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Tax Cap Override Local Law Approved
The Legislature approved its standard annual resolution adopting a Local Law that permits the Legislature to override the tax levy limit for 2019 as part of adoption of the 2019 Tompkins County Budget. The vote was 12-1, with Legislator Glenn Morey voting no and Legislator Mike Sigler excused. No one spoke at the public hearing preceding the vote. The law does not necessarily mean that the Legislature will override the cap, but provides the flexibility to exceed the cap if it is deemed necessary.

The Legislature has routinely passed such laws since the State Property Tax law was passed, and the law can be rescinded later. The Legislature has already directed the County Administrator to prepare a Recommended 2019 Budget based on a maximum 2.2% tax levy increase, which is less than the currently the County's projected cap of 2.87% for 2019.

Public Hearing Scheduled on Updated Sustainable Energy Loan Program Law
The Legislature scheduled a July 17 public hearing on a new Local Law to modify the County's 2015 Local Law establishing the County's Sustainable Energy Loan Program. The hearing is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. at County Legislature Chambers at the Governor Daniel D. Tompkins Building, 121 E. Court Street, Ithaca.

The Sustainable Energy Loan Program, adopted by the County Legislature in 2015, provides Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing for local energy-related improvement projects by implementing the Energize NY Benefit Financing Program authorized by New York State. The financing program helps commercial and non-profit building owners reduce operating costs and increase the value of their properties through clean energy improvements. The recommended modifications would incorporate updated provisions of the New York State PACE law, and would keep the County's PACE provisions in line with the City of Ithaca's PACE law, adopted in March.

Contract Awarded for Dodge Road Bridge Replacement
The Legislature, without dissent, awarded Silverline Construction, Inc., of Burdett, NY, the construction contract for the replacement of the Dodge Road Bridge over Cascadilla Creek in the Town of Dryden. (Legislator Mike Sigler was excused.) Silverline's bid of $489,715 was the lowest responsible bid of five received for the project. Since Dodge Road is a town road, 20% of the project cost is anticipated to be paid by the Town of Dryden.

Among other business,

  • The Legislature approved a resolution constituting a formal request to join the Economic Development District of the Southern Tier, following up the County's decision to rejoin the Southern Tier East Regional Planning Development Board (now rebranded as Southern Tier Eight Regional Board). Such membership in the District is required for the County to have access to U.S. Economic Development Administration funding for large scale economic development programs and projects; the request goes to other participating counties in the District.
  • Retterer and Sons of Corning, NY was awarded a three-year contract for terminal cleaning services at Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport, beginning August 1, 2018.

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