Upcoming budget will be 'devastating'
YATES COUNTY—During their Dec. 8 meeting, Yates County legislators received more disturbing news about the state economy from county administrator Sarah Purdy. She had participated in a
teleconference with Gov. David Patterson’s staff along with members of the New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC), which she serves as president. Purdy said all the participants from the governor’s office used the same word when talking about the upcoming budget, stating, “It is going to be devastating.” Members of NYSAC emphasized they wanted to be sure they understand the counties want to be a partner with the state in determining what cuts are needed. The governor’s budget is scheduled to be out next week.
In other business:
• Legislators recognized service to Yates County residents by the late Maynard Hall. In a resolution passed during the meeting, Hall was recognized for giving freely of his time, talents and resources to citizens in each town and village in Yates County. He served faithfully as a deputy fire coordinator, attended scores of meetings, responded to countless fires, weather related problems and other emergencies. The resolution concluded with the legislature’s acknowledgment with gratitude the commitment, dedication and contributions of Hall.
• The 2009 town and county tax rates were accepted. as was the equalization and apportionment table.
• Legislators authorized a joint feasibility study looking at the possibility of a joint facility, for the consolidation of fuel, storage and the maintenance of equipment. In addition to Yates County, the village of Penn Yan and Penn Yan Central School District will participate in the study. Grant funding is available for the study. Finance committee chairman Taylor Fitch said, “Thank you to Dan Banach for taking leadership. It couldn’t have been done at a better time.” Banach represents District III.
• The half days before Christmas and New Years will be holidays. Offices will be closed the afternoons of Dec. 24 and 31. The decision is based on the lack of traditional business volumes during those days.
• Legislators authorized legislature chairman Robert Multer and Social Services Commissioner Nancy Gates to sign a contract renewal with ProAction of Steuben and Yates Counties, Inc. for administration of the 2008-09 Hearing Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) and Weatherization (WRAP) programs through Oct. 31, 2009 at an amount not to exceed $77.056.
• At the owners’ requests, two parcels in the town of Barrington were added to Yates County Agricultural District #1. The parcels total nearly 100 acres. A public hearing during which no comments were received preceded the vote.
• Union and nonunion salary schedules for 2009 were adopted.
• A nonunion employee education benefit was established as was an increase in the sick leave accrual cap from 175 to 180 days in 2009 and 185 days in 2010. The benefit is available to full-time, nonunion employees.
• Legislators adopted a revised snow and ice policy. Two sections, mailboxes and driveways, have been revised. A policy regarding snow plowing on private property was also formalized.
• Legislators accepted the State Environmental Quality Review resolution for the Yates County Homeownership Assistance Program. The program for first-time home buyers in Yates County is to be undertaken as part of the 2008 Small Cities program. Yates County was awarded a $740,000 Community Development Block Grant to implement a homeownership assistance program to enable low and moderate income households to become first time home buyers.
• Janet Meaney was appointed to the Yates county Community Services Board and that group’s Mental Health Subcommittee. Gerald Lange was appointed to the Yates County Community Services Board Alcohol/Substance Abuse subcommittee. Both are Dundee residents.
• Douglas Skeet was appointed to the Yates County Planning Board as representative for the town of Middlesex.
The year-end meeting will be at 1 p.m. Dec. 29. The next regular meeting of the legislature will be at 1 p.m. Jan. 12 in legislative chambers at the county office complex on Liberty Street in Penn Yan.