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

Deputy Clerk


                                             ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION COMMITTEE MINUTES – AUGUST 11, 2015





MEMBERS PRESENT:  Mr. Burtis, Dr. Chase

MEMBERS ABSENT:  Mr. Shepard, Mrs. Rapp

ALSO ATTENDING:  See attached list


Chair Plochocki called the meeting to order at 10:10 A.M. 


1.     METROPOLITAN WATER BOARDI. Holly Rosenthal, Executive Director; John Trimble, President C & S Companies

        a.     Informational - Capital Projects


Ms. Rosenthal presented a PowerPoint presentation (on file with Clerk) and provided the following:

  • Facility constructed between 1965 and 1967, provides high quality water; 2014 water taste winner
  • Mission statement:  To provide clean, safe, reliable, sustainable and cost-efficient wholesale drinking water from Lake Ontario to the Central Upstate New York region; essential public health resource and economic development asset
  • Water scarcity and quality a critical worldwide issue, estimate 1 billion people lack access to clean water worldwide; fortunate to have Lake Ontario with no impact to the lake from day-to-day use of water supply and doesn’t need high treatment but must be pumped to Onondaga County
  • Displayed map of MWB system, share water intake with City of Oswego, single pipeline brings water to Clay terminal, then travels east, west and south connecting to storage facilities and the City of Syracuse
  • Water history - Skaneateles Lake original Syracuse water source, continues to serve City exclusively, Otisco Lake water supply established for growing surrounding community, late 1950’s to early 1960’s saw water shortages, commissioned study for alternative source, looked at Oneida Lake, Salmon River Reservoir and Lake Ontario, Lake Ontario ultimately chosen, a momentous undertaking
  • Displayed map of “Critical Regional Wholesale Service”, includes outline of all Onondaga County towns and villages and portions of Oswego, Oneida and Madison Counties – a critical far reaching water supply, daily provides 50% of the community water outside of the City of Syracuse; City of Syracuse avoids building WTP as MWB provides their backup and supplemental water supply 
  • Minimal investment to system for maintenance or improvements since 1967 startup, resourceful staff kept the system operating
  • Started progression of infrastructure improvements 5 years ago:
  • Compliance & Realignment – storage and EPA compliance completed; displayed photo of Clay terminal tank storage, progressive project, meets EPA requirements, provides additional security, improved water quality, integrated alternative energy and green infrastructure, increased pump station energy efficiency 20%
  • Operational & Energy Efficiency (CARE) – in the process of delivering, energy saving will pay for a portion of the project, balance is cost of replacing aged infrastructure
  • Water Quality Assurance (TAP) – next step
  • Transmission Reliability – 100 miles of pipeline to storage facilities
  • Emphasized Water Treatment Advancement Program (TAP) is a campus project incorporating the entire treatment and transmission campus and all infrastructure on site, includes 70 acres located in the Town of Oswego, WTP, Clear Water pumping station, water storage of 5.5M gallons, process wastewater lagoons and drying beds and high voltage substation; MWB owns high voltage substations at the Oswego campus, the raw water pumping station and Clay terminal, mitigates risk of water quality failure, further damage to existing facilities and infrastructure and increased cost of repairs
  • Component failures damage other components, i.e. home with leaking roof would damage ceiling, have facility and water quality failure risks, don’t know what could fail tomorrow, some risks identified in the 2002 assessment have not been addressed, additional costs are created by items that continue to fail and continued deterioration adds potential cost increases to the project; project will replace/repair aging/failing infrastructure, improve energy and operational efficiency, address health and safety concerns and provide code compliance


Mr. Burtis asked what repairs were completed.  Mr. Bookman said that about 20 years ago, the third floor roof replacement was completed and about 12 years ago, a lower second floor partial roof replacement was completed.  Ms. Rosenthal said that the roof continues to deteriorate and each year they invest more money in continuous roof repairs.  The roof over the filtration system is very costly but all roofing areas are aging out. 

  • C & S and Arcadis assessment consultants for TAP project, estimated project at $40M over 4 years; request for proposals incorporated a compressive and integrated project including county sustainability practices, project can’t be broken into bits and pieces, each piece fits together; includes:
  • Security improvements
  • Building shell improvements – structural repairs, roof replacement and energy improvements, preventing deterioration of interior systems
  • Interior repairs – building systems and interior renovations, includes compliance issues
  • Water treatment process – critical, still assessing water treatment process, should incorporate technology advancements
  • Water storage – tanks require repair, advised to replace steel tanks with concrete
  • Site work – green and sustainability improvements
  • Electrical substation upgrades final step; work completed upfront may change electrical requirements

Dr. Chase suggested creating a plan for future maintenance so that this does not happen again.  Ms. Rosenthal agreed, adding that they should never be at a point where they have to make such a major investment at one time.  MWB is in the process of implementing a system-wide asset management program and creating a plan to prioritize planned maintenance and sustainable long term repairs over the life of the equipment. 

  • Displayed photos of roof condition, expensive design to replace; durable well designed facilities, primary reason they were able to do what has been done, in combination with resourceful maintenance, i.e. daylighting panels provide energy savings
  • Displayed photos of structural and superficial issues, concrete falling off buildings, cracks, ADA compliance issues, water seepage around electrical control panels and HVAC issues
  • During tour important to note that dirty water goes to the Metro plant that is clean, fresh and high functioning while clean water comes from this site
  • Comprehensive draft water assessment included input from MWB


Ms. Rosenthal asked Mr. Trimble to touch on potential supplemental funding sources beyond the County.  Mr. Trimble said that Ms. Rosenthal was looking to increase revenue via sales to other municipalities.  However, it would be difficult to generate the type of revenues needed.  Ms. Rosenthal said that the Village of Phoenix recently signed on with MWB, which will provide increased revenues between $60,000 and 100,000 per year, a small amount of money compared to the debt service for TAP.  Mr. Trimble said that there was potential for some funds from the $1.5 billion dollars available via competition from the Upstate Revitalization Initiative.  Ms. Rosenthal has developed a strategy to incorporate these core resources into the plan for submittal.  Ms. Rosenthal said that it would need review and approval from the County Executive.  Mr. Trimble said that incentives are available from National Grid and NYSERDA for energy saving projects and NYSEFC is a potential source for low interest loans or grants. 


Dr. Chase asked if surrounding areas were getting water mainly from wells and if they could use these grants to hook into the MWB system.  Ms. Rosenthal said that largely this was what was happening, some have their own independent ground water systems and some have individual property wells.  There are programs that fund improvements for communities with water quality issues, and this is how Phoenix is tying into the MWB system. 


Ms. Rosenthal noted that whether people tie into MWB or the OCWA system, it is still MWB water; MWB is the wholesaler via OCWA as the retailer since OCWA has met their daily limit of Otisco Lake water.


Dr. Chase said that Fulton was a big area with potential and asked if the remaining areas were too scattered to utilize MWB water.  Mr. Trimble said that villages and the City of Fulton have their own water source.  Ms. Rosenthal said that they have been waiting for Fulton.  In answer to Dr. Chase, Mr. Trimble said that Fulton gets their water from the river and wells.  Outside of the cities and villages, Oswego County is all well water, about 90% wells geographically.  The houses are not dense enough to justify the cost investment for public water.  Ms. Rosenthal said that some towns and villages have potential for water delivery but the municipality chooses how they want to pursue their water supply. 


Mr. Trimble noted that surrounding areas have not invested in their systems.   They are deteriorating and will need another source or they will have to invest funds and raise their water rates.  Phoenix raised their rates so much that Operation Oswego County Business Park wanted to investigate tying into the MWB system because they could not justify the expensive cost of water to potential developers.   A confluence of things will make the MWB system attractive; how quickly that happens is anyone’s guess.   Ms. Rosenthal said that MWB is a ready resource with excess capacity who wants to ensure that they have reliable water quality and transmission.


Chair Plochocki asked the excess capacity amount.  Ms. Rosenthal:

  • Average production 20 million gallons per day, peak demand 40 million gallons, system designed for 54 million gallons, excess capacity 14 million gallons plus
  • System designed for doubling by mirroring pump station footprint, very substantial investment, pipeline has greater capacity than WTP and WTP has greater capacity than Clear Water pumping station, all facilities have the potential footprint for expansion
  • Village of Phoenix using tiny amount of water per day, smaller than amount consumed during filter backwash process


Mr. Burtis asked about current security and the suggested improvements. 

  • Balance of system security part of CARE project, a design build project underway via C & S and Arcadis, will deliver substantial energy savings
  • This facility has basic security via cameras, doors, gates and a private road, no fence around building, in process of gating private road currently used as public thoroughfare; facilities built when surrounding development was much less, i.e.  Clay station was surrounded by farmland; security and energy consumption weren’t driving factors at that time
  • Recent break-in at OCWA facilities, not random – person knew how to get into the building and how to tamper with the equipment, are on heightened alert

Mr. Burtis said that this was a major concern.  Ms. Rosenthal said that having the covered tanks in place was a great security measure. 


Dr. Chase said that Onondaga County operates this huge facility within Oswego County and asked about their relationship.  Ms. Rosenthal said that they have a good relationship.  Agreements are in place with some towns and villages in Oswego for access to MWB water, if they want it.  This is how Phoenix and Schroeppel are tying into the system, though they have not taken advantage of this prior.  Twenty years ago, there was one glitch in the relationship.  MWB wanted a permanent commitment in their ability to access the shared water intake.  Ultimately, the City of Oswego agreed to sell MWB a permanent easement.   Under that agreement, MWB has paid $1 million dollars per year for 20 years and will make the final payment in 2016, with those funds then freed up for use on the debt service of infrastructure projects.


A motion was made by Dr. Chase, seconded by Mr. Burtis, to waive the reading of the proceedings from the previous committee minutes.  MOTION CARRIED.  A motion was made by Dr. Chase, seconded by Mr. Burtis, to approve the minutes of the proceedings of the previous committee.  MOTION CARRIED.


The meeting adjourned at 10:55 A.M. for the facility tour.


        b.     Facility Tour

Respectfully submitted,



Onondaga County Legislature


* * *





MEMBERS PRESENT:  Mr. Dougherty, Mr. Shepard, Mrs. Rapp, Mr. Ryan

ALSO PRESENT:  see attached list


Chair Tassone called the meeting to order at 10:34 a.m.  A motion was made by Mr. Ryan, seconded by Mr. Dougherty, to waive the reading of the proceedings from the previous committee meeting; MOTION CARRIED.  A motion was made by Mr. Shepard, seconded by Mrs. Rapp, to approve the minutes of the proceedings of the previous committee.  MOTION CARRIED.


1.     TRANSPORTATIONBrian Donnelly, Commissioner

        a.     Amending the 2015 Onondaga County Budget to Accept Additional Revenue for Plowing State Roads During the Winter of 2014-2015, and Authorizing the County Executive to Amend Onondaga County’s Contract with New York State for Such Period ($649,812)


                * Items 1a and 1b were discussed together.


Mr. Donnelly:

  • Accepting money from the State; taking the money out of the contingency account; disbursing it to the towns and villages per the County’s contract with them to plow County miles
  • The severity factor for last winter was 34%, which is calculated by the State
  • The County will receive the base along with an additional 34%, an additional $649,000
  • Will distribute $35,000 to the DOT’s overtime account, $284,000 to supplies account for salt, and the balance into the contractual account, which will pay the towns and villages for the severity


Mrs. Rapp asked how the DOT did in terms of the budget with this.  Mr. Donnelly responded that last winter was a particularly tough winter, with these funds and the fact that fuel from the budgeted price is dramatically lower, the DOT is expecting that between the two budgets, Road Machinery (fuel) and Highway’s Division (salt and overtime) combined, they should be in the positive approximately $150,000 to $250,000


Mr. Donnelly presented a spread sheet showing the severity factor and total payout to the towns and villages:

Severity Factor breakout

  • The towns and villages will receive $6,867 base rate plus last year’s severity rate of $2,335 - total per mile of $9,202
  • With approval from the Legislature, the next step will be to pay the towns and villages the second of two increment payments
  • The towns and villages normally receive one check in January and the other in May; due to waiting on the State to figure out the severity factor, the May checks have not been issued
  • Upon approval of the this Resolution, the second payment checks will be issued for the amount of the May payment plus their severity amount


Mrs. Rapp wanted to confirm that the County will take the $329,000 from the State to pay part of the total payout of $739,401.  Mr. Donnelly responded that the County DOT budgets an average severity factor based on historical data.  The average has been around 19%.  The total payout is almost exactly what is in the contingent account, $409,000.

  • Contingency account amount is growing each year because the average is increasing from the severity factor; will be asking for a higher amount in contingency for 2016
  • County is going into the 4th year of a 5-year contract with the towns and villages


In response to Mr. Shepard’s question, Mr. Donnelly confirmed that the second checks will be issued for the amount of the last payment along with the severity amount when the Legislature approves the resolution.


Mr. Ryan asked specifically about the Town of Geddes and 20.76 road miles.  He questioned if that is all the Town of Geddes plows for the County in return for payment.  Mr. Donnelly responded that it is, and explained that there are more County miles than that, but the Town of Geddes has not chosen to plow them.

  • County works cooperatively with towns and villages - it’s to the County’s benefit to have the towns and village plow miles for us, we allow them to pick and choose what they want to do
  • Towns and villages aren’t looking to get into plowing multi-lane roads
  • Always in discussions with towns and villages if they want to take on more miles


Mr. Ryan questioned the reason that towns or villages may not want to plow more miles.  Mr. Donnelly:

  • Early on it was mostly about the amount of reimbursement
  • With adding the severity factor in this new agreement, that has subsided some
  • One of the largest reasons is that towns and villages DOT’s are sized for what their towns and villages are
  • If they pick up more miles will they need more trucks and people
  • More miles means more trucks, which in turn means the need to store them.  They don’t want to store their trucks outside because of the difficulty with diesel fuel jelling in the cold temperatures, not to mention the physicality of having to brush snow off a 14 foot high truck.  Most of the towns and villages don’t’ have an extra bay to put a truck in.
  • If the towns and villages took on a subsistent amount of miles, one side or the other would have to increase their infrastructure to handle the miles.
  • In some counties the towns and villages do the bulk of their plowing, but it was set up like that 25-30 years ago, so they made that investments in the infrastructure based on those numbers.
  • If the towns and villages were to pick a substantial amount of miles, they would have to change their infrastructure

Mr. Ryan asked if there are no County roads in the City.  Mr. Donnelly said that there are some roads that run parallel to the City boarder, and the County has an agreement with City regarding maintenance responsibilities for those roads: Nottingham, Bellevue, Tecumseh and a few others.  The agreement was made in 1994-95 regarding those responsibilities - the City is responsible for plowing and paving the roads, and the County is responsible for drainage and major reconstruction.


In response to Mr. Ryan, Mr. Donnelly indicated that the City participated in a limited degree with the discussions, but there wasn’t a discussion of the City picking up miles for County or the County picking up miles for the City.


In response to Mr. Dougherty the towns don’t plow 57 or John Glen Boulevard, they don’t plow any more than two lane roads.


Mrs. Rapp asked if there was any money left in the contingent account, and Mr. Donnelly responded that this will empty it out, this money is only set aside for the severity factor and it will all be used to pay towns villages.


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


       *b.     Amending the 2015 County Budget to Reimburse Municipalities that Plowed Onondaga County Roads During the Winter of 2014-2015 Based on New York State’s Winter Severity Index ($409,715)


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


2.     CNY ARTS:  Stephen Butler, CNY Arts; Catherine Underhill, Managing Director, Symphoria

        a.     Amending the 2015 County Budget to Make Funds Available to CNY Arts for Distribution to Musical Associates of Central New York, Inc. ($68,750)

  • Asking for funds to be moved from contingency for Symphoria
  • End of the second full session and Symphoria continues to do great work meeting objectives
  • Symphoria has entered into a strategic alignment with the opera, are sharing musical personnel, giving cost efficiencies; it deepens the relationship between the two agencies
  • Symphoria will be adding to their 15-16 season; has received a grant to help with marketing including new brochures for next season along with the roll out of a new website
  • CNY Arts is pleased with their progress
  • This would be the 3rd instalment






Chair Tassone asked about their busiest season.  Mr. Butler explained:

  • Pop season is pretty robust and will be adding to it
  • Holiday Pop concert was so successful that they had to add performances to it
  • They are busy in summer as shown in the quarterly report
  • They arrange for sponsorship through foundations and corporations to be able to provide free concerts to the public; this past season there were eight of them with audiences of approximately 30,000


Mrs. Rapp asked if the report showing that only 70 youth that attended is correct.  Mr. Butler responded that was just for the quarter, April through June, during the school year.  Also, anyone 18 or younger can come to Symphoria for free.  Mrs. Underhill indicated that there has been more than 3,500 ticketed people 18 and younger to date.  That number must have been low because that’s a busy time with school plays, graduations, state music competitions, etc.  The season was over by the May 9, 2015, with the last Masterwork in early May and the last Sparks work in collaboration with WCNY was in late May.


Mr. Ryan asked how the WCNY event on the near west side went.  Mrs. Underhill indicated that it went great.  There were about 350 people, but she doesn’t have exact numbers because they opened up the outside free to the community.  There were ensembles, Symphoria performers, La Casita, along with musicians from the community.  Due to rain, the last piece which was to be done outside had to be moved inside, a critical component linking the community didn’t come off as planned.  Everything else was really good, they had food trucks, people dancing, and families, they really hope to do something like that again.  They were able to make that free to the community because of securing an IDEAS Collaborate grant.  Mr. Butler said that those grants are a consortium of private funders called the Initiative to Develop and Engage Audiences in Syracuse.


Mr. Ryan would urge Symphoria to consider another event like that again, in and around that free area for the city residents that normally wouldn’t consider something like that.  Working with La Casita, they have so many good people and do so many good things for that area.  Mrs. Underhill agreed, and said that they are aiming to perform at the Warehouse this coming season.  They are talking to Rick Desitio about doing something at the Gear Factory and they are at the MOST.  Rita Paniagua has buses available to bring kids to the free programs. Along with things like the Near West Side Initiative, Symphoria is able to make connections with the community.  They would like to try something like this on south side also.


Mrs. Rapp asked if they still work with the county schools, and Mrs. Underhill said that they do.  They were in eight schools this year, six of them in Onondaga County, one in Madison County, and one in Auburn.  They received a grant from the Shineman Foundation to do more work in Oswego County and from the CNY Committee Foundation to bring the Link Up Program to the Syracuse City School.  Everything with the Link Up Program is free; it brings the course material to the educators, provides kids with an understanding of music, and then they go to a concert at one of the local high schools.  The program is participatory for them with either voice or recorders.  Trying to get the underwriting to be able to afford the buses.  Baldwinsville School came for Symphoria Day and spent the day in the city.  They sat in on a Symphoria performance, went to the Everson, Jolime for lunch, went to a pre-concert performance, and attended the Celtic Concert for free.


Mr. Dougherty indicated that this continues to be a success story and is glad to see it.   He is happy to continue to support it.


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


The meeting was adjourned at 11:01 a.m.


Respectfully submitted,


KIMBERLY A. MEMORY, Assistant Clerk

Onondaga County Legislature



* * *




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

ALSO PRESENT:  Chairman McMahon, Mrs. Ervin, see attached list


Chairman Liedka called the meeting to order at 9:41 a.m.  A motion was made by Mrs. Tassone, seconded by Ms. Williams, to waive the reading of the proceedings from the previous committee meeting; MOTION CARRIED.  A motion was made by Dr. Chase, seconded by Mrs. Rapp, to approve the minutes of the proceedings of the previous committee.  MOTION CARRIED.


1.     INFORMATIONAL UPDATE:  Tick/Deer Management Issue–Winkworth Neighborhood (Chairman McMahon)


Chairman McMahon gave an update regarding the Winkworth area:

  • This area has a high concentration of young children obtaining Lyme disease, to date there has been 5 documented cases due to the large influx of deer as this area contains urban neighborhoods, suburban neighborhoods, and voided area with trails to farmland
  • Lyme disease is on the increase due to the over population of deer within the county
  • Public health issue


Chairman McMahon said that over the next six months he would like this committee to create a countywide policy on Lyme disease, tick deer management.  The Winkworth neighborhood on a more micro level has:

  • Had an initial public meeting
  • Created a Lyme Disease Task Force
  • Met with experts: DEC and Cornell Cooperative Extension on what the best policy for their community would be now and in the future
  • Plans to have larger public meeting with all of the neighborhoods
  • DEC said that there are various ways to bring immediate relief; one method that the Winkworth neighborhood is looking into is the bait and cull program.
  • Need to apply to the State for a nuisance permit, which allows a community to extend their hunting season
  • Majority of the neighborhood must agree to this program and sign off on it
  • Begin working with local sportsman groups, maybe the USDA
  • Professional archers come into the neighborhood, set up tree stands and hunt the deer from dusk to dawn.
  • When the residents wake, they won’t even know what happened
  • The archers then process the deer, take the venison to local food banks, and dispose of the deer properly


Nonlethal methods similar to the one used in Long Island:

  • Set up feeding stations
  • The deer come in and feed
  • A solution is put on the deer to kill the ticks, so that they don’t pass ticks onto smaller animals and humans


Chairman Liedka indicated that the method used in Long Island was illegal unless you get an exception.  He feels that it’s a great idea but doesn’t solve the overpopulation problem.  There needs to be a solution that a majority of the residents can agree on.  In Cayuga Heights there was no public outreach and the hunting of the deer outraged the people because they weren’t properly informed on what impact the deer have on the agriculture and water supply.  Would like to try and do this as a county approach and not an individual municipality or even team up with Madison County who is going through the same thing.  There is a great impact in districts like Mr. Knapp’s, where the deer are eating the farmers’ crops and compromising the drinking water.  Water is an abundant resource we can’t afford to have dwindle.

Chairman McMahon:

  • Won’t be a one solution fits all approach
  • Need to start where there’s a health and safety issue
  • Continue on from an infrastructure standpoint


Chairman McMahon said that this issue is similar to ash borer problem, need to get funding and come up with a solution that makes sense.


Chairman McMahon said that another option per Cornell Cooperative Extension is sterilization, which will help with the overpopulation but may not help with the ticks because of the infrastructure of the areas, deer are living 20 to 25 years.


Chairman Liedka mentioned that the average person doesn’t realize what sterilization involves:

  • Deer need to be tagged with a GPS device
  • Done by inoculating them
  • Need to be re-inoculated with a booster every year or two
  • Process isn’t 100% assurance, and the cost of this would get up there with the thousands of deer to be sterilized


Mr. Burtis said that this process could also kill the deer due to the amount of stress it puts on the deer.  We are here for the people, we are here for the residents, we are here to lead and make the hard decisions.


Chairman Liedka said that there is good information out there on what Ithaca did, which was successful.


Dr. Chase asked how Fayetteville started the hunting of the deer.  Mrs. Stanczyk said that they have only changed a local law for the distance you can discharge a weapon from a home.


Mrs. Tassone asked if they know of any other states or counties that have had this problem and if they have been successful in dealing with it.  Chairman McMahon said: 

  • This primarily a northeast problem, Connecticut has had a large problem
  • Trumansburg, an upstate community has gone through this and was very successful
  • The Mayor from Trumansburg has offered to come and speak to the committee


Ms. Williams asked what the cost factors were.  Mr. McMahon said that it was cheap - approximately $15,000.


Chairman McMahon spoke about a personal experience with his cousin’s daughter getting Lyme disease and the toll it took on the child.


Dr. Chase said that even though there’s a lot of Lyme disease out there, the bigger problem is that it’s not on the medical providers’ radar.


To Dr. Chase’s point, Chairman McMahon spoke of a personal experience with his son and how Urgent Care didn’t know how to react to the fact that he thought his son may have been bitten by a tick.  He gave the Urgent Care staff information that he had learned from the County Health Department.


Mr. Burtis stated that education needs to be a part of the solution in addition to what is being done.  He then referenced a case in Manlius wherein a doctor’s office wouldn’t test a child for Lyme disease, that child’s mother then shaved her sons head and found the bull’s-eye. Mr. Burtis asked if there any type of testing of the ticks to see if they have Lyme disease after the deer where killed and processed, Chairman McMahon said that there was ways to test, although our Health Department said that half of the ticks in our region carry Lyme disease.  Lisa Letteney, Health Department, said that when the DEC Officers verify tags, they check them for ticks and occasionally take some of them for testing.


Dr. Chase commented the fact that she has spoken to vets and that there are also many cases of dogs with Lyme disease.  Mr. Burtis mentioned that in the neighborhoods around Green Lakes all of the dogs have Lyme disease.


Mr. McMahon would like to have the committee look into getting a policy together by the end of the year so they can ask for funding.  Possibly check with Ways and Means Committee to see if there is a way to get some funding for this year.


Mr. Burtis said that he feels the funding for the bait and cull program is important in addition to opening up certain areas to more local hunters.


In response to Mrs. Ervin’s question, Chairman McMahon said that the program will need to be prioritized by: looking at the health issue, then protection of natural and public resources, then damage to the green infrastructure.  The bait and cull approach would probably be the most logical approach to tackle this overall.  Applying the approach would start in concentrated areas where they’ve seen the most cases of Lyme disease.  The Winkworth neighborhood and one on the east side are really struggling with this issue and would be good areas to start.


Mrs. Ervin said that one drawback to this is that some of the areas don’t want to see the deer killed.  There are no other answers in some cases.  If there was a policy that people could buy into, instead of just talk, they may be more willing to accept that alternative.  Telling people what needs to be done, how we plan to do it, and why it needs to be done, might help explain why sterilization alone is not going to fix the problem.


2.     COMMUNITY SERVICES ADVISORY BOARD:  Barry Beckwith, Deputy Commissioner, Adult & Long Term Care

        a.     Confirming Appointments to the Community Services Advisory Board (Beth E. Hurny, Rosa Lee Jenkins, Patricia J. Reyna, Jennifer Redmond, Monika Taylor) 

  • Mental Hygiene Law, Article 41 mandates every county in state to have a local Community Services Board made up of various citizens
  • Onondaga County has 15, due to population
  • Only requirement for membership on this advisory board is that you have an interest in: mental hygiene, alcohol and substance abuse, or developmental disability in the community


Chair Liedka asked Mr. Beck to speak briefly about each of the appointees:

  • Beth E. Hurny is a professional, Executive Director of Prevention Network, years of experience in drug and alcohol abuse prevention
  • Rosa Lee Jenkins, Patricia Reyna & Jennifer Redmond are community people with excellent resumes, showing they have more than an interest in having worked in the field of chemical dependency
  • Monika Taylor is the Executive Director at Crouse Chemical Dependency, one of the largest chemical dependency providers in the community for inpatient and outpatient.  This is the only methadone and opiate treatment facility in the county.


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


The meeting was adjourned at 10:19 a.m.


Respectfully submitted,


KIMBERLY A. MEMORY, Assistant Clerk

Onondaga County Legislature




* * *




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

ALSO PRESENT:  see attached list


Chairman May called the meeting to order at 12:05 p.m.  A motion was made by Mr. Dougherty, seconded by Mr. Ryan, to waive the reading of the minutes of the proceeding of the previous committee.  MOTION CARRIED.  A motion was made by Mr. Dougherty, seconded by Mr. Ryan, to approve the minutes of proceedings of the previous committee.  MOTION CARRIED.


1.     EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONSWilliam Bleyle, Commissioner

        a.     A Local Law Authorizing a Further Amendment to the Lease of County Property Located in the Town of Marcellus, County of Onondaga, to New Cellular Wireless PCS, LLC. D.B.A. AT&T Mobility, and Amending Local Law No. 2-2014, which Such Local Law Previously Amended Local Law No. 25-2008

Mr. Bleyle:

  • Amending a local law, which amended a previous local law regarding a lease of tower property to Cingular Wireless (AT&T) on Rose Hill
  • Jan 2014 legislature approved amending lease adding new antennas to radio tower and equipment in their shelter
  • Lease was negotiated for $750/month on top of their current lease—was top end of offer and settled for it
  • Person who negotiated it is no longer with AT&T
  • AT&T feels it wasn’t a competitive rate, and asked to renegotiate – they proposed $550/month
  • County felt it was reasonable; competitive alternatives available including a tower across the street on Rose Hill
  • Lease includes 3% escalation; will yield $36,315 projected revenue in 2016 for county


In answer to Mr. Dougherty, Mr. Bleyle said that the footprint is already there.  AT&T will add equipment within their shelter.  Commercial wireless providers have to build their own shelters or cabinets.  The antennas will be added on top of what they already have.  They will pay their own electric and maintenance; it is strictly allowing them on the property and tower. 


*Mr. Jordan arrived at the meeting.


Mr. Dougherty asked if this money goes to a separate account; Ms. Stanczyk said that it is county revenue and assumed it goes to Emergency Communications.

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

        b.     A Local Law Authorizing the Lease of County Property Located in the Town of Manlius to Verizon Wireless

  • Radio tower on Alberta Heights, Manlius
  • New request for lease – Verizon Wireless requested permission to install a shelter and antennas on the tower
  • Lease rate was negotiated based on the footprint they are looking to cover, amount of antennas, and coax space
  • Proposed rate of $20,000/yr. w/3% annual escalator – 5-year term of lease with option of 4 renewals
  • SEQRA was prepared – no significant effect found – seeking a negative impact declaration

Mr. Jordan asked if there will be ability for others to collocate on the tower.  Mr. Bleyle said they are open to it; it reduces the number of towers built and the FCC encourages that--they don’t want to see each wireless provider having their own tower.  There are 5 in our area.  The County has to keep in mind the structure, age of the towers, and amount of equipment already on them.  Whenever they can collocate and realize revenue at the same time, it is the goal.  Mr. Jordan asked if there is any exclusivity for them; Mr. Bleyle said that it wouldn’t be allowed.  There are flexible terms -- if technology changes and the county needs that space, or if they cause interference with the county system, then they can be asked to move.  Public safety is the number one period.

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

2.     SHERIFF:  Chief Ken Andrews

        a.     Informational:  Sheriff’s Vehicles/Budget Forecast

Chief Andrews:

  • Had presented a 3rd quarter resolution--understands today is an informational session.  Sheriff Conway is sorry he couldn’t be present – is out of town; wants to impress the importance of the 2nd phase of the 2015 vehicle purchase
  • A 3-yr. program was put together--it doesn’t work unless all phases are put in
  • Beneficial to 2016 budget if able to secure 2015 second phase – have put it into the 2016 budget, which can be modified going forward if this phase can get put in now
  • Understands the legislature looks at entire project, office, expenditures/issues with Custody Dept--overtime, etc.
  • Using vehicles to offset it creates a hazard for officers and public
  • Need to keep these things separate--need to have the vehicles and not use them as leverage against Custody Dept
  • Have implemented a number of different steps to try to control the Custody overtime going forward
  • Have a good team – are working hard with DSBA and Custody Dept. to try to suppress some of the issues
  • Providing custody in the facility is not inexpensive and never will be


Chairman May said that it is really important to discuss this now – on cusp of budget season.  There is a proposed plan to buy more unbudgeted vehicles this year, so we have to discuss where we sit financially.  Disagrees with the comment that this is “leverage”.  It is not leverage – legislators have to protect the taxpayers in terms of spending.  “We are not dangling it overhead to fix it.”  There is a finite number of dollars to use to fund the Sheriff’s Dept., and are trying to stay within it.  The process presents a dilemma--by forecast it will run over a little bit.  It also presents an opportunity to go into reserves and shore the department up to fix the car problem.  He doesn’t know a single legislator that doesn’t want to fix the problem as quickly as possible.  Chairman May said that he had a conversation with Sheriff Conway because he couldn’t be here today.  There is a lot of progress being made on policy.  There were things discussed at the beginning of the year that the Sheriff said he would do, and they are happening.  Take home car policies, reduction of take-home cars, replacement plan--all things that we have asked for and they are doing.  It will take some time for these things to manifest into taxpayer savings. 


Mr. Jordan said that he doesn’t like the terminology of “leverage”.  A budget it set, and every department is expected to live within it.  Making cuts here to make up for expenses there isn’t leverage, it it living within the budget.  He hopes that the perception in the department isn’t that the legislature is using this as leverage.  It has been made clear for a number of months, if not years, that the expectation is to live within a particular budget.  We are not punishing because other aspects of the budget aren’t falling in line.  Chief Andrews noted that his choice of words are not necessarily the outlook form the Sheriff’s perspective.


Chief Andrews said that they can’t decide who gets put into the facility or their status.  Things that are out of their control creates the overtime.  They can project that it will cost $2.5 million in overtime/year based on history, but then it is only budgeted at $2 million.  Changes are being made -- constant watch has always been an area of conversation.  There are 4 cells now that have glass fronts.  The Commission of Correction has said that on the glass fronted cells, there can be 1 officer for 4 cells (instead of 1 on 2).  It cuts back on overtime.  There are additional rooms where the t one on ones are being done.  If the other cells can be physically changed with glass fronts put on them, then they may be able to approach more 1 on 4 cells situations.  Conversations still have to be had about whether the 4th tower or the special behavior unit gets built.  Before that happens, they are trying to make changes as they go along. 


Chief Andrews said that CCS, contracted health care services, classifies people that need to be constantly watched or frequently checked.  The Commission on Corrections said that some of the people that are being constantly watched may very well be suited to be frequently checked – don’t have to have a person sitting in front of them all of the time.  The criteria is being implemented through CCS; it will also help with overtime. 


Chief Andrews said that with 8 months in, this is still pretty new to the team.  They are evaluating personnel, placement, and the tasks people are assigned to.  Some people are being changed around in Custody.  It is being done slowly.  Fiscally, they are good economic changes.  The undersheriff and Chief Gonzalez are working on a lot of issues.


Mr. Jordan questioned the status of trying to address the problem; it has been studied for years-- it is nothing to do with the current administration.  There have been numerous studies and nothing has happened.  He realizes that it is being done through the Sheriff’s administration and current resources, but a decision needs to be made – need to figure out which direction we will go in.  A decision needs to be made as to what the most cost-effective way is in the long term to address the problem.  Millions of dollars are being lost.  Chief Andrews said going from 1 to 1 to 4 to 1 constant watch is a big step.  Mr. Jordan agreed, but asked about the long-term solution.  Chief Andrews said that the Sheriff put out a position paper on this--he wants to re-evaluate it, and appreciates that the prior administration determined that the 4th tower is necessary.  He would like to see if there are things that can be done in the current structure and not jump into it.  There are a lot of new eyes looking at it, and maybe some changes can be made with the the current structure without putting the shovel in the ground.  Chief Andrews said that he is sure that is coming, but right now they would like to see what they can do and try to save money under the current structure.  They can work with the DA and judicial system – maybe not everybody needs to be housed.  Mr. Jordan said that conversation has been ongoing for a number of years and has been told that there is resistance to it.  Chairman May said that he has seen some judges be quite enlightened by the cost associated with keeping people in for a weekend.  He is hopeful – it goes back to policy/operational changes – sharing the information and making them aware of the cost associated with it. 


Mr. Ryan said that we don’t want to spend all that money on housing people if we don’t have to, but he has also heard from neighborhood association that are very frustrated with the criminal justice system.  Especially on the near west side and in the Skunk City areas.  There are drug houses where people are arrested in the morning and back selling drugs later that afternoon.  Rehabilitation can be done as much as possible, but recidivism rates are up – and stuck with the same people – there are not enough places to put them.  There are people in the community that feel that judges need to be tougher on people.  There are people on the streets, arrested, and then back out that shouldn’t be.


Mr. Ryan said that the evaluation of personnel and placement is great.  With budgetary overruns, the question is why are deputy sheriff’s not performing that function – why are they doing things like IT, clerical, etc.  Chief Andrews said that some of those can be changed and some can’t – all of those positions are being looked at.  Mr. Ryan said that 17 -19 people on a daily basis are performing duties other than what is the scope/job title of a deputy sheriff custody position.  They do that all day and then go and work overtime.  He has always thought that it is something that can be changed and would significantly change the bottom line.  Chief Andrews reiterated that all positions are being evaluated – some have been determined not to be beneficial for the Sheriff’s office or County to have outside personnel doing certain things.  Mr. Ryan said that if large overruns of overtime that affect the bottom line, when working within a budget, then anything and everything should be examined everything should be examined for cost savings within the scope of the collective bargaining unit.  Chief Andrews said that they get pushback; Mr. Ryan would like to know what it is.  Chief Andrews said it is taking work away from the bargaining unit classified positions. 


Chief Andrews compared the 7/28 projection to the 6/1 projection, and noted that it is moving in the right direction.  They are trying to live within this budget.  The overtime issue is big.  Mr. Ryan asked why travel and training is up; Chair May said that all tolled it is on budget.  Mr. Ryan asked if more training is being done; Chief Andrews didn’t know, but knows they are trying to keep it on budget.  Mr. Ryan said that training is a good thing.


Mr. Holmquist said that the conversation is very helpful; it is terrific that it is going in the right direction.  The Sheriff Dept. inherited a budget and are trying to live within a budget that they didn’t set.  He is looking forward to the next budget to see what the changes are and getting an idea of the speed they are being implemented, also what the policy changes are and short-term goals.  It takes a while for some of it to simulate in.  It is not an easy question because Custody is very complicated with lots of factors.  He knows the Sheriff’s Dept. is working very hard.  He thinks that there is mutual respect for the legislature’s job, and legislators are very sensitive to the plight that the Sheriff’s Dept. inherited, the situation they are in, and the progress being made.  The legislature needs to be kept up to speed on that progress and also benchmarks.  He would like to know the timeline if anything is going to be done on the mental health unit, the 4th tower, or any changes that will be made.  The Sheriff’s Department will be presenting a budget for next year and the legislature’s expectation is that it won’t have to constantly worry about it, unless something catastrophic happens.  He asked how Chief Andrews feels they are doing on progress on a scale of 1 – 10.  Chief Andrews said “8”; there are things they would like to have accomplished that they can’t.  He referenced the DSBA contract offer, which wasn't accepted. 


Mr. Dougherty said that on the Custody side there is $111,000 various in automotive equipment.  In answer to Mr. Dougherty, Chief Andrews indicated that it is not take home cars.  Ms. Fricano said that it is under budget by $295,000.  She explained that the money is in the Sheriff’s program, but will be spent within the various other divisions.  It was put under one line in the budget, and then will be divided out.  Mr. Dougherty referenced the $444,000 overage n salary on the Police side -- it seems like that would be easy to predict.  Ms. Fricano said that there was a contract settlement in there, but it is because of it being the first year for these programs.  There have been roster shifts as different programs were looked at.  There is an academy going on the Custody side – will start to see some salary savings there.  In the forecast all in all, the Sheriff budget is projected to be under budget by $81,000 in salaries. 


Mr. Dougherty referenced the Custody overtime overage of $894,706--it may be the largest he has ever seen.  He expected that the number would be a lot less, especially with the 4 on 1 constant watch.  Chief Andrews said that as the year has gone along, they have known that it was an issue.  The 4 on 1 just took effect July 1st; they are doing everything they can; administrative and staffing changes are taking place now.  He doesn’t have a good answer as to why it is so far over budget.  Mr. Dougherty said that the the legislature can make that number as big or small as it wants; some of this might be because of what was done last year.  Chief Andrews said that the request was approximately $500,000 more.  Chairman May said that it was $180,000 reduction.  Ms. Stanczyk said that the legislature cut $158,000; the Co. Executive proposed $500,000.  Mr. Dougherty noted that virtually every other category is under budget, which is fantastic.  The $894,000 over, even with the $158,000 that the legislature took away, is troubling.  It would be nice to hear of a plan, a hope or dream as to how it can be brought under control.  Discussion continued on the 4 on 1 implementation; Chief Andrews reiterated that it has to be determined if it can be done structurally.  He referenced the way the DSBA contract works, noting that there isn’t a lot they can done, but they will be re-looking at arbitration decisions .


Ms. Fricano said that the 4 on 1 situation that started in July is incorporated in the forecast -- will be able to quantify more going forward.


Mr. Jordan said it is frustrating and confusing.  We are close to capacity; keep bumping up the budget amount, and the budget gets busted almost every year--sometimes by millions of dollars.  He questioned if there are more people on constant watch every year.  It is confusing as to why it ramps up so much every year.  Chief Andrews said that are trying to get it down, but in working with the contract they have, it is hard to manage the situation.  Over the years the DSBA has managed to get an advantageous situation for themselves.  He understands that the legislature wants the Sheriff’s Dept. to step on this, and are doing everything they can within their power.  Mr. Ryan said that he would phrase it as trying to reach a collective bargaining agreement that benefits both the County of Onondaga, employees of the DSBA, and the taxpayers.  There was a contract agreed upon by both parties.  They are living within the confines of the collective bargaining agreement.


Mr. May referred to benchmarks, noting that the transparency is refreshing.  The 4 on 1, frequent checks, and position changes amount to $160,000 savings.  It is reflected in the forecast today, and it is still running hot by $900,000 in overtime.  The Sheriff’s Dept. received a nice boost in there supplies line as a result of how the budgeted cars and equipment were financed.  There is a boost of revenue from the correctional health provider that is helping the contractual line; they owed the County some money as a result of performance.  He is watching these kinds of things.  The discussion today doesn’t change the dilemma, but helps understand what we are up against and address the dilemma as quickly as possible.  


Mr. Ryan asked about progress made with take-home vehicles.  Chief Andrews said that they are implementing it as we speak on a car by car basis.  Some are assigned contractually that can’t be taken away.  The ones that are available to take home are starting to be withdrawn now.  The direction of the usage has been changed in the take home policy.   Mr. Jordan asked if it has been incorporated into negotiations with the different bargaining units.  Chief Andrews said that it doesn’t have to be; the utilization of the vehicle is part of management’s prerogative.  Mr. Ryan said that it is separate and distinct from what PERB has said.  There is a separate set of circumstances where take-home vehicles are utilized by management or m/c employees that are not bound by a collective bargaining unit.  The Sheriff can mandate policy for those and they can be taken away.  In answer to Mr. Ryan, Chief Andrews said that two cars have been taken away so far.  Mr. Dougherty asked how many more are planned to be taken away.  Chief Andrews said that he would pass the question to the Sheriff.


The meeting was adjourned at 1:06 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,




Onondaga County Legislature




* * *




MEMBERS PRESENT:    Mr. Jordan, Mr. May, Mr. Holmquist, Mr. Kilmartin, Ms. Williams, 1Mrs. Ervin

ALSO ATTENDING:  See attached list


Chair Knapp called the meeting to order at 8:51 A.M.  A motion was made by Mr. Kilmartin, seconded by Mr. Jordan, to waive the reading of the proceedings from the previous committee minutes.  MOTION CARRIED.  A motion was made by Mr. Jordan, seconded by Mr. Kilmartin, to approve the minutes of the proceedings of the previous committee.  MOTION CARRIED.


Chair Knapp said that an informational item was being added to the agenda and would be heard first.


8.     PERSONNELPeter Troiano, Commissioner

        a.     Informational - Fact-Finding Report and Recommendations


Mr. Troiano distributed copies of the report (On file with Clerk) and presented the following:

  • Report dated 8-3-15, CSEA contract negotiations; 2800 members, largest Onondaga County bargaining unit, over 2 years of negotiations, both sides accepted tentative agreement, moves onto membership for informational meetings and ratification, then back to legislature for adoption
  • Recommends:
  • 5 year term 2013-2017, no wage increase for 2013 and half of 2014, 2% increase starting July 2014, 2.25% increase for 2015 and 2016 and 2.75% increase in 2017
  • Increasing health benefit contributions to 17.5% in 2015 and 20% in 2016, also includes plan design changes to be implemented January 1, 2016, expected to slow plan growth
  • Random drug and alcohol testing for safety sensitive positions, i.e. correction officers, public service dispatcher, armed probation officers
  • Minor work rules pertaining to holiday scheduling and job bidding procedures


In answer to Mr. Kilmartin, Mr. Morgan said that $2 million dollars was set aside with the 2015 budget.  The proposed agreement amounts to an increase of $1.5 million for 2014 and almost $3 million for 2015.   If passed, they would likely dip into fund balance to pay the retro balance.  The 2016 projection is over $3 million and would be constructed into that budget depending on the timeframe.  Mr. Troiano said that they have encouraged CSEA to advance this as quickly as possible and expect completion by Labor Day.  They would like to vote on this at the September session if possible.


Mr. Kilmartin asked if the numbers presented accounted for wage increases or wage increases and a netting of higher health contributions.  Mr. Morgan said that the numbers were just the debt.  They are looking to factor in the givebacks on the health side for 2016.


In answer to Mr. May, Mr. Troiano said that the health percentage increase applies to all levels of enrollment.  In answer to Mr. Kilmartin, Mr. Troiano said that the dental contribution remains at 35%. 


Mr. Jordan asked if they performed background checks to ensure that those with criminal histories did not have access to confidential information, i.e. social services records.  Mr. Troiano said that there are in-depth background checks for public safety positions.  Other departments perform background checks in various depths based on the position.  Mr. Jordan asked if maintenance personnel might be able to see social service records.  Mr. Troiano said that departments are responsible to protect private information; most are secured in a locked computer or file.  Mr. May asked if background checks were all policy based.  Mr. Troiano said that departments have latitude to determine the depth of background checks for their employees, depending on assignment, position by position.

1Mrs. Ervin arrived at the meeting.


In answer to Chair Knapp, Mr. Troiano confirmed that Jamesville correctional staff are part of CSEA.  The DSBA represents the deputy sheriffs and custody and their contract is still in negotiation.


In answer to Mrs. Ervin, Mr. Troiano said that if the contract is not ratified the Taylor Law would require them to send the dispute to the legislature for resolution.  There is also the opportunity to continue bargaining, if it makes since to either party.  


1.     TRANSPORTATIONBrian Donnelly, Commissioner

        a.     Amending the 2015 Onondaga County Budget to Accept Additional Revenue for Plowing State Roads During the Winter of 2014-2015, and Authorizing the County Executive to Amend Onondaga County’s Contract with New York State for Such Period ($649,812)

        b.     Amending the 2015 County Budget to Reimburse Municipalities that Plowed Onondaga County Roads During the Winter of 2014-2015 Based on New York State’s Winter Severity Index ($409,715)


Mr. Donnelly:

  • Two items, both pertain to the state severity factor for plowing, 34% severity – slight increase from last year
  • Item 1b releases contingency funds


Chair Knapp said that the backup provided lists the impact by town.  Mr. Donnelly supplied additional copies for review. 



In ander to Mr. Kilmartin, Mr. Donnelly said that the numbers listed are above what was expected.  They budget for an average severity, which is 17% to 18%.  The contingency funds and part of the money they receive from the state will pay the towns and villages.


In answer to Mrs. Ervin, Mr. Donnelly said that the County plows very little north of the city.  They plow Route 11 south of the city, Route 20 from county line to county line, Route 80, Route 41 by Skaneateles Lake and Route 11a.  They do not plow any interstates.  Mr. Jordan asked if they plowed Route 31.  Mr. Donnelly said that they plow a small portion in the western part of the County; they do not plow into Cicero, Clay or Bridgeport.  Mrs. Ervin said that last year Interstate 81 was terrible.  Mr. Donnelly said that 81 & 690 were under the state’s purview.  Chair Knapp said that it was a record winter with February being the coldest month ever recorded.  Mr. Donnelly and his team, along with the towns and villages, did a great job. 


In answer to Chair Knapp, Mr. Donnelly said that they pay municipalities via two separate payments, once in January and generally May.  In the last few years, it has taken the state longer to calculate and pay the severity factor.  Upon legislative approval, they will make the second payment, which will cover the base amount and include the severity factor.  Chair Knapp said that the towns are going into their budget process and are looking forward to receiving these funds. 


A motion was made by Ms. Williams, seconded by Mr. Jordan, to approve item 1a.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.


A motion was made by Mr. Jordan, seconded by Mrs. Ervin, to approve item 1b.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.



        a.     Confirming Appointment to the Onondaga County Soil & Water Conservation District Board (David Coburn)


Chair Knapp said that Brendan Whelan was a wonderful board member who was very dedicated and would Skype into meetings whenever he was away.  His unfortunate passing has created a board opening.  The board has reviewed several resumes and voted in favor of David Coburn who is excited about the opportunity and ready to get going.


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


3.    CNY ARTSSteven Butler, Executive Director

       a.     Amending the 2015 County Budget to Make Funds Available to CNY Arts for Distribution to Musical Associates of Central New York, Inc. ($68,750)


Mr. Butler:

  • Previously provided quarterly report and update (On file with Clerk); ending 2nd full season, projecting to be in the black, everything better and better
  • Hired musical director and aligned with Opera, will function as director for both; look for these types of synergies and efficiencies while ensuring creation of great art, negotiating to do the same with box office services
  • Received special grant last year to bolster  marketing, key to survival, moving from startup to full-fledged organization
  • Director present to answer detailed questions; CNY Arts pleased to make this recommendation

Mr. Jordan said that they anticipate ending $32,000 under budget, netting about $10,000 in the black.  Chair Knapp agreed.  Mr. Jordan said that this was very good.

Chair Knapp asked about coming events.  Ms. Underhill:

  • Brochures sent out in July, copies distributed (On file with Clerk), successful summer season helped to get the word out about upcoming events, launch season in early September
  • Expanded education program, just received grant from Shineman Foundation to do in-school things with Oswego County, have been doing in-school things in Onondaga and Madison Counties with support from the Community Foundation over the past year
  • Growing and busy, full 30 concert schedule, doubled Holiday Pops performance, expanded Masterworks program from 6 to 8 performances, and Pops program from 4 to 5; challenge is to manage growth in a way that ensures sustainability


Chair Knapp asked if there was talk of performing next summer at the amphitheater.  Ms. Underhill said that they attended a preliminary meeting and there is interest.  The venue is amazing and will accommodate a full orchestra, despite rumors to the contrary.  They hope to know soon if they will be on the rooster for next summer.  Chair Knapp said that it would be very good.

A motion was made by Mrs. Ervin, seconded by Ms. Williams, to approve this item.  Ayes:  6; Noes:  1(May).  MOTION CARRIED.

4.     EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONSWilliam Bleyle, Commissioner

        a.     A Local Law Authorizing a Further Amendment to the Lease of County Property Located in the Town of Marcellus,  County of Onondaga, to New Cellular Wireless PCS, LLC. D.B.A. AT&T Mobility, and Amending Local Law No. 2-2014, which Such Local Law Previously Amended Local Law No. 25-2008

         b.     A Local Law Authorizing the Lease of County Property Located in the Town of Manlius to Verizon Wireless


Mr. Bleyle:

  • 2 items, both are local laws regarding revenue generation via tower lease
  • Item 4a amends lease:  2014 AT&T asked to add additional antennas to tower with no increase to ground footprint, $750 lease increase put on table as first offer, surprised offer was accepted without negotiations, person no longer with AT&T, AT&T asked for reconsideration, after negotiation proposed increase of $550 per month, with 3% annual increase for term of lease (5 years w/renew 4 options, total 25 years)
  • $550 competitive and fair amount, other options available including tower located across the street from present site, in best interest of the County to allow lease reduction; $550 amount is on top of the amount already paid, $36,315 for 2016 with 3% increase every year thereafter


Chair Knapp asked who negotiates the leases.  Mr. Bleyle said that his department works with the Law department.  They have a radio system administrator that has in-depth knowledge pertaining to the tower facilities and the average rental rates.  The administrator also works closely with other County departments negotiating leases for their property, i.e. WEP.  They are very aware of the prices as they lease tower space themselves.


A motion was made by Ms. Williams, seconded by Mr. May, to approve item 4a.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

  • Item 4b is a new lease, located at Alverna Heights Drive radio tower
  • First site tenant, rent $20,000 per year with 3% annual increase
  • SEQRA short form completed, no significant effect on environment, requesting negative declaration


Chair Knapp asked the height of the tower.  Mr. Bleyle said that it was under 150 feet.  They now try to stay under 150 feet to avoid required tower lighting and/or paint.  In response to Chair Knapp, Mr. Bleyle said that local approval from Manlius was not required.  

A motion was made by Mr. Kilmartin, seconded by Ms. Williams, to approve item 4b.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

5.     PURCHASE:  Sean Carroll, Director

        a.     Revenue Contract Report


Chair Knapp said that there was no specific revenue report for this month.  Mr. Carroll was present if anyone had general questions.  Ms. Williams asked if the County received payment from the City in light of the conflict between the mayor and common council.  Mr. Carroll said he understands the common council has held all action on IT issues until the email issue is resolved.  Chair Knapp said that he read the same in the newspaper and believes that they are still going back and forth.  Mr. Morgan said that the City has made payments on the PeopleSoft implantation but he did not know if they made the most recent payment.  Mr. May asked if the County was still providing the services.  Mr. Carroll said the he would have to check.  Mr. Morgan said that the payment was mainly for PeopleSoft consulting and he believes the commitment has decreased since they are now live.  Mr. Carroll said that there was some overlap in the system and he would have to defer a specific question to the IT department.  Chair Knapp asked for an update on the payment status and services being provided to the City.


Mr. May asked if Best Value was underway.  Mr. Carroll said that they would present a model during the budget process and propose a series of bids to try it on.  They believe it could produce real opportunities for local vendors and savings.  They spent a considerable amount of time looking at the model to ensure that they are able to maintain promised commitments.  They have designed the independent standards but must review them with Law department.  Mr. May said that this was already authorized.  Mr. Carroll agreed, adding that they committed to coming back and explaining how it would be done.  It was important for them to focus on getting the evaluation criteria and methodology correct so that they maintain everyone’s confidence in the process.  The current timeline includes at least an overview of the process during their budget presentation, along with supplemental material.


In answer to Chair Knapp, Mr. Carroll said that electronic bidding was ready to go from a permissions standpoint.  They are in the process of removing everything from the mainframe in the correct order and will then empower the needed technology.  This will also be touched on in their budget presentation. 



        a.     Calling for a Public Hearing on the 2016 Budget


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


7.     LAW:

        a.     Settlement of Claim

        b.     Litigation update


A motion was made by Mr. Jordan to enter into executive session for the purpose of discussing pending litigation in the following cases of Workman and Mazzei v. Onondaga County, Fudge v. Metz, June and McCarron, and Powell v. Onondaga County.  Ms. Williams seconded the motion.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.


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


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


A resolution was distributed entitled Authorizing the Settlement of the Action Filed with the United States District Court, Northern District of New York, Gerald W. Workman and Michele Mazzei v. City of Syracuse, City of Syracuse Police Detective Thomas Skardinski, in his Individual and Official Capacity, City of Syracuse Police Detective Rory Gilhooley, in his Individual and Official Capacity, City of Syracuse Police Detective Jess Okun, in his Individual and Official Capacity, City of Syracuse Police Detective Fred Lamberston, in his Individual and Official Capacity, County of Onondaga, Onondaga County Sheriff Deputy Sgt. Michael Norton, in his Individual and Official Capacity, Onondaga County Sheriff Deputy Detective Rudy Reed, in his Individual and Official Capacity, Onondaga County Sheriff Deputy Detective Dominick Spinelli, in his Individual and Official Capacity, Onondaga County Sheriff Deputy Detective Robert Pitman, in his Individual and Official Capacity and Officers John Doe “1-10”, in their Individual and Official Capacities.

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


The meeting adjourned at 10:13 a.m.


Respectfully submitted,



Onondaga County Legislature






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