Minutes
Budget and Fiscal Policy Committee
November 16, 2000 - 9 a.m.
Scott Heyman Conference Room

Present: T. Joseph, Chairman; T. Todd, P. Penniman; F. Proto (arrived at 9:12 a.m.); S. Davis (arrived at 9:16 a.m.)
Staff: K. Smithers; Deputy County Administrator; D. Squires, Finance Director; W. Skinner, Public Information Officer; R. Erb; C. Haynes, President, Tompkins Cortland Community College
Guests: S. Stein, M. Lane, and D. Kiefer

Called to Order

Chairman Joseph called the meeting to order at 9:05 a.m.

Changes to Agenda

The following two items were added to the agenda:

Approval of Minutes

It was MOVED by Mr. Penniman, seconded by Mr. Todd, and unanimously adopted by voice vote by members present, to approve the minutes of the November 2nd meeting as corrected.

Chair's Report

Mr. Joseph said he did not have a report.

County Administrator's Report

Mr. Erb reported on the telephone situation at the Department of Social Services. He said it has been an ongoing problem. One reason is there has not been good data on the type of calls that come in. The Department is working with All-Mode who is studying the situation and gathering information. The Department has not had a receptionist since moving downtown and is reconsidering that idea. Staff has been put on notice and all calls are being logged and categorized. It is hoped that by February there will be a recommendation. He also noted that a some of the numbers are incorrect in the telephone book that are Verizon's error.

Finance Director's Report

Mr. Squires reported the bond sale for tobacco securitization sold for $7,050,000 Million. It is anticipated the County will receive the money on December 7th.

Mr. Proto arrived at this time.

Ms. Davis arrived at this time.

Bond Resolution

It was MOVED by Ms. Davis, seconded by Mr. Proto, and unanimously adopted by voice vote, to submit the following resolution to the full Board for approval:

RESOLUTION NO. - AUTHORIZING THE ISSUANCE OF $1,400,000 SERIAL BONDS OF THE COUNTY OF TOMPKINS, NEW YORK, TO PAY THE COST OF THE PURCHASE OF A PARCEL OF LAND AND THE BUILDING THEREON LOCATED AT 701 SPENCER ROAD, CITY OF ITHACA, IN AND FOR THE COUNTY OF TOMPKINS, NEW YORK, FOR USE BY SAID COUNTY IN HOUSING TOMPKINS COMMUNITY ACTION, THE COUNTY’S ANTI POVERTY AGENCY
 
WHEREAS, all conditions precedent to the financing of the capital project hereinafter described, including compliance with the provisions of the State Environmental Quality Review Act, have been performed, and

WHEREAS, it is now desired to authorize the financing of such capital project; NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Board of Representatives of the County of Tompkins, New York, as follows:

Section 1.  For the specific object or purpose of paying the cost of the purchase of a parcel of land and the building thereon located at 701 Spencer Road, City of Ithaca, in and for the County of Tompkins, New York, for use by said County in housing Tompkins County Action, the County’s anti poverty agency providing economic assistance programs benefiting low income County residents, including incidental expenses in connection therewith, there are hereby authorized to be issued $1,400,000 serial bonds of the County of Tompkins, New York, pursuant to the provisions of the Local Finance Law.

Section 2.  It is hereby determined that the maximum estimated cost to the County of Tompkins, New York, of the aforesaid specific object or purpose is $1,400,000, and that the plan for the financing thereof is by the issuance of $1,400,000 serial bonds of said County authorized to be issued pursuant to this bond resolution.

Section 3.  It is hereby determined that the period of probable usefulness of the aforesaid specific object or purpose is twenty years, pursuant to subdivision 11(b) of paragraph a of Section 11.00 of the Local Finance Law.

Section 4.  Subject to the provisions of the Local Finance Law, the power to authorize the issuance of and to sell bond anticipation notes in anticipation of the issuance and sale of the bonds herein authorized, including renewals of such notes, is hereby delegated to the County Finance Director of the County of Tompkins, New York, the chief fiscal officer. Such notes shall be of such terms, form and contents, and shall be sold in such manner, as may be prescribed by said County Finance Director, consistent with the provisions of the Local Finance Law.

Section 5.  The faith and credit of said County of Tompkins, New York, are hereby irrevocably pledged for the payment of the principal of and interest on such obligations as the same respectively become due and payable. An annual appropriation shall be made in each year sufficient to pay the principal of and interest on such obligations becoming due and payable in such year.

Section 6.  Such bonds shall be in fully registered form and shall be signed in the name of the County of Tompkins, New York, by the manual or facsimile signature of the County Finance Director and a facsimile of the corporate seal shall be imprinted or impressed thereon and attested by the manual or facsimile signature of the County Clerk.

Section 7.  The powers and duties of advertising such bonds for sale, conducting the sale and awarding the bonds, are hereby delegated to the County Finance Director, who shall advertise such bonds for sale, conduct the sale, and award the bonds in such manner as he shall deem best for the interests of the County; provided, however, that in the exercise of these delegated powers, he shall comply fully with the provisions of the Local Finance Law and any order or rule of the State Comptroller applicable to the sale of municipal bonds. The receipt of the County Finance Director shall be a full acquittance to the purchaser of such bonds, who shall not be obliged to see to the application of the purchase money.

Section 8.  All other matters, except as provided herein relating to such bonds, including determining whether to issue such bonds having substantially level or declining annual debt service and all matters related thereto, prescribing whether manual or facsimile signatures shall appear on said bonds, prescribing the method for the recording of ownership of said bonds, appointing the fiscal agent or agents for said bonds, providing for the printing and delivery of said bonds (and if said bonds are to be executed in the name of the County by the facsimile signature of the County Finance Director and, providing for the manual countersignature of a fiscal agent or of a designated official of the County), the date, denominations, maturities and interest payment dates, place or places of payment, and also including the consolidation with other issues, shall be determined by the County Finance Director. It is hereby determined that it is to the financial advantage of the County not to impose and collect from registered owners of such serial bonds any charges for mailing, shipping and insuring bonds transferred or exchanged by the fiscal agent, and, accordingly, pursuant to paragraph c of Section 70.00 of the Local Finance Law, no such charges shall be so collected by the fiscal agent. Such bonds shall contain substantially the recital of validity clause provided for in section 52.00 of the Local Finance Law and shall otherwise be in such form and contain such recitals in addition to those required by section 52.00 of the Local Finance Law, as the County Finance Director shall determine.

Section 9.  The validity of such bonds and bond anticipation notes may be contested only if:

  1. Such obligations are authorized for an object or purpose for which said County is not authorized to expend money, or
  2. The provisions of law which should be complied with at the date of publication of this resolution are not substantially complied with, and an action, suit or proceeding contesting such validity is commenced within twenty days after the date of such publication, or
3) Such obligations are authorized in violation of the provisions of the Constitution. Section 10.  This resolution shall constitute a statement of official intent for purposes of Treasury Regulations Sections 1.150 - 2. Other than as specified in this resolution, no monies are, or are reasonably expected to be, reserved, allocated on a long-term basis, or otherwise set aside with respect to the permanent funding of the object or purpose described herein.

Section 11.  This resolution, which takes effect immediately, shall be published in full in the Ithaca Journal, which is hereby designated as the official newspaper of such County, for purposes of this bond resolution, together with a notice of the Clerk of the Board of Representatives in substantially the form provided in Section 81.00 of the Local Finance Law.

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Finance Director's Report (continued)

Mr. Squires distributed the Contingency Fund Report. He anticipates the regular contingency fund will be depleted before the end of the year. At this time, $69,950 is available for allocation. He noted that he has been advised by the Sheriff that he will be submitting a request for replacement pay in the amount of approximately $60,000.

Deputy County Administrator's Report

Ms. Smithers asked if Board members have amendments to the Budget to get them to her by Monday. She said she will prepare the amendments to illustrate the effect on the budget and distribute them to Board members Tuesday evening prior to adopting the Budget.

Resolution - Early Retirement

It was MOVED by Mr. Proto, seconded by Mr. Penniman, to submit the following resolution to the full Board for approval. A voice vote resulted as follows: Ayes - 4; Noes - 1 (Davis). RESOLUTION ADOPTED.

RESOLUTION NO. - APPROVAL OF SAVINGS PLANS PURSUANT TO THE 2000 EARLY RETIREMENT INCENTIVE PROGRAM AND FISCAL TARGET REDUCTIONS – PUBLIC HEALTH AND BUILDINGS AND GROUNDS

WHEREAS, the Tompkins County Board of Representatives authorized participation in the 2000 Early Retirement Incentive Program, and

WHEREAS, two eligible employees have voluntarily chosen to retire during the open period, and

WHEREAS, the Health Department and Buildings and Grounds Department have each submitted savings plans as required by the New York State Retirement System and such plans have been reviewed and recommended by the County Administrator, and

WHEREAS, the Health Department intends to fill the position half-time for 2001 and 2002, and

WHEREAS, Buildings and Grounds intends to leave the position vacant for six months and return an amount equal to six months salary to the General Fund from anticipated December 31, 2000 surplus funds, now therefore be it

RESOLVED, on recommendation of the Health and Human Services, Facilities and Infrastructure, and Budget and Fiscal Policy Committees, That the employees listed below be authorized to retire under the terms of the 2000 Early Retirement Incentive Program:

Donna Evershed, Dental Hygienist, Health Department

Roderick Elston, Maintenance Worker / Plumber / Steamfitter, Buildings and Grounds

RESOLVED, further, That the Fiscal Targets for these departments be permanently reduced as follows:

Public Health Department $3,544

Buildings and Grounds $3,664

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Tompkins Cortland Community College Proposed Capital Project

Mr. Haynes, President, Tompkins Cortland Community College, updated the Committee on the proposed capital project and said he will be asking for approval to authorize expenditure from the capital charge-back fund budget to pursue a revision to the Master Plan for the College. The last Master Plan was done in 1993 which led to a lot of modifications to the building. However, there is need to redo that but not at a comprehensive level. He said they have been trying to get a community recreation center built on campus. A proposal has been prepared and he will share with Committee members if requested. The idea came when he learned there was some potential state funding available for special update projects. He worked closely with Senator Seward's office in developing the idea. At that time, it was a expected to be 100 percent state funded but that did not happen. Other colleges that received the funding, were able to demonstrate they had major league professional athletic teams in their community. This fall, he met with some legislative finance people from Albany on how to get some financing. He learned at that meeting that 100 percent funding would not be available to colleges that do not have professional teams coming in. However, he has since learned that the Suny System is pursuing a new five-year capital project and making it a rolling five-year project which will give TC3 the opportunity to pursue 50 percent funding from the State. In addition, there is some fairly serious discussions concerning a new stadium project in New York City for the Yankees and Mets. If that happens, there could be some funding available for some Upstate projects. He said they were advised to have the project ready because if the funding becomes available, projects that are the most ready will receive the money.

Mr. Haynes also reported that there a couple of other needs emerging at the College. He said faculty is working on a technology media center. He said it is hoped that there would be funding resources available for the project. If the community recreation center were to get funded, one of the things to be explored is how the gymnasium would be used. He said the estimate from Thomas Associates to complete the revision to the Master Plan is $24,000. He said the College would be asking for $12,000 from the capital budget and the other amount from the operational budget which would be reimbursed from Suny.

He said he would like to present this to the TC3 Board at their December 7th meeting before moving forward with a resolution to fund $12,000 for the planning process for revising the Master Plan. He said it is also intended to include a modified list of equipment purchases.

At this time, Mr. Haynes explained in some detail the proposal for a community recreation center. It would include a main gymnasium with a maximum capacity of 2,000 people, fields for indoor soccer, volleyball tournaments, and other recreational events.

Mr. Joseph stated that health clubs have raised concerns in the past about tax exempt institutions building fitness centers and creating competition. Mr. Haynes does not feel this has an impact on the centers.

It was MOVED by Mr. Proto, seconded by Mr. Penniman, and unanimously adopted by voice vote, to approve $12,000 for planning and updating equipment requests. Mr. Haynes said it is not clear yet what the amount will be, but will provide that information and resolution as soon as it is available.

It was MOVED by Ms. Davis seconded by Mr. Proto, and unanimously adopted by voice vote, to submit the following resolution to the full Board for approval:

RESOLUTION NO. - AUTHORIZING PAYMENTS FOR COMMUNITY COLLEGE OPERATING BUDGET

WHEREAS, this Board has heretofore and by resolution approved the 2001-2002 operating budget for the Tompkins Cortland Community College and appropriated the necessary funds to pay the Tompkins County proportionate share of the operating budget of said college, now therefore be it

RESOLVED, on recommendation of the Budget and Fiscal Policy Committee, That the County Administrator be and he hereby is authorized and directed, pursuant to the provisions of the Education Law of the State of New York and within the authorization provided by this Board, to pay Tompkins Cortland Community College an amount up to but not to exceed the Tompkins County budgeted share of the operating costs of said college for the fiscal year 2001-2002 on the following dates in the following amounts:
January 1, 2001
$512,930.25
March 1, 2001
$512,939.25
May 1, 2001
$512,930.25
July 1, 2001
$512,930.25
Total
$2,051,721.00

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2002 Budget Projection

Ms. Smithers distributed copies of the general revenue summary for 2002-2004 projections. Mr. Penniman had asked if $100,000 was removed in the 2001 Budget from target to supplement the fund balance and not used this year, but carried over into next year. She said there would not be a significant impact in doing that so for Committee purposes she provided worse case scenarios. At this time she reviewed the projections for 2002-2004. In addition, she distributed and reviewed the history of the general fund balance.

Discussion followed and Mr. Lane stated he feels it is time to look at eliminating the rollover policy. Mr. Erb spoke about Mr. Lane's comment and agrees it is worthy of discussion and consideration. He also stated that an approved budget does not necessarily mean it is approved spending.

Mr. Squires commented that the health insurance premium is increasing 14 percent.

There was brief discussion about the control of expenditures. If that were to happen, it would be handled through the Finance Department and County Administrator's office.

Ms. Kiefer stated that she has not been a supporter of rollover and recalls past discussions about splitting the rollover with departments. She also spoke about negotiated pay raises being included in the budget.

Resolutions

Mr. Joseph requested the resolution entitled Appropriation from Contingent Fund for Advisory Board Needs Assessment and Training - Board of Representatives be withdrawn and discussed at the next meeting.

It was MOVED by Ms. Davis, seconded by Mr. Penniman, and unanimously adopted by voice vote, to submit the following resolution to the full Board for approval:

RESOLUTION NO. - AUTHORIZATION TO DISBURSE FUNDS - COUNTY ADMINISTRATION

RESOLVED, on recommendation of the Budget and Fiscal Policy Committee, That the County Administrator be and hereby is authorized and directed to disburse all appropriated funds up to the amount of the appropriation included in the 2001 budget, provided that whenever a contract is required funds will be disbursed in accordance with the terms of said agreement.

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It was MOVED by Mr. Proto, seconded by Mr. Todd, and unanimously adopted by voice vote, to submit the following resolution to the full Board for approval:

RESOLUTION NO. - IMPLEMENTATION OF THE 2001 BUDGET - DEPARTMENTAL FEES

RESOLVED, on recommendation of the Budget and Fiscal Policy Committee, That all increases in fees and changes in methods of charging fees specifically identified in the departmental budget requests, recommended by the Budget and Fiscal Policy Committee for 2001, and included in the 2001 budget adopted by the Board of Representatives, are hereby authorized and approved.

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It was MOVED by Mr. Todd, seconded by Ms. Davis, and unanimously adopted by voice vote, to submit the following resolution to the full Board for approval:

RESOLUTION NO. - DELEGATION OF AUTHORITY TO AUTHORIZE CERTAIN TAX AND SOLID WASTE FEE REFUNDS UNDER $500

WHEREAS, Section 556 of the Real Property Tax Law authorized a tax levying body to delegate the payment of tax refunds due to a clerical error of an unlawful entry (an unlawful entry is any information on the tax roll that violates the Real Property Tax Law), and

WHEREAS, Solid Waste Fee refunds are authorized under Resolution No. 181 of 1996, and

WHEREAS, it is the opinion of the Budget and Quality Planning Committee, That such delegation would be beneficial to the taxpayer and more efficient in processing said refunds, now therefore be it

RESOLVED, on recommendation of the Budget and Fiscal Policy Committee, That the County Director of Assessment shall transmit refund recommendations to the County Administrator,

RESOLVED, further, That the County Administrator is hereby authorized to make payments of any refunds as if the Board of Representatives had performed this audit in compliance with Paragraph 1-7 of Section 566,

RESOLVED, further, That any refund of $500 or more must be approved by the Board of Representatives pursuant to Paragraph 8(b) of Section 556 of the Real Property Tax Law,

RESOLVED, further, That the County Administrator shall transmit on or before the 15th day of each month a report to the Board of Representatives of all the refunds processed,

RESOLVED, further, That this resolution shall only be in effect during the calendar year 2001.

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It was MOVED by Ms. Davis, seconded by Mr. Penniman, and unanimously adopted by voice vote, to submit the following resolution to the full Board for approval:

RESOLUTION NO. 255 - PROPOSAL TO REVISE PERSONAL EMERGENCY RESPONSE SYSTEM (PERS) FEE SCHEDULE IN ACCORDANCE WITH FEDERAL POVERTY LEVEL GUIDELINES

MOVED by Mrs. Schuler, seconded by Mr. Evans.

WHEREAS, Tompkins County Office for the Aging (COFA) desires to adjust its sliding scale of fees for Personal Emergency Response Service (PERS) clients in accordance with current Federal poverty-level guidelines, and

WHEREAS, the current fee schedule is based upon the Federal poverty-level guidelines as they were in 1991, and

WHEREAS, COFA wishes to update those guidelines to Year 2000 levels, and

WHEREAS, the year 2000 guidelines state that for a single person the poverty-level income is no greater than $8,350 a year or $696 a month and the income for a married couple is no greater than $11,250 a year or $937.50 a month, and

WHEREAS, it is the wish of COFA that individuals or married couples who are at or fall below the Federal poverty level are not to be charged for the Personal Emergency Response Service, and

WHEREAS, COFA has projected that because of this policy that it will see a reduction of approximately $1,000 in revenues for the PERS program (Account 6787-1650) in year 2001 which can be absorbed else where in the Budgeting Unit, and

WHEREAS, the current fee schedule for PERS is reflected in Attachment Number 1, now therefore be it

RESOLVED, on recommendation of the Health and Human Services Committee and the Budget and Fiscal Policy Committee, That the proposed new fee schedule contain the following in revising the current fee schedule:

Deletion of fee code 8 income classification

Revision of fee code 9 income classification and fee amount

Revision of fee code 10 income classification

Deletion of fee code 18 income classification

Revision of fee code 19 income classification and fee amount

Revision of fee code 20 income classification

Revision in guidelines for fee code 25

Deletion of fee code 28 income classification

Revision of fee code 29 income classification and fee amount

Revision of fee code 30 income classification

Deletion of fee code 38 income classification

Revision of fee code 39 income classification and fee amount

Revision of fee code 40 income classification

RESOLVED, further, That COFA be authorized to implement the new fee schedule which is reflected on Attachment Number 2 no later than January 1, 2001.

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Attachment #1-CURRENT PERS FEE SCHEDULE

FEE CODE FEE AMOUNT FEE DESCRIPTION

8 0.00 Rental/Single: Less Than $541

9 3.00 Rental/Single: $541-690

10 6.25 Rental/Single: $691-800

11 9.40 Rental/Single: $801-1,000

12 12.50 Rental/Single: $1,001-1,500

13 25.00 Rental/Single: $1,501-2,000

14 31.25 Rental/Single: $2,001 And Up

18 0.00 Rental/Married: Less Than $774

19 3.00 Rental/Married: $774-925

20 6.25 Rental/Married: $926-1,100

21 9.40 Rental/Married: $1,101-1,300

22 12.50 Rental/Married: $1,301-1,800

23 25.00 Rental/Married: $1,801-2,300

24 31.25 Rental/Married: $2,301 And Up

25 5.00 Rental

28 0.00 Maintenance/Single: Less Than $541

29 3.00 Maintenance/Single: $541-690

30 1.25 Maintenance/Single: $691-800

31 1.90 Maintenance/Single: $801-1000

32 2.50 Maintenance/Single: $1,001-1,500

33 5.00 Maintenance/Single: $1,501-2,000

34 6.25 Maintenance/Single: $2,001-2,300

35 12.50 Maintenance/Single: $2,301 And Up

38 0.00 Maintenance/Married: Less Than $774

39 0.50 Maintenance/Married: $774-925

40 1.25 Maintenance/Married: $926-1,100

41 1.90 Maintenance/Married: $1,101-1,300

42 2.50 Maintenance/Married: $1,301-1,800

43 5.00 Maintenance/Married: $1,801-2,300

44 6.25 Maintenance/Married: $2,301 And Up

99 0.00

Attachment #2-PROPOSED PERS FEE SCHEDULE AND CODES

BASED ON A HOUSEHOLD’S MONTHLY INCOME

FEE CODE FEE AMOUNT FEE DESCRIPTION

9 0.00 Rental/Single: Less Than 697

10 6.25 Rental/Single: $697-800

11 9.40 Rental/Single: $801-1,000

12 12.50 Rental/Single: $1,001-1,500

13 25.00 Rental/Single: $1,500-2,000

14 31.25 Rental/Single: $2,001 And Up

19 0.00 Rental/Married: Less Than $938

20 6.25 Rental/Married: $938-1,100

21 9.40 Rental/Married: $1,101-1,300

22 12.50 Rental/Married: $1,301-1,800

23 25.00 Rental/Married: $1,801-2,300

24 31.25 Rental/Married: $2,301 And Up

25 0.50-5.00 Rental-Client Choice Income < $697

29 0.00 Maintenance/Single: Less Than $697

30 1.25 Maintenance/Single: $697-800

31 1.90 Maintenance/Single: $801-1000

32 2.50 Maintenance/Single: $1,001-1,500

33 5.00 Maintenance/Single: $1,501-2,000

34 6.25 Maintenance/Single: $2,001-2,300

35 12.50 Maintenance/Single: $2,301 And Up

39 0.00 Maintenance/Married: Less Than $938

40 1.25 Maintenance/Married: $938-1,100

41 1.90 Maintenance/Married: $1,101-1,300

42 2.50 Maintenance/Married: $1,301-1,800

43 5.00 Maintenance/Married: $1,801-2,300

44 6.25 Maintenance/Married: $2,301 And Up

99 0.00

Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 11:03 a.m.

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