County Committees Discuss Financial Matters

MAYVILLE – Monday night’s County Legislature committee meetings revolved around short agendas. The Public Facilities Committee discussed a resolution to accept a state grant in the amount of $50,000 to fund a portion of an engineering study regarding the cost of a pipeline from the Chautauqua Lake Basin to the South and Center Sewer District’s wastewater treatment plant.

The projected cost of the preliminary study is $62,500, with 20 percent of the cost to be paid for by municipalities surrounding the lake through “in-kind” services.

“In-kind services involve towns and villages providing labor and equipment to help fund the project, but not with cash,” said County Executive Vince Horrigan.

Aging sewer systems around Chautauqua Lake have contributed to an increase in phosphate loads and algae blooms, and resolving the issue has been a focal point for Horrigan.

“What we’re trying to do is figure out if it’s best to have two sewer plants or one sewer plant,” he said, adding that three currently exist. “We’re going to take a big-picture look, and once we get a general design we’ll be in various phases to look for additional funding.”

AIRPORT

In other matters, the County Airport Commission recommended that the legislature authorize and approve an agreement with Jamestown Advanced Products for use of the Jamestown Airport for an employee picnic on Aug. 9.

Lastly, a resolution regarding Jamestown Aviation Company potentially leasing space at the Jamestown Airport was discussed.

At a cost of $400 per month with a 2 percent increase per year, the contract would last from June 1, 2014 through May 31, 2029.

Pursuant to municipal law, a public hearing regarding the 15-year term will be held on May 28 at the legislature’s regular meeting, and will be further discussed at that time.

Chuck Nazzaro, D-Jamestown, was absent.

ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES

Shortly after, the Administrative Services Committee held a brief meeting.

Susan Marsh, director of finance, covered two resolutions regarding fund surpluses after completion of capital projects.

After closing accounts for completed capital projects as of the end of 2013, the oldest of which dated back to 1992, a surplus of $500,000 was left over.

“Some of the projects were open for a long time, and this resolution means we have completed the formal bookkeeping,” Marsh said. “All projects were closed out, with leftover surpluses adjusted to the Capital Reserve fund.”

The agenda’s third resolution was a motion for the legislature to support reform of the Scaffold Law.

The law pertains mostly to construction workers, and outlines liability for injuries sustained if a worker falls on the job.

Strict liability and insurance hikes required for employers in the construction business have garnered support for repeal of the law, which was first imposed in 1885.

“This is a very old law that does not pertain to present practices,” said Dave Himelein, R-Findley Lake.

PJ Wendel, R-Lakewood, and Bob Scudder, R-Fredonia, were absent from the meeting.

All resolutions discussed by both committees must be voted on by the full County Legislature, which will hold its regular meeting on April 26 at 6:30 p.m. in the legislative chambers of the Gerace Office Building in Mayville.