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County looks at outlet trail ownership ADVERTISEMENT

County looks at outlet trail ownership

YATES COUNTY--Finger Lakes Economic Development Center CEO Steve Griffin and Friends of the Outlet Trail member Dave Reeve gave a presentation on the Keuka Outlet Trail to the Yates County Legislature Monday, Aug. 10. The pair recommended the county take over ownership of the path, citing recent struggles to maintain the trail. Reeve said the trail has suffered erosion damage from the May 2014 floods, with Griffin adding the county would more easily be able to conduct the necessary repairs and improvements with minimal financial investment and in-kind services. Griffin said he would like to help focus municipalities into investing in their community beyond state mandates, citing the economic benefits an enhanced trail could have in the area.
"We really do have a fantastic asset here that needs some help," Griffin said.
Legislator Margaret Dunn said she is excited about the idea, adding the county needs more activities for residents and visitors who are not interested in the wine and beer trails. Legislator Elden Morrison questioned whether the county would only be able to take on a small section of the trail at a time, questioning whether it is a good idea to take on such an expense with a tight budget. Legislator James Smith said he would like to look at the timeframe and put together a plan to see if it is feasible, adding the county taking over the trail is "a huge step."
In other business:
• Ending her 19 year tenure in the role, the Yates County Legislature accepted the resignation of County Administrator Sarah Purdy from her position as budget officer Monday. Taking her place will be Treasurer Winona Flynn when the resignation becomes effective Saturday, Aug. 15 (for a related story, see page 1). Purdy is only stepping down from her role as budget officer and will remain in her position as county administrator as well as her other capacities.
Legislative Chairman Tim Dennis thanked Purdy for her years of service in the role, while also wishing Flynn luck in the coming budget season. Purdy will be leaving the position in order to see to other projects and responsibilities, which include serving as assistant planner while Planner Shawna Bonshak is out on leave. Meanwhile, Flynn will be changing the way the budget is currently done by using a municipal software service instead of the previously used spreadsheets that will help the county keep more up-to-date figures as well as increase efficiency.
• A resolution to create and fill two additional corrections officer positions in the sheriff's department failed in a six to six vote. The resolution was proposed in order to reduce overtime costs in the department while promoting efficiencies and budget reductions. Smith said he could not fully support the resolution until he saw a detailed analysis that proved there would be a savings in adding the two positions. Legislator Gary Montgomery agreed, noting adding two new positions going into budget season was not the right thing to do. Dunn disagreed, saying making the sheriff utilize part-time employees he cannot always get is irresponsible, adding fatigue can become an issue if these officers do not get the time off they are entitled to.

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