March 8, 2007 - 7:30 am
Members: Danny Ross, Chairman; Merwin Armstrong, Vice Chairman; Kay Breed, Tom Hartnett, John Steger, John Troy and Carol Tytler
Others Present: Scott Schrader, County Administrator; Sandy Price, Legislator, District 19; Katrina Spicer, Secretary to County Administration; Richard C. Van Donsel, County Attorney; Dan Dineen, Director of Planning Department; Amanda Barber, Cortland County Soil & Water Conservation District; Syd McEvoy, Cornell Cooperative Extension; Nancy Hart, Cornell Cooperative Extension and Corey Preston, Cortland Standard
Mr. Ross called the meeting to order at 7:32 a.m.
Mr. Troy moved adoption of the minutes of the
February 8, 2007 meeting; seconded by Mr. Steger.
All members voting in favor, minutes approved as printed.
Cortland County and First Transit, Inc. (Cortland County Planning Department)
– Mr. Troy moved adoption; seconded by Mr. Armstrong.
Mr. Schrader expressed that this resolution involves a bus run from
Cortland to Cornell University. He
also discussed a memorandum of understanding with Tompkins County in regards
to this and amending the agreement with First Transit.
All members present voting in favor; none opposed; resolution
Amend Resolution 127-06, Cortland County Planning Department
(Agreement – Cortland County and Tompkins County, Transportation to Cornell)
– Mr. Armstrong moved adoption; seconded by Mr. Troy. No discussion. All
members present voting in favor; none opposed; resolution approved.
Adopt Policy for County
Planning Board Member Training Requirements, Cortland County Planning
Department – Mr. Troy moved adoption; seconded by Mr. Armstrong. Mr. Dineen discussed NYS required training and each county
adopting guidelines for training. He
also discussed his plan to provide training monthly. All members present voting in favor; none opposed;
1. Cornell Cooperative Extension, Family Fun Resource Center, Nancy Hart – Ms. Hart discussed programs available through the Family Fun Resource Center located at 29, Main Street, Cortland.
2. Farmland Protection (NYALT), Amanda Barber – Ms. Barber distributed and discussed the Cortland County Soil & Water Conservation District Activity Report. She expressed her concerns relating to the lost funding of the Graze New York program and the impact this will have on the services that the Cortland County Soil & Water Conservation District provides. Ms. Price inquired about what other areas were impacted. Ms. Barber explained that twelve other counties in the Central New York area have also lost federal funding for this program. Ms. Tytler expressed that she would provide Ms. Barber with Congressman Arcuri’s e-mail address and discussed a two-week window in April being reserved for appointments in his home area. Committee members discussed sending concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org . Ms. Barber discussed herself and Mr. Dineen having an appointment with Congressman Arcuri on March 13, 2007.
Ms. Barber introduced Judy Wright of NYALT. Ms. Wright discussed NYALT board members and their affiliations. She expressed that Cortland County is a leader in the area of farmland protection and expressed that other counties look to Cortland County as a leader. Ms. Wright discussed NYALT finishing up the application for 501( c) status and opening a bank account at Key Bank. She explained that they are moving forward and will be looking for a office and hiring staff. Additionally, Ms. Wright discussed the pursuit for State funding and the tremendous need and interest statewide. She discussed challenges faced in Central New York and having no land trust to hold the easements. Ms. Wright explained the creation of an entity to hold easements (American Farmland Trust) and thanked Ms. Barber for her assistance. Ms. Tytler inquired about holding easements long term and the monitoring involved. Committee members discussed the monitoring and the comparison of pictures that are taken at the time of closing. Mr. Van Donsel inquired if the County were to hold easements could NYALT be hired to do the monitoring. Ms. Barber expressed that the board could look into it. Committee members discussed the stewardship and the fee collected for this. Ms. Barber and Ms. Wright discussed working together with other counties and discussed holding workshops. Mr. Dineen explained that currently he has six who are interested and have begun the footwork. Ms. Tytler expressed that she was interested in the ranking systems used and would like to see mapping of the potential farms in relation to the farms that have already closed. Mr. Hartnett inquired about the stewardship fee and asked if administrative fees are taken from that. Mr. Van Donsel explained that stewardship fee is used for administration. Mr. Steger expressed his thank you for the volunteers that have worked on this.
3. Snowmobile Club, Trail funding – Mr. Dineen expressed that there has been several discussion regarding renegotiating the 7% administrative fee Cortland County retains. He expressed that members of the Snowmobile Clubs are seeking to meet with the Committee and the County Administrator to discuss this. Mr. Schrader and Mr. Armstrong asked if the clubs were willing to organize. Mr. Dineen expressed that they were not. Mr. Ross discussed if the County chooses to opt out of the administration then the Towns can do it. Mr. Steger expressed that the 7% does not even come close to covering the administration costs and costs to road repairs. Mr. Schrader expressed that the administrative fee does not cover the cost involved and explained that it would be much easier to administer if they were to consolidate. Mr. Ross expressed that asking the clubs to combine into one organization is not asking too much.
4. Sub-Committee Report - Carol Tytler – Ms. Tytler discussed having a meeting on February 27, 2007. She explained that representatives from NYSDOT attended and the Subcommittee discussed a joint project involving the area near the Country Inn and Suites, which could be used for water retention. Ms. Tytler express that representatives from the City are willing to discuss this and she expressed that she has not discussed this with representatives from Cortlandville. Mr. Ross expressed that he would speak with representatives from Cortlandville. Mr. Steger inquired if this could lead to other projects. Mr. Schrader expressed that this is a “joint,” inter-municipal project. He also expressed that the County has no responsibility in regards to storm water management.
5. Regional Market Appointment – Committee members discussed briefly the need for a full board on the Regional Markets Board. They discussed bringing names of potential applicants to the next meeting.