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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 – JUNE 14, 2017

MICHAEL E. PLOCHOCKI, CHAIRMAN

 

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Mrs. Tassone, Ms. Cody

MEMBERS ABSENT:  Dr. Chase, Mr. Burtis

ALSO ATTENDING:  See attached list

 

Chairman Plochocki called the meeting to order at 9:08 a.m.  A motion was made by Mrs. Tassone, seconded by Ms. Cody, to waive the reading of the proceedings from the previous committee.  MOTION CARRIED.  A motion was made by Mrs. Tassone, seconded by Ms. Cody, to approve the minutes from the previous committee.  MOTION CARRIED. 

 

Chairman Plochocki complimented Ms. French on her minutes, noting that a newspaper article about sewer rates referenced the February meeting minutes.  He was in communication with the reporter, as the issue was actually discussed at two meetings, pointing out that the minutes from the March meeting add to the discussion. 

 

1.     WATER ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION:  Tom Rhoads, Commissioner; Andrew Ohstrom, Administrative Director

        a.     A Resolution Approving the Increased Cost of Certain Improvements for the Baldwinsville Treatment Plant within the Onondaga County Sanitary District

Mr. Rhoads:

  • Printed minutes from last month in preparation for today - last month discussed public hearing for increased funds for the Baldwinsville Treatment Plant project, covered a lot of ground, engineer was present to help them understand how there was an underestimation of project cost
  • Improvements required by SPDES permit; bid came in roughly $1.1 million over amount funded, CIP prepared based on engineering estimates
  • Had competitive bidding, don’t believe rebid would reduce costs and meet SPDES permit deadline
  • 3 resolutions bundles together:

                        1a)       increases project cost for the Baldwinsville WWTP – installing disinfection modification to remove residual chlorine

                        1b)      bond approval – funding project increase via bond appropriations of $1.1 million

                        1c)       companion resolution – nearby project, on time and under budget, reducing project $1.1 million

  • Not perfect solution, affords opportunity to meet state requirements without raising the total indebtedness for the Consolidated Sanitary District, important and required project

Chairman Plochocki said to be absolutely clear, as we talked about last month, our committee is never thrilled when there is an estimate that is low, particularly when it is significantly low.  That being said, it is much more tolerable, if not entirely tolerable, when there are estimates in the other direction balancing it out.  In this case it is pretty much down to the penny, which is a good thing for us.

 

Chairman Plochocki asked if the funds reduced from Oak Orchard would go right to the bonding.  Mr. Rhoads said that WEP has a fund balance in the Consolidated Sanitary District.  Typically, we pay as you go for construction work, then the County borrows the money annually, typically one year later.  Management and Budget does a cash flow analysis to determine when to borrow.  This is an important question that keeps coming up.  When we receive total authorization, we do not bond for the project, we start the project from fund balance and then borrow and replenish as we start to spend down.  Mr. Owens said that, speaking as a former facilities commissioner, this practice is pretty much followed countywide for all CIP projects.  Because of the healthy financial situation of the County, we have been afforded the luxury to spend cash and replenish once we spend it knowing exactly how much to bond for.  If we come in lower, we don’t ask for those funds.  Mr. Rhoads said that they don’t over borrow bonded debt, which could cause arbitrage concerns.  

 

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

 

        b.     A Resolution Authorizing the Issuance of an Additional $1,100,000 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 ($1,100,000)

 

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

 

        c.     Reducing Authorized Costs for Certain Improvements made for the Oak Orchard Facilities Upgrade Project in and for the County of Onondaga, New York Pursuant to Section 41 of the Local Finance Law, and Amending Resolution Nos. 529-2011 and 530-2011 ($1,100,000)

 

Chairman Plochocki said that, as we just heard and discussed last month, this is where the money is being reduced from and what we like to hear.  He then asked Mr. Roads to briefly describe why things turned out this way.

  • Performed necessary infrastructure improvements, much work on administration building, some work on primary frontend parts of the plant; work performed by C O Falter as prime, Syracuse based contractor, highly competitive bid
  • No unexpected items found –not typical for 35 year old infrastructure repair project; reducing $12.4 million dollar project allocation
  • Just finishing roofing and paving work, infrastructure working well
  • Will bring factsheet to next meeting - enjoy the opportunity to bring projects in on time and under budget, don’t always get the opportunity to tell about them

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

 

        d.     Abolish 01 803330 5589, Senior Waste Water Treatment Plant Operator, Grade 9 @ $48,310-$53,436, Effective July 5, 2017;

                Create 01 803330 2215, Project Coordinator, Grade 31 @ $53,556-$70,998, Effective July 15, 2017;

                Abolish 01 803330 6317, Sanitary Engineer 2, Grade 13 @ $65,459-$72,491, Effective July 5, 2017;

                Create 01 803330 2217, Sanitary Engineer 1, Grade 11 @ $55,496-$61,421, Effective July 8, 2017;

                Create 01 803330 2223, Sanitary Engineer 1, Grade 11 @ $55,496-$61,421, Effective July 8, 2017;

                Abolish 01 803330 7210, Typist 2, Grade 5 @ $35,062-$38,717, effective July 5, 2017;

                Create 01 803330 2224, Clerk 1, Grade 2 @ $29,830-$32,903, effective July 8, 2017.

 

Chairman Plochocki said that he wants the committee to be clear on the main highlights.  Bottom-line, we are cutting costs.  With all this abolishing and creating, in the end there is a net positive.  Second, we generally do this sort of thing at budget time for obvious reasons.  He then asked that they address the need for making these changes midyear, and that Mr. Ohstrom introduce himself.

 

Mr. Ohstrom:

  • Andy Ohstrom, WEP Administrative Director, started January 2017

Chairman Plochocki said that to be abundantly clear, Mr. Ohstrom is the new Marty Voss.  In response to the Chairman, Mr. Ohstrom said that he is also the Town of LaFayette supervisor.

 

Mr. Ohstorm distributed and reviewed the following:

WEP Personnel Justification

  • Information same as in packet, color coordinated for ease of conversation
  • Looked a positions within the structure since the beginning of the year, midyear have opportunity to reassign resources and positions to better fit WEP’s overall strategic mission; complexities changed or are evolving which this helps address
  • Reviewed color-coded positions adding:
  • Project Coordinator position new, would transfer funds currently in the general fund, through management intern, to funds that become part of the WEP budget; main focus of position to address mass loss of employees from division, 40% workforce turnover within the next 4 to 8 years, will have huge influx – how we recruit, train, and onboard develop will be critical, will take very focused concerned effort; knowing WWTP’s operations is a trade, a learned skill that needs to take place during a time period with structured training
  • Typically had 2 Typist 2, Grade 5 positions, now rearranging, keeping 1 position and moving another to the front office type position, job description fits Clerk 1
  • Net result $42,750 cost savings; realigning resources and job responsibilities in stressful financial times  

 

In response to Chairman Plochocki, Mr. Ohstrom said that the 40% turnover would take place in 4 to 8 years; not sure when people will leave.  Last week six people approached us about retiring early.  It may be closer to 4 years. 

 

Mr. Rhoads:

  • 29 people took advantage of the voluntary retirement program, also restructured the Oak Orchard Campus
  • Complimented Mr. Ohstrom on the personnel changes in pink, came on board in January, due to retirements thought about real need – brings really good HR and administrative skills

 

In answer to Chairman Plochocki, Mr. Ohstrom confirmed that most of the 40% would be coming from natural attrition.

 

Chairman Plochocki said that he discussed the specific abolish and creates at length with Mr. Rhoads so that his questions are answered.

 

Mrs. Tassone asked if they would be hiring people to keep up the workload.  Mr. Ohstrom said that this, and the near future, would be a net zero.  Anything being abolishing does not currently have a person in the position.

 

In answer to Mrs. Tassone, Mr. Ohstrom confirmed that they are hiring summer help, about a dozen spread throughout different departments.  Mr. Rhoads said that prospects should be funneled through Mr. Owens.  Mr. Owens said that he thinks the positions are full throughout the County; have not been able to hire many 103 interns because of the budget.

 

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

 

The meeting adjourned at 9:32 a.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Signature

KATHERINE M. FRENCH, Deputy Clerk

Onondaga County Legislature

Attendance

 

* * *

 

COUNTY FACILITIES COMMITTEE MINUTES – JUNE 14, 2017

JUDITH A. TASSONE, CHAIR

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Mr. Dougherty, Ms. Cody, Mr. Plochocki

MEMBERS ABSENT:  Dr. Chase

ALSO ATTENDING:  see attached list

 

Chair Tassone called the meeting to order at 10:32 a.mA motion was made by Ms. Cody, seconded by Mr. Dougherty to waive the reading and approve the minutes of the previous committee meeting; MOTION CARRIED.

 

1.     PARKS & RECREATION:  William Lansley, Commissioner

        a.     For use by the Beaver Lake Nature Center:  Amending the 2017 County Budget and Accepting Donations from Friends of Beaver Lake, Inc. ($550,000)

 

  • Beaver Lake Friend’s group and volunteers do tremendous amount of work from running events, carving pumpkins, serving pancake breakfasts, and they raise a lot of money; with Beaver Lake for 47 years (since park was founded)
  • Proposing to use $550,000 of Friends’ funds to renovate interior of Nature Center
  • New exhibits, new signage, new front desk area; would like interactive displays like beaver house kids and adults can go inside to see what it looks like; Parks recently renovated exterior and added green roof
  • Current exhibit there for 30 years with taxidermy and plastic; temporary until true nature center interior
  • Friends are outstanding people to work with; have a beautiful plan set up with companies that build things to last

 

Mr. Plochocki and Chair Tassone commented that the Friends do a great job and are good people.

 

Mr. Lansley stated there are recognition dinners for volunteers where they give out service awards.  Mr. Lansley wanted to mention Anne Hoadley who works at the gift shop every day, and has accumulated over 9,000 hours of volunteer effort.  A typical volunteer helps out a tremendous amount, and saves the County a lot of money.

 

Mr. Dougherty asked if there is ongoing maintenance with this or anything that will require extra staff.  Mr. Lansley responded no; once built, the County owns it.  If something were to break, Parks would assume responsibility.  Mr. Lansley replied to Mr. Dougherty that the maintenance cost would be minimal.  It is mostly signage and displays, and it is inside the Nature Center. 

 

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

 

Mr. Plochocki asked when it will be done.  Mr. Lansley responded it probably will not be done until the spring.  A lot of this will be designed and built in studios, so there is no construction to disrupt the season.  It should be about six months to get it all done once it is started. 

 

The meeting was adjourned at 10:38 a.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Attendance

JAMIE McNAMARA, Assistant Clerk

Onondaga County Legislature

Signature

 

* * *

PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE MINUTES - JUNE 14, 2017

BRIAN MAY, CHAIRMAN

 

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

MEMBERS ABSENT:  Mr. Liedka

ALSO ATTENDINGSee attached list

 

Chairman May called the meeting to order at 12:07 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. Ryan, to approve the minutes from the previous committee.  MOTION CARRIED. 

 

1.     HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION:  Barrie Gewanter, Executive Director

        a.     Confirming Appointment to the Onondaga County/Syracuse Commission on Human Rights (Khadijo Abdulkadir)

 

Ms. Gewanter:

  • 23rd board member out of 24 - one open position

Chairman May said that this is a legislative pick.

 

Mr. Dougherty said that he was very happy to see younger people being put on this board; she’s graduating from SU next May, a recent graduate of Nottingham and a great addition to this board.

 

  • Leader in immigrant and refugee communities; board member both of the new mosque on the North Side of the Northside Learning Center and the new Women’s Empowerment Program
  • Priority for Human Rights Commission to encourage nominations and appointments who are both younger than her and from the refugee community; members very pleased with this pick and say thank you

Mr. Ryan said going back to a letter dated November 20, 2016, Shu-Kai Chin addressed the two vacancies and urged for the need to appoint someone from the refugee community and someone “under 35”.  We have accomplished both of those.  Ms. Abdulkadir is a really good kid, she is very excited and flattered.  It is amazing to see how much of a smile it brings to her face when you talk about the possibility of her coming on the commission.  This is something that we should do, not only for the refugee community, but for all.  This is a segment of our population that could really use some help, on the Northside in particular, and in his district.  Also she lives on the South Side; can’t say enough, will be a good asset.  Ms. Gewanter said that she had an opportunity to work with her recently and was very impressed.  She looks forward to Ms. Abdulkadir being able to learn from the more senior members of the Human Rights Commission, but also for us to learn from her.  For the record, Ms. Gewanter said, “When I said younger than I, I didn’t mean under 35.  I am a little bit further up in the scale than that”.

 

Chairman May said that he also thinks this it is a great pick, adding diversity to the board is a good thing for the community and the County.

 

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

 

Chairman May called for a recess at 12:11 p.m. and the meeting reconvened at 12:13 p.m.

 

Chairman May welcomed the person in the back of the room and asked that she state her name for the record.  Claudia Klaver stated her name, adding that she is from ACTS - Criminal Justice Task Force.  Chairman May thanked her for coming and said that we can talk briefly after the meeting.  Ms. Klaver said that she would rather he have a meeting with the people who had been contacting him, as they are more equip to talk with him.  Chairman May said that her message was sent.  If she doesn’t mind, he is meeting here and wants to stay undistracted.  If she can stick around he would be more than happy to talk with her for a few minutes.  Ms. Klaver said that she would be happy to talk, but was not as prepared are other people.  Chairman May said that he understood and again thanked her for coming.

 

2.     EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT:  Daniel Wears, Commissioner

        a.     Confirming Appointment to the Position of Deputy Coordinator and Authorizing Reimbursement for Expenses Incurred in the Performance of Duties (Christopher Evans)

 

Mr. Wears:

  • Reappointment of county employee; small amount of money put in last year’s budget process to bring volunteers on as part time employees, cannot sit in both titles at the same time, wishes to continue as a volunteer in this position
  • Reappointment necessary to insure both he and the County are protected

Chairman May said that this is a reappointment of a very good chief in Lysander.

 

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

 

3.     SHERIFF:  Kenneth Andrews, Chief, Civil Department

        a.     Authorizing the Execution of Agreements with Madison County to Provide Helicopter Services ($5,000)

 

Chief Andrews:

  • Have agreements with 3 separate counties, Madison being one, reimburse for possible use of Air 1
  • Send letters to all counties traveled to outside Onondaga County, ask for contribution, only receive responses from 3; no longer flying to Jefferson County, too expensive’
  • Fewer and fewer medical transports, may be doing none; Part 135 certification very expensive for the County, cost analysis benefit expired when many commercial medical flights became available - no longer cost effective and had one pilot retire

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

 

Chairman May asked how Air 1 was going in general, knowing that they have made efficient use of the helicopter. Chief Andrews agreed, adding that they moved to the airbase.  Right now, the biggest thing with Air 1 is the inspections.  Currently it is Pittsburgh for inspection and next year there is a $275,000 5-year inspection, based upon hours.  The year after, there will be another $275,000 inspection for the tail rotor or something like that.  There are certain things we have to go through, which are not inexpensive.  What we can do with it, as evidenced by the Minoa fires and pulling people out of Oneida Lake when they go through on snowmobiles, can’t be measured.  Also, the help it provides for police, i.e. ceremony held at airbase for moving helicopter, state troopers called, had person with a gun somewhere in Liverpool, asked Air 1 to respond.  It is a tool that needs to be continued.  It is not an inexpensive tool.

 

For the record, Mr. May said, “I commend you guys as virtually every voluntary fire department I work with, and I work with a lot because of this role, supports the continued funding of that ship, its operation and its significance to the community and everybody’s safety”.  It is real important.  I also commend you for continuing to use social media to keep the world updated on how the helicopter is being used and the type of public safety value it is bringing to the community.  It is a good move that is really important and will help raise awareness of the importance of this legislature continuing to fund that operation going forward.  Mr. Ryan agreed.

Mr. Ryan said that several years ago we had 5 or 10 trips to Jefferson County.  In answer to Mr. Ryan, Chief Andrews confirmed that we are not doing that anymore.  Mr. Ryan said that was too bad. 

 

Mr. Ryan asked if we are still going to some of the counties that do not reimburse us.  Chief Andrews said that there are certain areas that we still go into, i.e. Cortland County.  Jefferson County was much more expensive trip to take and it was quite frequent.  It was dismissed a little out of hand, then there was a decision made that we can’t go there.  The emergency medical transport we did has been covered by individual companies.  It could have been helpful, as the reimbursement for that is fairly high, but the billing for that had been dwindling remarkably since the private companies came on.  Mr. Ryan said that he is going to be repetitive, as he always says, it is unfortunate that those counties don’t reimburse us for those services and that they don’t find value in it.  We are in the business of helping people and saving people’s lives and in the grand scheme of things this is $5,000 and how much is that on the overall budget.  Yet, at the same time, the bigger picture is the ideology of why should the County of Onondaga taxpayers be subsidizing it.  We are good with it, but it is frustrating.  Chief Andrews said that we ask every year.  The Sheriff puts together a letter and asks his counterparts, the sheriffs in those areas, to go to their legislatures and say this is a good service and your counterparts in those areas say no.

 

Mr. Ryan asked for a listing of trips to those counties that don’t reimburse - name of the county and number of trips.  Chief Andrews said that it could be provided, and believes he has done so before.  Chairman May said that when this was handled differently, by the Legislature and the County, it was done on a quarterly basis.  It should be an annual thing for the sake of transparency.  Mr. Ryan said, just to know what Onondaga County residence are subsidizing. 

 

Chairman May said that this goes to the dilemma, the strongest fire department in your region is going to show up to most of the fires, that is how it works in the spirit of protecting peoples safety, wellbeing and their property.  It is really no different a dilemma for the Sheriff.  When it isn’t mission critical, a lifesaving situation, business decisions can and will be made, and the Sheriff has told us as much.  That is a fair and reasonable expectation for us to have and a position for the Sheriff to take going forward.  It takes into consideration the taxpayer fees, but at the end of the day these guys have a higher purpose that sometimes they just have to meet. 

 

Mr. Holmquist said that it was not unlike the business decision that Jefferson County has made not to pay us any money.  Chairman May said, or to dismiss it out of hand; he had the same experience with a couple of counties himself when trying to speak with his counterparts, for the very same matter, before Chief Andrews came on.

 

Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

 

4.     ONONDAGA COUNTY JUSTICE CENTER

        a.     Confirming Appointment to the Onondaga County Justice Center Oversight Committee (Dominic A. Fruscello) (Sponsored by Mr. McMahon)

 

Chairman May:

  • Noted Ms. Gewanter left the meeting; Chairman McMahon’s pick, late add yesterday, highly recommended

 

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

 

The meeting adjourned at 12:26 p.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Signature

KATHERINE M. FRENCH, Deputy Clerk

Onondaga County Legislature

Attendance

 

* * *

PLANNING & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE MINUTES – JUNE 15, 2017

DEREK T. SHEPARD, JR., CHAIRMAN

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Mr. Ryan, Mr. Plochocki, Mr. Jordan

MEMBERS ABSENT:  Mr. Knapp

ALSO ATTENDING:  see attached list

 

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

 

1.     ONONDAGA COUNTY INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT AGENCY:

        a.     Confirming Reappointments to the Onondaga County Industrial Development Agency (Victor G. Ianno, Sr., Patrick Hogan, Fanny Villarreal)

 

Mr. Plochocki knows all of the appointees, and would highly recommend them.

 

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

 

2.     COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT:  Martin Skahen, Director; Nina Andon-McLane, Administrative Planning & Funding Coordinator

        a.     Authorizing the Onondaga County Executive to File the 2017 Action Plan for the Community Development Block Grant, Home Grant and Emergency Solutions Grant Programs ($3,430,947)

 

Mr. Skahen:

  • CDBG money came in yesterday; federal government passed resolution, and has 60 days to tell how much money is being allocated;
  • Dave Knapp and Derek Shepard on steering committee; divided money amongst applicants from towns and villages; money in line with last year; before Ways and Means will adjust resolution with actual numbers

 

Mr. Ryan asked if this is an estimate, and Mr. Skahen replied yes.  It is a continuing resolution, and the allocation is around the same amount every year.  Ms. Andon-McLane commented that the numbers came out yesterday.

 

Mr. Plochocki asked if there is any reason the government might take it away (as it was done before).  Mr. Skahen responded no.  That time they recalculated low income, and Mr. Skahen has not heard that they will do anything different this year.  Mr. Skahen stated the 2018 budget put out by the President eliminates this program and the Home program.  No one in Congress has said on record that they support the idea.  CDBG is a program loved by people on both sides of the aisle.  It’s a program that goes directly from the government to the grass roots. 

 

Mr. Skahen commented that Onondaga County is called an entitlement community, because it does not have to compete for the grant; where LEAD is competitive.  Clay is big enough to be its own CDBG recipient.  Ms. Andon-McLane said Clay could compete, but would get a small amount (i.e. $200,000).  Clay has partnered with the County to form one group, and now every round ensures Clay and North Syracuse will get a funded project.  CDBG formula is based on things like housing stock.  Mr. Ryan asked why the Town of Geddes only had two areas that qualify, and Mr. Skahen answered that there are multiple factors.  The research groups have pointed out that it could be done better (looking at housing stock).

 

Mr. Skahen responded to Mr. Plochocki that the steering committee discussion went very smoothly, and everyone unanimously supported what to fund and what to put in contingency.

 

Mr. Jordan asked if the money is more or less than the projection.  Mr. Skahen replied that Home went down $2,000, ESG went up $1,800 and the CDBG program is up $60,000 over last year.  A portion of that goes to admin to run the program, and then there will be adjustments based on what money is left.  Mr. Jordan asked if the adjustments would be to individual programs, and Mr. Skahen said maybe.  The $45,000 requests were originally $50,000 requests, so there is opportunity to bump them back to the original request.  Ms. Andon-McLane said that would use up the whole increase.  Mr. Skahen said the contingent projects are not in any order, so if they were to readjust the numbers and have $28,000 left, then the Kelley Brothers Park Pavilion project could be done.

 

Mr. Skahen answered Mr. Jordan that the green technology could be porous pavement.  Mr. Jordan is concerned with the maintenance of porous pavement on road surfaces, and Mr. Skahen replied that it does not have to be cleaned.  Mr. Jordan said most projects say they are using recycled pavement, and asked if that means recycle asphalt (old millings).  Ms. Andon-McLane agreed.  Ms. Andon-McLane said the porous pavement is used more in parking areas; not roads, because it is not strong enough.  Mr. Skahen stated porous pavement’s projected lifetime is currently 30 years (still cannot completely say since the technology is new).  Mr. Jordan questioned if it is cost effective.  Ms. Andon-McLane and Mr. Skahen responded to Mr. Jordan that this will not be happening with any of the listed projects. 

 

Chairman Shepard asked Ms. Andon-McLane to explain what happened in Van Buren for the record.  Ms. Andon-McLane stated there was a drainage project on Henderson Boulevard that was funded in three phases.  The request and approval were more than what was spent.  Last year Van Buren had a project approved on Hosmer Drive, and requested the savings from Henderson be transferred to the Hosmer project.  The steering committee approved it.  For the second phase this year, Van Buren did not need the full allocation because of the saved money.  It also guaranteed Van Buren a project for this year.  Examples like this encourage municipalities to save money. 

 

Mr. Ryan requested that Mr. Skahen keep the committee up to speed on what the numbers are.  Mr. Skahen stated he will copy this committee when they are ready to resubmit for Ways and Means.

 

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

 

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

 

Respectfully submitted,

Signature

JAMIE McNAMARA, Assistant Clerk

Onondaga County Legislature

Attendance

 

* * *

WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE MINUTES

JUNE 26, 2017

David H. Knapp, Chairman

 

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

ALSO PRESENT:  see attached list

 

Chairman Knapp called the meeting to order at 8:59 a.m.  A motion was made by Mr. Kilmartin, seconded by Mrs. Ervin, to waive the reading of the minutes of the proceedings of the previous committee.  MOTION CARRIEDA motion was made by Mr. Kilmartin, seconded by Mrs. Ervin, to approve the minutes of the proceedings of the previous committee meeting.  MOTION CARRIED.

 

CONSENT AGENDA

 

1.     PARKS & RECREATION:

        a.     For use by the Beaver Lake Nature Center:  Amending the 2017 County Budget and Accepting Donations from Friends of Beaver Lake, Inc. ($550,000)

 

2.     SHERIFF:

        a.     Authorizing the Execution of Agreements with Madison County to Provide Helicopter Services ($5,000)

 

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

 

REGULAR AGENDA

 

1.     BOARD OF ELECTIONS:  Dustin Czarny; Michelle Sardo, Commissioners

        a.     Transfer from Acct. 666500 Contingency to Acct. 641010 Reg. Employees Salaries, $66,271

  • Asking for money for director positions to be reinstated
  • Vital positions – getting into petition season; BOE work is very busy on local years – 100s of petitions filed for different candidacies
  • Director positions oversee the petition process – process starts July 10th
  • Will fill positions as soon as legislature approves it; have a full staff to be ready for political season

 

Chairman Knapp said that this is for two positions for the rest of the years.  The Commissioners agreed.  Chairman Knapp said that he assumes they will be included in next years’ budget.

 

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

 

2.     COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT:  Martin Skahen, Director; Nina Andon-McLane; Admin. Plan./Fund. Coord.

        a.     Authorizing the Onondaga County Executive to File the 2017 Action Plan for the Community Development Block Grant, Home Grant and Emergency Solutions Grant Programs ($3,430,947)

Chairman Knapp said that he and Mr. Shepard sit on the steering committee as representatives of the legislature.  This was another good year of stretching the dollar, taking the funds, and awarding worthy projects.

 

Mr. Skahen:

  • Didn’t have a budget this year – Federal Government was still working on it.
  • Steering committee funding was allocated based on the previous year and voted on projects
  • Now the budget has come through, received allocation

 

An updated allocation with the actual numbers included was distributed:


 

Comm Dev Bud

 

 

Comm Dev Projects


 

  • CDBG went up a little from last year; Home went down a little bit; Emergency Solutions went up a little
  • Steering committee had lowered some of the requests from $50k to $45k so that more projects could get funded;
  • After budgets came in, a couple we bumped back up to $50k
  • Left enough money for Town of Onondaga, Kelley Brothers Park Pavilion, $27k in Nedrow
  • Onondaga now has a total $50k funding for 2 projects; other municipalities have $50k for one project

Chairman Knapp said that Nedrow is one of the lowest income areas outside of the city.  Mr. Skahen agreed, adding that Nedrow is the target of the CDBG program.

 

A motion was made by Mr. Kilmartin, seconded by Ms. Williams.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

 

Mr. Jordan referred to the support documentation, which indicates $626,000 for Emerald Ash Borer projects.  Mr. Skahen said the $26,000 is for Cooperative Extension for emerald ash borer.  In answer to Mr. Jordan, Ms. Andon-McLane said that $626,003 was the previous capital budget total, which included $26,000 for Cooperative Extension.  Mr. Skahen clarified that the $626,003 was the amount allocated for capital project for all municipalities, which was the number taken to the Planning Committee.  Chairman Knapp said that the $26k to CCE is basically to help low income folks when they have an ash tree on their premisis and help eradicate it.  Mr. Skahen said that they have a re-planting program as well.

 

3.     WATER ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION:  Tom Rhoads, Commissioner

        a.     A Resolution Approving the Increased Cost of Certain Improvements for the Baldwinsville Treatment Plant within the Onondaga County Sanitary District ($1,100,000)

  • 3a & 3b relate to the Baldwinsville WWTP – required project to de-chlorinate the effluent
  • Permit required project
  • Cost estimate was prepared at the 50% phase and Legislature authorized the capital projects
  • When brought it to 100% design, it was still in the range of the project being slightly under $1.8 million
  • Had competitive bidding – came in $1.1 million more than the engineering estimates
  • Must have this on line by late Spring 2018 – disinfecting season
  • Had 2 good local bids on general work; had 4 very good bids on the electrical work
  • Couldn’t rebid the project to seek savings, no opportunity to redesign the project; have a very tight deadline; forced to ask for additional appropriations
  • Item 3c will reduce the Oak Orchard project by $1.1 million; Oak Orchard is on time and under budget
  • Net indebtedness for consolidated sanitary district will remain as it was originally intended
  • Item 3a is authorization for the additional funding for the project; 3b is authorized for the bonds; 3c is authorization to reduce Oak Orchard total project cost

 

Mr. Rhoads introduced John Perriello from Arcadis, the engineering firm who prepared the work.  It is a very capable firm; they do a lot of water and waste water work.  There is a lot of work going on; this is not a really big project.  There is a $37 - $40 million project in Utica, WEP has a $20 million project on the street now, have bid the Meadowbrook Limestone work and West side Pump station work, and Oswego has work on the street.  This is a mid-sized project – need a full size general contractor.  There was good competition—had two good, local bidders; thinks that because of all the work on the docket, it has caused this one to go a little bit above budget.

 

Chairman Knapp referred to a disinfection season.  Mr. Rhoads said that chlorine is a pollutants; the pathogens are bleached with sodium hypochlorite, and it kills all of the vectors.  It is not done year round; bleach is not added in the off season when there is no swimming or contact recreation.  This permit requires us to add sodium bisulfite, which neutralizes the bleach.  During the disinfection season now, they have to remove the chlorine – have had to do it in 5 of the 6 treatment plants. 

 

Chairman Knapp asked if a certain area came in higher, i.e. electrical or mechanical.  Mr. Perriello said that certain aspects of the general contract were higher than they had estimated – one was bypass pumping.  Because this is a treatment plant, you have to keep it operating.  The requirements for the contract are to actually pump the flow around the area.  He said that they thought they would stage it differently, but they said they weren’t willing to take that risk, which he understood.  Bypass pumping was the significant factor on the estimate.  Being a consent order job, they said it wasn’t worth the risk of not being as efficient as possible. 

 

Mr. Jordan referred to Oak Orchard, and is happy the work came in lower than what was estimated, but is concerned if the $1.1 million savings was achieved by reducing the scope.  Mr. Rhoads said that it was the same amount of work; there have been some construction contingencies there.  It was in part, a lot of asset renewal –never sure what we will get into when opening up aging assets.  There weren’t that many field conditions that required a significant amount of change; there were a couple, but it moved along for the most part as planned and designed.  It was a $12 million project; are $1.1 million under.

 

Mr. Jordan asked if there are things at Oak Orchard that aren’t being done that should be, and perhaps this money could be used.  Mr. Rhoads said that there is a lagoon cleaning and de-chlorination project that is part of the 5 year capital plan, which they will come to the Legislature with this fall.  Mr. Jordan said that he is concerned if we are robbing Peter to pay Paul and not doing things at Oak Orchard, which has had capacity issues.  Mr. Rhoads said that they have worked through capacity issues fairly well.  The biggest capacity issue for the consolidated sanitary district is municipalities.  For the most part, everyone in the treatment plant suffers from tremendous amounts of extraneous flow.  Even in a dry year it is about 40% of everything we pump, store, and treat.  He said that they have to oversize all the equipment by at least 40% - 50%.  Every capital expenditure we are making has to be increased by approximately 50%.  In wet weather some parts of the system see 19 times the dry weather flow that was seen in draught year 2016.  Mr. Jordan asked if some of this money should be used to address the I & I issues.  Mr. Rhoads said that it is in the town and village systems.  There should be a strong ordinance that requires those municipalities to make the investments in their system; they need to take care of their own infrastructure.  He said “all of us are paying for those folks not making the investment, and it is a necessary investment for our economy.”  When we run out of capacity in the sewer system, we don’t have the ability for a new industry to come on line.  We don’t have the ability for a commercial type development.  He said that municipalities need to make tens of millions of dollars of investments in their system.  “We need to ask them to step up to their responsibilities.”  Mr. Jordan asked if that infrastructure is part of the Onondaga County consolidated sewer district.  Mr. Rhoads explained that they are tributary to us – like a town’s street is tributary to Rt. 81 or the state highway system.  The County has the trunk sewers, which are the major pipes; there are about 600 miles sewers that the County owns.  There are about 2,100 miles in the system.  There are at least 1,500 miles of sewers that are owned by the municipalities.  Most of the county sewers don’t have laterals coming into them – they don’t serve houses or commercial – all of that is a collection sewer. 

 

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

 

        b.     A Resolution Authorizing the Issuance of an Additional $1,100,000 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 ($1,100,000)

 

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

 

        c.     Reducing Authorized Costs for Certain Improvements made for the Oak Orchard Facilities Upgrade Project in and for the County of Onondaga, New York Pursuant to Section 41 of the Local Finance Law, and Amending Resolution Nos. 529-2011 and 530-2011 ($1,100,000)

 

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

 

        d.     Abolish 01 803330 5589, Senior Waste Water Treatment Plant Operator, Grade 9 @ $48,310-$53,436, Effective July 5, 2017;

Create 01 803330 2215, Project Coordinator, Grade 31 @ $53,556-$70,998, Effective July 15, 2017;

Abolish 01 803330 6317, Sanitary Engineer 2, Grade 13 @ $65,459-$72,491, Effective July 5, 2017;

Create 01 803330 2217, Sanitary Engineer 1, Grade 11 @ $55,496-$61,421, Effective July 8, 2017;

Create 01 803330 2223, Sanitary Engineer 1, Grade 11 @ $55,496-$61,421, Effective July 8, 2017;

Abolish 01 803330 7210, Typist 2, Grade 5 @ $35,062-$38,717, effective July 5, 2017;

Create 01 803330 2224, Clerk 1, Grade 2 @ $29,830-$32,903, effective July 8, 2017.

 

*Mr. May arrived at the meeting.

 

Mr. Ostrum, Director of Administration:

  • Great opportunity in midyear to do some restructuring, realigning of resources
  • Abolish a Senior Waste Water Treatment Plant Operatorcurrent position that is open due to some restructuring at Oak Orchard going from a 24 hr. to 12 hour operation
  • Create a Project Coordinator – a new position offset elimination of senior waste water treatment plant operator – employee will be very focused on the recruitment, retention, training and development of a brand new work force for WEP
  • About 40% of workforce is eligible to retire in next 8 years; happening extremely fast – everyday employees are looking at it, planning or announcing their retirement
  • A whole new generation of employees and won’t have the luxury of time – WEP jobs are a craft, a trade type job; will have to be a shortened package to get them up to speed
  • Abolish 1 Sanitary Engineer 2 and unfund another to establish 2 Sanitary Engineer 1 positions – reflective of a change in their mission – changing of industries and focus
  • Abolish a Typist 2 and create a Clerk 1 in WEP’s Personnel Dept. – an outflow of last year’s early retirement program where one person left that was traditionally a 3 person back office position – will not replace that one.  Downsized a secretary position last year -- creating one position to do both jobs.
  • Results in net savings of approximately $42,750; no elimination of any person – positions are unfilled

 

In answer to Chairman Knapp, Mr. Ostrum said that 42 or 43 people took advantage of last year’s early retirement incentive.  Looking at the statistics of retirement eligibilities, it will be devastating to have almost half the workforce go in such a quick time period.  In answer to Mr. Kilmartin, Mr. Ostrum said it is about 160 employees over the next 8 years.  Mr. Rhoads added that one division saw a lot of transfers with the Van Duyn change – a lot of those people are systemically ready to retire.  There are over 70% in the next 5 years in that one division.

 

Mr. Jordan said that he does not like unfunding positions and leaving them on the roster and would prefer to see the elimination of the other Sanitary Engineer 2 position, especially since it is vacant now.  He asked if there was a particular reason the position isn’t being abolished.  Mr. Ostrum referred to departures and future need -- instead of coming back in a year or two from now and asking to have the Sanitary Engineer 2 position back, he really feels they need that position – not this year, but probably soon. 

 

Chairman Knapp said that sometimes for career progression positions are unfunded but kept on the books and asked if that applies here.  Mr. Ostrum said that it is a strong scenario that other Sanitary Engineer 2’s will retire and Sanitary Engineer 1’s might have the opportunity to progress into that position. 

 

Mr. Jordan said that based on the position included in the 2017 budget, the numbers being proposed with these positions are all too high.  For example, he noted that the senior waste water plant operator is listed in the resolution with a salary range of $48,310 - $53,436, but the budget shows it as $46,434 - $51,351.  For all of these positions the numbers are a couple thousand dollars above what is actually in the budget.  Ms. Venditti said that when the budget was put together, raise increases for the CSEA and other bargaining agencies wasn’t known.  Chairman Knapp said that the budget does not reflect the raises that went into effect on January 1st; Ms. Venditti agreed.  In answer to Mr. Jordan, Ms. Venditti confirmed that the 2017 budget does not reflect actual employee’s salaries.  He asked where the extra money will come from.  Ms. Venditti said that they anticipate using the provision for salaries and wages budget line.   Mr. Rhoads said that the salary figures are supplied to WEP from the personnel department.

 

A motion was made by Mr. Kilmartin, seconded by Mr. Shepard, to approve this item.  AYES:  6; NOES:  0; ABSTENTIONS:  1 (Jordan).  MOTION CARRIED.

 

4.     LAW DEPARTMENT:  Lori Tarolli, First Chief Deputy County Attorney

        a.     Amending the 2017 County Budget to Make Available Funds to Support Retained Counsel ($75,000)

  • Transfer to handle a lawsuit where the County and the Comptroller are defendants
  • This is the amount the counsel has asked to handle the next phase of the litigation

 

Chairman Knapp said that it is the policy of the legislature that we defend elected officials.  The line item has the funds but they are spoken for for other matters.  Mrs. Tarolli agreed and noted that the Law Department anticipates that it will use that money for the purposes the legislature gave them the account for and will not have surplus money in that account.  She added that out of fairness, they want to earmark this amount for the Comptroller’s defense.

 

A motion was made by Mr. Jordan, seconded by Mr. Kilmartin, to approve this item.  AYES:  5 (Knapp, Jordan, May, Shepard, Kilmartin); NOES:  0; ABSTENTIONS:  2 (Ervin, Williams).  MOTION CARRIED.

 

5.     PURCHASE:

        a.     Revenue Contract Report

Purchase Report

 

 

Mrs. Ervin distributed a resolution for discussion entitled Welcoming Refugees and Legal Immigrants to Onondaga County.

 

Mrs. Ervin:

  • Working on this resolution since February; drawn up on Feb. 13th and transmitted for consideration; Republican caucus had some changes; sent back to Mrs. Berger, Law Dept., who did another revision; it was sent back April 24th; in May asked for it to be considered and it has not been
  • Spoke to the Chairman last month – it was going to go to Health Committee, but the committee did not meet; he asked that it be brought forward today for discussion
  • Resolution doesn’t have much teeth – it is welcoming legal immigrants and refugees to come to our county
  • Is Board Vice President of Interfaith Works – one of the largest agencies to bring people in, along with Catholic Charities – this is something to say to these agencies and the County that we are welcoming legal immigrants and refuges who are coming here for a better life
  • They add a lot to our community, i.e. Northside – they are setting up business, children are adding to the school district enrollment
  • Would like to have it on the July session agenda

 

Chairman Knapp said that the legal piece was important, noting that we already do a lot – we don’t just talk about it, we put our money where our mouth is.  Maybe this is something we need to add to it to let people know that we have funded the Americanization League for many years, who does a great job – we give them $45,000/year.  We give Catholic Charities $20,000/year; they have several contracts with DSS that we take care of.  Interfaith  Works was mentioned; we also support the Northside Learning Center and the Center for America.  From the county standpoint, he feels we are really stepping up very well.  He suggested tweaking this to mention the various groups that the county supports.  “We don’t pat ourselves on the back for all that we do.”  It is the goal, in working with the State and Federal governments, that a refugee coming to our county is set up with the various services, including SNAP, housing, etc., within 31 days.  He said that he feels we do a good job--it is not just talk, it is fact.

 

Mrs. Ervin said that she will have Kelly tweak it and it will be ready for session on Wednesday.

 

Mr. May said that Chair Knapp was very precise in his comments as far as what we do.  Culturally it’s a belief that most of us share, if not all of us.  He recommended that perhaps the resolution is driven in that direction as opposed to something that already exists.  He suggested putting some teeth to it that makes sense for our business, and not something that from an objective or subjective view point could estimate that they aren’t welcome.  The one criticism he has is that one could look at that and say that they’re not (welcome), and he doesn’t think that is the case.  Mr. Jordan suggested adding, for example …continuing our welcome of refugees.  Mr. May suggested … through the agencies and activities that we do.  Chairman Knapp said that in the broader context of things, we welcome everybody that is here legally.

 

The meeting was adjourned at 9:42 a.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

signature

 

DEBORAH L. MATURO, Clerk

Onondaga County Legislature

 

 

attendance

 

 

 

 
 
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