Planning, Development, and Environmental Quality Committee

Regular Meeting Notes – Draft 7-12-17

Thursday, June 29, 2017 3:00 PM

Legislature Chambers

 

Attendance

Attendee Name

Title

Status

Martha Robertson

Chair

Present

Dooley Kiefer

Vice Chair

Present

Michael Sigler

Member

Present

David McKenna

Member

Present

Carol Chock

Member

Excused

Katrina McCloy

Deputy Clerk, Legislature

Present

Joe Mareane

County Administrator

Present

Ed Marx

Planning and Sustainability Commissioner

Present

Katie Borgella

Deputy Planning & Sustainability Commissioner

Present

Scott Doyle

Planner, Tompkins County Planning Department

Present

Megan McDonald

Senior Planner

Present

Michael Stamm

President, TCAD

Present

Margaret Frank

TCAD

Present

Brian Eden

Environmental Management Council

Present

Call to Order

              Ms. Robertson, Chair, called the meeting to order at 3:04 p.m.

Public Comment

              There were no members of the public present to speak. 

Changes to Agenda

              There were no changes to the agenda.

Chair's Report

              Ms. Robertson and Mr. Mareane said the search for the new Commissioner of the Planning and Sustainability Department has begun and the search committee has been established. Mr. Mareane distributed copies of the job posting and said it will be posted through August 4th.  Interviews will begin the later part of August and he will keep the Committee informed.      

 

              Mr. Mareane stated Mr. Marx’s official date of retirement is August 25th and the new Commissioner will likely not start until late September or October and Ms. Borgella has agreed to fill-in on an interim basis during that time. 

Environmental Management Council

Tompkins County Environmental Management Council (EMC) 2016 Annual Report (ID #7125)

              Brian Eden, Vice Chair, Environmental Management Council (EMC), provided a review of the Tompkins County 2016 Annual Report.  The primary responsibility of the EMC is to support the County Legislature in its natural resource planning and the Comprehensive Plan regarding greenhouse gas reduction.  Members of the EMC meet with developers to influence more efficient building construction in support of renewable energy resources.  Mr. Eden spoke of the multiple energy committees in the community and stated the EMC has changed from an energy committee to more of a climate adaptation committee. 

 

              Ms. Robertson inquired about the membership of the EMC and the Towns of Enfield, Lansing, and Newfield not being represented.  Mr. Eden stated Michelle Henry is now the Town of Newfield representative but there are no representatives from the Towns of Enfield and Lansing.  Ms. Henry is also the EMC’s representative on the Water Resources Council (WRC). 

 

              Ms. Robertson spoke of the Bell Station property that New York State was willing to purchase but NYSEG was not willing to sell.  Mr. Marx stated the property is still owned by NYSEG and there are no known plans to develop or sell it.  Mr. Eden stated a Unique Natural Area (UNA) designation has no regulatory impact on property but this property does have some rare plant species and rock formations.  Mr. Sigler stated it is a 485-acre parcel that the Land Trust is hopeful the State would turn into a State Forest.  The Land Trust is working on it but NYSEG does not want to sell at this point.

 

              Following an inquiry by Ms. Robertson, Mr. Eden stated the EMC does coordinate with the WRC and he is in constant contact with Darby Kilday, Chair, and they share meeting agendas and minutes so work is not duplicated. 

* * * * * * * * *

Tompkins County Area Development (TCAD)

Tompkins County Area Development June 2017 Report (ID #7123)

              Mr. Stamm spoke of the Advanced Manufacturing Training initiative being a collaborative effort with Workforce Development.  He stated TCAD continues to hear there is a need to train individuals for entry-level positions within the manufacturing realm.  There have been a wide range of people involved with this initiative and the event held was well attended.  As a result two committees have been created. The first committee is the development of a pipeline for potential employees that will involve getting the schools to provide information to parents and ensure kids understand the career opportunities.  The second committee will look into the training of incumbent workers that are already in place in a manufacturing position. 

 

              Mr. Stamm said the efforts of the two committees being formed will be ongoing and the efforts include companies from outside the Tompkins County area because in order to have enough demand for a program and the needed supply there is a need to reach beyond Tompkins County companies. 

 

              Ms. Robertson asked if TCAD is finding interest from companies in apprenticeship programs and building the long-term relationship that goes along with those programs.  Mr. Stamm stated companies have expressed interest and spoke of one company currently involved with this.

 

              Ms. Kiefer asked for a description of the IDA's Energy Incentive Package.  Mr. Stamm stated the IDA, with assistance from Taitem, studied this issue and has tried to develop an incentive package that would encourage IDA customers to invest more in energy-related systems.  For example, the IDA delivered additional incentives to the developer/owner of the Harold Square building to invest in energy reducing systems.  He stated the companies are asked to commit to the following:

 

1.              Provide the IDA with an Annual Report of Energy Utilization

2.              Participate in NYSERDA’s multi-family new construction program and achieve design at the tier 3 level

3.              The company will within 18 months of issuance of the certificate of occupancy submit a NYSERDA third party certification and results of on-sight inspection.

 

              Mr. Stamm stated they are asking companies to do much more with respect to energy demand reduction in exchange for additional incentives. 

 

              Ms. Kiefer inquired what would be done to a company who was found out of compliance with these commitments.  Mr. Stamm stated the IDA would withdraw the incentives and pull the approval for any future incentives.  The IDA has provided these incentives for the Ithaca Computing Center and City Center.  Ms. Kiefer requested the Committee be kept up-to-date if the commitments are not met. 

* * * * * * * * *

Planning and Sustainability Department

Resolution No. - Endorsing the Tompkins County Housing Strategy (ID #7126)

              Ms. McDonald provided a draft Housing Strategy document with a few additional changes and explained those changes. 

RESULT:              RECOMMENDED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              Michael Sigler, Member

SECONDER:              Dooley Kiefer, Vice Chair

AYES:              Robertson, Kiefer, Sigler, McKenna

EXCUSED:              Chock

              WHEREAS, an inadequate supply and variety of housing options are long-standing challenges in Tompkins County that significantly impact the physical, psychological, social, and economic health and stability of many individuals and families, and

 

              WHEREAS, the first Tompkins County Housing Strategy endorsed by the County Legislature in June 2007 established housing goals through 2014 and led to the development of the Community Housing Development Fund, and

 

              WHEREAS, the Tompkins County Comprehensive Plan states the principle that the county “should be a place where housing is affordable, safe, energy efficient, and appealing,” and

 

              WHEREAS, Tompkins County will not be able to meet its goals that range from greenhouse gas emissions reduction and sustainability to economic prosperity and safe and efficient transportation systems without an adequate supply and variety of housing, and

 

              WHEREAS, Tompkins County has conducted extensive public outreach to share information and gather input on housing issues and potential approaches to address community housing needs, and

 

              WHEREAS, Tompkins County completed the Housing Needs Assessment in November 2016, and

 

              WHEREAS, Tompkins County and its partners in the community developed and hosted the Tompkins County Housing Summit in November and December 2016, which provided insights and community input regarding barriers to meeting our local housing needs and ideas to overcome those barriers, and

 

              WHEREAS, Tompkins County further explored the County’s role in housing through its Legislature and Department Heads retreat in March 2017, and

 

              WHEREAS, Tompkins County has prepared a new Housing Strategy incorporating input and information gathered through recent housing efforts to establish targets and approaches to address community housing needs over the next ten years, and

 

              WHEREAS, there are no financial implications associated with endorsing this Strategy although implementation of the Strategy is anticipated to have financial implications that would be reviewed by the Legislature prior to implementation, now therefore be it

 

RESOLVED, on recommendation of the Planning, Development, and Environmental Quality Committee, That the Tompkins County Legislature endorses the Tompkins County Housing Strategy, dated June 2017.

SEQR ACTION:  TYPE II-20

* * * * * * * * *

 

Tompkins County Natural Infrastructure Capital Project Update - Scott Doyle, Planning Department (15 minutes) (ID #7132)

              Mr. Doyle provided a PowerPoint presentation entitled regarding Tompkins County Natural Infrastructure Capital Program, 2017 Implementation Update.  He stated the intention of investing in the natural infrastructure is to reduce the costs related to flooding and water quality improvements.  The core focus of the program is to preserve and protect the natural systems to mitigate flood impacts, protect the overall water quality, and decrease the sediment loads. 

 

              Mr. Doyle explained the three major components of the watershed as follows:

             

·              Upper Watershed Forests and Wetlands,

·              Stream Corridors and Floodplains, and

·              Aquifer Recharge Areas.

 

              Mr. Doyle stated the tools to protect the natural infrastructure include the implementation of conservation easement, recapping of floodplains, comprehensive stream bank restoration, innovative storm water techniques, and aquifer recharge area protection. 

 

              Mr. Doyle provided a brief description of the Natural Infrastructure Program Development beginning with approval of the initial funding by the Legislature.  Mr. Marx explained how the landowners are motivated to protect their farms and in doing so they are willing to work on these natural protection areas on their lands.   

 

              Mr. Doyle stated projects are being reviewed from all parts of the County.  The three proposed projects being considered are:

 

·              The Lounsbery Tract - Six Mile Creek Source Water Protection Project

·              The Etna Swamp - Brotherton Farm Protection Project

·              The Emerald Necklace / Charles Spencer Preserver: Ott Tract Protection Project

* * * * * * * * *

 

Resolution No. - Making a Negative Determination of Environmental Significance in Relation to Resolution No. ___ of 2017: Appropriating Funds from the Tompkins County Natural Infrastructure Capital Project for the Lounsbery Tract - Six Mile Creek Source Water Protection Project (ID #7131)

Mr. Doyle stated the Lounsbery Tract - Six Mile Creek Source Water Protection Project is for a conservation easement on a privately owned stream corridor in the Town of Caroline.  This is a classic small farm consisting of 125 acres that includes a significant natural infrastructure component of almost 4,000 feet of frontage on Six Mile Creek. 

 

Mr. Doyle stated the project proposal is a request for $15,000 of Natural Infrastructure Funds and the same amount is being requested from the City of Ithaca to protect their water source.  A partnership with the Finger Lakes Land Trust is being proposed to apply for Water Quality Improvement Grant funds through the Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) process for a total funding of $250,000 to acquire the easement and ensure this protection is in existence.  He stated the funding is contingent upon receiving this grant. 

 

Mr. Doyle explained that the project includes a 300 foot buffer along the creek and an additional planted restoration to further bolster that buffer.  The entire 125-acre farm would be under easement and the easement would be held by the Finger Lakes Land Trust. 

 

              Mr. Sigler inquired if there was a need for the easement on the entire property.  Mr. Doyle explained how this would protect the entire parcel even though the more important part is the side along the creek. 

RESULT:              RECOMMENDED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              Michael Sigler, Member

SECONDER:              David McKenna, Member

AYES:              Robertson, Kiefer, Sigler, McKenna

EXCUSED:              Chock

              WHEREAS, in Resolution No. ___ of 2017 the County allocates funding from the Tompkins County Natural Infrastructure Capital Project funds for the purpose of supporting the acquisition and easement on the 125-acre Six Mile Creek Source Water Protection Project (Town of Caroline tax parcel 9.-1-39.2), and 

 

              WHEREAS, the Tompkins County Legislature has reviewed and accepted as adequate the Environmental Assessment Forms with respect to these actions, now therefore be it

 

              RESOLVED, on recommendation of the Planning, Development, and Environmental Quality Committee, That Resolution No. ___ of 2017 is an unlisted action,

 

              RESOLVED, further, That the Legislature hereby makes a negative determination of environmental significance in regard to Resolution No. ___ of 2017.

SEQR ACTION:  Short EAF on file with the Clerk of the Legislature

* * * * * * * * *

 

Resolution No. - Appropriating Funds from Tompkins County Natural Infrastructure Capital Project for the Lounsbery Tract - Six Mile Creek Water Protection Project (ID #7128)

RESULT:              RECOMMENDED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              David McKenna, Member

SECONDER:              Michael Sigler, Member

AYES:              Robertson, Kiefer, Sigler, McKenna

EXCUSED:              Chock

              WHEREAS, the Tompkins County Legislature established the Natural Infrastructure Capital Project in 2017, and

 

              WHEREAS, the current balance in the Natural Infrastructure Capital Project fund is $200,000, and

 

WHEREAS, the Natural Infrastructure Capital Project is focused on protection, by acquisition, easement, restoration, and/or stabilization, of:

·              Upper watershed forests and wetlands;

·              Stream corridors and floodplains;

·              Aquifer recharge areas, and

 

WHEREAS, the objectives of the Natural Infrastructure Capital Project are to:

·              Protect and enhance those natural systems that can help to mitigate the impacts of intensive rainfall events that are expected to continue to increase as a result of climate change;

·              Help decrease sediment loads in streams and Cayuga Lake;

·              Protect overall water quality in streams, surficial aquifers, and Cayuga Lake, and

 

WHEREAS, the Natural Infrastructure Capital project goal is to reduce risks of flooding and protect public and private water supplies, and

 

WHEREAS, the Project Selection Criteria and Process, accepted by the Planning, Development, and Environmental Quality Committee in February 2017, outlined the following evaluation criteria:

·              The cost effectiveness of project in achieving the Natural Infrastructure Capital Project objectives;

·              The ability for the project to leverage additional funding;

·              The project’s location within one of the Tompkins County Conservation Plan’s Priority Protection areas or is of sufficient size to make a major contribution to protection of natural infrastructure, and

 

WHEREAS, the project is to provide funding from the Natural Infrastructure Capital Project fund to support the Six Mile Creek Source Water Protection Project - Lounsbery Tract, and

 

WHEREAS, the Six Mile Creek Source Water Protection Project - Lounsbery Tract,

·              Protects and enhances 3,900 feet of Six Mile Creek stream corridor;

·              Improves overall water quality and reduces flow rates to Six Mile Creek and the City of Ithaca’s water source;

·              Proposes leveraging funding from both the City of Ithaca’s Six Mile Creek Watershed Protection Fund as well as the New York State Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) Source Water Protection funding; 

·              Is of sufficient size to make a major contribution to protection of natural infrastructure; and

 

WHEREAS, support from the Natural Infrastructure Project fund is an important but modest component of the total funding needed to implement the Six Mile Creek Source Water Projection Project and acquire a perpetual easement held by the Finger Lakes Land Trust on the Lounsbery Tract, and

 

              WHEREAS, the Commissioner of Planning and Sustainability and the Planning Advisory Board have recommended that the County Legislature authorize $15,000 in funding from the Natural Infrastructure Capital Project to support the Six Mile Creek Source Water Protection Project - Lounsbery Tract, contingent on the awarding of  City of Ithaca and WQIP Source Water Protection Funding, now therefore be it

 

              RESOLVED, on recommendation of the Planning, Development, and Environmental Quality Committee, That a total of $15,000 in funding from the Natural Infrastructure Capital Project be appropriated for the purpose of supporting the Six Mile Creek Source Water Protection Project - Lounsbery Tract project,

 

RESOLVED, further, That the Director of Finance be authorized and directed to make an adjustment to the Planning Department budget from the Natural Infrastructure Capital Project fund,

 

RESOLVED, further, That the County Administrator or his designee be authorized to execute any contracts or agreements related to this project.

SEQR ACTION:  Unlisted (Short EAF on file with the Clerk of the Legislature)

* * * * * * * * *

 

Resolution No. - Making a Negative Determination of Environmental Significance in Relation to Resolution No. ___ of 2017: Appropriating Funds from the Tompkins County Natural Infrastructure Capital Project For The Etna Swamp - Brotherton Farm Protection Project (ID #7133)

Mr. Doyle described the Etna Swamp - Brotherton Farm Natural Infrastructure Capital project as a wetland system that is a unique natural area and the property owner owns the majority of the wetland that drains to Fall Creek.  The proposal is for $20,000 to protect the farm with the major focus being on the swamp and a buffer zone to the swamp.  The parcel includes 323 acres located along Route 13 and on both sides of Ringwood Road and is currently actively farmed. 

 

Mr. Doyle stated the wetland area currently has a Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) protected buffer and this project includes an enhancement of that buffer.  Matching funds will be required from the Finger Lakes Land Trust for the advancement of protection for an easement. 

RESULT:              RECOMMENDED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              David McKenna, Member

SECONDER:              Michael Sigler, Member

AYES:              Robertson, Kiefer, Sigler, McKenna

EXCUSED:              Chock

              WHEREAS, in Resolution No. ___ of 2017 the County allocates funding from the Tompkins County Natural Infrastructure Capital Project funds for the purpose of supporting the easement on the 324-acre Etna Swamp - Brotherton Farm Project (Town of Dryden tax parcel 46.-1-4.22), and 

 

              WHEREAS, the Tompkins County Legislature has reviewed and accepted as adequate the Environmental Assessment Forms with respect to these actions, now therefore be it

 

              RESOLVED, on recommendation of the Planning, Development, and Environmental Quality Committee, That Resolution No. ___ of 2017 is an unlisted action,

 

              RESOLVED, further, That the Legislature hereby makes a negative determination of environmental significance in regard to Resolution No. ___ of 2017.

SEQR ACTION:  Short EAF on file with the Clerk of the Legislature

* * * * * * * * *

 

Resolution No. - Appropriating Funds from Tompkins County Natural Infrastructure Capital Project for the Etna Swamp – Brotherton Farm Protection Project (ID #7129)

RESULT:              RECOMMENDED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              David McKenna, Member

SECONDER:              Michael Sigler, Member

AYES:              Robertson, Kiefer, Sigler, McKenna

EXCUSED:              Chock

              WHEREAS, the Tompkins County Legislature established the Natural Infrastructure Capital Project in 2017, and

 

              WHEREAS, as of June 29, 2017, the balance in the Natural Infrastructure Capital Project fund is $200,000, and

 

WHEREAS, the Natural Infrastructure Capital Project is focused on protection, by acquisition, easement, restoration, and/or stabilization, of:

·              Upper watershed forests and wetlands;

·              Stream corridors and floodplains;

·              Aquifer recharge areas, and

 

              WHEREAS, the objectives of the Natural Infrastructure Capital Project is to:

·              Protect and enhance those natural systems that can help to mitigate the impacts of intensive rainfall events that are expected to continue to increase as a result of climate change;

·              Help decrease sediment loads in streams and Cayuga Lake;

·              Protect overall water quality in streams, surficial aquifers, and Cayuga Lake, and

 

WHEREAS, the Natural Infrastructure Capital project goal is to reduce risks of flooding and protect public and private water supplies, and

 

WHEREAS, the Project Selection Criteria and Process, accepted by the Planning, Development, and Environmental Quality Committee in February 2017, outlined the following evaluation criteria:

·              The cost effectiveness of project in achieving the Natural Infrastructure Capital Project objectives;

·              The ability for the project to leverage additional funding;

·              The project is of sufficient size to make a major contribution to protection of natural infrastructure, and

 

WHEREAS, the project is to provide funding from the Natural Infrastructure Capital Project fund to support the Etna Swamp - Brotherton Farm Protection Project, and

 

WHEREAS, the Etna Swamp - Brotherton Farm Protection Project,

·              Enhances the Unique Natural Area Etna Swamp (UNA-82) wetland area that feeds Fall Creek;

·              Helps to decrease the sediment loads to Fall Creek;

·              Leverages funding from the Finger Lakes Land Trust to develop and implement the permanent conservation easement; 

·              Is of sufficient size to make a major contribution of natural infrastructure by formally protecting hydrologically sensitive areas in the Fall Creek corridor; and

 

WHEREAS, support from the Natural Infrastructure Project fund is an important but not sole component of the total funding needed to implement the Etna Swamp - Brotherton Farm Protection Project, and

 

              WHEREAS, the Commissioner of Planning and Sustainability and the Planning Advisory Board have recommended that the County Legislature authorize $20,000 in funding from the Natural Infrastructure Capital Project to support the Etna Swamp - Brotherton Farm Protection Project, now therefore be it

 

              RESOLVED, on recommendation of the Planning, Development, and Environmental Quality Committee, That a total of $20,000 in funding from the Natural Infrastructure Capital Project be appropriated for the purpose of supporting the Etna Swamp - Brotherton Farm Protection Project,

 

RESOLVED, further, That the Director of Finance be authorized and directed to make an adjustment to the Planning Department budget from the Natural Infrastructure Capital Project fund for this project,

 

RESOLVED, further, That the County Administrator or his designee be authorized to execute any contracts or agreements related to this project.

SEQR ACTION:  Unlisted (Short EAF on file with the Clerk of the Legislature)

* * * * * * * * *

 

Resolution No. - Making a Negative Determination of Environmental Significance in Relation to Resolution No. ___ of 2017: Appropriating Funds From the Capital Reserve Fund for Natural, Scenic, and Recreational Resource Protection for the Emerald Necklace/Charles Spencer Preserve: Ott Tract Protection Project (ID #7130)

              Mr. Doyle explained this project uses a different funding stream.  He said the current balance is $75,000 and is being considered due to the potential connection of natural feature focus areas.  The property is located in the Town of Newfield and there is a unique mix of different kinds of conservation uses in this natural features focus area.  Mr. Doyle explained that the project involves an easement for 91 acres of the 159-acre parcel.  The proposal involves a request for $25,000 to assist in the advancement of the easement.

RESULT:              RECOMMENDED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              David McKenna, Member

SECONDER:              Michael Sigler, Member

AYES:              Robertson, Kiefer, Sigler, McKenna

EXCUSED:              Chock

              WHEREAS, in Resolution No. ___ of 2017 the County allocates funding from the Capital Reserve Fund for Natural, Scenic, and Recreational Resource Protection to the Finger Lakes Land Trust for the purpose of supporting the acquisition and easement on 157 acres of the Emerald Necklace/Charles Spencer Preserve: Ott Tract Protection Project (Town of Newfield tax parcel 33.-1-7.2), and 

 

              WHEREAS, the Tompkins County Legislature has reviewed and accepted as adequate the Environmental Assessment Forms with respect to these actions, now therefore be it

 

              RESOLVED, on recommendation of the Planning, Development, and Environmental Quality Committee, That Resolution No. ___ of 2017 is an unlisted action,

 

              RESOLVED, further, That the Legislature hereby makes a negative determination of environmental significance in regard to Resolution No.       of 2017.

SEQR ACTION:  Short EAF on file with the Clerk of the Legislature

* * * * * * * * *

 

Resolution No. - Appropriating Funds from the Capital Reserve Fund for Natural, Scenic, and Recreational Resource Protection for the Emerald Necklace/Charles Spencer Preserve: Ott Tract Protection Project (ID #7127)

RESULT:              RECOMMENDED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              David McKenna, Member

SECONDER:              Michael Sigler, Member

AYES:              Robertson, Kiefer, Sigler, McKenna

EXCUSED:              Chock

              WHEREAS, the Tompkins County Legislature established the Capital Reserve Fund for Natural, Scenic, and Recreational Resource Protection by Resolution No. 217 of 2005, and

 

              WHEREAS, the current balance in the Capital Reserve Fund is $75,023.06, and

 

WHEREAS, the purpose of the Capital Reserve Fund is to support participation by Tompkins County in partnerships with other levels of government and private organizations to:

·              protect and preserve the natural, scenic, and recreational resources found in the Agricultural Resource Focus Areas (ARFA) and Natural Features Focus Areas (NFFA) identified in the Comprehensive Plan;

·              preserve and develop recreational trail corridors that cross municipal borders; and

·              develop outdoor recreation facilities, within the focus areas, that are intended to serve all county residents, and

 

WHEREAS, the Program Guidelines for use of the Capital Reserve Fund call for proposed projects to substantially further at least one of the following objectives:

·              Protect a stream buffer at least 330 feet in width,

·              Provide public access to the Cayuga Lake shore,

·              Protect land that is adjacent to permanently protected open space,

·              Preserve land on an existing or potential intermunicipal trail corridor,

·              Protect a high concentration of Prime Soils or Soils of Statewide Significance,

·              Protect a Distinctive or Noteworthy view as identified in the Tompkins County Scenic Resources Inventory,

·              Is located in a NFFA or ARFA as identified in the Tompkins County Comprehensive Plan or serves as a potential link to connect resources within these areas,

·              Protects corridor or habitat that can provide for connectivity between protected areas, and

 

WHEREAS, the Finger Lakes Land Trust has requested financial support from the Capital Reserve Fund for the purpose of preserving the 157-acre Jackson Hollow Road property (Town of Newfield Tax Parcel 33.-1-7.2) to connect and provide habitat linking important NFFAs as well as adjacent public open space resources, and

 

WHEREAS, the Jackson Hollow Road property:

·              Protects a stream buffer of over 330 feet in width;

·              Protects habitat that provides connectivity between NFFAs protected areas, and

·              Connects to existing protected lands.

 

WHEREAS, support from the Capital Reserve Fund is an important but modest component of the total funding needed to complete the survey for the acquisition of the parcel, and

 

              WHEREAS, the Commissioner of Planning and Sustainability and the Planning Advisory Board have recommended that the County Legislature authorize $25,000 in funding from the Capital Reserve Fund to support the Emerald Necklace/Charles Spencer Preserve: Ott Tract Protection Project, now therefore be it

 

              RESOLVED, on recommendation of the Planning, Development, and Environmental Quality Committee, That a total of $25,000 in funding from the Capital Reserve Fund for Natural, Scenic, and Recreational Resource Protection be appropriated for the purpose of supporting the Finger Lakes Land Trust’s Emerald Necklace/Charles Spencer Preserve: Ott Tract Protection Project,

 

RESOLVED, further, That the Director of Finance be authorized and directed to make an adjustment to the Planning and Sustainability Department budget (A8027.54400 - $25,00) from the Capital Reserve Fund for Natural, Scenic, and Recreational Resource Protection,

 

RESOLVED, further, That the County Administrator or his designee be authorized to execute any contracts or agreements related to this project.

SEQR ACTION:  Unlisted (Short EAF on file with the Clerk of the Legislature)

* * * * * * * * *

 

Commissioner's Report

              Mr. Marx provided a brief report on the following:

 

·              Biggs/Harris B. Dates Drive Property - Mr. Marx stated he has had a meeting with neighboring property owners regarding the purchase of the property and has already met with the Town of Ithaca and they are agreeable with the process being discussed.

·              DeWitt House - Mr. Marx stated the City of Ithaca has granted its final approval of the DeWitt House project on the Old Library site.  The next step will be to present the resolution regarding the transfer of the property to Travis Hyde. 

·              NYS DOT Site - Mr. Marx and Mr. Mareane spoke with the Regional DOT Office Attorney and will be sending written materials that will include steps in the process and highlight the issues they would like resolved.  Mr. Marx is hopeful they can put together a grant application based on that information for the Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) summer process.  He stated it seems likely this decision will be made in the Governor’s Office.  Ms. Robertson inquired if this is in need of a “political push”.  Mr. Marx stated the Governor’s Office is aware of the desire to move the facility.  He said there is no question once the property becomes available it will be developed in a positive and successful manner.  Ms. Robertson suggested a letter of support from Mayor Myrick may be helpful to accompany the grant packet. 

 

              Mr. Marx stated the transition period for his impending retirement has begun and Ms. Borgella is fully prepared and capable of serving in the interim capacity and working to ensure it is a smooth process.  He is beginning to have discussions internally regarding turnover and is working on the budget process.

 

              Ms. Kiefer asked if the City of Ithaca informs the Planning and Sustainability Department about their dredging and spoiling projects.  Mr. Marx stated they have not heard anything but will look into this. 

Minutes Approval

June 1, 2017

RESULT:              ACCEPTED [3 TO 1]

MOVER:              Michael Sigler, Member

SECONDER:              David McKenna, Member

AYES:              Robertson, Sigler, McKenna

NAYS:              Kiefer

EXCUSED:              Chock

Committee Members' Reports

              Ms. Kiefer spoke of work being done by the City of Ithaca as discussed at the last Metropolitan Planning Organization meeting and asked if the County is made aware of the construction areas in advance.  Mr. Marx stated the City provides him with a map of the construction areas.  Ms. Kiefer suggested making that information available to the public on the County’s Public Information page. 

 

              Ms. Borgella stated the Planning and Sustainability Department is planning a retirement party for Mr. Marx sometime during the week of August 21st

 

              Ms. Robertson stated she has no new information from the Public Service Commission regarding NYSEG and the Lansing Moratorium and Alternative Compressor Stations.

 

              Ms. Kiefer spoke of a new organization named Cayuga Lake Environmental Action Now (CLEAN) who opposes Cargill’s salt mining operations under Cayuga Lake and the Cargill Shaft #4 project.  She stated she was impressed by the trip some members took to Albany to oppose the new shaft project.

 

              Mr. Sigler stated his disagreement with Ms. Kiefer and believes the information this group presents is highly publicized and factually incorrect.

 

              Ms. Robertson stated she has heard a great deal of information regarding this topic when it came before the Industrial Development Agency and was supportive of the mine shaft project.

Adjournment

              The meeting adjourned at 4:40 p.m.