April 7, 2005 – 7:30 a.m.
Members present: Paul Allen, Chairman; John Steger, Vice Chairman; Merwin Armstrong; Larry Cornell; Scott Elston; Dan Tagliente; Scott Steve, Chairman of the Legislature
Others present: Ann Homer; Linda Hartsock; Don Chambers; Lee Smith; Glenn Forshee; Ellen Garrett; Scott Schrader; Eric Mulvihill; Brian Liberatore; Ghasson Wehbe
Absent: Steve Dafoe
Chairman Allen called the meeting to order at 7:33 a.m.
Mr. Armstrong moved adoption of the March 3, 2005, minutes; seconded by Mr. Cornell. All members voting in favor; none opposed; minutes approved as printed.
2. Authorize Plow Truck Purchase, Highway Department/Landfill – Mr. Chambers explained that we need this truck at the landfill. This authorizes the purchase out of the landfill account, not out of the recycling account. Mr. Cornell moved adoption; seconded by Mr. Tagliente. All members voting in favor; none opposed; resolution adopted.
3. Authorize Agreement- NYSDOT, Tioughnioga River Waterfront Development P.I.N. – 375404/P.I.N. – 395027 – Mrs. Hartsock spoke out the Tioughnioga River Trail Project. The IDA has recently completed the impact study and they will be adopting it Monday at the Board meeting. The state dollars for this project need to go through the County or another municipality. The IDA cannot accept the funding. Mr. Chambers indicated that he met with Mrs. Hartsock and also with the NYSDOT. This resolution authorizes two different project identification numbers (PIN); it is not two different projects, there are just two different funding streams. This is 100% Federal funds for the project. There is no local match. This is purely Federal money coming to Cortland County for this project. There has been a lot of work done already over the past years; some of the right of ways have been procured; others need to be procured. Mr. Cornell asked where the starting and ending points are; who will maintain it once it is up and running; what is the liability – do the towns have to carry insurance. The trail starts at Yaman Park in the City of Cortland – the SEQR is through Durkee Park in Homer; in terms of land acquisition, insurance, etc. 80% of the property in the City are already owned by the City; the other easements could be held by the municipalities, the County, or through a corporation founded to hold the easements. The Village of Homer already owns some of the easements that we need, they are receptive to holding the others. In terms of liability, we had a volunteer attorney who is part of the steering committee look at that insurance; there is some portion of Recreational Law that indemnifies the private property owners; we need to look more at what the municipal issues might be and how to mitigate it. Mr. Schrader indicated that this issues is one of the concerns he has had since the beginning when it came to him. There are various way to do it and we need to explore what will be best for the County. A variety of issues come up – maintenance, enforcement, liability (if someone is injured). All those things need to be looked at – he believes there is a way to shed the County’s liability by incorporating the organization through the IDA that has been handling this and having the local municipalities assume the liability. Mr. Armstrong moved adoption; seconded by Mr. Cornell. Mr. Armstrong asked about with the flood damage this past week, we have to ensure that in the future, we are not consistently funneling money in to the project. There is concern about vandalism as well; we need to ensure that is well taken care of as well. Mrs. Hartsock indicated that they have met with the police departments along the trail, and they have been very supportive of the project. Mr. Elston asked what level about flood stage the trail will be. Mr. Chambers indicated that it will vary. He does not have the actual data at this point. The trail will be paved and it will be 10 feet wide; it is for pedestrian traffic and bicycles. All members voting in favor; none opposed; resolution adopted.
4. Amend Budget, Highway Department – Mr. Cornell moved adoption; seconded by Mr. Armstrong. Mr. Chambers indicated that this basically proposes transferring money from one overtime to another. This shifts money around in the budget to cover overtime expenses. All members voting in favor; none opposed; resolution adopted.
5. Authorize Agreement, McLean Road and McLean Road Extension Overlay Project Highway Department – Mr. Tagliente moved adoption; seconded by Mr. Elston. All members voting in favor; none opposed; resolution adopted.
6. Award Material Bids, Highway Department – Mr. Allen moved the resolution and moved to amend it to accept the second bid on the fuel; seconded by Mr. Cornell. Mr. Schrader explained that this resolution award the various material bids. The last resolved needs to be amended, since we have a new bid from Mirabito and we need to accept the second bid. All members voting in favor; none opposed; resolution adopted.
7. Abolish/Create/Amend Budget, Highway Department Engineering Technician/Senior Engineering Technician – Mr. Allen explained we have a junior engineer who is working out of title. What we are doing is creating the Senior Engineer position. Mr. Tagliente moved adoption; seconded by Mr. Cornell. All members voting in favor; none opposed; resolution adopted.
8. Abolish/Create/Amend Budget, Highway Department Supervisor, Solid Waste Management/Senior Engineer – Mr. Tagliente moved adoption; seconded by Mr. Armstrong. Mr. Schrader indicated that we are changing the position back to what it was prior to Mr. Chambers’ previous promotion. All members voting in favor; none opposed; resolution adopted.
1. Mr. Chambers reviewed the letter from Barton and Loguidice. This is for projects at the landfill, including capping a portion of the existing landfill; another portion is looking at engineering for the pipeline and doing the study and grant application; another component is to look at the septage treatment at the landfill. This is for B & L’s proposal for doing those functions; it has been broken down by fee schedule and different operations and requirements that must be met. Mr. Allen asked if the capping proposal includes the capping itself? Mr. Chambers indicated that it includes the field work but not the actual capping of the landfill. Mr. Tagliente asked for clarification on the pipeline – it cannot be one continuous pipe without manholes, can it? Mr. Chambers indicated that it cannot be one continuous pipe – there must be places in the force main to allow for cleaning, etc. The preliminary plan is to remain without County and Town right of ways, utilizing the existing roadways. Mr. Tagliente said he was in favor of the pipeline until the meeting two days ago when it brought up that what we are doing with the leachate is that we are bringing it down to the City for processing and then taking it back and spreading it on the landfill. That means we will be spreading more heavy metals on the landfill. Once it is treated by the City -–which is the de-watering of the sludge – and the sludge is then accepted at the landfill. Mr. Chambers said that once you cap the landfill, it will be contained. Mr. Chambers indicated that during the summer, there could be problems associated with low flow. There may be odors introduced with that. The force main will help alleviate some of that problem, which Mr. Chambers feels is a better fit. If it sits in the line, it is going to create more odor from the leachate. Mr. Tagliente asked how many houses would be affected in McGraw. Mr. Chambers indicated that he does not have a count on that at this time. It will be on the North Road going out of the Village of McGraw, which is where we will tie up. Then up Heath Road into the back side of the landfill. Mr. Chambers added that we need to move on the capping project, and what the consultant has told us is that if you do a leachate pipeline in conjunction with the capping project, it may become eligible for DEC funding. There is a benefit to operating the two projects concurrently, along with a savings on the engineering project. Mr. Cornell asked if that means the pipeline could be partially DEC funded. Mr. Chambers indicated that is correct. Mr. Chambers would like to have B & L speak to that at the next committee if it is the desire of the committee. Mr. Cornell indicated that he would like to have B & L address the committee. Mr. Allen asked Mr. Chambers to get a B & L rep to come to the next committee meeting.
2. Recycling Program- Mr. Schrader indicated that he met with the City along with the Highway Superintendent and the Chairman on Tuesday to talk to them about the possibility of them moving to a three-sort system; basically having a glass only pick up and alternating the monthly pick up schedule to every other week. We gave them a draft schedule; talked to them about what the County is willing to do to assist with the issues of the haulers and the education/notification of residents. No decisions were arrived at at that time by the City. They will talk it over and get back to us. The issue becomes trying to remove glass from the system to extend the life of the system as well as improve the safety of the workers who will be picking material out of the conveyor as well as getting more money for our commodities. We are attempting to meet with Homer and McGraw. An RFP has been put out in anticipation that we may need bins if the municipalities do need bins. There are 7,200 residential units that would qualify for bins, which would include any single family and multi family up to four units in a structure. The bid is scheduled to be opened on April 18, 2005. If we get answers from the City and are able to meet with the Villages before the next Legislative Session, we may be able to move forward on this. We MUST get the glass out of the system. Mr. Cornell asked if there isn’t some money available through the County for education? Mr. Schrader indicated that there is some money for brochures and marketing. The bins will be paid for through the Recycling project. The DEC will pick up 50%. We are looking at about $20,000 County dollars. The plan is to have paper picked up every week and have containers and glass picked up every other week. Mr. Cornell clarified that residents who drive to the recycling center can bring all of their recyclables at one time. This is a fact. Mr. Schrader indicated that he still has an issue regarding staffing that facility. There are advertisements for staffing for that facility. There is also some Legislators that have inquired about utilizing a temp agency. He is looking in to that – he is not sold on the issue – initially it may be less expensive but training is our responsibility. The issue is time – we would like to have it open next week. There is no way he can get a resolution to the floor before that time. Mr. Cornell asked if there is going to be a motion to reconsider the Murray Center proposal. Mr. Schrader indicated that he has not had the feeling from the Majority or Minority Leader that this is the desire. Mr. Allen indicated that several Legislators have said with the further information, they would consider contracting with Murray Center. Mr. Allen would like to see a new resolution on the Murray Center. Mr. Elston indicated that the Majority Leader is trying to get the Legislative Meeting set for April 19 instead of April 21. Mr. Tagliente and Mr. Elston asked how the motion to Reconsider comes before the body. Mr. Schrader responded that it has to come from someone who voted no and can be brought up at the next meeting.
3. Mr. Allen brought to the Committee’s attention the list of Goals and Objectives that was distributed. He indicated that one of the goals that will need to be to addressed is the damage to the infrastructure as a result of the flood.
4. Mr. Schrader indicated that there are a couple of bridges damaged by the flood, on which we cannot get full estimates because of the water level. There are three bridges which are badly damaged; two need full replacement, one may be able to be repaired. The estimate of damage at this time is $5.2 million on the bridges alone. The members of the Truxton Town Board who were present indicated that they have residents who are calling asking when the bridges will be fixed. The road damage alone, without one bridge, is $126,000. Ms. Garrett of the Truxton Town Board has to go at least 10 miles around to get to her house because of the bridge. There is one bridge that is out that will be $400-500K to replace and the Town does not have the money to fix it. Mr. Chambers indicated that the NYSDOT will be down to help assess structural damage and we will go from there. At this point, we don’t know if this is a repair or replace situation. It could be one year or more if this requires a replacement. Chairman Steve indicated that the area is question is the area that he told Senator Seward yesterday is of major concern to us, since it landlocks many people. The Chairman is helping to push this forward with the Senator so that the repair or a temporary replacement can be done quickly. Mr. Schrader indicated that if the President declares us a Federal disaster area, FEMA will provide 75% of the funding for the repair/replacement, the State will provide 12.5%, and the local municipality will be responsible for 12.5%. There was an in-depth discussion of the bridge situation in the Town of Truxton.
5. Mr. Allen presented a slide presentation of the recent flood. The areas covered were:
Mr. Smith asked if the repair/replacement work will be done by the County or contracted out? Mr. Schrader responded that the bridge work will be contracted out; the culvert repair work will most likely be done by our staff. We will be reprioritizing our road work to complete work on the infrastructure damaged by the flood.
The meeting adjourned at 9:15 a.m.