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

DEBORAH L. MATURO
Clerk
DAVID H. KNAPP
Chairman
KATHERINE FRENCH
Deputy Clerk

 

 

SPECIAL HEALTH COMMITTEE MINUTES – APRIL 1, 2019

TIMOTHY T. BURTIS, CHAIRMAN

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Mr. Bottrill, Mrs. Abbott-Kenan, Dr. Chase

MEMBERS ABSENT:  Ms. Williams

ALSO ATTENDING:  see attached list

 

Chairman Burtis called the meeting to order at 9:33 a.m.  A motion was made by Dr. Chase, seconded by Mr. Bottrill to waive the reading of the minutes of the previous committee meeting; MOTION CARRIEDA motion was made by Dr. Chase, seconded by Mrs. Abbott-Kenan to approve the minutes of the previous committee meeting; MOTION CARRIED.

 

1.     HEALTH DEPARTMENT:

        a.     Establishing a Physicians’ Salary Schedule, and Making Various Personnel Changes

                (Sponsored by Mr. Knapp)

 

Chairman Burtis stated that item 1a will be tabled, and will not be discussed.  Chairman Knapp agreed.

 

        b.     Amending the Salary Schedule for Management Confidential Employees and Authorizing Advanced Step Placements (Sponsored by Mr. Burtis, Mr. Knapp)

 

A motion was made by Chairman Burtis, seconded by Dr. Chase, to enter into executive session to discuss a particular person, the employment history of that particular person, and matters leading to the appointment of that person.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

 

A motion was made by Mrs. Abbott-Kenan, seconded by Mr. Bottrill, to exit executive session, and enter regular session.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

 

Chairman Burtis stated they are discussing amending the salary schedule for management confidential employees and advance step placements.  This resolution is more comprehensive then what was presented previously, and will meet the County’s needs.  Chairman Burtis read through the resolution.

 

Chairman Knapp thanked Ms. Lesniak for working with the legislators and County Executive’s office.  This will give the County Executive and Legislature more flexibility going forward.  Chairman Burtis also thanked the Legislature, Ms. Lesniak and Ms. Rooney for putting this together as an answer to what is needed for the MEO. 

 

A motion was made by Dr. Chase, seconded by Mr. Bottrill, to approve item 1b.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

 

A motion was made by Chairman Burtis, seconded by Mrs. Abbott-Kenan, to adjourn the meeting.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

 

The meeting adjourned at 9:58 a.m.                                                    

 

Respectfully submitted,

4.1.19_Health_1

JAMIE M. McNAMARA, Assistant Clerk

Onondaga County Legislature

4.1.19_Health_2

 

 

 

* * *

 

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION COMMITTEE MINUTES – APRIL 10, 2019

CASEY E. JORDAN, CHAIRMAN

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Dr. Chase, Mrs. Tassone, Mrs. Abbott-Kenan, Mr. Bottrill

ALSO ATTENDING:  Chairman Knapp, Mrs. Ervin; see attached list

 

Chairman Jordan called the meeting to order at 9:02 a.m.  A motion was made by Mrs. Tassone, seconded by Dr. Chase, to waive the reading of the proceedings from the previous committee.  MOTION CARRIED.  A motion was made by Dr. Chase, seconded by Mrs. Tassone, to approve the minutes of the previous committee meeting.  MOTION CARRIED. 

 

1.     ONONDAGA COUNTY WATER AUTHORITY: 

        a.    Confirming Reappointment to the Onondaga County Water Authority (Kenneth C. Gardiner)

 

Chairman Knapp:

  • Still trying to clean up various appointments for committees and boards for those expired or about to expire
  • Reappointment brings a lot to the board, senior partner at Dannible & McKee, a CPA, took on the role of financial overseer for the board and wants to continue to serve; highly recommend Mr. Gardiner for this position

Mr. Bottrill stated that he knows Mr. Gardiner and he is a great choice.  Chairman Knapp said that Mr. Gardiner was also a past chair for the McMahon Ryan Child Advocacy Center and very involved in the community.

 

Mr. Bottrill questioned the length of the appointment.  Chairman Knapp responded that it is a 3-year term, his appointment actually expired in July of 2018.

 

A motion was made by Mrs. Tassone, seconded by Mrs. Abbott-Kenan, to approve this item.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

 

2.     WATER ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION:  Mary Beth Primo, Deputy County Executive/Physical Services; Frank Mento, P.E., Deputy Commissioner

        a.     Confirming the Appointment of Frank M. Mento, PE, as the Onondaga County Commissioner of the Department of Water Environment Protection

 

Ms. Primo:

  • Mr. Mento is a professional engineer, spent most of his career with CHA, responsible for overseeing operations in CNY for many of those years
  • Starting working with Mr. Mento during her tenure with Economic Development - CHA did a lot of work at what was then known as the Clay Business Park and is now known as White Pine, also have worked with him over the past 5 years in her current position - CHA did a lot of work in park facilities; always found him to be professional, hardworking and very smart, proved himself to be a problem solver – huge going into this position
  • 4 months ago 2nd deputy commissioner position was created, fortunate to have him accept the county executive’s offer to take the position; has done extremely well, in the perfect position to take over the very big shoes of Mr. Rhoads

Ms. Primo said she wanted to take a second to recognize Mr. Rhoads.  Mr. Rhoads interjected saying that Mr. Mento has been there early morning through late in the evening.  He’s taking evening and weekends calls so he is already well upon the task.  He is well suited for this and will do a tremendous job.  Ms. Primo responded that we are very confident of that and urge approval of Mr. Mento as the next Commissioner for WEP.  However, while in this public setting she wants to take a moment to thank Mr. Rhoads for a job very well done.  A round of applause was given by all those in attendance.

 

Chairman Jordan stated that Mr. Mento’s resume is included with the agenda.  He is extremely qualified for the position and would be a great addition.  Mrs. Tassone said that she has known Mr. Mento for a while and he is a great choice.  She definitely wants to cosponsor and is sure he will fill the shoes and do a fabulous job.  Chairman Knapp echoed everything said. 

 

Chairman Knapp said that Ways and Means talked about Mr. Rhoads time at OCRRA and WEP.  He is incredibly dedicated and someone who can stretch a dollar a long, long way.  These are Paul Bunyan type shoes to fill but Mr. Mento is absolutely the guy who can step in and do it.  This is a 24/7 job as pipes don’t just break between nine and five and typically it seems as if the bigger the pipe the worse the timing.  Mr. Mento will be very dedicated to the community.

 

Mr. Plochocki stated that he has had the pleasure of working closely with Mr. Mento for the past few months and echoes what everyone has said.  Mr. Mento is fabulous to work with, knows his stuff and is a great person.  He also would be remiss if he did not say something about his good friend Mr. Rhoads.  It was a great working relationship over the years and some of the old timers will remember him going to bat for Mr. Rhoads during the budget.  Mr. Rhoads is a great guy and a pleasure to work with. 

 

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

 

Mr. Mento thanked everyone for the kind words.

 

b.     INFORMATIONAL:  “Bringing the Underground to the Surface” – A PowerPoint Presentation on Sewer Consolidation

 

Mr. Mento:

  • This could be the first of many presentations to come, specific to the consolidation of the locally owned sanitary conveyance assets, the purpose is to bring awareness to this issue countywide and start the public education process
  • Very high-level presentation, not much detail yet, starting framework and platform for intent, the theme of the presentation is restructuring wastewater conveyance in Onondaga County

 

4.10.19_EP_1

 

4.10.19_EP_2

  • Current boundaries of the Onondaga County Sanitary Consolidated District (OCSCD),  consolidated is a bit of a misnomer because in each of the colored areas there are county owned and locally owned assets – locally being villages, towns, and the City of Syracuse; each color represents a service areas, each service area has a treatment plant within it and conveyance assets take sanitary sewage and flows to the respective treatment plant or plants, 6 plants total, Metro is the biggest
  • For later reference, Meadowbrook-Limestone (MBLS) is the area in red

4.10.19_EP_3

  • Slide shows the order of magnitude and scale of what we are trying to do, the focus is on locally owned assets where there are miles of sewers, 100+ pump stations and many other ancillary assets mostly buried below ground; the crux of the matter is that ownership is not linked

4.10.19_EP_4    4.10.19_EP_5

  • Common theme of his and the county executive; going back to the county executive’s platform of (PIE) poverty, infrastructure and economic development, good solid infrastructure leads to community growth and community assets; trying to link all the systems to comprehensively attack and maintain them to allow for growth without limitation because of infrastructure constraints

4.10.19_EP_6   4.10.19_EP_7

  • Won’t seem fair initially, short-term implications are very difficult, definitely the way to go long-term, has taken 50+ years to get to this point, won’t solve it all tomorrow, asking all to remember that we are in this together for the good of the community; what happens in MBLS initially is very important because it is the most vulnerable, will eventually get to other towns and the city, will take patience, dedication and discipline, one reason for doing it this way is so that we are prepared to comprehensively look at it

Mr. Bottrill asked why this area is the most vulnerable.  Mr. Mento responded that there are a couple of reasons.  There are extensive infiltration and inflow (I&I) in MBL and the treatment plant is problematic.  We will likely have a consent order from DEC soon; getting them to put the brakes on until we are able to do some I&I reduction in this area.  Conveyance is not good in that area, there are holes in pipes and manholes are letting in all kinds of groundwater and stormwater.  All these assets are deteriorating which means that clean water is getting in, overtaxing the plant, increasing cost and etc.  Mr. Bottrill said that this strikes him a little different and asked if this was one of the older facilities in the community because development may have happened later than other areas of the county.  Mr. Mento responded that that issue in combination with the age of the current systems creates a double whammy.  Now all of a sudden there is more demand because of later development but the infrastructure is in worse shape than it should be.  Putting those two together taxes the pipes and the plant.

  • Action is needed sooner rather than later; pipe image is just one example of miles and miles of underground pipe which look like that; pipes underground means out of sight and mind, wouldn’t be ignored if above ground, i.e., wouldn’t drive over pothole every 10 feet without saying something, correlate what is going on with the pipes and it’s about the same condition

4.10.19_EP_8    4.10.19_EP_9

  • Equally important is the public health issue, sewers backup, sanitary flow ends up in the streets, yards and basements
  • One of the most critical assets within each service area are the pump stations, stations owned by local municipalities are substandard in all cases; Mr. Rhoads put together a pump station model for the future which will be implemented as stations are taken over and upgraded throughout all the service areas, again this is a critical roadblock and choke point in terms of the assets

4.10.19_EP_10    4.10.19_EP_11

  • I&I causes catastrophic costs because you are fixing things on an emergency basis rather than programming and planning through capital improvement
  • Freeing up capacity in our system is a very important outcome 

4.10.19_EP_12    4.10.19_EP_13

  • Bed this into the capital improvement plan (CIP), as we are doing now, and leverage our financial strength for grants and low-interest loans; doing nothing is not an option, would lead to continued system degradation, catastrophic liability for local municipalities and detrimental environmental impacts

4.10.19_EP_14    4.10.19_EP_15

  • Things seen in the public eye took precedence, over time the costs have aggregated and now would have a crippling impact on their budget, i.e. Village of Manlius and Fayetteville
  • Small projects have now become large projects

4.10.19_EP_16    4.10.19_EP_17 

  • Short-term will see impacts to the unit rate, long-term will have efficiencies and an opportunity to optimize the system; punitive costs only eat into the budget for doing the things we want to do, instead of answering the DEC and EPA under violation we spend the dollars on the system itself

4.10.19_EP_18    4.10.19_EP_19

  • Hired outside consultant to define the program along with our group, expect complete plan by the first week of May 2019, will have plan of attack and priority; have term contractors in place to begin work this summer, going forward this year’s CIP will reflect additional monies for the next set of 5 years, moving further in MBLS and other areas as programmed on a priority case; good news, ready to start
  • Next presentation, if desired, will dive deeper into particular efficacy of results, how we are doing with the plants and the result on our flat rate across the system

Chairman Jordan stated that this is a problem for everyone.  Just about every town has had issues and it is not just old developments, i.e. his development is 25 years old, a neighbor had sewer backup into the basement.  This is a problem that affects us all and the costs of these improvements are unbelievable, i.e. ACJ for the city is over half a billion dollars.  For a town or village to come up with fifty or sixty million dollars is not feasible for a sewer project.  Taxes would go through the roof.  This is something we need to look at in terms of having everyone buy in and be part of the solution.  Some of his constituents are concerned that they have invested in their sewer infrastructure and question why they should support solving problems in municipalities that ignored their infrastructure.  There is a certain truth to that as different municipalities have designated different resources towards addressing their infrastructure and sewer systems.  Some consideration should be given to municipalities that have shown the foresight to be sinking money aside and maintaining and investing in their infrastructure.  They should not bear the same burden as municipalities that haven’t been carrying their load.  Dr. Chase responded that they have been so busy putting on band aides that they have neither the time nor money to start from square one and fix it.  The city is a mess but every time there was a discussion on how to fix this water breaks popped up all over causing them to spend so much money that they are now way behind in trying to plan to do something better.  She is sure that villages and towns have dealt with the same thing.  It is nice to say let’s make everything whole and have everything be new and shiny but meanwhile, you have to keep the old stuff running and that is expensive.  Hopefully, Mr. Mento has the answer to all of this. 

 

Chairman Jordan asked when pipes had to be replaced versus lining.  Mr. Mento responded that in most cases, especially within the smaller systems, we can line the pipes and it is the best solution as it is noninvasive.  Basically, we put a sock in the manhole, push air through the sock, cure it, and it forms a sold resin bond on the inside of the pipe.  You are not digging up the ground, it is quick and we have a term contract that is very reasonable in terms of rates.  We can get started right away.  It is a very good solution probably 80% of the time.  Other times we have to dig but we try to avoid that whenever we can. 

 

Mrs. Abbott-Kenan said that it is not sexy and unless it’s your house, who wants to pay more.  Communication needs to be at the forefront, asking towns and villages to help us explain what is going on.  No one has money for this and it needs to happen.  It doesn’t affect my village but it effects everywhere that everyone works, etc.  There is an onus on everybody to bring constituents along.  Mr. Mento said that this is a great point and part of what this presentation and future presentations if desired, are intended to do.  Bringing this to the forefront of everybody’s mind so that they know what the problem is and are aware when we talk about increased costs down the road and work that can be somewhat disrupted, especially in villages.  Mrs. Abbott-Kenan said that this needs to be a partnership from the town and village leaders and the community. 

 

Mr. Bottrill said that it has been his experience that towns and villages are very supportive of this.  It is great to have the county executive take a leadership role on this very difficult and expensive issue, and the legislature is right on in their role of supporting this.  It is something that needs to happen.  He then questioned how this will be coordinated with the city and the resources they already have, realizing that this is probably down the road.  Mr. Mento responded that he could shed a little light on this.  His hats off to all for taking on something like this especially during the course of this year, recognizing the importance and knowing it is not the most popular thing in the world is very courageous on everyone’s part.  With respect to the city, the city is a very difficult region within this process for a couple of reasons.  They have combined systems meaning that their storm and sanitary systems in some cases are connected so during wet weather events we have massive problems with excessive water in our system.  Secondly, the drinking water system is typically higher in the ground than the sanitary system.  The water system in the city is in bad shape and when a water lines break pressurized water is making its way down and impacting our sewers, which are already in bad shape causing a double whammy.  There is a coordination element of dealing with the city on water and sewer.  We are still in negotiations with the city who wants us to look at some different ways of handling this.  We are open-minded and trying to find the best solution but also have to be cost mindful and not spend more than we should.   

 

Mr. Bottrill questioned the approximate time for completion of the MBLS area work.  Mr. Mento responded that work will start this summer and probably take 2 to 3 years.  To be clear, this is not all moving in series.  We could be working in MBLS and also start work in other areas depending on the priorities.  It is not one after the other.

 

Chairman Jordan asked Mr. Mento to elaborate on the aspects encompassed within the takeover, for example, would it include all the laterals to individual homes.  Mr. Mento responded that this is a great question.  There is a boatload of laterals that service our system.  Our research and work have found that those are the greatest areas for I&I.  In fact, if we are able to line just 2 feet up a lateral we increase I&I reduction by almost 30%.  That is how critical these are.  We have yet to figure that out because a portion of the laterals are private and a portion is public, public typically ends at the property line.  We will probably incorporate some kind of fix for our public area and the private area is still up for debate.  It is a big, big issue because of the size and number of them.  Chairman Jordan said that constituents who have had issues have been frustrated by trying to determine who owns the pipe.  Mr. Mento responded that WEP does a great job with its maintenance forces to help homeowners by cleaning laterals through the vent and clean outs, they do whatever they can to restore service.  What we are talking about here is how to protect the integrity of those laterals in the public domain.  That is consistent with what we may or may not be taking over.

 

Mrs. Tassone said that the city sewers systems are horrible and the oldest, therefore, she assumes they will be helping with the costs.  Mr. Mento responded that the idea behind consolidation is that once WEP takes over we will manage the system and look for all kinds of relief in terms of grants and subsidies.  He is not yet sure of the legal framework in terms of costs.  Whether we are able to look at a surplus in certain districts and transfer that is all being developed as far as the asset transfer legal model.  He is not sure that they will be participating in a lot of costs other than what is already within the districts within the city.  The city is a bit of a wildcard right now. 

 

Chairman Knapp said that anything to do with water, clean or otherwise, has lots of zeroes attached to it.  The good news is that our sewer rates are well below the national average as Mr. Rhoads pointed out to us yearly.  This is really good news that we can be proud of, and one doesn’t realize the millions and millions of gallons of water being treated as we speak by our various facilities.  The other piece of this is that all of this is interrelated.  We cannot have a lot of economic development if we don’t have our infrastructure taken care of.  The MBLS facility is authorized to treat 7 or 8 million gallons per day but there are many days when it’s treating over 20 million gallons.  Controlling authorities look at this situation and will not tolerate it for a long period, and 40% of that overage is clean water.  If we can eliminate that it gives us the capacity to bring in economic development such as manufacturing which tends to create a lot of wastewater.  It is a chicken or the egg thing but getting our arms around this will go a long way to help us with the other. 

 

Mr. Plochocki said that if his 7 years at the table is remembered for anything he hopes it is that he consistently said there was a crisis coming in the municipal part of our system if we didn’t do something.  He stands by that and if legislators don’t want to do this they will have to come up with something else or crisis is the truly the other option. 

 

Dr. Chase said that the number of zeroes spent every month boggles her mind and when people hear the amount of money put into this they think there has to be another way.  The more we can explain the cost, time involvement, importance to economic development, and that this stuff will not be coming back into the homeowner's basement, the easier it will be for legislators to say go ahead and do this.  Mr. Mento said that he is willing and able if anybody needs additional help in explaining this or wants to have some kind of forum. 

 

Mrs. Abbott-Kenan said that we could pay 20 guys to be fixing and taping pipes all day long or pay 2 people to work at a plant and be proactive.  This is just basic as we are spending the money either way.  At some point, you have to pony up if you are going to save money in the long run.  Mr. Mento said that it is short term pay for long term stability and growth. 

 

3.     ENVIRONMENT, OFFICE OF:  Travis Glazier, Director

        a.     INFORMATIONAL:  Murphy’s Island Project

 

Mr. Glazier presented the following:

4.10.19_EP_20    4.10.19_EP_21

 

4.10.19_EP_22

 

  • Green represents trails already constructed or fully funded and underway, the orange segment is Murphy’s Island which is across from Destiny USA, legislators will be accepting funding to begin planning for the blue segment at the next meeting of County Facilities

 

4.10.19_EP_23

  • In 1992 the state and federal plan for the Loop the Lake project, which included design, included Murphy’s Island  

4.10.19_EP_24    4.10.19_EP_25

 

  • Given the lack of consultation that had taken place with USFWS and DEC, there was a preference to have the trail near the railroad tracks
  • County consulted with the USFWS, early 2018 received the response listed above; the county is meeting all stared items and will use DEC winter roosting and restrictive access dates which are more restrictive and listed in red

4.10.19_EP_26

  • Began constructing where the trail would go, red line is the county’s initial preferred option, keeps trail users near the shoreline and is more in line with what has been done in the past, the blue line is in line with what the legislature requested, will talk about this further – take note of the CSX property line (see last paragraph on this page), after Onondaga Audubon and various others relayed that the shoreline option could potentially be more disruptive to eagles outside of the roosting period we elected to move the trail inward which is the yellow line, people still thought we were too close to the shoreline so County Executive McMahon settled on roughly the green line

In answer to Mrs. Tassone, Mr. Glazier said that they walked the yellow line in the fall.

  • Played video of train passing and whistle blowing, trains run 55 to 60 mph, counted 3 trains in an hour period, trains are over 1 mile long and run for 1 to 2 minutes; determined being near the train would be a public nuisance and had projectile concern for people using the trail, in addition contacted CSX who made it very clear that they are not interested in participating with the county on a Rails To Trails option meaning we have to remain outside of their property in order to do this

 

4.10.19_EP_27

 

  • An email exchange between the county and CSX

 

4.10.19_EP_28

  • Current design, red line is the CSX property line, trail stays fully off of their property, is still under the vegetation and moved a long ways away from the shoreline out of those concerns; bear in mind USFWS indicated it didn’t matter where the trail was on the property – by restricting access during the roosting period we are being protective
  • Played drone footage for context running roughly along the line of the railroad option; 20 yards difference between the requested trail alignment and the currently designed trail being submitted to the DEC

4.10.19_EP_29   4.10.19_EP_30 

  • Contacted Destiny USA about using their property, because of PILOT associated with the property, issues with Harborside Drive, and commitments to provide a certain amount of parking space for tenants they were not able to provide the space required for trail purposes

4.10.19_EP_31

  • On road option red line located at the bottom, runs along Hiawatha Blvd going past Destiny to Park St. and uses the old trail already created which would need to be rehabilitated; trail snakes its way through on and off ramps as you go into Liverpool near the Parkway and Old Liverpool Rd.
  • Many impediments make this a difficult corridor to use for the Loop the Lake Trail, first there are 1 of 2 main entrances to Destiny USA with multiple crossing, a narrow Hiawatha bridge of I-81 already has a narrow sidewalk with limited ability to expand, the ability to get the 10 foot span needed for the trail does not exist, also an on and off ramp to I-81 which would have to cross pedestrians, Park St. has an additional off-ramp to I-81 that would have to be crossed as well as the Regional Market entrance and the other Destiny USA entrance with 4 lanes of traffic that would have to crossed before getting to the railroad bridge over Park St., which is narrow and doesn’t have enough space for the trail and traffic to go underneath, there are a lot of physical impediments to not using Murphy’s Island; not realistic to say that no one could touch Murphy’s Island and we could still complete Loop the Lake

4.10.19_EP_32

 

  • Going further out and looking at Bear or Court St. you still have to get to where the star is on Park St., also still have to deal with the railroad, off-ramp to I-81 and the  entrance to Destiny USA

 

4.10.19_EP_33    4.10.19_EP_34

 

  • Most trail users are repeat users and want to be good stewards, will observe and follow guidelines
  • Played drone footage showing overstory and understory trees on the island

 

4.10.19_EP_35   4.10.19_EP_36

 

  • Folks supportive of a sanctuary say human activity is different than the train and other activist that happen there, this is not an excluded place, one of Audubon’s own experts has indicated that trains coming by drive the eagles from their roost on a regular basis and is a good time to get pictures, while human activity at times may or may not cause a bald eagle to vacate they are likely to come back and it is certainly no more disruptive than the trains that are already out there
  • Gate closure adds more protection than we currently have; there will be no more activity there than we currently have during the existing winter roosting period

 

   4.10.19_EP_37    4.10.19_EP_38

 

  • Until 2062 we are not doing anything with ¼ of the Onondaga Lake shore other than what already exists
  • Talking about areas roughly from the Seneca outlet to Nine Mile Creek, the whole area is what it will be until 2062; to say we need to protect more areas when we have already taken a quarter of the lakeshore line assumes that this has not already happened elsewhere

 

4.10.19_EP_39

 

  • Getting access to this clean lake is one of the rights that all want to provide to our citizenry; if we do not use Murphy’s Island there is not a clear path forward effectively ending Loop the Lake

Chairman Jordan asked if this trail placement would effectively precluding the eagles from eventually nesting here because of the use of the trail from March through May.  Mr. Glazier responded that the beginning of the nesting period aligns with the wintering.  If there were a nesting event on Murphy’s Island the county would observe the noted nesting period.  There is a nest on Kline Island so there is nest around Onondaga Lake.  A nest anywhere on county property around Onondaga Lake would have the same closure practices and observe the same legal restrictions of 660 feet.  Chairman Jordan said that if they started nesting the closure period would then be extended.  Mr. Glazier responded that the nesting period would then go into the fall, there would be full closure until the nesting event is completed.  In answer to Mrs. Abbott-Kean, Mr. Glazier stated that DEC monitors this. 

 

Chairman Jordan asked if any measures could be taken to effectively prevent people from using the trail during the closed period.  Mr. Glazier responded that there would be a chain linked fence gate closure.  Currently, people go out there in the winter and summer.  There will not be any additional exposure than what already exists.  We can’t use barred or razor wire when it is not the current condition and nothing beyond the current condition will exist because of the trail.  Chairman Jordan asked if there was already a chain linked fence.  Mr. Glazier responded that the fence is broken down at this point.  Right now the railroad fence is stopping people from going out there, yet people still get by it.  On the other side of Park Street people walk in under the bridge and when the lake is frozen they walk across the ice.  We can only do what we can.  Regulators appreciate the closure practice and by in large when the educational signage is adding saying why this is closed people will adhere and respect that.  Currently, there is no signage to indicate why the closure is there.  

 

Mr. Bottrill stated that he had not been to Murphy’s Island but plans to go and look at it.  Ms. Green asked if she could attend with him to which Mr. Bottrill responded absolutely.  Mr. Bottrill referenced the map (see pg. 10) stating that the green line is now the proposed line.  Mr. Glazier agreed.  Mr. Bottrill then asked where the eagles are located now.  Mr. Glazier responded that it is generally the area where the island widens out and has the overstory trees.  Mr. Bottrill stated that they could be in any of the tree areas.  Mr. Glazier agreed and added that sometimes they go down by the water and when it is very windy they go off to the side.  Mr. Bottrill said that people are living on the island as well.  Mr. Glazier said that occasionally they have observed encampments and pointed out various locations on the map.

 

Dr. Chase stated that she heard they were putting up viewing areas and asked where they would be located.  Mr. Glazier responded that the Lake Lounge will be at the end of the Creek Walk.  The city has approved $350,000 for that project, which will be constructed this summer.  In answer to Dr. Chase, Mr. Glazier confirmed that there will be seating and it will maintain the current footprint of the Creek Walk with a bit of a buildup, kind of like a deck.  It will be a great project.

 

Mr. Knapp asked the preference for the green line noting that having walked the yellow line it seemed a pretty good distance from the tall trees.  Mr. Glazier responded that initially, the idea was that the yellow line had areas where you could see the water.  The county executive heard concerns about the open areas and observed the issues with the railroad track.  To make this better we then found the green line mainly because of the open areas, plus the noise issue, he wanted to be very conservative. 

 

Mrs. Erving said that her understanding was that we couldn’t use the original blue line because it was infringing on CSX property.  Mr. Glazier responded that it buffered against the CSX property line and there were concerns that the remaining area would expose the public to an attractive nuisance and potentially have an issue with projectiles coming from the train.  Mrs. Tassone added that it was amazing how close you are to the tracks while walking it you could feel the vibrations when the trains went by.  Mrs. Ervin questioned how far the green line was from the tracks.  Mr. Glazier responded that it is not as far away as you would expect but the vegetation acts as a visual and audio buffer for the people who will use the trail.  Plus the vegetation is incredibly thick so no one will want to venture towards the railroad track, a very effective way of keeping people away from the railroad. 

 

Mrs. Ervin questioned how much it would cost to build a buffer.  Mr. Glazier responded that he did not recall the specifics and it would have to meet CSX approval.  Dr. Chase stated that she was told the cost of a barrier would be somewhere between $600,000 and $1.4 million.  Chairman Knapp asked if this was similar to a highway barrier.  Dr. Chase responded that it was for protection from the train.  Mr. Glazier thanked Dr. Chase for reminding him that numbers were run looking at wood, concrete and a variety of things.  It was expensive and would double the cost of the trail.

 

Chairman Knapp asked the DEC process and where it stands.  Mr. Glazier responded that the Army Corps of Engineers and the DEC have a say because of wetland impacts.  A joint application will be submitted this week to them offering our design and mitigation measures for the wetland impact.  We have substantially minimized the wetland impacts by utilizing a helical piled boardwalk structure which will ensure the wetlands are preserved.  It also allows for greater flow and animals to cross.  Chairman Jordan asked if this would be a raised trail.  Mr. Glazier responded that the boardwalk will sit just about ground level.  The width of the joints is the height above so it is basically on par with what asphalt would be.  There has to be a certain gap between timbers to allow light to get through, preserving the wetlands. 

 

Dr. Chase asked what kind of upkeep would be involved.  Mr. Glazier responded that the O&M for boardwalk structures will be more than that of asphalt structures.  We have them at Beaver Lake Nature Center and they are very popular.  We think this will be a very nice feature and it ties in well with the area, which will be a quiet area for observing nature.

In answer to Chairman Jordan, Mr. Glazier responded that the application will then have to be approved by the Army Corps of Engineers and the DEC.  There will be a 30 day public comment period and they will hold a public hearing.  They will then turn it over to an administrative law judge and will get an opinion back within 60 days.  Chairman Knapp said that they will be looking at both the environmental condition of the island as well as the eagles and everything else.  Mr. Glazier responded that it will primarily be the second item.  The remediation side is a different department within DEC but they will oversee the whole process and we will continually be working with them.  A feasibility study (FS) will be submitted, which will also have a comment period, and this trail will be part of that FS.  This public comment period will be about the health of the wetlands and the usefulness of the wetland to wildlife.

 

Chairman Knapp said that while walking on the island he observed that the island is a mess.  There is an incredible about of garbage and there are definitely people living there and having fires.  This time of year that place is a tinder box with all those tall phragmites being very dry.  If there was a fire we would lose the whole thing including the eagles and everything else.  Mr. Glazier said that the phragmites are 12 foot tall and you cannot see light in the brown areas. 

 

Mrs. Ervin asked if the green line (see pg. 10) was acceptable to those complaining about the trails effect on the Eagles.  Mr. Glazier responded that the green line was presented to the Onondaga Audubon’s representatives in the fall and their position is that they are only interested in this being a sanctuary though he does not speak for them wholly.

 

Chairman Jordan stated he was allowing Ms. Green five minutes to provide another point of view. 

 

        b.     Diana Green, Friends of Onondaga Lake Bald Eagles

 

Ms. Green distributed the following:

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  • Adding to this because of the comments Mr. Glazier just made
  • Characterized the issues with the county’s position thus far as a difference between what is legal and what is responsible; commend the county for being willing to following the USFWS’s legal definition of disturb, willingness to work with the DEC and having concern for the eagles 
  • The technical definition of disturb under the 1940 Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act is a very legal definition that has to do with the survival of the eagle, i.e. winter roost is a survival issue, eagles  have to eat where they can, part of the lake is not frozen, about half of the present eagles come from Canada, for the remaining 8 months the eagles will be disturbed in the normal sense of that word, which is they will fly away if you come near them, has effects but doesn’t mean they won’t be surviving
  • Likewise there is the contaminant issue, there is landfill there that is much more pervasive and dangerous than the wastebeds, this is why it is part of the Superfund Site; SUNY-ESF has experts on environmental issues and there are chemical professors at SU who have been characterized by the county executive as advocates but they are scientist studying chemicals and publishing the results in peer review journals, they are concerned about PXE and PTE, everyone should know about these chemicals; provided article published in the Upstate Medical Journal and a letter from Professor Lewis (see pages 17 - 19) to the county legislature when they were about to vote in December 2017
  • These chemicals are newly discovered though created over the course of 100 years so there is no standard to judge their toxicity, at the very least asking the county to put up signs so that the public can make their own reasonable judgment; again this is about what is legal and what is responsible, i.e. no standard on arsenic, people died but continued to use it until there was a standard, might have been a good thing to tell people arsenic was being studied as a carcinogen, likewise these toxins have developmental impacts, could potentially cause epilepsy and be very dangerous to young people; haven’t noticed the county being responsible in fully disclosing what is on Murphy’s Island and don’t’ think they plan to do so if a trail is built there
  • Good meeting Friday with the county executive and Mr. Glazier, learned this trail will be for pedestrians; want all to know only part of the Loop the Lake trail will be for biking, one reason would be the viewing area the city is building at the end of the Creek Walk - bikers will be coming down the Creek Walk often going fast and suddenly make at 45 degree angle turn through a very small area with a lot of kids, carriages and photographers, doesn’t sound safe, in fact that would probably not be the case as bikers avoid that area, also not safe for bikers to go on boardwalks as it is not safe for bikers
  • Thanked Chairman Jordan for providing this time

Mr. Bottrill asked if there would be a bike trail there.  Mr. Glazier responded that a multi-use trail is being constructed.  It will be useable by whoever chooses.  There are areas where you have to dismount your bike, i.e. crossing the Seneca outlet.  There are a variety of places on the Loop the Lake trail where cyclist need to observe people and we don’t have those interactions.  Ms. Green stated that both she and Mr. Glazier are bikers and Mr. Glazier mentioned that he would stay on roads and would not anticipate people going on the Creek Walk and down to the boardwalk.

  • Every year there are more eagles and more stay year-round
  • Creek Walk will be the greatest viewing area; hope all view Mr. Lemery’s video (see bottom of pg 16)
  • Don’t see that this warrants $1.5 million of taxpayer money, will further pursue alternative route through Destiny, they are somewhat aware of the eagle eco-tourism but could be talked to further, would be the hub of everything happening through the Loop the Lake Trail, people could park their bikes, shop and etc.

Chairman Jordan said that this would be contingent upon Destiny’s participation and if they are not willing to do so it precludes this option.  Ms. Green agreed and asked when Mr. Glazier last spoke to Destiny.  Mr. Glazier responded that it was a couple of weeks ago and they sent an email.  Ms. Green said that maybe they won’t agree to it but it would be a boon for them as well as to the community. 

  • That was the alternative we have; if you pursue the maps available on this proposed trail from the end of what is now the green trail it would have to cross Ley Creek, CSX tracks, and another bridge over CSX tracks
  • All have to be disability accessible, bridges would probably be very long and small sloped costing an enormous amount of money, much better to connect on the other side with the already existing trail built when I-81 was built

Mr. Bottrill asked who was responsible for putting a fence from the green or yellow line to the railroad track.  Ms. Green responded that this was a good question and there should be a fence.  Mr. Bottrill asked if this had been discussed.  Mr. Glazier responded that we are working with CSX on what our fencing responsibilities will be with them.  There is a substantial vegetative buffer, which Mr. Bottrill will better understand when touring the island.  He thinks Ms. Green is talking about the other side in the landing area where people can walk out onto the tracks.  Ms. Green agreed.  Mr. Bottrill said that it was somewhat concerning in terms of how it was presented.  Mr. Glazier stated that he also agrees but does not know whose fence or responsibility it is.  Mr. Bottrill stated that he had other questions but would follow up with everybody.

 

A motion was made by Mr. Bottrill, seconded by Mrs. Tassone, to adjourn at 10:39 a.m.  MOTION CARRIED.

 

Respectfully submitted,

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KATHERINE M. FRENCH, Deputy Clerk

Onondaga County Legislature

 

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COUNTY FACILITIES COMMITTEE MINUTES – APRIL 10, 2019

JUDITH A. TASSONE, CHAIR

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Ms. Cody, Mr. Holmquist, Mr. McBride, Mrs. Ervin

ALSO ATTENDING:  Chairman Knapp, Mr. Jordan; See attached list

 

Chair Tassone called the meeting to order at 10:45 a.mA motion was made by Ms. Cody, seconded by Mr. McBride to waive the reading of the minutes of the previous committee meeting; MOTION CARRIEDA motion was made by Mr. McBride, seconded by Ms. Cody to approve the minutes of the previous committee meeting; MOTION CARRIED.

 

1.     FACILITIES MANAGEMENT:  Archie Wixson, Commissioner

        a.     Authorizing an Agreement with the City of Syracuse Relating to the use of the City Fuel Facility at the City’s Department of Public Works by Onondaga County Vehicles

  • County and City agreement for fueling at city fuel pumps; out of renewals on previous agreement
  • Both Law Departments allowed 2 renewals beyond last agreement
  • This will be a 3 year agreement allowing county owned vehicles to be fueled at city fuel facility; in yearly budget
  • Below shows the departments that currently use this station

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  • Did not raise admin fees; consistent with last renewal; savings to County – cheaper using bulk than gassing up at various locations; do not know the total savings, but it is similar to DOT’s savings on bulk; can provide if necessary

Chair Tassone reiterated that it is a three year agreement, and Mr. Wixson agreed.

 

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

 

2.     TRANSPORTATION:  Martin Voss, Commissioner

        a.     INFORMATIONAL:  Highway Workplan

 

Mr. Voss thanked the Clerk (of the Legislature) for getting the work plan on the agenda, and said Mrs. Maturo was great to work with.  (Highway Workplan on file with the Clerk)

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  • Cold Mix Paving (lower volume roads; rural), Bridges (replace and repair), Hot Mix Paving (intense use like Rt. 57), Bituminous Surface Treatment (keep roads decent with sealing and crack filling)
  • Testing - evaluation of road system; contract with Stantec to do ground penetrating radar
  • Facilities repair – will discuss in fall at budget; need to look at how they are maintaining the 4 buildings, surrounding area and parking lots; looking at CIP to fund
  • Bottom line – cash operating is $1.24 mil; approved in October
  • CHIPS – state held flat (formula driven); anticipate same as last year; costs have gone up, but CHIPs has not in 9 years
  • Bond is local borrowing for road work and local share; contained in next 2 resolutions
  • Fed aid low, because there are a lot of projects in process already; number grows as projects are added

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  • Item A:  Phase III - Murphy’s Island to Village of Liverpool; design money only; use federal funds this year so as not to lose them; no predetermined outcome; priority item for County; project at least 1 year off
  • Bridge maintenance – additional design work on Old Rt. 5/Warners Road; Taft Rd 2R is additional construction money for Buckley Road to South Bay; Canalway Extension is Harbor Brook to Hiawatha – portion of construction money

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  • Drainage improvements of $250,000 is entirety of countywide resources; towns and villages want to get things fixed by County that do not belong to County, but with budget, have to focus on County’s assets

 

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  • $50,000 to keep power on and handle emergencies with sewer drains, doors, etc.
  • Learned that DOT better off doing maintenance in smaller increments vs. large projects with no choice
  • These facilities do not need to look pretty, they need to function and keep equipment warm; buildings need to be adequate, heated and safe

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  • Cold Mix – lesser treatment for rural roads with low volume; 1 – Jamesville; 2 – North Area; 3 – Northwest; 4 - Southwest

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  • Hot Mix - heavily traveled roads; more involved this year; based on road ratings and evaluation done by Stantec
  • Quarter of County done every year with radar testing; also visual inspection and monitoring roads

Mr. Holmquist referred to the Traffic Systems Management projects, and asked about the new traffic signal at North Burdick Street and Towne Center Drive.  Mr. Voss responded:

  • Spoke with Mr. Olson – shared opinion that there are no warrants for it to be there yet; public hearing 2 years ago discussing massive development of property in that area; tabled, but may be another proposal for that property
  • Mayor’s position is wanting pedestrian accessibility and walkability in the village; not planning for this year

Mr. Holmquist stated that he hears a lot of complaints from people saying that taking a left out of the shopping center onto North Burdick Street at certain times of the day is challenging.  People have asked for a traffic light there.  Mr. Voss said they have looked into it, and he would like to work with the Mayor on how the area will come together.  The driving force on where the light will go will probably be determined by what happens up the hill.  They do not want to put a light in if that property is going to be developed, because that would most likely be the smarter location.  It is on the radar, but they want to do the engineering and traffic management wisely.

 

Ms. Cody asked about the traffic light at Buckley and Dolshire.  Mr. Voss responded that it has been in the works for a while, and the whole area is being redone (at red barn).  Brooklyn Pickle will be in the front, and the new gym is in the back.  The developer worked with DOT on concessions and mediation with the right-of-way.  It will be done this year. 

 

Mr. Voss replied to Mr. McBride that the Howlett Hill traffic systems project will be done by the end of the construction season.  If necessary, they can make it a priority.  Mr. Voss said they cannot start anything until the Legislature passes the resolutions.  Once that is done, DOT can contact contractors to schedule the work.  They will have a better answer in May. 

 

Mr. Holmquist said he thinks the County roads look great, and asked how the roads are assessed.  Mr. Voss responded that the County roads are in relatively good shape, and the County has made the commitment to maintain infrastructure.  Mr. Rauber added that the scale is from 1 – 10, and there is a specific percentage from good to poor.  The roads are good because DOT is in preservation mode, but the treatment only lasts 5 years as opposed to 10 years.  Mr. Rauber replied to Mr. Holmquist that they do visual inspections, but also do testing of the sub-base.  There are roads that look nice, but there may be an underlying problem to address.  Mr. Holmquist asked about a plan for how much it costs to address those underlying issues.  Mr. Voss responded that the County has 800 miles of County owned roads.  If they replaced and repaired everything, DOT would be doing 80 miles a year (currently not happening); DOT should be replacing hot mix roads every 10 years.  Mr. Voss added that he has had conversations with Mr. Morgan regarding paying cash instead of borrowing for things like paving.  Mr. Holmquist said he always agreed with Mr. Kraft that they have to spend money on this.  Mr. Voss stated that sewers, roads and public safety are the most important things, but they are the most expensive things as well. 

 

        b.     BOND RESOLUTION - A Resolution Authorizing Various Bridge Improvement Projects in and for the County of Onondaga, New York, at a Maximum Estimated Cost of $880,000, and Authorizing the Issuance of $880,000 Bonds of said County to Pay Costs Thereof ($880,000)

  • Total of $8 million broken up to $880,000 for bridges and $7.12 million for roads (separate bonds)

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

 

        c.     BOND RESOLUTION - A Resolution Authorizing the Reconstruction of County Roads in and for the County of Onondaga, New York, at a Maximum Estimated Cost of $7,120,000, and Authorizing the Issuance of $7,120,000 Bonds of said County to Pay Costs Thereof ($7,120,000)

 

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

 

        d.     Authorizing the County of Onondaga to Act as Lead Agency for the Canalways Trail Extension Projects, Phase I & Phase II, PIN’s 3950.49 & 3756.29 (The Projects) Under the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA); Determining the Classification of Type I Actions; Accepting and Adopting the Negative Declarations for the Projects; and Authorizing the Filing, Distribution and Publication of the Negative Declarations

  • Loop the Lake Phase I and II; SEQRA – no money attached; have to do for state for both phases
  • Phase I – West Shore Trail to Honeywell; parking lot downhill in front of pump station to Honeywell’s segment
  • Phase II – Harbor Brook, over Harbor Brook, along railroad tracks and over tracks behind Raw Steel to Hiawatha

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

 

        e.     Amending the 2019 County Budget to Fund in the First Instance 100 Percent of the Federal Aid Eligible Costs at a Maximum Amount of $7,600,000 for the Construction and Construction Inspection Phases of the Canalways Trail Extension Project, Phase II, PIN 3756.29, and Authorizing the Execution of Agreements ($7,600,000)

  • Design and Construction Phase II – Harbor Brook to Hiawatha; obligate federal construction funds

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

  • Will need another resolution for right-of-ways; federal railroad hearing in January – hoped for decision in 90 days; still no official word on approval

        f.      Amending the 2019 County Budget to Fund in the First Instance 100 Percent of the Federal Aid Eligible Costs at a Maximum Amount of $680,000 for the Design (Scoping I-VI) and Right-of-Way Incidentals Phases of the Canalways Trail Salina Extension Project, PIN 3756.22, and Authorizing the Execution of Agreements ($680,000)

  • Phase III – Murphy’s Island to Village; design money only; obligate federal funds for design; engage design process with consultant before public input; lot of competing interests

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

 

        g.     Amending the 2019 County Budget and Authorizing the County to Pay in the First Instance 100 Percent of the Non-Federal Aid Eligible Costs at a Total Maximum Amount of $730,000 for the Design (Scoping I-VI) and Construction Phases of the Caughdenoy Road Over Youngs Creek Culvert (C-16) Replacement Project, PIN 3756.64, and Authorizing Execution of Agreements($730,000)

  • Design and construction of culvert over Youngs Creek; NY Bridge project - 100% state funds (applied for 6 and got 1)

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

 

        h.     Amending the Design (Scoping I-VI) and Right-of-Way Incidentals Phase of the Old Route 5 (CR 98) and Warners Road (CR 63) Paving (2R) Project, PIN 3755.69 by $100,000, and Increasing the Authorization to Pay in the First Instance 100% of the Federal Aid Eligible Costs by $80,000 ($80,000)

  • Wegman’s Fairmount up West Genesee, right on 173 (Warner’s Road) to Milton Ave.; in front of Fairmount Fair
  • Additional federal aid funds for design; looking like 20/21 construction season; will be a major project that year

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

 

Chairman Knapp asked if CHIPS was flat, and Mr. Voss said yes.  Mr. Voss heard that Pave NY’s allocation is approximately $100 million, which may garner $1 million for the County.  There is a supplemental list for hot and cold mix that will be used for the Pave NY funds; will come back to Legislature when the funds are to be accepted.  There has been no word on the EWR.  Severity factor will be done in May or June, and is passed to the towns and villages.  Chairman Knapp asked if NYSDOT put together their work plan, and Mr. Voss said they sent out a press release.  There are four or five projects, and most of which are in Chairman Knapp’s district.  The one that Mr. Voss would like the state to do is Route 20.  It is hilly, takes a beating in the winter, and the County has to handle the plowing.  Mr. Voss will track down the press release and pass it along. 

 

A motion was made by Mrs. Ervin, seconded by Ms. Cody, to adjourn the meeting.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

 

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

 

Respectfully submitted,

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JAMIE McNAMARA, Assistant Clerk

Onondaga County Legislature

 

4.10.19 CF Attendance

 

 

 

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PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE MINUTESAPRIL 10, 2019

CHRISTOPHER J. RYAN, CHAIRMAN

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Mr. Bush, Mr. McBride, Mr. Bottrill

MEMBERS ABSENT:  Mr. Rowley

ALSO ATTENDING:  Chairman Knapp, Mrs. Ervin, Mr. May; see attached list

 

Chairman Ryan called the meeting to order at 12:06 p.m.  A motion was made by Mr. Bush, seconded by Mr. Bottrill, to waive the reading of the proceedings from the previous committee.  MOTION CARRIED.  A motion was made by Mr. McBride, seconded by Mr. Bush, to approve the minutes of the previous committee.  MOTION CARRIED. 

 

1.     JUSTICE CENTER OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE:  Barrie Gewanter, Executive Director of the Human Rights Commission

        a.     Confirming Appointment to the Onondaga County Justice Center Oversight Committee (John J. Falge)

 

Chairman Ryan stated that this appointment fills a vacancy.  The prerequisite is that the person has a law enforcement background.  Ms. Gewanter responded that the law requires two people on the committee with a law enforcement background.

 

Ms. Gewanter:

  • Allan Laflore’s term expired 12-31-18, he did not seek reappointment; this is the legislature’s appointment

Chairman Ryan said that the legislature sought a candidate who has obliged.  He has a lengthy criminal justice and police background including the chief of police for the City of Syracuse.

 

Mr. Bottrill stated that he served with Chief Falge for a number of years.  He did a great job for the city and the community, and he will be a great addition to the committee.  Mr. Bush stated that it was a very impressive resume and Mr. McBride echoed those statements.   

 

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

 

2.     PROBATION:  Andrew Sicherman, Commissioner

        a.     Providing for Various Personnel Changes

 

Mr. Sicherman:

  • H-10 is NYS standard specifications for titles in Probation positions; hasn’t been updated since 1973, state director made this a priority, took surprisingly long due to much discussion and feedback
  • No money involved, essentially changing some titles to be in agreement across various counties - resolution lists specific title changes, i.e. commissioner of probation will be probation director

Chairman Ryan reiterated that this will have no impact on the budget.  In answer to Chairman Ryan, Mr. Sicherman confirmed that this is for consistency across all New York state counties, i.e. Monroe has a chief in the position he holds as commissioner, there is also a commissioner in Westchester, other than that everyone is a probation director.  There are some minor changes in qualifications for these positions but they are very insignificant – not in positions like his or the deputy, more to do with probation officer trainees and the amount of school needed.  In answer to Chairman Ryan, Mr. Sicherman confirmed that the titles will be the same for every Probation department across the state. 

 

Chairman Ryan asked what H-10 regulations are.  Mr. Sicherman responded that he did not know.

 

Mr. Bush read various titles on the resolution and questioned how this translates.  Mr. Sicherman responded that specialized tests were given for PO’s who can write and speak Spanish; Spanish speaking officers are a separate title.  A separate exam is given for what we currently call a “Minority Group Specialist”, someone who has significant experience working in communities where there are a proportionate number of minorities and there is qualification based on that.  Our current title is “Minority Group Specialist” but the state is saying they are going to be called “Community Liaison”; just renaming of that position.  People taking the test can take one or all three as long as they meet the qualifications – Spanish speaking, community liaison, probation officer, and there are trainee positions also. 

 

Mr. Bush asked where we stand with positions being filled for Spanish speaking and minority officers.  Mr. Sicherman responded that 20% of the officers are minority POs.  To be clear, this title does not identify someone as a minority.  This title is a way to encourage those meeting the qualifications to take the test.  The current makeup of his office also has 4 or 5 Spanish speaking PO’s.  Mr. Bush stated that reading the resolution leads him to ask the question about the makeup of the staffing.  Mr. Sicherman responded that they have worked with the Executive’s office and Personnel to continue to hire qualified minority candidates and he thinks they have done a good job.  In answer to Mr. Bottrill, Mr. Sicherman stated that surprisingly 4 or 5 Spanish speaking PO’s is enough and sometimes they cover cases that are not Spanish speaking for that reason. 

 

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

 

        b.     Amending the 2019 County Budget to make Funds Available for use in Connection with the Strategies for Policing Innovation Grant, and Authorizing the Execution of Agreements ($32,800)

  • Pass through, US Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance awards money to the City of Syracuse, the city then makes some of these funds available to Probation and the SPD for efforts to work against gang and gun issues happening in the city
  • Money will be used for enhanced supervision of Probation cases with these types of issues present, funding 5 GPS bracelets for folks were necessary for their level of involvement with this type of activity, also do some joint details with the SPD and other law enforcement partners; no positions attached, simply additional funding used for the work we do

Chairman Ryan stated that this was exclusive within the City of Syracuse.  Mr. Sicherman responded, “Correct.”

 

Mr. Bush asked if they could get more money.  Mr. Sicherman responded that we have other initiatives, but this is needed, and we try to do that whenever we can.

 

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

 

3.     SHERIFF:  Eugene Conway, Sheriff

        a.     INFORMATIONAL:  Correction Transition to Sheriff’s Office

 

Sheriff Conway presented the following:

 

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  • This process is ongoing; previously 2 separate facilities run by separate administrations, identified things first and foremost that could be accomplished quickly, now digging further to get to other areas that will probably require more time and effort, again all under the premise of being efficient and effective
  • Some things will be beneficial to people incarcerated at both facilities; many from the Justice Center end up in Jamesville at some point and the changes go beyond what has already been mentioned, i.e. visitors had 2 sets of rules for allowable items, created confusion, now changed to have consistency between the two; streamlining things on behalf of those incarcerated and in the operations of the Sheriff’s office

Sheriff Conway asked if there were any questions.  Chairman Ryan responded that he jotted down a few questions as the Sheriff was going through this.  This information was just received and so he assumes the committee will want to take this information and digest it before formulating questions. 

 

Chairman Ryan commended Sheriff Conway on the training.  Under the same umbrella, one would want the same mindset and training to add consistency and consistency probably leads to fewer problems.  Sheriff Conway responded that this was correct.  Chairman Ryan stated that none of this is saving millions of dollars but efficiencies are saving money all the way around.  Sheriff Conway responded that especially in training because the goal is to have Jamesville accredited and you must demonstrate similar standards so it will help in that respect as well. 

 

Chairman Ryan asked what the accreditation is, where is come from, and if it is the same as the Sheriff would have.  Sheriff Conway responded that this was a great question.  New York State has two levels of accreditation for Police and for Corrections.  On the Police side, there is NYS accreditation and beyond that, there is CALEA, which is an acronym for international law enforcement accreditation achievement.  CALEA has many more standards, in the area of 400 to 500, that are audited and all must be successfully achieved.  NYS accreditation is below 300.  The Sheriff’s Police department has been NYS accredited for many years, as are most Police departments in NYS.  We are now taking on the challenge of seeking CALEA accreditation for the Police department.  Less than 10 Police departments in NYS have CALEA accreditation.  One of those is the Town of Manlius Police department who has held this achievement for many years.  While in his position at the Town of Dewitt they wanted to be like their big brother’s in Manlius and are now CALEA accredited as well.  For Corrections there is also NYS accreditation and the next higher level is the American Correctional Association (ACA).  Last summer, thanks to all the hard work done by the deputies of the Justice Center, we achieved accreditation through the ACA.  We are the only jail in NYS as a holding facility to achieve this.  Every other jail in NYS with ACA has it for sentenced inmates and there is a difference in achieving that.  Jamesville does not have accreditation so our first step is NYS accreditation. 

 

In answer to Mr. Bottrill, Sheriff Conway said that we hope to achieve NYS accreditation by midsummer.  Once that happens we have to lay out the plan for seeking ACA accreditation, which is much more work and there is a cost. 

 

Mr. McBride asked how he would evaluate the percentage of the transition process, and to provide one or two top challenges.  Sheriff Conway responded that he would estimate 75%.  More than a year later we continue to learn something about the operations each week.  As far as the challenges, this is something that will probably have to happen at the NYS level.  Currently, there is one entrance exam for both Custody and Corrections departments.  When we select candidates for either or both departments we are drawing from the same list and there is an inequity as the pay and benefits for those departments are separate and distinct.  We find a candidate may be interested in the Custody department but is not interested in Corrections.  It becomes more difficult to fill positions in both departments, especially when doing it at the same time.  People generally like better pay, benefits, and work schedules; need to work towards more harmony.  Also, we just discovered that candidates for employment at Jamesville must reside in Onondaga County and this shrinks our pool of candidates.  

 

In answer to Mr. Bottrill, Sheriff Conway confirmed that Jamesville employees are required to live within the county as a condition of employment.  Mr. Bush asked where this comes from.  Sheriff Conway responded that he did not have the exact law; surfaced about two months ago.  Mr. Bush asked if this was something that the county passed or state law.  Sheriff Conway responded that he did not want to speculate and would rather give factual knowledge.  Again, this is something we were not aware of and it has certainly impacted our ability for hiring this cycle; will provide the law.  Mr. Bush stated that if the law was local we could address it.  Mr. Bottrill asked if this was a concern.  Sheriff Conway responded that the fact that employees can only reside in Onondaga County for one department just adds to the confusion and slows us down as to where people are going to be hired and placed.  This is probably the biggest challenge.

 

Chairman Ryan asked where we are with respect to hiring and veteran recruitment.  He then asked if he was correct that both collective bargaining unit agreements are expired and are in the process of negotiations.  Ms. Lesniak stated that Corrections expires December 2019.  Sheriff Conway responded that Custody is ongoing and Corrections is right around the corner.  Civil Service honored the request for a test and a significantly higher number than normal signed up for the exam and we are presently working off that list.  We are looking to hire 16 to 17 in Custody, a similar number in Corrections, and around 20 on the Police side; fluctuates weekly.  There are a couple of things going on at the moment.  Our academy is going to start May 6th, SPD is starting their academy before the end of May and we have been crossing over candidates on the Police side.  However, we have been working with them as far as candidates processing with both agencies and try to make a decision.  We continue to go to career and job fairs; added one person to our Community Relations Unit and then lost a person to an SRO position.  However, last week he had a conversation with Linda Robinson from the NAACP and a follow-up phone call with Chief Buckner about SPD, the Sheriff’s office and the State Police meeting for the purpose of trying to better recruit minority candidates and he is confident that we will be part of that going forward.  He has had conversations that include a major for the NYSP as well as Sheriff’s from across the state and it is clear that fewer people are interested in a law enforcement career; don’t know the reason.  For that reason, it becomes a more competitive process to find candidates willing to come to each agency. 

 

Chairman Ryan said that currently the number would ideally be 54 and asked the number starting the academy.  Sheriff Conway responded that they will all be starting the academy on May 6th.  The Police academy is 6 months and if we continued in the traditional way vacancies in Corrections and Custody would have to wait until Police was over for their academy.  He did not think this was the best way to go about this so he decided to attempt a combined academy when he took office and it was done with Police and Custody.  Now this will be our first Police, Custody, and Corrections Academy.  It is the largest number of combined recruits we have had but we are confident we can do this, as demonstrated with Police and Custody. 

 

Chairman Ryan asked if the Custody negotiations were still ongoing.  Sheriff Conway responded that he is not involved at the negotiation table but knows that Chief Gonzalez and Chief Andrews are. 

 

Chairman Ryan stated that in the past we had Correction officers and/or deputies in Custody doing IT, Personnel, and clerical work.  That leads to them not doing Custody work, which leads to overtime.  He then asked how much of that is still going on, if we have Custody doing IT work and if so why, or is this not as prevalent as it was before.  Sheriff Conway responded that specific to IT, the county IT department is overtaxed and he is sure the deputy county executive present would agree.  Four departments are now within the Sheriff’s office and there are sworn people assigned to IT in order to get things accomplished that have to be done.  IT is always included but more times than not the IT department is deferring to our people.  He is a huge proponent of removing sworn people from non-sworn work and we do that every chance we get.  However, that reality exists, i.e. Justice and Corrections departments have locking systems that are computer operated.  When that stops working we have to have someone in the facility forthwith to deal with it and that would not always be available through the county’s IT department.

 

Chairman Ryan asked where we are with respect to inmate population levels.  Sheriff Conway responded that the levels down but better weather is here and we see a spike of people coming into the facility during seasons and summer is our highest population.  In answer to Mr. Bottrill, Sheriff Conway confirmed that there is enough room in both facilities.  Previous to the Corrections department coming under the Sheriff’s office the chief of the jail and the commissioner at Jamesville would talk each day about bed space.  Now the chief deputy for Corrections and the chief deputy for Custody are sitting at the same table daily for the command meeting and know better where we are with things such as bed space.  It has only been enhanced but it doesn’t mean that it wasn’t going on before in that respect. 

 

Mr. Bottrill thanked the Sheriff for all the work his department does, adding that his interactions on the legal side have been very good.  In reference to the academy, he remembers SPD trying to work with the Sheriff’s department in regard to the academy and training from his days on the City Council and asked if this was something that could possibly be worked out.  Sheriff Conway responded that it was absolutely possible for the academy setting.  He came from a joint city/county academy at OCC in the late 1970s.  Somewhere during that time they split.  When he first came into office he met with President Crabill who could not have been more welcoming to having the Police academy come back to OCC.  Since that time this will be our 4th class there and it is not just a Sherif’s Police academy.  Whenever possible he tries to include towns and villages and has seen the benefits from this while at his position in Dewitt.  We always have to be concerned about having too large of a class, and because of the volume we are putting into this class we may have to limit the amount of outside agencies, but they are always welcome.  Agencies in this county have the first crack at openings.  If there are remaining openings he has opened it up to other agencies.  The question that always comes up is, “What do you get for that.”  He does not believe in one individual fee because it does not go back to the Sheriff’s budget.  He asks and always receives in-kind services from those agencies.  They provide things such as instructors, use of their range, and other types of expertise that help supplement.  This is a give and take that has worked and our own personnel isn’t being taxed.  Going back to SPD, and going back some time, there was a feeling amongst SPD that they did not like holding the academy on a college setting.  However, a few weeks ago Chief Cecil whispered in his ear about the potential for having discussions on SPD and the Sheriff’s combined academy, and he is always open to that type of collaboration.  We have always subscribed to the same standards and requirements set by DCJS in Albany.

 

Mr. Bush asked if it would be possible to have two academies a year with a combined academy, or an academy open to a wider geographic area so that people could cycle through quicker.  He then asked how often academies are held.  Sheriff Conway responded that since the Police academy is 6 months the most we could have is two per year.  Mr. Bush asked how many we have now.  Sheriff Conway responded that our last academy graduated last August and there is about a 12-week process for pre-employment, which has to be built into when the next academy is.  Mr. Bush stated that there would be a limit as to how many could attend so they might have to schedule more than one, which would more than help with recruitment.  He cannot imagine that the City of Syracuse wants to spend money on their own academy when there is an academy in place that serves CNY.  Sheriff Conway responded that he is not being critical of any other agency.  He is only speaking from past experience and where we are now.  Mr. Bush said that he was referring to an economic issue more than anything else – shared services.  Sheriff Conway responded that academies cost money but we have to do them.  At some point in the future, it would be nice if the state-sponsored these academies for all of NYS. 

 

Mrs. Ervin stated that she heard some complaints about young inmates’ not getting proper schooling and asked if there was a problem, or if he was aware of a problem.  Sheriff Conway responded that Chief Gonzalez has not brought that to his attention but he can certainly ask about it.  The Chief always brings things to the table as far as complaints coming in and he would like to hear more about this if there is.  In answer to Sheriff Conway, Mrs. Ervin stated she was referring to those at Jamesville who are school aged.  Sheriff Conway stated that he would speak to the Chief about this tomorrow morning.

 

Mr. May said that this report is fantastic.  He appreciates seeing the update as it takes us from thinking we had a pretty good idea to see first-hand evidence that it was a good thing to do.  He then congratulated the Sheriff on all the accomplishments and added that he particularly likes the direction he is seeing as far as the goals that are listed. 

 

Mr. May referenced accomplishment 1 (see pg. 3) and asked what kind of impact this may have had.  Sheriff Conway stated that those transfers were completed just prior to us taking over and we were in the infant stages of trying to understand the operation.  At some point, we realized the value of those two support people but they were already gone so we tried to deal with it.  The Sheriff’s office now has more than 800 employees and there are 5 or 6 different collection bargaining agreements and unions.  We also have all those issues which can come with personnel situations and those are very important because they can be costly if not addressed correctly.  Going back to Chairman Ryan’s point, he is never in favor of taking a sworn person and putting them into a position that is non-sworn but equally he is not in favor of taking a person whose training and background is in law enforcement and now expecting them to be proficient in things such as HR, that just doesn’t work.  Going ahead we have to look at how to improve some of the areas that speak to all 800+ employees as opposed to each individual. 

Mr. May stated that this leads to his next question, which the Sheriff may have just answered.  Going back to the goals he can see hints for the need to address those kind of issues within this.  Again, he likes the direction seen moving forward and his take is that the 1st, 2nd, and 6th (see pgs. 3-4) bullet hint at trying to target administrative areas and do things a little better.    

 

Chairman Ryan thanked the Sheriff for the update and added that he will have specific questions after going through the report a couple more times.  Sheriff Conway responded that he is always available to come back or bring command staff that could probably speak to questions with better detail, and he appreciates the interest. 

 

4.     EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS/EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT:  Ann Rooney, Deputy County Executive/Human Services

        a.     INFORMATIONAL:  Consolidation of Emergency Communications and Emergency         Management

 

Ms. Rooney presented the following:

 

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  • Cannot imagine a better intro than the Sheriff just described for integration; hopeful the 3rd time will be the charm for this, planning to propose this with the budget, giving plenty of time to analyze
  • Thanked Commissioners Bleyle and Wears for the work put into this plan along with the Executive department and the Budget office; hasn’t really changed, consolidating Emergency Communications  (EC) with Emergency Management (EM) seems to make more sense every day
  • Last Friday, huge training in Syracuse about managing chaos, the main presenter was the superintendent of the Boston PD during the Boston Marathon bombing, talked about what the whole operation took to train us around what we could expect should we have to engage in something like that; as they were managing the happenings at the finish line they were getting calls about bombs at the public library and city hall, the ability to manage something like that is all around the coordination of services
  • Currently wouldn’t say we are lax but much of what the Sheriff just described is about coordination of effort, having the same managers sit around a table on a weekly basis and managing effort better deploys resources, provides better public-facing communication – one of the biggest challenges we have with two separate departments
  • EM is responsible for bigger deployments if we have weather, hazardous materials, or some of the things heard about in other places, at the same time EC is responsible for deploying should big and small incidents happen, lack coordination between the two, could easily address those challenges with this department of Emergency Services; have to be more public facing to the community and meet their needs
  • Sometimes unintentionally have a mixed message coming out of this county to other public service agencies and the community at large, no intention on anyone’s part, our message around communications and managing emergencies needs to better coordinated at the department level
  • Organizational chart (see pg. 8) has not changed; only financial implication would a $5,000 raise for the deputy commissioner of EC – last year’s budget proposed taking that individual from a grade 35 to a grade 36, equal with the position in EM; the synergies are largely down the middle, grant making would be much better, currently largely a function of EM, bringing communications efforts into that would enhance everything that we do
  • EC is a component of EM Emergency Services, they have done yeoman’s work to think how this could best be done on behalf of the county; hear from all we serve that it would be helpful to have one voice coming out of the county
  • Laid out examples of other counties in NYS, big and small who are coordinated and combined, in fact, Madison, who we are talking about bringing in, has a combined effort
  • Not going through everything, provided a handout, have enough time between now and the budget to answer any questions

In answer to Chairman Ryan, Ms. Rooney confirmed that she had gone through most things but could go through point by point if he preferred.  Chairman Ryan said that we will go at this as informational from 15,000 feet.  He saw this last year and has quite a few questions but not with this.  Ms. Rooney responded by reviewing the handout (see pg. 9).

  • Internal benefits are how interdepartmental work would be aligned and coordinated; stakeholders include the community first and foremost and then all the agencies we serve – police, fire, and ambulances
  • Will see improved communication on internal benefits, similar to what the Sheriff talked about having everyone around the same table; thought some of what the Sheriff said would come to pass but could not have predicted the list of accomplishments largely because of streamlined operations
  • Enhance situational awareness: this really resonated when we participated in the mass chaos training, want to make sure we have a coordinated response, know we can do better, one voice with combined department
  • Reduction in overlap of admin functions: EM is very skilled at grantmaking and EC is the operations function that happens 24/7, i.e. EM’s payroll is handled by DOT because there is no one in that department because of its size, EC does that because of its size and there are other synergies, administrative delivery of services would be better when brought together
  • Sharing resources:  activating the emergency operation center it is a big thing, currently, EC’s backup site is in the Emergency Operations Center, there are synergies and ease of operations would certainly be accomplished
  • External benefits are for our stakeholders, go to many trainings, are constantly delivering what our service response would be, often have EC and EM, should be one voice delivering the message on behalf of the county, much of what they do is responding to the public, bringing resources together would be considered best practice for now and going forward

Mr. May thanked Ms. Rooney for providing this information now, adding that Corrections was logical as we had the advantage at that time to sight very specific examples for ways in which we thought we could benefit.  This is a very similar situation and what was presented here give us the bones for building a solid business case for what we think we should consider moving forward. 

Mr. May said he wanted to make a few general points for the record, “I don’t think this discussion has ever necessarily been about saving per se.  It is building that business case or rational.  I also believe in looking at these bullets and having served in Chairman Ryan’s seat for a few years I know that that that business case can be built.  Again, not only about financial savings, if there even is any, but about improving the product or service if you will that we provide the taxpayers protecting their safety and wellbeing.”  At this point, it is a great time to have these discussions and put some meat on those bones.  He looks at these bullets and can plug in examples of exactly how we can improve communication and how steps could be eliminated to solve a very serious and significant problem in this community for a public safety standpoint.  It is a good idea to keep talking and he appreciates starting here and now - this has potential. 

 

Mr. May said, “The last point, this is something for everyone to consider but not talk about at this stage.  We committed resources to evaluate how the Sheriff’s department will be housed and what will be done within that facility.  A natural question for all of us is how does this fit in whichever way we go.  This will have to be part of the dialogue as well.”  This it is out there but he doesn’t know what the timeline is on that discussion.  Ms. Rooney responded that this has been part of our process.  As you know the Sheriff is looking at a potential new facility so we have started the planning process for a public safety facility.  If we were to ever get to that point our plan is for it to include E-911, EM, Sheriff and other partners that we are asking to potentially come to the table because it makes a lot of sense and the fact that the Sheriff’s department is sitting on a valuable piece of land that may have a better use.  There is a group involved in this planning, including OCC because it is not just administrative offices.  It is training and operations like E-911 that are critical to our public safety delivery system.  That is part of what we are looking at going forward.

 

Chairman Ryan stated that he is hopeful we get to that point.  If we are going to bring everybody under the umbrella per se for the purpose of making a more effective and efficient department then having them sitting in the same place is probably very beneficial.  Keep us informed as we go forward with these conversations so that we have an opportunity to look at, digest it, and have a really good understating before going into the budget process so that we know how we are going to formulate this if we do, and how it is going to be effective.  All of this is part of one component. 

 

Chairman Ryan thanked Ms. Rooney for presenting this information.

 

Mr. Bush said that this was new information to him and asked who from the legislature was on the committee just mentioned.  Ms. Rooney responded that there is no one from the legislature at this point; just preliminary discussion and programming work that is a big part of anything we do.  Similar to when we rehabilitated some floors in the Civic Center, we do a program study out of the Facilities department, once completed we have a better package to present as an informational idea.  Mr. Bush stated that from the sounds of it they are talking about bricks and mortar too.  Ms. Rooney responded, “Hopefully.”  Mr. Bush asked if they were going to locate everything in Jamesville with the penitentiary.  Ms. Rooney responded that site selection had not started.  The program study has to be done so that we know exactly what we are looking for and what components would be brought in as part of it. 

 

A motion was made by Mr. McBride, seconded by Mr. Bottrill, to adjourn the meeting at 1:25 p.m.  MOTION CARRIED.

 

Respectfully submitted,

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KATHERINE M. FRENCH, Deputy Clerk

Onondaga County Legislature

 

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HEALTH COMMITTEE MINUTES - APRIL 11, 2019

TIMOTHY T. BURTIS, CHAIRMAN

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Mr. Bottrill, Mrs. Abbott-Kenan, Dr. Chase

MEMBERS ABSENT:  Ms. Williams

ALSO ATTENDING:  Chairman Knapp, Mrs. Ervin; see attached list

 

Chairman Burtis called the meeting to order at 9:34 a.m.  A motion was made by Dr. Chase, seconded by Mr. Bottrill to waive the reading of the minutes of the previous committee meeting; MOTION CARRIEDA motion was made by Mr. Bottrill, seconded by Dr. Chase to approve the minutes of the previous committee meeting; MOTION CARRIED.

 

1.     HEALTH:  Michelle Mignano, Deputy Commissioner

        a.     Authorizing the Execution of Agreements with the Oswego County Soil and Water Conservation District Providing for the Transfer of Funding for Finger Lakes - Lake Ontario Watershed Protection Alliance (FLLOWPA)

  • 2013 - resolution requirement from FLLOWPA for funding; funding comes from state Environmental Protection Fund and goes through FLLOWPA

Mr. Nemecek stated that the money varies from year to year, and currently it is just below $89,000.  Mr. Nemecek passed out the information below regarding FLLOWPADEC is the administrator for it, and they needed an entity to handle it; chose FLLOWPA. 

 

Dr. Chase asked where Jamesville Reservoir falls into this, because they are taking on DeRuyter and Tully Lake.  Mr. Nemecek responded that they have done monitoring for water quality, and sampling at Butternut Creek.  There was also a stream bank assessment for erosion.  This year Mr. Nemecek thought about doing a vegetation survey.  Dr. Gupta added that it depends on where the priorities are, because there is limited funding.  They have to assess what they want to do, and what they can do.  Dr. Chase said she would not want it to appear to be okay, not be watched, and then there is a problem.  Mr. Nemecek replied that they do try to bounce around.

 

Mr. Bottrill asked if they did this last year, and Ms. Mignano responded yes in 2013.  Mr. Bottrill asked why it is under Health, and Ms. Mignano replied that it is Environmental Health.

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A motion was made by Mrs. Abbott-Kenan, seconded by Dr. Chase, to approve this item.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

 

Chairman Burtis asked Mr. Nemecek to give a brief description about the herbicides being used on the water chestnuts.  Mr. Nemecek:

  • Permitting process has gotten worse and worse; Glyphosate is roundup on land - rodeo in the water; used to use more of that up until the last few years
  • Last 3-4 years using Clearcast; main ingredient is Imazamox – use only what DEC approves
  • Used glyphosate on ~18 acres; decided to spend more money using Clearcast on all 147 acres; DEC had no issue
  • Have to send letters to owners ½ mile below and above where the treatment will be

Chairman Burtis stated there has been an addition for information presented by Dr. Gupta, who will be discussing the Performance Management Quality Improvement Plan.

 

Dr. Gupta:

 

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Dr. Gupta stated that Syracuse Healthy Start was the only program in upstate NY awarded grant money.  The other five awards were all in New York City. 

 

Mr. Bottrill thanked Dr. Gupta for the presentation, and asked if she has a breakdown of the resources and funds used for each of the top five priorities in percentages and dollars.  Dr. Gupta responded:

  • Yes; work done through grants and NYS Department of Health; consistent for years
  • Not typical local dollars; Mental Health and substance abuse have no local dollars, but NYS gives funds
  • Last year County Executive added ~$35,000 to budget; not enough dollars
  • HIV/STD and vaccine funds are from state - all grant funds; healthy and safe environment includes LEAD (grant)
  • Community Development works with the Health Department as well
  • It is a lot of state funds; have numbers - reported to granting agency

Chairman Burtis said he believes that Mr. Bottrill is looking for a budget on each of the priorities.  Mr. Bottrill agreed, and said (as an example) that Chronic Disease gets $1 million.  Dr. Gupta responded that Chronic Disease is about $250,000 per year for 5 years.  Ms. Mignano said the money they receive in grant dollars comes from NYS priorities.  HIV/STD grant funding, TB, WIC is grant funded, and so on.  Total funding is in the program based budgets, but local dollars are slightly different.  Mr. Bottrill assumes that local dollars are significantly less than other sources, and Dr. Gupta responded for specific program work.  Ms. Mignano would like guidance on how the committee would like to see the funding.  Dr. Gupta added that the state priorities are based on the data from each community’s health assessments, hospitals, etc.  Mr. Bottrill asked if the County’s priorities mimics the states priorities, and Dr. Gupta replied yes. 

 

Mrs. Abbott-Kenan said she was excited to see the tobacco grant, and said parents do not understand that vaping is bad.  It is against the law, and most districts do not punish for it.  Mrs. Abbott-Kenan asked if the tobacco funding can go to vaping.  Dr. Gupta responded that part of the money is to engage youth; called Reality Check Program.  It will be very important in implementing the program, and Dr. Gupta would like to have further conversations regarding it.  Mrs. Abbott-Kenan suggested they could cut to the chase by partnering with a school board association.  Dr. Gupta stated that the Health Department is “marketing” for the County to get the word out on improving health.

 

Mr. Durr answered Dr. Chase that there will be an announcement regarding the personnel matter.  

 

Chairman Knapp asked Dr. Gupta to talk briefly about the measles they’ve been hearing about state and countrywide.  Dr. Gupta said that the immunization rate for Onondaga County is very good, and there are no measles here.  People travel to different areas across the world (i.e. Italy has measles outbreak), and could bring it back, so they are very vigilant about that.  The Health Department is in monitoring mode currently.  Chairman Knapp stated it is a reportable disease, and Dr. Gupta agreed; she receives alerts on her phone regarding any priority disease.  Dr. Gupta added that vaccines for children are very important, and the current immunization rate is ~95%. 

 

Chairman Burtis thanked Dr. Gupta and the Health Department team for doing a great job.  Chairman Burtis stated for the record, “I was in a meeting this week with the American Heart Association and different leaders from the County and City.  We were talking about convenience stores, and healthy food options.”  Chairman Burtis asked that if anyone is interested in going to their next meeting, to please contact him.  Also, Chairman Burtis said he will be attending the summit tomorrow and said everyone is invited.

 

A motion was made by Mr. Bottrill, seconded by Mrs. Abbott-Kenan, to adjourn the meeting.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

 

The meeting adjourned at 10:15 a.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

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JAMIE M. McNAMARA, Assistant Clerk

Onondaga County Legislature

 

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PLANNING & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE MINUTES – APRIL 11, 2019

JOHN D. McBRIDE, CHAIRMAN

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Mr. Holmquist, Mrs. Abbott-Kenan, Mr. Burtis

MEMBERS ABSENT:  Mr. Buckel

ALSO ATTENDING:  Chairman Knapp, Mrs. Ervin; see attached list

 

Chairman McBride called the meeting to order at 10:38 a.m.  A motion was made by Mr. Burtis, seconded by Mr. Holmquist, to waive the reading of the proceedings from the previous committee.  MOTION CARRIED.  A motion was made by Mr. Burtis, seconded by Mrs. Abbott-Kenan, to approve the minutes of the previous committee meeting.  MOTION CARRIED. 

 

1.     GREATER SYRACUSE PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION:

        a.     Confirming the Appointment to the Board of Directors of the Greater Syracuse Property Development Corporation (Patrick J. Hogan)

 

Chairman McBride stated that this vacancy has been around for a while and is a joint appointment from the County Executive and the Mayor of the City of Syracuse.  Mr. Hogan has a very qualified resume and would be an asset to the board. 

 

A motion was made by Mr. Burtis, seconded by Mrs. Abbott-Kenan, to approve this item.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

 

2.     ONONDAGA CIVIC DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION:

        a.     Confirming Appointment by the Chairman of the Onondaga County Legislature to the Board of Directors of the Onondaga Civic Development Corporation (Kimberly Townsend) (Sponsored by Mr. Knapp)

 

Chairman Knapp:

  • Vacancy created by Mr. Zaccaria stepping down
  • Thrilled to have Ms. Townsend volunteer; heads the Loretto organization, tremendous person, wants to give back, very creative - incentivized employees to stay at Loretto, cannot say enough
  • Board members are excited to have her

Chairman McBride said that he has known Ms. Townsend for a while and she is an exemplary CEO, president of Loretto, who does an outstanding job.  Her resume has every credential one could imagine and she would be an asset to this board.

 

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

 

3.     INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY:  Kevin Sexton, Chief Information Officer

        a.     Amending the 2019 County Budget to make Funding Available for use in Connection with a Grant from the United States Department of Homeland Security State Homeland Security Grant Program, and Authorizing the Execution of Agreements ($49,835)

 

Mr. Sexton:

  • Grant application submitted last year and approved late last year by the County Executive; formal presentation to accept funds into their budget
  • Great opportunity, lined up progressive and proactive technology from Cisco called Umbrella; biggest risk to our network is the user, vast majority of risks come through email via links or attachments that perform malicious activity on your computer or network
  • This technology constantly updates its database of known malicious websites, domain name service; all in the county are routed through a gateway that checks the database and blocks malicious sites; have piloted this program for several months, works great, excited about utilizing and formally moving ahead
  • Amends our budget, special cybersecurity project created

Chairman McBride asked if there was something in place previously to counteract threats.  Mr. Sexton responded that normal firewalls are in place but those are not as progressive and proactive.  Those are always a day or week late as it takes time for virus companies to identify sites.  This is instantaneous.  As soon as third parties flag sites it is updated; timely, zero-day technology. 

 

Chairman Knapp asked if the $49,835 would buy the software.  Mr. Sexton responded that it was a yearly subscription to the service.  Chairman Knapp asked what the ongoing would be, assuming this works.  Mr. Sexton responded that there are other grant opportunities that they may be able to consider for next year but this is an important service that should be budgeted for. 

 

Chairman McBride asked if this was an immediate install.  Mr. Sexton responded that they have been piloting this and people have already been blocked.  In answer to Mr. Burtis, Mr. Sexton stated that they have been piloting the program for 4 to 5 months. 

 

A motion was made by Mr. Burtis, seconded by Mrs. Abbott-Kenan, to approve this item.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED. 

 

4.     SYRACUSE-ONONDAGA COUNTY PLANNING AGENCY:  Daniel Kwasnowski, 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

 

Chairman McBride said that this law was implemented in the ’70s in an effort to keep farmland in agricultural production and Mr. Kwasnowski will explain the latest additions.

 

Mr. Kwasnowski:

  • Resolution calls for the public hearing, back next month for approval of the additions
  • Relatively small parcels for farmland, some balance land and some leased to a farm; 1 parcel not recommended for inclusion, Ms. Costa worked with owners to determine intent and view the land, he and the board also looked at, doesn’t serve any purpose in the district
  • Most parcels are around the Reeves farm and tilled, a few are more forested and partially farmed, still eligible
  • Ag District is one step in a progression of things that can be done to obtain the ag exemption for the land, it must be in a district but also must have soils, be tilled and all sorts of things go along with that
  • Ag District provides Ag & Mkts protection for farmers from any overreach of government, provides legal services for actions by any government

In answer to Mr. Burtis, Mr. Kwasnowski stated that this includes additions for all districts, they just happen to be all in District 3.  Next year will be the 8-year review for Ag District 2 and that is where there are additions and potential subtractions for that district.  There are 4 ag districts and each has a full review every eight years.  Chairman McBride stated that District 1 is south-central, 2 is southwest, 3 is north and 4 is southeast.  Chairman Knapp stated that every year land can be added to any district but land can only be removed during the 8-year review of the district.  

 

Chairman Knapp stated that he attended the Agriculture and Farmland Protection Board meeting and they agonized over the one parcel for a long time.  A couple of members were familiar with that parcel and it was not appropriate to add at this time.  Chairman McBride reiterated that this resolution just calls for the public hearing.  

 

Mr. Holmquist characterized various meetings he sat in on with Mr. Kwasnowski and village and town officials as phenomenal; asked different communities what they wanted if they had a master plan and their concerns.  There was great dialogue and all can remember 10 years ago when it was a top-down approach.  Now it is a 180, giving SOCPA the opportunity to accurately access countywide, town and village needs - Mr. Kwasnowski is doing an outstanding job on all accounts.  While not on this agricultural issue, this is very appropriate.  Mr. Kwasnowski responded that he will get around to everyone.  Chairman McBride said that yesterday they were at the Town of Onondaga and it was a breath of fresh air.  Mr. Kwasnowski listened to the town, took copious notes on what they were interested in and what they wanted; truly a bottom-up approach.  Mr. Kwasnowski thanked the committee for their comments.  Mrs. Abbott-Kenan stated that the 6th District is proud to have him. 

 

Mr. Kwasnowski said that a coordinated review meeting was held for a project on the border of Clay and Cicero and it was a benefit to be able to have a relationship with them and know what they were trying to do.  It was nice to have the conversation at this level instead of wondering what is going on.  This is a benefit to everybody in the long run, and it has been great fun.  

 

A motion was made by Mrs. Abbott-Kenan, seconded by Mr. Burtis, to approve this item.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED. 

 

A motion was made by Mr. Burtis, seconded by Mrs. Abbott-Kenan, to adjourn the meeting at 10:56 a.m.  MOTION CARRIED.

 

Respectfully submitted,

4.11.19_Planning_1

KATHERINE M. FRENCH, Deputy Clerk

Onondaga County Legislature

 

4.11.19_Planning_2

 

 

 

 

* * *

WAYS & MEANS COMMITTEE MINUTES

April 30, 2019

DEB CODY, CHAIR

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Mr. Jordan, Mr. Rowley, Ms. Williams, Mr. Ryan, Mrs. Ervin, *Mr. May

ALSO PRESENT:  Chairman Knapp, Mr. Bush; see also attached list

 

Chair Cody called the meeting to order at 9:10 a.m.  A motion was made by Mr. Jordan, seconded by Mr. Rowley, to waive the reading and approve the minutes of proceedings of the previous committee meeting.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

 

1.     HEALTH:  Michelle Mignano, Deputy Commissioner

        a.     Authorizing the Execution of Agreements with the Oswego County Soil and Water Conservation District Providing for the Transfer of Funding for Finger Lakes - Lake Ontario Watershed Protection Alliance (FLLOWPA)

  • FLLOWPA funds come from DEC; go through a fiscal agent to Onondaga County to fund various projects
  • Granting agency has asked for a resolution to accept these funds; last one was 5 years ago 

Mr. Jordan said that there is no change in the process.  Ms. Mignano agreed, adding that it is just a reporting mechanism – part of application for the funds. 

 

Chair Cody said that FLLOWPA is 25 counties.  Ms. Mignano said that our FLLOWPA is the Finger Lakes, Ontario Watershed.  It’s possible because the watersheds go so far with the river structure.  Onondaga County primarily deals with Oswego, Cortland, and all contiguous counties.

 

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

 

2.     PROBATION:  Andrew Sicherman, Commissioner

        a.     Providing for Various Personnel Changes

  • NYS standard specification for Probation professional positions
  • Titles used to identify the various positions – H-10 Regulations – haven’t been redone since 1973
  • A state function; no money associated with it; simply reorganizing of titles to lend some consistency across the state
  • Certain titles changed -- some do not 

Mr. Jordan asked if it changes any duties of any positions.  Mr. Sicherman said that it didn’t; the only actual very small changes would be small tweaks to the requirements, but are almost insignificant.  For example - a probation officer trainee might require two years of college – they may have changed a certain number of credits.  There is really no change in the overall requirements for probation officer, his job, deputy commissioner, etc.  It is just a change in titles to lend some consistency across the state. 

 

Mr. Rowley asked if there are any changes to Civil Service rules or testing; does everybody who is a position now, qualifies under whatever changes are made.  Mr. Sicherman said “absolutely.

 

Clerk Maturo noted that an amendment is needed.  Chair Cody asked if there are changes to this resolution.  Mrs. Tarolli said after this went through, they found out from the state that there was a slight change to titles.  Mr. Hummel said that some of the titles listed in the appendices were unclear.  They received some clarification on the titles, and a couple of them need to be amended to match what the state is telling us.  The probation officer 1 Trainee (Community Liaison); Probation Officer 1 Trainee (Spanish Speaking).  Parentheticals have to be placed after ‘Trainee’. 

 

Mrs. Maturo stated that a verbal amendment is needed to correct the error and approve the changes, and asked to be provided with a copy of the email referenced from the state. 

 

Ms. Williams made a motion to amend the resolution:  the previous title was Probation Officer 1 (Community Liaison) Trainee, Probation Officer 1 (Spanish Speaking) Trainee; the corrected title to be Probation Officer 1 Trainee (Community Liaison) and Probation Officer 1 Training (Spanish Speaking), seconded by Mrs. Ervin.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

 

Mr. Jordan made a motion to approve the resolution as amended, seconded by Mrs. Ervin.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

 

        b.     Amending the 2019 County Budget to Make Funds Available for Use in Connection with the Strategies for Policing Innovation Grant and Authorizing the Execution of Agreements ($32,800)

  • Accept grant funding for participation in police innovation with SPD
  • Funds used to do enhanced supervision on highest risk offenders, home visits – overtime costs associated with home visits, details with SPD, interventions
  • All high risk, gang and gun involved offenders

 Mr. Rowley noted that the resolution states $32,800, but the information sheet states $98,400.  It was explained that is extends over 3 years.

 

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

 

3.     TRANSPORTATION:  Marty Voss, Commissioner

        a.     BOND RESOLUTION - A Resolution Authorizing Various Bridge Improvement Projects in and for the County of Onondaga, New York, at a Maximum Estimated Cost of $880,000, and Authorizing the Issuance of $880,000 Bonds of said County to Pay Costs Thereof ($880,000)

  • Items 3a & 3b – bond resolutions to support 2019 work plan
  • 3a – share towards bridge work

Mr. Rowley noted that the work plan includes funding for the Canalways Trail and asked if that meshes with Loop the Lake.  Mr. Voss explained that the Canalways Trail is Loop the Lake- that is how it is described for the state.  Mr. Rowley referenced another program with a trail along Erie Blvd.  Mr. Voss said that is the Empire State Trail, which is the state project.  The Empire State Trail connects everything; then the Canalways Trail extensions are the various pieces that either State, DOT, or whoever is doing.  The parts that the county is doing on its property are also called extensions.  

 

Mr. Rowley said that one piece goes from the Amphitheater down to Murphy’s Island, which needs to be completed.  Mr. Voss said that it actually four pieces.  Mr. Rowley asked what pieces are in the work plan.  Mr. Voss said that today phase 1 is being discussed – from West Shore Trail parking lot, down to Honeywell Visitors Center.  That is this year’s construction, done by the end of the construction season.  The Honeywell section – from approximately where the county ends at the Visitor’s Center to Harbor Brook, where there is an access point is what Honeywell is responsible for.  The county’s Phase II (Canalways Trail extension) is from Harbor Brook over to CSX Rail Lines, behind Roth Steal, daylighting on Hiawatha.  That is the bridge, the big one, the expensive one.  In the work plan is the design, development, and construction money for that.  It is still being developed.  It hasn’t been approved yet – have to move through a number of hurdles to get to construction phase next year.  Mr. Rowley asked about the piece that will go up the Parkway.  Mr. Voss said that is just design money that they have gotten federal funds for – Federal Transportation Program.  It is the very beginning of the process.  It is a multi-year process – i.e. Phase I is at step 3, Phase II is at step 2, Phase III is at step 1.

 

Mr. Rowley asked if all of the prior Loop the Lake construction has all been done through work plan.  Mr. Voss said “not necessarily – some of it has been done with local dollars, some with federal aid.  Mr. Rauber suggested that some of the initial trail stemmed through the Parks budget.  Mr. Rowley questioned what causes these pieces for federal aid versus the other pieces.  Mr. Voss said that you can get federal aid for trail projects through the TIP.  Mr. Rauber said that the last section to be done will be funded with federal dollars.  He said that they try to maximize federal dollars when they are available; sometimes have to compete for them.  Mr. Rowley asked if the pieces that were funded through the Parks previously didn’t qualify.  Mr. Rauber was not sure – would have to go back to the 1980s.  Mr. Donnelly said that he doesn’t know if it’s a question of them not qualifying – a lot of of it depends on the Federal Hiqhway Bill and how much money is set aside for pedestrian accommodations and accessibility.  More recent bills had more money for that, where in the past it had always been for traditional highway.

 

Chair Cody noted that Mr. Voss presented the Highway Plan to leadership and then again at the County Facilities Committee meeting.  

 

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

 

*Mr. May arrived at the meeting.

 

        b.     BOND RESOLUTION - A Resolution Authorizing the Reconstruction of County Roads in and for the County of Onondaga, New York, at a Maximum Estimated Cost of $7,120,000, and Authorizing the Issuance of $7,120,000 Bonds of said County to Pay Costs Thereof ($7,120,000)

  • Road work component of the bond

 Mr. Rowley asked if the amount is pretty typical of year later year.  Mr. Voss said it is still a little bit down, but better than last year.

 

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

 

        c.     Amending the 2019 County Budget to Fund in the First Instance 100 Percent of the Federal Aid Eligible Costs at a Maximum Amount of $7,600,000 for the Construction and Construction Inspection Phases of the Canalways Trail Extension Project, Phase II, PIN 3756.29, and Authorizing the Execution of Agreements ($7,600,000)

  • Lock down federal funds, $7,600,000 obligated for the county; construction phase of County Phase II – Harborbrook to Hiawatha
  • Have to show a resolution to NYS DOT that there is legislative approval to obligate and engage for the money 

Chair Cody noted that this is the big one over the tracks; Mr. Voss agreed.

 

A motion was made by Mrs. Ervin, seconded by Ms. Williams, to approve this item.  Passed unanimously; motion carried.

 

Mr. Voss noted that he will be coming back in June for an amendment; the design is getting finicky by the water.

 

        d.     Amending the 2019 County Budget to Fund in the First Instance 100 Percent of the Federal Aid Eligible Costs at a Maximum Amount of $680,000 for the Design (Scoping I-VI) and Right-of-Way Incidentals Phases of the Canalways Trail Salina Extension Project, PIN 3756.22, and Authorizing the Execution of Agreements ($680,000)

  • Design and scoping – Phase II - Murphy’s Island to Salina
  • No predetermined outcome of what it will look like or work
  • A lot of unanswered questions to be addressed by the consultant from the public, Town of Salina, and others 

In answer to Mrs. Ervin, Mr. Voss said that this is to figure out how to make this work and obligate the federal funds before the end of the fiscal year in October.

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

 

        e.     Amending the 2019 County Budget and Authorizing the County to Pay in the First Instance 100 Percent of the Non-Federal Aid Eligible Costs at a Total Maximum Amount of $730,000 for the Design (Scoping I-VI) and Construction Phases of the Caughdenoy Road Over Youngs Creek Culvert (C-16) Replacement Project, PIN 3756.64, and Authorizing Execution of Agreements($730,000)

  • Pay in the first instance; Town of Clay – northern part of town

Mr. Jordan asked if it will be done this year.  Mr. Rauber said that it wouldn’t--just starting the design phase.

 

Mr. Voss said that there were six projects applied for under Bridge New York; this is the one they they got.  It seemed average for the counties around us – Cortland got one, Oswego got one.

 

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

 

        f.      Amending the Design (Scoping I-VI) and Right-of-Way Incidentals Phase of the Old Route 5 (CR 98) and Warners Road (CR 63) Paving (2R) Project, PIN 3755.69 by $100,000, and Increasing the Authorization to Pay in the First Instance 100% of the Federal Aid Eligible Costs by $80,000

  • Amendment to scoping and incidentals for Old Route 5 – Warners Road, West Genesee
  • In the heart of Fairmount – from Wegmans, up to Rt. 173, down to Milton
  • Additional design needs to be done; $100,000 authorized in TIP

Mr. Ryan said that this paving and asked if the county does it.  Mr. Voss said it is more than paving; it is full depth.  Mr. Rauber said that there is culvert to replace right in front of Wegmans; it will cause a lot of inconvenience.  Drainage is being reconstructed, adding sidewalk on north side of Genesee Street and east side of Warners Road.  It is is more of a rehabilitation project.  Mr. Ryan asked if a contract will be needed for the paving.  Mr. Voss said that they only contract for paving; county doesn’t do any.  Mr. Ryan asked who the contract is with; Mr. Voss said that it will be the low bidder.  This year Suit-Kote has cold and bituminous; Riccelli just won hot mix.  In answer to Mr. Ryan, Mr. Voss said it is too early to say if Suit-Kote will be doing this – that contract expires – in the third year renewal; they go out to bid every Spring.  This won’t be part of the paving program; it is a separate and distinct project—a separate contract for engineering; general contractor bids the overall work.

 

In answer to Mr. Jordan, Mr. Voss said that this is part of the work plan, which includes routine paving and repair work (hot & cold mix), and all of the federal aid projects.  The federal aid projects are in various stages of progress – from concept, scoping to design and approval to construction and then inspection. 

 

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

 

4.     INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY:  Michelle Clark, Deputy Chief Information Officer

        a.     Amending the 2019 County Budget to Make Funding Available for Use in Connection with a Grant from the United States Department of Homeland Security State Homeland Security Grant Program, and Authorizing the Execution of Agreements ($49,835)

  • Accept grant fund from Umbrella Open DNS - service to stop folks from getting to malicious websites
  • Won the grant; looking to set up a project with it

Chair Cody said that IT has been piloting this.  Mrs. Clark agreed and stated that they have been great to work with; security is huge and one of the biggest vulnerabilities.

 

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

 

5.     PERSONNEL:  Deborah Maturo, Clerk, County Legislature

        a.     Standard Work Day and Reporting Resolution

  • This is the next round – to comply with NYS
  • There were a few elected changes at the end of last year and many administrative positions
  • Another resolution will be coming forward next month

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

 

6.     FINANCE, DIVISION OF REAL PROPERTY TAX SERVICESDon Weber, Director, Real Prop. Tax Svcs.

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

  • A correction greater than $2,500 needs legislative approval
  • Town of Clay – School tax payment was applied to the wrong parcel
  • LeMoyne – Sewer fees were switched on two parcels; one will be corrected downward, the other will get the additional fee next year
  • Manlius – parcel owned by Village; should have been tax exempt
  • MWB – assessor thought parcel had a cell tower on it; it was a county-owned 911 tower; should have been exempt
  • The last two were incorrect sewer units

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

 

7.     EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONSAnn Rooney, Deputy County Executive/Physical Services

        a.     Confirming Appointment of Julie Kolakowski Corn as Commissioner of the Department of Emergency Communications

  • Mr. Bleyle is planning to retire; had inquiry from Ms. Corn about returning to Syracuse
  • Resume was provided in packet – qualifications speak for themselves
  • Ms. Corn grew up in Westvale; has done amazing things in the defense world – specifically with intelligence
  • Read an answer from Ms. Corn regarding why she wanted to return to Syracuse closer to family and friends, wonderful place to raise a family, needs for children more challenging to provide in a big city (D.C.), green space, quality child care & schools, support system that helps working parents balance a family and career
  • Will have 6 weeks to work with Mr. Bleyle before his retirement

Ms. Rooney continued to review her resume and credentials.

 

Mr. Bush said that has a member of the Public Safety Committee, he is disappointed that this didn’t go through that committee first.  It is the prime responsibility of the committee; in fairness to the committee, he would have thought they would have had an opportunity to review the individual and look at the resume before it went any further.  Ms. Rooney said it was a matter of timing – from the time that Mr. Bleyle let them know he was retiring – wanted to make sure there could be some overlap.

 

Chairman Knapp said that was his call – wanted to get it on the agenda so she would have plenty of time with Mr. Bleyle to have some crossover time.  Knowing that the Chairman of Public Safety sits on Way & Means, as well as a couple of other members -- thought that wouldn’t be a problem.  This person is highly qualified, impressive, and he did not want to hold anything up.  There is plenty of time to discuss it; the Clerk sent her resume out last week; there is plenty of time for people to ask questions. 

 

Mr. Bush asked if she is aware that the position may be eliminated under the merger.  Ms. Rooney said that there is no plan for elimination of the position.  Mr. Bush said that the chart that was provided indicated that there was no longer a commissioner position, but instead a deputy position.  Ms. Rooney said that she is aware of that.  Mr. Bush referred to the salary at a grade 37, and asked if she expects the salary to be $92,800.  Ms. Rooney confirmed that she is aware of that. 

 

Mr. Ryan said that when she gets here, she will definitely have a sharp learning curve with Mr. Bleyle, the network, etc.  He would like an opportunity for her to come to Public Safety Committee and would like to hear her vision on cyber security and some other things in her background.

 

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

 

8.     FINANCE, DIVISION OF MANAGEMENT & BUDGETSteve Morgan, CFO

        a.     Monthly Report - Double Encumbered Positions (Res. 86-2018)

  • One new addition in the Sheriff’s office – has been informed that it will probably be off by next month’s report – thinks it is a transition/training issue
  • Most likely the 4 positions that have remained on the report will be part of the 2020 budget, unless a position opens up in the meantime to alleviate the double encumbered situation
    chart

 Mr. Jordan asked if that means adding positions to the 2020 budget.  Mr.  Morgan said that the budget controls the positions--they aren’t filled without sufficient dollars; the budget controls how many people you can hire. 

 

9.     LAW:

        a.     Settlement of Claim

 

A motion was made by Mr. Jordan to go into executive session to discuss pending litigation:  Jacqueline Cleary v. County of Onondaga, seconded by Mr. May.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED. 

 

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

 

Chair Cody stated for the record, that no motions or actions were taken during executive session.

 

Chair Cody adjourned the meeting at 10:05 a.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

attendance

DEBORAH L. MATURO, Clerk

Onondaga County Legislature

signature

 

 

 

 

 

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