Highlights of the April 17, 2007 meeting
of the
Tompkins County Legislature
Legislature Accepts Two State Grants, Authorizes Application for One More
The Legislature, without dissent (with one Legislator absent), accepted $300,000 in state funds, under the Department of Transportation’s “Air 99” program, to support improvements and maintenance for airport terminal road system.  A $75,000 local match for the project will come from the airport budget.  Legislators also accepted $106,000 from the state Office of Real Property Tax Services Technology Improvement Program. The grant, awarded to the county’s Information Technology Services department, will support development of an Enterprise Address Management System (EAMS), a standardized addressing system, incorporating emergency response data, for real estate parcels in the county through the county’s Geographic Information Systems (GIS) system.  The standardized data, to be used by government organizations and departments throughout Tompkins County, will be used as source of accurate and complete local addressing information.
Contact:  Kathy Luz Herrera, Chair, Facilities and Infrastructure Committee, 273-8169

Legislators also authorized the County to apply for $150,000 in state Department of Environmental Conservation funds, under its State Wildlife Grants program.  Funding will permit the Planning Department and the Environmental Management Council to incorporate data concerning local Species of Greatest Need and their habitats to the county’s Unique Natural Areas Inventory.
Contact:  Martha Robertson, Chair, Planning , Development, and Environmental Quality Committee, 272-0584.

Girl Scout Troop Recognized as Tompkins County Distinguished Youth
Members of Ithaca’s Girl Scout Troop 600 were honored as recipients of this month’s Distinguished Youth Award.  Nominated by Legislator Dick Booth, the scouts were honored for their presentation last month of the local premiere of the play “The Perfect 36”, which depicts dramatic events leading to amendment of the U.S. Constitution to guarantee women the right to vote.  Booth said troop members are also honored “for their dedication to serving the public over the years and as representatives of all Girl Scouts who have contributed to the nation’s communities during the hundred years that Girl Scouts have been in existence.” The Distinguished Youth Award is cosponsored by A&B Awards and Engraving, Bangs Ambulance Service, Purity Ice Cream and Cayuga Radio Group.
Contact:   Legislator Dick Booth, 272-6573; Legislature Office, 274-5434.

Legislature Approves New Budget for Transportation Council, Increases Director’s Salary
The Legislature (by unanimous vote, with one Legislator absent) approved the 2007-08 budget for the Ithaca-Tompkins County Transportation Council.  The more than $350,000 budget is fully supported by federal funding from the Highway and Transit Administrations. The county acts as a conduit for the funds, through a contract with the state Department of Transportation.  Also without dissent, the Legislature also approved a salary increase of 3 percent for council planning director Fernando d’Aragon, consistent with 2007 salary increases provided other county management staff.
Contact:  Contact:  Martha Robertson, Chair, Planning , Development, and Environmental Quality Committee, 272-0584.

Committee Mulling Potential Change in Assessment Data Internet Policy
Government Operations Committee chairman Greg Stevenson told the Legislature that the Department of Assessment has presented his committee with a proposed change in policy for how assessment data is distributed via the internet.  Currently, the public is only able to access a lower level of service, containing only basic property data, but real estate professionals can access detailed assessment information on a pay-for-view basis. Maintaining that this information, often in an outdated or incomplete form, is now available on other commercial internet sites, Assessment staff recommend the County make the full data available to the public.  The committee directed Assessment to return with a formal resolution on the issue next month.
Contact:  Greg Stevenson,Chair, Government Operations Committee, 273-2439.