(County, City, Towns, Villages, Schools) Committee
September 27, 2007
Following Legislative Session
Cornell, Co-Chair; Sandy Price, Co-Chair, Scott Schrader, County
Administrator; Angie Wyatt, Secretary to County Administrator; Merwin
Armstrong, County Legislator (Truxton-Cuyler); John Steger, Legislator
(Scott-Preble); John Helgren, Cortland County Environmental Health; Betty Ann
Pitman, Town of Preble Supervisor; Kate Edinger, Town of Preble Council
Member; Ray Marsh, Town of Harford Supervisor; Karen Marsh, Town of Harford;
Dales Bates, Town of Cincinnatus Supervisor; Fred Forbes, Town of Homer
Supervisor, Corey Preston, Cortland Standard Reporter
The meeting was called to order at 7:15p.m. by
Co-Chair Ms. Price
Co-Chairs, Mr. Cornell and Ms. Price welcomed
MOTION TO APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THE JULY 24, 2007
MEETING MADE BY MS. PITMAN – 2ND BY MR. CORNELL – ALL PRESENT
VOTING IN FAVOR – MINUTES APPROVED
Minimum Lot Sizes: John
Helgren (Cortland County Environmental Health Department) – Mr.
Helgren presented a PowerPoint Presentation which outlined Cortland County
History of Minimum Lot Sizes, Concerns, Justifications, New Minimum Lot Sizes,
Existing Lots Not Meeting Minimum Size, Proposed Policy-Solo Lot Less Than 2.4
Acres and Review of Permits From Past 2 Years.
Mr. Helgren also provided a Draft of the Rules and Regulations, which
was drafted on September 27, 2007. Ms.
Pitman expressed disagreement with the new rules and regulations and provided
an example. Mr. Helgren pointed
out that the property in question did not meet the separation requirement for
the Septic System and Well. Mr.
Helgren indicated that the Cortland County Health Department would like
comments/input on the Draft of the Rules and Regulations.
Mr. Forbes indicated that he does not like the minimum lot size
regulations but in the future it will protect the water supply.
Mr. Forbes also feels that they should have a waiver system in place
and that feedback from all Planning Boards is important. Mr. Marsh will take the issue back to his Town Board.
Mr. Helgren indicated that the Health Department will be sending the
Minimum Lot Sizes Rules and Regulations to Town Board and Planning Boards.
Cortland County Self-Insurance Fund Workers’ Compensation – Budget
Discussion/Assessments (Cortland County Administrator, Scott Schrader) – Mr.
Schrader explained how the Workers’ Compensation assessments are calculated. The formula is 40% Full Value Assessment and 60% 3 Year
Experience Assessment. The Town
of Harford has taken a beating for the 2008 assessment. In 2004 a Volunteer Firefighter was killed after responding
to a mutual aid call in the Town of Harford.
The surviving wife and child receive $400.00 a week each in benefits.
For the past 2 years these benefits have been inadvertently charged to
the County of Cortland. When the
error was discovered and corrected if substantially effected the 60%
experience of the Town of Harford. Mr.
Schrader indicated that the County will be not going back 2 years and charge
the Town of Harford for the 2
years but their experience percentage will continue to be high.
The deceased firefighter’s child will only receive the benefit until
he turns 21 but the wife will receive the benefit for the rest of her life.
Mr. Bates indicated that the Town of Cincinnatus bills their Fire
District for the VFBL (Volunteer Firefighters Benefits Law) Assessment.
The Town of Harford does not bill their Fire District.
The Town who requests the mutual aid is responsible for any injuries
incurred by Firefighters on the seen. The
Town of Cincinnatus contracts with the Town of Taylor for providing fire
protection. Mrs. Price asked if
there is a boilerplate for a contract for Towns to take responsibility for
their own firefighters in a mutual aid call.
Mr. Schrader will check on this. Mr.
Schrader urged the Towns with Fire Districts to contract with other Towns to
reduce the experience rating with mutual calls.
Mr. Schrader further explained that the 60%/40% formula was established
by a Cortland County Local Law. He
further stated that even if they went to a 70%/30% formula, it would not help
the Town of Harford. Upon a
question on whether a municipality could drop out of the program, Mr. Schrader
indicated that there would be a reserve established to cover all future
expenses incurred by claims, thus the municipality would still be paying the
reserve. If the assessment calculations were to go to a more equalized
formula it would not be fair to Towns that do not have any injury experiences
(i.e. The Towns of Homer, Freetown, Marathon, Scott, Taylor & Willet have
not had any losses in 2004, 2005 & 2006).
Their assessments are based only upon Full Value Assessment.
Mr. Forbes indicated that he appreciated Mr. Schrader’s presentation.
Route 41 – The Legislature is supporting Mr. Forbes position on prohibiting
tractor-trailers on Route 41 in the Town of Homer. Trucks supplying individuals with agricultural businesses
will be exempt.
Town of Homer Property Assessor – Mr. Forbes advised the Committee that they
have dropped the Town Assessor and will be contracting with the County for
Assessment Services. This action
will save money.
Next Meeting: Legislator
Carol Tyler, Chairperson of the DMV Proposed Locations Committee to present a
PowerPoint presentation and possibly Mr. Marty Mack from the Governor’s
The meeting was adjourned at 8:30p.m.
taken and prepared by Angie Wyatt, Secretary to County Administrator