

Chair May said that based on the timeframe, he would guess that they stopped funding the Human Rights Commission due to financial reasons.  Ms. Gewanter has grant writing experience and making the pursuit of grant funds part of this process could help them as they move forward.  Ms. Rooney agreed, adding that it would be one of the commissioner’s charges.

 

Mr. Holmquist said that the idea was to get the commissioner in place before appointing members to the Jail Oversight Committee and asked the structure of the committee.  Mrs. Stanczyk:

  • 9 members total, 6 members recommended by the Chair of the County Legislature and confirmed by majority vote of the County Legislature – 2 with prior experience in law enforcement, 2 representatives from the Onondaga County community with experience in civil rights and/or civil liberties, 1 of the 6 shall be considered at the suggestion of the Minority Leader, 2 members recommended by the County Executive, 1 member recommended by the Mayor, both confirmed by the legislature

 

Ms. Rooney noted that the one person, who would have known this information, without having to read it, was the appointee.  Ms. Ervin said that she highly recommends this appointment.  Ms. Gewanter was with them throughout the entire process for the creation of the Jail Oversight Committee.  She is a wealth of information and they could not presently find anyone better for this position. 

 

Mr. Dougherty asked if she planned to continue working for the CNY Chapter of the ACLU.  Ms. Rooney said that she would be working specifically for Onondaga County.  Mr. Dougherty said that that was perfect. 

 

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

 

2.     DISTRICT ATTORNEYDomenic Trunfio, Deputy District Attorney

Mr. Trunfio took the items out of order.

        b.     2015 Transfer Resolution – District Attorney ($180,000)

  • Result of Neulander trial costs
  • 18-24 months ago the DA meet with leaders of the legislature, the budget director and comptroller anticipating that this would happen; trials over, paid experts, simply transferring funds

 

Chair May said that this was not a one-time deal.  Mr. Weiss advised him that the cost for expert witnesses has increased quite a bit.  Mr. Trunfio said that their letter to the budget director this year talked about the explosion of expert witnesses used by the defense, which are separate and distinct from the forensic experts they use from the medical examiner’s office and the crime lab.  They are getting many defenses other than forensic, i.e. mental health.  Justice does not come with a price tag and they must respond with quality experts.  They are also seeing an explosion in interpreter services.  The immigrant population of the city is growing, not limited to the Hispanic – Latino community.  They use interpreters to interpret grand jury, wiretaps and court proceedings, a cost not seen 5 years ago.  The world is rapidly changing.

  • DA appreciates understanding received when they highlighted the upcoming issues for the Neulander and Ron Meadow trials; Ron Meadow was a cold case, needed DNA type county lab does not do

Mr. Holmquist said that he was at the meeting Mr. Trunfio referenced, as he was Chair of the Public Safety Committee at that time.  Advance notice of the possible need for extra resources was great and he does not believe that the DA has ever gone over budget.  Mr. Trunfio said that these were extraordinary cases, requiring extraordinary resources.  They intend to do the same in the future, should the need arise. 

In answer to Mr. Dougherty, Mr. Trunfio reiterated that this would be an ongoing problem in terms of unique professional services that the County does not have and interpreters.  They try to forecast building this into their professional services line and then it is up to the legislature.  Mr. Dougherty asked what the increase would be for next year.  Mr. Trunfio said that he could not guess as a case could happen tomorrow.  Mr. Weiss said that they are requesting a $60,000 increase on the professional services line.  Mr. Trunfio said that they approve all expert witnesses through the chain of command. 

Chair May said that 5 years ago witnesses may have been $1,500 per day and now are about $4,000.  Mr. Trunfio said that they do not control the market.  It is a cottage industry for defense attorneys.  Juries buy that stuff, simply turn on the TV and they will see CSI, etc.  Chair May said that it was creating the market for those people.  Mr. Trunfio agreed. 

 

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

 

      a.     Personnel Resolution:  R.P. 01 403100 0033 Change the Salary Step for Executive Secretary from Grade 26 Step I @ $41,728, to Grade 26 Step V @ $48,948, Effective August 1, 2015

  • Has been DA’s executive secretary 2.5 years, 3 prior secretaries, never made request for increased salary; prior to this secretary taking office had secretary for 10 years unable to handle duties current secretary has taken over
  • Surveyed executive secretary salary from 7 counties, removed Erie County, much larger than Onondaga – secretary makes $60,000, looked at Tompkins, Schenectady, Orange, and Rensselaer all smaller than Onondaga with less jurisdiction in crime rate, all make more than what is being requested; County Executive’s executive secretary makes $15,000 more than the current salary
  • Reasonable request, DA has been in office 24 years, executive secretary has remained at the same level; Mr. Trunfio’s secretary makes $8,000 to $10,000 more than the DA’s secretary because she is CSEA
  • National District Attorney’s Association not reason for increase, state profile is high, national profile will increase, DA will be inundated with requests, needs secretary that can handle increase profile and scheduling
  • Even with increase will be paid less then someone from Clinton, Rensselaer or Tompkins County,

 

Mr. Holmquist said he agreed with everything said but would have preferred to have the increase brought up during the 2015 budget process, when it would have been most appropriate.  Everything said was true at that time also, and they could have assessed everyone.  He is concerned that many underpaid employees could easily come up with a list of good reasons why their pay should increase.  Mr. Trunfio said that he is not sure why this did not come up at that time. 

 

Mr. Jordan asked the additional duties involved.  Mr. Trunfio said that the secretary they had for 10 years was not capable of doing all the work, therefore the work was spread out.  The duties included travel, scheduling, trials and minutes of meetings, all things that others such as paralegals or his secretary did.  The executive secretary is now performing all these duties. 

 

Chair May said that they are talking to CSEA about keeping the 103 and 102 lines intact or saving as result of this realignment of duties.  Per his conversations with Mr. Weiss, he understands that there is a lot of time involved in some of these duties.  Mr. Trunfio said that they are talking about a management confidential position.  She comes in on Sundays, is there regularly until 7:00 or 8:00 P.M. when the DA is in trail, does whatever it takes to the get the job done and does not get overtime.  Notwithstanding Mr. Holmquist’s concerns, which are legitimate, they are talking about fundamental fairness and equity with regard to other elected DA’s of significantly smaller counties.  There is a huge disparity. 

 

In answer to Mr. Dougherty, Mr. Trunfio confirmed that the responsibilities warranting the raise would continue.  The Neulander case was a part of this as the secretary assists the DA when he is in trial.  

 

Chair May said that he would also prefer to look at this during the budget process but here they are today.   For him it is the duties, the responsibility and the likelihood of taxpayer savings using this approach verses going to budget and requesting another paralegal or the use of overtime to fill the demands.  The amount of competency also brings efficiency to the cost of doing these things for the County. 

 

Mr. Dougherty said that the DA is only asking for permission to allocate some of their current budget to the executive secretary.  They are not asking for additional funds so it does not matter whether or not this was in the budget.  Chair May said that this was a good point.   

 

Mr. Trunfio said that the process point was a very good point and he would take it back to the DA.  Mr. Dougherty said that they would talk about this with the 2016 budget if the budget is impacted, which he doubts.  Item 2b passed without much discussion, which will certainly influence the 2016 budget in an appreciable way.  These were all good questions to ask and they received good answers. 

 

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

 

The meeting adjourned at 10:38 A.M.                                      

 

Respectfully submitted,

signature

KATHERINE M. FRENCH, Deputy Clerk

Onondaga County Legislature

attendance

* * *

 

WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE MINUTES - JULY 17, 2015

DAVID KNAPP, CHAIRMAN

 

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

MEMBERS ABSENT:  Mr. Kilmartin, Mr. Jordan

ALSO PRESENT:  Chairman McMahon

 

Chairman Knapp called the meeting to order at 8:50 a.m.  

 

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

 

CONSENT AGENDA

 

1.     HEALTH DEPARTMENT:

        a.     Authorizing the Health Department to Accept Various Donated Items

        b.     Transfer of Funds from Environmental Health Contingent Account 666500 to Environmental Health Professional Services Account

                94080 ($42,100)

 

2.     TRANSPORTATION:

        a.     Amending the 2015 County Budget to Provide Additional Funds for the Purchase of Gasoline and Diesel Fuel to be Sold to the Southwood Fire Department and Authorizing the County Executive to Enter into Contracts ($6,503)

 

3.     WATER ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION:

        a.     Authorizing the Extension of an Agreement with the City of Syracuse to Share in the Costs of Funding an Arborist Employed by the City of Syracuse ($37,500)

 

In answer to Chairman Knapp regarding item 2a, Mr. Donnelly said that it won’t cause any operational issues.

 

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

 

WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE – REGULAR AGENDA

 

1.     ADULT & LONG TERM CARE SERVICES:  Ann Rooney, Deputy County Executive/Human Services Care Services

Ms. Rooney:

  • Ms. Alford is currently Deputy Commissioner  of Adult and Long term Care
  • Prior to reorganization, she was Commissioner of Dept. of Aging and Youth
  • Stellar performance and county employee

 

Chairman Knapp said that he has known Ms. Alford professionally for many years – she is intelligent, a leader and listener, and is proud to cosponsor the resolution.

 

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

 

2.     HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSIONAnn Rooney, Deputy County Executive/Human Services

        a.     Confirming Appointment of Barrie H. Gewanter as Executive Director of the Onondaga County/Syracuse Commission on Human Rights

  • County Executive is pleased that the legislature moved to recreate the Human Rights Commission
  • Ms. Gewanter’s advocacy work is very well known
  • Fortunate to have her working on the side of all county taxpayers and residents
  • Will begin the process of creating the Jail Oversight Committee

Chairman Knapp said that he has known Ms. Gewanter professionally for a number years.  She is a tireless advocate for what she believes in.  She is a consummate professional and is respectful of everyone’s points of view. 

 

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

3.     DISTRICT ATTORNEYBarry Weiss, Administrative Officer

        a.     Personnel Resolution:  R.P. 01 403100 0033 Change the Salary Step for Executive Secretary from Grade 26 Step I @ $41,728, to Grade 26 Step V @ $48,948, Effective August 1, 2015

 

Mr. Weiss said that the request is for a step increases for the district attorney’s executive secretary.  She is doing the appropriate work for the position and has added on to it.

 

Mr. May said it was discussed at length at Public Safety Committee, passed unanimously with Mr. Ryan absent.  It is a duties based.  The cost savings were illustrated.  Mr. Weiss said that a couple of positions were not filled, and the person has assumed those duties.  Mr. May said that comparables from surrounding counties were presented.  Even at this advanced level, the smaller counties are paying similar positions a little bit more.

 

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

 

        b.     2015 Transfer Resolution – District Attorney ($180,000)

Mr. Weiss:

  • Have had a couple of big trials
  • Experts now believe they can charge more for their services
  • Defense bar is bringing in more experts – every time they bring one in, DA has to bring one in of comparable nature
  • Experts know that they are in a buyer’s market and can really raise rates considerably
  • Transfer represents cleaning out a few expenses left from the Neulander and Meadows trials and funding for experts for the rest of the year

Chairman Knapp said that there has been communication from the beginning of the year about this.  Mr. Weiss said that they met a couple of years ago and informed members that this was coming.  Mr. May said that 5 years ago these witnesses were costing $1,500/day; now they are $4,000/day for the high- end ones.  We have to take a look at what the expenses are going to be going forward.  Mr. Weiss said that it is a statewide issue. How to rein it in was recently discussed at a conference, but no one seems to have a direct answer.   

 

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

 

4.     WATER ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION:  Tom Rhoads, Commissioner

        a.     A Resolution Approving Various Infrastructure Improvement Projects to Benefit the Onondaga County Sanitary District of the County of Onondaga, New York ($1,980,000)

  • Fund $1.98 million I & I work – removal of extraneous flows
  • Developed program this year – don’t have a listing of project
  • Villages and Meadowbrook Limestone area of city each receiving $120,000
  • Competitive process for towns in the sanitary district to compete for the balance of the funding
  • Will bring projects from towns back to the legislature for approval

In answer to Chairman Knapp, Mr. Rhoads said that they would go through a solicitation (going out on Aug. 5th) and will bring the vetted projects back to the legislature.

 

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

 

        b.     A Resolution Authorizing the Issuance of $1,980,000 Bonds of the County of Onondaga, New York, to Pay the Cost of Various Infrastructure Improvement Projects to Benefit the Onondaga County Sanitary District in and for said County ($1,980,000)

 

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

 

5.     FINANCE:  Steve Morgan, Chief Fiscal Officer

        a.     Amending the 2015 County Budget to accept NYS Department of Labor Funds for the Onondaga County Finance Department, and Authorizing the County Executive to Enter into Contract to Implement this Resolution ($6,991)

  • Thought enough was budgeted in 2015, but it wasn’t - need to accept the remainder of the grant
  • For health & safety training – received most years – contract out for specific types of training for certain departments

In answer to Chairman Knapp, Mr. Morgan said that $13,000 was budgeted, but it ended up being more.  For 2016, he will increase the budget.

 

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

 

        b.     Resolution of the Legislature of the County of Onondaga Increasing Taxes on Sales and Uses of Tangible Personal Property and of Certain Services, on Occupancy of Hotel Rooms and on the Amusement Charge Pursuant to Article 29 of the Tax Law of the State of New York

Mr. Morgan:

  • Allows County to charge the additional 1% of sales tax starting Dec. 1st – current authorization ends at end of Nov.
  • State legislation has passed; waiting for governor to sign

Chairman Knapp asked about the process.  Mrs. Berger explained that most of the steps have been taken.  It usually starts with asking the State to introduce the legislation; adopting a home rule resolution asking them to pass it, and then the resolution being considered today (item 4b) -- the last piece.  Mr. Morgan said that the majority of the 1% goes to the city.  Chairman Knapp noted that there could be ramifications without it.  Mr. Morgan said that there was a push to get home rule authority, and not have to go to the state for the increase year after year, but it didn’t go anywhere.

 

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

 

Mr. May asked about sales tax.  Mr. Morgan said that there is a 1% growth year over year; budget was 2.5%.  Typically collections bump up in the last part of the year.  A lot of counties across the state have had negative growth, Onondaga is up 2% on a cash basis – believes that gas prices are part of it -- it is being monitored.  

 

In answer to Chairman Knapp, Mr. Morgan said that the delta between what was budgeted and what has come in so far – using the 1%, instead of 2.5%, it is about $4-$5 million – roughly 1.5% behind.

 

6.     MISC.:

        a.     Amending the 2015 County Budget to Make Surplus Room Occupancy Funding Available for Use in Support of the 2015 FIL World Indoor Lacrosse Championship ($90,000)

Chairman McMahon:

  • Onondaga Nation will host 2015 Indoor World Lacrosse Championships – 13 different countries are coming
  • Great opportunity to continue to enhance entertainment infrastructure, market it and have a tremendous economic impact
  • Some of the hotels are already booked - busy weekend – SU v. LSU is playing
  • Hotels are very busy – may have spill over to other counties
  • Request is for CVB to run an advertising campaign to numerous targeted markets, i.e. Canada, Buffalo, Long Island, etc.
  • The sport was invented here.
  • $15k is to work with municipalities that neighbor the Onondaga Nation to help create signage, beautification, welcome athletes and residents from other countries
  • ROT is trending strong – will probably finish with a surplus this year of between $150k - $250k

 

Mr. May said that he is really excited about this.  He referenced cultural roots in this region, noting that lacrosse is one of the deepest points of it.  It is very exciting to match an event that has potential economic impact with national notoriety with this community. 

 

Steven Reed, attorney working with Honeysweet Productions, said that he was retained by the Onondaga Nation to assist in staging the event.  It will be a wonderful event, opportunity to shine.  There will be international television coverage of the events.

 

Erick Weiss, President, Honeysweet Productions said that he was brought on by the Onondaga Nation in January

  • First time Syracuse has had an international tournament. 
  • Haudenosaunee, Onondaga Nation, will be the first indigenous nation in modern history to serve as the sovereign host of an international sanctioned tournament. 
  • 13 countries coming; 535 athletes
  • Book every hotel they can – room blocks in Carrier Circle, Crown, Genesee Grand
  • Home football game both weekends of tournament;  LSU is one - cross promoting to get them stay an extra night and see some world championships
  • Fought hard to get the whole tournament in Syracuse
  • SU is completely on board; several businesses in Syracuse are on board and sponsoring) (National Grid, Mass Mutual, Bill Belichick Foundation)
  • Nike sponsors a team, but also sponsors the games
  • Onondaga Nation invested over $4 million in producing the games – money doesn’t come easily to them and they take it very seriously
  • Onondaga Nation realized it was an opportunity to shine the light on upstate New York and the Onondaga Nation and the rich history here so they took it
  • Doing everything to help them – marking money proposed will be an enormous help
  • Have a great partnership with Visit Syracuse – using their own money and appropriations from the County to help with flag pole banners, flags, signs, airport and hotel welcome banners, etc.
  • Meeting with Galaxy today to discuss more local media buys
  • Closed a deal with NBC Universal Sports – several games will be aired live – specifically the Gold Medal Game
  • Would like to use some the county provided funds for satellite time and costs – will be able to offer Syracuse and the County 30 second spots during the nationally broadcast world cup game – will be an excellent use for getting the story of Syracuse out. 
  • Show that Syracuse is an area that can handle an international tournament, knows how to host the games, and has the infrastructure in place to support all of it

 

Oren Lyons, Onondaga Nation:

  • Will have 10 days of spotlight on Central New York that will be international – want to make the most of it
  • An international event at the birthplace of democracy – Onondaga Lake
  • Focus is to have the event, but then keep going with it
  • Will be meeting with the White House with an inviting them to attend
  • Appreciate the County’s support 
  • It is a huge endeavor; it is costly – Onondaga Nation does not have that kind of money, but are investing in Central New York.  It is promotion – once light is shined here; want to keep it here and take advantage of it
  • Onondaga Nation is over 1,000 years old; does a lot of international work.  Currently working on Plantagon, an international greenhouse designed for cities – working with Shanghai, Hong Kong, but want to put the first one here
  • Event is fun and will be promoting world peace

Chairman Knapp asked about an opening ceremony.  Mr. Lyons said there will be a social on the Nation with a buffalo roast.  Mr. Weiss said that the opening ceremony will be held at the War Memorial on Sept. 18th.  Representatives from all of the Haudenosaunee Nations will parade in in their regalia, demonstrating dance.  There will be a multi-media demonstration that covers the history and cosmology.  The ceremony will be an hour long, following by the Iroquois vs. US lacrosse teams.  The weekend will have crafts/arts/music/dance festival, while the round robin play is going on.  The Nation is building a beautiful facility, fully LEAD certified, multi-use for indoor sports.  It will be available for all surrounding communities, a permanent structure, seating 300-500.  Mr. Lyons said that he Nation invested $7 million in the facility. 

 

Mr. Weiss displayed a poster, which will be sold at the event.  It celebrates the international tournament, history and included Mr. Lyons original art work. 

 

Chairman Knapp suggested that it could be tied in with lake and visitors center the next time it is hosted here.  It would be a great place for opening ceremonies. 

 

Mr. Weiss said that the Skä·noñh Center and OHA are very involved also.  Visit Syracuse will have a booth on the Nation; Empire State Marketing will probably put a truck on the floor of the Dome.  Kids’ camps will be run the week of the games in the evenings; kids will be able to get on the Dome floor with throw lacrosse balls around with Iroquois Nation players. 

 

Mrs. Ervin said that is very exciting and congratulated everyone.  Chairman Knapp agreed; he feels that everyone will benefit from it.  Lacrosse has been a big part of his upbringing, and continues to be for his family. 

 

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

 

Mr. Reed said the world indoor lacrosse championship happens every four years.  Prior events have had no intention on the international stage, except from the players.  He said that we are changing that here.  It has been suggested that the games come back to the same venues in four years, as the U.S. could be the host.  Mr. Weiss said that the spoke to Bill Schoonmaker, US Lacrosse, about the possibility, and he was intrigued.  They will continue to pursue that possibility.  Mr. Lyons said that they invite the outdoor world games here, but it would be much bigger – about 153 countries. 

 

7.     PURCHASE:

        a.     Revenue Contract Report

Chairman Knapp assumed that there is no report this month, as nothing was received.

 

8.     LAW:

        a.     Settlement of Claim

 

A motion was made by Mr. May to enter into executive session for the purpose of discussing pending litigation in the case of Allen Whaley V. Onondaga County, “John Doe 1”, “John Doe 2”, “John Doe 3”, “Jane Doe 1”, “Jane Doe 2”, and “Jane Doe 3”.  Mrs. Ervin seconded the motion.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

 

A motion was made by Mrs. May, seconded by Mrs. Ervin, to leave executive session and enter regular session.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

 

Chairman Knapp noted for the record that no votes were taken during executive session.

 

A resolution entitled Authorizing the Settlement of the Action Filed with the Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of Onondaga, Allen Whaley V. Onondaga County, “John Doe 1”, John Doe 2”, “John Doe 3”, “Jane Doe 1”, “Jane Doe 2” and “Jane Doe 3”

 

A motion was made by Mrs. Ervin, seconded by Mrs. Williams, to approve the resolution.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:00 a.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

signature

DEBORAH L. MATURO, Clerk

Onondaga County Legislature

 

 

attendance

 

 

 
 
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