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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 – OCTOBER 19, 2016

MICHAEL E. PLOCHOCKI, CHAIRMAN

 

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

MEMBERS ABSENT:  Mrs. Rapp

ALSO ATTENDING:  See attached list

 

Chair Plochocki called the meeting to order at 9:06 A.M.  A motion was made by Dr. Chase, seconded by Mrs. Tassone, to waive the reading of the proceedings from the previous committee.  A motion was made by Dr. Chase, seconded by Mrs. Tassone, to approve the minutes from the previous committee.  MOTION CARRIED.  

 

1.     WATER ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION:  Tom Rhoads, Commissioner

        a. A Resolution Approving the Increased Cost of Certain Improvements Required Pursuant to the Amended Consent Judgment and Related Municipal Compliance Plan for the Harbor Brook CSO Improvements of the County of Onondaga

 

Mr. Rhoads:

  • Items a and b related, discussed last month, a) project sponsorship, b) public hearing for bond - reduced Midland CSO project last month, increasing resources for completion of Harbor Brook work, no net increase to rate payer
  • Funds to be used for green infrastructure and green improvements in Harbor Brook CSO’s located on Westside of the city, sewer separate from main intercepting sewer that runs along Onondaga Creek

 

A motion was made by Mrs. Tassone, seconded by Dr. Chase, to approve item a.  Pass unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

 

        b. A Resolution Authorizing the Issuance of an Additional $3,700,000 Bonds of the County of Onondaga, New York, to Pay the Cost of Certain Improvements Required Pursuant to the Amended Consent Judgment and Related Municipal Compliance Plan for the Harbor Brook CSO Improvement Project in and for said County ($3,700,000)

 

A motion was made by Mrs. Tassone, seconded by Dr. Chase, to approve item b.  Pass unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

 

        c. A Resolution Calling a Public Hearing in Connection with the Increased Cost of Proposed Improvements for the Onondaga County Sanitary District Related to the West Side Pump Station Project ($1,239,444)

 

Chair Plochocki asked if this was cost natural.  Mr. Rhoads said it would be cost natural to the County.  Chair Plochocki said funds were already approved for this project.  Mr. Rhoads agreed.

 

  • Previously requested support for West Side Pump Station project, located near Honeywell Visitor’s Center big project, large portion of community served by the pump station, including the Village of Solvay
  • Pump station has much extraneous flow, designed to manage about 30 million gallons per day at peak flow, increasing to 41 million gallons per day; previously discussed diverting some flow from Baldwinsville, additional flow capacity provides capacity for development
  • Applied for 75/25 grant, used West Side Pump Station county dollars as leverage and match for state dollars totaling $1,239,444, funds to be used as investment in Village of Solvay sewer system to remove I & I, no additional local dollars – balancing grant funds with county dollars; borrowed money to make investments in village sewers and suburban I & I investments previously
  • Public hearing required for upsizing total project; if approved, will come back next month to increase total project by $1,239,444 and accept grant for same amount – no net cost for sanitary district rate payer; making improvements to entire sanitary sewer network by removing extraneous flow, all towards greater goal of more capacity for things on the Westside and perhaps in the future bringing some flow from Baldwinsville to Metro

Dr. Chase asked if there was any pushback due to the location of the pump station.  Mr. Rhoads said that they looked at alternative locations and discussed this when reviewing the request for the pump station project.  However, the project cost increased about $30 million and they did not feel that it would be in the best interest of the ratepayers.  Chair Plochocki agreed.  Mr. Rhoads said that once the project is complete the building will have a new look, including fencing and landscaping appropriate for the location, as well as an odor control system.  It will comport with the larger goals for the area.  He appreciates all the comments, but the cost for moving was absorbent

 

Dr. Chase asked if there was room for further expansion.  Mr. Rhoads said that the property was all state land.  They operate within their footprint and he believes they will be able to manage future growth, if required.  They are upsizing the wet weather capacity by at least 25%, which should accommodate a significant amount of growth.  During budget hearings, they discussed removal of extraneous flow as the best way to build capacity for growth within the system.  Due to very dry year, almost every treatment plant is running well under historic amounts.  This means they are treating large amounts of extraneous flow - Brewerton plant operating at just over 50% of capacity, Meadow Brook Limestone operating at 77% capacity for the year.  There is much capacity in the system, if extraneous flow is removed.  Most removals of extraneous flow will be found in local sewer systems.  Must talk with municipal leaders who are responsible for making capital investments in their sewer structure, many are not making those investments.

 

A motion was made by Dr. Chase, seconded by Mrs. Tassone, to approve this item.  Pass unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

 

  • New estimated maximum cost will be $19,389,444 – will be back next month, amount includes addition of $1,239,444

2.     LAKE IMPROVEMENT:  Tom Rhoads, Commissioner

        a.     ACJ Update

 

Mr. Rhoads:

Letter from Commissioner 

 

Gray Projects Update

  • Crehange Street one block sewer separation, CSO 061, will abate and completely remove CSO

Green Projects Update:

  • Garzone’s project slowed due to hitting rock, chugging along
  • Number of green streets – Newell Street, various streets in CSO 060/077 –(see map next page); green planning committee determines best fit for projects, Ms. Stanczyk part of committee

 

Map

 

  • Lynch Avenue small infiltration trench
  • State Street work going well, have three pieces all in different phases of construction
  • Vacant lot on Newell, project restores lot, captures stormwater, and improves neighborhood

Green Improvement:

  • Public/private partnership; project at RaLin’s used porous pavement and rain garden to capture runoff, RaLin folks astonished by how well porous pavement works
  • Program open through Dec. 15, taking applications for projects throughout several parts of the city, public/private investment for green infrastructure projects

*Mr. Burtis arrived at the meeting.

 

  • County dollars used to improve private property, increases real property value, maintenance and operation taken over by private sector, win for all parties

 

Dr. Chase asked how much money was available for use.  Mr. Rhoads said that the remaining funds for each CSO are listed under the financial update tab.  Quite a bit of money remains, funds are based on location.  They have accomplished all the capture needed in some parts of the city.  In others, they are paying $.10, $.20 or $.30 cents per gallon of capture.  A number of local practitioners are familiar with GIF projects and funds.  A map showing the areas for eligibility is available on the Save the Rain website.

http://savetherain.us/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/2016_GIFPriorityMap_hi-res_052616.pdf

 

Metro WWTP

  • Phosphorus optimization project at 95% design, large project, previously funded engineering, will be asking for capital construction costs – final major ACJ gray project
  • Provide transparent results for AMP and water quality, hope to hit goal of 0.02 total phosphorus, blue graphic shows rainfall data (see graph next page), large amount of runoff when there is heavy rain as in 2015, runoff causes phosphorus to spike – need to look at water quality issues from holistic watershed standpoint, Metro doing great job with treatment, but there are other impact on the lake, i.e. liter; Connect the Drops campaign targets liter

 

South Deep Waters Total Phosphorus

Figure 1            Summer Average TP concentration in the upper waters (0-3 meters) of Onondaga Lake.

 

Legislation & Media:

  • Provide analytics associated with Connect the Drops - using social media to target specific areas
  • Many articles associated with the lake, including Onondaga Lake Fest, fortunate to have Onondaga Lake as a remarkable resource

Financial Update:

  • Contains all financial activities, including budgets for each sewershed, as well as sewer separation budgets

 

Chair Plochocki thanked Mr. Rhoads for the presentation and stated he had an addition to the agenda. 

 

3.     INFORMATIONAL:  OCRRA

 

Chair Plochocki said that last month the committee met the new OCRRA Executive Director, Dereth Glance.  Ms. Glance has been keeping him advised of all the things she has planned for OCRRA, and asked to address the committee briefly.

 

Ms. Glance:

  • Current ban on out of county trash
  • Department of Health grant available to help dispose of unwanted prescription drugs, OCRRA stood with the DA two days ago, over 1,300 pounds of unwanted drugs were properly disposed, County residents advised to put drugs in trash, goes right to incinerator; contacted by many communities outside the county that would like the same disposal
  • Asked to consider waiver for ban on out of county trash to allow disposal of prescription drugs; $13,000 grant funds to be used for public education and outreach, no impact on tonnage, need authorization for proper disposal – don’t want drugs flushed down the drain or entering waterways, read many reports on what happens to feminization of fish and wants to ensure generations of future fish continue, absolute best way to get rid of unwanted drugs is through incinerator; in 2 other incidents allowed outside trash to come into Onondaga County – Victoria Secret bras and police uniforms
  • Win-win for environment

Chair Plochocki clarified that the committee was not voting on anything today.  Ms. Glance just wanted to brief the committee and get off the top of the head comments; nothing is binding.  As they well know, there is an out of county trash ban for the incinerator, but small exceptions were made to the ban over the years.  He does not understand he bra waiver, and will have to investigate it further, however out of county police uniforms and confidential records need to be disposed of in certain ways and special exceptions were made for them.  This would be cost natural to the county, like everything OCRRA does, also cost natural to OCRRA due to the grant.

 

  • Doesn’t end budget challenges, but is a great opportunity for public education - spreads the word on what they are effectively able to do and does not turn other communities away
  • If county doesn’t allow waiver, could still do this but drugs would get trucked to Niagara Falls; if looking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, have local disposal facility here, makes logical sense
  • Will forward information from two previous exceptions in the 90’s, including press coverage; Law department will draft resolution if committee is comfortable

 

Dr. Chase asked if the drugs were removed from the plastic containers before being disposed.  Ms. Glance said that she did not know how they unload the containers but would ask.  Dr. Chase said that the majority of weight would be from the pill containers.  Mr. Glazier said that Onondaga County instituted a drug drop box program last year.  The boxes must be stationed near a uniformed police officer, officer contacts OCRRA at a given time, OCRRA receives the contents of the container and incinerates the full contents of that container after the uniformed police officer signs off.  Dr. Chase said that no tampering was happening for dumping.  Mr. Glazier said that OCRRA’s responsibility was simply to dispose of the material.  Chair Plochocki said that the contents would be disposed of in the form they were received.  Mr. Glazier agreed, adding that NYS law governs the procedure.  The same process would happen, only uniformed police officers would be coming from Cortland as opposed to the Town of Clay or Dewitt.

 

Chair Plochocki said that neighboring counties, Cortland and Madison in particular, do not have the means to do these themselves, therefore the drugs would have to travel with police escort to Niagara Falls.  Since Ms. Glance has a grant, it would be very cost effective in Onondaga County.

 

Mr. Burtis asked if the grant funds would be used just to get the word out.  Ms. Glance said that the Department of Health wants measurable poundage.  The funds are for program participation to measure the amount of drugs collected.  The message in Onondaga County will remain the same, but they would then be able to measure the amounts collected from neighboring counties.  Mr. Burtis asked if neighboring counties were interested in doing this and if they had discussions with anyone.  Ms. Glance said that she was not approaching anyone until she understands where Onondaga is. 

  • Received word late last week, called to see if it was a possibility, makes sense

Dr. Chase said that people would want information on what is coming out of the stack, if they are burning pills.  Ms. Glance said that they are already burning pills and do regular stack testing.  They remain below permit limits and all the information is available on their website.  https://ocrra.org/

 

Ms. Glance asked if the committee was willing to sponsor a resolution.  Chair Plochocki said that he would sponsor the resolution next month.  No one needs to commit now, both he and Ms. Glance wanted to get a general sense if this was worth perusing.  If people had a major problem with this, it may have given them some pause.  

 

The meeting adjourned 9:48 A.M.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Katherine French

KATHERINE M. FRENCH, Deputy Clerk

Onondaga County Legislature

Attendance

 

* * *

 

WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE MINUTES

October 31, 2016

David Knapp, Chairman

 

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

MEMBERS ABSENT:  Ms. Williams

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

 

Chairman Knapp called the meeting to order at 9:10 a.m.  A motion was made by Mr. Kilmartin, seconded by Mr. May, to waive the reading of the minutes of the previous committee.  MOTION CARRIED.  A motion was made by Mr. Kilmartin, seconded by Mrs. Ervin, to approve the minutes of the proceedings of the previous committee.  MOTION CARRIED.

 

1.     WATER ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION:  Tom Rhoads, Commissioner

        a.     A Resolution Approving the Increased Cost of Certain Improvements Required Pursuant to the Amended Consent Judgment and Related Municipal Compliance Plan for the Harbor Brook CSO Improvements of the County of Onondaga

Mr. Rhoads:

  • Final lap of ACJ to complete by 2018 – had originally established budgets to abate all CSO’s in various areas
  • Found surplus of $3.7 million in Midland Ave CSO budget; need additional funds in Harbor Brook CSO budget
  • Legislature has reduced the Midland budget -  asking for support to create $3.7 million in Harbor Brook
  • Net neutral to rate payer
  • 13 active CSO’s in the Harbor Brook area and would like to proceed with additional work to abate those flows

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

 

       b.     A Resolution Authorizing the Issuance of an Additional $3,700,000 Bonds of the County of Onondaga, New York, to Pay the Cost of Certain Improvements Required Pursuant to the Amended Consent Judgment and Related Municipal Compliance Plan for the Harbor Brook CSO Improvement Project in and for said County ($3,700,000)

 

Chairman Knapp noted that this is the actual bonding for the project

 

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

 

      c.     A Resolution Calling a Public Hearing in Connection with the Increased Cost of Proposed Improvements for the Onondaga County Sanitary District Related to the West Side Pump Station Project ($1,239,444)

Mr. Rhoads:

  • Increased budget for West Side Pump Station project; used additional fund balance
  • Significant local investment in West Side Pump Station – applied for state grant and have leveraged additional funds from NYS, $1,239,400 
  • Monies used to invest in and improve the sewer systems of Village of Solvay to reduce extraneous flow, which compounds and creates problems at the West Side Pump Station
  • No local rate payer dollars being used
  • Asking for acceptance of grant and increase the project size

 

Chairman Knapp noted that the resolution is calling for a public hearing.  Mr. Rhoads confirmed that a public hearing needs to be done first and then will come back with a resolution next month.

 

Mr. May said that with respect to the West Side Pump Station, anything we do opens capacity; opening capacity is fulfilling promises towards the larger goal of the west and northern part of the county.  Mr. Rhoads said that by getting extraneous flow out of the west side service area, we restore capacity for other parts of our economic mission.

 

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

 

Chairman Knapp asked for an update on the pipe break and leak Mr. Rhoads said that the leak has abated, because flows came down -- had spent all week preparing.  At 5:00 a.m. on Saturday they began with a safety brief and then went into the work.  The flow was restored, removed and replaced one section of pipe, and repaired one other section.  Normal flows resumed by 5:18 p.m.  In answer to Chairman Knapp, Mr. Rhoads said it is a 42” pipe.  It is immediately adjacent to CSX Railroad, so it was complicated work.

 

2.     ADULT & LONG TERM CARE:   Lisa Alford, Commissioner

        a.     Amending the 2016 County Budget to Make Funds Available to Support Payment of Burial Costs for Eligible Honorable Discharged Veterans and their Family Members ($87,000)

Ms. Alford:

  • Increase funding for burials of Onondaga County Veterans or family members for headstones
  • Cost increased after the budget was done last year
  • Have seen increase in the number of veterans needing reimbursement

Mr. Jordan asked if this is for burials that have already occurred.  Ms. Alford said that some are, but have already had more than last year and the cost increased after the budget was passed last year.

 

Mr. Jordan asked what the process is for determining eligibility; how do you know if they are even from this area.  Ms. Alford said that they use a process that the legislature actually approved.  Mr. Jordan said that the legislature hasn’t approved any process -- have asked about this a number of times and there is no process.  Ms. Alford said that the criteria was approved.  Mr.  Kilmartin asked Ms. Alford to explain how things are done presently.  Ms. Alford said that they asked for documentation of the person’s eligibility; it is verified by what they provide.  The process and the amount is something that was approved by the legislature. 

 

Chairman Knapp asked if it is the same as indigent burials.  Ms. Alford said that it is.  Chairman Knapp said that the process the legislature approved was for indigent burials in general; these people happen to be veterans as well.  Ms. Alford agreed and added that their family members are also eligible. 

 

Mr. Jordan asked if it is verified that they are actually residents of Onondaga County.  Ms. Alford said “yes”.  Mr. Jordan asked how that is verified.  Ms. Alford said by documentation – whether it is bill, a utility bill, or something.  Mr. Jordan asked if there is a qualification that they have to live in the county for a certain period of time, or if they are here for a month and then pass away, then they qualify.  Ms. Rooney said that they first come in and apply for Social Services.  Once determined that they are a veteran or related to a veteran, they are referred over to Veterans Services because the benefits are a little bit different.  They go through the whole process like anyone else would do in Social Services to make all of these determinations.  In answer to Mr. Jordan, Ms. Rooney confirmed that family members apply.  

 

Mr. May said it is budget neutral; it is transferring money.

 

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

 

3.     MISC.

       a.       Authorizing Onondaga County to Pay the Difference in Pay Between Military Base Pay and Base County Salary to County Officers and Employees While Performing Ordered Military Duty (Sponsored by Mr. McMahon)

 

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

 

       b.      Providing Continuous Individual and Family Dental and Health Insurance Benefits through December 31, 2017, at County Expense for those County Officers and Employees During Their Active Military Duty (Sponsored by Mr. McMahon)

 

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

 

Legislators Jordan and Knapp requested to be listed as co-sponsors of items 3a and 3b.

 

4.     ONCENTER:  Kelly Carr, General Manager

       a.     A Local Law Authorizing Lease of County Property to Syracuse SMSA Limited Partnership for a Distributed Antennae System within the Oncenter Complex

Mr. Carr:

  • Local law will allow installation of an antennae system that will give better coverage throughout the Oncenter
  • Struggle to get good service on lower and mezzanine levels now
  • Very similar to the system installed at the amphitheater that keeps phones on data side as opposed to WiFi
  • No expense to the county; open antennae--can be shared by all of the different companies

 

Chairman Knapp asked if when there is a big event, and everyone is on their smart phones, it overloads the system--this will give us capacity.  Mr. Kelly said that this allows control of the WiFi side of things better, because it will keep them on the data side.  The WiFi can be shut down, provides better customer service, and still allows attendees to be able to do what they need to do on their phones, tablets, or laptops.

 

A motion was made by Mrs. Ervin, seconded by Mr. May, to approve this item. 

 

Mr. Jordan said that this allows someone else to put the antennae in.  Mr. Carr agreed – Verizon.

 

Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

 

5.     PURCHASE:

        a.     Revenue Contract Report – NONE

 

6.     FINANCE:  Steve Morgan, CFO

        a.     Amending the 2016 County Budget to Make Fund Balance Available to Support the Voluntary Retirement Incentive Program

Mr. Morgan:

  • Discussed in budget process – county offered a retirement incentive for those already eligible to retire, with $10,000 cash payment if employee retired by end of year
  • At that time, spoke of coming back to pay for the incentive
  • The next resolution is the budget clean up resolution – once known who took the incentive – where money will have to be shifted between departments
  • 165 people supported by general fund that took retirement; 40 people took incentive from WEP; 205 in total -- a last minute change where someone pulled back

 

Chairman Knapp said that there are individuals in Social Services that took advantage of it, and we get reimbursed for some of their salary.  Mr. Morgan said that it depends on where they work.  Chairman Knapp said that the county is totally on the hook for this, regardless of what portion of their income the county may or may not pay for.  Mr. Morgan agreed.

 

Mr. Jordan asked if it has been determined how many will have to be refilled of the 205.  Mr. Morgan said that he will discuss that in the next item and describe the budget clean up resolution. 

 

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

        b.     Amending the 2017 County Budget and Providing for Various Personnel Changes

 

Mr. Morgan distributed a spreadsheet entitled “Modify 2017 Appropriations after VRIP (see page 8)

 

Chairman Knapp said that this is the actual budget clean up resolution.  This had all come together because of the fluid nature of what we have been going through with the retirement incentive.  He noted that he had a little glimpse of preliminary things on Friday, but today is the first time seeing this.  There will be a lot of things to talk about in the next week before session.  This will be considered today; definitely won’t take a vote.  He said that there are some things that he is concerned about.  This is very serious, especially when talking about people’s careers and livelihoods.

 

Mr. Morgan:

  • Considered a clean-up resolution--does not increase the appropriations the Legislature adopted in the 2017 budget
  • Really is one big transfer between departments--moving money between them; net bottom line is $0--zero impact on the budget the legislature adopted
  • The spreadsheet is the basis for what’s in the resolution – used to build the resolution

 

Mr. Morgan reviewed the spreadsheet (see page 8):

  • Adopted budget included $8.2 million in salary savings – spread to various departments (first column); on top of the $5 million that was already in budget for salary
  • VRIP Retire. Count – number of retirements--general fund supported 165; 159 is listed because there was some library branch and Community Dev. retirements that don’t give anything on the bottom line; they are not in this analysis, but still have to pay for the incentive for the folks that took it
  • VRIP Retire. Salaries - value of the salaries - $8.4 million – got enough people to leave voluntarily to exceed the goal by $200k
  • $200k to work with to potentially back fill and make any other adjustments with a billion dollar budget
  • Each department worked with deputy county executives to develop a plan to determine how they were going to live within their budgets and provide services
  • Backfill Salaries – salaries that departments said they absolutely need to have certain positions backfilled
  • Other Acct. Modifications - Some departments stepped up and took a deeper salary or other account reduction

 

Mr. Kilmartin said that they backfilling is additional reductions to expenses if the number is a negative.  If a department said they can’t live without a position(s), that’s the addition reflected.  Mr. Morgan agreed. 

  • Backfill salary total is $743k
  • Almost doubling salary savings that are typically in the county’s budget on an annual basis
  • Department will have to work more efficiently and figure out ways to get their jobs done with less staff
  • If we wanted to add $743k in salaries, we need to offset it with other cuts, because only had $200k to work with
  • Other Account Modifications =  -$542k
  • Final Variance to VRIP = $0

 

Mr. May asked about other account modifications.  Mr. Morgan said that he will detail it, but it is anything other than 101.  He reiterated that it had to be $0 at the end of the day.  To add $743k of salaries--with only $200k to work with --had to come up with adjustments in other places to come to that dollar amount. 

  • Final Variance:  actual activity that is in the resolution – numbers in columns tie out to the resolution
  • Some department requested 103 funds; losing hefty portion of staff -- departments look to bring retirees back for a short period of time to help with the transition
  • Other accounts listed – departments said they could absorb cuts to help offset the increase in salaries
  • Departments wanted to protect those salaries as much as they could, unfortunately, we didn’t have enough money and there still had to be 12 involuntary departures to balance the budget

 

Mr. Kilmartin reviewed the numbers, noting that the other modifications reduced the $743k by $542k.  Mr. Morgan agreed, noting that they started with $200k.  Mr. Jordan said that after other modifications, we are back to $0.  Mr. Morgan agreed, adding this is really a big transfer resolution – not asking for one cent more, not asking for one tax dollar more – it’s just moving money between departments so we can operate going into 2017.

Mr. Kilmartin said that is why the final variance column is $0 at the bottom.

 

In answer to Chairman Knapp, Mr. Morgan explained that if you start with the 641010 account and add it across – it adds to $0 – it’s just the detail behind it.

Chairman Knapp asked Mr. Morgan to run through a department as an example. 

Mr. Morgan reviewed Facilities Management:

  • Salary savings related to VRIP = $144,660 – adopted in budget by the legislature
  • Received 3 retirements – value of those salaries = $156,521
  • Variance to salary savings is $11,861 – it actually exceeded the amount they needed to obtain
  • Knowing that some departments would have to give more than others, because we had to fund certain things, Facilities Management came to the table and said they could give back an additional $188k
  • -$11,861 (variance) + -$188,164 (backfill salaries) = -$200,025 adjustment to 101 acct.
  • If there is a negative in final variance, there is going to be a decrease in that department’s budget; the columns to the right show where the money is going to come from

Mr. Morgan also reviewed the County Clerk’s Department.

 

Mr. Morgan:

  • Attempted to exempt the public safety departments -- Correction, Emergency Communication; Probation, and Custody Div. – no salaries savings target adopted in the budget – policy decision to try to protect those operations
  • For the most part, tried to do that – Correction had the 7 retirements – gained hiring those positions back at lower salaries; same for Emergency Communications
  • Probation – initially exempted them, but going through the plans and trying to meet the goal, had to go without 2 probation officers – were not exempted at end of the day
  • Sheriff Custody Division – exempt – took value of lower salaries individuals would be hired at
  • Sheriff Civil Division – VRIP salary savings $3.1 million – salary savings for each departments was based on the number of eligible people to retire in that department – we assumed we would get close to that number of retirements
  • Sheriff had a lot of people eligible to retire – 7 took the retirement incentive at value of $428k; $2.7 million being added back to Sheriff’s Dept. salaries – expecting they will have to do with 7 less employees on the police side
  • Couldn’t exempt Sherriff’s office completely – tried our best to keep them whole to the extent we could

 

Chairman Knapp said that they can replace up to $2,712,000; Mr. Morgan agreed.

 

Mr. May said that Social Services, Adult & Long Care Services, Child & Family Services are really not local dollars in entirety.  Mr. Morgan agreed, but explained that the budget was built on the assumption that they would get the savings and took the revenues out of the budgets.  This is straight up local dollars; no revenue adjustment are seen in this resolution.

 

Chairman McMahon referred to Correction; 7 people took the incentive.  The savings is that these 7 employees make more than the new ones to be hired; Mr. Morgan agreed.  Chairman McMahon asked where the fringe savings are found.  Mr. Morgan said that the fringe and revenue was baked into the budget.  When the goal was set for the incentive for salaries, a value of the fringe was taken -- reduced the insurance when the budget was brought over to the legislature.  Chairman McMahon asked what the estimate of the fringe savings was 3-4 weeks ago compared to what is actually being saved now.  Mr. Morgan said that the variance in salaries is only $7.7 million; adding $743k, so we actually have to add fringe.  Chairman McMahon said that you were doing fringe off of $8.2 million; what number did you use for fringe – employees to be hired back are all cheaper.  They are not Tier 2 in the state pension; they are all going to be Tier 6.  Chairman McMahon asked if we are missing dollar saving.  Mr. Morgan said that he didn’t think so because they are only adding back $743k in salaries, but could potentially look at it. 

 

Mr. Jordan asked Mr. Morgan if when they went through to determine where each department would end up at the end of the day, did they speak to each department head to determine what they could do – offering up new positions or what they needed to backfill.  Mr. Morgan said they worked with most of the departments.  Mr. Jordan asked which departments were not consulted with.  Mr. Fisher said that they treated the elected officials a little bit differently.  Deputy County Executives met with all of their department heads, who serve at the pleasure of the county executive.  There were not comparable meetings with the Sheriff, Clerk, DA, Comptroller or Legislature.  Mr. Jordan asked if there were discussions with the elected officials.  Mr. Fisher said only at high level – only with “this is what we are trying to accomplish when the budget was put together.”  Mr. Jordan asked if then the elected officials came back and said “this is what we can do to accomplish the target.”  Mr. Fisher said that the “elected official discussions are not at our level; I did not have any discussions with any elected officials.”  Mr. Jordan asked who would be having that discussion with elected officials then.  Mr. Fisher said “our elected official - the county executive.” 

 

Mr. Jordan asked about the total number of positions before the budget and what the total will be on Jan. 1, 2017.  Mr. Morgan said that if the volunteer retirement salary values $8.4 million, taken an average of $50,000/employee, then add back $743k.  Ms. Venditti said that it is about 2,600 FTEs.  Mr. Fisher said that the year started with roughly 3,200 FTEs including the sewer fund.  Mr. Morgan said that he believes that at the end of the day the number will be down to roughly 3,000 positions.

 

Chairman Knapp said that the resolution includes roughly 12 layoffs right now.  Mr. Morgan agreed.

 

Mr. May said that is sounds like there needs to be clarification on what discussions have been had with various electeds.  Obviously, there are responses from department heads – doesn’t know if there are responses from the electeds.  Mr. Fisher said that the electeds have the budgets that they had on October 11th – some money moved from one place to another, other than the Sheriff.  There probably should be a conversation with the Sheriff, because it is going to be very challenging; it is going to be challenging for the DA, Clerk, and Comptroller.  They will have to do things by not filling positions – probably unprecedented for them.  There are no layoffs in the Sheriff’s Department.  The layoff distribution is 8 CSEA and 4 M/Cs – none of the elected officials were touched by that.  None of them came forward and said they would like to do this and do a layoff – if they find that is a better way to achieve salary savings – that is a conversation that you might entertain. 

 

Mr. Jordan said that “you are saying there are no layoffs, but we are abolishing 34 positions and creating 8 positions”  He said that it seems to be counter intuitive – trying to make ends meet; $700k short.  Mr. Fisher said that each department head is challenged with “given the money that you are going to have; there is no more; what is the best way to make ends meet?”  If they said that keeping all the people they have in the positions they are in is the best way, then that was the plan.  If they said that they had a better plan, then that is what they did.  He referenced an example in Parks Dept., which ended up creating a position in Personnel, but the net is two people to do the work of 3 Parks retirees.  He said they were open to that sort of thinking; if they can do it better with fewer people, but have to make some changes in terms of who is doing what work, even if that means creating positions; “as long as we hit the numbers in a very clean budget, where there are not any hidden assumptions about how the heck are we going to get to that number.”

 

Chairman Knapp said that the legislature needs the detail on the abolishes and creates.  Mr. Fisher said that it is in the resolution.

 

Chairman McMahon said that this is the first bite at the apple, and the goal is to make sure that the budget, the savings that are needed to make the budget what it is, happens.  Legislative staff will have to go through and look at other abolishes, look at other positions that aren’t abolished, and have conversations with departments.  Chairman Knapp said that this is very much like the beginning of the budget process.  The County Executive comes over with a proposed budget; we take a look at it and take it from there.

 

Mr. Jordan said that just as a cursory review of this; it doesn’t look like it is necessarily shifting positions.  There are positions in here that we removed from the budget and now are being added back in.  “They are positions that we deliberately said that we weren’t going to create.”  He said that it is not just moving on positions from one department to another; it is abolishing some positions, created some new positions.  Chairman Knapp said that over the next week the legislature will have to analyze it and get justifications for it, or lack thereof, and make a decision.

 

In answer to Mrs. Ervin, Mr. Morgan said that the 12 positions are sprinkled throughout the resolution.

 

Mr. Jordan said that he has not spoken to elected officials; the discussion is that they are somehow on board with these changes, but doesn’t know it that is necessarily the case or whether they can actually do their jobs based upon what is being proposed.  That conversation needs to occur.  Chairman Knapp said that at the end of the day, their budget number has not changed from what was passed on the 11th.  If there are ways to move the shells around to help them accomplish their mission, then that is something we need to talk about.

 

Chairman McMahon said that each elected has a number.  If there is a better way to get to that number, then we are all ears, but the integrity of the budget number needs to be what our main priority is.  Mr. Moran reiterated that at the end of the day, the number has to be $0, so if you move money into anyone’s budget, you have to take it from somewhere.

 

7.     LAW:

        a.     Amending the 2016 County Budget to Make Available Funds to Support Retained Counsel

 

Chair Knapp said that this item is informational; no vote will be taken; it is not being considered.  This is something that will have to be figured out--wanted to have it here to start the conversation.  It is not going to session next week.

 

Mr. Fisher:

  • Law Dept. has depleted their account for outside counsel; Antonacci v. Mahoney resulted in bills over $500k; as final bills come in, will have to ask for 2016 funds to settle bills
  • Co. Attorney represents all officials of the county--required to find funds when an elected official requires outside counsel
  • Comptroller has asked County Attorney to retain Sugarman Law Firm to defend him in a civil rights matter
  • Civil rights matter lawsuit is a suit against the County and the Comptroller
  • Law Dept. will be defending the County; Comptroller is entitled to separate representation and the County Attorney would like that to be done
  • Appropriates $20k to cover the rest of the year; assuming it goes into next year, the Law Dept. may have enough funding in 2017, if not additional funds will have to be appropriated

 

Chairman Knapp said that basically the number is really unknown.  He asked if we can request a letter of engagement or something from the Sugarman Firm.  Mr. Fisher said that he would have a conversation with the County Attorney.  Chairman Knapp said that hopefully there will be a better number by next month at Ways & Means.  Mr. Fisher said it could be brought to the floor on Monday, as they literally don’t have the funds to pay.

 

Chairman McMahon said that we should look to see if the Comptroller has funding his budget to start funding it.

 

Mrs. Ervin questioned why the Comptroller is requesting outside counsel.  If we don’t have the funds to do that, and we are struggling to find the funds to keep people employed.  Chairman Knapp said that we need to get more information.

 

b.     Settlement of Claim

 

Mr. Jordan made a motion to enter executive session for the purpose of discussing legal strategy in connection with litigation known as Antonacci v. Mahoney and to to discuss litigation related to Powell v. County of Onondaga.  Mr. May seconded the motion.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED. 

 

A motion was made by Mrs. Ervin, seconded by Chairman Knapp, to exit executive session at 10:37 a.m. and enter regular session.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

 

Chairman Knapp noted for the record that no action was 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, Kristen Adams Powell V. County of Onondaga and Joseph Bunt”.  A motion was made by Mrs. Ervin, seconded by Mr. Knapp to approve this item.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:40 a.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

spreadsheet

 

DEBORAH L. MATURO, Clerk

Onondaga County Legislature

 

ATTACHMENT TO ITEM 6b:


Modify 2017 Appropriations after VRIP

 GENERAL FUNDS ONLY

VRIP Salary Savings

    8,221,144

 VRIP Count

                         159

 VRIP Savings

          (200,508)

 Surplus to Target

 Backfill Salaries

                      743,104

 Other Reductions

                          (542,596)

 

 FINAL  Variance to VRIP Salary Savings

                           -  

AMENDMENT ACCOUNT AND AMOUNTs

 Admin Unit-Description

 VRIP Salary Savings (SS)

 VRIP

Retirement

Count

 VRIP Retirement Salaries

 Variance to VRIP SS

 Backfill Salaries*
(+ = BACKFILL)

 Other Account Modifications

 FINAL Variance to VRIP SS

641010

641030

695700

694080

694130

693230

693000

D05-Facilities Management

        144,660

                          3.0

               (156,521)

            (11,861)

                    (188,164)

                                        -  

             (200,025)

       (200,025)

 

 

 

 

 

 

D13-County Comptroller

        239,557

                          2.0

               (102,475)

            137,082

                    (137,082)

                                        -  

                           -  

                     -  

D15-Correction

                   -  

                          7.0

               (440,659)

          (440,659)

                      385,450

 

                (55,209)

         (55,209)

 

 

 

 

 

 

D19-Co. Clerk

        117,642

                          3.0

               (138,239)

            (20,597)

                        39,304

                                        -  

                  18,707

            18,707

D2100000000-Co. Exec

          59,451

                          1.0

                 (45,472)

               13,979

                      (43,570)

                              11,881

                (17,710)

         (29,591)

     11,881

 

 

 

 

 

D25-County Legislature

          20,000

                          1.0

                 (29,430)

               (9,430)

                        29,430

                  20,000

            20,000

D27-Information Technology

        420,997

                        11.0

               (721,455)

          (300,458)

                      (35,857)

                              45,526

             (290,789)

       (336,315)

     45,526

 

 

 

 

 

D31-District Attorney

        302,878

                          4.0

               (266,998)

               35,880

                      (65,880)

                              30,000

                           -  

         (30,000)

      30,000

D34-Emerg Commun

                   -  

                          3.0

               (154,083)

          (154,083)

                        69,651

 

                (84,432)

         (84,432)

 

 

 

 

 

 

D35-Economic Development

                   -  

                            -  

                             -  

                        -  

                           -  

                     -  

D3600000000-Office Of Environ

                   -  

                            -  

                             -  

                        -  

 

 

                           -  

                     -  

 

 

 

 

 

 

D3700000000-Board of Elections

          73,884

                          3.0

               (207,104)

          (133,220)

                      127,021

                  (6,199)

            (6,199)

D38-Emerg Mngt

        148,265

                            -  

                             -  

            148,265

                      (82,177)

 

                  66,088

            66,088

 

 

 

 

 

 

D39-Finance Dept

        377,534

                          5.0

               (245,908)

            131,626

                      (41,118)

                  90,508

            90,508

D43-Health Dept

        172,106

                        12.0

               (702,146)

          (530,040)

                      262,477

                              11,883

             (255,680)

       (267,563)

     11,883

 

 

 

 

 

D4500000000-Human Rights Commission

                   -  

                            -  

                             -  

                        -  

                           -  

                     -  

D47-Law Dept

        350,191

                          1.0

               (120,144)

            230,047

                    (230,047)

 

                           -  

                     -  

 

 

 

 

 

 

D69-Parks & Recreation

          11,228

                        10.0

               (394,006)

          (382,778)

                    (125,873)

                              32,652

             (475,999)

       (508,651)

     32,652

D71-Personnel Dept

                   -  

                          5.0

               (247,723)

          (247,723)

                      116,002

                              45,536

                (86,185)

       (131,721)

     45,536

 

 

 

 

 

D7120000000-CNY Works

                   -  

                            -  

                             -  

                        -  

                           -  

                     -  

D7320-Probation Dept

                   -  

                          2.0

               (118,072)

          (118,072)

 

 

             (118,072)

       (118,072)

 

 

 

 

 

 

D75-Purchase Division

        166,299

                          1.0

                 (69,676)

               96,623

                      (66,855)

                            (15,500)

                  14,268

            29,768

  (15,500)

D79-Sheriff's Office Civil

    3,141,480

                          7.0

               (428,486)

         2,712,994

 

 

            2,712,994

      2,712,994

 

 

 

 

 

 

D79-Sheriff's Office Cust

                   -  

                          6.0

               (347,521)

          (347,521)

                      288,519

                (59,002)

         (59,002)

D8110-Dept of Social Serv - Economic Security

        640,273

                        38.0

           (1,737,308)

      (1,097,035)

                      190,281

                            207,226

             (699,528)

       (906,754)

  207,226

 

 

 

 

 

D82-Dept of Adult & Long-Term Care Services

        353,822

                          3.0

               (145,953)

            207,869

                        55,324

                          (175,000)

                  88,193

         263,193

 (175,000)

D83-Dept of Child & Family Svcs

    1,281,704

                        15.0

               (815,620)

            466,084

                        57,222

                          (535,657)

                (12,351)

         523,306

 

 (153,000)

 (117,500)

 (265,157)

 

 

D87-Syr-Onon Planning Agency

          44,602

                          1.0

                 (37,214)

                 7,388

                        33,701

                  41,089

            41,089

Total Gen Fund

    8,066,573

                     144.0

           (7,672,213)

            394,360

                  637,759.0

                          (341,453)

                690,666

      1,032,119

  339,204

 (298,000)

 (117,500)

 (265,157)

             -  

               -  

D9310-Transport

                   -  

                        11.0

               (513,020)

          (513,020)

                        79,572

                          (166,327)

             (599,775)

       (433,448)

     23,673

 

 

 

 

 (190,000)

 

Total OCPL (Central and System)

        154,571

                          4.0

               (236,419)

            (81,848)

                        25,773

                            (34,816)

                (90,891)

         (56,075)

       9,901

 

 

 

 (44,717)

 

General Fund Supported Departments

    8,221,144

                         159

           (8,421,652)

          (200,508)

                      743,104

                          (542,596)

                           -  

         542,596

  372,778

 (298,000)

 (117,500)

 (265,157)

 (44,717)

 (190,000)


attendance

 
 
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