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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

 

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION COMMITTEE MINUTES – JUNE 11, 2019

JUDITH A. TASSONE, ACTING CHAIR

 

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

MEMBERS ABSENT:  Mr. Jordan, Dr. Chase

ALSO ATTENDING:  See attached list

 

Chair Tassone called the meeting to order at 9:11 a.m.  A motion was made by Mrs. Abbott-Kenan, seconded by Mr. Bottrill, to waive the reading of the proceedings from the previous committee.  MOTION CARRIED.  A motion was made by Mr. Bottrill, seconded by Mrs. Abbott-Kenan, to approve the minutes of the previous committee meeting.  MOTION CARRIED. 

 

1.     ONONDAGA COUNTY RESOURCE RECOVERY AGENCY:

        a.     Confirming Appointment and Reappointment to the Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency (Alberto Bianchetti, Travis Glazier)

 

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

 

2.     WATER ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION:  Adam Woodburn, Program Coordinator Stormwater Management; Jed Walsh, Project Coordinator

        a.     ACJ Report

 

Mr. Woodburn:

  • Commissioner Mento is at a peer group conference for wastewater departments; introduced Jed Walsh who will be putting together the ACJ quarterly reports
  • He himself is a landscape architect who has been with the county 4 years, used to design green infrastructure, now oversees the green and gray combined sewer overflow abatement program known as  the ACJ
  • 1st Quarter 2019 Report is the last report by Mr. Rhoads (No report was provided to the Clerk) http://savetherain.us/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/2019_ACJ-Q1-Report.pdf

Chair Tassone asked that copies of the report be provided to the committee in the future.  Mr. Woodburn stated that he was not asked to bring copies.  The report is posted online and he will send members the link.  He then apologized for this not being communicated.

  • Mostly using green infrastructure to abate combined sewer overflows – porous pavements, bioswales, and underground infiltration trenches; continuing implementation of those projects in sewershed areas where rainwater removal is needed to reduce overflows, hit the 95% overflow capture goal of the ACJ, the next step is to reduce overflow events to 4-6 per year; hit 97% capture rate a few years ago, still haven’t had confirmation from the DEC
  • Working in outer Comstock area and on the Southside west of I-81 and south of Colvin, also in the South Avenue neighborhood across from the cemetery, Lynch Avenue
  • Team with the City of Syracuse on their road reconstruction projects, green infrastructure is added at significant cost savings, install underground infiltration trenches
  • Completed work on Genesee Street by Alan Byer Ford, small pipe project abated combined sewer overflow, very successful for dollar amount spent per reduction of overflow 

Mrs. Abbott-Kenan said that most of their projects are based in the city.  Mr. Woodburn responded that all the projects are in the city combined overflow sewershed.  He will send this report, links to mapping and where they are doing work.

  • Hope to close the ACJ and move to a DEC negotiated permit, have to go through steps to get there; the program has gone a long way to reach 97% capture, a huge very successful program
  • Green projects are broken down by their phase in the report; Washington Square Park project is a great example of teaming with the City of Syracuse – city wanted basketball court, WEP needed capture in that area, designing bioretention porous pavement basketball court
  • Metro Optimization project for phosphorus removal is in start-up, still working out the bugs, major process
  • Legislature approved road reconstruction with the city and the IMA agreement for the Meadowbrook-Limestone service area for designing and improvements to the sewer area – lining and manhole rehabilitation
  • Report includes an update on digital outreach, Save the Rain with Jim and Julie Boeheim on Facebook is part of that program, includes funding and where they are in the program
  • Acronyms are listed towards the back of the report

Mr. Bottrill asked if they were on target with their goals and the things they wanted to accomplish thus far with their projects.  Mr. Woodburn responded that the ACJ had several requirements.  There were milestones to build gray projects and capture goals, and they met or exceeded these goals.  The final goal was to meet ambient water quality in the tributaries and lakes.  Both parties of the ACJ, Atlantic States and the DEC, understand that this was an unattainable goal.  This is part of the reason they can’t end the ACJ, which was meant to sunset at the end of 2018.  A mechanism needs to be determined, with Atlantic States and the DEC, to close this out and cover themselves so that they are not open to future lawsuits like the ACJ.  That information is not contained in this report but they have been having meeting with these parties to try and move this process along and he thinks they are pretty close.

 

In answer to Mrs. Abbott-Kenan, Mr. Woodburn said that the phosphorus removal is happening at the plant.  It takes a while to get gray projects across the finish line because they are expensive.  The report includes information on ambient monitoring in the tributaries and lakes.  The county has spent quite a bit of money monitoring and it is one of the things they are negotiating with the DEC – how to sample less and still be in compliance with the permit.  A lot of money is spent on sampling, which is not actually moving the ball to make the water better.  The advanced phosphorous process started it increased the water quality significantly because the water is clearer.  Plants can grow and Onondaga Lake has not had an algal bloom in 5 or more years.

 

Chair Tassone suggested that Mrs. Abbott-Kenan tour the plant.  Mr. Woodburn noted that WEP has an open house ever September, and the amount of work the department does is astounding.  Mrs. Abbott-Kenan said that she has seen the city and Skaneateles plants, which is why she was asking where the point of phosphorus removal was. 

 

Chair Tassone thanked Mr. Woodburn for providing the update. 

 

A motion was made by Chair Tassone, seconded by Mrs. Abbott-Kenan, to adjourn the meeting at 9:27 a.m.  MOTION CARRIED.

 

Respectfully submitted,

6.11.19_EP_1

KATHERINE M. FRENCH, Deputy Clerk

Onondaga County Legislature

6.11.19_EP_2

 

* * *

 

COUNTY FACILITIES COMMITTEE MINUTES – JUNE 11, 2019

JUDITH A. TASSONE, CHAIR

 

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

ALSO ATTENDING:  Chairman Knapp; See attached list

 

Chair Tassone called the meeting to order at 10:32 a.m.  A motion was made by Mrs. Ervin, seconded by Mr. McBride to waive the reading and approve the minutes of the previous committee meeting.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED

 

1.     ONONDAGA COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY:  Janet Park, Executive Director

        a.     Confirming Appointment to the Onondaga County Public Library Board of Trustees (Sam Edelstein)

  • Fill vacancy left by Debbie Stack on Board of Trustees; served all terms she can

*Ms. Cody arrived at the meeting.

  • Mr. Edelstein went through County Executive’s new portal for board appointments; submitted name to be considered
  • Impressive resume including a Masters in Information Management - related to Library Science programs; lot of experience in data management; no one on the board has that expertise

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

 

2.     PARKS & RECREATION:  Lee Klosowski, Deputy Commissioner

        a.     Authorizing the Department of Parks and Recreation to Accept Donated Items ($36,000)

  • Friends of Rosamond Gifford Zoo – donation of three light poles including installation costs; installed as part of Zoo boardwalk project, which is nearing completion; decorative light that Friends wants added to ambience of Zoo

Chair Tassone said it is nice to have the Friends working with the County and making this donation.  It will look beautiful.  Mr. Klosowski said the lights will have a palm leaf design.  Chair Tassone asked how soon they would be installed, and Mr. Klosowski responded there is a ten week delivery time.  It will be about a month or two for installation.

 

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

 

3.     TRANSPORTATION:  Martin Voss, Commissioner

        a.     Amending the 2019 Onondaga County Budget to Make Funds Available for use in Connection with the New York State Pave-NY Program, and Authorizing the Execution of Agreements ($1,281,137)

  • Pave NY allocation from NYS; resolution to accept money

Mr. Voss passed out the following that shows the projects to be done using the Pave NY funds.

 

6.11.19_Facilities_1

 

Mr. Voss responded to Chair Tassone that the $1,281,137 will go towards the supplemental list in the work plan.  The projects are listed in the work plan, but at the time there was not an allocation for Pave NY.  Mr. Voss heard about the Big Ugly in Albany on the radio, which will include any additional capital money.  There are always projects in the queue should additional resources become available.  Chair Tassone asked if they will complete all these projects this season, and Mr. Voss replied yes.  There is a new contractor he is working with, and they did a sample project last week. 

 

Mr. McBride asked if there is a schedule, and Mr. Voss responded ASAP.  The contractors are not held to a schedule, because they may be doing work in other counties.  The County gives the contractor the work plan and leaves it to their discretion.  If anything is going to be disruptive, the contractor will let the County know, so the department can notify the residents and the Legislature.  Mr. Voss stated that Ms. Jeske does the notifications, and it is an enhancement to have her communicate with the public and the Legislature. 

 

Mr. Voss replied to Chair Tassone that the rain has held off paving and caused disruptions.

 

Mrs. Ervin asked who the new vendor is, and Mr. Voss said Northern Asphalt; a Riccelli company.

 

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

 

        b.     Amending the 2019 County Budget to Pay in the First Instance 100 Percent of the Federal and State Aid Eligible Costs at a Maximum Amount of $2,375,000 for the Construction and Construction Inspection Phases of the West Taft Road Paving Project, PIN 3755.80, and Authorizing Execution of Agreements ($2,375,000)

  • Pay in first instance for W. Taft Rd. - Burr Drive to Hollywood Circle; involves milling and repaving; traffic signal improvements at W. Taft and Henry Clay intersection; also Wegmans and Wintersweet Drive intersection
  • Advancing $2.375 mil; fed aid project - 80%, 15%, 5% local share; programed in workplan ($125,000)

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

 

        c.     Amending the Design (Scoping I-VI) and Right-of-Way Incidentals Phase of the Canalways Trail Extension Project, PIN 3756.29 by $75,000, and Increasing the Authorization to Pay in the First Instance 100% of the Federal Aid Eligible Costs by $60,000, Amending Res No. 75-2017, and Authorizing the Execution of Agreements ($60,000)

  • Additional cost for Loop the Lake phase II; bridge - Harbor Brook over CSX and New York Susquehanna and Western railroad tracks, behind Roth Steel to Hiawatha
  • Site evaluation – need for soil settlement analysis, railroad coordination, additional right-of-way mapping
  • Massive WEP force main - need to do soil stability around force main; worked with WEP to do in-house, but additional costs causing amount of project to rise $75,000; $15,000 is local share programed in workplan
  • Had to do report, because of the amount of stakeholders - WEP, OCIDA, NYSDOT, NYSDEC, CSX, Honeywell
  • Prove to CSX and New York Susquehanna that installing the trail will not destabilize railroad tracks or force main
  • Costs will cover the engineering, review and design
  • Will not hold up project if it passes today

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

 

        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 $240,000 for the Design (Scoping I-VI) and Right-of-Way Incidentals Phase of the Platt Road Bridge Over Nine Mile Creek, Pin 3756.90, and Authorizing the Execution of Agreements ($240,000)

  • Town of Marcellus; design and right-of-way; will program construction into workplan and budget next year

A motion was made by Mr. McBride, seconded by Ms. Cody, 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 $320,000 for the Design (Scoping I-VI) and Right-of-Way Incidentals Phase of the North Manlius Road Bridge Over Limestone Creek, PIN 3756.91, and Authorizing the Execution of Agreements ($320,000)

  • Similar situation for design, scoping and right-of-way; Town of Manlius; bridge over Limestone Creek; get queued for construction and funding replacement in 2020 or 2021

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

 

Mr. Holmquist said he has friends at the Minoa Fire Department, who asked when the Fremont Bridge project will be, so they can reroute their trucks.  Mr. Voss responded that they are in the middle of an issue with the project and the Law Department.  He is hoping to have answers soon.  Mr. Voss said they should call Transportation.  The department always makes sure everyone is aware of what’s happening, so they have an opportunity to reroute.

 

4.     NBT STADIUM:  Robert Durr, County Attorney; Brian Donnelly, Deputy County Executive

        a.     A Local Law Authorizing a Lease Agreement for the use of NBT Bank Stadium

        b.     Making Funds Available for use in Connection with Maintenance, Repairs, and Replacements at the NBT Bank Stadium ($16,100,000)

        c.     BOND RESOLUTION:  A Resolution Authorizing Various Renovations to the NBT Bank Stadium in and for the County of Onondaga, New York, at a Maximum Estimated Cost of $25,000,000, and Authorizing the Issuance of $8,500,000 Bonds of said County to Pay Costs Thereof ($25,000,000)

 

Mr. Durr:

  • Committee familiar with this; Mr. Fisher discussed previously; new version of lease
  • Changes in the new lease include the following:  
    • (1) County retains all revenue for advertising
    • (2) Renegotiated lease with community baseball; rent terms – $200,000/year for next 7 years; 7 years is when original agreement expires; new lease does not expire until 2042 giving County 25 years of AAA baseball
    • Provisions in lease to ensure (as best as possible) community baseball stays at a AAA level; certain requirements built in, like accelerated rents if the Mets decided to pull out; advantageous for everybody
    • There are assurances from International League, who has to approve everything; they have approved this lease
    • International League hesitant to let franchises leave an area; but if a franchise leaves, then they have to take care of all of their responsibilities; the Mets will not leave the County in the lurch as they will pay all financial obligations
    • After 2042, rent goes up to $300,000
    • (4) Provisions regarding improvements for stadium; County delineated certain things they wanted done; do not want to be in situation 3 years from now with additional improvements without funding; funding earmarked ~$1.2 mill
  • Other funding goes to projects both County and Mets want done; all changes subject to approval from County and Mets
  • County has control with approval by Mets, who have been cooperative and understanding
  • Mets seem very enthused and willing to be here; Mr. Wilpon has been here 3 or 4 times, which shows he’s very involved and wants it to be a success
  • Revenue from advertising is naming rights, which gives parking spaces, box of 20 seats to advertiser, stadium naming rights and 4 places within stadium for naming rights; other advertising is controlled by community baseball
  • Advertising currently $140,000/year

Mr. Donnelly:

  • Current naming rights agreement put in place in 2005 with Alliance Bank; assumed by NBT Bank
  • 20 year deal totaling $2.8 million (~$140,000 annually); continues until 2025 - will go out for another naming rights deal
  • Right to first refusal based on amount provided to current holder
  • Proposal today is $25 million with naming rights at a projected value of $3.6 million; SMG looked at other markets and baseball teams – they feel $3.6 million is doable and comparable
  • The Mets are a selling feature
  • County is getting all the money; no split

Mrs. Ervin asked what projects will be done.  Mr. Durr responded that Mr. Wixson could speak to specific projects, but they will include updating certain facilities heating, plumbing and electrical.  Field replacement is the County’s responsibility as landlord, but the Mets have agreed to make the initial replacement of the field in the next two years.  The County will have the responsibility 8 years after that and another 8 years after that.  Mr. McBride asked if they would be changing the surface, and Chairman Knapp replied that it will be staying grass.  Mr. Durr added that they look at drainage.

 

Chair Tassone stated they will discuss all three items and vote after.

 

Mr. Donnelly:

  • Asking for appropriation for future naming rights and existing unallocated naming rights (current deal); bonding of $8.5 mil; commitment from NYS Empire State Development for $12.5 mil - brings to $25 mil for renovation of stadium
  • Mr. Wixson reviewed stadium and what elements need to be taken care of
  • Lot of improvements the Mets are proposing will address internal elements; set aside ask for $1.2 mil for improvements pertinent for stadium operations as the owner
  • Other improvements - new seating, new painting, Hank Sauer room, outfield area for fan experience and concessions
  • Hoping improvements completed in 2020 time frame, which will create a much better fan experience; state of the art stadium the Mets will be proud to play in for 25 years
  • County’s $12.5 includes:  $8.5 mil bond issue, $245,000 unallocated naming rights, $3.6 mil in anticipated naming rights and in-kind services provided by Facilities and Parks at a value of $155,000

Mr. McBride asked if these improvements are all internal decisions, or did the Mets request certain items.  Also, once this is complete, going forward will there be any future items the Mets might request from the County.  Mr. Donnelly responded that he does not believe so.  The Mets entered this deal, because the stadium and market are in good shape.  Mr. Donnelly’s intent is to approach the Legislature at this point, and not have to come back for a while. 

 

Mr. Holmquist said that in the initial renderings the concourse went around the entire stadium, and asked if that will be part of the improvements.  Mr. Donnelly responded that he believes so.  They are in a preliminary state of design and discussions.  The deal has to be approved by the Legislature before they can do the full design.  Mr. Donnelly does not want to commit to any certain element, but it will be a collaborative effort between the Mets and the County to ensure that the stadium is maintainable and appropriate.  Mr. Holmquist said there was also talk about having well-known local restaurants and bars set up shop and be open for longer hours.  Mr. Donnelly said yes.  The Mets are sensitive to the needs and wants of the market they are in, and they want to maximize the time and money people spend at the stadium.  Mr. Holmquist stated that this is really great, and a 25 year deal with the Mets is a game changer for a lot of reasons.  Mr. Donnelly commented that the Mets have been great to work with in this process, and they are looking forward to a positive relationship.

 

Mr. Donnelly replied to Ms. Cody that the lease still calls for community use days at the discretion of the County.  They have to be coordinated with the baseball schedule.  Mr. Donnelly will be careful about the types of events held there, because it is a grass field; it provides for challenges with certain events.  

 

A motion was made by Mrs. Ervin, seconded by Ms. Cody, to approve item 4a.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

 

A motion was made by Mrs. Ervin, seconded by Ms. Cody, to approve item 4b.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

 

A motion was made by Ms. Cody, seconded by Mr. McBride, to approve item 4c.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

 

Mrs. Ervin asked what is being done with the bathroom upgrades.  Mr. Wixson responded:

  • Improvements include restroom renovations, concessions, relighting the stadium, new sports lighting, new branding and coloration to match the Mets, and a major improvement for ADA opportunities
  • Separate ADA entrance possibly towards right field; difficult to change the main entrance as it is now
  • Promote people to go to back of concourse, party decks, new boardwalk and bullpens in outfield to watch them practice
  • Roundhouse fan experience versus the dead end; there will be major ADA improvements with that
  • Restrooms will have new fixtures and wash stations

Chair Tassone asked when these improvements will be done, and Mr. Wixson responded that the goal is to have them done by April 2021.

 

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

 

The meeting was adjourned at 11:05 a.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

6.11.19_Facilities_2

JAMIE McNAMARA, Assistant Clerk

Onondaga County Legislature

 

6.11.19_Facilities_3

 

 

* * *

 

 

PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE MINUTESJUNE 11, 2019

CHRISTOPHER J. RYAN, CHAIRMAN

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Mr. Bush, Mr. McBride, Mr. Rowley, 1Mr. Bottrill

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

 

Chairman Ryan called the meeting to order at 12:01 p.m.  A motion was made by Mr. McBride, seconded by Mr. Bush, 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.     EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS: 

        a.     BOND RESOLUTION:  A Resolution Authorizing Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) System Refresh Improvements in and for the County of Onondaga, New York, at a Maximum Estimated Cost of $903,000, and Authorizing the Issuance of $903,000 Bonds of said County to Pay Costs Thereof ($903,000)

 

Chairman Ryan said that he spoke with Commissioner Bleyle and thought he would be here; no one was present from Emergency Communications to present the items.  This refresh replaces old laptops.

 

 1Mr. Bottrill arrived at the meeting.

 

Chairman Ryan said that it was important to note that this $903,000 was previously approved by this committee and Ways and Means as part of the all-encompassing $5,756,000 bond for E-911.  This part of it was taken off and is absolutely needed so that E-911 can communicate effectively.   

 

Mr. Bottrill apologized for being late and asked if this was budget neutral or an additional item.  Chairman Ryan responded that this was authorized as part of the original capital improvement project for E-911.  It was all part of the December 12, 2018 meeting where $5,756,000 was approved and then they decided not to spend all the funds at that time. 

 

Mr. Rowley asked if the project was all technology.  Ms. Lesniak responded that it was a good portion of it but a couple of projects were lumped together that the legislature wanted to piecemeal as some of them related to the actual center.  Chairman Ryan said that a lot of it pertained to facility upgrades, which legislators weren’t sure they wanted to spend at that time.  Ms. Lesniak stated that it won’t matter where CAD and next generation are housed.  Chairman Ryan said that the CAD system is used for communication of law enforcement and emergency first responders with E-911.  Some of the laptops are in patrol cars as well as emergency services making it hard to communicate back and forth.  This refresh would be for the revision of the existing technology and if they moved to a different facility those computers would still be part of their system.

 

Mr. Rowley said that typically the CFO bundles all the bonds together and usually goes for bonding in the fall.  The debt service for that then falls into the next budget cycle.  Relative to this proposal, at this point, he is going to vote no.  Fundamentally anything with PPU’s of 5 years or less should be cash allocated.  Sometimes the projects are multimillion-dollar computer upgrades, which might change his thinking a little but this is under a million dollars and he would much rather use cash.  Chairman Ryan asked where he would like to use the cash from.  Mr. Rowley responded that the funds should come out of the budget.  It is not a good thing to borrow for something with such a short useful life. 

 

Chair Knapp said that a similar discussion was had when buying computer equipment for IT and he tends to agree with Mr. Rowley.  On the flipside, they have to keep watch as they are trying to improve the cash position as well.  Mr. Rowley said that it is all together in the end.  He just heard they had success refunding bonds and there was a little over $2 million in savings.  Chair Knapp said that it ended up being $2.2 million.  Mr. Rowley said that if they are looking for savings to pay for this item that is one area that could be used.   

 

Mr. Rowley said that his vote is not reflective of how the county is managed fiscally.  The CFO is more than competent and has all the debt service planned out.  However, he tends to not support bonding for items with PPU’s of 5 years or less as he would rather see it planned for in the budget or by allocating cash.

 

For clarification Mr. McBride said that the savings were $2.2 million over ten years, freeing up maybe $200,000 a year cash.  Mr. Rowley agreed.

 

Mr. Bottrill asked if there was a reason why no one was present from the E-911 center to discuss this.  This is not directed at Chairman Ryan but typically the department is represented.  Mr. Bush responded that the committee already talked about this.  Mr. Miles asked if he was referring to today.  Chairman Ryan said that the necessity to refresh computers was vetted in December.  The only thing he can venture to guess is that maybe there was some confusion with the meeting being today instead of tomorrow.  He spoke with Commissioner Bleyle more specific to the second item as questions related to item a were previously answered.

 

Mr. Bush asked the term of borrowing for this bond.  Mr. Rowley responded that when a bond is issued the term has to be the period of probable usefulness (PPU) of the asset being bought.  In this case, they designated the computer equipment to have a 5-year useful life.  Chairman Ryan clarified that the bond will be issued for 5 years but that doesn’t mean that they will borrow for 5 years.  Mr. Rowley agreed, adding that there are call back mechanisms and they could pay it off early. 

 

Mr. Bush stated that in many respects he agrees with what Mr. Rowley said but he would hate to see this particular resolution not acted on.  A marker needs to be set to try and keep costs under a certain margin at cash rather than bonding.  Unfortunately, this resolution is coming up under traditional review, not with a philosophy that bonding should be limited to under a million or whatever cutoff is determined.  That is something that should be threshed out. 

 

Mr. Rowley said that he wants to be consistent in how he votes for bonding resolutions.  He voted against the bonding for IT equipment under a similar argument.  For this committee vote he will be a no; may get new or different information by the time this goes to the floor.  He has no doubt that the equipment is needed, it is just how to pay for it. 

 

For clarification Chair Knapp said that when bonding is authorized it doesn’t mean they have to bond, it just means that they can bond.  That is why they typically bond at the end of the cycle and if cash is available it is always the preference especially for short term items like this.  They then borrow for longer term items like bridges and roads.  Mr. Bush said that this makes sense.  Mr. Rowley said that he completely agrees with that philosophy but to close that loop he wishes that they would come back and rescind their bonding request so that the authorized but unissued amount does down. 

 

To Chair Knapp’s point, Chairman Ryan said that they do not have to authorize bonding for the entire amount if they want to utilize some cash.  Chair Knapp agreed, adding that they could say $500.  Mr. Rowley said that at the end of the day they are authorizing the county to bond for $900,000.  If they choose not to he applauds them.  To close the loop on what Chair Knapp said he wishes there was a procedure to ask for a rescission of the bonding authority so that the total authorized but unissued debt is managed along with their ability to use cash for these projects.  Chair Knapp said that this was a very good point.   

 

A motion was made by Mr. Bush, seconded by Mr. Bottrill, to approve this item.  Ayes:  4 (Bush, Bottrill, McBride, Knapp):  NOES:  1(Rowley).  MOTION CARRIED.

 

        b.     A Local Law Amending Local Law No. 9-2009 to Extend the Sixty-Five Cent Surcharge on Certain Telephone Access Lines for an Additional Ten Years

 

Chairman Ryan:

  • The law is set to sunset; amending said law to strike Section 5, basically extending the existing provision to imposes a $.65 surcharge per access line per month - fees fund E-911
  • Similar to what they approved a few months ago for the home rule request, have home rule just needs authorization

 

In answer to Mr. Bottrill, the committee agreed that this was for landlines.  Mr. Bush asked what the amount of lost revenue would be if this is not extended.  Chair Knapp said he thought it was $3 million.  Mr. Bush said that this would then have to be made up from other sources or things would have to be cut.  Chairman Ryan said that it would be a tremendous shortfall - not feasible.  Chair Knapp noted that it was per year. 

 

Mr. Bush said that he has already seen articles in the paper criticizing another tax.  Mr. Rowley said that this is an existing tax.

 

A motion was made by Mr. Rowley, seconded by Mr. Bottrill, to extend the existing tax.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED. 

 

 A motion was made by Chairman Ryan, seconded by Mr. Rowley, to adjourn the meeting at 12:18 p.m.  MOTION CARRIED.

 

Respectfully submitted,

6.11.19_PS_1

KATHERINE M. FRENCH, Deputy Clerk

Onondaga County Legislature

 

 

 

6.11.19_PS_2

 

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PLANNING & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE MINUTES – JUNE 12, 2019

JOHN D. McBRIDE, CHAIR

 

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

MEMBERS ABSENT:  Mr. Buckel

ALSO ATTENDING:  Chairman Knapp; See attached list

 

Chairman McBride called the meeting to order at 10:35 a.m.  A motion was made by Mr. Burtis, seconded by Mrs. Abbott-Kenan to waive the reading of the minutes of the previous committee meeting; MOTION CARRIEDA motion was made by Mrs. Abbott-Kenan, seconded by Mr. Holmquist to approve the minutes of the previous committee meeting.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.

 

1.     SYRACUSE/ONONDAGA COUNTY PLANNING BOARD:

        a.     Confirming Appointment to the Syracuse/Onondaga County Planning Board

                (James Stelter)

 

Chairman McBride:

  • Mr. Stelter replacing Mr. Fisher on the board; resume shows he’s qualified with a number of years of experience

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

 

2.     TRUST FOR CULTURAL RESOURCES:

        a.     Confirming Appointment to the Trust for Cultural Resources of the County of Onondaga (Robert Petrovich)

 

Chairman McBride:

  • Mr. Petrovich replacing Ms. Cerio; qualified resume

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

 

3.     ONONDAGA COUNTY CIVIC DEVELOPMENT:

        a.     Confirming Reappointment by the County Executive to the Board of Directors of the Onondaga Civic Development Corporation (Alison Miller)

 

Chairman McBride:

  • Known Ms. Miller for number of years; qualified and respected in financial industry

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

 

4.     ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT:

        a.     Confirming Appointment of Robert Petrovich as Director of Economic Development

 

Chairman McBride:

  • Current acting Director; know him very well; doing excellent job currently

Chairman Knapp stated that Mr. Petrovich has done a great job in the acting role.  It’s about finding the right person to work with the County Executive, the current employers and attracting new employers.  Chairman Knapp highly encourages this appointment. 

 

Chairman McBride said that he has had several conversations with Mr. Petrovich, and thanked him for being very responsive and diligent.

 

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

 

5.     COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT:  Martin Skahen, Director

        a.     Authorizing the Onondaga County Executive to File the 2019 Action Plan for the Community Development Block Grant, Home Grant and Emergency Solutions Grant Programs ($3,142,673)

  • Annual entitlement grant from HUD - Block grant stayed relatively flat; Home grant down 12 points (2017-18 federal money put in & lowered it back down this year); Emergency Solutions (homeless programs) stayed relatively flat
  • Steering Committee made recommendations based on the municipalities that applied for funding projects
  • Historically capped projects at $50,000 – does not go as far as it used to; Legislature discussed wanting to see more funding per project; which would mean less projects
  • County Executive asked Community Development to conduct survey of all municipalities - mayors and supervisors were all in support of risking not getting a project to have the opportunity to get more money
  • Capital projects went from $697,000 to $845;000 due to bigger projects; cut back on commercial rehab funding
  • In middle of application process, HUD changed census tracks that were eligible – had to reopen process
  • 23 census tracks newly eligible; 18 census tracks no longer eligible - 6 municipalities that applied were no longer eligible
  • Out of every municipality that applied, all were funded, or on contingent plan; except Town of Onondaga
  • Town of Onondaga - applied for funding sewer project in Nedrow ($150,000); determined other projects over $50,000 were with merit; if they come back next year, then probably would get funds; also they may have other funding available

Chairman McBride asked if the town is aware, and Mr. Skahen said not yet; after approval (from HUD) is when they are notified.  Mr. Skahen told Chairman McBride he can give them the heads up. 

 

Mr. Skahen:

  • After Legislature approval, they turn in annual report to HUD in August; will get letter in November that HUD reviewed everything, and that the projects are eligible and approved; then move forward with towns; projects will start in spring
  • Block Grant – Town of Clay large enough to be its own entitlement community, but does not want to do administration for grant; County takes their money and promises 1 project in Clay, 1 in N. Syracuse; County manages grant for them

Chairman McBride asked about the census track, and how it is determined that a municipality is not eligible (criteria).  Mr. Skahen responded that HUD does an Annual Community Survey (ACS), and once they accumulate a certain number of years of data, then they reapply based on census data.  Chairman Knapp said it is based on income.

 

Mr. Skahen showed the committee the following map.

 

6.12.19_Planning_1

  • Anything in yellow is now eligible; anything checkered is no longer eligible; anything with both was and is eligible
  • Data is only as good as response; portion of Clay eligible, nothing changed, but now ineligible – if people do not respond, then it skews information

Chairman Knapp:

  • Been on Steering Committee for years (along with Mr. May); 5 years ago, they went through this process, awarded projects and announced to towns; feds then changed everything, so 5 projects that were awarded, were not eligible
  • Process census goes through is nebulous; not a lot of rhyme or reason; areas for Lafayette and Fabius that have had no changes are now eligible
  • Mr. Skahen runs efficient meetings that are well organized; thank you Mr. Skahen

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

 

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

 

The meeting was adjourned at 10:49 a.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

6.12.19_Planning_2

JAMIE McNAMARA, Assistant Clerk

Onondaga County Legislature

 

 

6.12.19_Planning_3

 

 

* * *

 

WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE MINUTES - JUNE 14, 2019

DEB CODY, CHAIR

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Mr. Rowley, Mr. Ryan, Mr. May, 1 Ms. Williams, 2,3 Mrs. Ervin

MEMBERS ABSENT:  Mr. Jordan

ALSO PRESENT:  Chairman Knapp, Dr. Chase, Mr. Bush

 

Chair Cody called the meeting to order at 9:05 a.m.  A motion was made by Mr. Ryan, seconded by Mr. May, to waive the reading and approve the minutes of proceedings of the previous meeting.  MOTION CARRIED.

 

1.     LEGISLATURE:  Deborah Maturo, Clerk

        a.     Standard Work Day and Reporting Resolution

 

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

 

1 Ms. Williams arrived at the meeting.

 

2.     PERSONNEL:  Carl Hummel, Deputy Commissioner

        a.     Amending the Retiree Health Plan Regarding Eligible Spouse and Dependents

  • Presently employees retire from county and the level of benefits goes with them into retirement, i.e. if they have family, they retire with family coverage
  • Presently can drop single after retirement; If they retire with single coverage, they cannot add dependents
  • Resolution would allow when there is qualifying event post retirement, to go between single and family coverage during open enrollment period

In answer to Mr. Rowley, Mr. Hummel said that Medicare is primary at age 65.  Mr. Rowley asked if this resolution would follow all bargaining units.  Mr. Hummel said that bargaining units don’t represent anyone in retirement.  Mr. Rowley asked if there are any provisions in any contracts; Mr. Hummel said that there isn’t and wouldn’t have any impact that.  Also, it’s an enhancement and wouldn’t be negotiated.

 

Mr. Rowley asked if there is a fiscal impact; Mr. Hummel said that it is possible.  He explained that someone who adds a dependent might end up to be a high-cost claimant. 

 

Mr. May said for clarity, that it would be between the pre age 65 group where claims impact could drive up the cost possibly.  Once they get to the Medicare plan, that is a fully insured product and claims don’t drive the cost. 

 

Mr. Rowley asked what the difference is between single and family post 65.  Mr. Hummel said that he will provide them.  Mr. Rowley asked for an analysis in terms of the fiscal impact.  Mr. Morgan said that would be purely speculative at best to try to figure out when people will retire, marry, have dependent kids, etc.  Mr. Rowley asked for the difference in premiums.  Mr. May said to be clear, the different incremental cost of spousal coverage is 100% on the retiree – the employee contribution stays the same.  The county isn’t going to be paying more from a straight up premiums standpoint.  Mr. Hummel explained that while they are on OnPoint pre 65, the county still pays claims.  If the claims increase, that experience would get factored into the next year’s premium equivalent rate.  There could be a change in the premium equivalent rate.  Once they turn 65, they go on Medicare Advantage, and there is no impact.  Mr. May said that the increment of adding a spouse is on the retiree.  Mr. Hummel said that they would pay the family contribution rate, instead of a single contribution rate; however, we are not paying claims for additional dependents. 

 

Mr. Rowley asked if the post 65 premium for Medicare supplement plan is all on the employee.  Mr. Morgan said “no” - the county pays a contribution towards it.  Mr. Morgan said there are situations where there is potential increased cost to the county.  He does not think it will be a huge impact.  If someone is added and there is a catastrophic event, there is a possibility.  Mr. Rowley asked to be provided with the premiums and contributions.  

 

Mr. May said that this is something that he has been asking for, and asked to be listed as a co-sponsor.

 

A motion was made by Mr. May, seconded by Mr. Ryan, to approve this item.  AYES:  4 (Cody, May, Williams, Ryan); NOES:  0; ABSTENTIONS:  1 (Rowley); ABSENT:  2 (Ervin, Jordan).  MOTION CARRIED.

 

3.     EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS:  Bill Bleyle, Commissioner

        a.     BOND RESOLUTION – Authorizing Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) System Refresh Improvements in and for the County of Onondaga, New York, at a Maximum Estimated Cost of $903,000, and Authorizing the Issuance of $903,000 Bonds of said County to Pay Costs Thereof

 

Mr. Bleyle:

  • CAD refresh – est. cost $903K
  • CAD is into cut off point for its lifecycle; used Windows 7 operating system,--can’t get it any longer on computers
  • Have had several failures of equipment – have to find used equipment to substitute in its place, which isn’t a good way to do business
  • Have issues with vendor – 2 software versions behind
  • As programs are added, have to be certified to work with CAD system and vendor will not certify they programs because of being 2 software versions behind; it takes too much time/effort to certify new applications to work with old programs
  • CAD is the life blood of what they do – call takers enter calls in, dispatch uses to dispatch calls, public safety uses in police, fire, and EMS vehicles to keep track of all events and read notes attached to events
  • Don’t want to see a catastrophic failure; methods are in place to deal with them, but it is one of the most critical systems used at 911
  • Want to move forward with replacing it – making sure that current system are resistant to cyber-attacks and other things 
  • Replacements of 68 work stations,8 core servers, and engineering

Mr. Ryan asked if it is fair to classify the equipment as antiquated and hinders the ability with first responders to communicate with 911 center.  Mr. Bleyle said that it could – they use the CAD system – work by radio and most public safety vehicles have mobile computer terminals with CAD.

 

Mr. May said that this was part of the original bundled request a while ago.  Mr. Bleyle agreed – it was one of 5.

 

Mr. Rowley asked, for the record, that the language was changed on this resolution so that if there is cash available at the end of the year, the CFO has the option to so that.  Also, the language states that the authorization is rescinded if the CFO uses cash.  Mr. Morgan agreed.

 

Mr. Rowley asked Mr. Maturo if there is a formal tracking mechanism for these types of resolutions or if they can it be tracked.  Mr. Maturo said it can be.  Mr. May asked how it is triggered.  Mr. Maturo said that they would put together a year-end folder -- where resolutions come through where this option is available.  Prior to closing he will sit down with Mr. Morgan about moving of the funds--could report back to Ways & Means Committee.  Mr. May asked if it could come through the year-end process.  Mr. Maturo said that it could, but usually we would come back to move the cash.  Mr. Morgan said that typically year end would be used to facilitate funding the project requests as made.  He suggested that it is part of the report made to the Chair of Ways & Means and could be shared with the legislature as a whole. 

 

A motion was made by Mr. Ryan, seconded by Mr. May, to approve this item.  AYES:  4 (Cody, May, Williams, Ryan); NOES:  0; ABSTENTIONS:  1 (Rowley); ABSENT:  2 (Ervin, Jordan).  MOTION CARRIED. 

 

2 Mrs. Ervin arrived at the meeting.

 

        b.     A Local Law Amending Local Law No. 9-2009 to Extend the Sixty-Five Cent Surcharge on Certain Telephone Access Lines for an Additional Ten Years

 

Mr. Bleyle:

  • When the county built out the Interoperable Communications radio system, the state authorized implementation of a local law to charge and addition $.65 on top of the standard $.35 standard 911 surcharge on landlines
  • Help to offset the cost of building and operating the radio system
  • Law had a 10-year sunset imposed by the NYS legislature – is about to expire
  • Would leave a $1.2 million/year hole in the budget
  • Radio system supports 160 agencies alone within Onondaga Co.:  co. depts., school and bus garages, town & village departments, federal, state and tribal agencies
  • Supports neighbors who support Onondaga Co. with regional operability
  • Cost estimate is $1.6 million/year to keep the system up and running
  • Technology is changing and have to implement the cost of those changes – saw a definite need to continue this revenue source
  • Have requested a Home Rule authorized through state legislature, which was approved
  • State Senate and Assembly have approved striking out the 10 years and replacing with 20 year sunset; on its way to Governor for signature

Chair Cody referred to people switching from landlines to using cell phones, and asked about the market change.  Mr. Bleyle said that it has diminished over time.  About a year ago, the State authorized imposition of surcharge on prepaid cell phones.  It has gone down a little bit, but is a little more steady than it was.

 

Mr. Ryan referred to the surcharge that the state has on the wireless, but does not share with the county.  Mr. Bleyle said it is still a major bone of contention with NYSAC, State 911 Coordinators, and FCC.  The FCC Chair recently sent a very strongly worded letter to the Governor’s office saying that they have got to stop doing that.  There is $1.20 surcharge that the state collects on wireless; none of it comes back to the County.  The state changed the name of it:  originally it was 911 Surcharge and the state changed it to Public Safety.  The FCC is saying that that they only authorized the surcharge for 911 purposes.  The FCC punishes the state for not giving all of those funds, some are received through grants, by not making other 911 grants available.  Mr. Ryan said that we should be getting our share on that side, and need to talk to our partners in the state.  Mr. May agreed.

 

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

 

It was noted that Mr. Bleyle will be retiring.  He said that it has been a pleasure working with all, and thanked legislators for their support of the 911 Center.  He introduced his replacement, Julie Corn, who he has been working with for the last month.  The committee thanked Mr. Bleyle for his years of service with applause.

 

Chairman Knapp noted that the consolidation report has been released and asked what happens now.  Mr. Bleyle noted that the report has been forwarded to members and is on the website.  There will be a public meeting on June 27, 6:30 p.m., Chittenango High School.  The study was presented to the Madison Board of Supervisors – they paid for and commissioned the study.  The next step would be for the leaders of Madison County to get together with the leaders of Onondaga County and make a decision on what way they want to pursue.  The study recommended a phased moved towards full consolidation.  There is a lot of discussion to be had and further study on how the cost could be broken down.

 

4.     COMPTROLLER:  James Maturo, Deputy Comptroller

        a.     Providing for Various Personnel Changes

 

Mr. Maturo:

  • A recent employee retired; new Comptroller took the opportunity to review work assignments and work flow
  • Was able to shift workload and are able to eliminate 4 Account Clerk 2 positions and create 3 upgraded positions - Account Clerk 3 positions for employees currently in the office
  • Savings on payroll is approx. $35,000; there will also be fringe savings

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

 

5.     COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT:  Martin Skahen, Executive Director

        a.     Authorizing the Onondaga County Executive to File the 2019 Action Plan for the Community Development Block Grant, Home Grant and Emergency Solutions Grant Programs ($3,142,673)

  • Annual Community Development Block Grant
  • Overall budget is almost flat – CDBG went up 2.5%; Home Grant down 12% (coming off a huge increase the year before – still up overall), Emergency Solutions grant went up 2.5% - difference is $967
  • There were a couple changes this year:
  • Shortly after all applications were submitted, HUD changed eligible Census tracks
  • 23 became eligible and 8 were no longer eligible; 6 submitted projects were in the non-eligible area
  • Reopened the process and extended for another month to let newly eligible applicants apply
  • For a number of years the legislature has asked about spending more than $55k on projects; it was the cap but doesn’t go a long way; legislature suggested spending more money and doing less projects
  • Supervisors and mayors were surveyed – there was overwhelming support to do that
  • Even with knowledge that they might not get a project, were willing to risk that to try to get more money
  • A few projects are getting more than the $55,000 cut off

Mr. Rowley referred to the budget sheet, and in 2018 Clay was $0.  Mr. Skahen said that Clay is its own entitlement community – are eligible to get their own funding separate from the county.  They partner with the county and vantage the grant so that they are guaranteed that they will get a project in the town and in the Village of North Syracuse in every round of funding.  For some reason last year, the Town of Clay’s portion wasn’t broken out, but it was about $200k.

 

Mr. May noted that through the committee’s process, a couple of projects that were requested were shifted toward other initiatives that were aligned better with new sources of revenue going forward.  Some that were cut weren’t cut because they were bad projects, they were cut because there were better sources of revenue for road work, etc.

 

Mr. Skahen said that there was an initial allocation for the capital projects; once the Steering Committee did the initial review of all the projects, there were a lot of good applications this year, and wanted to spend some extra money on some bigger projects.  The commercial rehab money was lowered and the capital project money was upped.  Last year $697K was spent on capital projects; this year it is $845K.

 

Chair Cody asked about the allocation to Cornell Cooperative Extension.  Mr. Skahen said that it is an annual allocation for basically tree planting and education in low-income areas.

 

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

 

6.     PARKS & RECREATION:  Bill Lansley, Commissioner

        a.     Authorizing the Department of Parks and Recreation to Accept Donated Items ($36,000)

 

Mr. Lansley:

  • Generous donation from Friends of Rosamond Gifford Zoo
  • At end stages of completing the boardwalk renovation; they have offered some beautiful light fixtures and will purchase and install

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

 

7.     TRANSPORTATION:  Marty Voss, Commissioner

        a.     Amending the 2019 Onondaga County Budget to Make Funds Available for use in Connection with the New York State Pave-NY Program, and Authorizing the Execution of Agreements ($1,281,137)

 

Mr. Voss:

  • Accept annual Pave-NY allocation
  • County work plan went through prior to NYS allocation; list of projects are supplemental to the work plan

In answer to Mr. Rowley; Mr. Voss confirmed that there are not matching funds.

 

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

 

        b.     Amending the 2019 County Budget to Pay in the First Instance 100 Percent of the Federal and State Aid Eligible Costs at a Maximum Amount of $2,375,000 for the Construction and Construction Inspection Phases of the West Taft Road Paving Project, PIN 3755.80, and Authorizing Execution of Agreements ($2,375,000)

  • Federal aid project in work plan – advance construction and construction inspection phases
  • Resolution allows engagement of federal funds

In answer to Chair Cody, Mr. Voss confirmed that this project will be done this year.

 

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

 

        c.     Amending the Design (Scoping I-VI) and Right-of-Way Incidentals Phase of the Canalways Trail Extension Project, PIN 3756.29 by $75,000, and Increasing the Authorization to Pay in the First Instance 100% of the Federal Aid Eligible Costs by $60,000, Amending Res No. 75-2017, and Authorizing the Execution of Agreements ($60,000)

  • Amend design/scoping – Loop the Lake – Harbor Brook to Hiawatha segment
  • Settlement issue with WEP, Honeywell, DEC, CSX – there is a lot of coordination on this project; very complex
  • Testing was done to see whether soils around bridge structure on Hiawatha side railroad tracks could support the weight
  • Learned that the design will have to be reconfigured to make it work
  • There is also a force main that runs through there
  • Additional costs came up – can be covered through the project via contingency account, but need resolution as it is a federal aid project

In answer to Mr. May, Mr. Voss confirmed that that local cost goes up $15,000.  He added that it could save a small fortune if someone hit the WEP force main. 

 

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

 

        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 $240,000 for the Design (Scoping I-VI) and Right-of-Way Incidentals Phase of the Platt Road Bridge Over Nine Mile Creek, Pin 3756.90, and Authorizing the Execution of Agreements ($240,000)

  • Items d & e - Additional revenue on the TIP at SMTC – had projects ready in the queue
  • Getting them approved/funded now so that the design work can be started
  • Platt Road over Nine Mile Creek, Town of Marcellus – design and ROW incidental

A motion was made by Mr. May, seconded by Mr. Rowley, 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 $320,000 for the Design (Scoping I-VI) and Right-of-Way Incidentals Phase of the North Manlius Road Bridge Over Limestone Creek, PIN 3756.91, and Authorizing the Execution of Agreements ($320,000)

  • North Manlius Rd of Limestone Creek, Town of Manlius

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

 

Mr. Ryan asked when the two bridge projects will go out to bid.  Mr. Voss said that it won’t be until 2020 or 2021; but are securing federal money for work that is coming.  Federal aid programs are a 3 – 4 year rolling process.

 

8.     NBT STADIUM: Robert Durr, County Attorney; Brian Donnelly, Deputy County Executive

        a.     A Local Law Authorizing a Lease Agreement for the use of NBT Bank Stadium

 

Mr. Durr:

  • Lease was before the committee in Oct. or Nov.

Highlighted changes:

  • Last lease included a naming rights revenue share split 50/50 between Mets and County; that is now gone and County receives 100% of naming rights revenues
  • Increase in rents; renegotiated lease with Community Baseball 3 years ago, $200K/year – are still under that lease, assumed by the Mets – new lease extends Mets obligation to Syracuse and County for 25 years
  • Lease had 7 years on it – it is still in effect, but this lease is a supplement to that lease; it extends the obligation as as tenant and AAA Baseball being in Syracuse for the next 25 years
  • Disbursement fund for improvements to the Stadium are part of the lease
  • State is giving a substantial grant; county is supplementing with bonding and in-kind – it’s about 50/50
  • State grant is $12.5 million; terms were negotiated on where that money will go
  • County has certain obligations as the landlord – want to make sure while we have this money that we fix the things the county was obligated to fix – it’s accounted for in the lease
  • Approximately $1.2 million set aside for specific, earmarked things that we want done as the landlord – generally maintenance and updates; a lot of things the Mets have said that it is part of their project and they are going to do them anyways
  • Have negotiated in the lease that everything is contingent upon the agreement with the county and the Mets as to what gets done and how it gets done
  • Was an education curve, as the Mets at one time thought it was their money and they were able to do whatever they wanted to with those funds; it took a little time to make them realize that the County is in charge of the project and will do the RFPs, etc.
  • There is a great spirit of cooperation – Mets have been very good in this whole process; Jeff Wilpon has come to Syracuse a number of times; they have a definite commitment to Syracuse and a lot of great ideas; they know how to market baseball – can see what has been done at Citi Field to bring people in
  • Concerns regarding the possibility of relocation – had direct talks with President of International League – they have strict rules about a franchise relocating
  • International League makes sure, before allowing any relocation, that there is no financial obligation from the franchise to the community it is leaving   
  • Have an accelerated rent agreement and other certain damages
  • If the Mets would want to go somewhere else, an extremely unlikely event, they will have a financial penalty to pay it before the International League approves that 
  • International League frowns upon teams just pulling out; the International League has pretty much said that the facility owner would have to do something very egregious to find a basis for a franchise leaving the area

Mr. Rowley referred to the financial penalty, noting that the Mets would have to pay all of the rent.  Mr. Durr agreed – if they left tomorrow, they would have to pay 25 years’ worth of rent to pay.  Mr. Rowley asked if they would be on the hook for the capital costs.  Mr. Durr said that they would be on the hook for an amortized portion of the capital projects.  He said that $12.5 million is grant; they rest the county is putting in.  Possibly the county could recoup on the county investment based on what it was amortized over the period that the Mets were there versus the period left in the lease – it’s in the relocation section. 

 

Mr. Rowley said that in terms of lease itself, they bought Community Baseball and inherited the old lease, and asked if this document supplements or supercedes the old lease.  Mr. Durr explained that it is an amendment and reinstatement.  Mr. Rowley said that his concern is that there may be something within that old lease that for seven years, which we are not aware of, and they could pull out at a much reduced penalty.  Mr. Durr said that there is nothing under the old lease – once this lease kicks in and is signed, it is the document, – and the old lease is dust.

 

In answer to Chair Cody, Mr. Durr said that naming rights come up in 2025.  He added that right now the county gets about $140k/year.  There are conservative estimates from SMG and other sources that the naming rights are conservatively valued at $360K/year – it will all go to the county.  There are additional naming rights inside

 

Mr. Rowley asked if NBT is paying their naming rights timely; Mr. Morgan said “yes.”

 

Mr. Ryan questioned if the lease was with the Mets or Community Baseball.  Mr. Durr explained that it is Community Baseball, but all the principles are the Mets.  The signer for Community Baseball is the Vice President of the Mets.  In answer to Mr. Ryan, Mr. Durr said that the official term is “Community Baseball.”

 

Mr. May said that he thinks everyone would have liked to have this done a while ago, but it has been time very well spent.  The result is something that we can all look forward to as opposed to something to worry about.  When he first came on the legislature and looked at what the cost was to county taxpayers year to year, he thinks we are in a really good, exciting spot moving forward.  He sees that energy at the stadium; this agreement sets us up for a nice future there.

 

Chairman Knapp asked if there is language in the state grant, $12.5 million, regarding if the Mets left there would be penalty.  Mr. Durr said that there isn’t; it is money coming to the county.

 

A motion was made by Mr. May, seconded by Mr. Ryan, to approve this item.  AYES:  4 (Cody, May, Williams, Ryan); NOES:  0; ABSTENTIONS:  1 (Rowley); OUT OF ROOM:  1 (Ervin).  MOTION CARRIED.

 

        b.     Making Funds Available for use in Connection with Maintenance, Repairs, and Replacements at the NBT Bank Stadium ($16,100,000)

 

Mr. Donnelly reviewed items 8b and 8c:

  • $25 million renovation to the stadium; $12.5 million from county sources; $12.5 million from NYS ESD grant
  • Item c - $8.5 million bond issue; $245K in unallocated existing naming rights funds – anticipating $3.65 million in future naming rights; $155K in in-kind services – work done by the Facilities and Parks Depts.
  • Will see tremendous change and improvements in the facility  
  • $1.2 million put aside for mechanical things that were felt to be important to address with these funds
  • Remaining funds will be based on enhancing the customer experience – new seats, LED lights, improvements to boxes, Hank Saurer Room, outfield, parking lot – things to bring the stadium to where it should be at this point in time
  • Bones of stadium are in pretty good shape, but the stadium needs a refresh – will use these fund to do that

Mr. Rowley asked if anything will done with the facade for the boxes where the balls hit them; Mr. Wixson said that there is netting now.

 

Mr. May asked if the LED is for the outfield or all the way around.  Mr. Wixson said that the stadium lighting is intended to be replaced with all LED.  The concourse and under deck will be replaced with LED.  In answer to Mr. May, Mr. Wixson said that there are always National Grid rebates or NYSERDA credits.  There is less usage and reduced maintenance with them.  The county has been notified by National Grid that they will no longer service the parking lot lights.  If they die, the county has to fix them.

 

In answer to Mr. Ryan, Mr. Donnelly said that the design phase will in throughout the summer and fall.  The majority of the work has to be done outside of the baseball season.  The goal is to have the stadium finished and in its new condition by 2021.  Mr. Ryan asked who is doing the design; Mr. Donnelly replied that it is EwingCole, who has a background is sports facilities.

.

Chair Cody asked about field replacement.  Mr. Donnelly said it is part of the lease – the first replacement will come from the Mets, after that it falls back to the County.  The age of the existing field is approximately 11 years; Mr. Wixson said that they typically have a 10-year lifespan.

 

A motion was made by Mr. Rowley, seconded by Mr. May, to approve this item.  AYES:  5 (Cody, May, Rowley, Williams, Ryan); NOES:  0; OUT OF ROOM:  1 (Ervin).  MOTION CARRIED.

 

        c.     BOND RESOLUTION:  A Resolution Authorizing Various Renovations to the NBT Bank Stadium in and for the County of Onondaga, New York, at a Maximum Estimated Cost of $25,000,000, and Authorizing the Issuance of $8,500,000 Bonds of said County to Pay Costs Thereof ($25,000,000)

 

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

 

9.     ENVIRONMENT, OFFICE OFTravis Glazier, Director

        a.     Authorizing the Sale of Tax Delinquent Property to Honeywell International Inc.

 

Mr. Glazier:

  • Property currently under deed by a defunct company, Hanlon Group Inc.- bankrupt in NJ in early 90’s; tax payment not received since 1991
  • Onondaga Lake Superfund sub-site, Bridge Street LCP site; main parcel is Lindon Chemical and Plastics Plant
  • Record of decision in 2000 – Honeywell International, Inc. performed site clean up
  • Fully remedied site has operations and maintenance monitoring obligations performed by Honeywell
  • All work performed under Environmental Conservation Law – access to property was solely on basis that property was a potential threat to contaminate beyond the site boundaries – DEC allowed Honeywell to go in and perform cleanup
  • Honeywell is performing series of natural resources damages restoration projects around Onondaga Lake
  • One is trail extension from Reed Webster Park to Loop the Lake Trail western shore extension – Honeywell is offering some of its property
  • Parcel has had tree clearing already – part of remediation that was necessary
  • Small segment that will avoid having to go up Matthews Ave by Deli Boy where trucks come in/out – it’s a better trail experience
  • Benefits the county to get these properties into Honeywell’s hand because they will pay taxes on them
  • Currently county pays approx. $60K to town, village and school district and loses about $7K per year in taxes; in total $5.8 million of the entire life of this non-collection
  • Type I Action with Negative Declaration
  • Sale offer is $125,000 – county did an appraisal, which came back at approximately $92K; Honeywell did an appraisal, which came back approximately $87K
  • $125,000 covers all costs associated with closure

Chair Cody asked about remediation.  Mr. Glazier said that it is fully remediated; under operations and maintenance, subject to some deed restrictions – probably commercial, industrial.

 

Mr. Rowley asked if the right off of $5.8 million will affect the county’s financial statements.  Mr. Maturo said that a portion of it is probably already has been deemed uncollectible; the rest would be written off.

 

Mr. Rowley questioned why the Director of Real Property Tax Services signed off on the EAF form, as he’s not an engineer and he obviously had help answering environmental questions.  Mr. Glazier said that they work with all departments.  Mr. Yaus and himself generally go through the SEQRA process with department heads; then the department head actually does the signing.

 

Mr. Ryan asked for clarification on the tax collection.  Mr. Glazier said that the county has not been collecting any taxes on an annual basis since 1991.  The county makes towns and village whole and effectively pays out roughly $60K net.

 

Mrs. Ervin said that there is no down side.  Mr. Glazier agreed; on a year to year basis the Law Dept., Real Property Tax Svcs., and Office of Environment review properties which have potential environmental contamination.  This property has been discussed year in and year out.  It has not been auctioned off because of potential liabilities associated with it and the general responsibility for a site of this nature.  If a property owner didn’t allow access, it could be a threat to the environment.  Having Honeywell International take ownership of it, gets it in the hands to the folks that administered the remedy and ensures they have the liability over the long run.  The effectiveness of that liability, allows access and ensures it is protected.

 

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

 

10.   FINANCESteven Morgan, CFO

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

  • 3 new positions – all are temporary – people transitioning in while people are transitioning out

6.14.19_WMS_1

 

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

 

Respectfully submitted,

signature

 

DEBORAH L. MATURO, Clerk

Onondaga County Legislature

6.14.19_WMS_2

 

 

 

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