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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





MEMBERS PRESENT: Mr. Dougherty, Mr. Meyer, *Ms. Williams, **Mr. Masterpole

ALSO ATTENDING: Mr. Rhinehart and see attached list 

Chairman Kilmartin called the meeting to order at 9:02 a.m.  A motion was made by Mr. Dougherty, seconded by Mr. Meyer to waive the reading and approve the minutes of the proceedings of the previous committee meeting; MOTION CARRIED. 

*Ms. Williams arrived at the meeting.

1.     DISTRICT ATTORNEY:  Rick Trunfio, First Chief Assistant District Attorney

        a.     Amending the 2011 County Budget to Provide the Office of the Onondaga County District Attorney with Additional Funds Beyond the Estimated Dollars Appropriated in the 2011 County Budget and Authorizing the County Executive to Enter into Contracts to Implement this Resolution ($303,658)


Mr. Trunfio stated this resolution covers IMPACT pass through funds for the Sheriff, Probation and 911.  A number of years ago the state choose the DA’s office to be the pass through for all law enforcement including the Syracuse PD, within Onondaga County for NYS Operation IMPACT funds.  Last year NYS directed that each agency apply through their own budget.  After the application was submitted, the state reverted back to the DA’s office being a pass through for the funds.  This is not new money, just asking to distribute the funds as budgeted.


  • IMPACT awards are performance driven
  • $4000 Emergency Communications Department; to defray overtime costs for IMPACT details
  • $226,721 Sherriff’s’ Office; to cover personnel cost for 2 Field Intelligence Officer’s (FIO’s), a Crime Analyst, overtime for IMPACT details and confidential funds to conduct covert narcotics operations
  • $72,937 Probation Department; to cover personnel costs for an FIO and overtime for IMPACT details
  • No new staff positions are proposed
  • $361,606 DA; to cover personnel costs for 3 ADA’s, 2 FIO’s, and other crime reduction/prevention activities
  • Fringe expenses capped at 30% by the State


** Mr. Masterpole arrived at the meeting.


  • $665,264 total IMPACT funds for July 1, 2010 – June 30, 2011; $303,658 total pass through


Mr. Meyer asked how the performance driven process works.  Mr. Trunfio responded giving the following example; why do they fund Intelligence Field Officers.  The way Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) has been using empirical driven research information for the past several years.  Initially we thought that Friday and Saturday nights had the most crime and would put our resources out on the streets at that time.  With the use of empirical research, it was found that Sunday was actually busier than Friday.  When we see certain areas with crime waves, it allows us to deploy our resources where the problems are and successfully suppress the problem.  Empirical data is compiled through the Crime Analysis Center.  This is an organization created by the DCJS.  There a four connected sites within the state; Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Albany.  The centers strip down the information as it’s received from the police agencies.  It allows us to gather and organization information so that we know where to deploy our resources.  The overall performance indicator is a reduction in Part 1 Crime. 


Mr. Meyer asked for clarification on the “other crime reduction/prevention activities”.  Mr. Trunfio stated that they were presented with the budget; things such as the Chronic Offender Recognition and Enforcement (CORE) program.  Our data tells us that a very small percentage of criminals commit a large percentage of crime.  Onondaga County started CORE to target these individuals, not subjectively but objectively through the empirical data.  We put a list together and concentrate on these individual with regard to enforcement and proactive investigations, and when they come into the system, accountability.  Gang intervention is another program.  IMPACT intervention revolves around trying to stem gang activity.  We know that gang activity is supported by narcotics trafficking.   


In answer to Mr. Kilmartin, Mr. Trunfio stated the grant award is 10% less than budgeted for across the board.  They had budgeted $100,000 for surveillance cameras that are currently being used successfully in the City of Syracuse.  The state rejected this portion.  The cameras are another example of other crime reduction activities.


Mr. Kilmartin asked if he anticipated any type of gap in the DA’s budget because of the decreased funds.  Mr. Trunfio responded, the grant money covers personnel costs.  He does not think that it funds the complete cost for the positions. 


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


2.     EMERGANCY MANAGEMENT:  Peter Alberti, Commissioner

        a.     Amending the 2011 County Budget to Accept Homeland Security Funds for the Onondaga County Department of Emergency Management and Authorizing the County Executive to Enter into Contracts to Implement this Resolution ($900,000)


  • Homeland Security funds for the Interoperable Emergency Communications Grant Program (IECGP) for 2010
  • Funds will be utilized by the Central New York Interoperable Communications Consortium (CNYICC), includes Onondaga, Oswego, Cayuga, Cortland and Madison Counties
  • Funds used to continue the build out of interoperable communications, updating and rewriting the Regional Tactical Interoperable Communications Plan (TCIP), and training for emergency personnel working with the interoperable communication system
  • Carry on of 2008 and 2009 funds, majority of these funds were used to start the interoperable communications
  • Budget $900,000
  • $500,000 consultant plan revision and training – 2 year cycle
  • $378,000 personnel cost for training and exercises
  • $22,000 training program materials and plan distribution


Mr. Kilmartin questioned if the grant funds were limited to the uses budgeted for or if they were available for other uses such as hardware.  Mr. Alberti stated this grant was limited to planning regional systems.  Through our participation in the Urban Area Security federal program, we became eligible for these funds.  As you develop the plan and do training and exercising, there are opportunities to purchase training materials and equipment.  You have to use what you have.


In answer to Ms. Williams, Mr. Alberti stated the consultant would be reviewing the existing plans, crosswalk them with the new systems coming online from the other counties, and the new federal guidelines. They will develop the various plans necessary to meet all the guidelines.  They will then put the training program into place and assist with delivery of the training. 


In answer to Mr. Meyer, Mr. Alberti stated that Onondaga County takes the lead for the CNYICC.  Onondaga County put out the RFP for the consultant, with input from the CNYICC for 2008 and 2009.  He believes there were 6 replies to the RFP.  A consultant has not been chosen for this portion of the grant. 


In answer to Mr. Meyer, Mr. Alberti stated that $378,000 will be used to train the emergency responders; both those in the field and the 911 center.


In answer to Mr. Masterpole, Mr. Seitz confirmed that we bonded for the interoperable system and a surcharge was placed on landlines to help pay the debt.  He asked if the $900,000 could be used to help pay back the debt and remove the surcharge from the phone lines.  Mr. Alberti responded, “No”.  The funds can basically be used for planning, training and exercising.


Mr. Kilmartin asked Mr. Alberti for more details on the consultant.  What would the consultant do, what is the proposed rate, what hours are allocated, what is the selection process?  This is a substantial sum, $250,000 per year.  Mr. Alberti stated this is not just for Onondaga County.  He suggested dividing the total amount by six; due to the six counties.  The consultant will need to go to each of the counties and do an assessment of the current capabilities, resources and plans and determine where it needs to go from there.  The amount was based on what was spent in 2008 and 2009. 


Mr. Alberti stated an RFP has not been issued for 2010, just for 2008 and 2009.  Mr. Kilmartin asked when the RFP process would begin or end.  Mr. Alberti stated he did not have an answer since this goes through the CNYICC.  He will check on this and get back to him with the information.


In answer to Mr. Kilmartin, Mr. Alberti stated fringe is covered in the personnel cost.


Mr. Kilmartin stated that because this is such a large sum of money he would like to have this as an informational item for today.  He asked for more detailed information to be provided, in advance of the Ways and Means Committee; with a presentation at the committee meeting as well. 


In answer to Mr. Kilmartin, Mr. Alberti stated these funds came out in October of 2010.  The funds have not been expended.  It is called the 2010 plan even though it will be deployed in 2011.


Mr. Kilmartin requested dollar amounts spent for similar training and rewriting of training for 2008 and 2009.  He asked for details about the 2008 and 2099 RFP process; the timing, the respondents, the specific services, how many hours working with the different counties, the rates and so on.  In terms of personnel cost and training; what counties, what amounts, what services, what is going to base, and what is overtime.  It’s wonderful to have these grants coming in.  This is a substantial amount of revenue cost but with something this size we want more detail.


The meeting was adjourned at 9:36 a.m.   

Respectfully submitted,


Onondaga County Legislature

* * *





MEMBERS PRESENT:  Mr. Laguzza, *Mr. Meyer, Mr. Holmquist, *Mrs. Ervin

ALSO PRESENT:  See attached list


Chairman Warner called the meeting to order at 10:05 a.m.  A motion was made by Mr. Laguzza, seconded by Mr. Holmquist to waive the reading and approve the minutes of the proceedings of the previous committee meeting; MOTION CARRIED.



        a.     Confirming Appointments to the Community Service Advisory Board (Diane M. O’Brien, Ben de La Garza Bassett)

Mr. Laguzza requested to be added as a co-sponsor for Diane M. O’Brien


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

2.     HEALTH:  Linda Karmen, Deputy Commissioner, Health Department

        a.     Amending the 2011 County Budget to Accept Metropolitan Medical Response System (MMRS) Funding and Authorizing the County Executive to Enter Into Agreements to Implement this Resolution ($317,419)


Chairman Warner asked that everyone around the room introduce themselves:

Gloria Lamanna, City of Syracuse Research Bureau

Robert Stoppacher, M.D., Chief

Rick Trunfio, Chief Assistant District Attorney

Katherine Unger, Medical Examiner’s Office

Jason Dean, Management and Budget

Ellen Wilson, Fiscal Officer, Health Department

Cynthia Morrow, M.D., Commissioner, Health Department

Paul Weichselbaum, Health Department

Kathy Corrado, Forensic Laboratories

John Corcoran, County Legislature

Kelly Berger, Law

Darcie Lesniak, Legislature

Will Morgan, NAACP Legal Redress Committee and former County Legislator

Wayne Dunham, Vice President of the Legal Redress Committee


Mrs. Karmen:

  • Requesting approval to amend the 2011 County budget to accept the MMRS funding
  • MMRS program initiated in 1997 after the World Trade Center attack and the Oklahoma City bombing
  • In 2002 the City of Syracuse was onboard and was awarded MMRS funding
  • Purpose of MMRS funding is to prepare a region for response to a mass casualty incident, public health emergencies and to integrate health and medical preparedness into local homeland security strategies
  • Since 2002, the City of Syracuse has been the recipient of the grant and in partnership with the Onondaga County Health Department
  • County Health Department has managed the program and assisted within the community various response efforts
  • City of Syracuse asking Onondaga County Health Department take over as the grant recipient - the City is going through changes in their fiscal office
  • City is combining with Onondaga County Purchasing efforts
  • Health Department has been managing the grant funding for the last several years so it makes sense to become the grant recipient
  • Continue with the same project funding
  • Current funding: interoperable communications for health and medical personnel, Central New York Medical Reserve Corp (Medical Professional Volunteer Staffing), emergency pharmaceutical stash at Crouse Hospital for supply of pharmaceuticals in the event of public emergency, and a contract for long-term care centers evacuation project. 

*Mr. Meyer and Mrs. Ervin arrived at the meeting.

  • Can continue with the same activities, and grant will be able to cover some of the public health preparedness staff funding – very fortunate as funding decreased from the NYS Health Department and CDC
  • Asking for approval to transfer the funding from the City to the County Health Department for the 2010 grant
  • City of Syracuse has applied for said grant and federal funding sources have agreed that they would award the grant to the County Health Department

In response to Chairman Warner, Mrs. Karmen stated the federal funding source must approve the use of the grant.

  • County Health Department must provide a budget which has been done jointly with the City of Syracuse (8 years)
  • Tight restrictions to what the grant can be used for and there has to be approval anytime the budget is modified

Chairman Warner asked if the grant was decreasing.  Mrs. Karmen responded that the amount went down slightly in 2010 and in 2011 will probably go down again.


Mr. Laguzza asked if there are drills, noting that the very first bullet under “goals and objectives” is developing plans which can be done, but real drills are necessary to prove the plans are feasible.  Are the drills announced or spontaneous?  Mrs. Karmen responded that there are drills of both types.  The call down drills are for contacting emergency personnel and joint drills are with local hospitals and EMS providers.     

  • Focuses on health and medical related emergencies
  • Funding for training, personal protective equipment, exercises and drills

In answer to Mr. Laguzza, Mrs. Karmen indicated this is all federal dollars, no local.  The term of the grant is 2010 – 2013.  The 2011 grant has been passed in the Federal Government for slightly less than 2010.  Mr. Weichselbaum stated $285,000.


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


Chairman Warner stated that when the County takes over the grant, there will be certain positions within the County that will have time involved paid for by the grant.  In the future when the grant is completed, will the taxpayers be left with pension costs or other escalating costs that this grant will no longer cover.  Mrs. Karmen responded the department’s goal, after a grant is no longer funded, is to terminate the positions.  Mrs. Wilson stated that the employees are current employees of Onondaga County and have been in the retirement system already.  There were no new hires.  5% of the grant can be expended for management and administration which has gone to the City and will now go to the County as long as the grant is transferred to the city.


Mrs. Ervin seconded the motion to approve this item.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.


        b.  Advance Step Hire for R.P. 01 404351 2461, Pathologist, Grade 37, Step W @ $110,385 Effective May 14, 2011 ($110,385)

Cynthia Morrow, M.D., Commissioner, Health Department:

  • Request authorization to hire an advanced step Pathologist
  • Had a position that was vacated and notified in January
  • Have done a couple interviews – one prospect accepted an offer Monday for close to $300,000 in Canada
  • Attachment no. 1 handed out


Chairman Warner asked what the County is doing presently.  Dr. Morrow responded that currently there is a contractor in place.  This contractor provides weekend coverage twice a month. 


Dr. Morrow continued:

  • State’s budget does impact funding for the Medical Examiner’s Office (MEO)
  • Eliminates Article 6 (Public Health) funding starting July 2011
  • Currently two bills circulating to reverse this
  • Understanding that it is temporary and there is universal recognition at the State level of the importance of the MEO
  • If sustained, in 2011 it will be a $400,000 hit (approx. 10% of reimbursement funds)
  • Funding is part of the State Health Department reimbursement
  • Reiterating and emphasizing that it is uncertain at this time and there are bills being circulated to reverse

Chairman Warner stated that the current contractor is weekend coverage twice a month and asked how much this is costing.  Dr. Morrow responded that the total cost for the year is $40,000.  It is not a sustainable contract.  Dr. Stoppacher and Dr. Knight cannot continue to operate at the level they are operating at.  (Referring to attachment no. 1)  Looking at how many autopsies, how many external exams, how many cases investigated, etc vs. what the National Association of Medical Examiner’s accreditation standards are.  They will exceed the standards, and Dr. Morrow is deeply concerned that the County will lose their two existing Medical Examiners if the County does not hire a third Pathologist.  Chairman Warner asked if the County hires a third Pathologist, does the outside work (outside Onondaga County) more than pay for the position.  Dr. Morrow responded yes, $260,000.    


  • Outside contracts taken on in 2000 – had a 60% Pathologist
  • Funded increase to an existing position to raise to 100%
  • Individual that left was a step 1 so there is enough in the budget to accommodate this position
  • Last Pathologist hired in 2009 was hired at a Y not a W
  • Advanced step W is $110,385

Mr. Meyer asked what other costs are involved with outside work besides the Pathologist.  Dr. Stoppacher responded there is a per case cost that is relatively minimal that is folded into the greater cost of operating the facility.  Mr. Meyer wanted to know if the Onondaga County residents are subsidizing the work, or is there a little bit of margin involved.  Mrs. Wilson responded that typically what is charged for autopsies is slightly higher than true cost which usually breaks even.  


Mr. Laguzza stated the original objective was to make the MEO a regional office.  If the County does not have the tools to do this, why have the talk ten or twelve years ago.  He was under the impression, as of last month, that the County would go through with this and get the ball rolling.  It is not fair to the workforce at the MEO and to the culture of the environment to put that type of strain on the County’s employees. 


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


Mr. Laguzza said the previous hire was at a Y which is more; why the difference.  Dr. Morrow replied that the last hire came in at a $7,000 hit and felt the offer could not have been any less.  She is fantastic.


Mr. Trunfio:

  • Field of Forensic Science, on the national level of Criminal Justice, is becoming more and more important
  • It dominates discussion in Congress with regards to making sure the Criminal Justice System gets it right
  • Forensic Science is becoming more and more a part of what is done at the MEO
  • Increased marketability for Scientists, i.e.: DNA Scientist or Forensic Pathologist
  • Not hiring a DPW worker
  • Talking about hiring a person with an advanced degree who is a doctor that performs a service
  • Unsustainable with a contract employee
  • Thanksgiving weekend Dr. Stoppacher was in subzero degree weather in Clay Central Park with Mr. Trunfio when we found the body of Jenny Lynn Watson in a swamp.
  • Dr. Stoppacher being out that day and the next day because there is no Pathologist in that rotation
  • Hurts morale for Dr. Stoppacher and the staff
  • Loads up on the District Attorney’s office – Dr. Stoppacher is then involved in two major cases
  • Trickle down affect to keep in mind – reducing staff does not make the work go away
  • Work that is questioned in court and expert testimony
  • Building relationship with the Pathologist not possible with a contract employee
  • Trust factor in court

Mr. Laguzza asked why the County is selling itself short since the last hire was at a Y.  Is the County going to lose opportunities because the wage is coming in low again?  Dr. Morrow replied that it is a possibility. Mr. Laguzza suggested offering a cap to the offer to leave room to negotiate.  Chairman Warner said to leave it the way it is.  There are 14 other Legislators that will need an explanation as to why the County is doing advanced step hires.  It is a very sore subject seeing that there have been many advanced step hires in the past couple years that maybe should not have been.


Mrs. Ervin seconded the motion to approve this item. 


Mr. Laguzza asked if Dr. Morrow is more comfortable with an amount set in stone or an amount to go up to; not to exceed X.  Mrs. Ervin commented that the motion is already on the floor.  Mr. Laguzza responded that it can be amended.  Dr. Morrow deferred to Mrs. Unger and Dr. Stoppacher.  Dr. Stoppacher responded the hire was at a Y because Dr. Knight was more experienced and a more solid candidate.  Most candidates are just coming out of fellowship and are more likely to take a pay cut.  The difference between W and Y is not that significant.  Dr. Stoppacher stated he is all for it if it looks better on paper.


Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.


Chairman Warner asked Mr. Morgan what he wanted to discuss.


Mr. Morgan:

  • Appreciated the recognition
  • Concern with health care

Chairman Warner said Mr. Morgan called earlier in the month to discuss the health care system as it is right now and what the impacts are with the new regulations.  Chairman Warner told him it is at the Federal level.  Chairman Warner suggested having someone from the Congressional office come in and discuss the new health care.  Mr. Morgan replied that it is realized this is not the Obama Care.  Chairman Warner said there would be more discussion and an informational so people in the County will know more about what’s available in health care in Onondaga County.  Mr. Morgan wanted to thank Mr. Meyer for doing things to help those that do not have good health care.


3.     Tour of the Wallie Howard Jr., Forensic Science Center;  Dr. Corrado, Dr. Stoppacher


The meeting was adjourned at 10:36 a.m.


Respectfully submitted,


Jamie M. McNamara, Assistant Clerk

Onondaga County Legislature


* * *





MEMBERS PRESENT:  Mrs. Rapp, Mrs. Tassone, Mr. Buckel, *Mrs. Ervin

ALSO PRESENT:  See attached list


Chairman Corbett called the meeting to order at 10:04 a.m.  A motion was made by Mrs. Rapp, seconded by Mrs. Tassone to waive the reading and approve the minutes of the proceedings of the previous committee meeting; MOTION CARRIED.


1.     LAKE IMPROVEMENT:  Marty Voss, Administrative Director (WEP)

        a.     ACJ Update

  • Modernize report and offer an appropriated spent balance sheet for each month that shows the progress of the various elements within the Save the Rain program
  • Revising format and would like to do electronically to save a tree; keep it brief


Chairman Corbett agrees with the change in format as the information today is at a different level than before.


Mr. Voss continued:

  • Needs to show what has been done, what has yet to be done and cost
  • Highlights for March
  • Very aggressive on Project 50
  • Green roof for the Oncenter is on schedule – contract awarded
  • Tree planting program underway
  • Oncenter parking garage at 50% design
  • Erie Canal Museum green roof analysis underway
  • Work on reuse for hockey rink moving along
  • GIF program in full swing -  35 projects under review
  • Spring Save the Rain program up and running – billboards, internet banner ads, generating interest

Mr. Voss stated for the record there will be an open house on September 17th; noted on the website.  It will be an open house for the plant and a showcase of all the Save the Rain projects, including different booths for the various elements being utilized and different technologies in place.  There has been a lot of interest from ESF.


  • Harbor Brook interceptor is moving along
  • Lower Harbor Brook is at 95% design – conveyances at 95% design
  • Clinton at 100% design
  • CSO 045 at Midland is at 95% design
  • CSO 022 at Clinton Lower MIS is at 95% design
  • Have met all of the four stipulation ACJ milestones to date
  • Consequences if the milestones are not met

Chairman Corbett replied to Mrs. Rapp that the bonding that was held up has not yet affected the stipulations.  Mr. Millea commented that the next step is receiving DEC approval of the design to stay on schedule for the Clinton projects; May 1st target.  The bonding situation being resolved was very helpful.


Mr. Voss continued:

  • Regulatory obstacles are significant, not because they do not like what the County is doing, but because there may be a lack of understanding
  • AMP standard – bi -weekly flow monitoring
  • Quarterly sampling and bacteria sampling – done in March
  • Winter sampling of lake complete
  • Biological monitoring finished
  • Going to be doing the Spring fish check – do electroshock, pull fish from the lake, check their health, check the tags, weigh, measure and send some to the DEC
  • Go to the lake at night to find the fish beds, give a little shock to bring them to the top of the water, grab them and put them in the tank to be checked
  • No new GIF contracts to report
  • Hoping to have new format for report for May committee

*Mrs. Ervin arrived at the meeting.


2.     METROPOLITAN WATER BOARD:  Holly Rosenthal, Administrative Director

        a.     A Resolution Approving Replacement of the Onondaga County Water District's Open Terminal Reservoir Located in the Town Of Clay with Two Enclosed Water Tanks

        b.  A Resolution Authorizing the Issuance of $34,000,000 Bonds of the County of Onondaga, NY, to Pay the Cost of Certain Improvements for the Onondaga County Water District in and for said County ($34,000,000)

Chairman Corbett stated this item is on the terminal reservoir and barrel pump station that was talked about last month saying there would be a full presentation at this month’s committee.  Chairman Corbett wanted to recognize Dereth Glance and congratulate her on her appointment.


Mrs. Rosenthal:

  • Currently have similar issues to the MWB – old equipment that does not always work right but it gets fixed, make do
  • Recognize a lot of people put effort in before Mrs. Rosenthal was in office Dave Fitch, Jean Smiley and all at committee involved with the project
  • Appreciate the effort
  • Slide presentation



Terminal Reservoir Compliance and Associated Farrel Pump Station Improvements


Joanne M. Mahoney, County Executive

Ferdinand L. Picardi, Chairman, MWB





Conceived in the early 60’s, on-line in 1967.  Originally surrounded by farmland – now densely populated commercial corridor.



880,000 people served by the plant in 1.61M population of the City  

                                                                      MWB SLIDE 5


                                                                                              MWB SLIDE 7

                                                                               Water treatment and physical barrier of tanks.

                                                                              City:  using UV to avoid filtration


 Important to note that there were costs to repair and maintain existing facilities regardless of regulatory mandate




23’ height with less than 20 above ground on the low side



Mrs. Rosenthal replied to Mrs. Tassone’s question that the life span for the tank is 50 years with proper maintenance.


                                                                      MWB SLIDE 12

Chairman Corbett wanted to clarify what would be done.  He stated it is coming in single line and then it branches out to an east and west.  It is showing that the MWB will be doing one side at a time.  Mr. Gell responded that it will be one tank at a time and staggered over a few months to make it seamless.  Chairman Corbett continued one side will be shut down (i.e. east), keeping the west side operational, and then conveyances would be run through and back to the pump.  He asked how the pump would be changed. 


Mr. Gell replied:

  • Before the berm is cut to disrupt the operations, a temporary dam will be installed between the two sides of the reservoir
  • Short period of time where there is a center dividing wall that will be half way up the reservoir’s depth
  • Water level will need to be dropped for a short period of time
  • Operations will be restricted and the capacity restricted to approximately 7 ½ million gallons of storage which has been done before
  • The water will be raised back up
  • Complete piping on the west side
  • Connect the west side of the pumping station
  • Capacity will be restored so the east side can be done

Chairman Corbett commented that the County has been lucky with the current generator and asked what the voltage is.  Mr. Gell responded 4160.  Mrs. Rosenthal commented that it is tractor trailer size and will operate one motor.  Chairman Corbett said the County will have emergency back up for one.  He asked if the variable speed drive motor replacements are on demand.  Mrs. Rosenthal responded that the County could be benefiting from them right now.


Mrs. Rosenthal continued:

  • Trying not to bring in an additional pump that would create a demand charge
  • Been able to do without
  • Better ability to control with the variable frequency drives
  • Considering if drive needed on every motor, on one motor or a combination – O’Brien & Gere working on it


Chairman Corbett stated with the alternative energy when it’s solar, low voltage can be run which wouldn’t drop demand on electrical.



                                                                         MWB SLIDE 13

                                                                          MWB SLIDE 14

                           MWB SLIDE 15MWB SLIDE 16


  • Bid project in December 2011
  • Start construction in Spring 2012
  • 2 year construction period, possibly 1 year

Mr. Buckel directed a question to Mr. Seitz asking for a more comprehensive look at the County’s total debt.  Also, what will this project do in terms of annual operating costs as a percentage of the budget?  This type of information is needed whenever the County borrows money.  Mr. Seitz replied that it can be done.  Mr. Buckel continued there should be a schedule, percentage wise, which would be very useful.  The Legislature receives items such as this and then looks at each project but, as joked about in last session, the Legislature spent more time quibbling over $100,000 then over $50 million.  Mrs. Rosenthal mentioned the debt service in the budget would be $1.9 to $2.5 million.  Mr. Buckel continued there are certain standards that have to be met.  There is an operating budget and revenues.  How much is the County borrowing in total; what is the percentage so the Legislature can make responsible decisions.


Mr. Buckel asked Mrs. Rosenthal directly if she had taken any effort to develop a process to protect local workers for a project of this magnitude.  Mrs. Rosenthal responded there have been conversations with the tank constructors in respect to typical methods of construction and typical labor.  The primary subcontractor to the tank contractor has primarily been local.  It is their choice to decide which employees to hire that will do the job best for them, and they are most likely to hire local.  The tanks, besides the earth work, are specialty construction so those that are familiar with the construction of the tanks may come from outside the area.  Some employees of the tank contractors have purchased real estate and moved to Syracuse.  Mr. Buckel responded it means they are not local and wanted the record to show that he will abstain.  He continued that whenever the County engages in a project this large, they prefer the use of local labor.  He will abstain but does agree the project is necessary and well thought out.  He would like to see a process everyone could agree on to support the local workforce.  Mrs. Rosenthal stated at the same make sure the County is getting a competitive price.  Mr. Buckel does not want to bring in unskilled labor from somewhere else if there is skilled labor within the County, and he is willing to pay the premium.  Mrs. Rosenthal responded with the conversations with both tank contractors, it is not just a function of the skills of the trade, but it’s also how willing the laborers are to cross over and complete work one trade to another.  This is a more efficient use of manpower over the course of a day.  Mr. Buckel stated perhaps a project labor agreement is more appropriate.  Mrs. Rosenthal replied that it is not something they are looking at this time. 


Mrs. Rapp stated Mrs. Rosenthal talked about the benefits and cost savings, and wanted to know if it has been quantified as to how much less it would cost.  Mrs. Rosenthal said they are still working on optimizing the design for the Farrell Pump Station energy considerations, but it is reasonable to say $200,000 for electrical savings.  This is the first season of operation with the new tanks so the MWB is just starting to get a handle on the savings for chemical costs.  Mrs. Rapp asked what happens to the water that is currently there, if it will be drained and filled.  Mrs. Rosenthal responded that the dam construction will have to be breached.  Currently looking at how to do it and what it would look like; probably going an extra step then western because it is more visible, the mix of population and activity.  The MWB is considering how to use for retention and run off.  Mrs. Rapp asked if there would be standing water.  Mr. Gell responded that it will be directed one way or another but no one has had conversations about retaining standing water.  Mrs. Rosenthal stated people have suggested a skating rink. 


Mrs. Tassone wanted to know from the four choices considered how this solution was selected.  Mrs. Rosenthal responded the projected cost for each option was a consideration, the operating expense over the lifespan of each option, the maintenance cost over the lifespan, and how it would impact operations during construction and ongoing when construction was complete.  It was determined that this particular tank size and layout would be the best choice.


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


A motion was made by Mrs. Rapp, seconded by Mrs. Tassone to approve item b.  AYES:  3 (Corbett, Rapp, Tassone);  NOES:  0;  ABSTENTIONS:  2 (Buckel, Ervin);  MOTION CARRIED.


3.     WEP:  Matt Millea, Deputy County Executive

       a.     Amending The 2011 County Budget In Order To Provide $1.2 Million In Funding From The Department Of Water Environment Protection To Establish And Promote The Use Of Green Infrastructure Applications Throughout Onondaga County Under The Banner Of Onondaga County’s “Save The Rain” Program ($1,200,000)


  • Follow on to previous discussion for the Save the Rain program and expanding the footprint to the suburban communities
  • In discussions reference funding that was approved, there were concerns the footprint was limited because of the ACJ to the sewer sheds
  • This resolution is an effort to put the word out to communities outside the ACJ zone
  • Expanding the Save the Rain concepts and look forward to partnering with them
  • Timely given the issuance of the New York State Stormwater Management Design Manual in August 2010
  • Stormwater Design Manual has a focus on green infrastructure applications
  • Requires another trip to the Legislature to release the funding
  • Puts the word out to the communities to begin working with their engineers to think about the concepts with regards to their own storm water issues; potentially working with WEP on weather issues regarding the sewer systems

Mrs. Rapp asked how much will be allocated to the first 50 projects.  Mr. Millea responded that it is a hard number to nail down because the first 50 projects have not been picked as of yet.  The entire green infrastructure budget for the ACJ compliance program is $78 million for use through 2018; includes design, acquisition and construction.  The $78 million will be spread out over the next 7 years and a portion will be spent in 2011.  The $1.2 million will be coming out of WEP’s fund balance.  Mrs. Rapp asked if Mr. Millea understands there are still combined sewers in her district and said she doesn’t understand why those would not be a part of the project.  Mr. Millea responded that they are not recognized by the state as combined sewers.  He continued this funding is to attack these issues and it’s for sewer capacity issues in those communities.  Mrs. Rapp stated she is very supportive of the green projects but wanted to suggest that there might be some projects that could be discussed, within in the combined sewer district, that are in the towns to be included in the first wave ($78 million).  Mr. Millea responded the way the bond resolution was crafted was for specific sewer sheds and the bond dollars can only be spent on those specified.  The program itself is expanding and this is not the final dollar amount to discuss for Save the Rain.  This is the first step to expand Save the Rain into the suburbs.  The issues being raised can be discussed through future resolutions within the budget.


Mr. Rhinehart asked who the sponsor is on this resolution.  Chairman Corbett responded that he is.  Mr. Rhinehart asked if the realization was there that taking money from the fund balance is raising taxes.  Mr. Millea responded that the fund balance has taxes paid in.  Mr. Rhinehart agreed and said this is where they came from.  He continued that the original intent for this was to use some bonding money because it is taxing the whole sewer shed for projects, not just in the City, but throughout the sewer shed.  This is just another resolution that says we’ll raise taxes and use some outside the City.  He asked if the money is going to the Save the Rain program.  Mr. Millea responded the $1 million for the construction will be contingent upon future Legislature authorization.  The $200,000 will go into the line item used to promote and provide educational opportunities for the Save the Rain program which is an important part of getting the word out to the suburbs.  Mr. Millea responded to Mr. Rhinehart that promotion and education has been done, but the funds were cut in the budget so it’s been limited on how far it can be spread.  Mr. Rhinehart questioned if the Save the Rain program gave money to Jazz Fest last year, and if they gave money to Lights on the Lake.  Mr. Millea replied it did give money to Jazz Fest last year, but this year it will not and has not given money to Lights on the Lake.  Lights on the Lake was not a paid sponsorship, the trailer for Save the Rain was presented there.  This year all funds are dedicated to the outreach campaign and advertising campaign.


A motion was made by Mrs. Ervin, seconded by Mr. Buckel to approve this item.  AYES:  2 (Buckel, Ervin);  NOES:  0;  ABSTENTIONS:  3 (Corbett, Rapp, Tassone);  MOTION CARRIED.


Chairman Corbett stated there would have to be follow up on this resolution.  Mr. Millea responded it can be reworded for a different approach.  The bond resolutions as approved are just for ACJ compliance.  The County Executive absolutely supports investing in the green infrastructure in the suburbs as done in the City. 


        b.     Report on Outcome of Vender Management RFP (From February Committee): Marty Voss, Administrative Director

        c.     Amending the 2011 County Budget by Transferring $230,000 into the Operating Budget from the Department of Water Environment Protection Fund Balance, to Provide the Necessary Funds in Order to Pay for a Vendor-Managed Inventory Control Program


Chairman Corbett stated there was a typo error on the amount just in the title (item c) and it is less, $175,000. 

  • Finished the RFP process for the fleet inventory management put into budget
  • Contract has been awarded to a local vendor – vendor in contract phase of award
  • Budget - no resources put in the 408 Professional Services line to cover the cost of administering the contract and the 300 Parts Supply line was cut
  • Not enough resources in either to finish out the year
  • Vendor – United Auto Supply

Mr. Buckel asked Chairman Corbett to open the floor to Mr. Masterpole.  Chairman Corbett stated there was something hand delivered the other day that was sent in to the Clerk and the appropriate people in Legal and Purchasing.  It was a question from one of the vendors who was not successful.  Because it has been sent, Chairman Corbett allowed comment from Mr. Masterpole.


Mr. Masterpole asked when the bid was awarded.  Mr. Voss responded last week and Mrs. Tarolli clarified that it has not been awarded.  Mr. Voss clarified that the decision was made by Purchasing but has not been executed. 


Chairman Corbett requested Mrs. Tarolli stand by as there could be conflict.  He knows there was a request for FOIL and that it was 20 days as of yesterday.  He is not sure if the company will sue the County or how it will come out. 


Mr. Masterpole stated he voted against Voice Over IP for a similar situation.  There are allegations pending from a vendor that has been received saying the successful bidder does not meet the qualifications on the RFP.  Mr. Masterpole is requesting the Legislature not ram the resolution through committee to session before the FOIL request comes in.  He would like to wait and find out what the outcome is whether valid or invalid.  The County has received numerous allegations about the RFP’s.  Mr. Masterpole would like the company to get the FOIL request and find out if the allegations are valid.  Mr. Masterpole respectfully requests Chairman Corbett or Mr. Voss to withdraw this resolution until this happens.  


Mr. Voss continued:

  • Departments crafts the RFP
  • Issues it
  • It comes back - make the recommendations
  • RFP Committee makes the decision
  • The interest of WEP is to make sure to function properly and have the ability to provide parts for the 1200 vehicles from 14 departments including WEP.

Mr. Masterpole asked if there was another position that was added within the last two months.  Mr. Voss confirmed it was in March and agreed with Mr. Masterpole that there is no rush.  Mr. Voss clarified that he cannot fill the position if the County is going to sign a contract.  He went on to answer Mr. Masterpole that there was no transfer of money involved, the position would be funded from the 101 account.  Mr. Masterpole stated that the Legislature was told WEP needed the position because a vendor had not been selected and there were no savings.  Mr. Voss agreed.  Mr. Masterpole said the bid gets awarded in late March and is now being slammed through in April; not right.  Chairman Corbett stated he would not say “slammed through”.  Mr. Millea commented there was a contingency if the contract was awarded, the position would be eliminated.  Mr. Voss agreed.  Mr. Buckel stated he would like to see the minutes.  Mr. Masterpole disagrees because he does not believe that is what was said.  Mr. Millea stated it was still up for debate at that time and it can be checked. 


Mr. Voss stated the first set of responses came back and the costs were very high.  He came back in March for the position before the second set of responses came in. 


Mr. Masterpole asked if there is a rushed need from WEP to put this through in the current committee and next session.  Is it unreasonable to ask to delay this one month until the non-successful company receives their FOIL request?  Chairman Corbett responded even if it is moved and goes forward, it still has to go through Ways and Means since it is financing.  Mr. Masterpole is concerned that the Legislature will approve this resolution, the successful respondent begins arrangements, and then finds out the successful bidder did not meet the terms of the RFP.  Chairman Corbett clarified that the authorization is not at this committee and until it is voted on the floor, nothing happens.  Chairman Corbett responded to Mr. Masterpole that even if it is withdrawn here, it can still be brought up in Ways and Means.  Mrs. Tarolli confirmed.  Mr. Millea suggested moving forward with the recommendation and prior to Ways and Means having a discussion on what the proper response is to this because it was just received yesterday.  There may be strange circular records and there was no ability to respond to the RFP until the RFP is closed and awarded, which would be problematic to the points that are being raised.  Mr. Millea would suggest discussing with counsel how to address the questions that are raised prior to executing the contract.  He would like to move it to Ways and Means and if not able to respond affirmatively or affectively, then the discussion would continue at Ways and Means.  Within two weeks there should be answers to the questions.  Mr. Voss confirmed with Mrs. Tarolli that the document cannot be released until it is done. 


Mr. Masterpole stated United Auto Supply, the successful bidder, is within the 17th district and he is not coming in against his own constituent.  Mr. Masterpole is trying to protect the County from lawsuit. 


Mr. Buckel stated he is not concerned with the lawsuit but with the process.  This is the second time it has happened and disappointed vendors raise issues about this.  He would like to see the actual cost analysis if it is going to be voted on, before Ways and Means.  Mr. Voss responded that Purchasing did an analysis, with the help of the DMB on the long term carrying costs of employees, and that made the difference.  Mr. Voss stated he took the salaries plus the fringe and that was the value he used.  He did not look at the long term exposure.  Mr. Buckel replied the assumptions used may not be accurate and may not be a fair comparison because the long term costs are translated into annual operating costs.  Mr. Buckel would like to see it. 


Chairman Corbett motioned to move it without recommendation to Ways and Means.


Chairman Corbett would like the powers to be to get together and go over what the concerns are.  He asked if it was fair to everyone and all agreed.


4.     Requesting the Deputy County Executive-Physical Services to Review Whether any Additional Measures Could be Implemented to Prevent Disposal of Hydrofracking Fluids and Flowback at Onondaga County Wastewater Treatment Facilities (Sponsored by Mr. Corbett)


Chairman Corbett:

  • A year and a half ago – proposed law on high volume hydrofracking on County lands
  • Pennsylvania – raised heightened awareness of what to do with the backflow waters from high volume hydrofracking
  • Companies that do this have still not declared what’s in it
  • Stopped allowing disposal in Pennsylvania
  • Last few months – municipalities, private treatment plants, public treatment plants have been accepting it in New York
  • Now starting to stop this
  • One issue – besides the chemicals – certain areas with high rate in the ground is the waste could contain substances that would make it radioactive
  • No means to test this currently
  • In place means to not accept these types of waste
  • Asking Deputy County Executive and Executive branch to direct our waste treatment plants and wherever this could be brought to, to look at our policies
  • Watertown – manager did not understand the policies and accepted a few truckloads and now have a lot of problems
  • Onondaga County spent so much effort and resources to clean up areas around the lake to become leaders in green
  • Onondaga County has one of the best water sources in all of New York
  • Hate to see that go backwards if some of this gets accepted and discharged into one of the treatment plants and in the water source
  • Asking for support on requesting taking a heightened awareness and the ability not to accept any of these through the County

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


Mr. Buckel asked what the authority is of the Legislature for policies stating the County will not accept.  Mrs. Tarolli replied she would have to look at article 11a.  Mr. Buckel commented it would be a relationship between the Legislature and the system.  Mr. Buckel asked if this implicates the ACJ.  He stated our situation is unique to other counties because we are operating under supervision that affects this very situation.  It is something worthwhile to look into.  He believes the Legislature has the ability to say “no way” and if the County wanted to do it, it may need court approval.  Mrs. Tarolli replied that she would have to look into it.


Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.


5.     Memorializing County Support for the Eventual Transfer of a Parcel of Land Along Onondaga Lake to the Onondaga Nation in Recognition of the Sacred Interest in Onondaga Lake and the Historically Significant Events that Occurred on Its Shores (Sponsored by Mr. Buckel)


Chairman Corbett and Mrs. Ervin requested to be added as co-sponsors.


Mr. Buckel:

  • Originated due to the work from one citizen – Lloyd Withers
  • First elected – first thing was to participate in a large scale meeting Mr. Withers put together
  • This involved various community leaders, members of the Onondaga Nation and their representatives, representatives from the County Executive’s office and other citizens
  • Discussed the history of the lake and the spiritual significance of the lake to the Onondaga Nation
  • Discussed the possibility of the County deeming back a portion of the lake
  • Focus at the time became Murphy’s Island – stand alone parcel the County obtained for park use
  • Many reasons well summarized by Sean Kirst in his article
  • Mr. Withers gave Mr. Buckel a concurrent resolution from 1988 – recognizes the contributions of the Iroquois confederacy to our constitution and pledging the nation’s responsibility to exercise the utmost good faith in dealing with Iroquois confederacy (including Onondaga Nation)
  • Read from email by Lieutenant Colonel of the United States Air Force retired, Temple Meyers:

“My email is to tell every Onondaga County Legislator that I am strongly in favor of the initiatives that our community is considering as described by columnist Sean Kirst today.  This piece of legislation might well be the most notable act by our County Legislature in the last 100 years.  The Onondaga’s have always been respectful stewards of this land and it is obvious that they are the ones who deserve to have it wholly returned to their care.  I am certain that they would opt to share this island with everyone.  It is only fair and logical that there be an accompany agreement between the County and the Onondaga’s concerning the cleanup of this particular mess.”

  • An email from a retired Lieutenant of the Air Force speaks volumes to the sense of justice and moral obligation the Legislature has to do this
  • Preliminarily based on emails and calls it’s sensed that the community supports this

Chairman Corbett:

  • Has been involved with this for a long time
  • Went from doing a law to a memorializing resolution
  • There are some challenges and concerns that do not have to do with the clean up
  • It is still designated as a park
  • Only way to the property besides water vehicle is a CSX owned entrance
  • This is the best way to start proceedings forward
  • Memorializing resolution – can have some teeth once started

Mr. Buckel commented to have all the technicals required for a law would be an enormous amount of work which could be done but this process is very important.  Let this occur organically and make the statement of policy. 


Mrs. Tassone stated it is a good resolution but there are a few things to watch including liability, clean up standards and what about the trail the County would like to do around the lake.  Mr. Buckel responded Chairman Corbett covered those issues, and that is why the County would need a statement of policy.  Chairman Corbett commented CSX is a problem with the loop, not the island.  Chairman Corbett went on that he has been working on this for 10 years and went to Jim Walsh and found out CSX is more powerful than our Congressmen.  Mrs. Tassone asked if the Committee would go out and check the site before anything is done.  Mr. Buckel said that he has been to the site.  Chairman Corbett stated this was a “stepchild” for years, and it’s almost like land he represented off Willis Avenue by Solvay Process where people thought they could dump things.  He went on that there is an image of eagles and a nesting area; they live where they can get stuff.  There are things that need to be done.  Mr. Buckel said some younger citizens of the community may be using this land at night for recreational purposes. 


Mrs. Rapp stated from a 30,000 foot perspective this is a no-brainer.  Since she spoke with Mr. Withers she’s heard park alienation, CSX and cleanup, none of which are unsolvable but they are not solved.  This will raise awareness and gets people talking.  Chairman Corbett commented when he was a construction electrician, he had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with friends that are Onondagas and Mohawks.  He went on that the terminology “Seven Generations” is part of their belief.  The Legislature can move this forward and as it organically grows, time may be of the essence but it could be part of the “Seven Generations” as long as it is all done right. 


Mr. Rhinehart asked if they could put a casino there.  Chairman Corbett replied no because it is not part of the agreement and it is not traditional.  That was considered immediately.  Mr. Buckel stated this Nation is not part of the casino down the road, and they have a very spiritual opposition to it. 


Mrs. Ervin commented the Legislators are all on the same page and it is certainly the right thing to do.  How it gets done is beyond the Legislature.  This step will help it happen and it is only right and proper.


A motion was made by Mrs. Ervin, seconded by Mr. Buckel to approve this item.  AYES:  4 (Corbett, Rapp, Buckel, Ervin);  NOES:  0;  ABSTENTIONS:  1 (Tassone);  MOTION CARRIED.


The meeting was adjourned at 11:29 a.m.


Respectfully submitted,


Jamie M. McNamara, Assistant Clerk

Onondaga County Legislature

* * *




MEMBERS PRESENT:  *Mr. Masterpole, Mr. Lesniak, Mr. Dougherty, Mrs. Tassone, Mr. Kinne


ALSO PRESENT:  see attached list


Chair Rapp called the meeting to order at 9:03 a.m.  A motion was made by Mr. Lesniak, seconded by Mr. Dougherty to waive the reading and approve the minutes of the proceedings of the previous committee meeting; MOTION CARRIED.


1.     ONONDAGA COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARYSally Carmer, Director of Administrative Services

        a.     Confirming Appointment to the Onondaga County Public Library Board of Trustees (Richard C. Engel)

  • Fills last vacant spot on the board; five years with one five year renewal; new appointment

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

2.     TRANSPORTATION:  Brian Donnelly, Commissioner

        a.      A Resolution Authorizing the Reconstruction and Construction of Improvements to Various Bridges in and for the County of Onondaga, New York, at a Maximum Estimated Cost of $1,400,000, and Authorizing the Issuance of $1,400,000 Bonds of Said County to Pay the Cost Thereof ($1,400,000)

        b.     A Resolution Authorizing the Reconstruction and Construction of Improvements to Various Highways in and for the County of Onondaga, New York, at a Maximum Estimated Cost of $9,777,000, and Authorizing the Issuance of $9,777,000 Bonds of Said County to Pay the Cost Thereof ($9,777,000)

        c.     Amending the 2011 County Budget in the County Road Fund to Increase Appropriations and Estimated Revenues in Order to Provide Funding for the 2011 Highway Workplan Using Funds from the Department of Transportation’s 2010 Operating Budget ($450,000)


  • Items a, b and c are all in conjunction with the 2011 Highway Work Plan through DOT (yellow document)
  • Work plan demonstrates what the intentions are for funding over the 2011 year
  • Summary provided on attachment no. 1
  • Overall amount is up considerably
  • Increase solely due to Federal funds
  • Approximately $15 million more in Federal funds this year versus last year
  • Last year of the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) cycle
  • TIP is a Capital plan, same as done for the County, for projects
  • Lots of projects were back loaded so there is a tremendous amount of money available
  • All of the work will not transpire in 2011
  • Key to Federal funding is having the funds obligated
  • Projects listed as Federal aid projects will be obligated by that September but construction will not start until the next year

Chair Rapp inquired how the next TIP cycle will work.  Mr. Donnelly responded another five years which would be 2012 – 2017.  Chair Rapp asked if it would be reduced.  Mr. Donnelly replied it is not known at this point.  Documentation was received this week regarding the Federal budget and what the impact will be on Federal highway administration.  There are cuts as far as FTA, FAA, and some Federal highway cuts.  Not sure where the highway cuts will be – reached out to Syracuse Metropolitan Transportation Council (SMTC) to find out what the impact will be on New York State and the projects going forward but nothing known as of yet.  In response to Chair Rapp, Mr. Donnelly said this does give a little assurance.  


Mr. Donnelly continued:

  • Paving is similar to last year
  • Down slightly in hot mix
  • Up slightly in cold mix
  • Paving decision based on visual inspection and paving rating system – company hired by County via RFP that rates the roads so there is an empirical scale to gauge the roads
  • Similar plan to last year except for increase in Federal money
  • Requesting $450,000 out of Department of Transportation (DOT) fund balance
  • Put in for $1 million in cash in the budget – reduced to $550,000 – want to make up the difference with fund balance
  • Documentation from last month’s meeting reference the fund balance – last month needed to allocate money from fund balance for salt and fuel


Chair Rapp inquired if this amount was for paving.  Mr. Donnelly responded that it is cash for distribution.  He referred to the first page of the work plan.  Included in 2011 operating budget, the million dollar total is distributed amongst a variety of different projects.  Money is used for projects that do not qualify for long term bonding.  Chair Rapp asked how much is left in the fund balance.  Mr. Donnelly responded assuming approval on the $450,000, it would leave a total of $263,863.  Going into 2010, fund balance was $111,000 and $1.1 million was added; generally DOT fund balance is $100,000-$150,000.  


Mr. Lesniak asked if any of the projects listed in the work plan starting this year versus next year.


Mr. Donnelly:

  • Rural paving project should begin this year
  • Traffic signal improvement should begin this year
  • Bridge projects will begin next year
  • Route 5 paving should begin next year

Mr. Lesniak stated to be put on the record:  With the overall plan, where is the County as far as years?  Seems to be dropping behind each year on what the normal road maintenance would have been.  Mr. Donnelly agreed and noted:

  • Fortunate the County highway system is in good shape and well cared for
  • Perfect world: the goal of the paving program is to avoid full depth reconstruction of a road which involves taking all of it out and putting it all back
  • Paving normally done is only about 3-4” milled off and put back
  • To avoid full reconstruction, theoretically, it would take 45 miles of hot mix annually and 19 miles cold mix
  • Only 1 year out of 20 that the County has met those goals
  • Aiming for 38 and 15
  • 2008 had a spike in fuel prices coupled with a shortage of liquid asphalt which made the price of paving go through the roof
  • Estimated to be approximately 1 year behind
  • Agrees with Mr. Lesniak’s comment that based on the annual budget, the DOT is approximately $14-$16 million behind
  • Hopes if the economy improves, they will ramp it back up but based on discussions with Management and Budget, this was the prudent expenditure


Mr. Lesniak inquired about the $100,000 in facility repairs marked East Molloy Road.


Mr. Donnelly:

  • East Molloy Road is holding its own
  • DOT is in discussion with the towns and villages reference plowing which would certainly impact what the need was for a highway facility
  • Doing stop gap measures for repairing the roof
  • Something will have to be done in the north area in the next 2-3 years because the County is looking at a minimum of putting a roof on it
  • $100,000 is over all four facilities and at this time the money is better spent at Jamesville and Marcellus
  • Cicero and north area are the oldest and in the roughest shape

Mr. Lesniak asked what Oswego County and Onondaga County are doing regarding the Three Rivers Bridge (Rt. 57) and repairs, as there have been issues reported.  Mr. Donnelly said that bridge painting is scheduled for this summer but not aware of structural issues; will check and see if there is an issue


Mr. Kinne asked what the Velasko ROW means.  Mr. Donnelly responded it is acquisition of Velasko Right of Way; Federal Aid project.  Mr. Kinne thought this was done and asked what section of Velasko.  Mr. Donnelly responded Velasko and McDonald.  DOT had done a portion and the proposal is to fund the rest of the right of way acquisition.  Mr. Kinne asked if the County bought land for a new garage in the north.  Mr. Donnelly responded that the land was bought, but DOT did not move forward with building the facility based on the discussions with towns and villages.  If there is a mutual agreement for plowing with the towns and villages, it may change what is needed for physical space; possibly building a multijurisdictional facility.  Mr. Kinne asked if there was a date the DOT is waiting until to make the plans.  Mr. Donnelly responded the County Executive would like to have a plan in place by 2012.  Looking to negotiate a one year rate for 2011-2012 season and have a more encompassing plan for 2012-2013.  Chair Rapp commented that it would be $30 million to build a facility and maybe there is a better way.  Mr. Donnelly agreed with Mr. Kinne that the Federal Government is giving the County more money. 


A motion was made by Mr. Lesniak, seconded by Mr. Masterpole to approve items a, b and c. 


Chair Rapp confirmed with Mrs. Tarolli that all items could be voted on as one.


Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.



        a.     H1 Building – Update On Renovations and Plans – Bill Emm, Amy Kremenek

Mr. Emm:

  • 2007 – County transferred ownership from the County to the College which included 48 acres of land
  • Two buildings on the property known as H1 and H3
  • Been working on H1
  • Did engineering study on the building – mechanicals, electrical and plumbing shot
  • Vacant for a decade
  • Emptied the building out and left main floors and exterior in place
  • Renovating the last year – replacing mechanicals
  • Four floors and 45,000 square feet
  • Expect completion in mid June and programs to start the second of July
  • Working to fit in budget
  • Historical building – trying not to change too much
  • Hoping to create a Regional Higher Education Center in H1
  • Current program with Keuka College – students attend OCC for two years and finish the last two years in an accelerated program through Keuka College
  • Want to develop the four year school programs – Delhi and Cobleskill
  • Continued extended learning division – non-credit side of house (also in H1)
  • Small Business Development Center (H1)
  • Public Safety Program (H1)

In answer to Mr. Lesniak, Mr. Emm clarified it is not OCC’s four year programs, these would be other schools renting the classrooms.  Partnership with the mentioned institutions where they come in and finish the last two years.  The actual diploma would be from Keuka or Delhi.  Mr. Lesniak asked if the County gets reimbursed.  Mr. Emm replied the college would hire their own faculty and rent the classrooms from OCC.  The classes for Public Safety would be in the building.  Coyne will be turned into a strictly administrative building freeing up academic space in the main campus portion.  The first program in H1 will be College for Kids on July 2nd.  In response to Mr. Lesniak, Mr. Emm stated the Public Safety classes would not be scheduled for a month or two after the July opening.  Mr. Lesniak asked if there is a rough number for cost per square foot with renovating versus a new building construct.  Mr. Emm responded it was $8.4 million for the renovation, which includes demolition and asbestos abatement (45,000 sq ft by $8.4 million).  $3.1 million is from the state and the rest is from the college operating capital


Chair Rapp asked if there were plans for the remaining 48 acres.  Mr. Emm replied there is a cross country trail being used.  A lot of the acres are steep hills. The H3 building may be used and possibly for future housing. 


Mr. Kinne asked what the time frame is for the other remodeling and moving; i.e. for Coyne.  Mr. Emm replied the administration will move in as is.  Regarding the remaining academic space, Mr. Emm said the college is looking for more academic programs.  Any changes necessary would come from operating capital. 


Ms. Kremenek:

  • Building is a historic structure and OCC has been working with the Town of Onondaga Historical Society to prepare an exhibit that will be on the first floor of the lobby
  • Evening event – sneak preview to hear from those who have been actively working on the building including the Binghamton Archeology Center
  • Saturday event – community wide open house where people can come and hear about the programming to be offered in the building
  • Do not think it is a registered historical building but there will be a historical yellow and navy marker

Chair Rapp stated one of the big advantages is that since it is not directly on campus, there is easy in and out.


4.     FACILITIES MANAGEMENT:  William Fisher, Deputy County Executive, Brian Lynch, Commissioner

          a.     Amendatory Bond Resolution Authorizing the Purchase of a Fire Control Panel and Overhead Door as Part of Improvements to the Oncenter Complex in and for the County of Onondaga, New York ($300,000)


Mr. Fisher:

  • September 7th – Legislation passed making changes to the Oncenter management agreement; gave County Executive the ability to modify the arrangement
  • Responsibility for maintenance and repairs to the Oncenter complex were transferred to Facilities Management
  • October 5th, 2010 – County Executive and Terri Toennies signed amendment to management agreement 
  • Management agreement notifies the Oncenter that the County Executive may elect to make this change
  • Change made by letter as of October
  • Also stated after said termination date (Oncenter no longer handling repairs), the Oncenter has the responsibility to continue to inspect systems, machines, equipment, furnishings and all complex buildings and grounds (interior or exterior)
  • Oncenter must provide a notice of any known defects or fixtures in need of repair to the Commissioner of Facilities Management - Oncenter has provided the notice to the Commissioner – two items
  • Discuss how to pay for it - make use of some money previously raised through a bond sale (War Memorial Project)
  • Amendatory bond resolution – requires 13 votes


Mr. Lynch:

  • Two items to discuss
  • First is replacement of a fire alarm panel - original fire alarm panel – no longer get parts for, on borrowed time; consultants said if something breaks there will be no panel and it will be a 24 hour fire watch
  • Propose to put in a new fire alarm panel in Convention Center; have expertise as it was just done in the Civic Center
  • Ready to go and at Legislature for funding of the project
  • Second - Oncenter built with custom made doors – 47’ wide overhead door on Montgomery Street side
  • Issue with custom built is that it is not easy to replace parts
  • After several repairs ($6,700), overhead door consultant will no longer service the door 
  • Safety hazard, sprockets and springs are not stable, cannot get replacement parts
  • Replace overhead door and fabricate it correctly

Chair Rapp asked if the Convention Center could have a series of two or three doors instead.  Mr. Wixson replied the orientation of the loading docks at Montgomery Street does not allow for a 55’ trailer to navigate around center poles which would be required for independent doors.  Mr. Wixson confirmed Mr. Dougherty’s question that if you have a 47’ door, you replace it with a 47’ door.  Mr. Dougherty asked if there would still be the same problem.  Mr. Wixson responded that it is expected to have a 20 year life span.  Mr. Lynch said the current door is 18 years old; the door is fatigued.  It is a single spring, the controller has been modified several times and the safety sensors have a life span.  There is wear and tear, and chronic damage from tractor trailers that hit it.  Mr. Lynch stated there will be a warranty.


Mr. Lynch responded to Mr. Lesniak that the door is used daily.  Mr. Lesniak asked if it would be cheaper to do two doors and put in a forklift to unload in the street.  Ms. Toennies said the problem would be trade shows. 


Mr. Lynch:

  • Fire alarm panel is $240,000; overhead door is $60,000


Mr. Lesniak asked if under NFPA, if the fire alarm panel meets code.  Mr. Wixson replied that it is not in compliance with current codes.  There needs to be work done on the fire alarm system.  Mr. Lynch said that it has been put out for bid - Great Lake Systems is the company.  Mr. Lesniak asked what kind of system will be put in.  Mr. Widay responded that it is the Empire System, same as the Civic Center.  Mr. Lynch confirmed that the system is ADA compliant with synchronized neons.  Mr. Fisher stated that it all ties to the same control room so the operation at the heating and cooling plant is where the alarms will go.  Mr. Lesniak asked on a whole for the complex, noting the War Memorial has been done, where is the County as far as the Civic Center Theater and others for fire alarm systems.  Mr. Widay responded that the Civic Center system (same as the War Memorial and the one to put in the Convention Center) is up and running.  What needs to be done is the tie in to every building to come back to the control room.  It is operational.  Mr. Lynch agreed with Mr. Lesniak that once the County is done with the emergency system for the Convention Center, it is done for the entire complex.  Mr. Lynch replied to Mr. Lesniak that it is an outside contract.  


Mr. Masterpole asked what the original bonding this was left over from.  Mr. Lynch responded it was the War Memorial project, the War Memorial roof replacement, the locker rooms, the complex wide War Memorial improvements.  There will be approximately $200,000 after the $300,000 is taken.  Mr. Masterpole asked if there were bids out for the door, and are there many companies that can do the work.  Mr. Lynch replied that the bid is not out and there are about three or four companies.  In answer to Mr. Masterpole, Mr Lynch said the same company that will not do any more repairs is one of the few companies that will bid.  The County was willing to pay the company to keep fixing the door but they would not take the money.  Mr. Wixson commented that when they came to fix the door the last time, they had to use three fork trucks to hold the door up.  It is purely a safety issue to not continue fixing the door.  Mr. Masterpole commented that Ms. Toennies and he went to the Rochester to look at their facility.  His question was if the County would make real improvements to the War Memorial or just continue to fix garage doors.  Mr. Fisher responded now that Facilities Management is taking over, one of Mr. Lynch’s many roles is to take a request from the management of each of the different buildings and put them together into a plan.  In the near future, he will be bringing a plan for all the buildings including the Oncenter, War Memorial and Civic Center.  Mr. Masterpole stated he is specifically talking about the War Memorial and has been for the last few years.  The County misses the chance for good shows because the facility is not up to what it should be; i.e. the rafters are not strong enough for certain sound equipment.  Mr. Fisher responded that some of the items are on Ms. Toennies’ list.  Mr. Lynch and his team have gone through those items; Mr. Lynch and Mr. Millea will be looking at all the work that needs to be done and what the priorities are. 


Chair Rapp wanted to compliment Ms. Toennies on the merchant business luncheon that was held.  She had great reservations about 1,000 people being there but it was really good.  Mr. Lesniak commented that he went to the opening ceremonies for the United States Bowling Congress and spoke with a gentleman from Dallas.  The Dallas native said he was very impressed with the job done.  He went on to say it out did the job done in Dallas last year.  Ms. Toennies said there was great staff and everyone did a fantastic job. 


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


5.     Authorizing the Grant of an Easement on County Property Located Along Howlett Hill Road in the Town of Marcellus to Kevin Lord and Erika Thornton (Sponsored By Mr. Masterpole):  Mr. Masterpole


Mr. Masterpole:

  • Received a phone call from an attorney in Camillus
  • Marty Murphy crafted the resolution
  • The people are attempting to sell their house

Mr. Murphy stated that part of their back deck and part of their house encroaches on County owned property.  Mr. Masterpole continued that it was an old electric railway the County acquired.  Mr. Murphy said it was 30 years ago.  Mr. Masterpole said the appraised value is $15 because it is only an encroachment.  Either they have to tear down their house or pay the $15 for encroachment. 


A motion was made by Mr. Dougherty, seconded by Mrs. Tassone to approve this item.


In answer to Mr. Kinne, Mr. Murphy said the house was built in the 1960’s and there must have been a survey error.  The current owner has only owned since 2000.  Mr. Masterpole commented that the error is now caught and the attorney’s want a clean sale with no question.  Mr. Lesniak stated that the County has a lot of this issue going on, and that at some point the County should look at the easements and lands.  Chair Rapp agreed stating that there are 300 buildings the County is paying expenses on.  Mr. Masterpole continued that it is only $15 for 500 square feet to help the person finish the sale.  Mr. Kinne wanted to know why it was assessed in 1960, and again six or so years ago, and only now was it caught.  Mr. Masterpole assumed the attorney before may have turned a blind eye and the current attorney does not want to do that.


6.     Amending the 2011 County Budget to Provide the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra Foundation, Inc. with Funds to Assist in Procuring the Services of Yo -Yo Ma (Sponsored by Mrs. Rapp) - PULLED


The meeting was adjourned at 9:52 a.m.


Respectfully submitted,


Jamie M. McNamara, Assistant Clerk

Onondaga County Legislature



* * *




MEMBERS PRESENT:  Ms. Williams, Mr. Dougherty, Mr. Stanczyk


ALSO PRESENT:  Mr. Masterpole, Mr. Rhinehart and see attached list


Chair Rapp called the meeting to order at 10:38 a.m.  A motion was made by Mr. Stanczyk, seconded by Mr. Dougherty to waive the reading and approve the minutes of the proceedings of the previous committee meeting.  MOTION CARRIED.



        a.     Appointment to the Board of Directors of the Onondaga County Civic Development Corporation (Thomas Cerio)


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


2.     PLANNING: Don Jordan, Director

        a.     Calling for a Public Hearing on the Proposed Inclusion of Viable Agricultural Lands within Certified Agricultural Districts Pursuant to Section 303-B of the New York State Agriculture and Markets Law

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


3.     COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT: Robert DeMore, Director

        a.     Amending the 2011 County Budget to Accept a Purchase-Rehab Program Grant from the N.Y.S. Housing Finance Agency for the Community Development Program and Authorizing the County Executive to Enter into Contracts to Implement this Resolution ($600,000)

  • $600,000 grant shared with Empire Development Corp.; $300,000 for each
  • Community Development will fund 10- $30,000 subsidies in the towns, Empire Development will do the same in the city
  • Subsides for qualifying low income participants
  • Must live in the home for 10 years for subside forgiveness; 5 years or less repay the entire loan, over 5 years sliding repayment scale
  • Homes are often HUD homes


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

  • Community Development chooses homes to be purchased with money received from the county
  • Home is rehabbed and then sold, helps to improve the neighborhood
  • Money is returned to the county when home is sold
  • Cannot make money, hope to break even with this grant


Mr. Stanczyk stated that recipients must qualify through HUD guidelines to be eligible for the subsidy and have sufficient income to afford the house.  It helps a thin band of people but without this it is presumed they would not be able to afford a house of this quality.  Mr. DeMore stated the homes are completely redone with new bath, kitchen, windows and doors. 


Mr. Stanczyk stated he wants the homes to be in locations that will be the most beneficial.  He hates to see delinquent property stock cherry picked for this.  HUD homes are fine.  Mr. DeMore stated that he is currently looking at a home from a woman that is in a nursing facility.  There is a lean on the property with some discount if purchased.  The home owner has a mortgage with us; giving us a little more cushion.  He is careful with repair costs, so that we don’t lose money. 

  • Homes are located in distressed areas in the towns and villages, city has their own program
  • Homes are purchased as they become available, not in one chosen area
  • Community Development tracks located throughout the county


Chair Rapp stated that there are 16 refurbished houses, located on the same street in Mattydale.  This took place over the last ten years and has really turned the neighborhood around. 


Passed unanimously, MOTION CARRIED.


        b.     Amending the 2011 County Budget to accept a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for the Lead-Based Paint Hazard Control Program and Authorizing the County Executive to Enter into Contracts to Implement this Resolution ($3,100,000)

  • Anticipate repairing 175 homes
  • Must have a child under the age of 6 living in the home or visiting the home often
  • 60 contractors receive funds via the grant
  • Health Department. provides referrals
  • 2/3 of the way through the $6.6 million previously received
  • 2 month waiting list
  • Recently ran lead television ad


Mr. Stanczyk requested they deal with home owner occupied property, rather than commercial.  In the past, there were instances dealing with commercial property buildings.  If this were to happen in the future, a good explanation would be required.  Mr. DeMore stated that he would try to avoid this.


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

4.     INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY:  Ken Beam, Chief Information Officer

        a.     Amending the 2011 County Budget to Transfer Funds for the Reorganization of the Department of Information Technology ($144,235)

        b.     Create RP 01 102700 1374, Director of Application Services, Grade 35 @ $71,784 - $96,450, effective May 14, 2011

                 Create RP 01 102700 1393, Director of Infrastructure Services, Grade 35 @ $71,784 - $96,450, effective May 14, 2011

                Create RP 01 102700 1399, Director of Client Services, Grade 35 @ $71,784 - $96,450, effective May 14, 2011

                Create RP 01 102700 1402, Help Desk Operator, Grade 08 @ $39,599 - $43,784, effective May 7, 2011

                Create RP 01 102700 1414, Help Desk Operator, Grade 08 @ $39,599 - $43,784, effective May 7, 2011

                Abolish RP 01 102700 0707. Application Program Manager, Grade 34 @ $65,489 - $87,966, effective upon successful

                completion of the incumbent’s probationary period

                Abolish RP 01 102700 7346, Application Program Manager, Grade 34 @ $65,489 - $87,966, effective May 7, 2011

                Abolish RP 01 102700 7389, Console Operator Grade 10 @ $46,225 - $51,147, effective May 7, 2011

                Abolish RP 01 102700 7375, Programmer Trainee, Grade 08 @ $39,599 - $43,784, effective May 7, 2011


Mr. Beam provided handouts of Information Technology Reorganization Activity and the IT Organizational Chart (on file with the Clerk).

  • 5 positions created
  • 4 positions to be abolished and 1 position unfunded


Mr. Stanczyk stated that this goes back to the budget. The cost is $144,000 because one of the positions was unfunded.  Mr. Beam agreed.


In answer to Mr. Dougherty, Chair Rapp stated she was sponsoring the resolution.  Mr. Dougherty requested to be added as co-sponsor. 

  • Effective immediately upon approval
  • Client Services position is not on staff and has not been hired; remaining positions will be filled with existing personnel
  • All abolished positions are no longer working for IT or have retired


A motion was made by Ms. Williams, seconded by Mr. Dougherty to approve items 4a and 4b.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.


        c.     INFORMATIONAL - WEBCASTING:  Ken Beam, Chief Information Officer; Bill Fisher, Deputy County Executive

Chair Rapp stated that she has agreed to add this as an informational item on the agenda.  During the State of the County address the County Executive spoke of webcasting legislative sessions. 


A photo of the camera was passed around the committee for review.

  • Camera will be placed on a tripod
  • Camera operator to be determined, perhaps someone from Management & Budget or IT
  • Will be used to broadcast Local Law Public Hearings held in the County Executive’s office
  • County Executive has asked IT to look into this
  • Some NYS Counties are currently webcasting; some are expensive solutions


Mr. Stanczyk questioned if this was a solution, what is the problem it is solving.   Mr. Fisher responded that the public would love to hear from you.   For those unable to make it to the session or public hearings, the camera would be set up for live broadcasting.

  • Transmitter located on top of the camera would transmit to website: ongov.net/ongovlive
  • Items transmitted would be at the discretion of the legislature


Mr. Fisher stated they would not come over and start broadcasting things from the Legislative Chamber.  Mr. Stanczyk pointed out that it seems as if they would like to.  Mr. Fisher responded that they wanted to encourage the public to have access.  Mr. Stanczyk asked if this camera could be set up in the County Executive’s office as well; to see her at work.  He again questioned what the problem was; do we have a large number of people that want to watch us in action?  Mr. Fisher responded that he did not think there where that many, but there are some affected by the laws being passed. 


Mr. Stanczyk stated that most of the people coming to the legislature for public input have been mislead.  People were encouraged to come to the public hearing and talk about redistricting.  However, the plans for redistricting were on the table and would not be amended.  Chair Rapp asked that he stay on point.  Mr. Stanczyk stated was on point.  He believes that public input would be more appropriate at the committee level, where the issue starts.  By the time it gets to the floor, normally the battle-lines are drawn and it has been decided.  If you are really serious about informing the public, the camera and the information should be at the committee level.   


Mr. Dougherty stated that our sessions are very different when the news cameras are here.  There are a few people that like to speak for the camera.  Streaming the sessions will only worsen the problem.  A large number of people will be mugging for publicity.  He worries that this will do nothing, but drag out sessions.  Mr. Stanczyk agreed.  They put the camera on Congress and you have congressman lining up to give their favorite speech in front of no one, but the camera.  


Mr. Stanczyk stated that citizen input should be where it has the most impact.  That would be at committee level, not session.  Mr. Fisher stated this would be up to the Committee Chairs or Legislature.


Mr. Stanczyk questioned the cost of a camera operator.  Mr. Fisher stated that the budget analyst would be able to handle the camera functions for meetings.

  • No request for funds
  • Camera approximately $2500
  • Tripod approximately $500
  • $350 per month for streaming site (livestream.com); would be displayed at ongov.net/ongovlive
  • Experimenting will begin with broadcast of Local Law Public Hearings held in the County Executive’s conference room


Mr. Fisher stated should the legislature decide to use the camera, IT will work with them to figure out how to operate the camera without any additional staff.   They will utilize someone that is already attending the meeting.  It will provide them with a little training. 


Mr. Beam stated the cost of the equipment is about $5,000 total.  They believe it can be obtained for less by bid.


Chair Rapp asked the committee to consider the information provided; noting it will probably be back next month for true consideration.


5.     PULLED


6.     ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT:  Deborah Warner, CenterState Vice President, Public Policy & Government Relations; *Mary Beth Primo, Director; *Lori Dietz, Hancock Airpark Manager

        a.     Amending Resolution No. 90-2000 Regarding a Loan to the Onondaga County Industrial Development Agency for Site Preparation and Infrastructure on County Property Located at Hancock Airpark

Chair Rapp stated that since there was no one here to present the item, she would give it her best shot.  The county, through the IDA put up $1,000,000 for infrastructure at the Hancock Airpark.  This would include sewers and water.  As the parcels were sold off, the county would be repaid.  Over the past 10 years, there has been an enormous amount of development; new sewers, roads, and over 1,000 jobs.  By every measure this has been a success.  A good deal of the money we have received was put back in, continuing redevelopment.


  • $726,591 in principal paid to date
  • $343,555 in interest paid to date
  • Approximately $350,000 in additional property tax revenue
  • 5% interest is paid by OCIDA; money should be used for training, economic development and other activities


Revising the agreement results in:

  • Accepting $343,555 as the total interest payment
  • Repayment of the loan principal to be paid in full by June 30, 2014


Ms. Warner stated that most of the airpark has been redone.  There are a lot of new businesses.  Properties have been returned to the tax rolls.  This site formerly housed military barracks.  In the past, there had been federal funds for redevelopment of closed military operations.  However, those funds were not available when this project began.


Mr. Stanczyk stated this is pocket pool.  You want to forgive the 5% interest on the principal balance until it is paid; they can’t pay $26,000?  Chair Rapp responded that they were not here to answer the question.  Ms. Warner stated that she believes the issue is what the money would be used for.  Rather than paying interest, the money could be reinvested in the real estate.  Mr. Fisher stated that it does not serve a good purpose for our OCIDA to continue paying more interest than necessary.  They could be using this money for useful economic development purposes. 


Mr. Stanczyk stated that a lot of people could do useful things with this money.  Mr. Fisher responded it is the IDA’s job to promote economic development for the county.  Mr. Stanczyk added, our job is to make sure we have a low tax rate for the citizens of the county.  They signed a contract.  He asked if we were really talking about $26,000.  Mr. Fisher stated he thought it was a reasonable request. 


Chair Rapp stated the County asked the IDA to act as a pass through for the funds.  A mechanism was needed and they had the mechanism to do this for us.  We were protective of tax payer money.  At that time 5% interest seemed to be an appropriate market rate; now perhaps it is not.  Mean while the IDA is doing far less business because of the Civic Development Corporation and the economy. 


Mr. Dougherty suggested cutting the rate down to the current market rate, instead of forgiving the interest.  Mr. Stanczyk stated it could be changed to the current 1% CD. 


Mr. Dougherty stated it makes him uncomfortable that the IDA is becoming a profit center for the county.  We are actually making money on this loan, when that was not the intention.  He is not comfortable just forgiving the interest.  He thinks it should be adjusted to what we are currently paying for CD’s or bonds. 


Mr. Stanczyk stated that through the resale of these properties they are getting back the million dollars, plus interest.  He questioned if there would be another request 2 years from now, to forgive the $273,000 in principal.  Chair Rapp stated the resolution states the principal balance will be paid off in 2014. 


Ms. Tarolli added that the resolution adopted in 2000 does not have an end date.  This resolution does two things.  The interest paid to date, will be interest payment in full, and it adds an end date for loan repayment.  The 2000 resolution is open ended, giving them all the time in the world to repay.


*Ms. Primo and *Ms. Dietz arrived at the meeting. 


Ms. Primo stated the loan agreement between OCIDA and the County requires that they pay the loan agreement and 5% interest.  IDA’s cannot give loans; our agreement with Hancock Airpark is that we granted them the money and they would repay the principal from the proceeds of the property sales.  The original agreement spanning from 2000 – 2007, did not require any interest.  The subsequent agreement, remained the same with OCIDA but changed with Hancock Airpark; asking for interest.  We have never received interest, nor can we. 


In answer to Mr. Stanczyk, Ms. Primo stated that the interest has been paid to the county by OCIDA.  We do not receive any interest funds from Hancock Field Development Corp. (HFDC).  The funds received from HFDC are used to repay the principal.


Mr. Stanczyk stated that he needs all of this on paper.  There are a lot of things that need to be explained. 


A motion was made by Mr. Stanczyk to table this item for more information. 


Chair Rapp asked if he would seek out the information.  Mr. Stanczyk stated he was requesting the information.  He would like to know the history of the loan, when the interest was started, what the park is paying and what OCIDA is paying.  The way it has been described, OCIDA is paying interest without any benefit.  HFDC is not paying interest. Ms. Primo confirmed that was correct. 


Ms. Dietz stated that as manager of the Hancock Airport, she is the person that basically has the grant with OCIA.  In answer to Mr. Stanczyk, Ms. Dietz stated the change to add interest came about because of an additional federal grant they received. The grant from the Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration required a local match.  OCIA provided part of the local match.  At that time, the grant agreement was modified to reflect the additional money they provided to the principal.  In answer to Mr. Stanczyk, Ms. Dietz stated it was roughly an additional $165,000.


Ms. Dietz stated that when the property is sold the money goes to HFDC.  They deduct incurred expenses from the sale price and the remainder is paid to the IDA for the principal payment. 


In answer to Mr. Stanczyk, Ms. Dietz confirmed that they had agreed to pay interest when they received the additional $165,000.  Mr. Stanczyk questioned if they pay the interest or not.  Ms. Dietz responded that they will eventually. 


Ms. Primo stated that have received principal payments, they have never received interest.  She did not know about this.  They cannot loan money and have an agreement to receive principal and interest.  Mr. Stanczyk stated that the agreement was modified in 2007 to receive interest.  Ms. Primo stated that she understands what it says, but they have never received interest, nor do they feel comfortable requesting interest.  The IDA cannot legally make loans.  She was not here when the agreement was made.  Chair Rapp asked if this agreement was made in error.  Ms. Primo stated it was a grant agreement. 


Mr. Stanczyk stated this is the reason more information is necessary.


Ms. Williams seconded the motion.


Ms. Primo stated that she is happy to provide more information.  She thinks that OCIDA has gone above and beyond what they could do to develop this park.  They have paid $343,555 in interest to the county, and have committed to putting another $400,000 into this property.  Mr. Stanczyk asked that detailed information be submitted to all members of the committee.


Chair Rapp stated the item has been considered and will move to Ways and Means on April 29th. 


7.     Memorializing the Legislature and the Governor of The State of New York to Amend Section 519 of the Racing, Pari-Mutuel Wagering and Breeding Law to Place Onondaga County in the Capital District Region (Sponsored by Mr. Masterpole)

Mr. Rhinehart provided the following background information:

  • Same resolution that has come before the legislature in the past
  • 18 months ago a review group was formed: Mr. Masterpole, Mr. Rhinehart, Mrs. Rapp, and Mr. Jordan, Mr. Fisher attended on behalf of the County Executive
  • Mr. Antonacci reviewed the numbers that we submitted, not involved with the decision making process
  • Request were sent to all 3 regions previously interested in bringing OTB to Onondaga County  
  • Western no longer interested
  • Catskill and Capital submitted proposals
  • Meet twice with representative from Catskill and Capital
  • Capital District was chosen
  • OTB is a multi step process
  • We are one of a few counties not in or associated with a district
  • First step is to ask the state to be included in a district; purpose of this resolution


Mr. Rhinehart stated this does not mean that an OTB will open in Onondaga County; that is a future step.  If approved, the legislature would be allowed to appoint a member to the Board of Directors.  The Board of Directors would come back some time next year and ask Onondaga County if they could open up an OTB site.  One of the reasons for choosing Capital, is they would open an OTB in the City of Syracuse.  This would allow the city to receive a host fee.  Perhaps a couple of Easy Bets would be opened outside of the city. 


Various photos from Capital OTB’s were passed around to committee members.  Mr. Rhinehart pointed out the photo of the OTB trailer and stated it could be brought to the NYS Fair. 

  • Commission felt that Capital was more progressive, more marketing, teletheater was superior, liked the trailer and online betting
  • Online betting is happening all across Onondaga County, we receive no benefit as we are not participating in any region, the money goes to surrounding counties
  • Capital has a TV station and an association with Vernon Downs; will determine if Onondaga County will be allowed to have a teletheater concept
  • Resolution requires 10 votes to pass


Mr. Masterpole stated that he understands and accepts that there are people opposed to any OTB.  The fact remains we have few alternatives.  Our caucus is morally against laying off any personnel, the Republican caucus is against raising our property tax base. 


He went to the Phoenix OTB a week ago.  The location, just off the 481 ramp is not by accident.  It is there because our taxpayers are going there.  There were 61 people in attendance at 4:00 p.m. on a Saturday.  He interrupted 10 of the players; 8 of them where Onondaga County taxpayers.  He is not a huge believer that we should be raising our revenues this way, but gambling is already happening.  He believes that Capital has upscale facilities.  There were Lincolns, Mercedes and Lexus in the parking lot.  They are not people taking the CENTRO and gambling away their mortgage payments.  He encourages people to drive there and talk to them.  We do not have a lot of choices for raising revenue, and the gambling is already taking place.


Mr. Rhinehart stated that Capital has reached an arrangement with the Mayor.  It is solid and on paper.  The Capital District through an OTB Teletheater facility located within the City of Syracuse would contribute a host fee.  The city would get a portion and a fee would be paid to the Say Yes to Education program.  This is something that the Mayor was adamant about.  She is happy with the agreement and asked for its support.


  • Conservative estimate of $1,000,000 per year in revenues
  • Money that would stay in Onondaga County, currently being divided up in surrounding counties


In response to Mr. Dougherty, Mr. Masterpole stated Capitals numbers are up to $3,000,000.  They are being conservative with projections of $1,000,000 in revenue.  


Mr. Dougherty gave the following example.  A home owner pays $6,000 per year in taxes, 2/3’s goes to the school district.  This leaves $2,000 in property taxes to the county.  If you take one million dollars out of a billion dollars budget from OTB, that is 1/10th of 1%, of the total budget.  It works out to a $2.00 discount in your property taxes.  Mr. Rhinehart stated that we don’t property tax on the billion.  Our property taxes are about $150,000 million.  Mr. Dougherty stated that would be $20. 


Mr. Masterpole stated he would pull the resolution if Mr. Dougherty would vote for a property tax increase.  He asked if he was in.  Mr. Dougherty responded, “No”.  Mr. Masterpole stated that was his point.  


Mr. Dougherty stated we keep talking as if a million dollars coming in will make us flush with cash.  It works out to just $20.  Mr. Masterpole responded that a million dollars is probably 13 Social Service employees or 10 Sheriff Deputy’s.   Mr. Dougherty stated he agreed, he was not into layoffs and did not want to cut the staff. 


Mr. Dougherty stated that we talk about bringing this in to save people on their property tax, and I am all for it.   Until, you look at what it is bringing in and how much you are saving.  Mr. Masterpole stated that he did not say anything about raising property taxes.  He would pull this and raise property taxes tomorrow.  Mr. Dougherty responded that he understands Mr. Masterpole does not want to cut staff, and he doesn’t want to raise taxes.  His point is that this resolution is not able to accomplish both. 


Mr. Masterpole stated he is not pretending that we are going to balance our budget on the backs of the horse racing industry.  Factually, he is saying that our residents are already doing this and someone else’s residents are benefiting from it.  Even if the amount is 1/10 of a percent; we are suffering the consequence when it comes down to cuts in our budget by a $1,000,000. 


In answer to Mr. Dougherty, Mr. Masterpole stated that the money would be coming from a portion of Capitals profits.  Mr. Dougherty added that the rest of the money is being taken out of Onondaga County and sent off to Albany.   Mr. Masterpole responded that the industry is making money, just like every business.   The rest of the money goes to the people who win, the taxpayers, and the organization running OTB. 


Mr. Rhinehart stated you also gain the sales tax on the food and beverage sales from OTB. 


Mr. Masterpole pointed out that the jobs that will be created have not been discussed.  The teletheater in Albany has 70 employees.  If we cut that number in half for Syracuse, that will give us 35 full time employees.  The manager in Albany makes $70,000; we’ll cut that down to $40,000.   He questioned what we would do for a corporation that opening a location in Syracuse and providing 35 full time jobs with a range in salaries of $25,000 to 45,000 per year (low estimates on all information).  They would be given pilot agreements and OCIDA money.  Mr. Dougherty stated it depends on what they do, he does not agree.  Mr. Masterpole stated we don’t care; we want people who provide jobs.  Chair Rapp added that as long as it was a legal business and they were willing to provide good paying jobs, we would certainly talk to them. 


Ms. Williams stated that she does not understand the morality of sending children to school for education and funding it with gambling funds.  Chair Rapp answered it was just like funding education with the lottery.  


Ms. Williams stated that the public is aware that education is supported by the NYS Lottery.  However, no one is saying publicly that Say Yes to Education will receive funds from gambling.  Mr. Masterpole stated that Capital OTB has put this in writing.  Ms. Williams asked if everyone was aware of the agreement.  Mr. Masterpole stated it was in the paper and the Mayor has had a number of conversations.  He will provide a copy of the agreement to Ms. Williams.  


Mr. Stanczyk stated he has made his concerns known in the past, about this government sanctioning gambling and deriving a profit from it.   He was raised on the idea that government should be involved with things that help people.  From the information he received from Provention Network, the social cost of gambling is not helpful.  He understands that we already have the lottery in place, but this county has not gotten involved in gambling in the past.  As recent as the past 6 or 7 months ago the members of this body determined that gambling as was a bad bet.  If the profit from gambling comes from our people, someone has to loose in order for money to be made.   You have to wonder who is losing and from where.


In answer to Mr. Stanczyk, Mr. Rhinehart stated he would supply a copy of the financial statements from Capital and Catskill.  Mr. Stanczyk added that we need to know how good the commitment is to pay.


Mr. Stanczyk stated that he is concerned if gambling is sanctioned in Onondaga County, the next step will be racinos and then casinos.  We have problems sustaining our symphony and yet we want to establish a gambling parlor here.  He does not see this as a big move forward for downtown or this community.  Gambling is something that some people can engage in for entertainment but others get lost in it.  They lose their money, homes, lives and marriages; I do not think this government wants to get involved in saying that is OK.  Philosophically he questions sanctioning gambling and then he looks are what it brings to the city.  He has a lot of problems with the whole intent, where is this leading and what we are really getting.  


Mr. Masterpole added that gambling is already happening in Onondaga County.  You can gamble online without even having to leave your home.  If we associate with a district, we will receive revenues from this.  Mr. Stanczyk responded that this would be sanctioning gambling.


Chair Rapp stated that she did not believe there was any new information here.  This has been a tough vote for her, but in the end she has taken the pragmatic side.  Ten or 15 years ago, gambling wasn’t available everywhere and this was a real flood gates issue.  Today we are one of only 13 counties that do not have OTB.  Back in the day when you had to actually leave your house to gamble, this was a different situation.   It is happening no matter what.  We have never been in a situation where we have had to raise constituents’ taxes by 77%.  This million dollars will not fix that, but its’ here and we need to decide if we are going to bend over and pick up that dollar.  


She requested that Mr. Sutkowy do a poll with the surrounding counties that have OTB.   He checked to see if there was any change with their social service situations after implementing OTB.  They were unable to find anything that was discernable.  She sees this as one more tool that will help to close the budget gap. 


Ms. Williams stated that she is looking for a listing of actual numbers.  Ms. Rapp stated that Capital distributed $4.6 million dollars in 2010 and is projecting to do as well for 2011.  Onondaga County would have the biggest share, if they were to be engaged with the district.  $1,000,000 seems to be a low conservative number.  Mr. Rhinehart stated he would provide Ms. Williams with the figures.


Mr. Stanczyk asked if those present could speak.  Chair Rapp stated she would not allow it.  This is a committee meeting and committee members are allowed to speak.  Those present may speak to whomever they choose after the meeting.  


A motion was made by Chair Rapp to approve this item. 


Mr. Stanczyk asked if the intent was to bring this item to the floor even, if it fails in committee.  Mr. Masterpole stated it is his intent to bring it to the floor, only if there is enough support to pass the item.


Seconded by Mr. Stanczyk.  Ayes:  1 (Rapp); Noes:  2 (Stanczyk, Dougherty);  Abstaining: 1 (Williams).  MOTION DEFEATED.

8.     Establishing the Intent of this Legislature to use Revenues Received from Off Track Betting to Support Authorized Agencies that Promote Conventions, Tourism and Economic Development Within the County (Sponsored by Mrs. Rapp)

Chair Rapp stated that if OTB is approved, it has always been her intention to support the arts with the revenues received.  As time has gone on, there have been more cuts to the arts organizations.  Too many, this is not a core function of government.  The taxes are out of control and we have to cut somewhere.  However, people do not want o live where there isn’t culture and vibrancy.  It attracts young people and businesses.   We have just gone through the devastating effects of seeing our world renowned symphony go under.  Corporations are no longer able to provide the level of support they have in the past.  The money we provide our cultural organizations is by no means, their entire budget.  We are the finger on the scale that allows these organizations to stay alive.  It is the money that funds the executive director of an organization or a marketing person that is able to get grants and development within the community.  This is a vital part of their budget.  To know that they had a dedicated funding stream tells the community that we support the arts, though we are not willing to dig into our taxpayers’ pocket.  This is a positive thing to do.


Mr. Stanczyk stated that our commitment to the arts has to stand above and beyond trying to make something look better by aligning it with something, that everyone perceives to be better.  This item should be tabled as it becomes moot unless OTB passes.  He believes the arts should be supported with ROT funds.  Chair Rapp responded that we are currently doing this.


Mr. Dougherty stated that he likes the idea of using non tax money, to supply things of this nature.  But, he agrees with Mr. Stanczyk that the item should be tabled.  He supports the spirit of this item.  However, if this resolution passes and OTB fails, it will read as if we killed the arts in this county by not supporting OTB. 


Chair Rapp stated the item has been discussed at committee.  She will pull the item and bring it back if OTB passes.


The meeting was adjourned at 11:54 a.m.   

Respectfully submitted,


Onondaga County Legislature


* * *




MEMBERS PRESENT:  Mr. Lesniak, Mr. Buckel, Mr. Warner, Mr. Buckel, 4Mr. Stanczyk, 2Mr. Kinne, 3Mr. Kilmartin, 1Mr. Holmquist


ALSO PRESENT:  Mr. Meyer, Chairman Rhinehart, see also attached list


Chairman Jordan called the meeting to order at 8:33 a.m.  A motion was made by Mr. Lesniak, seconded by Mr. Warner to waive the reading and approve the minutes of proceedings from the previous committee.  MOTION CARRIED.





        a.     Amending the 2011 County Budget to Accept a Purchase-Rehab Program Grant from the N.Y.S. Housing Finance Agency for the Community Development Program and Authorizing the County Executive to Enter into Contracts to Implement this Resolution ($600,000)

        b.     Amending the 2011 County Budget to accept a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for the Lead-Based Paint Hazard Control Program and Authorizing the County Executive to Enter into Contracts to Implement this Resolution ($3,100,000)



        a.     Amending the 2011 County Budget to Provide the Office of the Onondaga County District Attorney with Additional Funds Beyond the Estimated Dollars Appropriated in the 2011 County Budget and Authorizing the County Executive to Enter into Contracts to Implement this Resolution ($303,658)

A motion was made by Chairman Jordan, seconded by Mr. Buckel to approve all items listed on the consent agenda.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.



        a.     Approving and Directing the Correction of Certain Errors on Tax Bills

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

1Mr. Holmquist arrived at the meeting.


4.     EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT:  Peter Alberti, Commissioner

       a.     Amend 2011 Budget to Accept Homeland Security Funds for the Onon. Co. Dept. of Emergency Management and Authorize Co. Exec. to Enter into Contracts to Implement this Res. ($900,000)

  • Accept Homeland Security grant funds – Interoperable Emergency Communications grant program
  • 3rd phase of ongoing cycle
  • Planning & Training grant to review, upgrade interoperable communications plan and expand regional concept


Chairman Jordan asked for elaboration of additional training/exercised that need to be done.  Mr. Alberti explained:

  • As initial Onondaga County system put in place, also a consortium of surrounding counties was put into place that came together to utilize the radio system
  • As federal government moved further into interoperable communications, they looked for systems to expand on
  • As Onondaga County system was expanding, other counties were looking to do same thing – banded together and are now pushing this out to the other counties
  • Interoperable concept – ability to talk to everyone
  • Very important as consolidation/sharing of services proceeds
  • Includes training in other counties--there are funding sources that other counties can tap into for their pieces of it
  • As the consortium moves forward, it gathers the sources applies as a consortium

Mr. Kilmartin noted that this item was presented at Public Safety Committee informationally as he had questions about some detail and asked that further information be presented at Ways & Means Committee.  He referred to the budget, $900,000, and said that an RFP or RFQ has not gone out for the consultant ($500,000); there are no bids in; this is an estimate of the costs over a 2-year cycle.  Mr. Alberti explained:

  • As grants are announced and award letters sent out, they have to apply as how the funds will be expended
  • To bring the other members of the consortium up to where Onondaga County is, some of the same mechanism have to be done, which have already been done through in Onondaga County--reviewing their current operational plans, seeing how they will fit into the operational plan and tactical uses of the radio systems in those counties
  • Take the plans, crosswalk them with other counties’ plans and come up with one interoperable mechanism Consultant will be looking at each agency—developing a plan; taking dispatch staff, administrative and management, emergency management, emergency responders - help develop their procedures and how to operate the system.
  • Only reason Onondaga County is receiving this particular grant program is because of the regional consortium

In answer to Mr. Kilmartin, Mr. Alberti said that grant guidance gives certain parameters; have to come up with a very general work plan.  This is the third phase of this program; the other two are still ongoing.  As other plans and procedures are put in place, as other systems come in line, as changes are needed, they are able to utilize this grant money to implement the changes.  Mr. Kilmartin asked if there is detailed breakout of the consultant; will there be an RFP/RFQ; dates for an RFP/RFQ; details of what consultants will be working on/looking at; what is the schedule of payment.  It is a large sum of money – would like to have specific proposes for the three line items.  He questioned if the funds, $900,000, could be utilized for hardware, software, or equipment for the interoperable system, or to retire any debt service.  In answer to the second part of the question, Mr. Alberti said “no”, but added that in some ways they may be able to do that.


Mr. Alberti referred to Chief Balloni, as the former Commissioner of Emergency Communications, who helped author the grant.  Chief Balloni explained:

  • When the grant was first applied for, the State was looking for training, development, regional;Onon.Co. had all 3
  • The grant was written to pay for training and development of regional system; targeted what the State was willing to pay; the State awarded the County the whole amount
  • Each time a new County comes into the system, the TIC (Tactical Interoperable Communications) has to be re-written; Mr. Alberti or no one has time to do that – excellent use for consultant
  • 4 additional counties coming in over the next 3 years or so
  • As each county comes on, Onondaga Co. 911 Center, responders, will have to be trained on how to interoperate with them.  The new county will pay for it – provide back fill money
  • At the end of the process; if there is money left over, money can be allotted towards equipment
  • Does not think it will be allowed to pay down debt; may be able to pay for some costs of the new system
  • Each county that comes on will save Onondaga County money – will split maintenance costs, benefit Onondaga County in an economic way and interoperable way


Mr. Kilmartin referred to $250,000/ for 2 years for a consultant - maybe legislature could work more closely with the department on crafting something more specific--analyze what the consultant might be per year and try to allocate those funds now.  Mr. Balloni said that they tried that with the first grant for $1 million and received $100,000, which was the amount put in for tactical planning.  They lost the $900,000.  This time they said that they will award us $900,000; if there is some left over it may be used for equipment and things. 


Mr. Warner asked if in the aftermath and studies that followed September 11, 2001, was one of the major problems with the emergency response that fact that they could not talk to each other.  Mr. Alberti indicated that it was.  Mr. Warner said that this is probably one of the more worthwhile programs that he has seen and feels the grant should be accepted. 


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


Mr. Lesniak asked to be provided with how much has been spent, how much is left in the grant by budget review time.  He assumed a majority of this is writing the plans for the other 4 counties so that it coincides with Onondaga.  Mr. Alberti agreed and noted that there are engineering plans that go along with it.


Mr. Kilmartin referred to the personnel costs for $378,000 – is it an opportunity to utilize those funds to offset training and exercises that would normally have to be done, or a requirement above and beyond.  Mr. Alberti said that they take every opportunity to include required training and exercises within these types of exercises.


In answer to Chairman Jordan, Mr. Alberti said that he can’t say if County staff will be doing the training on regular time or overtime.  Regarding the fringe components, in some cases it is partially included.  Chairman Jordan asked if there is no prohibition to pay for the overtime costs; Mr. Alberti agreed.  Chairman Jordan said that Onondaga County is the county that seems to take the lead on things and then draw in other counties; our staff does the majority of the work.  The question is whether the taxpayers are baring that burden.  There was a huge increase in property taxes in 2011; a criticism was that there wasn’t real spending cuts.  If there is capacity to take on additional responsibilities, then perhaps additional spending cuts could have been instituted to right size county government.  Mr. Alberti said that the intent of the program is not to take on additional responsibilities for other counties; that is why there is a large number for the consultant.  Chairman Jordan referred to the $378,000 for personnel costs.  Mr. Alberti said that it is the training, backfill, and exercising that Onondaga County would have to do anyway.  It is paying for training of Onondaga County personnel, and also the other counties.  Chairman Jordan referred to training, and questioned if the County wasn’t taking on these additional responsibilities, would there be overtime costs.  Mr. Alberti said that for Onondaga County the costs are solely for its employees, which would have to be paid anyway.  Training and exercise for them would still have to be provided; still have to maintain the provision of public safety; it would have to be worked into the budgets.  Chairman Jordan asked if without involvement with the other counties, we would still be obligated or required to perform these services on an overtime basis solely for Onondaga County.  Mr. Alberti said “possibly” – to keep the level of service and adequately train them, they don’t have enough time or enough resources to do that.  The consultant provides the planning, training, and programs for the other counties.  In answer to Chairman Jordan, Mr. Alberti said that the $378,000 personnel costs for training and exercises is for all users of the systems in the entire region.


Mr. Buckel noted that property tax levy on the county went down this year – how it was allocated is a source of dispute as part of the political process.  Regarding this item, he appreciates the innovation to improve and not just do what needs to be done here but to be a leader in the nation.




5.     HEALTH:  Linda Carmen, Deputy Commissioner

        a.     Amend 2011 Budget to Accept Metropolitan Medical Response System (MMRS) Funding and Authorize County Executive to Enter Into Agreements to Implement this Resolution ($317,419)

  • Grant through Federal Gov. initiated after first World Trade Center bombings in 1997
  • City of Syracuse became recipient of grant in 2002 and has been ever since
  • Grant is for metropolitan Syracuse area – Onondaga County development of emergency medical response for any type of radiological, biological, chemical, pandemic flu – integrate health and medical preparedness
  • Onondaga County Health Dept. has been managing the grant for the City of Syracuse through and IMA
  • Request from City, approved by Dept. of Homeland Security Emergency Svcs., that the grant be transferred to the County starting in grant year 2010, $317,419
  • 3 year period of performance for each grant
  • Gloria LaManna, City of Syracuse Research Bureau, has been the County’s contact since 2001.

In answer to Chairman Jordan, Ms. Karmen explained that the City was the grant recipient because it was the metropolitan Syracuse area.  At that time, the City did not have a Health Dept. and because this is medical and health related funding, the City entered into an agreement with Onondaga County because it did have a Health Dept.  The City has asked that this be transferred to the County because of the upcoming joint financial agreement with the County for purchasing.  The County, with the approval of the City Council, has been managing the grant and purchasing through the City of Syracuse.  Since now the purchasing process will be through Onondaga County, it makes sense for Onondaga Co. Health Dept. to have the entire process. 


Overview of IMA with City:

  • City has been receiving administrative funding, 5% for the grant.  In this transfer the county would receive the 5% administrative funding for the grant
  • County has been funding some of public health preparedness through this grant and managing the funding
  • County has been presenting the various projects to the City Council
  • Have funded:  Long Term Care Executive Council Evacuation Plan (throughout Onon. Co.), consultant to manage and oversee those evacuations--quarterly evacuations and regional plan; Medical Response Cash through Crouse Hospital--have sufficient medication to respond to a biological or pandemic incident; Medical Reserve Core Funding--volunteer group of medical professionals to respond to medical and health related events
  • City was applicant; grant monies went to City and they purchased/paid for all activities
  • Grant paid for the management services of the County

Mr. Lesniak referred to the Program Coordinators and Research Tech 1 and asked how they are being paid for presently.  Mrs. Karmen explained that they are paid through a combination of funds – Public Health Emergency Preparedness funds, which has been decreasing, and Urban Area Security Initiative.  As funding through the State has decreased, they have been able to cover the cost of staffing for these projects.  Mr. Lesniak questioned if the funding has been dwindling from the State, who is paying for these positions.  Mrs. Karmen said through funding Federal Government, UASI, or State funding.  These positions are being paid for through 2008 MMRS grant, which has a period of performance through 2011.  Seventy percent of these 2 positions will be covered by this current; 30% will be covered by Emergency Response Grant.


Mr. Lesniak questioned where the money left over from the Public Health Emergency Preparedness grant is going.  Mrs. Wilson said when that grant funding decreased; the County approached the City about using MMRS money to cover the loss.  MMRS has been used for a few years now.  Mr. Lesniak said that the County was getting this money to fund these two positions previously from the City grant; Mrs. Karmen agreed.  Mr. Lesniak asked what is being purchased with the $60,000 for equipment.  Mr. Weichselbaum said many different things were bought over the years; this one is for more medications, radios for responders in the Health Dept.


Mr. Stanczyk said that this is a big planning function; asked what people are doing on a day to day basis.  Mrs. Karmen said that involves working with partners in the community to do various types of planning so that it is known when a particular incident happens, i.e. biodetection system at a post office.  Mr. Stanczyk asked if there is a stock of iodine in the event there is a problem with Nine Mile II.  Mr. Weichselbaum said that Oswego County and Onondaga County have planned for that; there is a small stock pile here, but the Regulatory Commission and the people that run the plant have a federal and state plans, which primarily provides iodine for a 10 mile zone around the plant.  Onondaga County does not have iodine for everybody beyond that area.


In answer to Mr. Kinne, Mrs. Karmen said that the radios being purchased are part of the interoperable communication system.


Mr. Warner asked if the grant runs out, will the positions associated with it be eliminated.  Mrs. Karmen said that they would be if there are no other funds to cover them for that purpose. 


Mr. Warner referred to prescription drugs.  The Association of Counties Newsletter periodically reports other counties going to Canada RX.  He feels it is less expensive; asked the department to take a look to see what they are offering and be provided with a memo regarding the findings.  He questioned why all of these other counties are jumping on board with them.  Mrs. Karmen said that everything that they use for emergency medical response is stock piled medications received from the state through the federal government.  They would not be writing prescriptions for individuals


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


Chairman Jordan asked what responsibility was the City taking care of that the County will be assuming by approving this resolution.  Mrs. Karmen said it is the purchasing function and reporting to the department of Homeland Security.  The County would directly receive the 5% administration and oversight fee. 


Mr. Lesniak asked for clarification that the positions would be eliminated if there is no other grant funding, not property tax funding.  Mrs. Karmen said “grant funding”.


Mr. Buckel seconded the motion.



        b.     Advance Step Hire for R.P. 01 404351 2461, Pathologist, Grade 37, Step W @ $110,385 Effective May 14, 2011 ($110,385)

Dr. Morrow introduced Dr. Robert Stopprecher, Chief Medical Examiner.  Dr. Morrow explained:

  • Replace a pathologist who gave notice in January; advance step request
  • Core critical function of Onondaga Co. to provide medical examiner services
  • Have 2 pathologists; perform annually 580 autopsy exams; 160 external exams, 20 skeletal exams, 750 investigations – are on 24/7, 365 days
  • Currently have a contractor who covers 2 weekends per month, but it is not sustainable

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


Mr. Stanczyk supports this, but it should be kicked back to personnel to adjust pay grade to an appropriate grade.  Mr. Lesniak agreed.


In answer to Mr. Warner, Dr. Stopprecher said that he works 8:30-5:00 and is on call every third night; goes in every weekend, both Saturday and Sunday; salary is $137,000.  Mr. Warner said the person has to be a medical doctor and specialize in forensics; he questions the salary.  It was noted that there recently was two applicants, and one took a job in Canada for $300,000.  Mr. Warner said in this case, the advance step is one of the most justified he has seen.


Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.


6.     TRANSPORTATION:  Brian Donnelly, Commissioner

        a.     A Resolution Authorizing the Reconstruction and Construction of Improvements to Various Bridges in and for the Co. of Onondaga at a Maximum Estimated Cost of $1,400,000, and Authorizing Issuance of $1,400,000 Bonds of Said County to Pay the Cost Thereof ($1,400,000)

        b.     A Resolution Authorizing the Reconstruction and Construction of Improvements to Various Highways in and for the Co. of Onon., at a Maximum Estimated Cost of $9,777,000, and Authorizing the Issuance of $9,777,000 Bonds of Said County to Pay the Cost Thereof

        c.     Amending the 2011 County Budget in the County Road Fund to Increase Appropriations and Estimated Revenues in Order to Provide Funding for the 2011 Highway Workplan Using Funds from the Department of Transportation’s 2010 Operating Budget ($450,000)

Mr. Donnelly:

  • Item a is a highway bond; item b is a bridge bond; item c is an appropriation of fund balance
  • All three items incorporated in 2011 work plan

A motion was made by Mr. Stanczyk, seconded by Mr. Lesniak to approve items 6a, 6b, and 6c. 


Chairman Jordan said that he sees terrible roads everywhere in his district, and sees very little going on in his area – not part of the highway plan.  He questioned how it is determined which roads get selected first.  Mr. Donnelly said that they try to do it as empirically as possible have; have a pavement management system.  A company rates a quarter of the county every year; every 4 years the entire county has been reviewed, driven, monitored and graded.  They also try to do personal inspection after the winter.  They certainly take input from the legislature, constituents, and make a determination as to what roads are going to go into the work plan.  Chairman Jordan asked if there is any flexibility in the plan, where if something else seems to be in worse condition, then one project can be replaced with another.  Mr. Donnelly said that they try to stick to the work plan, that is what is presented to the legislature, but the bond is non specific.  It is for highway and bridge work.  The plan is a guide.  There have been circumstances where a road had deteriorated and a certain problem came up.  Generally, they would address that with the legislature, if they were to make a significant change.


Mr. Lesniak noted that over the years the legislature has been cutting back a little each year on how many miles are to be done.  It is actually one full year behind now from where it should be at this point; roughly $16 million behind over the last few years.  At some point there will have to be a catch up point that will be required to deal with.  Mr. Kinne added that the longer we wait, the more expensive it is going to be.


Mr. Buckel noted that every time there is a vote on bonding; it is done blind – don’t have a sense of where it fits into current debt structure; how it affects the future.  Wants to see that kind of data with bonding; has asked for it before; will abstain because of it.




7.     FACILITIES MANAGEMENT:  Bill Fisher, Deputy County Executive

       a.   Amendatory Bond Res.-Authorizing the Purchase of a Fire Control Panel and Overhead Door as Part of Improvements to the Oncenter Complex in and for the Co. of Onondaga ($300,000)

Bill Fisher:

  • In the past when something broke at Oncenter or War Memorial , CEO would ask for money for it
  • Changed who pays for maintenance and repairs in the fall 2010.
  • Resolution passed 9/7--Co. Exec has ability to terminate the part of the management agreement between the County and Oncenter Corp. having to do with maintenance and repairs.  After that termination date, the Corp. shall continue to inspect all equip., fixtures, furnishings, machines, systems, all complex buildings and grounds.  Corporation shall provide the Commissioner of Fac. Might. or designee with written notice of known defects.
  • Oncenter CEO has notified Commissioner of 2 major repairs needed
  • Bonding – money left over from prior project – amendatory bond resolution.

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

8.     INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY:  Ken Beam, Commissioner

        a.     Amend 2011 Budget to Transfer Funds for Reorganization of the Dept. of Info. Tech.  ($144,235)

  • Trying to streamline the department to provide better services for users
  • Money is in contingency
  • Previously had 5 application managers; was getting confusing as to who had responsibility for what; will now have 3 managers running things
  • Help Desk – don’t have a formal one now - people take calls, write down message
  • Help Desk – most important piece of the project; they will have expertise on the phone to help resolve issues right then and there; will be generating work orders

In answer to Chairman Jordan, Mr. Beam said that not all five application managers are being eliminated because there are people in those titles.  The application manager positions that are being deleted are used to create the new positions.  Chairman Jordan said that effectively the director positions are creating the application manager positions; Mr. Beam agreed.  There are people in the other application managers and will fall below the directors and handle additional duties.


In answer to Mr. Kinne, Mr. Beam said that a shift supervisor works in the data center; have 3 shift supervisors because there are 3 different shifts.  They assign work duties for that night and manage people on the shift.


Mr. Lesniak asked if the intent is that when the other application manager positions become vacant, that the position would go away.  Mr. Beam said that the title would go away – change title to be more in line with what today’s titles are in an IT organization.  He cannot say that the body will go away.  Mr. Lesniak asked if it may be reduced to a lower level position; Mr. Beam said that it may be.  Mr. Lesniak clarified that right now the position is not going away because there is a body in it, but subsequently all three application program manager positions will be gone.  Mr. Beam agreed.


Chairman Jordan asked why the Manager of Tech Support is being unfunded and not abolished.  Mr. Beam said that they want to the position in the budget so that there is a line of promotion, a career path for people. 


In answer to Mr. Kilmartin, Mr. Beam indicated that there is no money behind the Application Program Manger, Console Operate, and Programmer Trainee.  They are not filled by a person presently.  Mr. Beam explained that there was $144,235 in contingency, which is being used to offset most of the costs.  Mr. Kilmartin said that the savings from the abolishments are $155,049; the new salary total is $311,058; net annual is $156,009; net cost through remainder of 2011 is $144,235 (salaries & fringe).  Mr. Kilmartin asked if the Director of Client Services and two Help Desk Operators are 3 new hires or promotions from within.  Mr. Beam explained that one Director will be a new hire, the Help Desk Operators are promotions from within; the offset for those 3 positions is the money in contingency account.  Mr. Kilmartin asked about the promotions from within and asked if the positions they are leaving will be backfilled.  Mr. Beam said that they hope to.  Mr. Kilmartin asked what the current titles are of the positions that the employees are leaving.  Mr. Beam said that they are Computer Maintenance Technicians, grade 7, approximately $37,000.  The two people being moved up are people that do the field work, sent out to do repairs – want to put them on the help desk and may need to back fill their positions in 2011.  The positions will probably not remain vacant for the remainder of the year.


Mr. Lesniak said that the net amount does not include fringes; he asked to be provided with the total net increase cost (fringes and salaries) before the next session. 


A motion was made by Mr. Kinne, seconded by Mr. Lesniak to approve this item.  AYES:  6 (Lesniak, Holmquist, Warner, Buckel, Kinne, Stanczyk); NOES:  0; ABSTENTIONS:  2 (Jordan, Kilmartin).  MOTION CARRIED.


        b.     Create RP 01 102700 1374, Dir. of Application Svcs, Gr. 35 @ $71,784-$96,450, eff. May 14, 2011

                Create RP 01 102700 1393, Dir. of Infrastructure Svcs, Gr 35 @ $71,784-$96,450, eff. May 14, 2011

                Create RP 01 102700 1399, Dir. of Client Services, Gr 35 @ $71,784 - $96,450, eff. May 14, 2011

                Create RP 01 102700 1402, Help Desk Operator, Gr 08 @ $39,599 - $43,784, eff. May 7, 2011

                Create RP 01 102700 1414, Help Desk Operator, Gr 08 @ $39,599 - $43,784, eff. May 7, 2011

                Abolish RP 01 102700 0707. Application Program Manager, Gr 34 @ $65,489 - $87,966, eff. upon successful completion of

                the incumbent’s probationary period

                Abolish RP 01 102700 7346, Application Prog. Mngr, Gr 34 @ $65,489-$87,966, eff. May 7, 2011

                Abolish RP 01 102700 7389, Console Operator Gr 10 @ $46,225 - $51,147, eff. May 7, 2011

                Abolish RP 01 102700 7375, Programmer Trainee, Gr 08 @ $39,599 - $43,784, eff. May 7, 2011

A motion was made by Mr. Kinne, seconded by Mr. Lesniak to approve this item.  AYES:  6 (Lesniak, Holmquist, Warner, Buckel, Kinne, Stanczyk); NOES:  0; ABSTENTIONS:  2 (Jordan, Kilmartin). MOTION CARRIED.


9.     METROPOLITAN WATER BOARD:  Holly Rosenthal, Administrative Director

        a.     A Resolution Approving Replacement of the Onondaga County Water District's Open Terminal Reservoir Located in the Town Of Clay with Two Enclosed Water Tanks


  • Better water quality – protection of public health, economic development resources
  • Improved security
  • Improved water system reliability
  • Reduction of energy costs
  • Reduction of chemical costs

These benefits go above and beyond mandate of the EPA LT2 regulations in 2014.  Want to accelerate the schedule because it will save significant cost.  The last of the eastern tanks are under construction now; if this is bid by Dec., then they will get the most competitive prices form the contractors.  There will be 2 national tank contractors that will bid the job – one has not been successful on any projects in Central New York; the other contactor has done 2 other tanks.  It is scheduled for two construction seasons – finish Spring 2014.



  • 30 million gallon reservoir into two 15 million gallon concrete tanks
  • Estimate $33,900,00
  • Impact on median home value of $145,000 – apportioned to OCWD Assessment Zone 1 – value of assessment zone:  $30,149,620,23; rate/thousand/year $.08/.07; annual effect on tax bill $12.03/$9.46

Mr. Warner asked for detail on how this will be paid for.  Ms. Rosenthal explained:

  • $34 million bonded construction through Zone 1 assessment of MWB, which includes the entire Onondaga County Water District
  • Same method of assessment used for the original central construction of the system in the 1960’s

In answer to Mr. Warner; Ms. Rosenthal explained:

  • Not everyone in the district gets water; economic development throughout the whole community benefits everyone
  • Didn’t know that the number of people/property owners that do not get public water that will end up paying for this

Mr. Warner expressed concerns in the suburbs – paying for bonding for something that they are not going to get; and asked if there is a different way to finance this.  Ms. Rosenthal said that if they were to assess a different zone, there would be people that would drop off, who do receive water, who would not be paying for it.  If it were assessed in MWB’s rates, then people who would be receiving benefit of the project, who would not be paying towards the capital cost.  Mr. Warner expressed concern that there are no numbers on the people that are going to be affected by paying for this and not have ability to access public water.  There are a lot of rural areas of his district that will not be receiving water. 


In answer to Mr. Lesniak; Ms. Rosenthal explained:

  • Annual effect on a tax bill: $12.03 for 20 yr. bond; $9.46 for 30 yr. bond– annual tax bill cost; and ad velorum tax
  • Not determined if bonding will be 20 or 30 years

Mr. Seitz added that is potential to receive EFC financing; if that happens there is a significant savings.  Mr. Lesniak added that the tax rate would be lower per home if EFC were received; he asked if we don’t receive the financing will we look to beyond for 30 years.  Mr. Seitz said that they are leaning toward 30 years.

  • Rate per thousand is $.08 for 20 years; $.07 for 30 years
  • Special district tax so even exempts would be subject to it – everybody pay


Mr. Kinne said he will abstain for personal reasons.  Referred to Mr. Warner’s comments about people not benefitting – it assumes that those people are hermits and don’t go to any places that get this water or work at other places that benefit from this water.  Every advantage to our natural water should be taken and try to improve it.  Mr. Jordan said that if this went on the county tax rate even more people would be paying for it that don’t get water – people on wells.  Mr. Warner suggested that the people that get it pay for it.  Mr. Kinne said the rationale for doing it the way it is proposed makes good sense.  Mr. Stanczyk said that we are trying to find a perfect balance – some is paid for by the ad velorum, some is paid for by the amount of water used.  Mr. Buckel added that there are certain public goods that we all pay for, i.e. police, jail, parks.


Mr. Buckel will abstain until more is examined on ensuring that local workers are hired.


Chairman Jordan asked what happens if the bids come in less than projected costs.  Ms. Rosenthal said that they will bond for less money, but really feels the engineers have done good leg work to understand the cost of construction; do have some alternates that they would include in the project to provide further upgrades to the pump station and substation.  Chairman Jordan would like a further breakdown of what improvements are being made.  Ms. Rosenthal said that right now, the work projected covers the full scope of work that they anticipate.  Mr. Gell, O’Brien & Gere, noted potential improvements:  replace 4 pumps; replace solids pump, repairs sleuth gates, repair 2 motor control centers, refurbish pumps – potential will be replacement of pumps; replace motor control and pumping stations, electoral upgrades, replace exterior concrete, replace the roof, paint exterior of building; repair exterior facade of the building.  Ms. Rosenthal said that the report Mr. Gell referenced was published about a year ago; it details $5 million of improvements required for the pump station; working with O’Brien & Gere in the past 6 months to fine tune the list of improvements, which is how they came to the $4 million proposed.  The $4 million is included in the $34 million bond cost.


Mr. Lesniak asked when this would show up on the tax bill.  Mr. Seitz said that interest is paid the year after they borrow.  The year after that would be principle and interest.  Mr. Lesniak said that at most it would be 2 years out that the $12.03 would be on there.  Ms. Rosenthal said that they probably won’t borrow until the middle of next year; it could be 3 years out. 


In answer to Chairman Jordan about bonded debt, Ms. Rosenthal said that they have 2 projects that go back to 2006, will retire in 2026; a cost of about $200k/year in debt service. 


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


Mr. Masterpole said that the City recently did two tanks at Westcott; those that pay city water have seen rates triple.  It was billed through the rates to the people that are using the water.  He will have a difficult time supporting the resolution unless it goes to Zone III or built into the rate.  He agrees with Mr. Warner that the people that are using water should be the people that pay for it.

AYES:  4 (Holmquist, Lesniak, Kilmartin, Stanczyk); NOES:  0; ABSTENTIONS:  4 (Jordan, Warner, Buckel, Kinne).  MOTION CARRIED.

        b.     Authorizing the issuenace of $34,000,000 Bonds of the County of Onondaga, to Pay the Cost of Certain Improvements for the Onondaga County Water District in and for said County

A motion was made by Mr. Lesniak, seconded by Mr. Holmquist to approve this item.  AYES:  4 (Holmquist, Lesniak, Kilmartin, Stanczyk); NOES:  0; ABSTENTIONS:  4 (Jordan, Warner, Buckel, Kinne).  MOTION CARRIED.

10.    ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT Mary Beth Primo, Director

        a.     Amend Res. No. 90-2000 Regarding a Loan to the Onondaga County Industrial Development Agency for Site Preparation and Infrastructure on County Property Located at Hancock Airpark

  • Asking for relief on future interest payments on a loan made in 2000 to OCIDA
  • County acted as a conduit to provide $1 million matching grant to HDFC, who had taken over the redevelopment efforts at Hancock Airpark
  • Terms of the loans:  pay back over 7 year period at 5% interest per year
  • OCIDA entered into a grant agreement HFDC; HFDC would pay OCIDA through sales of parcels at the airpark – proceeds to be used to pay off the principle
  • Grant agreement did not charge interest
  • 2007 – loan agreement and grant agreement were amended because the development hadn’t been completed; agreements extended for another 4 years
  • All terms in the loan agreement remained the same; in grant agreement between OCIDA and HFDC there was a request for 5% interest.  OCIDA has never collected that interest--an IDA cannot make a loan and charge interest.
  • 3/4 of the loan has been repaid to date; $726k paid to County; $343,555 interest has been paid
  • Airpark has been a huge success – 47 acres now back on tax rolls
  • Since 2005, $1.3 million has been paid between tax payments and PILOT payments to-schools, town, county; jobs retained and increased
  • Airpark still being developed and OCIDA saddled with 5% interest above prevailing market over last 10 years

Mr. Stanczyk will not vote for this--is talking about a payment of $6,500 in interest every 6 months of another 3 years.  This is a flow through; OCIDA pays money to the County to run the Economic Development office.  This is pocket pool for a nonsense amount of money.  Ms. Primo said it is somewhat of a nonsense amount of money for the County; for OCIDA it isn’t.  For years OCIDA took in huge fees for facilities projects; those projects aren’t done anymore.  Last year they took in less in fees than they paid out.  Mr. Stanczyk said that in the next budget year less money could be taken from OCIDA, rather than going through this trauma for a nominal amount of money.


Mr. Kilmartin said that a federal grant came in for $1.5 million; needed a $1 million match from County.  Ms. Spillane said that the grant was joint between Onondaga County and HFDC.  Mr. Kilmartin said that the money went to the County; went through OCIDA to get to HFDC; County charged OCIDA 5%.  Ms. Spillane said that originally there was no interest requirement between OCIDA and HFDC – OCIDA had an interest payment to the County.  Mr. Kilmartin asked if there was ever a requirement for HFDC to pay OCIDA 5%; Ms. Primo said that there wasn’t in the original agreement.  Then there was a modification intended for HFDC to pay OCIDA 5%, but have now discovered that OCIDA can’t charge HFDC.  Mr. Kilmartin said that because OCIDA is not getting the interest payment, it puts OCIDA at a disadvantage because it doesn’t have a 5% pass-through to funnel back to the County; Ms. Primo agreed.


Mr. Buckel asked if OCIDA did any bond deals last year and asked what is planned for this year.  Ms. Primo said that they haven’t done bond deals in 3 years.  There have been projects regarding expansions of local companies.  St. Joseph’s project is going through OCDC.  OCDC is working with Upstate.  Mr. Buckel asked if not seeing revenue in the future is what is driving this; Ms. Primo said that it is totally what is driving this.


Mr. Kilmartin asked if it is fairly unusual for the County to charge another entity/agency, or county department/agency interest if the County is not being charged interest on it.  Mr. Seitz said that we loan them County cash and typically would charge them what the County would make on the interest rate.  Mr. Stanczyk said that when this was set up, OCIDA had the money and they could have given the $1 million to match the grant, but they turned around and asked the County.  This is isn’t grant dollars; this is property tax dollars that the County was earning interest on.  He added that back when the money was lent, 5% was a reasonable rate of return.


Ms. Primo noted that the agreement terminates at the end of June; asking that it be extended at the same time.


Mr. Stanczyk asked how much the County takes from OCIDA for Economic Development; Ms. Primo said over $300,000.  He said it should be adjusted to $290,000 next year rather than go through reassigning a contract.


Mr. Buckel will abstain, as his firm represents HFDC.


Mr. Kilmartin asked if a resolution is required to amend the note; Mrs. Tarolli said “just to amend the resolution.”


Chairman Jordan said that he is troubled by the continuing of the restructuring of the agreement.  Originally it was loaning the money for 7 years; then expanded to 11 years; now pushing it out to 14 years – effectively have double the period of time that the money should be paid back.  He sees the economic benefit.  There is almost $300,000 after 11 years of a debt that was supposed to be paid off in 7 years.


Ms. Primo said a lot of work has been done; it was land that had buildings with asbestos; infrastructure wasn’t there to build any construction.  Now there are 6 companies, potentially a 7th coming on, all paying something to the community.  Lori Deitz, Centerstate CEO, said that the premise of the payment was on the ability to sell parcels.  They have been successful in selling property.  With the grant they took down 34 buildings, 2,500 linear feet of above ground pipe which was covered in asbestos, improved with new sanitary and storm sewers, built roads to them, built retention facilities – all of which has to be done before they can sell one piece of property.  When all of that was done they ran into issues i.e. underground storage tank, which had to be remediated.  They basically took a brown field and redeveloped it very successfully; $274,000 is owed; will probably be down to $174,000 in 6 months because there is another deal pending.  In answer to Chairman Jordan, Ms. Deitz said that hopefully by August the next project will be done and they will have 30 acres to be developed.  He asked if they anticipate any problem with the full payment by June 30, 2014.  Ms. Dietz said that they are very hopeful that they will able to meet it.  Chairman Jordan suggested that it be extended to June 2014 with no additional extensions.


Mr. Lesniak asked what OCIDA has in funds now; Ms. Primo said about $1.1 million. 




11.     WEP:  Marty Voss, Administrative Director

        a.     Amend 2011 Budget In Order to Provide $1.2 Million In Funding from the Dept. of Water Environ. Protection to Establish and Promote the Use Of Green Infrastructure Applications Throughout Onondaga Co. Under the Banner of Onondaga County’s “Save The Rain” Program ($1,200,000)

  • Money for suburbs for green infrastructure - looking to pursue at the direction of the Legislature

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


Chairman Rhinehart said he spoke to Mr. Corbett who is the sponsor.  The original intent was that there were concerns when legislators were approached with $70 million worth of bonding projects and all of the green infrastructure projects that WEP was proposing all inside of the city.  A number of legislators suggested that possibly a project or two be done in the sewer shed outside of the city since all of the people in the sewer shed are responsible for paying taxes and paying for this.  Mr. Corbett put his name on the resolution as committee Chairman, but was anticipating some changes to be made prior to presenting it today.  No changes have been made to date.  Mr. Corbett does not support the way the resolution is drafted now; and would like to modify it before it goes forward with his name on it.  Chairman Rhinehart does not support this resolution - $1.2 million has to come out of WEP fund balance, which is basically an additional tax – not part of the $78 million bonding that was intended; it is set up at the discretion of the WEP Commissioner and put into the Save the Rain Program.  Last year Save the Rain gave money to Jazz Fest; he believes years ago it funded Lights on the Lake.  Mr. Voss said that it can be worked out however it is desired; he understands the intent, and they can rework the mechanics of it.


Mr. Stanczyk pulled the motion and noted that the legislature wants green initiatives inside and outside of the city, and for the money to come from the funds provided for the green infrastructure, not from WEP fund balance.


        b.     Report on Outcome of Vender Management RFP (Referred from Environmental Prot. Comm.)

  • October 2010 budget review – included an RFP for vendor managed inventory of fleet inventory facility, which serves 14 County departments, 1,400 pieces of equipment. 
  • Normally an RFP takes a year; they had 6 weeks – it went out in late Nov.; responses back in Jan.
  • Responses were not clear enough; reissued the RFP
  • RFP has been awarded
  • When legislature instructed them to do this, there was no money put into the 408 acct. to pay for the management of the program – fee vendors charge to do this, and 300 account – where parts are purchased was cut
  • Asking to move $50,000 to 408 and $125,000 to 300 from fund balance


Mr. Kinne said that last month Mr. Voss said that it didn’t make any sense to do this; Mr. Voss agreed.  Mr. Kinne questioned what happened that changed.  Mr. Voss noted that the RFP was reissued with clarifications in it.  When he asked for the positions, the RFPs came back and Purchase and DMB did an analysis of them, that WEP had previous not done, with respect to long term care of employees.  When that was factored in, WEP made its recommendation.  Mr. Kinne expressed 2 concerns.  He referenced a packet in his mailbox today from a vendor--asked if this has to voted on today.  Mr. Voss said that the positions were abolished; in the mean time in order to meet the needs of the 14 county departments that need auto parts, someone was put on the 103 payroll temporarily.  They are now well past the deadline that someone can stay on the 103 line.  They need to be able to run the stock room.  Mr. Kinne referred to the VOIP RFP system last month; now there is another problem with an RFP.  It looks like there is a breakdown somewhere.  He doesn’t see the rush; need to ask questions as to what is going on.  Mr. Fisher referred to the VOIP RFP and noted that there is a very rigorous process involving Law, Purchasing, and Executive Office and they have followed it very carefully in this RFP and the last.  When a vendor doesn’t get selected, and someone is trying to figure out how to reverse that process, they raise complaints.  When they see it is slowing things, then next month it will happen again.  He assured the committee that the RFP process was done absolutely rigorously and is confident that it was a good process.


Chairman Rhinehart showed the committee a copy of the 2nd RFP that was released.  Two have been done as there was a complaint the first time around.  Government can’t be run by every time an RFP is put out and someone doesn’t get the bid they start calling and sending letters.  It has happened in the past with the prior administration; the complaints just never got to the legislature.  It is also changing because it has gotten more competitive; people want and need these bids.  The second time around with the RFP all three bidders reduced their bids.  This is being done the right way; he has asked counsel repeatedly who says that she has worked with the Department of Purchase.  He noted that this was the legislature’s initiative during the budget process.  Mr. Voss has done a lot or work on this; the top 3 bidders were very qualified; the vendor selected was the lowest bid – very successful local company, provides parts all over upstate New York.  


Mr. Voss said that the WEP would very much like to be out of the auto parts business.


Mr. Kinne referred to the packet he received, and asked about the question on page 2….in the same RFP, give 3 municipalities which have similar operations listed….the selected company did not list three municipalities.  Mr. Carroll said that he is not sure this is the forum to discuss who wins and RFP.


Mr. Lesniak referred to the 103 position, if this is approved today, will the position be abolished.  Mr. Voss said that they will as soon as the vendor is in, contracted, and functioning. 


Mr. Stanczyk asked if there will be a savings if this is contracted out, rather than provide it ourselves.  Two months ago the committee was told this doesn’t make sense; he questioned if it now makes sense.  Mr. Voss said “yes”.  Mr. Stanczyk asked who did the financial analysis.  Mr. Voss said “Purchasing”.  Mr. Stanczyk asked Mr. Seitz how this works out financially; Mr. Seitz said that Management and Budget did not prepare that analysis.  Mr. Carroll said that when the first RFP was done, it was 100’s of 1000’s of dollars off all over the place.  The reason they went back to fix it was to make sure it wasn’t their error.  In the second go round they considered hard dollars, which are very close between the low bidder and county operation, approx. $35,000.  Some things hadn’t been counted for, i.e. WEP pays to audit their inventory every year.  They looked at soft costs.  The RFP Committee’s decision was that there was opportunity to fix processes, contain loss, and address some soft costs that offset any hard cost in the RFP.  The decision was that there would be a cost savings. 


Mr. Fisher said that when Purchasing is evaluating an external purchase of something, when they have the expertise they need, they wouldn’t call Budget Department.  Chairman Jordan said that Purchasing didn’t quantify the exact savings.  Mr. Carroll said that with all of the information together it gave the RFP Committee a clear sense that there was opportunity for savings.


Mr. Stanczyk said that he is hearing that the costs are close to what we are paying now.  The hard costs are about $35,000 more, but have been paying $15,000 to WEP to do an inventory every year; if that is taken away the cost is within $20,000.  With long term costs of employees and issues, they are going to say that this will save money.  This is such sophistry.  During budget we were told that the bidder would pay $500,000 - $1 million, for the inventory of parts that the County would no longer have to carry; that turned out to be fog, smoke and mirrors.  This RFP will not save money on the hard costs because the soft costs will cost money.  Mr. Voss clarified that the $500,000 is the total parts budget for the year; the legislature put in $100,000 as a receivable for carrying inventory.  WEP carries about $160,000 on hand depending on what the negotiation is.  If they get $.50 on the $1.00, they will be in good shape; it was never anywhere near $500,000 to get in return for existing inventory. 


2Mr. Kinne left the meeting.


Mr. Kilmartin asked if this transition will make things more efficient, government to run better, assist WEP or other departments.  Mr. Voss said that the County shouldn’t be in the parts business; it is a function of competitive pricing, high technology to get parts quickly.  The Civil Service process does not lend itself to find someone technically qualified to do this.  The way vehicles are built today, it can get complicated. They have a trained parts person now who understands automotive, but is not reachable on Civil Service list, so she can’t be kept any more.  They have had 5 or 6 people there from the Civil Service list in the time he has been there.  None of them have been able to do it.  The Civil Service process is never going to be able to provide the person needed to run it.  If the expertise exists in the private sector, then they will try it and streamline the operation. 


Mr. Buckel said that there has been a lot of variation the department’s assessment of this, which is concerning.  His firm represents the proposed vendor and will remove himself from the vote.


        c.     Amending the 2011 County Budget by Transferring $175,000 into the Operating Budget from the Department of Water Environment Protection Fund Balance, to Provide the Necessary Funds in Order to Pay for a Vendor-Managed Inventory Control Program

A motion was made by Mr. Lesniak, seconded by Mr. Jordan to approve this item.  AYES:  3 (Jordan, Lesniak, Holmquist) NOES:  1 (Stanczyk); ABSTENTIONS:  2 (Kilmartin, Warner); EXCUSED:  1 (Buckel).  MOTION CARRIED.


3Mr. Kilmartin left the meeting.


12.    PURCHASE:

        a.     Revenue Contract Reporting – Sean Carroll, Director

(Revenue contract report on file with Clerk)

  • 5 Contracts executed with towns & villages on behalf of Sheriff’s Dept. – rate standardized across all 5 contracts 
  • Several other items will come up in next 2 months that will require RFP under revenue contracts – waste oil collection at Justice Center est. $1,000; public fax machine for libraries; pilot program for video system at Correction to allow judges and counsel to speak to clients without coming to the facility
  • Issued request for response for logging

Chairman Jordan referred to the pilot program for Correction; asked if the vendor is installing the system at no cost to the County.  Mr. Carroll said “yes”, and noted that a lot of vendors do this.


Mr. Lesniak referred to the Sheriff contracts with towns and village, rate of $58.81 to $64.40, and asked about the variation in rate.  Mr. Schuster said that rate is based on the maximum rate a deputy makes on overtime basis and all fringe; also estimate how much it cost per hour to run a police vehicle, liability, etc.  In answer to Mr. Lesniak, Mr. Schuster indicated that it is based on overtime for the deputies; none are done on regular time.


13.    WAYS & MEANS, MISC.

        a.     Requesting Departments to Conduct Life Cycle Assessments when Preparing Projected Budgets in Conjunction with Funding Requests Made to the Onondaga County Legislature for Large-Scale Infrastructure and Capital Projects (Sponsored by Mr. Jordan)

  • Look at all long term projected costs for a particular project, i.e. environmental, energy, all costs associated
  • when project comes forward looking at it from a holistic sense  - assess things in the first place and make decisions based on a long-term solution, not necessarily the smallest cost at the inception


Mr. Lesniak said that when someone comes in requesting funding for a building project, the whole costs should be figured in when the request is made.  Chairman Jordan agreed – look at all costs associated with different options available and make a completely informed decision.


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


        b.     Memorializing NYS Legislature to Enact Senate Bill No. S.04638 and Assembly Bill No. A.06104 Entitled “An Act to Amend the Tax Law, in Relation to Extending the Authorization of the County of Onondaga to Impose an Additional Rate of Sales and Compensating Use Taxes” and Concurring in the Preparation of a Home Rule Request (Sponsored by Mr. Lesniak, Mr. Stanczyk)

  • second action on the 1% sales tax required by the legislature

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


        c.     Report on Take Home Cars – Elected Officials (Res. 389-11)

The District Attorney and Sheriff have provided reports (on file with Clerk).  Mrs. Maturo stated that she has received statements from the County Clerk and Comptroller noting that they do not have any vehicles of any kind.  Mr. Stanczyk asked about County Executive; Mrs. Maturo stated that she did not receive anything from the County Executive.  Mr. Fisher said that they do not have any take home cars.


Mr. Warner asked if the Executive office uses and takes home some of the County cars assigned to other departments.  Mr. Fisher said that no one in the Executive office takes home cars that belong to any county department.  Mr. Warner asked about past history in the last 3 - 6 months.  Mr. Fisher said that he did not know the answer. 


Mr. Lesniak asked about assigned vehicles in the Sheriff’s Dept. and asked if a number of those are part of a collective bargaining agreement.  Chief Balloni said that most of the cars qualify as a term and condition of employment.  Mr. Lesniak asked to be provided with a list of those cars that are not a term and condition of employment.


Mr. Stanczyk said that the contract terms were not negotiated at all by the Sheriff.  Chief Balloni said that there is in both contracts that cars are assigned by the Sheriff; as someone leaves a position, the Sheriff can determine whether or not a new person coming into that position gets a car.  Since he has been there, there has been a reduction of 4 or 5 take home vehicle.  Mr. Stanczyk asked to be provided with a list of them.



        a.     Informational:  Court House Security – James Rhinehart, Chairman

  • NYS has recently stopped paying overtime statewide for court house security
  • Will be billed for the security in place for the Reapportionment public hearing
  • Have worked with Mrs. Maturo; have had meetings; will continue to work with Mr. Lynch and Court House security to set up an arrangement
  • Currently part of the security leaves at 4:00 and the rest by 4:30 every day
  • Will be bringing a resolution forward in the future


        b.     Amending Rule 1 of the Rules of the Onondaga County Legislature to Change the Meeting Time for Regular Session of the Onondaga County Legislature (Sponsored by Mr. Rhinehart)

  • Move sessions to 1:00 p.m. to reduce amount of time security is needed after hours
  • Did not move it to a morning time, as this is a part time job for most legislators and they have other obligations
  • There will be times when meetings will go beyond 4:30 and money will need to be budgeted to pay to have security in the building
  • Time change effective June 7, 2011

Mr. Stanczyk asked if there is an opportunity to modify the security staff schedule and not the time of the legislature meeting; i.e. they work from 11:00 – 6:30 instead of 8:30 – 4:30.  Chairman Rhinehart said that we can’t set their schedule; they work for NYS; we can hire them to stay on, but he will bring the question up in a meeting.  Mr. Lesniak suggested that it might be part of their collective bargaining.


Mr. Jordan questioned the limitation.  Mrs. Maturo stated that court house have to be closed to the public by 4:30 p.m. across New York State.  Mr. Buckel agreed that there is a compressed time in place; judges and attorneys have to end at a designated time.  He noted that he is not even sure with the extra money that the court will allow us to do this; they want the facility shut down.  He would rather see night sessions anyway, but it is out of our hands at this point.  Mr. Stanczyk suggested that meetings could be taken to different venues and held at different times across the county.


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


15.    ONCENTER:  Bill Fisher, Deputy County Executive

        a.     A Local Law Providing for the Defense and Indemnification of the Directors of the Onondaga Co. Convention Center War Memorial Complex Management Corporation (Sponsored by Mrs. Rapp)

Asking to change the way the relationship works with the Oncenter Board.  Oncenter Board is part of a director and officer indemnification policy that the Oncenter buys.  The board wants to double the indemnification from $1 million to $2 million.  The objection to that is that they are already spending $8,000; have never been sued; County owns the building and are the deep pockets.  He is not sure how much someone could get out of individual board members.  The County indemnifies employees, legislators and elected officials.  Oncenter employees and the Oncenter Board are not County employees.  He referred to the OCPL board, where the County does indemnify the board.  The difference is that it is a County department and a system chartered under State Library and Education Law.  Mrs. Berger referred to Public Officers Law 18--allows County to extend to its employees generally; it expressly includes library boards.  The Oncenter is a private entity, but still has public permits, by creating a local law the coverage can be extended under Public Officers Law 18.  Regarding an extension to officers, Mr. Fisher said that a conclusion was made that the County does not need to extend this to officers as the County does not appoint the CEO, CFO, or officers; the Board does.  They will need a defense and indemnification policy of their own. 


Chairman Jordan questioned the additional premium amount to extend it to the directors.  Mr. Fisher said that they wouldn’t have to increase the policy on their own employees; they can keep it at $1 million.  The Board members were concerned to get it to $2 million.  Ms. Stanczyk questioned the cost, and Mr. Fisher said that the cost was going to double.  Mr. Fisher said that the board members work on a volunteer basis and do a lot of work and should be indemnified by the County.  Very little risk is seen; they aren’t significant targets, but if they are targets the County will be as well. 


Mr. Stanczyk said that these people aren’t County employees; Board is appointed by the County Executive; the facilities are the County’s; the Oncenter exists because the County gives them a huge subsidy.  They are at arm’s length.  Mr. Fisher disagreed; Oncenter provides quarterly reports and specified things to the Comptroller and CFO.  Mr. Stanczyk said it is a quasi-governmental thing.  It won’t cost twice as much for the coverage.  Mr. Fisher said that he can get the price quote.  


Mr. Buckel referred to the accounting; a year or two ago many members of the legislature met with Oncenter and were presented with a dire financial situation.  Since that time, the County has taken many expenses off of their books.  He would like to have a really accurate accounting of what the operation is doing rather than masking it.  Mr. Fisher said that for that reason, in part, the County Executive has recently made appointments to the board who have financial areas.  Several of them are on the Finance Committee.  They presented something earlier this week that sheds a lot of light on how much money is being lost or under different operations.  Next month the Committee will be hearing from the Board and Ms. Toennies as to exactly what the breakeven or failure to break even looks like at the War Memorial, Oncenter, Civic Center theaters, and parking operations.  Mr. Buckel said that when the numbers are compiled, there will be allocations—will there be fair allocations for the kinds of maintenance and other expenses that the County will be assuming.  Mr. Fisher said that they now have very accurate allocations on steam and heat and chilled water.  There are also very good work order systems in place. 


Chairman Jordan is not over inclined to support this:  1) saying there is no risk associated, but have an insurance company that is doubling the premium to cover directors.  Either they are trying to rob us, or there is a substantial risk of covering these additional individuals; 2) the local law states that the county will pay for private counsel for any director that is sued in the event a determination is made that there is a conflict of interest.  Mrs. Tarolli said that it is language that is in the current defense and indemnification.  Mr. Buckel said that he wouldn’t want to leave employees exposed.


4Mr. Stanczyk left the meeting.


16.    LAW:

        a.     Settlement of Litigation

Mr. Lesniak made a motion to enter into executive session to discuss the following matters with pending litigation:  C.O. Falter Construction Company v. County of Onondaga; Ridley Electric v. County of Onondaga: Allissa Leader v. County of Onondaga, seconded by Mr. Holmquist.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.


Mr. Warner made a motion, seconded by Mr. Holmquist to leave executive session and enter regular session.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.


A resolution entitled “Authorizing the Settlement of the Supreme Court Action of Allissa Leader V. Onondaga County, Onondaga County Sheriff’s Department and Sheriff Kevin Walsh, In His Capacity as Sheriff of Onondaga County”, was distributed.  A motion was made by Mr. Warner, Seconded by Mr. Holmquist to approve this item.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.


The meeting was adjourned at 11:47 a.m.


Respectfully submitted,



Onondaga County Legislature


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