Yates sets building project in motion

Apr 26, 2023 at 05:13 pm by Observer-Review

YATES COUNTY--The Yates County legislature met for its regular monthly meeting Monday, April 10. During the session, a number of resolutions were passed to advance the construction of the new highway, office of emergency services and public health building project in the county. The project site is at the current highway building property in Benton.
The first resolution authorized an agreement for general construction going to Building Innovation Group, Inc. for $9,293,084. The second was for plumbing construction to Lloyd Mechanical Co. LLC for $1,464,100. The next resolution addressed mechanical construction to Landry Mechanical Contractor, Inc. for $2,060,000. The electrical contractor will be O'Connell Electric Company, Inc. for $1,936,900. The site work contract was awarded to DiFiore Construction, Inc. for $4,424,000. The work for demolition/abatement went to Sessler Environmental Services in the amount of $324,000.
In addition to resolutions covering various other expenses for the project, a resolution was approved, after much discussion, that could expand natural gas services in the town of Benton. The county building project would give the opportunity to extend a new gas main, not to exceed a cost of $1,751,500, however it is being explored if residents would want to connect to the service as well. New York State Electric and Gas has provided two options for review by the county and town residents. A public informational meeting is upcoming.
Madaline Smith was recognized by the lawmakers as the recipient of the Distinguished Youth Award. The legislature also joined the Sheriff's department and the American Legion in recognizing First Sergeant Derek Blumbergs, who recently retired from the Sheriff's Office, as the officer of the year in 2022. According to the resolution, "Blumbergs is recognized for his 27 years of service and throughout his career has received several letters of recognition from citizens he has interacted with in doing police work. Many have repeatedly written of his professionalism, caring attitude, knowledge, and compassion for innocent victims, and that he is respected by his peers."
A resolution having the county create and fill a temporary administrator assistant position drew considerable debate. Before it was voted on, Legislator Terry Button questioned if a "postponed resolution" regarding hiring a county administrator should be considered first.
Bringing this up from a previous meeting caused confusion and questions about what was actually being voted on after discussion. "It's still on the floor," said Button in relation to the county administrator. Chairwoman Leslie Church responded, "No, it's not still on the floor, what is on the floor right now is a resolution (referring to the temporary administrator assistant)."
Describing the scenario, Church said, "I think what is so disheartening here is you all are making fools of the legislature and your constant arguing over something that was supported completely by the department heads...and to visibly do this, we're not just talking about the people in this room."
"I brought this up before we talked about it...I asked the question 'Have we presented all the information...and she said no,'" said Button regarding the county administrator discussions.
The motion to postpone hiring a temporary administrator assistant failed and then the legislature eventually passed the resolution as originally presented.
Sections: NEWS 1