City refines legislation on solar arrays
ROME — Updates were given on legislation outlining guidelines to be taken by the city concerning proposals for solar array projects during Wednesday’s Common Council meeting held in Council Chambers of City Hall.
During Councilor Reports, Third Ward Councilor Kimberly Rogers said she, along with Chief Codes Enforcement Officer Mark Domenico, City Corporation Counsel Gerard Feeney, Deputy Director of Community & Economic Development Matthew Andrews, Christian Mercurio with Mohawk Valley EDGE, Sixth Ward Councilor Riccardo D. Dursi Jr. and community members met Tuesday to review the draft legislation.
“There were several comments from everyone along the way by members of the public, other city councilors and city staff” during the drafting process, Rogers said. “It’s a good draft document I hope to have on the agenda for next meeting.”
The next Common Council meeting with be 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 28. Rogers explained that when the legislation does go before the council, it will automatically be tabled so that it may first be reviewed and considered by the city Planning Board, which is the first step in the process.
“The legislation is lengthy, but comprehensive, and in the end it’s a really good approach to dealing with solar arrays in the city,” said Rogers. “It’s much more protective for residents than what we had.”
In other business:
• Fifth Ward Councilor Frank R. Anderson explained that Resolution 100, which would authorize City Treasurer David C. Nolan to close out capital projects, was discussed during the latest Finance Committee meeting. As a result, Resolution 100 would close out 12 capital projects. The resolution was then unanimously approved.
• During reports of city officials, Treasurer Nolan asked the council to strike an item on the second page of Resolution 101 concerning the inside district in regards to gasoline for Rome Police Department. He said that cost would be covered by a budget transfer later this month. Councilor Anderson pointed out that three of the proposed budget transfers dealt with rising costs for fuel, similar to legislation approved at the council’s prior meeting.
In respect to the portion of legislation dealing with the general city, sewer and water liability insurance, Anderson asked Corporation Counsel Feeney if the city had the option for a self-insured plan. “They stopped doing self-insured retention programs so the previous program we had, is no longer available to use,” said Feeney. “So we’re paying more, but it’s a less out-of-pocket risk for the city.” The city’s insurance contract runs from March to March, he said.
Following discussions and a motion to amend the legislation to strike the portion concerning gasoline for Rome Police Department, Resolution 101 was unanimously approved.
• Police Chief David J. Collins explained that Resolution 102, which would authorize the mayor to enter into an agreement with the Oneida County STOP-DWI program for selective enforcement patrols in the amount of $16,483, was money the county had just been awarded.
“The county was just awarded this — we haven’t received a grant for this in a few years,” Collins explained. “The money was just received from the state, and we were just one agency that has participated in the past. This money was given to us to use, and we have until Dec. 31 of this year to spend it, if it’s approved.” The legislation was subsequently unanimously approved.
• Resolution 103 accepting a donation of $405 from Woodman Life for the sponsorship of a movie shown at Franklyn’s Field on Aug. 17 was unanimously approved.
• Ordinance 9532 authorizing the closure of a portion of Lawrence Street from South James Street to Avenue A for an event from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Oct. 1 celebrating the Franklin Hotel’s 50th anniversary, was unanimously approved.
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