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Genesee County Legislature

September 29, 2022 - 8:00am
posted by Joanne Beck in news, cybersecurity, Genesee County Legislature, batavia.

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Getting a jump start on October, Genesee County legislators presented a proclamation Wednesday to Michael Burns in honor of Cybersecurity Awareness Month, which begins on Saturday.

The Information Technology director, who was hired in May 2021, was grateful for the acknowledgment but advised folks not to be lulled into complacency the other 11 months of the year.

“I’d like to thank the legislators for understanding the importance in terms of security in general, not only within the county but also within referral support … it’s a reminder to everyone that cybersecurity is not just something that we have. This is something that we have to actively practice, and we are more wired than ever before,” Burns said during Legislature’s meeting at the Old Courthouse. “It's all devices that we carry … they're in our everyday life. The data that we use every day is valuable, and people know it. Some may want to get their hands on that. So we have to oversee and understand that cyber security is not just October, it's every month of every year.”

Legislator Chad Klotzbach read a proclamation regarding how the world has become all things cyber, and people are more "interconnected than ever before but also more susceptible to increased risk of cyber theft, fraud and abuse."

“The county’s IT Department is responsible for delivering secure, accurate timely information and services to county departments, municipalities, residents and visitors effectively and efficiently,” Klotzbach said, reading the proclamation. “Cybersecurity Month provides an opportunity to increase public awareness and understanding of cyber threats while empowering employees and citizens to be safer and more secure online.”

The City of Batavia just received a similar warning during City Council’s audit report earlier this week. That message included being diligent with technology processes, protocols and preventative measures to avoid cyber attacks.

Since 2004, the President of the United States and Congress have declared October to be Cybersecurity Awareness Month, as a way to help individuals protect themselves online as threats to technology and confidential data become more frequent.

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the National Cybersecurity Alliance (NCA) lead a collaborative effort between government and industry to raise cybersecurity awareness nationally and internationally. 

This year’s theme is “See Yourself in Cyber” to enable people to recognize and understand how prevalent the world of cyber is, whether at work, home or school. The CISA.gov website encourages folks to take four personal action steps to help prevent cyber crimes:

  • Enable Multi-Factor Authentication
  • Use Strong Passwords
  • Recognize and Report Phishing
  • Update Your Software

Photo: Genesee County Legislator Chad Klotzbach presents a proclamation this week to IT Director Michael Burns as a prelude to Cybersecurity Awareness Month in October. Photo by Joanne Beck.

September 15, 2022 - 3:40pm

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The Genesee County Legislature on Wednesday afternoon threw its support behind the community’s cooperative efforts to help those with substance use disorder and to prevent suicides.

The legislature issued a proclamation acknowledging Sept. 4-10 as National Suicide Prevention Week and September 2022 as National Recovery Month – “when millions of people around the world join their voices to share a message of hope and healing.”

Representatives of Genesee County Mental Health Services, Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, Mental Health Association and Genesee County Suicide Prevention Coalition were on hand at the Old County Courthouse as Legislator Gregg Torrey, chair of the Human Services Committee, read the proclamation aloud.

In part, the decree states that county residents “have access to high quality prevention, support, rehabilitation, and treatment services that lead to recovery and a healthy lifestyle, and every day … people begin treatment at behavioral health services and community supports and begin the road to wellness and recovery.”

Furthermore, “Suicide Prevention Week and Recovery Month inspire millions of Americans to raise awareness, build resiliency, and find hope.”

Sue Gagne, a Suicide Prevention Coalition leader, said the proclamation “shines a light on the people who are considering suicide or battling addiction – who often feel very alone in their pain. And it shines a light on all who have lost a loved one to suicide or overdose, allowing them to feel seen.”

Photo: Taking part in the reading of the National Suicide Prevention Week and National Recovery Month proclamation are, from left, Legislator Gregg Torrey; Bob Riccobono, clinical director of Genesee County Mental Health Services; Cheryl Netter, Nickole Millette, Sue Gagne and Amy Kabel of GCASA; Diana Bucknam of the Mental Health Association and Genesee County Suicide Prevention Coalition, and Rachel Mieney, clinical social worker of Genesee County Mental Health Services. Photo by Mike Pettinella.

August 11, 2022 - 4:20pm

Business is booming this summer at Genesee County’s six public libraries, which are having to adjust their budgets to account for rising costs of materials – especially when it comes to eBooks.

Two local librarians – Kim Gibson of Haxton Memorial Library in Oakfield and Diana Reding of Corfu Public Library – joined Thomas Bindeman and Lisa Erickson, officials with the Lockport-based Nioga Library System, at the Genesee County Legislature’s Human Services Committee meeting earlier this week to submit a request for funding and update lawmakers on library activities.

The county appropriates funds to each one of the six libraries to support the purchase of materials such as computers, books, music, movies and magazines. For 2023, the libraries are asking for $41,680 (the same amount as last year), which represents about 13 percent of their cumulative budgets.

Broken down by library, the dollar amounts are as follows:

  • Byron-Bergen Public Library, $4,570 requested, $32,780 materials budget, 13.94 percent;
  • Corfu Public Library, $3,500 requested, $16,255 materials budget, 21.53 percent;
  • Haxton Memorial Library, $3,200 requested, $10,000 materials budget, 32 percent;
  • Hollwedel Memorial Library, Pavilion, $1,950 requested, $14,700 materials budget, 13.27 percent;
  • Richmond Memorial Library, Batavia, $22,210 requested, $182,210 materials budget, 12.19 percent;
  • Woodward Memorial Library, Le Roy, $6,250 requested, $62,000 materials budget, 10.08 percent.

The bulk of funding for the libraries comes from the residents of their municipalities. In the case of Corfu, Hollwedel, Richmond and Woodward, their budgets are put to a public vote. With Haxton and B-B, the town/village provide most of the funding at this point, but progress is being made toward changing the designation of those libraries to enable a public vote.

Bindeman said libraries are being challenged by increased costs for transportation – “Our fuel expenses are up by $19,000 this year,” he said – and for eBooks, a popular reading option.

“eBooks are costly to libraries,” he said. “People can go online, or they can go online at the library and download them. A consumer could go online and possibly get a book for 15 to 20 bucks, but the library’s cost for the same book might be 80 to 150 dollars.”

He said it’s what publishers and authors call “intellectual content” that drives up the price.

“Publishers and the authors feel that if a library gets it, they're getting ripped off because it's in the electronic world. And they feel once it gets on the internet, people will lift the book and all that,” he said. “And plus, normally if a consumer buys an eBook, he or she will only read it once or twice. And they see if a library buys it, it's going to have multiple uses.

“So, they're going to lose money on that, and that's why they charge so much. Also, we really don't own the book. It's only a lease for two to three years.”

He said electronic publishers “control the agenda” and it’s hurting the library system.

“We really don't have much voice. Because eBooks cost more for libraries, that means we won't be able to buy as many titles (books in print),” he noted. “Sometimes, it's kind of counterproductive to whatever they're thinking.”

Gibson and Reding used terms such as “amazing” and “come full circle” as they described how their libraries have bounced back from the COVID-19 pandemic regulations that severely limited onsite interaction.

“We're getting back to pre-COVID levels -- getting our hours back to pre-COVID hours and getting staff and all that back to normal, whatever normal might be,” said Bindeman, who has been with Nioga for more than 40 years, the last 17 as the system’s director.

He said the Genesee libraries appreciate the county’s funding, understanding that government entities are facing similar financial challenges.

For more about the Nioga Library System, a non-profit cooperative library system that supports the 21 independent public libraries in Niagara, Orleans and Genesee counties, go to www.niogalibrary.org.

August 11, 2022 - 8:08am
posted by Joanne Beck in news, Genesee County Legislature, Farm Bill S9509.

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When Shelley Stein heard about Senate Bill 9509 to eliminate the Farm Laborers Wage Board, she had to jump on it immediately, she says.

The 2019 Farm Workers Fair Labor Practices Act contained a provision to create a Wage Board to evaluate lowering the overtime threshold for farm laborers below 60 hours a week. In January 2022, the Wage Board recommended lowering the threshold to 40 hours over 10 years starting in 2024.

Not only was the Wage Board’s creation and the ensuing recommendation ill-conceived, but the provision also went against the majority of public hearing testimony that opposed the board in the first place, Stein said Wednesday.

“(Testimonies) indicated that nobody wanted any change to the overtime threshold of 60 hours of the work week, that was from farmers, farm workers and industry stakeholders. However, the wage board did vote to reduce the number of hours and to continue to reduce it until it got down to 40 hours of work,” she said during the Ways and Means meeting. “The Commissioner of Labor has been given the responsibility to make the final determination and what this Senate bill does is, it recognizes that there is only one person who is familiar with agriculture on the three-member board. Their actions do not mirror what the major request was during this process. And so, it’s time to throw out the wage board.”

Legislator Christian Yunker, also from a farming family, agreed, adding that the wage board had flaws from the start.

“The idea of the wage board was a set-up from the beginning,” he said. “And it is timely because we're late on the way here … and so any noise we can make throughout the state is fantastic.”

The Genesee County Legislature chairwoman and part of the family-run Stein Farms in Le Roy knows that of which she speaks. An average farm work week is 60 to 65 hours, she said, and the first proposed cut shaves up to nine hours off of that with a total of 56 hours a week. The state is supposed to make up for those hours worked between the maximum and 60, which would mean paying out time and a half for each worker (four hours a week) on each farm in the state. The reduction of hours goes down from there, for an eventual maximum of 40/week, which means the state is to pick up even more hours in the future.

Though she has concern about whether the state is really financially equipped to pay out the difference, it isn’t Stein’s primary reason for opposing the Wage Board conception. It will damage Genesee County’s economy for years to come, she said, and the “good work that farms are doing for climate change will be lost forever.”

The committee agreed to support the bill that was just established on July 25, and it will be forwarded on to the whole Legislature for vote during its meeting on Aug. 24. An adopted resolution will then go to an inter-county consortium of 13 Western New York counties, and to stakeholder agricultural groups for further support and endorsement, Stein said during an interview with The Batavian after the meeting.

“And then, as the result indicates, we will be sending this on to the governor and to the Senate majority leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, and also our assembly speaker, Mr. (Carl Heastie), along with our local representatives who we know feel the same way that we do, and and we are assured of their continued support.,” Stein said. “The wage board not taking into consideration 70 percent of the testimony, and doing exactly the opposite, makes no sense to how our democracy is supposed to work. And here in New York State, of course, the area where we are known for making and producing food to feed the rest of our state, it makes us shake our head because this puts food at risk.”

She is hopeful that such resolutions to eliminate the Wage Board will sway the governor and downstate elected leaders, since (they) do not want to put their constituents at risk "any more than we do" with food.

“Part of what really will hurt them is the fact that farmers are the largest donation source for food pantries and New York State feeding programs, especially Nourish New York. What this overtime threshold reduction of ours does is it puts at risk those programs that New York State touts and is so proud of, but they don't happen without the produce coming from the farms,” she said. “So this is a balancing point. And we recognize that in agriculture, but we also recognize that our workers want to work. And that is the American Dream for them that they are reaching to, and they are aspiring to, and for the New York State government to be determining when you can work and how long you can work in a field that has seasons. It does have the plant that determines the season, or the animal that  determines the season.”

Does this create competition with other states, since migrant workers may want to work elsewhere without a weekly limit?
“That is an issue, and a lot of the articles that you'll see being released in the media currently is that those who follow a crop are avoiding New York State because their wages are being held down by foreign producers who are price takers of their product, and cannot keep up with the overtime hours required after 60 hours in a week. So those states like Pennsylvania, and Ohio, and Massachusetts, and Vermont, are really benefiting from the great skill sets that we had developed here in New York State,” Stein said. “And those workers are off to Michigan, and they're off to Ohio and Wisconsin. And some of them even into Canada, which of course makes that international competition. And it's a disadvantage that our state is actually putting the farmers under at this point.”

A Commissioner of Labor is appointed, and a union leader is elected by union members, but Stein takes issue with the “one sole agricultural involved person” who represents agricultural interests.

“Our Commissioner of Agriculture certainly should have had a position on this wage board so that there could be an actual balance at the start,” she said. “New York State already imposes a higher minimum wage than any of the states around us. So we start off already being disadvantaged and on a back foot, because the farm gate prices do not allow us to set our prices for our foodstuffs that we are so proud to make here in New York.”

Even if the new farm bill is successful, the weekly working cap could remain, yes?
“The cap could remain. However, I would think and I would hope and have faith that then that would actually be repealed,” she said. “We have learned to live at the 60-hour threshold; it is not easy. We are limiting the hours of our staff, and we are paying overtime to staff at a much higher minimum wage rate than most other states around us. And anecdotally, when our staff go to file their taxes — and this is staff that works year-round — they're told that they actually earn too much to be afforded any help through any programs that might have been available to any other citizen of a community of New York State. So the reality check needs to happen as to the income levels of our farm workers, and to recognize that they are well paid for the work that they come here to do so that they can provide for their families back home.”

“And if they intend to work just six months a year and have six months of the year off, they are willing to do the work in that vein, and that is their preference. It is hard for me to understand how the state can say that they're ready to pay the difference between the 60 hours and the first reduction to 56 hours. I don't know of any other private industry that the state is willing to pay payroll for that aren't state workers,” she said. “So all of this is very messy. And it need not be if the government would just step out of the food production hours of labor, we would all be better off here in New York State. And we could continue to provide that high-quality local food on the precious ground that we have here, especially in the Finger Lakes area, because we are making the highest and best use out of our natural resources, our land and our water here.”

Stein is grateful for her fellow legislators’ support, and that of state Assembly leaders on the Agricultural Committee and Senator George Borrello (R, C, I, LIBT), who is promoted as “an unwavering advocate for rural New Yorkers and a champion of agriculture” and is behind the farm bill, she said.

“There are a lot of moving parts in this. And it could just be simpler by the removal of that decision of the wage board, and also the wage board itself,” she said. “That's our issue today. And that's our request.”

The resolution will move onto the Legislature next week. It reads, in part:

“Whereas, Genesee County is urging state legislature to provide the farmers and farm workers relief from the already onerous burden the Farm Workers Fair Labor Practices Act and other existing government mandates which have placed our farms at a competitive disadvantage with neighboring states and Canada. Now, therefore, be it resolved Genesee County emphatically opposes any decrease to the 60-hour farm worker overtime threshold proposed by the Farm Laborers Wage Board.

Be it further resolved, Genesee County urges Governor Hochul to strongly consider Senator Borrello’s request of repealing the act, section 674-a of the labor law, relating to establishing the Farm Laborers Wage Board and eliminating the three-member Farm Laborers Wage Board.

Furthermore, be it resolved, Genesee County Legislature directs the Clerk of the Legislature to submit a copy of the adopted resolution to Governor Hochul, Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins, NYS Assembly Speaker Heastie, Assemblyman Hawley, Senator Borrello, Senator Rath, NYS Labor Commissioner, NYS Agriculture and Markets Commissioner, NYS Farm Bureau, Genesee County Farm Bureau, NYSAC and Inter-County Association of Western New York.”

File Photo of Genesee County Legislature members, with Chairwoman Shelley Stein, front, who is urging county and state leaders to support a farm bill that would repeal the current Farm Laborers Wage Board. 

August 10, 2022 - 2:20pm

wallace_2.jpgNo matter how you slice it, the Muriel H. Marshall Fund for the Aging is the “gift that keeps on giving.”

Just ask the leaders of the various agencies in Genesee County that continue to benefit as a result of the generosity of the late Roxanne Marshall, a school librarian and daughter of Batavia businessman Arthur H. Marshall Jr., who established the fund just prior to her death in 1997 in honor of her mother, Muriel.

Earlier this week, three members of the fund’s planning team – Bonnie Wallace, Jay Gsell and Pam Whitmore – along with Jennifer Leonard, chief executive officer of the Rochester Area Community Foundation, made a presentation to the Genesee County Legislature’s Human Services Committee at the Old County Courthouse.

The RACF oversees the fund that started with an initial gift of $7.9 million and now has a current value of $10.9 million. Considering that more than $9 million has been distributed in grants during that time, the fund is doing remarkably well, Gsell said.

“The fund is now distributing $500,000 per year for unduplicated services for seniors (over the age of 60) in Genesee County,” the former county manager reported.

Services provided to older adults by the fund include transportation through the Genesee County Office for the Aging and Community Action of Orleans and Genesee, Inc., financial management through Lifespan of Greater Rochester, handyman through PathStone Corp., home visitation through Catholic Charities, volunteerism through RSVP of Genesee County and library visits through Richmond Memorial Library.

Wallace, a former RACF employee and current Marshall Fund team chair, said all adults 60 and over are eligible to receive these services regardless of their income. She said the Office for the Aging acts as the administrative hub -- coordinating referrals, case management, volunteer support and special programs.

In January 2020, the planning team initiated the Ask Marshall campaign (www.askmarshall.net) that connects Geneseeans to the activities and resources in the area.

“The money is the least of what’s happening in Genesee County … we need to get people into the programs,” Wallace said, adding that continued enhancement of the website is the foundation’s “next big push.”

Whitmore, who served as OFA director for 18 years, said all of the services add up to putting “new meaning to life” for the recipients.

“A little kindness goes a long way,” she said. “The Marshall Fund is a very special gift to Genesee County. It provides an extra layer of service that brings that quality of life.”

Emphasizing that nothing compares to the fund across New York State, Whitmore said that "it’s just as important for caregivers to know about this as it is for the older adults.”

Leonard said Roxanne Marshall’s gift was the largest single gift to the RACF at that time and it is thriving 25 years later.

When added to money already allocated by the county and other sources, the fund’s contributions make “a wonderful partnership,” she said.

Goals of the planning team are to identify non-medical needs and opportunities for older adults in Genesee County, determine funding priorities and possibilities that are responsive to local needs, shape grantmaking strategies that meet the criteria of the fund, and provide for appropriate community input and reporting.

Other members of the Marshall Fund planning team are Ray Chaya, Richard Iannello, Peggy Lamb, Mary Ann Silvernail, Ruth Spink, Lynda Taylor, Diana Fox and Patricia Campbell.

For more information, call (585) 815-7979 or send an email to [email protected].

Photo: Bonnie Wallace, Marshall Fund planning team chair, speaks at Monday's Human Services Committee meeting. Photo by Mike Pettinella.

August 9, 2022 - 4:02pm

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Things are looking up for the Holland Land Office Museum at 131 West Main St., the Genesee County-supported facility dedicated to highlighting the events and people that have contributed to the region’s rich history.

Membership in the museum, which is managed by the board of directors of the Holland Purchase Historical Society, is nearing 250 and attendance since last July has surpassed the 3,000 mark.

Those benchmarks alone, says Executive Director Ryan Duffy, indicate that the museum definitely has bounced back from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Duffy and Don Burkel, HLOM board president, presented their yearly report on Monday at the Genesee County Legislature’s Human Services Committee meeting.

“Our membership topped 200 for 2021 for the first time in quite a few years and we’re 90 percent to that number this year,” Duffy said. “Our goal (for 2022) is 250 and we’re 75 percent to that.”

He said the museum is attracting more international visitors – especially from The Netherlands (due to this area being a Dutch settlement) – while the recording of its guest speaker series is getting hundreds of views on YouTube.

Duffy also mentioned the restarting of the History Heroes program this summer, which brought around 27 young people to the museum, and that the Wonderland of Trees was the museum’s biggest yet in terms of visitors and sponsors.

Volunteer support is crucial to the museum’s success, he noted, and was glad to report that 17 people donate their time on a regular basis.

“Volunteers, docents and interns completed more than 1,500 hours of community service up to this date,” he reported, adding that attendance and gift shop sales have returned to pre-2020 levels.

Going forward, Duffy said directors are in the early stages of obtaining a design for a new entrance off the West Wing of the building “to create a more welcoming and efficient entry” that would be Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant. Additionally, this space would be utilized for the relocation of the gift shop and a larger space for the research library.

“This will be a better spot for the gift shop, hopefully generating double the annual revenue, and we would gain exhibit space (by utilizing the area currently occupied by the gift shop),” he advised.

The museum also has initiated the Garth Swanson Memorial Scholarship, which will be available to students in 2023, Duffy said.

The scholarship will benefit current high school students planning to attend Genesee Community College or students attending GCC currently with a passion for history. It is in honor of Garth Swanson, a longtime board member and patron of the museum who passed away in early 2022.

The Holland Land Office Museum is currently operating under normal, yearlong hours. It is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday. For more information, call 585-343-4727.

Photo: Don Burkel, left, and Ryan Duffy, representing the Holland Land Office Museum, talked about the museum's activities over the past year at Monday's County Legislature Human Services Committee meeting. Photo by Mike Pettinella.

July 28, 2022 - 8:10am

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Things got a little steamy for Genesee County legislators Tuesday night.

The group walked in the county’s fair parade and then worked the Chuckwagon for the evening.

“As we all know, we're probably still a little warm from last night,” County Chairwoman Shelley Stein said during the Legislature meeting Wednesday. “And I will tell you, this is a group of hard-working people. We were on the front lines, and sometimes we lost our way. But as a group, we worked really well together. It was team building.”

Never mind the heatstroke, slightly tinged fingers, or burned hands on those front line volunteers, she said, with one legislator serving as the fry guy, another tracking the money, others flipping burgers and all of them otherwise absorbing the grill’s heat.

It was for a good cause, Stein said: the proceeds went to the Genesee County Agricultural Society, a group of volunteers who plan, organize and implement the weeklong event.

“It was an opportunity to see Genesee County agriculture shine,” she said. “Hats off to the Genesee County Fair.”

Fair activities have been scheduled every day since a horse show kicked off the event last Friday evening. It runs through Saturday at the fairgrounds on Route 5, Batavia. Click here for the schedule

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Top photo: Genesee County Legislators John Deleo, back, Gary Maha, center, and Christian Yunker, front, work the food service at the Chuckwagon Tuesday at  Genesee County Fair. Above, the legislators participate in the fair parade. Photos submitted by Lisa Casey.

July 22, 2022 - 8:10am

Genesee County Chamber of Commerce will be a little short in the wallet for a new branding initiative that the former president had proposed.

The county’s Ways and Means Committee voted this week to rescind the $139,500 advance payment because Erik Fix had requested a material change in the original proposal, and then shortly after resigned his position. Fix had initially requested $240,000 from the county to establish a branding initiative that would meet American Rescue Plan Act requirements. ARPA was established in 2021 to shore up American businesses and organizations that lost revenues due to the pandemic.

County Manager Matt Landers said that due to the change in terms from the chamber, county legislators and he agreed to terminate the contract.

“After the contract between the County and Chamber was executed, and the Chamber started the work on the contract, they suggested some changes on how to utilize the ARPA funds, which would require a contract amendment,” Landers said to The Batavian. “The County and the Chamber were in the process of exploring an appropriate contract amendment when the Chamber President announced he was leaving his post. Since Erik was the driving force behind this initiative, we felt it was appropriate to void the current contract altogether and hopefully bring forward a new one once a new president is on board.”

The budget will be amended by decreasing ARPA contractual expenses in the amount of $139,500, to be offset by a decrease in federal aid in the same amount.

The branding initiative stemmed from a template “that worked well in Livingston County” and seemed likely to also work well in Genesee County, Landers said.

“We are supportive of this effort that supports local tourism and local businesses,” he said. "Assisting local tourism efforts that suffered greatly during the pandemic is one of the areas targeted in the regulations on the ARPA funds.”

The money is to be reimbursed to the county in one lot, he said.  

Genesee County received a total of $11,125,969 in Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds made available through the federal ARPA, signed into law in March 2021.

June 23, 2022 - 8:20am

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Rendering by JMZ Architects and Planners for the new Student Success Center, shows the Conable Technology Building, to the far right, which is slated for a new roof.

It looks like Genesee Community College will be getting a new turf field, cooling tower, arts center connector and a roof for Conable Technology Building, with half of it to be paid for by Genesee County.

The county Legislature approved the request for 50 percent funding — $1.3 million — of the college’s capital projects during its Wednesday meeting.

The projects are to cost $950,000 for the turf field; $1.06 million for a new roof; $410,000 for cooling tower; and $180,000 for the  Arts Center connector replacement for a total of $2.6 million. The Legislature had committed to paying for half in November 2021, and the bill has been delivered. The county’s Ways & Means Committee had previously reviewed and recommended that the county pony up for the expense.

During talks last fall, college President James Sunser had called the projects “long-standing critical needs,” and urged the Legislature to enter into a 50-50 agreement to pay for them. The projects are part of GCC’s Facilities Master Plan, which was approved by the college’s Board of Trustees before being submitted to Genesee County and New York State’s Dormitory Authority. If the county committed to paying for half, the state would do likewise, Sunser had said.

The turf field will be a replacement for the nearly 13-year-old soccer and lacrosse field adjacent to Richard C. Call Arena; a new cooling tower would replace one that is “well past its useful life,”while an updated connective corridor will be situated between original buildings, from the cafeteria to the fine arts building and theater. A new roof for the Conable Technology Building would shore up one that was part of the original 2000 structure, which has developed leaks, Sunser had said. A new parking lot for Conable, at a cost of $800,000, would have made the county's total $1.7 million, and is not on the list approved by the Legislature.

At that meeting in November, Legislator Gary Maha had expressed concern about doling out $70 million for a new county jail, and that this additional spending was “kind of hard to swallow in one year.” Nonetheless, the full Legislature agreed to the move on Wednesday.

The county plans to transfer $1.3 million into the general budget, with 1 percent of sales tax offsetting the increased spending.

“Genesee County will be responsible for $1.3 million for said projects,” the resolution states.

 

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