NINTH REGULAR SESSION
Johnstown, NY September 14, 2020
Roll Call – Quorum Present
Supervisors: Argotsinger, Blackmon, Born, Bowman, Bradt, Breh, Callery, Fagan, Goderie, Greene, Groff, Horton, Howard, Kinowski, Perry, Potter, VanDenburgh, Young
TOTAL: Present: 18 Absent: 2 (Supervisors Lauria and Wilson)
Chairman Greene called the meeting to order at 1:00 p.m. He welcomed recently-appointed City of Johnstown Ward 1 Supervisor Jared Goderie to his first Board meeting.
Mr. Stead discussed the “ground rules” of the Board of Supervisors Chambers, given COVID-19 pandemic precautions now in place. He advised that the media and members of the public would remain seated in the gallery area of the Chambers. If any members of the public wished to address the Board, they will do so from their location in the gallery.
Following the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag, Chairman Greene asked for a moment of silence for the victims and heroes of the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001. The 19th anniversary of that horrific event just occurred last week.
He then asked if there was anyone from the public who wished to address the Board. No one responded.
PUBLIC HEARINGS/SCHEDULED SPEAKERS
Chairman Greene stated that for the past two (2) months, Fulton County has had consistently low numbers of new COVID-19 cases and have not had any large community spikes. Throughout this time, I have been most concerned about community spread as a result of gatherings and indoor dining areas, but so far that has not occurred. The next two possible spikes may come from Labor Day weekend, which we’ll know more in about a week and of great concern…the re-opening of schools. You only have to look at the array of different plans from one district to another to know what a tricky and difficult situation this is. The schools did a lot of planning and a lot of listening before determining what is best for them and we wish the children, teachers and the school staff the best going forward.
The Mohawk Valley Control Room has been discussing the outbreak at SUNY Oneonta.
In addition, the colder weather will be here soon and we will be indoors more so we all need to be careful about being in enclosed areas with groups of people that are poorly ventilated. Mr. Stead and COVID-19 Task Force continue to meet twice a week to go over new issues. In addition, Mr. Stead and I continue to meet virtually every afternoon for the Mohawk Valley Control Room call with State representatives. He stated that Mr. Stead could attest that this call can be frustrating because we still do not know what businesses can or cannot be open. One prime example for the County is trying to determine if gyms and roller-skating rinks are different or considered the same, so it gets very frustrating. On top of that, Governor Cuomo wants a policy/procedure manual on handling pandemics that may occur in the future. I will be working with Mr. Stead and others to get this rolling and hopefully completed by the end of the year or the next Chairman of the Board will have to pick up the pieces.
As you all know, there have been great accomplishments made on the 2021 County Budget. Many thanks go out to Department Heads and Supervisors. Department Heads were asked to bring very fiscally conservative budgets to their respective committees and almost all did so. They were also asked to limit capital projects to only health and safety items. As a result of their efforts and the Supervisor’s oversight committee changes, we currently have the lowest impact against the levy in well over a decade. There will be more discussion and debate going forward before a final budget is approved. I feel satisfied that there is a consensus that everyone is aware that now, more than ever, we need to stay fiscally conservative in our planning due to the elephant in the room. What effect will the COVID-19 aftermath have on our overall revenues. We still don’t have those answers. The most obvious unknown is just how much revenue may Governor Cuomo withhold from county governments due to the state’s own fiscal issues. Until this becomes clearer, it will be difficult to project what our final budget will be. One thing is very clear to me that Fulton County is on a stronger fiscal footing today than most counties of our size. Due to some insightful decisions made by Supervisors both past and present will allow us to get through this tough situation on a solid functional footing. Citizens of Fulton County may not yet realize it, but these decisions made in past years have put us on a good path for the future of the county.
RESOLUTIONS (TITLES ATTACHED)
Resolution No. 239 (Resolution Awarding Bid to Brown Transportation for children with Handicapping Conditions Transportation Program (2020-2021): Mr. Stead advised that during the Human Services and Finance Standing Committees, there was a long list of approximately 10 transportation routes. With COVID-19, pre-school programs have begun re-opening but due to time schedule changes and some classes through virtual learning, there have been changes made to the routes. He also stated that pre-schools altered schedules and meeting times, so as Purchasing Agent, he used the core of the specifications and doubled up some of the runs. He advised that some students dropped off the list, so only a few routes are now necessary. Mr. Stead discussed the routes that are being awarded on this Resolution. He advised that the Public Health Department may have to come back to the Board if another route needs to be set up for the possibility of additional children that might need transportation.
Resolution No. 241 (Resolution Urging the New York State Legislature to Establish a Temporary Commission to Study and Investigate the Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic Response Related to Nursing Home Deaths): Supervisor Potter stated that Senator James Tedisco expressed interest in attending today’s meeting, but his Committee Chairperson duties were needed at the State Capital. Mr. Potter read a statement from Senator Tedisco as follows:
As I’ve said before, some issues transcend partisan politics. The families of the thousands of New Yorkers who lost their lives from COVID-19 while in state-regulated nursing homes deserve a measure of closure and we need to help prepare for a second wave of the virus or a future pandemic.
I want to thank the Fulton County Board of Supervisors for their bi-partisan leadership in being the first County legislature in the state to support for my own bi-partisan legislation (S.8756/A.10857) with Majority Democratic Assemblyman Ron Kim and members from both sides of the aisle for an independent, bi-partisan state commissioner with subpoena power to fully investigate the deaths of thousands of New Yorkers who died from COVID-19 in nursing homes.
It’s well past time to give family members answers and bring closure to the loved ones of the thousands of New Yorkers who lost their lives in nursing homes during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Resolution No. 252 (Resolution Authorizing County Participation in the Legal Defense of Certain Assessment Reduction Actions within the City of Johnstown): Mr. Young stated that Wal Mart always hires attorneys to fight against paying its taxes. He expressed frustration, because every other local company pays their taxes based on the assessments given.
Supervisors VanDenburgh, Perry, Breh, Born and Chairman of the Board Greene recited aloud the following Proclamation, with each reading one section.
CELEBRATING THE 100TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE 19TH AMENDMENT TO THE U.S. CONSTITUTION
WHEREAS, on August 26, 1920 the Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby certified the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, changing the face of those entitled to vote forever; and
WHEREAS, the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution reads:
“The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation”;
WHEREAS, upon the enactment of the 19th Amendment, more than eight (8) million women across the United States voted in elections for the first time; and
WHEREAS, August 26, 2020 marked the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, protecting and guaranteeing every woman’s constitutional right to vote; now, therefore be it
RESOLVED, That the Board of Supervisors hereby recognizes the momentous achievement of suffrage pioneers such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Lucretia Mott, Sojourner Truth and many others in pursuing and achieving voting rights.
Supervisor Born, Chairperson of the Human Services Committee then read the following Proclamation:
DECLARING SEPTEMBER 2020 “RECOVERY MONTH” IN FULTON COUNTY
WHEREAS, behavioral health is an essential part of health and overall wellness; and
WHEREAS, prevention of mental disorders and substance use disorders works, its treatment is effective, and people recover; and
WHEREAS, preventing and overcoming mental and substance use disorders is essential to achieving healthy lifestyles, both physically and emotionally; and
WHEREAS, it is important to encourage relatives and friends of people with mental and substance use disorders to recognize the signs of a problem and guide those in need to appropriate treatment and recovery support services; and
WHEREAS, an estimated 8.5 million American adults suffer from mental health disorders, a substance use disorder, or co-occurring disorders, including people in our own community; and
WHEREAS, to help more people achieve and sustain long-term recovery, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), and the Rob Constantine Recovery Community and Outreach Center invite all residents of Fulton County to participate in National Recovery Month; now, therefore be it
RESOLVED, That the Board of Supervisors, hereby proclaims the month of September 2020 as “National Recovery Month” in Fulton County.
Mr. Callery thanked Supervisor Argotsinger’s wife, Liz Argotsinger for creating the Fulton Montgomery Quilt Barn Trail. He also commended her hard work publicizing it.
Chairman Greene asked for a 10-minute recess at 1:42 p.m.
(Supervisors Sheila Perry and Gregory Young notified the Chairman of the Board that they each had a potential conflict of interest relating to the pending interview of a candidate for appointment to the FMCC Board of Trustees, and therefore recused themselves by leaving the meeting at 1:44 p.m.)
Upon a motion by Supervisor Fagan, seconded by Supervisor Callery and unanimously carried, the Board entered Executive Session at 1:57 p.m. to discuss employment history.
Upon a motion by Supervisor Callery, seconded by Supervisor Fagan and unanimously carried, the Board re-entered into Regular Session at 2:41 p.m.
Upon a motion by Supervisor Groff, seconded by Supervisor Bowman and unanimously carried, the Board adjourned at 2:42 p.m.
Jon R. Stead, Administrative Officer/ DATE
Clerk of the Board
RESOLUTION APPOINTING WENDY PERRY TO THE FULTON-MONTGOMERY COMMUNITY COLLEGE BOARD OF TRUSTEES
RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING CERTAIN TRANSFERS AND BUDGET AMENDMENTS
RESOLUTION ESTABLISHING CAPITAL RESERVE FUND FOR FULTON COUNTY SEWER DISTRICT NO. 3: MECO
RESOLUTION SETTING DATE FOR A PUBLIC HEARING REGARDING THE 2021-2023 CAPITAL PLAN
RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING CONTRACTS BETWEEN THE COUNTY TREASURER AND CERTAIN TITLE INSURANCE COMPANIES FOR TITLE SEARCH SERVICES
RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING COUNTY PARTICIPATION IN THE LEGAL DEFENSE OF CERTAIN ASSESSMENT REDUCTION ACTIONS WITHIN THE CITY OF JOHNSTOWN
RESOLUTION APPROVING PAYMENT FOR LEGAL DEFENSE OF WALMART REAL PROPERTY ASSESSMENT CHALLENGE IN THE CITY OF GLOVERSVILLE (COUNTY ATTORNEY)
RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING USE OF HAVA CARES COVID-19 GRANT FUNDING FOR 2020 ELECTION EXPENSES (BOARD OF ELECTIONS)
RESOLUTION RE-APPROPRIATING FUND BALANCE TO PAY NYS RPS V4 SOFTWARE MAINTENANCE CHARGE FOR 2019 (REAL PROPERTY TAX SERVICES AGENCY)
RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING EMERGENCY PURCHASE OF GALVANIZED STEEL BEAM FOR REPLACEMENT OF NORTH BUSH ROAD BRIDGE OVER PECK CREEK (2020 CAPITAL PLAN)
RESOLUTION AWARDING BID TO LAMINATED CONCEPTS, INC. FOR TIMBER DECKING MATERIALS FOR REPLACEMENT OF NORTH BUSH ROAD BRIDGE OVER PECK CREEK (2020 CAPITAL PLAN)
RESOLUTION RECLASSIFYING A SKILLED LABORER POSITION TO HEAVY EQUIPMENT OPERATOR IN THE SOLID WASTE DEPARTMENT
RESOLUTION ACCEPTING NYS HOMELAND SECURITY PROGRAM GRANT FUNDS AND NYS LAW ENFORCEMENT TERRORISM PREVENTION PROGRAM FUNDS AND AUTHORIZING CERTAIN PURCHASES FOR USE IN THE EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT OFFICE AND SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT
RESOLUTION ACCEPTING A 2020 NYS DIVISION OF HOMELAND SECURITY AND EMERGENCY SERVICES GRANT AND AUTHORIZING CERTAIN PURCHASES (EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT OFFICE)
RESOLUTION EXTENDING CIVIL CLERK POSITION IN THE SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT
RESOLUTION ACCEPTING DONATION FROM BENJAMIN MOORE AND COMPANY FOR EQUIPMENT TO BENEFIT THE SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT
RESOLUTION URGING THE NEW YORK STATE LEGISLATURE TO ESTABLISH A TEMPORARY COMMISSION TO STUDY AND INVESTIGATE THE EFFECTS OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC RESPONSE RELATED TO NURSING HOME DEATHS
RESOLUTION WAIVING THE RESIDENCY RULE FOR HIRE OF CASEWORKERS IN THE SOCIAL SERVICES DEPARTMENT AND OFFICE FOR AGING
RESOLUTION AWARDING BID TO BROWN TRANSPORTATION FOR CHILDREN WITH HANDICAPPING CONDITIONS TRANSPORTATION PROGRAM (2020-2021)
RESOLUTION CREATING A CHILDREN’S SERVICES PROGRAM SPECIALIST POSITION IN THE PUBLIC HEALTH DEPARTMENT
RESOLUTION ACCEPTING NYS HEALTH FOUNDATION GRANT FUNDS FOR COVID-19 EMERGENCY RESPONSE EFFORTS IN THE PUBLIC HEALTH DEPARTMENT (PUBLIC HEALTH)
RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING USE OF FEDERAL FAMILIES FIRST GRANT FUNDS FOR COVID-19 EXPENSES IN THE OFFICE FOR AGING
RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING ADVERTISEMENT FOR BIDS FOR WASTE REMOVAL SERVICES FOR THE FULTON COUNTY CORRECTIONAL FACILITY (2021)
RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING ADVERTISEMENT FOR BIDS FOR HEATING OIL AND 50/50 BLEND FOR COUNTY BUILDINGS (2021)
RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING ADVERTISEMENT FOR BIDS FOR UNIFORM SERVICE FOR THE HIGHWAY AND FACILITIES DEPARTMENT AND SOLID WASTE DEPARTMENT
RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING ADVERTISEMENT FOR BIDS FOR CLEANING SERVICES AT FULTON COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES COOPER BUILDING (2021)
RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING ADVERTISEMENT FOR BIDS FOR CLEANING SERVICES AT FULTON COUNTY COMPLEX I AND COMPLEX II BUILDINGS (2021)
RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING ADVERTISEMENT FOR BIDS FOR UNLEADED GASOLINE FOR THE CENTRAL FUEL DEPOTS LOCATED AT THE COUNTY SERVICES COMPLEX AND SOLID WASTE DEPARTMENT
RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING ADVERTISEMENT FOR BIDS FOR DIESEL FUEL FOR USE BY THE HIGHWAYS AND FACILITIES DEPARTMENT AND SOLID WASTE DEPARTMENT
RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING SUBMITTAL OF APPLICATION FOR A MUNICIPAL WASTE REDUCTION/RECYCLING PROJECT GRANT (SOLID WASTE DEPARTMENT)
RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING SUBMITTAL OF APPLICATION FOR A MUNICIPAL WASTE REDUCTION/RECYCLING EQUIPMENT AND FACILITIES GRANT (SOLID WASTE DEPARTMENT)
RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING ADVERTISEMENT FOR BIDS FOR ACCEPTANCE OF ELECTRONICS RECYCLING FOR 2021 (SOLID WASTE DEPARTMENT)
RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING SUBMITTAL OF AN UPDATED FULTON COUNTY AIRPORT SECURITY PLAN TO THE NYS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
RESOLUTION PLACING A “ONE DOLLAR HOLD” ON A PLANNER POSITION IN THE PLANNING DEPARTMENT
RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING ACCEPTANCE OF A 2020-2021 GOVERNOR’S TRAFFIC SAFETY COUNCIL POLICE TRAFFIC SERVICES GRANT (SHERIFF)
RESOLUTION ABOLISHING A PART-TIME ASSISTANT PUBLIC DEFENDER POSITION IN THE PUBLIC DEFENDER’S OFFICE
RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING APPLICATION FOR GOVERNOR’S TRAFFIC SAFETY COMMITTEE 2020-2021 CRACKDOWN GRANT (DISTRICT ATTORNEY)
RESOLUTION ACCEPTING OF 2019-2020 CHILDHOOD LEAD POISONING PREVENTION GRANT FROM THE NYS DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH (PUBLIC HEALTH DEPARTMENT)
RESOLUTION ACCEPTING 2020-2021 NEW YORK STATE CHILD PASSENGER SAFETY INCENTIVE GRANT (PUBLIC HEALTH)