REGULAR BOARD

Monday, February 1, 2021 - 10:00 AM

 

 

Clerk’s note – This meeting was held virtually.

 

 

Shaun Gillilland, Chairperson

James Monty, Vice-Chairperson

 

Chairman Gillilland called this Regular Board Meeting to order at 10:00 am with the following Supervisors virtually in attendance: Clayton Barber, Robin DeLoria, Archie Depo, Stephanie DeZalia, Shaun Gillilland (in person), Joseph Giordano, Charlie Harrington, Roy Holzer, Kenneth Hughes, Steve McNally, Jim Monty, Noel Merrihew, Jay Rand, Tom Scozzafava, Jeffrey Subra, Ike Tyler, Joe Pete Wilson and Davina Winemiller.

 

Department Heads present: Dan Palmer (in person) Patty Bashaw, Mike Diskin, Jim Dougan, Judy Garrison, Dan Manning (in person), Heather Sheehan and Michael Mascarenas. 

 

Also virtually present:  Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, John Carman, Sun News - Tim Rowland, Dan Tedford and James Mautz.

 

 

GILLILLAND:  Good morning.  I will call this regular board meeting to order.  Please stand for the pledge of allegiance.  Thank you very much, good morning.  We’ll start with roll call Judy, please.

Thank you very much.  We are very honored this morning to have Congresswoman Elise Stefanik brief us on Federal issues, Covid updates and other Federal issues affecting Essex County she has kindly agreed to provide this to us and so I’ll turn the floor over to Congresswoman Stefanik.  Thank you for doing this Elise.

 

CONGRESSWOMAN STEFANIK:  Thanks Shaun and thanks everyone in Essex County.  I’ve been providing an update and laying out my priorities for the year ahead to each of the various county board of Supervisors or county legislatures across the district so it’s great to connect with you via Zoom.  I look forward to connecting with many of you in person.

I thought today I would provide a brief update on the Covid related issues and some of the important provisions that were in that end of the year package that are going to be relevant what was passed in between the holidays so I just want to make sure that all the details are shared with you and then laying out some of our priorities regarding vaccination distribution which I know you’re hearing from many of your constituents on.

So, number one the Covid package that passed at the end of the year it was attached to the overall Government spending appropriations package.  In the Covid package there were a number of provisions that are critically important and I have been hearing from many of you for months and months.  The small business provisions, Business are eligible for a second draw of the paycheck protection program.  If they use their complete PPP funds in the first round and if they demonstrate a 30% drop in revenue 2018 compared to 2019, there are already businesses that have successfully applied for the second draw of the Paycheck Protection Program, but as businesses are coming to you and that are particularly struggling last year, we want to make sure that they’re encouraged to apply for that.  The deductibility of PPP, another concern that I heard from every Chamber of Commerce, small businesses across the district was initially the congressional intent was to allow businesses to continue deducting payroll expenses utility even in they use PPP funds for that.  The Department of Treasury had a different interpretation and did not follow congressional intent.  We were able to get that done.  I spoke directly with Secretary Mnuchin in the final days before that legislative language was drafted and businesses are able to deduct those expenses.  That’s really important when it comes to tax issues for small businesses. 

School districts, there will be direct funding for school districts and that has to be allocated directly by the State to the school districts in this year, 2021.  Five billion dollars has been allocated to the State of New York and that’s going to be really important.  I’ve talked to lots of the Superintendents about that issue.  Higher Ed - $71 million dollars of Federal funds have gone to higher Ed Institutions in New York’s 21st Congressional District in the multiple Covid package including North Country Community College who received $3.4 million dollars.  We now how important that is to make sure that those institutions have the financial wherewithal to continue to provide the educational resources to the community.

Childcare – I’ve had a number of calls with families who are struggling with access to childcare and it’s been extremely challenging when you have either both parents who are essential workers or one parent who is an essential worker and the kid maybe home for a portion of virtual learning.  $610 million has been allocated to New York State for childcare and that will flow primarily through the Community Development Block Grants, the Community Action Agencies that have worked on this issue and have received funds early on.

And hospitals, making sure our hospitals have the resources they need is critical.  North Country hospitals have qualified for over $140 million dollars since the start of the Covid crisis and we’re going to continue working hand in glove with hospitals.

On the vaccine distribution, this is by far the biggest concern that we’re hearing, I’m sure you’re hearing this as well with seniors struggling to make their appointments because of the challenging digital way to set those reservations up or overall lack of facts and lack of numbers given to upstate New York.  Just so you know the Federal Government has provided New York State with 2.9 million doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine to date.  New York State has only administered only 1.78 million so there’s a delta there and we’re continuing to work with State elected Assemblyman Matt Simpson and Senator Dan Stec on making sure that the State and particular the Governor and the Commissioner of Health are hearing the feedback that this continues to be a challenge and we need to continue to work on this with a particular focus on seniors.

Another issue that I will be rolling out this week is a number of cancer patients have reached out to my office they are not prioritized in getting access to vaccines, as so many families have unfortunately been touched by cancer and as we all know you have to go in and out of healthcare facilities in hospitals for many, many treatments.  We want to make sure that these cancer patients are prioritized both in New York State and at the Federal level to get access to vaccines.

And then the border, this continues to be a top concern.  All across by district is the border closure to non-essential travel.  We are making headway both in conversation with the Canadians as well as with both the tail end of the Trump Administration and incoming Biden Administration in laying out metrics and specific goals to those restrictions for property owners and for family members making sure that they’re able to safely cross the border.  So I am optimistic that we will get more clarity here soon rather than these extensions.

A couple really local issues I wanted to update you on.  I see Ken Hughes on the line although this affects everybody in Essex County, the ferry.  We are in touch with the ferry that goes from Essex to Charlotte and some of the challenges that’s created for transportation.  They are eligible for a second PPP loan.  There are some challenges in hiring workforce but we are in very close contact with highlighting the need to maintain that transportation mode just for members of the workforce and with that, I’ll turn it back over to you Shaun.  I’m happy to answer any questions.

 

GILLILLAND: Thank you very much Elise.  Is there any questions for the Congresswoman?  Raise your hand.  Any update on the second stimulus?  We as a county are looking for you know local funds and possibly and then also if you had anything on the getting rid of the salt prohibition?

 

CONGRESSWOMAN STEFANIK:  Yes, so this would be the fifth stimulus not the second stimulus.  We passed four Covid bills last year they were all overwhelmingly bipartisan.  The draft stimulus proposal that has been laid out by President Biden is $1.9 trillion dollars and it’s not just direct stimulus to families but it also includes provisions like raising the minimum wage to $15 that are problematic when you’re trying to build bipartisan consensus.  I do support an additional round of funds directly to individuals as well as directly to local, county and municipal governments.  I think that’s going to be really important.  I also think flowing that funds through the State, those funds through the State is not the best proposal similar to our direct to hospitals and higher Ed institutions I want to see that flow directly from the Federal Government to the municipalities and counties so that the State is not able to withhold that funding.  So we’re working on that.

On the salt issue, I’ve long been a proponent of allowing New Yorkers to fully deduct their State and local taxes some of the proposals including in the last Congress that have been introduced by my colleagues across the aisle in order to pay for that salt deduction they raised the top rates and I don’t’ want to see any tax increases.  I’m opposed to tax increases.  I just want a clean repeal of the salt cap and I want a clean bill that allows taxpayers to deduct fully their State and local taxes.  There’s some discussion right now on whether that will be, whether some provisions related to salt will be part of the Biden proposal but there’s quite a bit to go I think right now you know the President and the White House are working for Republicans in the Senate.  I hope they will reach out to Republicans in the House but we’re you know, working through that process.

 

GILLILLAND: Thank you.

 

HUGHES:  I have a question.  Congresswoman, are you still on the committees that you used to be or are you on any new committees?  Or has there been a change of committees for you?

 

CONGRESSWOMAN STEFANIK:  I’m on the same committees.  I’m on Education and Workforce Committee.  I’m also on the Armed Services Committee as well as the Intel Committee so the same committees.  They are all important committees for the district and I will be accepting the ranker on sort of the emerging threats and technology issues and armed services and I’m hoping to take a leadership role on one of the subcommittees higher Ed space.

 

HUGHES:  Thank you.

 

GILLILLAND:  Any other questions for the Congresswoman?  Alright, thank you so much Elise for giving us a briefing we really appreciate it and I speak for the board, we truly appreciate the accessibility we have to you and with problems and stuff.  Sometimes we probably sound like whining children but we sure do appreciate everything you’ve done for us.

 

CONGRESSWOMAN STEFANIK:  Yes, continue to reach out on any issue big and small you know we are doing as I know you are the very best we can to respond to issues related to small businesses you know, certain IRS issues that constituents have so as they come to you please feel free to refer them to my office and we’ll get to work on them that allows me to do my job most effectively so don’t ever hesitate to reach out and thanks for the opportunity.

 

GILLILLAND:  Thank you so much.

 

CONGRESSWOMAN STEFANIK:  Bye.

 

GILLILLAND: We will now move to resolutions Judy.

 

RESOLUTION #12 – OF APPRECIATION TO CHERI REYNOLDS FOR ADMINISTERING THE DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES CHRISTMAS PROGRAM FOR OVER 30 YEARS.

This resolution was moved by Mr. Tyler, seconded unanimously and adopted.

 

RESOLUTION #13 – OF APPRECIATION TO JACKIE THOMAS, RENEE BAER, SUSAN HATHAWAY, VANESSA CROSS, CHRISTINE PALMER AND THE ESSEX COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT FOR THEIR PARTICIPATION AND ASSISTANCE IN THE 2020 TOYS FOR TOTS PROGRAM.

This resolution was moved by Mr. Monty, seconded unanimously and adopted.

 

RESOLUTION #14 – OF APPRECIATION TO DEBORAH DONALDSON UPON HER RETIREMENT FROM THE ESSEX COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE.

This resolution was moved by Mrs. DeZalia, seconded unanimously and adopted.

 

RESOLUTION #15 – AUTHORIZING THE ESSEX COUNTY EMERGENCY SERVICES DEPARTMENT TO APPLY FOR AND ACCEPT THE 2019 HAZMAT CONSORTIUM GRANT.

This resolution was moved by Mr. Barber, seconded by Mr. Tyler and adopted upon a roll-call vote as follows:

AYES:             2921 votes

NOES:                  0 votes

ABSENT:             0 votes

 

RESOLUTION #16 – AUTHORIZING THE PURCHASING AGENT TO AWARD BIDS, ISSUE CONTRACTS OR PURCHASE ORDERS.

This resolution was moved by Mr. Scozzafava, seconded by Mr. Depo and adopted upon a roll-call vote as follows:

AYES:             2921 votes

NOES:                  0 votes

ABSENT:             0 votes

 

RESOLUTION #17 – AUTHORIZING THE ESSEX COUNTY EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICE TO APPLY FOR A PERMANENT CERTIFICATE OF NEED.

This resolution was moved by Mr. Subra, seconded Mr. Merrihew and adopted.

 

GILLILLAND:  Discussion?

 

GIORDANO:  Is there some background to this?  Are we adopting it temporary or is there permancy to this one?  I’m not too familiar with it.

 

PALMER:  This was something that’s been going on with the EMS committee for a while.  The county needs a full certificate of need in terms of that’s why we have to run at least one ambulance and the purpose of having a full certificate of need is that if you decide this board however it works out, whether you want to do centralized billing or those kinds of things you would be able to do that because you have a certificate of need.

 

GIORDANO:  Okay, thank you.

 

GILLILLAND:  Further discussion?

 

BARBER:  Yes, by asking for this just means we are going forward with the program, this is not tying everybody into this correct?

 

PALMER:  No, no it would not.  It simply is just a step in the process that again allows the county to if you decide again, and I want to clarify that that’s ultimately how we proceed with this is up to the board but you know what was laid out was we would look at centralized billing and those kinds of things and that would allow us to do that under a certificate of need countywide.

 

BARBER:  Okay.

 

GILLILLAND:  Further discussion?

 

RESOLUTION #18 – OF CONGRATULATIOSN TO UNITED STATES SENATOR CHARLES E. SCHUMER ON BECOMING SENATE MAJORITY LEADER.

This resolution was moved by Mr. Gillilland, seconded unanimously and adopted.

 

RESOLUTION #19 – AUTHORIZING THE COUNTY CHAIRMAN OR COUNTY MANAGER TO EXECUTE ANY AND ALL EASEMENTS AND RIGHTS OF WAY RELATED TO THE WATER STREET OVER THE BRANCH BRIDGE REPLACEMENT PROJECT IN THE TOWN OF ELIZABETHTOWN AND ALL ASSOCIATED DOCUMENTS NECESSARY TO EFFECTUATE PAYMENT OT THE PROPERTY OWNERS IN THE AMOUNT OF UP TO $10,700.00, FROM BUDGETED FUNDS.

This resolution was moved by Mr. Monty, seconded by Mr. Giordano and adopted upon a roll-call vote as follows:

AYES:             2826 votes

NOES:                  0 votes

ABSENT:             0 votes

ABSTAIN:          95 votes      (Merrihew)

 

GARRISON:  Mr. DeLoria, we can’t hear you.  I see your microphone is on?

 

PALMER:  It is showing on here but I’m wondering if it’s on on his computer?

 

RESOLUTION #20 – AUTHORIZING CONTRACT AMENDMENTS/CHANGE ORDERS IN VARIOUS DEPARTMENTS.

This resolution was moved by Mr. Scozzafava, seconded by Mr. Barber and adopted upon a roll-call vote as follows:

AYES:             2921 votes

NOES:                  0 votes

ABSENT:             0 votes

 

RESOLUTION #21 – AUTHORIZING THE TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT TO ACCEPT FEDERAL TRANSIT OPERATING ASSITANCE IN THE AMOUNT OF $162,000.00 AND SES OPERATING ASSISTANCE IN AN AMOUNT UP TO $285,000.00 UNDER CONTRACT CO-004078.

This resolution was moved by Mr. Monty, seconded by Mr. Wilson and adopted upon a roll-call vote as follows:

AYES:             2921 votes

NOES:                  0 votes

ABSENT:             0 votes

 

GILLILLAND:  Discussion?

 

RAND:  I have one question, what does SES stand for?

 

PALMER:  I’m not sure, Jim, are you on?

 

DOUGAN:  Yes, good morning.  I’m not positive what SES stands for other than I know that the E is regarding employment and that’s for us to promote people that need to use public transportation to get to employment.

 

RAND:  Okay, thank you.

 

GILLILLAND:  Further discussion?

 

RESOLUTION #22 – REQUESTING THE BUILDINGS AND FACILITIES TASK FORCE COMMITTEE PROVIDE A NEEDS ASSESSMENT REPORT AS IT RELATES TO THE CORNELL COOPERATIVE EXTENSION BUILDING LOCATED IN THE TOWN OF WESTPORT.

This resolution was moved by Mr. Tyler, seconded Mr. Monty and adopted.

 

SCOZZAFAVA:  I have a question, what is a needs assessment?  Does that mean that is something that we’re going to hire another architect or engineer to come in and look at the building and make a decision?   We have all that information now don’t we?

 

GILLILLAND:  No, this is for the committee to come up with a recommendation to the board.

 

SCOZZAFAVA:  Well, hopefully it is to level it.  Thank you.

 

GILLILLAND:  Further discussion?  All in favor, opposed – carried.

 

RESOLUTION #23 – AUTHORIZING APPOINTMENTS TO BOARDS, COMMITTEES AND/OR COUNCILS.

This resolution was moved by Mr. Holzer, seconded Mr. Hughes and adopted.

 

RESOLUTION #24 – APPOINTING SUPERVISORS TYLER, DELORIA, HUGHES AND WILSON TO DRAFT A RESOLUTION OF CONDEMNATION OF THE ATTACK UPON THE NATIONAL FEDERAL LEGISLATURE.

This resolution was moved by Mr. Gillilland, seconded unanimously and adopted.

 

RESOLUTION #25 – ACCEPTING, ADOPTING AND PLACING ON FILE POLICIES, PLANS, PROCEDURES AND ANNUAL REPORTS.

This resolution was moved by Mr. Scozzafava, seconded Mr. Giordano and adopted.

 

AMENDED:

RESOLUTION #26 – AUTHORIZING THE COUNTY MANAGER AND COUNTY ATTORNEY TO ENTER INTO DISCUSSIONS WITH THE BOQUET VALLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT BOARD AS IT RELATES TO THE THRALL DAM PROPERTY IN THE TOWN OF LEWIS AND TO INCLUDE THE COUNTY OWNED PROPERTY ADJACENT TO THE ESSEX COUNTY FAIRGOUNDS PROPERTY.

This resolution was moved by Mr. Scozzafava, seconded Mr. Giordano and adopted, as amended.

 

GILLILLAND:  Discussion?

 

TYLER:  Part of the discussion, I would like to propose another resolution later on about authorizing them to look into the property that circles Westport School as it stands right now, so they can look at that also.  It’s like 25 acres.  At the end of the meeting I’ll bring up the resolution to enter into discussions with Boquet on that also.

 

GILLILLAND:  Alright, further discussion?

 

SCOZZAFAVA:  Yes, couldn’t we just do an amendment to this resolution to include that property that Mr. Tyler just mentioned?

 

GILLILLAND:  Yes, there’s no prohibition against an amendment.

 

SCOZZAFAVA: I mean; I think instead of two separate resolutions.  I’ll move an amendment that we include the property, in this resolution #26, that Mr. Tyler just mentioned, adjacent to the fairgrounds.

 

GILLILLAND:  So this to add the addition of the county owned property surrounding Westport School adjacent to the fairgrounds.

 

SCOZZAFAVA:  Yes.

 

PALMER: Do we own that property?

 

GILLILLAND:  We do own that property, yes.

 

SCOZZAFAVA:  So, moved.

 

GILLILLAND:  You offered the amendment, Mr. Scozzafava.  Do I have a second to the amendment?  Mr. Giordano.  Further discussion on the amendment?  Being none, all in favor of the amendment, opposed – amendment carries.  Therefore, all in favor of the resolution as amended, opposed – carries.  Thank you.

 

RESOLUTION #27 – AUTHORIZING THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A TEMPORARY COVID LEAVE TIME POLICY.

This resolution was moved by Mr. Rand, seconded Mr. Giordano and adopted.

 

GILLILLAND:  Discussion?

 

SUBRA:  I just have a comment.  I’m just still, really struggling with this and I appreciate what we did last week as far as putting a time limit to it but I don’t want to hold it up.  I still don’t – I’m struggling with it but I’m on board, as a board member understanding we’re trying to move forward on a temporary basis and take a look at this in July.  I just wanted to make that comment, where I’m still not resolved but I am on board, as far as a board member to see this thing through so thank you.

 

GILLILLAND:  Thank you Mr. Subra.  Further discussion?

 

MONTY:  I just want to say that I do somewhat concur with Jeff.  I do understand the need and what we’re trying to do but I do have, still have a few concerns.  Thank you.

 

GILLILLAND:  Thank you.  Further discussion?  Being none, all in favor, opposed – carried.

 

RESOLUTION #28 – OF THE ESSEX COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS CONDEMING THE UNLAWFUL ENTRY INTO THE UNITED STATES CAPITOL BUILDING IN WASHINGTON, D.C. ON JANAURY 6, 2021.

This resolution was moved by Mr. Hughes, seconded unanimously and adopted.

 

RESOLUTION #29 – AUTHORIZING THE ISSUANCE OF A PERMIT TO IRONMAN LAKE PLACID FOR THE USE OF COUNTY ROADWAYS FOR THE 2021 IRONMAN TRIATHLON RACE ON JULY 25, 2021.

This resolution was moved by Mr. Rand, seconded Mrs. Winemiller and adopted.

 

RESOLUTION #30 – OF CONDOLENCE TO THE FAMILY OF JANET G. MERO.

This resolution was moved by Mr. Gillilland, seconded unanimously and adopted.

 

RESOLUTION #31 – OF CONDOLENCE TO THE FAMILY OF JOHN T. MANNING, ESQ.

This resolution was moved by Mr. Gillilland, seconded unanimously and adopted.

 

GARRISON:  Resolutions from the floor – of the Essex County Board of Supervisors calling upon the Legislature of the State of New York to restore full funding in the 2021-22 State budget for the aid and incentive for municipalities (AIM) program and to not transfer remaining towns previously paid by direct AIM payments from NYS to AIM – related payments that would be the responsibility of Essex County.

 

GILLILLAND:  Do I have twelve to allow it on the floor please?

 

GARRISON:  Yes, you do.

 

RESOLUTION #32 - OF THE ESSEX COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS CALLING UPON THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK TO RESTORE FULL FUNDING IN THE 2021-22 STATE BUDGET FOR THE AID AND INCENTIVE FOR MUNICIPALITIES (AIM) PROGRAM AND TO NOT TRANSFER REMAINING TOWNS PREVIOUSLY PAID BY DIRECT AIM PAYMENTS FROM NYS TO AIM – RELATED PAYMENTS THAT WOULD BE THE RESPONSIBILITY OF ESSEX COUNTY.

This resolution was moved by Mr. Scozzafava, seconded Mr. Subra and adopted.

 

GILLILLAND:  Any other motions from the floor?

 

PALMER:  I would just request one from the floor, a resolution authorizing a letter of interest regarding the electric charging station build out in Essex County by the Livingston Energy Group for the purpose of a New York State request for proposal and further authorizing the County Manager to submit a letter to the Livingston Group for that purpose.  And again, this is just providing for that Livingston Group a letter that says, the County of Essex would be willing to work with them in the event that they are awarded a bid through New York State of bill out of stations within Essex County it doesn’t commit us to doing anything it clearly says that it represents good faith intentions of both parties but creates no binding obligation on either but they are using these letters of interest as well as an amendment to their RFP process or supporting their RFP process.

 

GILLILLAND:  Do we have twelve to allow it on the floor?

 

GARRISON: Yes, we do.

 

RESOLUTION #33 – AUTHORIZING COUNTY MANAGER TO PREPARE A LETTER OF SUPPORT FOR THE LIVINGSTON ENERGY GROUPS’ APPLICATION UNDER THE NETWORK CHARGE LEADER PROGRAM FOR ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING STATIONS IN THE COUNTY OF ESSEX.

This resolution was moved by Mr. Tyler, seconded by Mr. Barber and adopted.

 

GILLILLAND:  Discussion?

 

WINEMILLER:  Dan, I just have a question.  Would this be charging stations on Essex County property or just somewhere in general, in Essex County?

 

PALMER:  I think anywhere is Essex County.  It would be municipal property most likely you know, that’s what we would be providing for these people is locations so it would have to go back to each if it was in your town, to go back to your town board for approval and those kinds of things but yeah, they’re looking for is location on municipal properties.

 

WINEMILLER:  Okay thank you.

 

GILLLILLAND:  Further discussion?  Being none, all in favor, opposed – carries.

Anymore motions from the floor?

 

GIORDANO:  Shaun, Judy had sent out another one, authorizing to renew the contract with emergency management resources.  Judy, do you have that?

 

PALMER:  That was the one that Emergency Services had submitted for renewal.  I know we had some discussions on whether we wanted to bring that back through committee or not?

 

GILLILLAND: Yes, I believe they wanted to bring that back through the EMS committee.  Anything else to come before the board?  Thank you very much, we are adjourned.

 

            As there was no further discussion to come before this regular board meeting it was adjourned at 10:36 a.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

Judy Garrison, Clerk

Board of Supervisors