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Schuyler bans smoking at county properties

SCHUYLER COUNTY—The Schuyler County Legislature approved banning smoking on all county building properties, at the Monday, May 9, meeting.
Legislator Phil Barnes said the Arc of Schuyler and Schuyler Hospital have already approved similar restrictions.  Legislator Glenn Larison said the outside ashtrays would help at the Human Services Complex in Montour Falls.  However, Barnes countered that there are containers at the county courthouse, but he still sees cigarette butts on the ground.
Legislator Barbara Halpin added that if smoking kills, why don’t they do whatever they can to decrease it?  Legislative chair Dennis Fagan finished by saying that the last time this was brought up, there was opposition to such a ban.  However, he added that he thinks people know enough about the dangers of second hand smoke.
During public comment, Sarah Halliday, program assistant with the Southern Tier Tobacco Awareness Community Partnership, thanked the legislature for “taking the community’s health into consideration.”  She added she is willing to work with the county on signage or anything  else they need.
In other business:  The legislature approved a negative environmental impact statement for Watkins Glen International’s events this year.   Administrator Tim O’Hearn gave the recommendation, adding there would be environmental impacts, but nothing dangerous.  He said the events would impact the quality and quality of surface water and mean the increased storage of petroleum.  However, he said WGI has shown in the past it can handle such events.  O’Hearn added the track’s management has provided safety and traffic plans for this season’s events.  This covers the NASCAR weekend races, the Phish concert, and the Finger Lakes wine festival.
O’Hearn said the New York State Assembly is expected to vote on a property tax cap this week.  He explained as it stands now there is nothing written into about mandate relief.  Fagan said the lack of mandate relief is “handcuffing counties” and a “sham.”
A public hearing was held for setting the county treasurer’s salary, scheduled from the last meeting.  There were no comments and the item was approved.  Legislators Halpin and Doris Karius voted no.
The legislature approved to create and fill a social welfare examiner position.  A less than full-time assistant county attorney position was also created.  Rachael Boruchowitz was appointed to that position.  County Attorney James P. Coleman retired, creating the vacancy.
The legislature added four properties to Schuyler County Agricultural District #3.
The next Schuyler County Legislature meeting is Monday, June 13, at 6:30 p.m. in the county courthouse building.   




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