Approved Minutes of Legislative Session: August 24, 2006, 6 PM Meeting
Meeting was called to order at 6:10 PM by Chairman Brown, followed by the Salute to the Flag.
Roll Call was taken by the Clerk with all members recorded as present with the exception of Mr. Tagliente, excused and Mr. Hartnett marked as absent.
The minutes of July 27, 2006 Legislative Meeting were unanimously approved.
The Chairman presented a Proclamation that was read by the Clerk to honor the Cortland Men’s Lacrosse Team 2006 NCAA Division III Champions. The Chairman welcomed the coach and team players saying that she realized that this championship was won in the spring and government, as usual is behind the times however she said that everyone shares pride in their accomplishment. She introduced Coach Rich Barnes, who in turn thanked the Legislature for the honor and asked team members to introduce themselves to the group. A standing ovation was given the team. President Bitterbaum was invited to be included in picture taking that followed.
Audrey Lewis, Director of Environmental Health of the Cortland County Health Department was called forward to present a plaque from the Health Department. The Chairman also called Homer Legislators, Tom Williams and Steve Dafoe to present a Proclamation from the Legislature for the winners of the Cortland County Water Taste Test Contest. The Village of Homer competed with eight municipalities and place first in the Water Taste Contest and third in the regional Water Taste Test. Mayor Michael McDermott accepted and thanked the Legislature, on behalf of the Village and complimented the hard work of Village of Homer employees, Buzz Barber, Water Supt. and Bobbette Lansdowne, Water Operator.
PRIVILEGE OF THE FLOOR
Elaine Lambert, Director of the Jacobus Center, Cyndy Grey, Program Coordinator and Dr. Craig Little, Project Consultant gave the Legislature a presentation on the 8th Grade Survey Results and how they impact the programming and work of the Zero Adolescent Prevention (ZAP) Program, along with a brief history and background of the goals and objectives of the agency to prevent teen-age pregnancy. All thanked legislators for their continued support. Chairman Brown expressed her appreciation for the update.
Ms. Price made the motion to suspend the rules, as this was not received in time to be placed on the agenda, second by Mr. Troy, and all members voting aye, one Special Article was moved to the floor for consideration.
On the motion of Mr. Dafoe, second by Mr. Armstrong, Special Article No. 1 was
introduced. Ms. Breed asked for an
explanation of “displaced threshold”. Mr. Schrader answered that the
threshold of a runway is based upon certain criteria, one of which is
obstructions. We have identified obstruction reductions by 800 feet on one
runway and 1,200 feet on the other. Time is of the essence to apply for a
grant from the FAA for a study and survey to correct the obstructions.
Adopted by all members voting aye, Special Article No. 1 became Resolution
No. 302-06: Resolution Authorizing
for and Acceptance of Grant Agreement from the Federal Aviation Administration
and New York State Department of Transportation for Improvement Project at
Cortland County Airport Highway Department.
On the motion of Ms. Brown, second by Mr. Troy and adopted by all members voting aye, Agenda No. 1 became Resolution No. 303-06: Appoint Member Cortland County Board of Health.
On the motion of Ms. Brown, second by Mr. Armstrong, Agenda No 2 was
introduced. Ms. Tytler stated that Scott Ochs was a wonderful contributor to
the Community Services Board and she regrets that he is unable to continue due
to his appointment on the Homer School Board.
Adopted by all members voting aye, Agenda No. 2 became Resolution
No. 304-06: Appoint Member Cortland County Community Services Board.
On the motion of Mr. VanDee, second by Mr. Clark and adopted by all
members voting aye, Agenda No. 3 became Resolution No. 305-06: Amend
2006 Budget Department of Data Processing Insurance Recovery.
On the motion of Mr. VanDee, second by Mr. Troy, Agenda No 4 was introduced. Ms. Tytler said that she will support this resolution because the Sports Complex is a huge asset to the County, however requests that Legislators look at the process we are using to allocate these funds because it appears that some agencies are circumventing the process of Jim Dempsey’s Board. Mr. Williams agreed saying that he attended the Convention and Tourism Meeting that morning and there was much concern voiced about the back door approach used by this group. He stated that if we are going to allow these groups to come to us directly then let’s do away with the policy and do them all ourselves or use the process of application that is in place. This is the second or third that I have seen this year that have used this by-pass move and I believe we need to be more consistent. Ms Breed agreed that the Sports Complex is a wonderful place, however she questioned if should we be taking money from our reserve balance saying she is not sure what that is, or how much it is? This agency has already received $7,500.00. To grant them a second round with others who may not have the same opportunity opens the door to more end runs in the future.
Ms. Price said that she has always supported the Sports Complex but feels that she has been put in an awkward position. If I vote no it would appear that I am not supporting them. I too have received calls with concerns as to the way this application was processed. I suggest we look at our process and if it needs changing then change it or return to how we used to do this. There is a perception that things were not done properly. I have talked to Scott and he assures me that everything is legal and above board. I encourage legislators to review the process.
Ms. Breed added that there is a second part of the question and that is what are the real needs of the complex? Let’s say that the Virgil Complex comes to us and they need $50,000. for their not-for-profit portion. Chairman Brown stated that this needs to be addressed as they happen and the policy does need to be reviewed. Ms. Breed said she has no basis to give them money, as she didn’t receive their budget. The Chairman said that the figures were available to all legislators at the Budget and Finance meeting. Ms. Breed said that they weren’t handed out. The Chairman said they were available. A roll call vote was taken with Mr. Clark, Mr. Dafoe, Mr. Daniels, Mr. Spaulding, Mr. Troy, Ms. Tytler, Mr. VanDee, Mr. Williams, Ms. Brown voting aye, Mr. Armstrong, Ms. Breed, Mr. Cornell, Mr. McKee, Ms. Price, Mr. Ross, Mr. Steger, Mr. Willcox voting nay and Mr. Hartnett and Mr. Tagliente, absent. Motion defeated.
Mr. Williams asked the Chairman, before leaving the subject, if we can come to some agreement that someone will be looking at this policy in the near future as how we are going to process these requests in the near future? The Chairman replied yes, it will be addressed immediately.
On the motion of Mr. Clark, second by Ms. Price and adopted by all members voting aye, Agenda No. 5 became Resolution No. 306-06: Authorize Agreement Cortland County Mental Health Clinic (MVP Health Plan, INC.).
On the motion of Mr. Dafoe, second by Mr. Armstrong, Agenda No 6 was introduced. Mr. Ross stated that he is repeating his statement each time this is presented, that we should be looking to build our own building. In ten years we could have our own building already paid for with the rent we are paying. Adopted by all members voting aye, except Mr. Ross and Mr. Willcox voting nay, Agenda No. 6 became Resolution No. 307-06:
Rental Contract Highway Department.
On the motion of Mr. Dafoe, second by Mr. Cornell and adopted by all members voting aye, Agenda No. 7 became Resolution No. 308-06: Authorize Extension of State Snow/Ice Control Agreement Highway Department.
On the motion of Mr. Dafoe, second by Mr. Troy, Agenda No. 8 was introduced. Mr. Williams asked if there is a reason we only had one bidder on the two hangars that went for bid. Mr. Schrader answered that there were only two individuals interested. Adopted by all members voting aye, Agenda No. 8 became Resolution No. 309-06: Accept Bid/Authorize Agreement Cortland County Airport D. R. Jones & Company Inc.-Five-Year Lease Term of the Hangar “MH-1”.
On the motion of Mr. Dafoe, second by Mr. Cornell and adopted by all members voting aye, Agenda No. 9 became Resolution No. 310-06: Accept Bid/Authorize Agreement Cortland County Airport Nationwide Leasing Corp. dba Seven Valley Aviation-Five-Year Lease Term of the Hangar “MH-2”.
On the motion of Mr. Dafoe, second by Mr. Cornell and adopted by all members voting aye, Agenda No. 10 became Resolution No. 311-06: Establish Individual T-Hangar Space Rental Rate Cortland County Airport.
Agenda No. 11 was pulled by Ms. Price and referred back to Human Services Committee for further discussion.
On the motion of Ms. Price, second by Mr. Spaulding and adopted by all members voting aye, Agenda No. 12 became Resolution No. 312-06: Create Social Services Caseworker/Senior Caseworker.
On the motion of Mr. Daniels, second by Mr. Armstrong, Agenda No. 13 was introduced. Ms. Breed asked what are the changes in the position and why was this not addressed during the MSD Study last year? Mr. Schrader said the position is going to be given more supervisory responsibilities. Currently the Sheriff and Under Sheriff are doing the Dispatch supervision. This position will take on the supervision of staff and is part of a restructuring effort that was considered at the time of the MSD study but not implemented at that time. Mr. Willcox repeated his comment made in Budget and Finance that this is just a covert way of giving someone a raise. Adopted by all members voting aye, except Ms. Breed and Mr. Willcox, Agenda No. 13 became Resolution No. 313-06: Abolish/Create Sheriff’s Department Technical Communications Officer/Dispatch Coordinator.
On the motion of Mr. Daniels, second by Mr. Cornell and adopted by all members
voting aye, Agenda No. 14 became Resolution No. 314-06: Authorize
Accept Funds Probation Department New York State Division of Probation and Correctional Alternatives (DPCA) (State Aid Funding for 2006).
On the motion of Mr. Daniels, second by Mr. Troy, Agenda No. 15 was introduced. Ms. Breed said that the more that we can do in the line of collecting DNA, the more important it becomes nationwide to help us. Chairman Brown suggested that might be why the State gave us more money. Adopted by all members voting aye, Agenda No. 15 became Resolution No. 315-06: Authorize Agreement Probation Department New York State Division of Probation and Correctional Alternatives (DPCA) (DNA Collection 2006).
Agenda No. 16 was pulled by Mr. Daniels and referred back to Judiciary and Public Safety Committee. Mr. Willcox stated he would like our attorney to send this to the Attorney General to determine if this is legal. The Chairman said that can be done through the Committee.
On the motion of Mr. Daniels, second by Mr. Cornell, Agenda No. 17 was introduced. Ms. Breed asked if we know the reputation of this vendor. Mr. Schrader said that they are presently doing similar projects in two other counties and have had a very good track record. We put this bid out twice: the first time we didn’t receive any response. We have been working with four other vendors and all others had stopped working on proposals knowing they couldn’t come close to this price. Clerk noted a spelling error in paragraph 5, will make correction upon adoption. Adopted by all members voting aye, Agenda No. 17 became Resolution No. 316-06: Award UHF Simulcast Paging Proposal Authorize Agreement Amend 2006 County Budget.
On the motion of Mr. Daniels, second by Mr. Troy, Agenda No. 18 was introduced. Ms. Breed asked how many consoles are we purchasing, what is the appropriated fund balance, what are the other costs involved in moving the center and do we know what the total cost of this project is? Mr. Schrader answered, as far as the appropriated fund balance is concerned, in the 2006 budget, the Legislature appropriated approximately 1.6 million dollars. $329,000. has been added since then, totaling almost 2 million dollars. We started out with a 10.8 million dollar fund balance; we have 8 million remaining. As far as projects are concerned, the legislature appropriated funds at a previous meeting for this project, as well as the emergency generator for this building. These funds will take care of the furniture, carpeting, etc and in addition is the money, which is state and federally funded. Ms. Breed asked about the number of consoles; is this what we need right now, is it extra or under? Mr. Schrader said that the bid being awarded has the option to order additional consoles, the amount budgeted covers 7 consoles including a training console, which could be utilized as an actual dispatch center in an emergency. Ms. Breed asked how many do we have now? Mr. Schrader replied 5 and that one is being purchased for TLC who will reimburse us for that. Adopted by all members voting aye, Agenda No. 18 became Resolution No. 317-06: Award Dispatch Console Proposal Authorize Agreement/Amend 2006 County Budget.
On the motion of Mr. Cornell, second by Ms. Price and adopted by all members voting aye, Agenda No. 19 became Resolution No. 318-06: Authorize Agreement Information Technology (All-Mode Communications, Inc.).
On the motion of Mr. Ross, second by Mr. Troy and adopted by all members voting aye, Agenda No. 20 became Resolution No. 319-06: Accept Section 5311 Annual Operating Assistance Amend Budget Cortland County Planning Department.
Chairman Brown asked the County Administrator to present a mid-year report of the County’s finances.
Mr. Schrader said in short, we are doing well. He
continued as follows using figures to the end of July:
The County is running revenues over expenses by 7 million dollars. At
this time we should have been receiving 58% if our revenues and expenses. Our
revenues are currently running at 63% and expenses at 55%. That is adjusted
for expenses we have liabilities that we haven’t expended, i.e. retirement.
In a general departmental breakdown we have several
concerns, one being with assigned counsel. We are running $250,000 over budget
projections at the end of the year. We budgeted $150,000 and it is looking
like $400,000 to $500,000 by years end. We have some monies set aside that can
be applied, but nowhere what is needed. The Coroner’s medical fees and
removals are again a concern and we will be very close by the end of the year.
On the bright side, the revenues from Sales Tax are
running between $200,000 to $350,000 ahead of budget however, last year was
similar and by the end of the year we ended up not making budget. I am
projecting interest and earning at about $125,000 by the end of the year if
interest rates remain and our 23 million dollar savings remains stable. Our
proceeds in sales tax liability will be netting $422,000 from property sales.
Off Track Betting proceeds are ahead of budget by $60,000. The county Clerks
Office appears to be making their revenue projections.
There are concerns with the Sheriff Department’s
Dispatch, Road Patrol and Corrections. They are all running on overtime usage,
which is going to be a problem at the end of the year. Additionally they are
$50,000 behind in medical fees and $40,000 behind in because of having to
board out prisoners. Nursing fees with our certified home health agencies are
down dramatically and we don’t anticipate making that up in revenue due to
staff reductions and operating expenses. Hospice fees are down as well.
looks good so far but that ratchets up in a few weeks, so we will watch how
enrollment is, in the fall. Social Services overtime is up dramatically with
But, overall we are doing well in the “A” fund. I
don’t believe we are going to have a large surplus at the end of the year,
nor do I believe we are going to have a deficit.
Regarding our Health Insurance fund, our revenue is
slightly higher than expenses. We are at 55% of both revenue and expenses for
the year. That appears to stay even barring any future, large health cost
The Highway fund looks good except for the completion of projects due to the flooding; we only have so much manpower. The Road Machinery fund, with the exception of fuel, has been doing well; running $60,000 over projections with adjustments made mid-year. Landfill and Recycling are doing extremely well with revenues holding at 67% or $90,000 above budget if this hold true.
There is a $90,000 surplus in Workers Compensation, the first in three years. That however, can change drastically at anytime.
Ms. Breed asked if we are able to recoup any of the medical costs incurred by prisoners. Mr. Schrader said, generally speaking the answer is no. If an inmate is eligible for private insurance or are Medicaid eligible we will bill for reimbursement. The State Comptroller’s Office performed a recent audit and found that we were not doing all we needed to do to recoup those costs so we are now developing procedures to insure the County gets fully reimbursed. The maladies of inmates have become very complicated and expensive over the past ten years.
Ms. Breed asked for a copy of Mr. Schrader’s report. He agreed to provide it to her.
· Larry Cornell invited all to attend the Marathon 1890 Union Fair at noon on September 9th.
· Carol Tytler announced a Planning Sub-Committee meeting on August 29th at 7:30 AM in Room 302.
Meeting Adjourned at 7:00 PM.
Prepared by: Susan