Several aspects of the April 11th Board of Legislators session were unusual. Privilege of the Floor was given to Public Health Educator Theresa Moore who described all of the things that the County Health Department does to make our lives safer and healthier. Privilege of the Floor was also given to Social Services Commissioner Vicki Grant and Deputy Commissioner Julie Tomasi regarding April being Child Abuse Prevention month. They described all of the different programs that DSS conducts to protect and help our children. It is an unfortunate but unavoidable reality that these programs are needed. It is good to know that our dedicated staff are committed to protecting our vulnerable children.
Our meeting began with the Pledge of Allegiance, led by former Marine Corps Sergeant Andrew Michalak. Andrew served from March 2003 through March 2007. In addition to serving in the Marines, he has volunteered at the County Veteran Service Agency by researching the files of World War II veterans. This helps assure them proper recognition and benefits. Andrew is to be commended for his service to our veterans.
I wish to give special recognition to Resolution #102-16. It was sponsored by District 2 Legislator Dwight “Mike” Healy. This resolution supports the display of our National Motto, “IN GOD WE TRUST,” in the Legislative Chambers. The Board voted unanimously to permanently and prominently display our National Motto in the Legislative Chambers. During a caucus conducted prior to the meeting all Legislators present agreed that we would personally pay for a tasteful plaque, rather than using taxpayer funds. I want to recognize and thank Mike Healy for bringing this to our attention and taking the initiative on this action.
Resolutions #98-16 and 99-16 approved leases for radio towers in the Town of Angelica and Town of Rushford, respectively. Each lease costs $8,500, but provides the County guaranteed use of the property for 25 years. The greater expense is for the actual tower that will be constructed on each parcel. These leases can also be renewed at the end of the initial term. Resolution #100-16 accepted and appropriated Disability Employment Initiative Funding of $7,306 for our Employment and Training Center.
Resolution #101-16 approved a new agreement with IOC Services, LLC, for economic development consulting services for the period from 04/0/16 to 12/31/17. This agreement will enable the County to continue to contract for the services of Jack Wood. He began serving as our Economic Development Director about a year and one-half ago. He will be paid $3,000 per month for these services. Jack’s services would be a bargain for the County at a much higher rate of compensation. His energy and initiative are appreciated. I am confident that we will soon begin to see more visible results from his on-going efforts.
Resolution #103-16 approved an Amended Power Purchase Agreement with SolarCity reflecting a change in the NYSERDA incentive for our proposed solar energy array near the County Landfill facility. The original site that we considered was found to be unsatisfactory, so SolarCity looked for alternative sites. The current site will work well, but the change moves us from a Block I monetary incentive to a Block III incentive. We will still receive an annual incentive payment from this project of more than $40,000. As far as I can tell there is no downside to this program. The Board unanimously approved this resolution.
The Board also considered and approved Resolution #76-16, that had previously been tabled. Sheriff Rick Whitney provided additional information that the Board had requested. This resolution approved an Inter-Municipal Agreement between Allegany County and Schuyler County for special detail deputies performing mutual aid police duties in Schuyler County.
On Wednesday, April 20th, the County DSS is sponsoring a special “WEAR BLUE” for Child Abuse Awareness Month event. I encourage everyone to “wear blue” and to purchase and plant a pinwheel in front of the Courthouse. It is a fun way to show that we care about our children.