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home : news : county/state news August 18, 2017

6/17/2017 7:29:00 AM
Admin committee signs resolutions in preparation for county board meeting

Nick Sabato
River News reporter

With the Oneida County Board of Supervisors scheduled to hold its June meeting Tuesday, the county's administration committee signed several resolutions at its June 12 meeting to be forwarded to the board for approval.

In total, the committee signed four resolutions to be brought to the county board.

Funding for Law Enforcement Energy Savings

The first resolution came from the Capital Improvements Program (CIP) Committee and was to approve $70,000 to be taken from the general fund to complete an energy savings project.

The project, which includes upgrades to computerized control, lighting, kitchen exhaust and boilers, was originally projected to cost $313,636, with energy incentives of $58,939, bringing the net total to $254,697. The money was originally budgeted in 2016 through the building and grounds department.

While lighting and computerized control upgrades were completed at the cost projected, the kitchen exhaust and boiler have yet to be finished and have been bid three different times.

The buildings and grounds committee approved alternative options to reduce the cost, but it still came in $198,000 more than budgeted.

As a result, the committee requested a sum of $70,000 to offset the costs.

Supervisor Bob Mott questioned the numbers.

"If it's $198,000 over what was budgeted, then you're (asking for) $70,000, where's the rest of the money coming from?" Mott asked.

With members of the buildings and grounds department unable to attend, the committee was left without a clear answer.

Billy Fried, who serves on the administration committee and is the chairman of the buildings and grounds committee, could not provide the answers needed either.

Because there is no board meeting scheduled in July, the administration committee felt it necessary for the resolution to be sent to the board on Tuesday in order to get the current bid for the project.

"I personally think we have to pass it and get the explanation," supervisor Ted Cushing said. "We can amend numbers on the county board floor. This thing has to be in the resolutions otherwise you're going to have to wait until August."

The committee opted to approve the resolution and get a full explanation of the numbers at the board meeting.

Agenda transparency

Also Monday, the committee approved a resolution to amend Section 2.02 of the county code as part of its ongoing effort to better follow the state's open meetings law and distribute clear meeting agendas.

The amendment makes it no longer necessary for the county to include items such as call to order, roll call, announcements by the chair, accept minutes, reports, unfinished business, public comment, consent agenda, consideration of resolutions, other business, next meeting and adjournment.

Items such as call to order, next meeting dates and adjournment were curious items to make unnecessary, according to some of the committee members. Mott, for one, wanted to keep those items that are used on every agenda.

"Are we ever not going to have a 'call to order?'" Mott asked. "Those are common items that are very much unlike 'unfinished business' or 'future business' or 'other business.'"

Corporation counsel Brian Desmond stated those items are not required to be in the ordinance.

"I think what we're trying to do is follow the ordinance," Desmond said. "It's not required to be in the ordinance."

The goal of striking these items from the ordinance is to create an agenda template to be used by the board and its committees. If the committee went to a standard agenda, any changes to it would require an ordinance change.

"I'd vote 'yes' to do this and then come up with a formal agenda that is recommended to be used by every committee chairman," Cushing said. "Don't put it in an ordinance, but this is the way the agenda reads."

Eventually, the committee voted to approve the resolution with the understanding the county could re-add those items when the agenda template is completed.

Other agenda items

The committee also signed a resolution, approved by the labor relations committee on June 8, to repay $31,027.52 to the Aging Disability Resource Center for donated paid time off.

A resolution was also signed to create an ordinance to govern the naming or changing of a name of geographic features within the county.

The committee also approved a schedule for a loan payment to the Human Service Center after an error in the schedule was made in 2016.

Desmond was directed to rewrite the contract.

Nick Sabato may be reached at or via Twitter @SabatoNick.

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