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Full agenda for legislators

PENN YAN—The first order of business for the Yates County Legislature Jan. 12 was recognition of 37 employees who reached employment milestones in 2008 (see related story on page 19). Following a presentation by representatives of ECC Technologies of Fairport who presented the final report on the Yates County Telecommunication Study, legislators focused on reports and resolutions.
Sheriff Ron Spike shared his concerns about a proposal in Gov. David Patterson’s budget that would have an impact on the Yates County budget. Spike said, “The parole violation issue needs addressing. The governor proposed elimination of all funds for housing these inmates.” Currently the state’s financial responsibility is $37.60 per day per inmate, far below the amount it costs the county to house the parole violators. The average stay is at least  60 days and some are here for up to 120 days. Spike said no medical costs are covered while they are incarcerated here, often resulting in additional costs to the county. Spike called the issue a $40,000 to $50,000 loss. Spike said these people should be incarcerated in a state facility near where the violation occurred. In addition Yates County should be entitled to reasonable compensation for housing them. He asked legislators to consider a resolution regarding the problem be presented at the February meeting of the legislature. 
Following Spike’s comments, legislator Dan Banach said, “Why wait? Get it going now.” Legislators agreed, voting unanimously to support the sheriff’s proposal.
In other business:
• Passed a resolution in support of continuation of the Empire Zone Program. Finance committee chairman, legislator Taylor Fitch, said, “We got an Empire Zone less than a year ago. Now the government wants to limit it. It’s the only way we will move forward in this county.”
• Legislator Donna Alexander presented a resolution commending the professional work performed by Deputy Sheriff Randy Andrews and 911 Emergency Services Dispatchers (ESD) during a barn fire on Route 14A in Milo on Christmas Day 2008. Alexander said Andrews discovered the fire and alerted the owner so he could save 50 of his 70 milking cow herd. The resolution said, in part, “Quick actions by the fire departments response contained the fire to the large uninsured barn all coordinated and alerted clearly by clearly by ESD Amy McAdams and ESD David Harrington. The ESD’s coordinated dispatch from several other fire departments. Mutual aid was called for by First Assistant Chief Rick Simpson and tankers were summoned from Dundee and Himrod and then soon from six other companies.” The resolution continued, “Which acts put tremendous stress on EDSs who worked in tandem doing activations while also dispatching those mentioned to standby at other fire houses along with activating highway departments, water department, investigation team, all whole Penn Yan apparatus was called to another fire activation at the same time activating other departments, including taking calls for EMS and law enforcement at the same event time and doing so without the fire chief having to repeat any emergency requests.”
• Authorized the treasurer to pay real property tax refunds in the amount of $2,500 or less  during the calendar year 2009. The treasurer will report such refunds to the legislature on a set schedule.
• Authorized the records manager to submit an application for a grant in cooperation with the village of Penn Yan for a map cataloging and indexing grant not to exceed $125,000 under the State Archives Program, funded from the Local Government Management Improvement Fund.
• Legislators designated the Yates County Chamber of Commerce as the county’s Tourism Promotion Agency and The Observer and The Chronicle Express as official newspapers for the county.
• Appointed Craig Densmore and Bob Corcoran to the Finger Lakes Economic Development Center board of directors tor terms ending on Dec. 31, 2010.
• Appointed Susan B. Thomas of Dundee to the Yates County Community Services Board for a term ending Dec. 31, 2012.
• Reappointed several individuals to the Yates County Planning Board including Carroll Graves, one year; Kevin North, two years and Jerry Stape, John Sawers and Dave Christiansen, three years. 
The next meeting of the Yates County Legislature will be Thursday Feb. 12 at 1 p.m. in legislative chambers in the county office complex on Liberty Street in Penn Yan. The date was changed because several legislators will be attending the New York State Association of Counties Legislative Conference on the usual meeting date of Feb. 9.

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