Highlights from the January 2, 2001 meeting of the Tompkins County Board of Representatives
MINK TO CHAIR BOARD FOR ANOTHER YEAR
By unanimous vote (12-0; one seat is vacant; two Board members were absent) the Board re-elected Barbara Mink and Michael Lane to their fifth terms as Chair and Vice-Chair of the County legislature. The two, both Democrats, have held the top spots since 1997. The Board’s current political split is 10 Democrats, 4 Republicans. Mink thanked her colleagues and said she will deliver a formal address and make the year’s committee assignments at the next board meeting, January 16. By then, it is expected that a Representative will have been appointed by the Dryden Town Board to replace District 13 Representative, Charles Evans, who resigned at the end of 2000. Contact: Barbara Mink, 273-7847.
STILL NO DEAL FOR SALE OF OLD LIBRARY
A potential buyer of the Old Library building on North Cayuga Street has missed a crucial deadline. Barbara Mink reported that negotiations conducted with an out-of-state company since October have not yielded a sale. In late December, the company appeared to accept the County’s counter-offer, but the then failed to finalize the contract. After the deadline was missed, the County informed the company that it would start using part of the building for public purposes. Plans are underway for the new Community Justice Center to move into the lower level for at least a year. The Space and Location Committee, chaired by Mink, will continue to study possible uses for the Old Library. Mink noted that selling the building is still a possibility. Contacts: Board Chair Barbara Mink, 273-7847; Deputy County Attorney Jonathan Wood, 274-5546.
TOBACCO MONEY DECLINES
The first tobacco settlement payment of 2001 arrived today, Finance Director David Squires reported. It is $440,000, of which the County keeps half. The amount is about 20 percent less than a comparable payment last year, Squires said, indicating that securitizing – selling future payments to investors – was a good decision by the County Board. In September, the Board agreed to sell one half of its future annual tobacco payments for a lump sum of just over $7 million. Contact: David Squires, 274-5544.
COUNTY WILL LEASE SPACE IN BIGGS A BUILDING
With the close of the sale of the County-owned Biggs A building drawing near, the County has agreed to lease space in the building from the buyer, Klaff Realty, of Chicago. The Board voted unanimously (12-0; two members were absent, one seat is vacant) to negotiate a lease for its Records Management office. The County agreed in August, 2000 to sell the 70-year-old building next to the Cayuga Medical Center to Klaff for $250,000. Contact: Deputy County Attorney Jonathan Wood, 274-5546.
BOARD SETS MEETING DATES FOR 2001
The Board set its schedule of meeting dates for 2001. It will meet in the Board Chambers of the County Courthouse at 5:30 p.m. on the first and third Tuesday of every month, with two exceptions. It will meet on Wednesday, September 19 and Wednesday, November 7. A list of the meeting dates will be posted on the County website, at www.tompkins-co.org. Contact: Cathy Covert, Clerk of the Board, 274-5434.