PILOT deal, school officers before county lawmakers

Published Jul 10, 2018 at 4:00pm

A payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) agreement for a project at the former Rome Cable company site, and creation of 23 part-time patrol officer positions to assist school districts, will be considered by the county Board of Legislators on Wednesday.

Among other items before the board will be the 2018-19 Mohawk Valley Community College operating budget, and capital projects involving MVCC athletic field renovations plus updating the county government phone system.

The board meets at 2 p.m. Wednesday in the ceremonial courtroom on the fifth floor of the Oneida County Courthouse, 200 Elizabeth St. in Utica. On the agenda:

• A resolution involves the county’s portion of the process for approving PILOT terms and allocating PILOT payments regarding efforts by Mohawk Valley EDGE and the Rome Industrial Development Corporation to develop the former Rome Cable site.

Among others involved in the process are the Oneida County Industrial Development Agency, Rome Board of Education, and Rome Common Council, who all have approved the PILOT-related items.

Among elements of the project are plans by the Cold Point company to relocate from west Rome and expand into a new 50,000-square-foot facility while retaining 37 jobs and adding 15 others. The PILOT involving Cold Point would be for 20 years, initially at 50 percent of estimated property taxes and gradually increasing to 60 percent at 20 years.

• The 23 proposed special patrol officer positions in the county sheriff’s office would be at a rate of $25.48 per hour, and would be assigned to various school districts in the county to provide safety and security for children and staff, according to a resolution.

Positions were requested by county Sherriff Robert Maciol, said county Commissioner of Personnel John Talerico in a June 1 letter to County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. Maciol, in a May 23 letter to Talerico, said various districts “are looking to have the sheriff’s office provide security on school grounds.”

• A resolution to approve MVCC’s proposed 2018-19 operating budget of $51.92 million refers to a county contribution of $8.07 million.

The resolution also calls for approving the equipment budget for $100,000 for updating five computer labs at MVCC’s Utica campus; funding of MVCC’s Achieving the Dream initiative for $125,000; and funding of MVCC’s dual-credit scholarships for $50,000.

• A capital project for design work for MVCC athletic fields renovation would involve $250,000 in state aid and another $250,000 through the MVCC Foundation, according to a resolution.

The college is seeking to do a schematic design this summer so that it can come to the capital projects committee in August to request construction funding, MVCC Vice President for Administrative Services Thomas Squires said in a June 12 letter to county budget division Director Thomas Keeler.

• Establishment of a capital project to update county departments’ phone systems includes $200,000 in bonding, according to a resolution.

The project would immediately address concerns with the Sheriff’s Department phone systems, “as well as being funded for the next three years and update the whole Oneida County phone system,” Picente said in a June 5 letter to legislators’ board Chairman Gerald J. Fiorini. The estimated cost to replace the entire phone system is $600,000.

Picente noted the County Office Building is functioning on a system that is over 30 years old and is “approaching its out-of-service date.”