REGULAR BOARD MEETING

Monday, May 3, 2021 - 10:00 AM

 

 

Shaun Gillilland, Chairperson

James Monty, Vice-Chairperson

 

Chairman Gillilland called this Regular Board Meeting to order at 10:00 am with the following Supervisors in attendance: Clayton Barber, Robin DeLoria, Archie Depo, Stephanie DeZalia, Shaun Gillilland, 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: James Dougan, Judy Garrison, Dan Palmer, Dave Reynolds, Heather Sheehan and Dan Manning.

 

Also present:Matt Watts

 

Media present:Sun News, Tim Rowland

 

 

GILLILLAND:I will call this regular meeting of the Board of Supervisors to order.Would you join me in the pledge of allegiance please.We will start with roll call please.

 

Clerkís note Ė Mr. McNally was absent for the roll call.

 

GILLILLAND:Alright, we have no guests this morning so weíll go right into resolutions please.

 

RESOLUTION #95 Ė DECLARING THE MONTH OF APRIL 2021 AS CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION MONTH.

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

 

RESOLUTION #96 Ė AUTHORIZING APPOINTMENTS TO BOARDS, COMMITTEES AND/OR COUNCILS.

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

 

RESOLUTION #97 Ė AUTHORIZING BUDGET AMENDMENTS FOR VARIOUS DEPARTMENTS.

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

AYES: ††††††††††† 2856 votes

NOES:†††† †††††† ††††††0 votes

ABSENT: ††††† ††††65 votes†††† (McNally)

 

RESOLUTION #98 Ė AUTHORIZING THE PURCHASING AGENT TO AWARD BIDS, ISSUE CONTRACTS OR PURCHASE ORDERS.

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

AYES: ††††††††††† 2856 votes

NOES:†††† †††††† ††††††0 votes

ABSENT: ††††† ††††65 votes†††† (McNally)

 

RESOLUTION #99 Ė PROCLAIMING MAY 2021, AS OLDER AMERICANS MONTH.

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

 

RESOLUTION #100 Ė OF APPRECIATIOIN TO THE ESSEX COUNTY 9-1-1 COMMUNICATIONS CENTERS AND RECOGNIZING THE WEEK OF APRIL 11-17, 2021, AS 9-1-1 PUBLIC SAFETY TELECOMMUNICATORS WEEK IN ESSEX COUNTY.

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

 

RESOLUTION #101 Ė OF APPRECIATION TO EMS PROVIDERS IN ESSEX COUNTY AND PROCLAIMS THE WEEK OF MAY 16-22, 2021 AS EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES APPRECIATION WEEK.

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

 

RESOLUTION #102 Ė AUTHORIZING ESSEX COUNTY ON BEHALF OF THE PUBLIC DEFENDERíS OFFICE TO ACCEPT A THREE ĖYEAR NEW YORK STATE INDIGENT LEGAL SERVICES GRANT BEARING CONTRACT NO. C1100-15 IN THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF $191,496.00 AND DISTRIBUTION GRANT #11 IN THE AMOUNT OF $63,832.00, FOR YEAR 1, AND AUTHORIZING THE CHAIRMAN OR COUNTY MANAGER TO EXECUTE THE SAME.

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

AYES: ††††††††††† 2921 votes

NOES:†††† †††††† ††††††0 votes

ABSENT: ††††† ††††††0 votes††††

 

RESOLUTION #103 Ė AUTHORIZING FOR THE SUBMISSION OF COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT APPLICATION (CDBG) HOUSING REHABILITATION PROGRAM COUNYWIDE.

This resolution was moved by Mr. Holzer seconded by Mr. Monty and adopted.

 

GILLILLAND:Discussion?

 

WINEMILLER:I just had a quick question Shaun.Is this for the apartments that Bruce had talked to us about?The apartment rehab grant?

 

PALMER: I donít think so.

 

GILLILLAND:Itís the housing rehab program.

 

WINEMILLER:So single family homes?

 

PALMER:Yes, single family housing.He had talked about the ability to extend it but he this is not that one.

 

WINEMILLER: Okay, thank you.

 

GILLILLAND:Further discussion?Being none, all in favor, opposed Ė carries.

 

RESOLUTION #104 Ė AUTHORIZING CONTRACT AMENDMENTS/CHANGE ORDERS IN VARIOUS DEPARTMENTS.

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

AYES: ††††††††††† 2921 votes

NOES:†††† †††††† ††††††0 votes

ABSENT: ††††† ††††††0 votes

 

RESOLUTION #105 Ė ACCEPTING THE SEMI-ANNUAL MORTGAGE TAX REPORT

This resolution was moved by Mr. Scozzafava seconded by Mr. Rand and adopted.

 

RESOLUTION #106 Ė AUTHORIZING THE COUNTY CHAIRMAN OR COUNTY MANAGER TO EXECUTE A LEASE EXTENSION WITH FORT TICONDEROGA ASSOCIATION FOR A FIVE YEAR TERM AND OPTIONS.

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

AYES: ††††††††††† 2921 votes

NOES:†††† †††††† ††††††0 votes

ABSENT: ††††† ††††††0 votes

 

RESOLUTION #107 Ė AUTHORIZING TO CHANGE THE HOURS IN THE OFFICES OF THE ESSEX COUNTY CLERK AND THE DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES TO BE OPEN FROM 8:00 A.M. TO 4:00 P.M. FOR THE MONTHS OF MAY, JUNE, JULY AND AUGUST, 2021.

This resolution was moved by Mrs. DeZalia seconded by Mr. Depo and adopted.

 

RESOLUTION #108 Ė AUTHORIZING AN INCREASE TO THE PETTY CASH ACCOUNT/CASH DRAWER IN THE ESSEX COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES.

This resolution was moved by Mr. Rand seconded by Mr. DeLoria and adopted upon a roll-call vote as follows:

AYES: ††††††††††† 2759 votes

NOES:†††† †††††† ††††††0 votes

ABSENT: ††††† ††162 votes†††† (Harrington)

 

RESOLUTION #109 Ė AUTHORIZING HANNAH CARSON OF THE REAL PROPERTY TAX SERVICES TO SIGN VOUCHERS IN THE ABSENCE OF THE REAL PROPERTY TAX SERVICES DIRECTOR.

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

 

RESOLUTION #110 Ė AUTHORIZING TO CHANGE THE HOURS IN THE OFFICE OF THE ESSEX COUNTY TREASURER TO BE OPEN FROM 8:00 A.M. TO 4:00 P.M. BEGINNING MAY 3, 2021 THROUGH SEPTEMBER 3, 2021.

This resolution was moved by Mr. Scozzafava seconded by Mr. Depo and adopted.

 

RESOLUTION #111 Ė URGING THE GOVERNOR AND FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO EXPAND BROADBAND AND RURAL CELLULAR COVERAGE TO ALL NEW YORKERS.

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

 

RESOLUTION #112 Ė AUTHORIZING THE EXECUTION OF A CONTRACT BETWEEN ENERGY IMPROVEMENT CORPORATION AND ESSEX COUNTY RELATIVE TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF AN ENERGIZE NY OPEN C-PACE FINANCING PROGRAM WITHIN ESSEX COUNTY AS AUTHORIZED BY LOCAL LAW NO. 3 OF 2021 ENTITLED, ďENERGIZE NY OPEN C-PACE FINANCING PROGRAM LOCAL LAWĒ

This resolution was moved by Mr. Rand seconded by Mr. DeLoria and adopted upon a roll-call vote as follows:

AYES: ††††††††††† 2759 votes

NOES:†††† †††††† ††††††0 votes

ABSENT: ††††† ††162 votes†††† (Harrington)

 

RESOLUTION #113 Ė AUTHORIZING ESSEX COUNTY TO ENTER INTO A SITE LEASE AGREEMENT WITH NORTH COUNTRY PUBLIC RADIO FOR INSTALLATION OF A COMMUNICATIONS ANTENNA AND RELATED EQUIPMENT AT THE TERRY MOUNTAIN TOWER SITE.

This resolution was moved by Mr. Merrihew seconded by Mr. Holzer and adopted upon a roll-call vote as follows:

AYES: ††††††††††† 2759 votes

NOES:†††† †††††† ††††††0 votes

ABSENT: ††††† ††162 votes†††† (Harrington)

 

RESOLUTION #114 Ė AMENDING RESOLUTION NO. 207 OF SEPTEMBER 8, 2020, ENTITLED, ďRESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE PURCHASING AGENT TO AWARD BIDS, ISSUE CONTRACTS OR PURCHASE ORDERSĒ

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

AYES: ††††††††††† 2921 votes

NOES:†††† †††††† ††††††0 votes

ABSENT: ††††† ††††††0 votes††††

 

RESOLUTION #115 Ė AUTHORIZING ESSEX COUNTY BOARD OF ELECTIONS TO CHANGE THE HOURS TO BE OPEN FROM 8:00 A.M. TO 4:00 P.M. BEGINNING MAY 17, 2021 THROUGH SEPTEMBER 17, 2021.

This resolution was moved by Mr. Tyler seconded by Mr. Depo and adopted.

 

RESOLUTION #116 Ė OF APPRECIATION AND RECOGNITION TO THE ESSEX COUNTY SHERIFFíS DEPARTMENT CORRECTION STAFF IN HONOR OF NATIONAL CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS WEEK, MAY 2-10,2021.

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

 

RESOLUTION #117 Ė RECOGNIZING MAY 15, 2021, AS NATIONAL PEACE/POLICE OFFICERS MEMORIAL DAY AND THE WEEK OF MAY 9-15, 2021, AS NATIONAL POLICE WEEK.

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

 

GARRISON:Resolutions from the floor Ė approving the designation of the Boquet Valley Central School District as lead agency per New York State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) with respect to the anticipated acquisition of approximately 100+ acres from Essex County and the construction of a K-12 school, bus garage and associated site improvements.

 

GILLILLAND:Twelve to allow it on the floor please?

 

GARRISON: Yes, we do.

GILLILLAND: Thank you.

 

RESOLUTION #118 - APPROVING THE DESIGNATION OF THE BOQUET VALLEY CENTRAL SCHOOL DISTRICT AS LEAD AGENCY PER NEW YORK STATE ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY REVIEW ACT (SEQRA) WITH RESPECT TO THE ANTICIPATED ACQUISITION OF APPROXIMATELY 100+ ACRES FROM ESSEX COUNTY AND THE CONSTRUCTION OF A K-12 SCHOOL, BUS GARAGE AND ASSOCIATED SITE IMPROVEMENTS.

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

 

GILLILLAND:Discussion?Being none, all in favor Ė opposed

 

TYLER:Opposed.

 

GILLILLAND:One opposed, carried.

 

GARRISON:Resolution introducing proposed Local Law No. 4 of 2021, entitled, ďA Local Law establishing the Office of Essex County Emergency ServicesĒ

 

GILLILLAND:Twelve to allow it on the floor please?

 

GARRISON: Yes, we do.

 

GILLILLAND: Thank you.

 

RESOLUTION #119 - INTRODUCING PROPOSED LOCAL LAW NO. 4 OF 2021, ENTITLED, ďA LOCAL LAW ESTABLISHING THE OFFICE OF ESSEX COUNTY EMERGENCY SERVICESĒ

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

AYES: ††††††††††† 2788 votes

NOES:†††† †††††† ††††††0 votes

ABSENT: ††††† ††††††0 votes

ABSTAIN:††† ††133 votes†††† (Subra)

 

GILLILLAND:Discussion?

 

GARRISON:We need to set the public hearing date.

 

GILLILLAND:Do you have a time?

 

GARRISON:The 17th at 11:00 a.m.

 

GILLILLAND:May 17th at 11:00 a.m. is the public hearing.Discussion?Being none, roll call please.

 

GARRISON:Resolution introducing Local Law No. 5 of 2021, entitled, ďA Local Law adopting a Pilot Youth deer hunting program pursuant to New York State Environmental Conservation Law ß11-0935Ē

 

GILLILLAND:Twelve to allow it on the floor please?

 

GARRISON: Yes, we do.

 

GILLILLAND: Thank you.Do we have to set a date?

 

GARRISON:And the date on that can be the same, May 17th at 11:15 a.m.

 

GILLILLAND:The public hearing will be May 17th at 11:15 a.m.Discussion?Being none, roll call please.

 

RESOLUTION #120 - INTRODUCING LOCAL LAW NO. 5 OF 2021, ENTITLED, ďA LOCAL LAW ADOPTING A PILOT YOUTH DEER HUNTING PROGRAM PURSUANT TO NEW YORK STATE ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION LAW ß11-0935Ē

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

AYES: ††††††††††† 2921 votes

NOES:†††† †††††† ††††††0 votes

ABSENT: ††††† ††††††0 votes††††

 

GARRISON:Resolution requesting home rule legislation to extend the authorization granted to Essex County by the State of New York to adopt and amend Local Laws imposing a tax of 25Ę for each $100 on each remaining major fraction thereof a principle debt incurred by a mortgage on real property situate within the county until December 1, 2024.

 

GILLILLAND:Twelve to allow it on the floor please?

 

GARRISON: Yes, we do.

 

GILLILLAND:Thank you.†† Discussion?This will be a 2/3 vote.

 

WINEMILLER:Dan, can you explain this a little bit?Thank you.

 

MANNING:This is we collect the mortgage tax for Essex County.In 2006, we enacted a Local Law that allows us to collect that tax but we cannot, itís subject to renewal every three years and we cannot tax, we need authorization from the State of New York from Home Rule to be able to continue to tax so the particular authorization we did three years ago expires on November 30th of this year so weíre asking that it be continued from November 30 to December 1, 2024, so that we can continue to collect the mortgage tax and bring in revenue.We do it all the time.

 

PALMER: And that revenue is used to pay down the jail bond and the radio bond.

 

WINEMILLER:And this amount was in line with other counties?

 

MANNING:Well, you can opt into it.We opted into it in 2006, but Iím imagining every county has done that.

 

SCOZZAFAVA:This has been around since the 90ís thatís how we paid the new courthouse.The towns get a portion of this also.

 

MANNING:This particular one only came into effect in 2006.There are a couple different mortgage taxes Tom so youíre talking about the old one.

 

SCOZZAFAVA:Okay, thank you.

 

GILLILLAND: I think we just recently passed a resolution approving the mortgage tax, thatís the money we get, the towns.

 

WINEMILLER: Thank you.

 

GILLILLAND: Further discussion?Being none, roll call please.

 

RESOLUTION #121 - REQUESTING HOME RULE LEGISLATION TO EXTEND THE AUTHORIZATION GRANTED TO ESSEX COUNTY BY THE STATE OF NEW YORK TO ADOPT AND AMEND LOCAL LAWS IMPOSING A TAX OF 25Ę FOR EACH $100 ON EACH REMAINING MAJOR FRACTION THEREOF A PRINCIPLE DEBT INCURRED BY A MORTGAGE ON REAL PROPERTY SITUATE WITHIN THE COUNTY UNTIL DECEMBER 1, 2024.

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

AYES: ††††††††††† 4039 votes

NOES:†††† †††††† ††††††0 votes

ABSENT: ††††† ††††††0 votes

 

GARRISON:Resolution adopting a home rule request for enaction and adoption by the New York State Assembly of Assembly Bill A7277 and enaction and adoption by the New York State Senate of Senate Bill S6430 extending the authority granted Essex County by the State of New York to adopt and amend Local Laws imposing a tax of twenty five cents ($.25) for each one hundred dollars ($100.00) on each remaining major fraction thereof on principal debt incurred by a mortgage on real property situate within the county until December 1, 2024.

 

PALMER:Thatís the one we just did.

 

GARRISON:No, this is adopting.

 

MANNING: Just for the boardís edification, the first one was requesting and this is adopting.We did get the Senate and Assembly bill numbers on Friday so this is actually the formal request of the adoption of the law thatís going to be passed by the Legislature.It is the same thing to be simplicities about it but both of these resolutions are required.Again, itís two-thirds.


GILLILLAND: Twelve to allow it on the floor please?

 

GARRISON: Yes, we do.

 

GILLILLAND:Thank you.†† Discussion?Being none, roll call please.

 

RESOLUTION #122 - ADOPTING A HOME RULE REQUEST FOR ENACTION AND ADOPTION BY THE NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY OF ASSEMBLY BILL A7277 AND ENACTION AND ADOPTION BY THE NEW YORK STATE SENATE OF SENATE BILL S6430 EXTENDING THE AUTHORITY GRANTED ESSEX COUNTY BY THE STATE OF NEW YORK TO ADOPT AND AMEND LOCAL LAWS IMPOSING A TAX OF TWENTY FIVE CENTS ($.25) FOR EACH ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS ($100.00) ON EACH REMAINING MAJOR FRACTION THEREOF ON PRINCIPAL DEBT INCURRED BY A MORTGAGE ON REAL PROPERTY SITUATE WITHIN THE COUNTY UNTIL DECEMBER 1, 2024.

This resolution was moved by Mrs. DeZalia seconded by Mr. Rand and adopted upon a two-thirds roll-call vote as follows:

AYES: ††††††††††† 4039 votes

NOES:†††† †††††† ††††††0 votes

ABSENT: ††††† ††††††0 votes

 

GARRISON:Resolution amending the current rules and regulations for Essex County Coroners dated January 27, 2021 to include changes attached hereto with respect to paragraph 4 at pages 4 and 5 of 6.

 

GILLILLAND:Twelve to allow it on the floor please?

 

GARRISON: Yes, we do.

 

GILLILLAND:Thank you.†† Discussion?

 

MANNING:This for the boardís knowledge Mr. Monty has requested some language in our rules and regulations to be added relative to the Coronerís filing quarterly reports, standardize forms and the Coroners using the ERDS system and the ENVOY system and a couple of other changes.All those changes are detailed in the resolution in bold italics so it didnít change anything as far as Coronerís duties in the field but mostly whatís in italics.

 

GILLILLAND:Further discussion?

 

HUGHES:Have the two Coroners seen these modifications?

 

MANNING:Maybe but it doesnít matter because itís what needs to be done so.

 

PALMER: I think they were given copies.

 

GILLILLAND:Further discussion?Being none, roll call please.

 

RESOLUTION #123 - AMENDING THE CURRENT RULES AND REGULATIONS FOR ESSEX COUNTY CORONERS DATED JANUARY 27, 2021 TO INCLUDE CHANGES ATTACHED HERETO WITH RESPECT TO PARAGRAPH 4 AT PAGES 4 AND 5 OF 6.

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

AYES: ††††††††††† 2921 votes

NOES:†††† †††††† ††††††0 votes

ABSENT: ††††† ††††††0 votes

 

GARRISON:Thatís all I have.

 

GILLILLAND:Mr. McNally, do you have a resolution from your committee?

 

McNALLY:Yes.

 

PALMER:Do you want me to read it the way I understand it?

 

McNALLY:Yes.

 

PALMER: It would be authorization to accept Federal funding for the Essex County Youth and Agricultural Center project as presented to Congresswoman Stefanikís office as a member item grant.

 

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

 

GARRISON: Yes.

 

GILLILLAND:Discussion?

 

HOLZER:So just, because of committee I got a little confused, it is Monday morning so talk slow in your responses to me please.(laughter) So, to apply for this weíre not saying weíre tearing down the building prior to receiving the funds, correct?

 

PALMER: No, we would Ė

 

HOLZER:Because that is my misunderstanding because I have no problem leaving our options open.

 

PALMER:No, we would have to give an authorization from Stefanikís office that we would have been awarded the grant once we had that then we would come back to this board and proceed with the project based upon that funding source.

 

HOLZER:Okay, thank you.

 

SCOZZAFAVA:But in the application, the stipulation is we would build a new building, correct?

 

PALMER: Right.

 

GILLILLAND:That meets the member item grant requirement.

 

PALMER: Yes, it is to tear down the old building and construction of a new building based upon the drawings that you all have in front of you now and estimates.

 

GILLILLAND: Further discussion?

 

WINEMILLER:Just as a question, is there another location?Is it necessary to tear down this building?Could we install a new building and still keep and possibly in the future renovate the building that exists now?Do we have to?You know what I mean?Tear it down?

 

GILLILLAND:We would still have a major maintenance requirement on that building.

 

WINEMILLER: I understand.I understand that but Iím just, as an option Ė

 

PALMER:I have to be honest, one of the things that I think has a been an objection not only to the public in general is the condition and what you see when you drive into Westport is that building so that certainly wouldnít be my recommendation.

 

GILLILLAND:I donít think that would be something we could identify; or if it would be a problem with the member item grant but I canít answer that right now.

 

SCOZZAFAVA: Iíll support this resolution because we need to move forward one way or another but I do, I hate voting in the dark here when we donít really know what itís going to cost to renovate that building.I understand what Dan stated, thatís going to be costly to go out and have plans drawn up and so on.I donít know if there is any other options out there?Itís just, weíre all voting in the dark here, we really donít know.

 

PALMER:You know Tom, not to disagree but I donít think weíre in the dark as much as it may seem.We have somebody who is pretty darn experienced Ė

 

SCOZZAFAVA: I donít agree with the numbers that were presented.

 

PALMER: Well, Iím telling you right now Jim Dougan is pretty experienced and heís done a lot of these projects and I donít think that when he tells you that you canít do this for less than $2.3 million to renovate that building, is probably where you are and Iím not trying to put Jim on the spot.Look, when myself or Jim or anybody else that works for the board takes these positions we make people unhappy.Iím not opposed sometimes to making people unhappy but I donít think that weíre so far off on that estimate that itís not, the benefit of going out and getting engineered drawings and really digging into that building to kind of get what it would truly take to renovate it is pretty costly and when you have somebody that has the expertise that Jim has sitting there Iím not sure that it is a good use of county money.

 

SCOZZAFAVA: I wasnít aware of the $2.3 million estimate.

 

PALMER:Well, thatís what the original one came back in quite a while ago to be honest.

 

SCOZZAFAVA:Looking at what I was presented this morning; you canít wire that building for seventy grand.

 

PALMER:Well, itís not only that but youíre still not doing a foundation under it and I know that some people are saying thatís okay but I mean itís hard to do those projects without getting into that stuff.

 

TYLER:Thatís the problem Tom some people are saying something, some people are saying another and I agree with you that we donít know exactly what the cost is going to be unless you do put it out for bid but thatís what it is.I feel pretty strongly if somebody you know, if that building shouldnít be there anymore you can put anything you want and if somebody feels very strongly it should be there you can put anything you want.

 

SCOZZAFAVA: I mean, I think if this board has taken into consideration the historic value, the Town of Westport and the position that youíre in and actually itís not bad to get a brand new building you know, youíre still getting a building I mean the board can sit here and just say, you know what we really donít have a use for that building and letís just level it and be done with it because as Dan pointed out earlier this morning you know, you build a building and then you still have costs down the road youíve got to maintain that building, youíve got to heat it, you have to pay the lights, so Ė do I think it will be feasible for Westport to take over? Thatís up to the Town of Westport but I can tell you youíre going to be taking on a lot when you take on a building that size but thatís between you and your board.So anyway, Ike Iím done.I will support this resolution.

 

MONTY: Just clear it in my head, we are applying for this million dollars, we apply for it, we get notification that we have received it, weíre still not locked into doing it?We can refuse the money?

 

GILLILLAND:You are never locked in.

 

PALMER:Youíre never locked in but I donít want to kid anybody if you get offered a grant and you say no your chances of getting a grant the next time are pretty slim.

 

MONTY:I understand that completely but if something were to transpire in the next six months that somebody comes in with a concrete plan with financing, engineered already that could be less, weíre not locked into taking that?

 

GILLILLAND:No, never locked in.

 

PALMER:I mean the big thing for us was getting in that door, those member item grants with Stefanik are very competitive.She has only got five for the whole area.

 

GILLILLAND:And this is number one, I was told.

 

TYLER:Itís time to refresh again the numbers that we came up with were from experience.They had already done a project similar thatís where our numbers came from so in order to do a similar project you have a little experience doing it maybe you come up with a little better numbers.Maybe the numbers that the county came up with are more expensive because they are putting in things that our committee didnít feel that we needed a full basement, you donít need a full basement, the use of spray foam and things like that itís just different ways of doing things. Thatís where our numbers came from is from experience.

 

GILLILLAND:Further discussion?

 

WINEMILLER: Iím sorry, Iím not trying to harp Iím just Ė do we have to state in the resolution that this building would be demolished and build a new building or can the resolution state, we would take it and build a new building and I understand absolutely I understand it cost money to renovate what is there but is it possible?

 

GILLILLAND:We would rather not change the language because we donít have any facts about it if it would ruin the grant or anything else.I mean, you can always go back and investigate it and change the resolution but I would prefer not to put rules in this resolution not to jeopardize the standing we have on getting this money.

 

WINEMILLER: I absolutely understand.

 

GILLILLAND: Further discussion? Being none, roll call please.

 

RESOLUTION #124 Ė AUTHORIZING ESSEX COUNTY TO APPLY FOR FEDERAL GRANT FUNDING FOR THE NEW ESSEX COUNTY YOUTH AND AGRICULTURAL CENTER PROJECT.

This resolution was moved by Mr. McNally seconded by Mr. Merrihew and adopted upon a roll-call vote as follows:

AYES: ††††††††††† 2760 votes†††† (Barber, Harrington, Merrihew, Depo, Wilson, Monty, McNally,

Scozzafava, DeLoria, Rand, DeZalia, Subra, Winemiller,

Giordano, Gillilland, Holzer)

NOES:†††† †††††† ††161 votes†††† (Hughes, Tyler)

ABSENT: ††††† ††††††0 votes

 

GILLILLAND:Any further business to come before this board?

 

SCOZZAFAVA:Yes, Iíd like to offer a resolution of congratulations to Ken Hyatt or Port Henry who is a barber and actually worked right up until he was 99 years old, cutting hair who just turned 101.

 

GILLILLAND:Twelve to allow it on the floor please?

 

GARRISON:Yes.

 

RESOLUTION #125 Ė OF CONGRATULATIONS TO KENNETH HYATT UPON CELEBRATING HIS 101th BIRTHDAY.

This resolution was moved by Mr. Scozzafava seconded unanimously and adopted.

 

MONTY:Iíd like to offer a resolution of condolence to the family of Rudy Sullivan.Brenda Sullivan worked for the county for many years and her father passed away recently of cancer.

 

GILLILLAND:Twelve to allow it on the floor please?

 

GARRISON:Yes.

 

RESOLUTION #126 Ė OF CONDOLENCE TO THE FAMILY OF RUDY SULLIVAN.

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

 

McNALLY:Yes, Iíd like to bring up something that is happening on the Cornell Board currently and in the last year, year and a half weíve been borrowing an Executive Director part-time with Warren County.Committees have been formed to hire a new Director, weíve had multiple interviews, with Zoom and the last two considered selected both turned it down at the last minute.I donít know the reason being this that weíre sharing an Executive Director with Franklin county but I know we have a strong agricultural presence in Essex County with Ag tourism, farming increasing every year and Iíd like to pass a resolution in support of Essex County Cornell having a standalone, Executive Director just for Essex County.

 

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

 

GARRISON:Yes.

 

GILLILLAND:There is a motion on the floor by Mr. McNally, do we have a second?Mr. Harrington.Discussion?

 

TYLER:How would we know for budget purposes and all that stuff how would we know all that to hire midstream here?

 

PALMER: I asked the same question, what would the budget impact be?

 

McNALLY:Currently I believe it would cost us an additional forty-five but the position could be filled for less possibly.Just currently, right now this is the time Essex County if we want to continue our growth strength in agricultural business in Essex County we need somebody working on behalf of our farmers today and the splitting two days a week or three days a week in Franklin county is not working.

 

GILLILLAND:Since I have family connections with this organization I will abstain from it but I will give you a little bit of a background.As you know in the last budget this board seemed to be very amenable to restoring funding for Cornell Cooperative Extension that had been cut several years ago so now, eventually I think it was ten years ago now but weíve finally got the funding back to a level that was before it took some real big hatchets to their budget.I did request at the time to the Chairman of their board what do you need to have?Because we did have a resolution earlier Mr. Harrington brought forward about having a dedicated full-time.I asked him at the time how much money and basically it was an open, hereís your check, fill in the amount type of thing and he only came back with a $20,000 increase which surprised Dan and I quite a bit, like what? Really? And then subsequent to that they came back and said that they wanted to go with the half time with Franklin County so yeah, it may end up with an increase in the next budget season but at the same time I think Mr. McNally knows that they probably could do some, readjust a little bit and take a look internally instead of externally for this leadership but I think that it would not effect that much.

 

HOLZER:So just a quick question, how much do we already fund as a county taxpayer for the Cooperative Extension?

 

PALMER:Iím not sure.Probably two-hundred and eighty or somewhere in that range.

 

GILLILLAND:Two-hundred eighty-seven I think.Further questions, discussion?

 

WINEMILLER:So this resolution, will that alter that figure for this year?

 

GILLILLAND: No.

 

WINEMILLER:Youíre saying no; it would stay the same for this year?

 

GILLILLAND:We have no power over their board.We canít force them to do that.This is just this board, the supervisory board essentially the funding board telling them we believe or if it passes the best service in our view to Essex County is to have a full-time Director.

 

HOLZER:One final question, did we used to have a full-time Director in Essex County?

 

GILLILLAND: Yes, technically at the time when weíve done it before it was, it was full-time here in Essex County.Full-time in Essex County but the accounts that came out was 50% I believe around 50% was an agricultural agent and 50% was as a Director so the two day a week or one day a week planning ahead sharing with Franklin County you know that was paying just one or two a week salary and the other half being paid by Franklin County.I will tell you that CC in Franklin County has cut their budget and their staff by 50% they are not supplying the services up there as Essex County does on a daily basis here.

 

TYLER:Iím not saying Iím against it at all I just feel uncomfortable moving ahead midstream of a budget hiring another person without any other information other than a five-minute conversation about it.

 

GILLILLAND:As I said this is not directing them to do anything.

 

McNALLY:We have a Director budgeted this year, we pay individually.

 

TYLER:Oh, I see.

 

McNALLY: This is just requesting that they think about doing this.For the overall strength of the Essex County Cornell this would be our best move.

 

TYLER: Iím sorry, I didnít understand.

 

GILLILLAND:This is just giving our boardís opinion of what we think.

 

MONTY:I believe since Iíve been on the board not as nearly as long as Mr. Scozzafava but since Iíve been on the board weíve had two full-time directors there and then after he left they decided to go 50/50 whatís next?

 

GILLILLAND:Full time in Essex County the last one was Anita and they split after that and theyíve gone through whole and they keep falling through, falling through.

 

McNALLY:Things are falling through because of the hiring process.A lot of it could be is that youíre dealing with 150-mile zone.

 

PALMER:Sure.

 

MONTY:I think we have people there that would suite that position but thatís up to them.

 

RAND:How does it work right now?One of the Essex County Director works a couple days and then the Franklin County Director works a couple days?

 

GILLILLAND: Right now they are sharing three counties, the Warren County Executive Director heís up here one day a week and then I think two days a week, one or two days a week heís in Franklin County and then heís back down to Warren County.Heís a great guy Jim Seeley.Heís a very, very talented guy, long resume he was a Superintendent of Schools in Warren County and stuff.Very, very qualified but that is cutting the slice way to thin.

 

RAND:One person working in three counties?

 

GILLILLAND:Currently yes and the intern.

 

McNALLY:If we had one person right now and Iíve been on the board a couple years now we have some great people on there and pretty much could operate it on a daily basis themselves.†† Looking at this position it would be a lot of grant writing and things like that.

 

MONTY:Steve, have you approached the Cornell Cooperative Extension Board to get their feeling on this?

 

McNALLY: I have talked to some of the members. We have a meeting Wednesday night before we jump into this search again for a new ED.You know, this has been going on for six to eight months.

 

MONTY:No, I understand. Iím thinking what is their opinion?I think it is a good thing for us to look at that but since we donít make the decision to hire, do they really want to do this?

 

McNALLY:I know there is some interest in having one and it will continue from there and see what happens.I think we should spend a lot of money in that organization.Itís a great organization.Itís a strong organization.I think itís something that isnít advancing as far as agriculture in Essex County and I can see where it will make a difference but I think weíre on the cusp of something really good and we need something pushing the agenda and the vision for Essex County.

 

GILLILLAND:Further discussion?Iím going to abstain.All in favor, opposed Ė carried.

 

RESOLUTION #127 Ė IN SUPPORT OF THE ESSEX COUNTY CORNELL COOPERATIVE EXTENSION HIRING A FULL-TIME EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR FOR ESSEX COUNTY.

This resolution was moved by Mr. McNally seconded by Mr. Harrington, with Mr. Gillilland abstaining and adopted.

 

GILLILLAND:Further business to come from the floor?

 

SCOZZAFAVA:Yes, a couple issues actually it came out at Finance one came out I saw an email over the weekend in regards to the County participating in a PILOT on solar agreements.I have two apparently ongoing in Moriah, Joe youíve got a couple going in Ticonderoga and I did speak to Dan briefly about on this.Iím not correct, maybe Dan Manning maybe you remember but I thought the county, we opted out of it, we didnít take the action that we needed to take a couple years ago when this all started there was a section on the Real Property Tax Law?

 

MANNING:Yes, Iím not real familiar with the section Dan Tedford is handling it but itís my understanding that every time someone is interested in doing a solar project Ė

 

SCOZZAFAVA:They have to notify the municipality, all taxing jurisdictions.

 

MANNING:All taxing jurisdictions, towns, villages, county, school and then you have an opportunity within a certain time period within which, sixty days I think to respond.If you donít respond then itís my understanding and you have to take this with a grain of salt because itís been a couple of years, Dan Tedford is handling it.

 

SCOZZAFAVA:But you canít pick and choose.I think you either do PILOTS or you donít do PILOTS.

 

MANNING:Would you like me to get him down here?

 

SCOZZAFAVA:Yes.

 

PALMER: Again, that was the question I had whether if you could, in other words if we passed on two previous ones can we now enforce one on a new person I guess thatís my issue is whether that is prohibited or not?It almost sounded like there was some you know you couldnít, it made it sound like at least what I read of it was you couldnít do that within the same municipality but I donít know how that applies to the county.

 

SCOZZAFAVA:Just so everyone is aware, the PILOT, if you donít do a PILOT that property you still collect property tax on the tax doesnít go away.The owner or developer can take and pay the taxes on that property.Joe, you can step in any time.Itís my understanding that you cannot, you canít put a value on the actual panels or the foundation that they sit on and thatís why there is PILOT agreement option is out there for the improvements but I just want to stress that the county would continue to collect any property tax.

 

PALMER: On the farmerís property.

 

SCOZZAFAVA:Yes, if they have a farmerís exemption they would lose that if a portion of that developed and is in that Ag exemption obviously they are not going to receive that Ag exemption.

 

PALMER:What youíre really talking about is the tax on the improvements if you donít provide a PILOT then you lose out on the tax on the improvements.

 

SCOZZAFAVA:Right.

 

GILLILLAND: Any further discussion on this particular issue?

 

PALMER: I think Dan is trying to get ahold of Dan Tedford.

 

GILLILLAND: Any other business we would like to take care?

 

SCOZZAFAVA:One other item that came out of Finance in speaking with our Director, we seem to have an issue with Ė

 

MANNING:Go ahead and ask your questions Tom.

 

TEDFORD:Hello everyone.

 

SCOZZAFAVA: Dan weíre talking about the PILOT agreements for the solar farms and so on Iíve got a couple going on, I think Joe does in Ticonderoga and we received and Moriah Central School received, weíre doing PILOTS the town is and the school is so the question came up, is the county going to do PILOTS or can they do PILOTS, did we miss the window or did we take action a couple years ago?I guess thatís where we are at this.Whatís the county doing?

 

PALMER:Well, hereís the real question Dan if we skipped a couple of them in the beginning and did not establish a PILOT with them can we now establish a PILOT with somebody new?

 

TEDFORD:And youíre talking about a different entity?

 

PALMER:A different entity.

 

TEDFORD:I donít see why not.I think the whole purpose of the statutory scene was that they wanted to make it tax exempt to incentivize these projects obviously but the municipality or taxing jurisdiction still has the option to opt into the PILOT agreements you can force them to pay that. So basically, if they can afford it and they still want to do the project and the taxing jurisdiction still gets some revenue thatís great but if they are like, oh no, itís too expensive and you still want to incentivize the project in your community you can just do away with the PILOT agreement entirely and you would have to give them the tax exemption on the improvements to the parcel but I donít see why you could do it with one and not another.I donít see why not.

 

PALMER:Yes, itís more of a political thing then anything else.

 

SCOZZAFAVA:So we still havenít decided are we going to look into that?

 

PALMER:We didnít and I think originally the reason we opted not to institute a PILOT program on these programs is because we wanted them and if we donít tax those improvements then they are more likely to succeed, if they are more likely to succeed they are more likely to have them out there so I think that comes down to a political decision you would have to make in terms of what this county wants to do.It doesnít change what a town or school may want to do but if the county says, you know what weíre not going to bother you, weíre not going to tax the improvements it may make your business more profitable and therefore you are more likely to do then thatís what I think it comes down to because I know we did have that discussion and thatís why we passed I think on the first two.

 

SCOZZAFAVA:So we just received the letter from the developer that we are requesting a PILOT so how do we, because I just had a call from their attorney they are looking for, well, whatís the county doing?Do you need authorization from this board?I mean how do you seem to start the negotiations for the PILOT?

 

PALMER:You would have to notify them that you intend to have a PILOT.

 

TEDFORD:Yes within 60 days of when youíre notified from that when you know of your intention to acquire a PILOT agreement and then I donít see any other timelines on the face of the law but there could be something else but then itís just like an intent so that they know going into it whether they are going to have this expense or not and youíre just saying we are going to need to negotiate this for you because thereís no set rate or anything.Thereís some guidelines out there about what they reasonably probably would be able to afford or not and how much you want to acquire.

 

SCOZZAFAVA:So moving forward, thatís the process that weíll follow?

 

PALMER:Youíve got to understand, that might affect you and the school so letís say thereís $20,000 that they are willing to spend on their project to make it work on PILOTS if three of us ask for it they are going to divide it three ways, if only two of you ask for it youíre probably going to get more thatís what I think itís going to come down to.

 

GIORDANO:Are you asking about the county or are you asking about the town?

 

SCOZZAFAVA: No, the county.The town, weíre negotiating.

 

PALMER:Youíre trying to get as much as you can get.

 

GIORDANO: For Ti, we are working with the IDA because the town is not really in the position to do PILOTS.

 

SCOZZAFAVA:Why?Itís not rocket science Ė itís $2500 or $3000 thatís the going rate per megawatt.

 

GIORDANO:†† Weíve had extensive conversations with IDA and we worked with the IDA and actually had several conversations and one of them has to do coming up with a fair rate to allow them to accompany a community but also try to figure out the appropriate PILOT program for that.And the other conversation that kind of eluded to was on the topic of Cornell Cooperative Extension and the topic of being an agricultural hotspot in the North Country and trying to make sure that these solar developers wonít eliminate the farmland that you have because in Ti weíve had one considered good quality but the other two are either industrial or contaminated areas so it serves the purpose for the developer there so my board, weíve had conversations more than just having it here but to answer your question as far as the townís PILOTS we are working with the IDA because we donít want to get into having to deal with it on a reoccurring basis.We have enough other stuff to worry about more importantly. The IDA does this all the time and weíre working with them to try and set it up so if thatís what the county wants to do or we want to as a county thatís certainly a conversation we certainly should have.

 

WINEMILLER:I just wanted to add a little comment here.In St. Armand I was contacted by a lady that owns a lot of farm acreage and she was approached by a solar company asking about renting here land to do a solar farm and our assessor and I spoke to an assessor in Warren County and he said that the way they do it he was discussing one particular about 200 acre parcel, the farmland was assessed at about $1,000 an acre and he put up about $15,000 for the solar improvements but the concern was if the solar farm for whatever reason went out then it goes back to the land owner if they donít pay their taxes.

 

SCOZZAFAVA: Iím misunderstanding the whole program.I didnít think you could raise the assessment based on the solar panels?

 

WINEMILLER: On the improvements. Thatís what he was saying he was doing.

 

PALMER: Only on the improvements that have been made.

 

SCOZZAFAVA:I thought that was the whole reason behind having to do PILOTS?

 

WINEMILLER: Thatís what he told me they did in Warren County.

 

TEDFORD:I think that they would still have to apply for the exemption I have no idea why they wouldnít but obviously the assessment would go up.So I donít know the particulars of that were.

 

GILLILLAND:Further discussion on this topic?Being none, any other business?

 

HUGHES:I just wanted to offer a resolution for National Nurses Week, May 6-12, 2021.

 

GILLILLAND:Twelve to allow it on the floor?

 

GARRISON:Yes.

 

RESOLUTION #128 Ė RECOGNIZING THE WEEK OF MAY 6-12, 2021, AS NATIONAL NURSES WEEK.

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

 

SCOZZAFAVA:One more item that came out of Finance that we discussed briefly.The assessors in some of the towns they request help from Real Property Tax to go out for data collection, look at properties and so on and in conversations that I had with the Department head that can create problems because many times the town assessors wonít do anything, they wonít meet with these people, with the people that we are sending down there to offer our assistance so we talked about the possibility of having some type of an agreement drafted between the county, Real Property and the Assessors of course, the situation that the town boards are in that really donít have any authority over these assessors with the exception of their budget so I just wanted to hear your take on that.

 

MANNING:I spoke to Dave at Real Property. We could put together a contract that says, the problem is the assessors are not going out with the data collectors so we could put together a contract that says youíve got to and if you donít, then you donít get any data collectors.Simple solution to the problem.

 

SCOZZAFAVA: Can we move that today?

 

GILLILLAND: What would be your proposed motion?

 

SCOZZAFAVA: My motion would be Ė

 

MANNING:How about a resolution authorizing the county Chairman or County Manager execute a contract on behalf of Real Property Tax Services and all the towns mandating that Assessors accompany data collectors when they come to the town and if not, then data collectors will not come to your town and the assessors can collect their own data which what used to be.

 

SCOZZAFAVA:So moved.

 

GILLILLAND: Twelve to allow it on the floor?

 

GARRISON:Yes.

 

GILLILLAND: Motion by Mr. Scozzafava, second by Mr. Merrihew.Discussion?

 

McNALLY:To add to this too, one our data collectors wonít be wandering around the town lost looking for parcels and two, with limited data collectors weíll be getting them to do two or more towns at the same time.

 

MANNING:Right and your assessors will actually see these places and what they look like.

 

McNALLY:Itís a win Ė win.

 

GILLILLAND:Further discussion?Being none, roll call please.

 

RESOLUTION #129 Ė AUTHORIZING THE COUNTY CHAIRMAN OR COUNTY MANAGER TO EXECURE A CONTRACT ON BEHALF OF THE ESSEX COUNTY REAL PROPERTY TAX SERVICES WITH ALL TOWNS AND VILLAGES LOCATED IN ESSEX COUNTY MANDATING THAT TOWN TAX ASSESSORS ACCOMPANY ESSEX COUNTY DATA COLLECTORS WHEN IN THE FIELD.

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

AYES: ††††††††††† 2921 votes

NOES:†††† †††††† ††††††0 votes

ABSENT: ††††† ††††††0 votes

 

GILLILLAND:Further business to come before this board?Being none, we are adjourned.

 

††††††††††† As there was no further discussion to come before this Regular Board it was adjourned at 11:00 a.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

Judith Garrison, Clerk

Board of Supervisors