Tompkins County Board of Representatives
NORTHEAST TRANSPORTATION STUDY GOES FORWARD, WITH $200,000 BOOST
By unanimous vote (11-0; Reps. Barbara Blanchard, Frank Proto, George Totman, and Daniel Winch were absent), the Board of Representatives approved $200,000 to study public transportation in the northeast urban area of the county. All but $195,000 of the funding will be reimbursed to Tompkins County. The study, recommended by the citizen-based Northeast Subarea Transportation Study (NESTS), will be paid for with $160,000 in federal transportation funding; and seven municipalities, plus Cornell University, will contribute $5,000 each. The municipal partners are Tompkins County, the City of Ithaca, the towns of Ithaca, Lansing, and Dryden, and the villages of Lansing and Cayuga Heights.
COUNTY APPROVES TOURISM GRANTS
The Board unanimously (13-0; Reps. Barbara Blanchard and Daniel Winch were absent) approved $22,320 in tourism development grants to four local agencies. County tourism grants are funded by revenue from the local hotel and motel room occupancy tax. Grant applications are reviewed by the Strategic Tourism Planning Board, which makes recommendations to the Board of Representatives. The grant recipients are:
- Community Arts Partnership – $2,000 for Ithaca and Holiday artists’ markets; $5,000 for advertising, website, and brochure for the Greater Ithaca Art Trail;
- Cornell Cooperative Extension – $1,900 for 4th Annual Farm City Day;
- Ithaca Downtown Partnership – $3,500 for Art in the Heart of the City; $3,500 for Winterfest 2002; $2,000 for Art Visions art show and sale;
- Trumansburg Area Chamber of Commerce – $4,420 for Festival of Lights 2001.
(Board Chair Barbara Mink recused herself from approval of funding for the Greater Ithaca Art Trail because she is a member.) In a related matter, Rep. Stuart Stein reported the County room tax revenue for the first quarter of 2001 is $80,227, up 10 percent from the same time period last year. The total room tax in 2000 was $600,745. Room tax is primarily used to support the Tompkins County Convention & Visitors Bureau.
COUNTY SUPPORTS UNITED NATIONS GREENHOUSE GAS POLICY
The Board of Representatives unanimously (11-0; Reps. Barbara Blanchard, Frank Proto, George Totman, and Daniel Winch were absent), voted its support for standards established by a United Nations convention for greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants . The Board resolution expresses the County’s desire to see President George Bush and Congress follow policies that are consistent with the U.N. Convention on Climate Change. Contact: Rep. Peter Penniman, Chair, Planning Committee, 387-5897.
WATER RESOURCES COUNCIL RECOMMENDS AQUIFER STUDY
Citing public health benefits. John Andersson of the Environmental Health Division and County Planner Kate Hackett, with the support of the Water Resources Council, urged the Board to initiate studies of groundwater in the County. The estimated cost is $175,000-$300,000 per aquifer. Tompkins County has 17 separate aquifers.