Meeting Minutes Archive: July, 2007

Office of the Onondaga County Legislature

Court House, Room 407
401 Montgomery Street
Syracuse, New York 13202
(315) 435-2070 Fax: (315) 435-8434


MEMBERS PRESENT:  Mr. Farrell, Mr. Kraft, Mr. Corbett, Mr. Stanczyk, *Mrs. Rapp, **Mr. Ryan

MEMBERS ABSENT:  Mr. Rhinehart, Mr. Warner

ALSO PRESENT:  Mr. Lesniak, Mr. Kilmartin, Mr. Holmquist, Mr. Jordan, see also attached list

Chairman Meyer called the meeting to order at 11:50 a.m.

1.   Approve the Classification of an unlisted action under the SEQRA; declaring lead agency status, accept the Short Environmental Assessment Form; and accept and adopt the Negative Declaration for the replacement of artificial turf with natural grass and related work at Alliance Bank Stadium

Mr. Geraci said that there has been a lot of discussion with Syr. Chiefs and community use people.  The surface at the stadium has to come up; it has been down since 1997.  Astroturf stated that 8-10 yrs. of use would be expected; it is in its 11th year and no longer suitable for any playing, especially professional baseball.  He provided a handout, which compared costs of artificial turf vs. natural grass (attachment 1).  Regarding installation, it is about $50,000 more for natural grass and significantly more for yearly operation.  However, natural grass does not have to be replaced in 10 years. which field turf does.  At an inflation rate of 3%-3.5%, in 10 years it would cost at least $2 million.  A professional groundskeeper will be hired to maintain the facility, supplemented by the necessary equipment and seasonal labor.  Approximately $150,000 more is needed for operational costs for natural grass.  The goal is that when the Syr. Chiefs are finished, the current surface will be torn up and the grass would be put in.  There will be no community use this fall.  Next spring it will be ready to play ball.  The drainage in the current facility is superb; 100% suitable to support natural grass. 

Mr. Corbett said that at times portions of grass will need replacement--is something planned to grow our own.  Mr. Geraci said it is an open question--should the county have a sod farm or buy it commercially. 

Mr. Farrell asked Mr. Geraci to provide a written proforma for the multi-year cost comparisons. He would like to see overall cost comparison of capital cost and ongoing operating costs to validate the numbers.

*Mrs. Rapp arrived at the meeting.

Mr. Farrell said that $284,000 is paid by the Chiefs; asked if that money is in County hands.  Mr. Geraci said  that it is.  Mr. Farrell asked if the turf fund is up to date; Mr. Geraci said that there is $259,000 in the bank; Chiefs owe $25,000, which will be paid at the end of 2007.  Mr. Farrell asked about the additional $90,000 allocated for SUNY.  Mr. Geraci said that they are billed monthly; parking began at the end of May; payment should be received for May and June subsequently.  Mr. Farrell asked for a project schedule, including all of the front-end approvals.

Mr. Farrell addressed community use--there has been substantial conversation about the value of community use of this stadium; Mr. Geraci agreed.  Mr. Farrell said that conversation has been associated with the replacement of field turf because it would enhance the ability for community use; natural grass would limit abilities.  Now it is being looked at differently; how will community uses be taken care.  Mr. Geraci introduced Brian Kelly, who ran the entire community use program at Alliance Bank Stadium and Hopkins Rd.  Mr. Geraci said that community use will not stop at the stadium.  He distributed a list of community use events from 2003-2006 (attachment 2).  Baseball has been the predominant sport; approx. 30 Pop Warner football games are played per season.  He is not recommending they continue at the stadium.  When the facility opened in 1997, there were no other artificial turf fields anywhere in the community besides Alliance Bank Stadium; now there are 10 and 1 more scheduled.  There are plenty of places to play rectangular field sports in this community.  In the fall high school and college baseball can be substituted; they are looking for places to play. 

Mr. Kraft asked why more money was not accumulated for turf replacement, which is estimated at $1.5 million.  Mr. Geraci said that when the lease agreement was set up, it was never to cover the complete cost of turf replacement.  The Syracuse Chiefs, as a partner with Onondaga Co., negotiated to pay $25,000.  It was never expected to cover the turf replacement.  Mr. Kraft said that there is a tenant and would hope a tenant would cover the cost.  Mr. Geraci said that was never the premise.  As a community, it was decided to build a $30 million facility.  It was felt that to have a professional baseball facility, with an ancillary benefit of some community use, would be a benefit to the quality of life in our community.  Mr. Kraft stated that there are arguments about utilities; taxpayers are paying utilities for the stadium and not getting reimbursed.  He had never heard about $1 million.  The taxpayers have quite a burden.  Mr. Geraci said that it is in the best interest of Onon. Co. taxpayers to take care of the infrastructure at the facility, the same way they take care of the War Memorial, Civic Center, and various parks.  Mr. Kraft said that something needs to be done about the utility bill. 

Mr. Stanczyk said that it is a beautiful facility, but the turf is now old, dangerous, and no good.  Replacing with grass is the right thing to do.  He agrees with Mr. Corbett's thoughts about growing the turf nearby, possibly in the back of the playing field and then it is available for replacement.  He feels that the turf replacement will start us in the right direction for the proper use of the facility.  There is a lot of leverage to increase income there. 

Chair Sweetland asked what happens with the Chiefs' agreement to pay $25,000/year.  Mr. Mareane said that the Chiefs have agreed to continue paying it.  The County will use it to offset the cost of maintaining the grass. 

Mr. Farrell said that last year community use dropped by over 30%.  Mr. Geraci said that it dropped in the fall because all users were told that the turf would be replaced in the fall, which was the intent.  Mr. Farrell asked about the feedback from the community users that were told they needed to find another venue.  Mr. Kelly said that it was all very positive; they were looking forward to a facility enhancement.  Mr. Geraci said that they are proud to have the NYS Girls Field Hockey championships, which cannot be played on natural grass.  Parks Dept. is working with them to secure Cicero/North Syracuse for their event.  They will work with the community users to help find other facilities for them. 

Mr. Farrell said that last year 35% of use was for Syracuse Chiefs home games.  When balancing the professional baseball use vs. community use; it looks like professional baseball is taking a bigger chunk.  It would make sense that professional baseball pay more of a percentage.  He understands that it is an advantage to have grass for professional baseball.  Mr. Geraci agreed and said there are only 3 facilities that play on artificial turf.  Mr. Farrell said that this changes the landscape.  Mr. Geraci said that it could, but there is lease with the Chiefs until 2011.  Mr. Farrell said that when the owner makes substantial enhancements to a facility, then the owner can go back to the tenant and possibly work out other things.  Mr. Geraci said that there was an assumption made 10 years ago that there was a field surface that had to be replaced in 8-10 years.  At that time, mid ‘90's, artificial surface was the rage; 10 years later the technology has changed and baseballs' attitude has changed dramatically.  It has never been a surprise that the community would have to continue to invest in the facility to keep it a professional ball playing surface. 

Mrs. Rapp said that grass is more/less a one-time investment with a lifetime of maintenance.  Mr. Geraci agreed; and that is why someone has to be hired that knows how to take care of it.  Mrs. Rapp asked if community use is leased out.  Mr. Geraci explained that the event is rented for the length needed.  Mrs. Rapp asked if the funding received is used to cover costs; Mr. Geraci said that they are not covering costs.  He said at some point this committee may want to address the amount charged for community use.  His goal is to use the facility whenever it is available to be used.

Mr. Lesniak asked if the Chiefs agreement with Toronto coincides with our lease agreement; Mr. Geraci said that he believes that the Toronto lease has 2 more years.

A motion was made by Chairman Meyer, seconded by Mrs. Rapp to approve this item.  AYES:  5 (Meyer, Corbett, Stanczyk, Kraft, Rapp); NOES:  0;  ABSTAINED:  1 (Farrell);  ABSENT:  3(Warner, Ryan Rhinehart).  MOTION CARRIED.

2.      Authorizing replacement of artificial turf with natural grass and related work at Alliance Bank Stadium at a max. est. cost of $1,500,000 and issuance of $1,125,000 in bonds of the Co. of Onon. and the appropriation and expenditure of $375,000 to pay such cost and authorize the Co. Exec. to enter into contracts

A motion was made by Mr. Meyer, seconded by Mrs. Rapp to approve this item.

**Mr. Ryan arrived at the meeting.

A vote was taken on the motion.  AYES:  5 (Meyer, Corbett, Stanczyk, Ryan, Rapp); NOES:  0; ABSTAIN:  2 (Farrell, Kraft); ABSENT:  2 (Rhinehart, Warner).  MOTION CARRIED.

3.   Amend 2007 Co. Budget to allow $75,000 in funding for the Alliance Bank Stadium Beautification Project and Authorize the Co. Exec. to enter into agreements to implement this res. - Mr. Sweetland

Chairman Sweetland stated that the resolution that is on the session agenda is not the resolution that he proposed; it was changed at the committee meeting.  A paragraph was added stating that the $75,000 could only be used for planning, which was not the intention of the committee that he put together to determine what was going to be done at the stadium.  The desire was to get seed money to do some short-term projects at the stadium this year; be able to do planting, and the rest of the money to be used to further plan the project.  He asked the committee to pass the original resolution.

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

Mr. Kraft said that since the committee meeting, he has found out that there are many other players involved; there will be other financial supporters also.  He is agreeable to the paragraph coming out.

Mr. Kraft seconded the motion.

Mr. Ryan asked about other monies that will be put into the project.  Chair Sweetland said that it is not known yet.  Syracuse Sports Corp. approached him and said that they would like to beautify the outside of the stadium and raise money to do that.  Centro and the Regional Market Authority said they will contribute.  It is not just the parking lot and front of stadium, it is the whole area.  Mr. Ryan said that it would be prudent to have a meeting to find out how much the County and the other entities are putting up.  It is open ended.  Chair Sweetland said that the $75,000 is for actual work and getting something done this year; hire a landscape architectural firm to present long-range plans about what the outside of the stadium can look like; come to a point when the costs would be known.  Mr. Ryan feels that there should be a plan, rather than just spend the money.  Chair Sweetland said he spoke to Terry Hettinger, who said that the plantings around the Civic Center are ready to split and can be moved to the stadium.  It is not intended to spend a large portion of $75,000 on plantings.  Parks Dept. will have control of the money.

Mr. Stanczyk said that progress should start, but need to know where it is going, how much is spent, how much for planning, sequence, and the results.  Chair Sweetland said that the plan will be seen before it is done. 

Mr. Kilmartin recommended that the resolution be approved on the condition of a plan being submitted by the Parks Dept. to the Legislature.  Mr. Ryan asked if some or all will be spent on a landscape architect.  Chair Sweetland said it can be.  If a plan comes back to Facilities Comm. before any money is spent, nothing will get done this year.  Facilities Comm. is next week, and nothing can be done by a landscape architect by then.

Mr. Kraft said that a supplies budget is put in for a department; picky details aren't asked for.  This should be moved along.  He suggested that there be an ongoing level of communication on this and give Mr. Sweetland and the Parks Dept. the opportunity to pursue it; a letter be sent to the Legislature on the progress. 

Chair Sweetland said that since Feb. there have been a dozen people on a committee who want to get something done.  Mr. Stanczyk said if it is passed today, there is $75,000 to start to develop plans and get something done this year; then it can come back to Facilities Committee next week.

A vote was taken on the motion to approve; passed unanimously.  MOTION CARRIED.

The meeting was adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,


Onondaga County Legislature

* * *

JULY 9, 2007

MEMBERS PRESENT:    Mr. Stanczyk, Mr. Meyer, Mrs. Rapp, Mr. DiBlasi, Mr. Jordan, Mrs. Chaplin

ALSO PRESENT:     see attached list (Attachment 1)

Chairman Rhinehart called the meeting to order at 11:00 a.m.

A motion was made by Mrs. Chaplin, seconded by Mr. Meyer to waive the reading and approve the minutes of the proceedings of the previous committee meeting.  MOTION CARRIED.


a.        Discussion:  Technology Update - Presentation on new applications being developed by IT staff -  Mr. Fran Simmonds, Commissioner; Ms. Denise Smith

Ms. Smith demonstrated some new applications they are developing using a technology called Java Server Faces, the same code can be used whether it is a computer, laptop or PDA.  They are currently working on three applications with this technology - Arrest Rewrite, the new County Clerk system and the new Justice Center and Corrections Facility Inmate System.

Ms. Smith demonstrated the Arrest Rewrite system by doing a test search:

  • Have two different ways for law enforcement to log in to be secure within this particular application. 
  • Arrest has chosen to use the current CNY LEADS system for that new search facility; it takes advantage of a code that has already been written.
  • Provides current mug shots to officers out in the field instead of having them go to a separate system (can print them out in their cars, present them to officers if they are looking for someone, they can e-mail them across the nation from this particular facility)
  • Can view current arrest information, warrant history, current warrant actions
  • Everything is now pared down to one or two pages, will get relative information a lot quicker, it is more user friendly for mobile environments
  • Will provide the ability to print anything displayed on the screen.

Ms. Smith said the Inmate and County Clerk systems are now going to be using L DAP, which is going to be the County's login system - one user ID and one password.

Ms. Smith demonstrated the Inmate System for Corrections and the Justice Center:

  • Manages all information that is relative to inmates within Corrections and Justice Center
  • Must have a specific login for a specific area (Corrections can't see Justice Center and vice versa)
  • Can look up offenses, charges, discharge information, general remarks
  • Has the ability to modify, add, update and delete information relative to the individual
  • Currently working on a visitor section to track visitors
  • Will be available to health individuals who work for Corrections or Justice Center to monitor individuals.

Ms. Smith illustrated the County Clerk System:

  • Adding Mortgage and Deeds to the front desk portion, streamlined the front desk process to be much smoother and cleaner
  • Mortgage and Deeds portion will be in full production by the end of the third quarter.

In answer to Mr. Jordan, Ms. Smith said this was only available to users in the County Clerk's office.  There is some talk to opening this up to the public where abstractors, etc. could log on, keep an account and pay for things that way (hasn't been an analysis on that yet).  Ms. Smith said they don't want anybody tied into an actual PC, want to start doing things at the server where they can import it to PDA's, mobile devices, web 2.0 compliant applications.  Mr. Rhinehart said anything that directly improves service to the taxpayers is a positive thing.

Mr. Simmonds said the technology they are using is all web based, have fourteen counties coming into Onondaga County using Livescan (Mug Shot system).  Mr. Simmonds mentioned organizations that he is a member of such as the NYS Local Government IT Directors Association, and the Intergovernmental Communications Committee, said they are working to do things in counties so they can share.  Mr. Simmonds said they are looking down the road to let other counties use their County Clerk system, would get back some of their development costs.  They are a leader in New York State for this type of technology, they are using educations dollars wisely, and staff is doing amazing things.  With the Inmate System, they chose to have IT write them a system, not go with a package; they are saving on all those costs and the future cost of maintenance by building this in house, can build health modules and others into the system.  Mr. Simmonds said he is pitching for their department to write a system for the police that will replace in total CHAIRS; a package costs $1.2 million, they can write it and save a lot of maintenance money, save the County a lot of money on changes because you can't get everything you want when you buy a package.

Mr. Simmonds said he is proud of his staff; it is leading edge technology and expects to get awards for this across the state.  Mr. Rhinehart asked if there is anything they can do to recover money for Onondaga County for doing this.  Mr. Simmonds said he received a grant to write the Arrest portion that they have already done; this will give funding for their effort to complete Arrests.  Regarding other counties, Mr. Simmonds said they will offer to do what makes sense for the taxpayers; if they host a system, they could make a copy and work out some kind of fee to recoup some of their operating costs; another county has written a Board of Elections system that he would like to take a look at down the road.  Mr. Simmonds noted that when somebody writes something and it is web based, anybody could get to it and run it on any platform, not stuck to a mainframe or a server or special computer.

2.      Confirming reappointments to Onondaga County Industrial Development Agency   (Mr. Robert Baldwin and Mr. Joseph Scuderi)

A motion was made by Mrs. Rapp, seconded by Mr. Jordan to approve this item.  A vote was taken and passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

3.     Confirming reappointment to CNY Regional Market Authority (Ms. Delaney)

A motion was made by Mr. Jordan, seconded by Mr. Rinehart to approve this item.  A vote was taken and passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

4.        Discussion:  Onondaga County Beautification Project - Mr. Stanczyk

Mr. Stanczyk distributed a packet to committee members concerning the proposed beautification project (on file with Clerk).  Mr. Stanczyk mentioned that the Legislature put $75,000 into the beautification of the area around the stadium and that there is an effort in Rochester and Buffalo to plant perennial bulbs that will bloom for years in some gateway and other areas in their communities.  Mr. Stanczyk said he thought it made sense to start it here modestly with some seed money from Onondaga County and by encouraging all the legislators to make connections with organizations within their own district so that the beautification happens in public areas.  Mr. Stanczyk said he thinks the money would be well spent, once people get involved to beautify public areas and see the results quickly, more things will happen because of it.

Mr. Rhinehart asked if this is more in alignment with County Facilities since he is proposing to be associated with the Parks Department.  Mr. Stanczyk said this isn't a Facilities item; it is out in the community encouraging volunteers, community organizations to get involved in planting bulbs that we would give them.  Mr. Rhinehart noted that he was glad Mr. Geraci was present to hear this discussion.

Mrs. Rapp wondered if it is enough to have an impact.  Mr. Stanczyk replied that from his perspective, if you push down to the grass roots level, normally good things happen, good connections will be made, lessons learned, would start the ball rolling.  Mr. Stanczyk mentioned that some billboard advertisers in Buffalo offered to plant over 2.5 million bulbs themselves.

Mr. Meyer said Cooperative Extension is involved with a similar program using trees and suggested giving them a call.  Mr. Meyer said he is concerned where it identifies in the proposal a certain amount per district, has a member item tone to it, suggested reconsidering that part of it.  Mr. Stanczyk said he wanted an equal amount available to every area; this is a draft of the project,

In answer to Mr. Rhinehart, Mr. Stanczyk said every legislator would have an opportunity to bring different groups into this, would like to get Parks involved to coordinate the purchase and give proper instructions as to planting.

Mr. Meyer suggested having this brought into the Budget cycle, an item where this could be done through Parks with them encouraging community organizations to be involved, would have it within our control.  Mr. Stanczyk said he would like to do something this season, bulbs would need to be planted in October; doesn't mind putting it in the Budget cycle, wants Parks involved.  Mr. Meyer said Mr. Geraci doesn't have the 101 and 103 personnel to do it, would need to have garden clubs, etc. do it and we provide materials.  Mr. Geraci noted that regardless of where the bulbs are planted, you need to prepare a bed, wants to make sure that the groups are there year after year for basic maintenance, mulching down, pulling out the weeds, etc.  Mr. Meyer said a plan needed to be developed.  Mr. Geraci agreed with Mr. Stanczyk that they would have to plant this fall if they want something coming up in the spring of 2008, finding these groups might be a challenge, would have to put out press releases.

Mr. Rhinehart said it is a good idea that needs to be more specific and tightened up, suggested working with Mr. Geraci to come up with a plan that would work.  Mr. Stanczyk said he would like to get this tightened up and passed at the August Session, anticipates that this will be successful and they will get groups who are interested in doing this on an ongoing basis, hopefully, will get other people contributing as well.

Ms. Chaplin said it seems like a small amount, but can become greater in the right hands, can make an impact and give us leverage to go forward into future years.

Mr. Jordan said the resolution, as presented, is committing us to an annual expenditure of $10,000; at this point he would have to vote against it, there are a lot of questions about community support.  Mr. Stanczyk said he is not proposing $10,000 per year, thinks it is the right amount to start out with.  Mr. Jordan said he would rather see it as a community involvement project with local community groups sponsoring this and raising money; they would have a vested interest in making sure areas are maintained instead of the taxpayers.

Mr. DiBlasi said there are two avenues to explore - Cornell Cooperative Extension and County Parks.  Mr. Rhinehart said Cornell Cooperative does the tree city program nationally where the taxpayers purchase trees and they are planted in public rights-of-way, Skaneateles is involved in this.  Mr. Rhinehart said this is a start, but it needs some work.

Mr. Stanczyk said he would be happy to work with Mr. Geraci and anybody on the committee who is interested.  Mr. Rhinehart asked Mr. Stanczyk to e-mail the final proposal to the committee members before the August session.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:50 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Johanna H. Robb

Deputy Clerk

* * *



MEMBERS PRESENT:  Mr. Jordan, Mr. Kraft, Mrs. Chaplin, Mrs. Winslow, Mr. Farrell, Mr. Rhinehart

ALSO PRESENT:  See attached list

Chairman Corbett called the meeting to order at 9:35 a.m.

A motion was made by Mr. Farrell, seconded by Mr. Jordan to waive the reading and approve the minutes of proceedings of the previous committee meeting.

1.   LAKE IMPROVEMENT:  Mrs. Sue Miller

      a.   ACJ Update

Regarding the 050 sewer separation area, Mrs. Miller followed up on a question from last month.  Work will start this week; there are about 140-150 houses in that area.  Regarding Onondaga Lake Day, held June 2nd, was the best well attended ever.  There were many activities and it was very busy. 


o        Midland Ave. is officially open as of July 1st.

o        Interior work: HVAC, plumbing, painting, electrical, all going on

o        Roofing is almost done

o        Exterior bricks are done

o        Riprap along creek is done

o        20,377 cubic yds. of concrete poured

o        84% of total contract amount

Biosolids Handling

o        Performance period is done; went fine; WEP took over operation of equipment

o        Do not have beneficial occupancy yet; if something goes wrong, it is still contractor's problem

o        Co-generation system is operating - using methane to generate electricity

Sewer Separation Project 050

o        Start construction; newsletter went out on sewer separation

o        West and south side, small part of South Ave.-starting this week at corner of Hunt and Rockland, moving toward South Ave.

o        Availability session was held last money, 1 person came.

o        Contractor is J. J. Lane

Clinton Conveyance Phase 1

o        Construction will start in August

o        Onondaga and West Street - micro tunneling

o        Contractor - Delaney Construction

Mr. Kraft asked about the estimated cost of Midland Ave; Mrs. Miller said that the engineer's estimate is $36.9 million.  Mr. Kraft asked about the cost to put together a bid; Mr. Farrell estimated $10,000-$20,000; need 3-4 people.  Mr. Farrell said that it does not include costs with subcontractors. 

Mr. Jordan asked about the bidders.  Mrs. Millers stated the following:

o        Sewer Separation:  3 bidders; engineer's estimated was $4 million; all bids came in lower; bid went to J.J. Lane for $3.2 million.

o        Clinton Phase I:  2 bidders; engineer's estimate was $13.4 million; bids were within $1 million of each other; bid went to Delaney for $15 million

o        Midland Phase III: 3 bidders, all in higher than engineer's estimate; bids have not been awarded--being reviewed

Discussion took place regarding the precision of engineer's estimates, construction costs rapidly increasing - steel, concrete, fuel, etc.  Mr. Farrell questioned what the cost to the County is by the fact that there is a PLA.  He feels it is real question for this County looking forward from the standpoint of individual projects--how much does it cost a bidder to accomplish their work because of a PLA.  Also what is the reflection on the number of bidders; how much impact does the PLA have in reducing competition in the market place--reducing the numbers that want to respond.  He feels this County should analyze the cost of the PLA to better understand the benefits and the cost of a PLA.  Chairman Corbett stated that this is a public works project.  The labor is all going to be the same.  A PLA states that the people shall be derived from a local hiring area, if at all possible, which is a positive.  Those that have bid on the projects the most are some that stated they probably wouldn't bid.  He said that he doesn't know if it can be substantiated that because the project was a PLA, that it forced people not to bid.  He believes that the further down the road the project gets will have a lot to do with whether people will jump in and bid.  Mr. Farrell stated that the cost of labor is not set by PLA; it is set by federal wage.  The issue is because of the explosion of work, it has to be made as attractive as possible and competitive individually as possible.  Seventy-five percent of the people have to come from a source, i.e. union hall, that may or may not been used previously; which reduces competitiveness. 

o        Other work will be near West Onondaga, Dickerson, and Adams Street.

o        Next phase of pipeline is the part through Armory Square and the part on the Trolley lot site; starts in August.

Mrs. Miller reported that two reports were filed with the DEC this month under the ACJ--ammonia and phosphorous; both are major milestones which were set for July 2007 and met.


o        Meeting Stage II - 7 years and 7 months ahead of the deadline

o        Biological Aerated Filters - air removal operation, did the job for both stages required (Report on file with Clerk)

Phosphorous Pilot:

o        Pilot operated from August 2006-March 2007 advanced phosphorous removal Stage III (copy of file with Clerk)

o        Meeting .12 milligrams/liter on a 12 mos. rolling basis; meeting stage II now; .02 was met approx. 18% of the time.

o        DEC will review report and comment

o        In 2009 some decisions need to be made; modeling efforts going on

o        State is charged with coming up with the TMDL (total maximum daily load)

Mr. Farrell asked if the county is making specific recommendations.  Mrs. Miller said "no", the County provided information on how the pilot went.  DEC is working on the TMDLs as they are developing, as well as involvement in the modeling.  Mr. Farrell asked if the County has input into the TMDLs.  Mrs. Miller said that the County does as far as providing information; the pilot report informs them of other locations and their findings and technology.  She assumes that DEC will come up with regulations and then they will be open for public review and comment; the County meets with DEC every month.  The funding comes through the partnership for the modeling and they are a part of it. 

Mr. Rhinehart asked if the taxpayer is rewarded in any way for meeting the ACJ requirements, and for coming in ahead of schedule.  Mrs. Miller said that there was an amendment to the ACJ; being ahead of schedule helped in weighing fines and penalties and in giving into some other areas where the County was behind.  When ahead in areas, she feels it strongly weighs in; the ability to show it is influential with DEC.  Mr. Ott said that regarding ammonia, there is compliance with EPA, NYS DEC, and ambient ammonia in water criteria.  There is a great, world-class fishery in the lake and ammonia is the key component; are getting a very improved Onondaga Lake.  Mr. Rhinehart asked about the rolling average; Mr. Ott said it is done monthly. 

Mr. Kraft asked about stage III for phosphorous - Mrs. Miller said it is .02 mg/liter for a 12 month rolling average.  Mrs. Miller said that they are meeting .12 now.  The report has been filed, shows findings; shows potential for a 40% increase in the .02 because of the larger scale--more man hours, moving to a large scale operation; there is a difference in going from pilot to full scale.  TMDLs, modeling information on lake, river, watershed, are all part of the discussion.  DEC is taking all the information in; there isn't a decision to be made at this point.  ACJ leaves it open that whatever DEC comes up with in this process will be what the County will live with.  Mr. Kraft asked that the legislature be informed if anything develops in this area.

Mr. Jordan asked if besides the phosphorus numbers, are there other areas for concern regarding noncompliance with the ACJ.  Mrs. Miller said "no."  She feels better that the ACJ is left open, sets the limit of stage III, but has a language about options.

Chairman Corbett applauded the department for doing what should be done in a proactive manner, in a way that may show that in spite of all tremendous efforts, the phosphorous level may not be obtainable and there may be another option.  Mrs. Miller said that DEC is working on a timetable with models and TMDLs and will provide it to the committee when finished. 

Chairman Corbett said that the charge of the ACJ is not to clean up Onondaga Lake; Mrs. Miller said that the County is charged with taking care of problems concerning sewage related issues.  Chairman Corbett said that the County is doing all it was charged to do and more; the total clean up of Onondaga Lake is a lot broader with the partnership for the lake and the different agencies involved.  Mrs. Miller said that all the improvements that are seen are due to what the County has done. 

Mr. Kraft asked if there is a continued effort to get more money for the federal and state governments.  Mrs. Miller said that money continues to come in; Mr. Kraft said it was money that was expected.  Mr. Kraft said that the original $120 million, plus the $153 million over budget, is all coming from the County.  He asked if estimates of sewer unit charges have been based on these numbers.  Mr. Ott said that he believes that Budget Department is working on it.  Mr. Kraft said that Albany and Washington should be pressed to do everything they can.  Mr. Rhinehart said that he is aware of Congressman Walsh's assistance; he asked if there has been any grants/funding from Senators Clinton and Schumer.  Mr. Ott said that he was not aware of any.

Mrs. Winslow asked how long the federal commitment is.  Mrs. Miller said that money is allocated annually, but it was planned on; have received that amount plus more.  Now there is not a lot of positive information coming from the Corp of Engineers or EPA. 

Mr. Kraft discussed the governor's commitment.  Mrs. Miller said it was received.  Mr. Kraft asked for written explanation of the $260 million from federal and state.  Mrs. Miller said that it was more than expected.

2.   WATER ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION:  Mr. Randy Ott, Commissioner

      a.      Approving the 2006 Industrial Waste Surcharge ($882,558)

A motion was made by Mr. Kraft, seconded by Mr. Rhinehart to approve this item.

Mr. Ott distributed at report on 2006 industrial waste surcharge (copy on file with Clerk).  He noted that the total is $882,557; $873,102 has been collected so far.

Mr. Farrell said that 60% of this is from two companies and asked if any substantial changes are anticipated. Mr. Ott said that they expect changes from Solvay Paperboard; they had not gotten to a level of treatment that was planned, more loading has been seen from them; $900,000 total is estimated in the 2008 annual budget. 

Mr. Farrell asked if surcharge rates scheduled for revision in January 2008 have to be ratified.  Mr. Ott said that they do not; they can change them.  Mr. Ott said that they need to be updated based on the new Metro capital and O&M costs.  Mr. Ott said that he will provide an informational update on the revisions.

Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:55 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,


Onondaga County Legislature

* * *

JULY 10, 2007

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Mr. Corbett, Mr. Holmquist, Mr. Kilmartin, Mr. Kinne, Mrs. Chaplin, Mrs. Winslow

ALSO PRESENT:   Mr. Meyer and see attached list (attachment 1)

Chairman DiBlasi called the meeting to order at 11:04 a.m.

A motion was made by Mr. Corbett, seconded by Mrs. Chaplin to waive the reading of the minutes; a motion was made by Mr. Corbett, seconded by Mr. Kilmartin to approve the minutes of the proceedings of the previous committee meeting.  MOTION CARRIED.

1.   OCPL:  Ms. Joyce Latham, Executive Director, Ms. Sally Jensen, Dir. of Administrative Services, Ms. Deb Bendig, Systems Librarian - Automation/Technical Services

a.   Amending the 2007 County Budget to accept Adult Literacy Library Services Funds for the Onondaga County Public Library's TLC: Tutor/Teacher Library Connections Grant and authorizing the County Executive to enter into agreements to implement this resolution ($37,635)

Ms. Jensen said this grant would enable them to provide outreach services to organizations, tutors and teachers who provide volunteer literacy services to adults in the community to make them aware of the resources that the library has to offer.

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

Mr. Corbett asked if this would be through the Main Branch.  Ms. Jensen said a number of libraries would be involved.

Mr. DiBlasi asked if they would receive an equal amount of money each year.  Ms. Jensen replied that the total amount of the grant would be put in the budget this year, but will be spent over two years ($17,855 - 1st year, $19,780 - 2nd year).

A vote was taken on this item and passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

b.      Informational update:  Polaris - Ms. Deb Bendig, Systems Librarian - Automation/Technical Services

Ms. Bendig said they are on track with their schedule that was part of the bond proposal; launch date is set for October 23, 2007.

Ms. Bendig distributed and reviewed the fact sheet entitled OCPL Information Update:  Status of OCPL Polaris ILS Migration (Attachment 2).

Ms. Bendig demonstrated what the public and staff interfaces look like.

Public Interface:

  • System will identify which library you are from, will be set so library information is correct for that library
  • Search for a certain book - shows multiple language editions, children's catalog
  • Request for an item - can choose any of the libraries in the county for pick up, can set up to receive a notice concerning new material coming in through the catalog, can put holds before new materials arrive
  • Part of their contract with Polaris provides them with color art and other information about the books, similar to Amazon and other book services 
  • Can create a search and save it, create list of titles of things you have read
  • Can review the requests you've made, fines and fees; hope to eventually put credit card payment available so that people don't have to come to the library.

Staff Interface:

  • Materials to be checked out can be done with a barcode reader or a search for an item, very fast and flexible, easy to use for staff
  • Can control access to certain functions
  • Will be training staff over and over to make sure they are comfortable with this.

Mr. Corbett asked for explanation of the Shared Catalog   Ms. Bendig said they have one integrated library system and one catalog, all county libraries are represented in that one catalog.  They are working out a way to work across the system for everybody, will have loan periods consistent across county.

Mr. DiBlasi asked if there are enough PCs purchased at this time.  Ms. Bendig replied yes, the PC order is in process and they expect them to start coming in by mid August and all by the end of September.  Mr. DiBlasi asked if they were purchased through the State contract.  Ms. Latham said originally it was an aggregate bid, right now working with separate pieces of it because of the way the State contract is set up; had to buy PC's one place, scanners another, contract for installation is another process that has added some time.

Mr. Corbett asked about a WIKI (mentioned in the fact sheet).  Ms. Bendig said it is a shared information space and is normally set up as a public space where anybody can go in and write in; they will be doing a controlled WIKI, will control who can go in and edit, will limit who can see it to staff.


a.   Interim report

Chairman DiBlasi announced that Syracuse Stage would be put on the agenda for the August meeting.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:25 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Johanna H. Robb

Deputy Clerk

* * *

June 13, 2007

MEMBERS PRESENT:      Mr. Warner, Mr. Lesniak, Mr. Meyer, Mr. Kilmartin, Mr. Laguzza, Mrs. Winslow

ALSO PRESENT:  see attached list (Attachment 1)

Chair Rapp called the meeting to order at 9:05 a.m.

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

Chair Rapp took the agenda out of order.

1.  HEALTH:  Ms. Jean Smiley, Deputy Commissioner

b.      Approve Advance Step Hiring for senior Firearms Examiner, Grade 33 @$53,904 - $75,998, up to Step Z @ $75,070 effective August 11, 2007

Ms. Smiley said they are asking for permission to do an advance step anywhere from step T to step Z, have been trying to fill the position of Senior Firearms Examiner for over a year, are currently using someone on contract for training and to sign off on cases.  Ms. Smiley provided the committee with information regarding their efforts to fill the position (on file with Clerk); they have a chance of hiring one candidate with 28 years of experience in the field of forensic firearms analysis if they go to the upper level of the range.

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

In response to Mr. Lesniak, Ms. Smiley said the person would be supervising three people, and there would also be a lot of signoff responsibilities.  In the past, they had a Director of Criminalistics whom everyone reported to, felt the burden was too high and broke it down to a supervisor for each major specialty.  Due to the inability to fill this position, the Latent Print supervisor worked 953 extra hours last year trying to keep both sections up.

Mr. Laguzza asked if the person with 28 years experience was part of a national search; Ms. Smiley said yes, the person is from New York State, but not this area.

**Mrs. Winslow arrived at the meeting.

Mr. Kilmartin asked if there are factors other than salary that affected some of the candidates electing not to take the position.  Ms. Smiley noted the following:  salary, no ability to earn overtime, climate and also that there is a national shortage of candidates.  Mr. Kilmartin asked if there is a policy in place that encourages or requires a person to stay for a specific period of time.  Ms. Smiley said that when they paid moving expenses in the past, they required candidates to stay a year or repay the expense; with these candidates, they have not offered that.  Ms. Smiley said other areas are offering overtime or premium pay to draw people, a court ordered Marion County, Indiana to increase the salary because of backlog of cases.  Mr. Kilmartin asked if this person would be doing cases outside of Onondaga County where we might be charging other municipalities or entities to perform services.  Ms. Smiley said they do some outside casework, not a lot.  They are currently looking at options regarding pay for casework overtime because of the high number of hours these people are working.

*Mr. Meyer arrived at the meeting.

In response to Mr. Lesniak, Ms. Smiley said this position is not eligible for overtime.  Ms. Walter said this is a Management/Confidential position and does not qualify even under federal statute, have to have specific authorization to pay overtime, would have to come to the Legislature with a resolution.

Mrs. Rapp asked if there is something we could do to let people know that these are the positions that are weak.  Ms. Smiley said more and more people are going into the forensic science area, but because of the technical nature, there is a lot of on-the-job and other types of training; over time, as they build up the people underneath to have training, it will get better.

Mr. Warner asked how many hours of overtime the person would perform in a 40-hour workweek.  Dr. Corrado said it would depend, last year it was 973 hours; in general, all of her managers work at least a 50-hour week.  Dr. Corrado said they have grant funds from the State to pay for overtime for Firearms, but need the Legislature's permission.  Ms. Smiley said they are hoping to come back with a proposal for managers where that is an issue, including this position.  In answer to Mr. Warner, Dr. Corrado said the 973 hours of overtime relates to about a half a position.

In answer to Mr. Laguzza, Ms. Smiley said they would like to have overtime approved for a period of time with State grant funds, Director would have to approve it, and then as backlogs get less, a lot of that would go away.  Mr. Laguzza asked about the backlog right now.  Dr. Corrado said the backlog in Firearms is about 300 cases, once they have a supervisor and the other people in Firearms are fully trained, the overtime would be less than two years.

Mr. Laguzza seconded the motion to approve this item.

Mr. Kilmartin asked what the projected turnaround time is if an operability report is requested by the DA at a preliminary hearing for the Grand Jury (if it is not an emergency case for immediate indictment).  Dr. Corrado replied that emergency cases are done within 24 hours; if it is an investigation of a person, can usually do within a couple of weeks; if it is a found gun, could be a couple of months.  It is not just backlog in Firearms that effects that, it is also Latent Prints (now doing prints on every gun).  Dr. Corrado said they have kept up with every court request; staff is very dedicated.  Mr. Kilmartin said if it takes a couple of weeks or months because of backlogs, a defendant who otherwise would be charged with a felony in a gun case is out in the community, there is the potential for another crime taking place.  Dr. Corrado said when the DA sends priority requests they get those done.  Mr. Kilmartin said with a more qualified staff, the more quickly they can be processed.

A vote was taken on this item and passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

2.  VAN DUYN:  Ms. Roberta Sprague, Commissioner; Mr. Ravi Raman, Ram-Tech Engineers

a.     Authorizing acquisition of permanent easements for and on behalf of Onondaga County for the construction of a water supply line for Van Duyn Home and Hospital

Ms. Sprague said they had a water main break back in November 2006.  Mr. Raman distributed pictures showing an overview of Van Duyn and Community General and the location of the water main break (on file with Clerk).  Mr. Raman said the water line starts on Rt. 175, from the pump house to Van Duyn there is an elevation difference of 120 ft.  Mr. Raman pointed out a mound of dirt where Community General has been depositing construction waste for the last 30 to 40 years (County sold that property to Community General for $1.00 in 1950).  Because the mound is forty feet high, it became difficult to access the water line.  Mr. Raman said due to the Berger Commission report, Van Duyn has opted to take a conservative approach and fix the break rather than replace with a new water line.  Design documents are completed (will go around the mound), surveyed the entire property, Law Department created right-of-way arrangements for the Community General and St. Agnes Cemetery properties where the proposed line will go through.

Mr. Warner asked about the cost.  Mr. Raman said the estimated cost is about $100,000, full replacement would be about $600,000; if County were to own Van Duyn for another 30 to 50 years, the prudent thing would be to replace the line.

Ms. Sprague said she doesn't know if the County would want to invest in the $600,000 at present, fixing the break could be the most expeditious and best choice, putting in the spur may resolve it completely.  Mr. Raman said the water line has been depressurized for the last six to eight months, right now Van Duyn is being fed by a secondary water supply that is on Community General's meter, this is the least expensive quick fix.  There may be more leaks when it is again pressurized, is more prudent to take care of any other leaks that come up because of pressurizing with a small change order.  Mr. Mack said any additional potential leaks would be accounted for in the bid documents, will be part of the specs.

Mr. Meyer asked how much has been spent so far.  Ms. Sprague said they have paid $9,800 for the survey.  Mr. Ramon said the design is the only other thing that has been done.  Mr. Meyer asked the cost of the easements.  Mr. Mack said it is $1.00 for the hospital and the cemetery.  The line belongs to the County and goes across the hospital property; when that property was deeded to Community General, did reserve the easement, but it was never marked out.

Mr. Lesniak asked if the whole line would be tested; Mr. Raman replied that it has to be; the County Health Department has specific rules on how it has to be tested.

Mr. Kilmartin asked for confirmation that the request for bid will incorporate a request for contingency to cover the cost of any leaks that arise; Mr. Mack said it would.

A motion was made by Mr. Lesniak, seconded by Mr. Warner to approve this item.  A vote was taken and passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

3.  Confirming reappointment to the Syracuse Onondaga Drug and Alcohol Abuse Commission (Ms. Winter)

Mr. Laguzza and Mr. Warner requested to be co-sponsors.

A motion was made by Mr. Laguzza, seconded by Mr. Warner to approve this item.  A vote was taken and passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

1a.     Discussion:  Water Protection - Mr. Gary Sauda, Director - Division of Environmental Health

Mr. Sauda presented a Power Point (Attachment 2) concerning water supply protection.  Ms. Rapp asked about covering the reservoirs.  Mr. Sauda said they have to be covered by 2009 or have an approved schedule, also have to provide treatments for the lakes by 2012.

Mr. Warner asked about fees to collect water samples.  Mr. Sauda said no fees are charged to municipalities for activities; it is generally $50 a quarter and $5 for any monthly sample in between that time for non-municipal facilities; cost reflects laboratory costs and their labor to collect the samples.

Mr. Lesniak asked about enforcement if a facility is not compliant.  Mr. Sauda said if a facility, such as a restaurant, is not compliant, they issue a violation letter; if the problem is not taken care of, they are brought in for an enforcement hearing; the ultimate tool is to revoke their permit; apartment complexes and mobile home parks are more difficult because you have people living there and closing isn't an option.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:57 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Johanna H. Robb

Deputy Clerk

* * *


MEMBERS PRESENT:  Mr. DiBlasi, Mr. Lesniak, Mr. Kinne, Mr. Kilmartin, Mr. Lesniak, *Mr. Ryan, *Mr. Warner

ALSO PRESENT:  see attached list

A motion was made by Mr. Lesniak, seconded by Mr. Kinne to waive the reading and approve the proceedings of the previous committee.  MOTION CARRIED.

1.   SHERIFF:  Chief Peverly

      a.      Transfer funds from All Other Expenses Acct 410 to Supplies and Materials Acct 300 ($23,760)

A motion by Mr. Ryan, seconded by Mr. Kinne to approve this item.  Passed unanimously; CARRIED.

The transfer was needed for double bunks; approximately 42 positions are being double bunked.

      b.      Amend 2007 Budget to authorize the Onon. Co. Sheriff's Office to receive grant funds from the Bur. of Justice Assist. in support of local law enforcement, and authorize the Co. Exec. to enter into contracts to implement this res. ($81,735)

JAG funds are received from NYS every year; wide parameter of use.  This year it will be used to fund a special patrol officer for security in the Sheriff's buildings.  There is no security beyond the perimeter of the doors at headquarters.  The entire first floor is all civilian staff.  There are a variety of people that come into the building; people that come in are greeted by a clerk in records or civil.  At times the lobby is quite crowded and armed security is needed. There have been a few incidents in the past.  They are retired police officers that maintain peace office status and can be armed to provide security in public buildings.  There is sufficient funding in the grant to fund the position for 2 years. 

*Mr. Warner and Mr. Ryan arrived at the meeting. 

These would be two part-time special patrol officers, each working 20 hours/week for this year and next year. 

Mr. Lesniak questioned the language in the 3rd WHEREAS clause--disparate allocation of JAG funds between the County and City.  Chief Peverly said that JAG grants fund municipalities across the state and on a variety of criteria.  One criterion is volume of serious, part I crimes.  A total of $184,000 is coming into Onondaga Co. this year.  If there wasn't the disparate operation of funds, the bulk of it, if not all, would go to the City.  Years ago the Sheriff's met with the SPD and arrived at a resolution of the appropriate disparate of funds based on the volume of activity.  This is why the City receives a larger share.  The City is the overall manger for the grant funds; they disburse the money.  Mr. Lesniak asked if local municipality part I crimes come into play.  Chief Peverly said "no", JAG has its own funding resource for the town/village police agencies.  Mr. Lesniak asked if the part-time people being hired are being re-qualified for firearms; Chief Peverly said that they are. 

Mr. Kinne asked about the pay and benefits; Chief Peverly explained it is $18.53/hr. with no benefits.  They have to find their own parking and do not get reimbursed for it.

Mr. Kilmartin asked about the language in the last WHEREAS clause regarding the expenditure period of four years.  Chief Peverly explained that the JAG funding can be used up to a maximum of 4 years; however based on this expenditure of the funds, they would be exhausted in 2 years.

Mr. Warner asked about project IMPACT.  Chief Peverly said it is still in operation; 8 full-time deputies and 1 sergeant assigned to Syracuse to patrol; working 5 10-hr. days/week.  The system that was set up was that they would work 4 weeks in City and come back to regular operations; but because of the recent increase in violent crime activity, the Sheriff and State Police have continued Operation IMPACT, particularly now with serious crime in the summer when the activity picks up.

A motion by Mr. Warner, seconded by Mr. Ryan to approve this item; passed unanimously. CARRIED.

      c.      Authorizing the County Executive to enter into an agreement with the Onondaga Central School District to provide dedicated School Resource Officer services to the district

Onondaga Central School District asked the Sheriff's Dept. to provide a school resource officer for them.  They were advised that they would have to pay the full salary and fringe benefits costs (same as the arrangement at CNS).  Their board has approved and adopted the funding.  The officer will be assigned to their high school. 

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

Mr. DiBlasi asked if school resource officers get police cruisers.  Chief Peverly did not know if the OCS officer would receive a car.  Cars were donated from Burdick for the officers at CNS.  It provided 2 extra cars in the fleet; they were unmarked cars.  Those cars have been moved out of the fleet and replaced with marked cars.  When they were originally donated, they were painted and marked as patrol vehicles, identified as Sheriffs vehicles.  Mr. DiBlasi asked which schools get cars; Chief Peverly said that CNS has 4 cars assigned to them.

Mr. Ryan asked about a program that City School Dist. has.  Chief Peverly said that they have uniform officers assigned to schools.  Mr. Ryan said that those assigned to schools are there all day and for after school activities, it becomes a 60-70 hr. workweek.  Chief Peverly said that the Sheriffs Dept. operates differently. The issue was specifically addressed with CNS and identified that if the school wants the officers for extra curricular activities after school hours, they either paid overtime or hired them as security as their own employee.  Mr. Ryan said that in the last 3 years of work a person can make $120,000 on a $45,000 salary and retire at $75,000; the taxpayers pay for it.  The 25-year benefit is huge for the taxpayers of Onondaga Co. to pay for.  He suggested peace officers instead of police officers.  This will be seen more and more throughout the county.  Regarding cars, he asked if they are personal cars for take home; Chief Peverly said that they are assigned cars.  Mr. Ryan said he has a problem with having a $30,000 car sit in front of a school for 40 hrs/week.  He said it is a resource and a liability and is not sure what if offers; objects to take home cars. 

Regarding overtime, Chief Peverly responded that the school resource officers are not making that kind of money for retirement purposes.  They are not building a bank of that kind of money for retirement.  Once people retire from law enforcement, they have a 20-year retirement system at bay--that is the end of the expense for the county.  The County does not continue to contribute to that individual's retirement system.  The money contributed while working for the county is invested in the State Retirement System and that perpetuates the retirement payment.  Mr. Ryan asked why the retirement costs went from $2-$8 million/year.  Chief Peverly explained that the current county payroll, not the retirees, is the basis for the retirement costs that are paid.  When salary increases are negotiated, the cost goes up because it is based on a percentage.  Regarding cars, Chief Peverly responded that there has been continuing dialogue, have been successful with negotiations with the Captains and Custody to restrict use of those vehicles and have the ability, as positions change, to change the distribution of cars.  There has not been a contract with OCSPA in 4 or 5 years; the last one was arbitrated and only dealt with the financial issue; the arbitrator refused to address the issue of cars.  In the negotiation process, OCSPA was not overly opposed to the restrictions that would have gone on the cars.  They are in negotiations now for successor agreements but are at an impasse.  Mr. Ryan asked if the 4 cars are outfitted with all of the technology of the other cars; Chief Peverly said that they have to be.  They are on the campus of the school, with a complex of multiple buildings.

Chairman Holmquist reiterated that the officer at OCS does not have a car at this time; Chief Peverly agreed and stated that he did not know what the plan was for a vehicle at this stage and it was not included in the calculations of the cost of the school district. 

Mr. Lesniak asked if the salaries are prorated for the period of time that the resource officers are at school.  Chief Peverly said that they are; the current cost of a deputy with fringes is $73,875.  The cost to the school from Sept. - Dec. is $24,625; for Jan - June it is $38,300; their total expenditure will be approximately $63,000 of the total $73,000.  The officers will be paid by the County for the summer months; if the school district wants school resource officers for summer school, then they have to pay extra for them.  An existing position will be used for the school.  In the 2008 fiscal year budget there are plans to abolish a number of positions; they will now request in 2008 to keep one because of the position for OCS.  There is no grant money.

Chief Peverly said that things are changing, as school districts are confronted with situations they will probably be approaching the Sheriff's Dept.  The potential for special patrol officers in the schools is being looked at.  The law that established the special patrol officer function, also references educational institutions.  There is a difference in the cost, salary, and training; schools would have to understand that they are getting a younger officer in this situation vs. a retiree in 40s or 50s.  Mr. Lesniak said that there is a difference in the capabilities also.  Mr. Kinne questioned how the officer is chosen.  Chief Peverly said that it goes through the department based on their contract; they have to post the available positions.

Mr. Ryan asked if police officers can take vacation during the 180 days that schools are in session; Chief Peverly said that they are encouraged not to, but can take some time.  Mr. Ryan asked what happens if a school wants a replacement while an officer is on vacation.  Chief Peverly said that the school district would have to pay for it in addition to the other position.  Mr. Ryan asked if it that is in the contract; Chief Peverly did know if it was specifically stated.

Mr. Kilmartin said to look at the monthly cost, based on the gross cost of $73,000, it is approximately $6,000/month for employment of this officer for base pay and fringe benefits.  The officers will be available to the county outside of school at a minimum of July and August.  Therefore, there is almost full reimbursement.  Chief Peverly agreed and added that negotiated increase in wages and retroactivity are included in the contract.  Mr. Kilmartin reiterated that the net cost to the County is near $0, outside of the cost of a car. 

Mr. Kinne suggested that many people would want this job.  Chief Peverly said that the posting will be closing in a couple of days; there have only been a couple of applicants.  Mr. Kinne referenced the school breaks and ability to take time off in the summer; questioned the fairness.  Chief Peverly said that he doesn't have control over the contract; it is negotiated and it is how they have to operate.  Chief Peverly said that they are looking at it.  The SROs are to be treated as employees of the school district regarding leave and benefits; are entitled to some time off.  If there is a teacher who is not in the classroom, then the school has to backfill that position at the school's expense; if they want an SRO to be backfilled, they have to pay for it.  Chief Peverly said that they are trying to minimize the impact on taxpayers. The other advantage is that they are in the school providing safety, security for students, faculty, and administration on the campus and for the school district.  There are a number of incidents that occur with guns, knives, and fights-- things that are being handled by SROs.  If they were not there, the Sheriff would be deploying to the school district multiple times a day. 

Mr. Ryan said that the program is mushrooming.  Chief Peverly said that there has been one increase in five years.  Mr. Ryan suggested beginning a program to get retired officers for the 180 days, at a reduced amount, without a car, run by the Sheriff's Dept. specifically for school districts throughout the County, including the City.  They can take their time off in July.  It should be discussed with SPD; City should be approached.  Chief Peverly said that they are using retired City police officers now as special police officers. 

Mr. Warner asked how many police agencies perform this function; Chief Peverly said that many of them do it; Mr. Warner said that the contracts must be somewhat standard from district to district.  Mr. Warner asked if a study could be done to compare schools that do not the resource officers and the number of times the Sheriffs are deployed there to those that do have the resource offices.

Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

2.     PROBATION:  Ms. Mary Winter, Commissioner

      a.  Amending 2007 Co. Budget to provide additional funds for the Probation Dept. from the NYS Div. of Probation and Correctional Alternatives, and authorizing the County Executive to enter into contracts to implement this resolution ($56,891)

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

Mr. Warner asked about counties starting to use ankle bracelets and asked if it is being looked at here.  Mrs. Winter said that it has been discussed, but it is about watching the sex offenders and knowing where they are.  In order to do active monitoring, it costs a fortune.  If active monitoring were done, sufficient staffing would also be needed 24/7.  The passive monitoring does not do anything does not do anything to protect anyone.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:55 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,


Onondaga County Legislature

* * *

JULY 12, 2007
MEMBERS PRESENT:  Mr. Holmquist, Mr. Lesniak, Mr. Kraft, Mr. Jordan, Mr. Kinne, Mr. Laguzza
ALSO PRESENT:  Mr. Sweetland, Mr. Ryan, Mr. Stanczyk, Mrs. Winslow and see attached list (Attachment 1)

Chairman Farrell called the meeting to order at 11:08 a.m.

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

1.     PARKS:  Mr. Robert Geraci, Commissioner; Mr. Tim Coley, Transportation; Mr. David Coburn, Office of Environment

a.  Amending the 2007 County Budget and advancing 100% of the federal aid eligible costs for construction and construction inspection phases of the Onondaga Lake Canalways Trail, PIN 375355, at a maximum cost of $2,848,000 and accepting the full environmental assessment form and making a negative declaration

Mr. Geraci said this a partnership between the County Highway Department and County Parks with help from Mr. Coburn in putting it together.  Asking to allow them to begin building the next phase of the Onondaga Lake Trail, will be the most breathtaking portion of the trail, about 2.1 miles long.  Proposing to extend the trail over Ninemile Creek with a bridge and continue to area near exit 7 off of 690, have a signed agreement with NYS through the State Fair for a parking area to be used by recreation trail users.  All the funding is in place (Federal Highway Transportation money and local share from a DEC fine that was levied against a local company); no direct expense except for in kind services of the two departments.  Mr. Geraci said the overall goal is to complete the circuit around the lake.

In answer to Mr. Jordan, Mr. Geraci explained that the local share of the money is fine money that was levied against Pepsi Bottling Company that can be used for environmental enhancement projects.  Mr. Coburn said there are additional funds from Midas Muffler fines; there will be no local taxpayer contribution.

Mr. Farrell asked how they anticipate dealing with security issues with the expanded trail.  Mr. Geraci said the bridge and trail will be wide enough for emergency vehicles and they will patrol with their Park Rangers force, will not be 24/7, will be when they feel it is most appropriate.  Mr. Geraci said there would be some additional operational costs, not asking for any permanent additions to the 101 Roster, some summer and 103 employees will have to be utilized for mowing and leaf cleanup.  Mr. Farrell asked about the usage of the trail at present.  Mr. Geraci said about 1.3 million people use Onondaga Lake Park per year; West Shore Trail is about 10% to 15% of that.  Mr. Geraci said police forces for all of the entities bordering the lake are part of their security, but not in an official capacity.  Mr. Farrell asked about the surface of the trail.  Mr. Geraci said it would be paved, as the rest of the trail, the goal is access to everybody regardless of ability, condition.  Mr. Farrell asked if there are any limitations or a need for an intermunicipal agreement regarding the use of State Fair land for parking.  Mr. Geraci said they have a perpetual agreement between the State and County, will fence off the parking for trail users; will not be able to use it during the time of the State Fair, which they will communicate to the public through ongoing promotions and PR brochures.  Mr. Coley said they are awaiting permits from NYS DOT and the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, scheduled to advertise for a contractor by September 1, 2007, anticipate completion in 2009.

Mr. Geraci said part of the design of this trail is to make sure that whatever is dug up gets deposited in the correct fashion, Honeywell has a landfill they can be used for that purpose, but will be capped by the end of the year, need to move on the ASAP.  Mr. Coburn said Honeywell did sampling along the trail corridor and has agreed to implement an IRM (Interim Remedial Measure) that would remove sediments down a foot or two and then will take them to the landfill; they have been extremely cooperative and helpful in this whole process.

Mr. Farrell asked if emergency vehicles would have the ability to gain access to the trail at all times, including when the parking is closed for trail users during the State Fair.  Mr. Coley said they would have full time access.

Mr. Jordan asked if they have a rough idea as to what the total cost will be to the taxpayers in terms of increased patrols and ongoing expenditures of maintaining the trail once it is all done.  Mr. Geraci said they do not, the next sections will be very expensive to build; the Legislature will have to decide whether it is worth the quality of life decision.  Mr. Geraci said he did not have the numbers with him regarding the cost of the existing trail.

Mr. Kinne asked what the width of the trail would be.  Mr. Coley replied 10 ft. paved with minimum of 2 ft. shoulder.  Mr. Kinne said he has always been a proponent of going all around the lake, wishes they could be more proactive.

Mr. Kraft asked why the cost is so high.  Mr. Coley said the bridge is a big portion, also includes the inspection of the construction process.  Mr. Coley said these are funds that can only be spent on projects that have to do with air quality.  Mr. Farrell asked if this is detracting from other highway projects; Mr. Coley does not believe so.

A motion was made by Mr. Kinne, seconded by Mr. Jordan to approve this item.  A vote was taken and passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

b.     Pulled

c.     Discussion:  Status of Friends Agreements - no discussion

d.     Discussion:  Plans for each park - no discussion

e.     Discussion:  Interagency Marketing - no discussion

f.      Special Events Account Report - no discussion

2.     Authorizing the creation of a wall in the Onondaga County War Memorial to display the names of those veterans who have made their home in Onondaga County but did not enter into service from this County (Mr. Ryan)

3.   Creating an Ad Hoc Committee for Veteran's Affairs to advise on the criteria for placing names on the Honor Roll at the Onondaga County War Memorial (Mr. Sweetland)

Chairman Farrell announced that he would like to consider items 2 and 3 at the same time because they are directly related.

Regarding item 2., Mr. Ryan said this resolution would allow our veterans who were not born, bred and did not enter military service through Onondaga County to have the ability to have their names put somewhere in the War Memorial, either by erecting a new wall or using an existing wall.  Mr. Ryan noted that the War Memorial was built for about $8.5 million in the early 1950's and rehabbed at a cost over $17 million; both veterans who were residents when they entered into service and veterans who moved here afterwards have a vested financial interest in this building; the people of Onondaga County elected the legislators to be the committee to decide what to do with our County buildings paid for by them; society changes, there is a lot more movement of people in our community and around our country; there are a number of veterans who have chosen Onondaga County as their home and raised their families here who feel they would like to have their names in this facility, not asking for any money, just looking for a wall.

Mr. Farrell noted that a resolution was passed at the July Session and a letter sent by Mr. DiBlasi on July 9, 2007 to Mr. DeSpirito, Chairman of the Oncenter Complex Veterans Advisory Committee, asking that group to review the criteria of placing names on the honor role.  Mr. Farrell believes there is a need to do something that makes sense, but it shouldn't start at the Legislature, the framework exists to do that.

Mr. Jordan said it is his impression that it was State money that went into the initial construction of the War Memorial facility with the condition being that the Veterans Advisory Committee would be set up specifically for the purpose of determining criteria; he understands that we don't have a clear answer to the question as to whether we have the authority to dictate the criteria.  Ms. Testut Smith said there has been no specific delegation by this body, County Law gives this legislature control over the area of real property; without a specific delegation, this legislature retains that power.  Mr. Jordan asked how they determined the current criteria.  Ms. Testut Smith said the Oncenter receives the paperwork and puts the people on the wall; they and the Veterans Service Agency both thought that the legislature originally set the criteria; she could not find a specific resolution regarding this.

Mr. Ryan said the legislators are elected to make the determination, the County owns the building, puts the money into it, maintains it and we should make the decisions.  Mr. Holmquist asked Mr. Ryan if he went to the Advisory Committee regarding this; Mr. Ryan said he sent the committee a copy of the resolution a couple of months ago.  Mr. Farrell reminded the committee that the legislature has formally asked the advisory committee to look at this and give their opinion with the resolution that was passed at the July Session.   

Mr. Ryan said asking their opinion is not binding.  Mr. Farrell replied that this isn't about authority, it is about the best solution and to actively engage those people who are directly involved.

Mr. Stanczyk said it is obvious that we have the authority, the relative opinion is our opinion; don't think we should be stuck on the fact that we passed a resolution.  Mr. Farrell said he doesn't think he understands this issue well enough that he could make the best decision on behalf of those people without further input from the veterans community as a whole and those people who have been delegated.

Mr. Kinne said it that it is a county building and we should be making the rules.  Mr. Farrell said it is our authority, but we should get the input first.

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

Mr. Kraft said If we make a decision in our own vacuum, we are missing a great deal; let's gain information from others.  Mr. Kraft asked Mr. Ryan if he is aware that some folks are not interested in this.  Mr. Ryan said with the changing society, he thinks many of those people who may have been opposed to it a few years ago are rethinking it.  Mr. Kraft said he would like evidence from widespread interest of the veterans groups, wants to find out on a broad basis what the veterans of this country who defended our freedoms want.

Mrs. Winslow offered to work on this issue; asked Mr. Kraft if he would like the names of the thousands of veterans who would like to see their names anywhere in the War Memorial in the form of a petition or some other form of evidence.  Mrs. Winslow said there is a building for veterans that should represent their contribution; just give up some space to display the names of any veterans who have lived in this county for more than ten years; wouldn't cause the taxpayers anything, volunteers could raise money for the display.

Mr. Farrell asked Mr. Sweetland for comments on his informational item (No. 3.) - Creating an Advisory Committee for Veterans' Affairs to advise the Onondaga County Legislature on Veterans' issues.  Mr. Sweetland said he brought it to committee for information only so that he could get input; the draft is his thoughts concerning makeup of committee and terms.  Mr. Sweetland noted that Gordon Lane and Dave Holihan were present; they came to him some time ago saying the Legislature should have an advisory committee for veterans' affairs.  Mr. Sweetland said it became clear to him at the last Session that the Legislature needs one because there is confusion about what the other veterans advisory groups do; County Executive's is appointed by him and reports to him, Veterans Advisory Committee at the Oncenter is appointed by the Board of Directors and reports to them.  Mr. Sweetland said we should create one, make it formal, and have it report to the Legislature; his goal is to introduce it and get it disseminated to veterans' organizations for information and opinions on how it should work. 

Mr. Lane said he has been president of the Vietnam Veterans chapter in Syracuse for the past five years, was elected to the State Council, to the national Board of Directors and was a national committee chairman.  Mr. Lane reviewed that the veterans committee was split down the middle back when there was discussion about tearing down the War Memorial; they compromised with a memorial hall and displays; there was a lot of political pressure to only have names of people who enlisted from Onondaga County; back then, there were a lot of people whose noses were bent.  Mr. Lane said they have been trying for a long time to at least have an ad hoc committee so that people like him can come forward to say what the veterans' community needs.  Mr. Lane said the decision regarding the names should be made by the Legislature with input from the veterans' community.

Mr. Farrell said it is of critical importance that it be done right, get as much input as we can.

Mr. Sweetland said the creation of this committee will take thought and time.  Mr. Sweetland noted that there is nothing in Mr. Ryan's resolution about cost, doesn't know if there is a commitment from any veterans organizations regarding the cost.  Mr. Ryan said the intent is for the veterans to do it themselves.

Mr. Holihan said we don't ask about residency at the time of entrance into the service for burial at the Veterans' Cemetery, for a stone out at the State Fair, to go to the VA hospital or for property tax exemption; told Mr. Ryan that he would personally guarantee raising the money for the names to be added.  Mr. Holihan said that the veterans world was never designed to be exclusive, War Memorial should be inclusive for any veteran; supports Mr. Sweetland's idea for a committee.

Mr. Jordan said when he was first appointed, he sent a letter out to all his constituents soliciting, urging every constituent to give him their input, does not want to make decisions in a vacuum; supports veterans wholeheartedly; when this resolution came before the legislature, didn't feel that he had sufficient information from his constituents and the veterans as to what they want, if this is what the veterans want, he will support it.

Mr. Ryan said the resolution has been in front of the Legislature since the first Tuesday in June, they need to be more open and sensitive to those who chose to live in this county, raise their families and be a part of the community and not exclusive of the veterans' wall; he is going to put this on the floor every session day until he isn't hear or they make a vote or decision on this.

Mr. Farrell asked for a second on Mr. Kinne's motion; there was none.

Mr. Kraft made a motion to move this item to the floor without a vote at this time, seconded by Mr. Holmquist.

Mr. Farrell said we need to address veterans' issues as best we can and by being as inclusive as we can; this is a substantial issue, one that should not be delayed, but moved forward in a manner which is most appropriate.

A vote was taken and passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

4.       Amending the 2007 County Budget to transfer $10,000 in funding for the Onondaga County Beautification Project (Mr. Stanczyk)

Mr. Kinne presented the resolution on Mr. Stanczyk's behalf, requested to be a co-sponsor.  Mr. Kinne provided information regarding this proposed project (on file with Clerk).  Mr. Kinne said this would create a fund of $10,000 for the Purchasing Department to purchase approximately 38,000 bulbs.  Each legislator would designate a group or groups to get the bulbs to plant in their districts.  Mr. Kinne noted that the Westcott neighborhood in Syracuse and Erie County have been successful with similar projects; it is a simple way to help beautify our county.

Mr. Farrell asked if the committee connected with the Alliance Bank Stadium beautification might be interested in taking this on.  Mr. Sweetland said that group was put together for a very specific purpose, was started by the Syracuse Sports Corporation; their main goal is to do beautification around the stadium, does not think it would be appropriate.  Mr. Kinne said if it is left up to the individual districts it would be a much more appealing and attractive.  Mr. Sweetland asked if this would be one time or annually.  Mr. Jordan noted that at the Planning & Economic Development meeting, Mr. Stanczyk said he was not asking for this to be an annual thing, but anticipated that it will be.  Mr. Kinne said it is his anticipation that it will work out so well, we will want to do it.  Mr. Sweetland said the Parks Department would be accepting the bulbs, taking care of them in the meantime and passing them out; would like to know Mr. Geraci's thoughts regarding this involvement.  Mr. Farrell asked if this has been discussed with Mr. Geraci and has he agreed that they can do this, would he be asking for more money to do this.  Mr. Corcoran said that Mr. Geraci deferred to Mr. Pirro regarding the issue; Mr. Pirro said if the Legislature wants to do this he would be for it.  Ms. Hann said Parks is aware of it and would do it, not asking for any more money.

Mr. Farrell suggested that this item be moved to Ways & Means without a vote; need direct input from Parks and would like the sponsor to answer the question regarding his intentions being short-term or long-term.

Mr. Kraft noted that perennials last longer than bulbs, can be enjoyed all summer, cost of some is very reasonable, can be divided after a couple of years.

The meeting was adjourned at 12:52 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Johanna H. Robb

Deputy Clerk

* * *

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Mr. Corbett, Mr. Kraft, Mrs. Rapp, Mr. Warner, Mr. Stanczyk, Mr. Ryan, *Mr. Rhinehart


ALSO PRESENT:  Mr. Jordan, Mr. Lesniak, see attached list

1.   Ways & Means Miscellaneous:

a.   A Local Law authorizing the Sale of Co. property to Antonio Goncalves (Sponsored by Mr. Lesniak)

Mrs. Tarolli said that the County owns an easement on a property owned by Mr. Goncalves; a 100' abandoned railroad ROW runs through the middle of his property (150 acres).  Mr. Lesniak said that the railroad owned it and went bankrupt.  There is no out-of-county expense.  Mrs. Tarolli said that in the ‘40's the County took on a lot of these types of easements; it would not be done now.  The County never used the property and does not want it. The buyer will pay the appraised value; the sale will clear Mr. Goncalves title. Currently, he could only sell on both sides of it.  Mrs. Tarolli said that the tax map never showed the easement running through it. 

Mr. Ryan made a motion to approve this item, seconded by Mr. Corbett.

Mr. Corbett asked how much land the county owns of which there is no idea of.  He questioned how many more pieces of county-owned property are out there that could get on the tax roll.  He has asked previously for this information and in working with DEC has discovered that there is other land that is County owned with no way of getting to it.  Mr. Warner said that about 4 years ago the County had a sale of properties, which were not on the tax rolls, and understood that would occur periodically.  Mr. Mareane will run an inventory; will search for those in the County name.  However, there may be orphans, like this one, which may not be in the radar.  He estimated that 90% of the inventory could be provided.

Mr. Kraft said that the appraiser was hired by the County; but questioned the value of $750/acre; has heard land valued of $20,000-$30,000/acre.  Mr. Lesniak said that is for developed property; this is not road frontage.

Mr. Stanczyk supports this, but feels the land is worth more.  This allows cleanup of the title, which is worth much more to the owner than what he will be paying.  However, it is worth nothing to anyone else.  Mr. Ryan asked if it is an ag district.  Mrs. Tarolli said no. 

Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

2.   OCPL:  Ms. Sally Jensen

a.   Amending 2007 Budget to accept Adult Literacy Library Services Funds for the OCPL's TLC: Tutor/Teacher Library Connections Grant and authorizing the County Executive to enter into agreements to implement this resolution ($37,635)

The focus is on literacy efforts in the community; grant is for 2 years from July '07-June '09; $17,856 the first year; $19,780 the 2nd year.  There have been a series of tours and presentations with adult literacy tutors and organizations in the community; it is apparent that a lot of students and tutors are unaware of library resources.  The grant will enable the library to work with the organizations for adult literacy.

A motion by Mr. Corbett, seconded by Mrs. Rapp to approve this item; passed unanimously; CARRIED.

3.   WATER ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION:  Mr. Randy Ott, Commissioner

a.  Approving the 2006 Industrial Waste Surcharge ($882,558)

A motion by Mr. Corbett, second by Mr. Stanczyk to approve this item; passed unanimously; CARRIED.

4.   SHERIFF:  Chief William Peverly

a.  Transfer of funds from Sheriff- Custody Acct. 410 All Other Expenses in the amount of $23,760 to Sheriff-Custody Acct. 300 Supplies and Materials ($23,760)

A motion by Mr. Warner, second by Mr. Stanczyk to approve this item; passed unanimously; CARRIED.

b.  Amend 2007 County Budget to authorize the Onon Co Sheriff's Office to receive grant funds from the Bureau of Justice Assist. in support of local law enforcement, and authorizing the Co Exec to enter into contracts to implement this res ($81,735)

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

This will be used for special patrol officers for security in the headquarters building; 2 part-time employees for 2 years.  The entrance of the building has all civilian employees; a variety of people enter and some level of security is needed.  In addition, it controls access beyond the perimeter doors going to the rest of the building.  A system is being established wherein people that have to go to other parts of the building will be required to provide identification, sign in, and be given a color-coded card dependant on the level of access. 

Mr. Ryan asked if a special patrol officer is different than a regular patrol office.  Chief Peverly said "yes".  There is a specific statute in General Municipal Law that identifies special patrol officers.  The criteria are very limited: must work for a law enforcement agency; have peace officer status, and must be retired police officers.  Mr. Ryan asked what types of officers are in the Justice Center; Chief Peverly replied "peace officers."  Mr. Ryan said that there are now police officers in schools.  Chief Peverly said that there are also SROs, which are not retired police officers.  Mr. Ryan said this is full-fledged police officer, well trained, and sitting at a gate, watching people come through vs. peace officers or retirees who could do the same thing at half the cost.  It could be done in the school districts; there are 4 in CNS with cars.  There should be a better deployment of staff.  Chief Peverly said that a variety of services can be offered to school districts; it depends on what they want and want to pay for.  Mr. Ryan said that all schools will eventually want this and feels a program should be in place for all schools at the right level.

Mr. Warner asked what he major difference is between police officer and peace officer.  Chief Peverly said that it is in training.  A peace officer is required to have 35 hrs. of training and an additional 48 hrs. of firearms training.  A police officer goes to school for 22 weeks and then is engaged in a field-training program after that.  A SPO is a retired police officers; have had the higher level of training in the beginning of their career.

Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

c.    Authorizing the Co. Exec. to enter into an agreement with the Onondaga Cntrl. School Dist. to provide dedicated School Resource Officer Svcs. to the Dist. - Mr. Joseph Rotello, OCS Superintendent

Chief Peverly said the district approached the Sheriff's Dept. about providing an SRO.  There are no grant funds available and advised the school district that they would have to underwrite the costs for the full salary and fringe benefits for the individual.  The school board approved the funding and the Sheriff is now requesting approval to enter into a contract for the SRO for OCS. 

Mr. Warner made a motion to approve this item.

Mr. Warner asked how many times per year the school has to call a police department to come to the school district.  Mr. Rotello said that he has to guarantee the health, safety, and wellbeing of staff, students and community members.  Law enforcement is called whenever they feel there is a violation of community law, i.e. physical violence, drugs, alcohol, weapons, threats of violence, a registered sex offender on campus--any illegal activity in any way 24/7.  He could not provide a specific number of calls, as there are so many.  They Sheriffs Dept is called on a regular basis; every year it is more often.  Mr. Warner said that a presumption could be made that it is more cost efficient to have a security person regularly at the school, as far as saving taxpayers dollars, rather than calling the Sheriff or Troopers to come in several times throughout the year.  Mr. Rotello agreed.  He said that frequency of violence inside the schools is on a massive increase.  By bringing in the Sheriffs, it is making a true connection between the school system and community law enforcement. The best defense against potential crime in the future is a strong offense.  The individual will have contact with students on a K-12 basis; will help facilitate the development of after school security and recommend how security systems will be set up.  The school has brought in many grants, hundreds of thousands of dollars, have put together a security system, cameras, single points of entry, etc. for the same purpose--to go on the offense and secure the buildings. 

Mr. Rhinehart asked if the contracts are renewable yearly; Chief Peverly said that they will be consistent with the county budget.  It will be one person, permanently assigned to the district, except for summer school.  If this school wants someone for summer school, there will be an additional charge to the school.  Mr. Rhinehart asked about a car.  Chief Peverly said that the officer will transport to the school, car will remain at the school and returned to the station at the end of the tour of duty.  Mr. Rhinehart asked if an arrest can be made at school.  Chief Peverly explained that the SRO is expected to investigate incidents that occur.  If there is a necessity to make an arrest, then it would be affected. 

Mr. Corbett said that part of the OCS district, Rockwell School, is close to the City of Syracuse.  More problems are evolving in certain areas.  One end of the district is rural, but the other end is close to the city. 

Mr. Corbett seconded the motion.

Mr. Ryan asked about the cost of a peace officer.  Chief Peverly said they are paid $18.53/hr. without fringe benefits.  Mr. Ryan asked to be provided with a school district's cost for a peace officer without a car.

Chairman Meyer asked if the officer would be available to respond to another call; Chief Peverly said "no."

Regarding Mr. Ryan's point about peace officers, Mr. Rotello said that he doesn't think the support would be there from the school superintendents.  The bottom line is the concern with armed intrusions--concerned with guns, knives, life and death issues.  He needs someone trained to respond to gunfire.  He will not wait to see what happens.  He wants a fully trained, capable, ready individual when the worst happens.  Superintendents and administration are not trained to deal with automatic weapons.  They go through drills and he discussed safety procedures in place:  numbered windows, video taped rooms, cameras and monitors.  He now needs a trained person to make it even better.  He needs to do everything possible to ensure the safety of the people on the campus; cannot do that with a peace office.

Mr. Ryan said that a peace officer may very well be a retired police officer - will probably get the same level of training.  There is just so much that can be done; it will never be obliterated.  Mr. Warner questioned if a peace officer is at a school without a car and makes an arrest, how is the officer going to get the person out of there.

Out of Room:  1 (Mrs. Rapp); passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

5.    PROBATION:  Ms. Mary Winter, Commissioner

a.   Amend 2007 Budget to provide additional funds for the Probation Dept. from the NYS Division of Probation and Correctional Alternatives, and authorize Co. Exec. to enter into contracts ($56,891)

Funding from NYS DCJS for a new management information system.  For the last 3 or 4 years, the NYS Division of Correctional Alternatives, the State oversight agency, has been in the process of establishing a statewide integrated probation management information system.  It integrates juvenile and adult risk assessment instruments, drives the development of case plans, produces pre-sentence reports, and will produce a state-wide data warehouse.  In the future it will provide information on whether the programs are successful or not.  Many counties are getting on it.  The large 6 counties are receiving funding now to get everyone on the system.  The current system has a mainframe and is not user friendly, and goes down frequently. The new one will have a dedicated server and will be much faster, a web-based and user friendly.  Even if this project were not done, the department would need to purchase and redesign many reports to meet the State standards.  The cost is $172,783; the Byrne money is $56,891; leaving $115,892, which has been applied for through Technology Venture Capital money.  This money has to be spent by Sept. 30th

A motion was made by Mr. Warner, seconded by Mrs. Rapp to approve this item.  Out of room:  1 (Stanczyk). Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

6.   PARKS:  Mr. Robert Geraci, Commissioner

a.   Amend 2007 Co. Budget and advancing 100% of the federal aid eligible costs for construction and construction inspection phases of the Onondaga Lake Canalways Trail, PIN 375355, at a max. cost of $2,848,000 and accepting the full environmental assessment form and making a negative declaration

This is a proposal to proceed with the next phase of the Onondaga Lake trail.  He displayed the proposed trail on a map (attachment 1).  Federal Highway money is in place ($2,848,000), and the local share is from fines that local businesses had to pay in terms of environmental remediation ($712,000); total cost is $3.56 million. 

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

Mr. Ryan said that there were issues of not owning all of the lake, i.e. railroads, ROWS, crossings, etc., are those challenges taken care of.  Mr. Geraci said that there are still challenges and referenced the southeast and southwest portions of the lake, which are not being addressed today.  The County owns most of the property around the lake and owns all of the property in terms of the trails.  Mr. Ryan referred to item 3C on the map.  Mr. Geraci said it is an outline that the Army Corp came up with in terms of lake remediation - to go from Onondaga Creek parallel to Onondaga Lake Parkway.  It is a causeway out in the lake to create an environmental buffer for wildlife.  The cost is approximately $20 million. 

Discussion continued about the challenges with the railroad and item 3D proposal.  The other issue is a small section of trail, from Onondaga Creek West to Harbor Brook.  Mr. Geraci said that there is a challenge on either side of Onondaga Creek.  This trail will eventually tie into the Erie Canalway Trail and go from Buffalo to Albany; it will tie into the trail that Lysander is building from Baldwinsville to Cold Springs, and many other spurs.  There are 5 miles of trail done, this phase will be another 2.1 miles; around the lake entirely is 12.2 miles.

Mr. Ryan asked about concerns regarding rollerblading, walking, and bicycling--having a paved road and a mulched trail.  Mr. Geraci said that there will be one hard trail.  There are far fewer people there than on the east shore trail, where a parallel walking trail was built.  Mr. Ryan asked about security.  Mr. Geraci said it is always a concern--there will not be rangers there 24/7, but there will be rangers and other park staff throughout the area.  Most people have cell phones today.  The trail is accessible for motorized vehicles, i.e. police and fire trucks and can enter trail from either end. 

Mr. Corbett said that he understands that the bridge will be built so that the lakeside can get down from the top across the bridge and parking will be allowed.  Mr. Geraci said that it has to be done as part of using federal highway money; provided in the State Fair parking lot at the top of Exit 7.  The only time it cannot be used is during the NYS Fair.  Mr. Corbett said that there is a canoe/kayak launch on Nine Mile on Pumphouse Road; has discussed with DEC, the possibility of having a small docking area near the Nine Mile crossing. 

Out of Room:  1 (Ryan); Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED,

7.   HEALTH:  Mrs. Jean Smiley, Deputy Commissioner

aApprove Adv. Step Hiring for Sen. Firearms Examiner, Gr. 33 @ $53.904 - $75,998 up to Step Z @ $75,070 effect  8/11/07

The position was created in May 2006 and had hired someone in September, who stayed less than a month.  Since that time, they have been unable to recruit anyone for the position.  There have been a total of 7 applications, 3 did not meet qualifications, 3 were from Africa, 1 declined after interviewing.  Two people called to inquire, but did not submit an application due to the salary.  There is one candidate who is potentially interested; has 28 years of experience.  They are unable to recruit someone at the low end of the salary range. 

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

Chairman Meyer asked why this is being done instead of bumping the grade.  Mrs. Smiley said that they are hoping, as there become more firearms examiners, and with the ones that the County has trained, they will fill an infrastructure with ability to promote people.  Currently, there is a shortage across the country.  She said that they had discussions about the grade level, but it skews all the other people.

Out of Room:  1 (Ryan); Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED,

8.   VAN DUYN:  Mrs. Roberta Sprague, Commissioner, Mr. Chris Mack, Deputy County Attorney

a.  Authorizing acquisition of permanent easements for and on behalf of Onondaga County for the construction of a water supply line for Van Duyn Home and Hospital

In November the waterline broke, which was the main source of water to Van Duyn.  They have been exploring the best way to repair or replace the line.  They have been using water off from Community General's main line and reimbursing them for the water.  Based on the budget forecast, it is anticipated that in account 413, there should be a surplus of about $241,000.  The surplus comes from the utility costs.  They have been doing better than anticipated because of the Carrier project.  The project is estimated to cost $100,000; have worked with RamTech Engineers.  A survey of the property was needed; had to get the easement and general right of way.

Mr. Mack said that the arrangement with St. Agnes and Community General - there is a general right of entry to the easement area. When the water line is laid, it is anticipated that there may be some variance because of field conditions.  Both St. Agnes and Community General acknowledge, and agree, that the permanent easement that they give Van Duyn will be tracked with the water line as laid.  It will provide the rights in perpetuity to go on the property and across their lands to repair, construct, and make alterations.

Mr. Warner questioned why Community General's water usage cannot continue.  Mrs. Sprague said that by State regulation there has to be two different ways of getting water into the hospital.  Mr. Rhinehart asked if consideration was given to a well.  Mrs. Sprague said that it has not been discussed, but will inquire.  She said that there is another line that comes in on Broad Road, but there isn't enough pressure to go up South Avenue. 

Mr. Ryan asked if Van Duyn can tap into Community General's redundant system.  Mrs. Sprague said that she has been told that there isn't enough pressure.  Mr. Mack said that Mr. Ramon, RamTech, advised that there is enough volume for water, but not enough for fire.  Mr. Ryan said that there are 3 lines within a quarter of a mile of each other and asked why collateral circulation can't be done.  Mr. Mack said that Mr. Ramon has discussed this extensively with OCWA and other community people and advised that this is the way it has to be done. 

A motion was made by Mrs. Rapp, seconded by Mr. Ryan; passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

b.  Amend 2007 County Budget to accept Real Property Tax Administration Technology Improvement Program (RPTATIP) funds for the Onondaga County Finance Department and authorizing the County Executive to enter into contracts ($76,100)

Mrs. Carney said the program is being offered to support local government services.  New website features include:  copies of school and village tax bills; copies of bills emailed to property owners; view comparable sales an comparable assessments of property, and one universal search for criteria for the city and county.

A motion by Mr. Kraft, seconded by Mr. Stanczyk to approve this item. Passed unanimously; CARRIED.

c.   Amend 2007 Co Budget to transfer $10,000 in funding for the Onon Co Beautification Project (Sponsored by Mr. Stanczyk)

Mr. Stanczyk said that this is a pilot to get involved on a local level to engage volunteer groups to do plantings to beautify our area.  It is happening now in the Wescott area and in the Buffalo area.  Some private individual and corporation have joined in the effort.  The thought is to be as inclusive as possible, whenever legislators want to participate, and have groups involved in their area that could do it. 

Mrs. Rapp said that at committee one concern was that this would be $10,000 of perpetuity put into the budget every year.  Mr. Stanczyk said that it is not; it is a pilot and hopes to get other people involved. 

Chairman Meyer said that every year the Facilities and Parks Departments have been asked to do more with less; they are not able to do some of the things that Mr. Stanczyk is talking about at their own buildings and parks.  He suggested an offer to the groups to adopt a particular county property.  The departments would have an opportunity to solicit groups, and there would be more control over it; could make sure the projects are done properly.  Mr. Stanczyk said that he does not want control over it; doesn't want to engage the Parks Dept, except nominally, to help bulk purchase, provide planting instructions, and give the bulbs out.  He does not want to dictate that this is just for county property; to help with county properties would be a nice addendum.

Mr. Rhinehart questioned who makes the decisions regarding receiving bulbs based on project size (language in resolution).  He wants to avoid having a county truck sitting on the corner of Warren Street on a Saturday morning with bulbs and whoever wants them can come and get them.  He questions how this gets facilitated.  Mr. Stanczyk said that the concept is that some amount goes into every legislative district, if they can find an organization that will participate and plant them.  If they can't or choose not to, there will be more for everyone else.  He does not want this to be a program marching forward for the next 20 years, is not looking for Mr. Geraci to have a staff person and have to report on the outcome.  He wants it on the local level and legislators with legislators telling how it worked in their area.

Mrs. Rapp said that the resolution states that there will be a district coordinating group, which clarifies Mr. Rinehart's concerns. 

Mr. Kraft said that the resolution is specific to bulbs, which only last 2 weeks.  A perennial garden can bloom every week and be enjoyed all summer long.  He suggested that the flower clubs or like organizations use a variety of things.  Mr. Stanczyk agreed.

Chairman Meyer indicated that the best approach is to take care of county property and what we have responsible for and try to be a good example.  Right now the Commissioners have been asked to do more and more with less and less.  He distributed photos of county-owned areas:  in front of the Justice Center, Convention Center, and entrance to Oneida Shores Park.  He noted that here have been comments about conventions and tourism and gateways.  He referred to the Oneida Shores Park entrance picture; and noted that in a few weeks ESPN will be in town for the Bass Tournament.  He applauded the effort, but the effort is very basic.  They have not been afforded the direction and are not given the tools to work with.  The Commissioner may have been asked to do more than he can handle.

Mr. Geraci said that this is not about $10,000 worth of tulip bulbs; it is about having the follow through and manpower to take care of it.  He likes the idea of having 19 legislators to do the follow through.  The administrative burden is finding various community groups to do the follow up--planting, mulching, weeding, etc.  He said that the reason Oneida Shores looks this way is because of manpower.  Chairman Meyer said he is proposing spending the money on our own facilities; if in the tourism business to attract major events, then we are not putting our money where our mouth is at our own facilities. Mr. Ryan said that flowers take a lot of maintenance and care; summer help should be watering and weeding: 

*Mr. Rhinehart left the meeting.

Mr. Stanczyk said that the concept is to experiment on a local level.  Have to put more effort into beautifying the County, and hopefully are in a mode now.  There has been money put into the Alliance Bank Stadium area.  He feels this will get partners that don't exist now.  Chair Meyer said he does not disagree with the concept, but feels a group should be solicited in the district and get them to apply the experiment with county facilities.

Mr. Corbett suggested this be set up to see how many people want to use it f first; for example pre-order.  Mr. Stanczyk said that there is time to work it out and find out what work best in the districts. 

Mrs. Rapp said that Mr. Geraci indicated at committee that to be ready for fall planting, he would need some commitment/direction by August.  She suggested appropriating the money, but not buying all of the products until the groups indicate what they want to do; then there is appropriate product for the appropriate area.

Mr. Kraft indicated that he agrees with Mr. Meyer's idea to do something with our own facilities and have garden clubs come and do it.  Mr. Stanczyk replied that it might be good to establish relationships with them; give them some funds to see what they want to do first. 

Chairman Meyer said that there is a sense of support-suggested that this be part of the budget process so questions can be worked out.  Mr. Stanczyk does not want to make a big program out of this.  To put it off to the budget, removes the whole fall planting season. 

Mr. Ryan said that $75,000 was passed for Alliance Bank; $15,000 is to be spent immediately.  There is $60,000 sitting there to be spent at some point in the future.  He suggested taking $10,000 out that and trying this with the flower and garden clubs.  He added that he assumes some will end up on private land also.

Chairman Meyer said that there are two basic differences in the two items-the money $75,000 passed was for a county facility.  Also it was done after review with people, i.e. Terry Hettinger, who is recognized professional.  Right now Mr. Stanczyk's resolution is not for a county facility and there are no recognized professionals.

A motion was made by Mr. Stanczyk, seconded by Mr. Ryan to approve this item.  AYES:  3 (Rapp, Stanczyk, Ryan); NOES:  2 (Kraft, Meyer); ABSTENTIONS:  2 (Corbett, Warner).  MOTION CARRIED.

d.  Resolution of the Legislature of the Co. of Onon Increasing taxes on Sales and use of tangible personal property and of certain services, on occupancy of hotel rooms and on amusement charges pursuant to Article 29 of the Tax Law of the State of New York - Mr. Joe Mareane, CFO

This is the 3rd and final step of the process required by the State; this enacts the 1%.  It is $71 million Countywide; $49 million is kept; $11 million to the City, the remainder is split between towns, villages and schools.  It was passed by the State Legislature and now has to passed by the County. 

A motion by Mr. Warner, seconded by Chairman Meyer to approve this item.  AYES:  4 (Meyer, Corbett, Rapp, Warner)  NOES:  2 (Kraft, Stanczyk); ABSTENTIONS:  1 (Ryan).  MOTION CARRIED.

9.   LAW DEPARTMENT- Settlement of Claim:   Mr. John Sharon, Deputy County Attorney

Mr. Corbett made a motion to enter into executive session to discuss the case of Leon Koons, as Administrator of the Estate of Chelsea Koons, and as Parent and Guardian of Amanda Koons and Rachel Koons v. City of Syracuse and Co. of Onondaga; seconded by Chairman Meyer.  CARRIED.

Mr. Corbett made a motion to exit executive session and enter regular session noting that no action was taken during executive session.  Chairman Meyer seconded the motion.  MOTION CARRIED.

The meeting was adjourned at 12:00 p.m.

Respectfully submitted

Deborah L. Maturo, Clerk

Onondaga County Legislature